Have a Blessed All Saints Day!

“Holiness is not for wimps and the cross is not negotiable, sweetheart, it’s a requirement.”

Mother Angelica

Today the Church honors all those who are with God, the innumerable men and women, the “great cloud of witnesses” who chose fidelity to Christ

All saints – Fra Angelico

And therefore we also having so great a cloud of witnesses over our head, laying aside every weight and sin which surrounds us, let us run by patience to the fight proposed to us: Looking on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, who having joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and now sitteth on the right hand of the throne of God. For think diligently upon him that endured such opposition from sinners against himself; that you be not wearied, fainting in your minds.” ( Hebrews 12:1-3)

What we think is a saint and who Holy scripture tells us are saints may have formed differently in our minds. But an interesting observation found today on our parish website is directly in line with an observation Chesterton made about the variety of saints through the Ages, encouraging us all that God can and does have the ability to form saints from even our clay!

“Different Men
Different women.
Different nationalities.
Different skin tones.
Different body types.
Different socio-economic backgrounds.
Different childhoods.
Different upbringings.
Different educations.
Different friendships.
Different vocations.
Different trials.
Different blessings.
Different virtues.
Different vices.
Different prayer lives.
Different sacrifices.
All. Saints.
All. Still. Saints.
So, on the eve before All Saints Day, let this be a reminder that there is no mold.
There never has been.
There never will be.
Let us not be confused by the talents and missions of other saints. Let us be the kind of saints we were created to be.”

Chesterton in like manner challenges us to think differently of sainthood: “The author challenges how much sanctity has to do with sameness, as he says saints are as different from each other as those in any group — even murderers.” (St. Thomas Aquinas)

God has used all sorts of men and women to be saints. In fact, He addresses the congregation of believers as ‘saints‘ 67 times in the New Testament – because that’s what all of us have to be to enter heaven – saints – holy people (Acts 9:13) who are ambassadors of Christ here on earth, pleading with those here to become reconciled to God. (2 Corinthians 5:20)

But Ananias answered: Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints in Jerusalem.(DRA)

Acts 9:13

For Christ therefore we are ambassadors, God as it were exhorting by us. For Christ, we beseech you, be reconciled to God. (DRA)

2 Corinthians 5:20

So anyone of us can be used by God to be His saints here on earth and join that “great cloud of witnesses” we remember and honor today. And witnessing to others, as they did, is the grand opportunity and privilege gladly accepted by those who have gone before us, those just like us, coming from all sorts of backgrounds, to tell the world that Christ has risen! And Christ can resurrect us and those who listen, too, into His kingdom if only we will agree to live as God commands.

We are always ready to make a saint or prophet of the educated man who goes into cottages to give a little kindly advice to the uneducated. The mediaeval saint or prophet was an uneducated man who walked into grand houses to give a little kindly advice to the educated.” – G. K. Chesterton, Ch. 19: Slum Novelists and the Slums, Heretics.

Light a candle in observance of all the saints who have gone before us!

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