Feast of All Saints
This is the day when the church recalls the great tribe out of every nation and people, proclaims the following of Jesus according to the beatitudes, and allows the subversive memory of friends of God and prophets of all ages and our hope of communion with them to take center stage. It is a fundamentally joyous day that takes note of historical suffering within the overarching theme that the last word belongs to divine love. This is a day that celebrates the great host of the “anonymous” whom the world counts as nobodies and whom the church too has lost track of but who are held in the embrace of God who loses not a one. Canonized saints have their day on the calendar but this is a day for everyone. On this day we also remember those whom our hearts have personally known and loved, those who have nourished and created us as human beings and those who have helped us through rough times. In view of the cosmos’s participation in the communion of the holy, this day remembers with gratitude the complex community of life in which the human race is embedded, the vast array of life given in nourishment for the life of others, and the systems of the earth.
Elizabeth Johnson, Friends of God and Prophets.
This is what God asks, only this:
Walk humbly with your God.
Be attentive to the glimpses of holiness that surround us. How will you respond to the challenge in your own life?
Precious in the sight of the God is the death of his saints.
For we are God’s work of art.
Saints are the simple, the humble who make room for God, who know how to weep for others and for their own errors, those who stay meek, who fight for justice, who are merciful toward all, who guard purity of heart, who always work for peace and remain in joy, not in hate, and, even when suffering, respond to evil with good.
Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society.
St. Francis of Assisi
I am reminded of the biblical use of the term saint in the book of Acts. That it applies to each of us. All who are attempting to imitate the Christ in their lives merit the title of saint. Some do it more fully than others and are willing to let go of more to get the job done.
To me, there are saints every day. They stand up and help others and live for others and do things for others.
For centuries the church has confronted the human community with role models of greatness. We call them saints when what we really often mean to say is ‘icon,’ ‘star,’ ‘hero,’ ones so possessed by an internal vision of divine goodness that they give us a glimpse of the face of God in the center of the human. They give us a taste of the possibilities of greatness in ourselves.
All of the places of our lives are sanctuaries; some of them just happen to have steeples. And all of the people in our lives are saints; it is just that some of them have day jobs and most will never have feast days named for them.
The challenge of the saints of the twenty-first century is to begin again to comprehend the sacred in the ten thousand things of our world; to reverence what we have come to view as ordinary and devoid of spirit.
I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.
God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but God does what is still more wonderful: God makes saints out of sinners.