A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
June 30, 2020
All Saints. All Souls.
October 30, 2014
A number of years ago, my daughter-in-law who was raised as a Methodist was becoming interested in the Catholic Church and was having a hard time accepting the concept of how we as Catholics have so many saints – and why would we pray to a saint?
Why wouldn’t we pray to the Lord instead. Good questions, but we do not pray to saints instead of Jesus, we pray to saints in addition to Jesus. Why?
Because saints are for all of us. They are examples of how to live out our lives here on this earth and in doing so come to know, love and serve God. It is not that saints are sinless, just the opposite, they were sinners like us. Many of them did not know Jesus Christ or convert to the love of Jesus Christ until late in their lives. You see, our saints show us the way to conversion – conversion of heart for the sake of a relationship with Jesus. You may know the story of many a saint and you may wonder how it is that the Church even recognizes them as a saint because of the kind of life they lived – but then there was for them a conversion. In coming to know Jesus Christ and the Trinity, they came to understand LOVE.
They gave up the ways of their past and they dedicated themselves to serving and loving others. Most did not do that in great and glorious ways, rather, they did it in ordinary and simple ways. Now, you may say, I can’t just give up everything and go about the world saving others. And perhaps you are right. But we can turn our hearts toward God and learn to love as God loves. We can serve God’s people by loving and caring for our family. We can
serve God’s people daily in our work, whether we are a waitress, a teacher, a doctor, or a clerk at the grocery store. All of us are in fact, saints in the making.
As we gather to celebrate the Feast of All Saints this weekend, let us remember that our saints became saints primarily because they aligned their hearts, theirs souls, their actions with Jesus Christ.
We can do the same. Conversion means to turn about, to go in another way. Let us think about that this feast day. Let us pray to God and our saints for help that we might always be working toward sainthood.
Liturgically, the Catholic Church celebrates All Soul’s day immediately following All Saints. This Sunday as a community of believers we will remember all who have gone before us from this life to eternity. The names of all parishioners who have died in the past year will be spoken at all Masses. Sometimes this can be difficult for those who have lost a loved one, but it can also be comforting and that is our hope. May we all be comforted to know by our faith that our loved ones are now in the loving arms of Jesus. As Catholics, believing in the “communion of saints” we enjoy a connection to those who have gone before us. Take time
this Sunday to share stories, to say prayers, to speak the names and to remember your loved ones; those to whom we will be united when God calls us home.