“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard
This week, we celebrate the Feasts of All Saints and All Souls. They are intrinsically related and, one might even say, one and the same. For, after all, any soul who gets to heaven is a saint. We do not need to wait for the Church to proclaim someone a saint. That happens as soon as that soul goes home.
The Feast of All Saints helps us to focus upon the victory won for each and every one of us in the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus. All saints participate in that victory completely. They are triumphant. They have “arrived”. They are home.
While their earthly sojourn may have been fraught with struggle or trials of many kinds, they have remained faithful to the Lord. God, who looks upon the deeds that we do, was pleased with their lives and invited them to live forever with Him. The soul who longed to be with God for eternity sings out with joy at that invitation and enthusiastically accepts what we all long to have.
The Feast of All Souls brings our attention to all of those who have passed away. We think, especially, of our own loved ones: our mothers and fathers, our wives and husbands, our daughters and sons, our grandmothers and grandfathers, and all those special people in our lives who have died and gone before us. The Feasts of All Saints and All Souls, then, remind us of some very basic things:
- Our humanity. We are all born into this world. Our souls are in corporeal shells that will be cast off one day when we die.
- Our fragility. These bodies are prone to disease. They can be the cause of anxiety, consternation, and, even, pain.
- Our promise. We know that we will not be in this world forever. This is merely a place where we wait for God to call us to Himself. Therefore, it would behoove us to use our time on this world wisely.
- Our example. Like it or not, we learn that what we say and do has ramifications. We can encourage other people to embrace the Lord or chase people away from the practice of the faith by our speech and actions.
Be living examples of the faith this day!
FAITH ACTION: Make a list of all those you wish to remember in prayer this week. Perhaps share their stories with family and friends.