“The Feast of All Saints seems to me to be in some sort a greater one than that of an Easter or an Ascension. Our Lord is perfected in this mystery because, as our head, He is only perfectly fulfilled when He is united to all His members, the saints. The feast is glorious because it manifests exteriorly the hidden life of Jesus Christ. The greatness and perfection of the saints is entirely the work of His Spirit dwelling in them” (Jean-Jacques Olier, founder of the seminary and Society of St-Sulpice).
I will spare you the desire of my heart, which is to write a several-page post on this great feast. How can we keep from singing it? Blessed be God in His angels and in His saints!
Here are just a few of my thoughts on what this day means to me.
Today means giving thanks to my God for the sacraments that make us holy! Today is Camille’s spiritual birthday. What a beautiful day on which to be baptized! Do you ever wonder why so many babies cry out when the waters of baptism touch them? Yow, that’s cold! My dear friend Jan has a different theory. She thinks perhaps it’s the shock of being pierced through-and-through by sanctifying grace.
Today means giving thanks to God for the saints in my midst, also known as my children. Technically they are not saints, since the definition of a saint is someone who is in heaven. But I do see the glory of God reflected in their young lives, and I see God in
* Their innocence. There is no a bit of guile or sarcasm in these little ones. I am always so sad when these things first make their appearance.
* Their wonder. They are witnessing the beauty of God’s world for the first time!
* Their joy. Because a sad saint is one sad saint!
Today means giving thanks to God for the mystery of His Kingdom and our place in the Mystical Body. Who are we in Him? What is our destiny? Father, mother, sister, nun? Brother, priest or martyr?
We see only dimly the mystical realities that surround us. In heaven, though, the veil will be lifted! “And then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…” (Revelation 21:1).
Finally, a few “Did You Knows?” from one of my favorite writers, Ann Ball. These are taken verbatim from the introduction to her book Modern Saints.
* The saints are accorded a veneration (or honor) technically called dulia. To Our Lady is given a higher form of veneration called hyperdulia, but to God alone is reserved the supreme form of veneration know as latria, or adoration.
* The early Christians believed that those who had died for the Faith must be especially close to God, and priests began to offer Mass by the tombs of the martyrs. As early as the 4th century, exemplary Christians who were not martyrs were also being honored.
* Alexander VII instituted the solemn consummation of the process of beatification. St. Francis de Sales was the first to receive this honor, which was conferred in 1662.
Happy All Saints Day to you all!