Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Ave Maria!
All Saints Day (22nd Sunday after Pentecost)—1 November AD 2009

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

”After this, I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb ...”[1]

    Today is the feast of All Saints, the day on which the Church honors all of Its saints, including—perhaps I should say “especially”—those who are unknown to us, and who have not been formally canonized or declared to be saints.  Essentially, this is a feast in honor of all those holy souls who have persevered in the love of God, keeping His Commandments, and uniting their will to His.

    Perhaps that definition surprises some of us—because we are more accustomed to hearing a worldly definition of sanctity—one which views sanctity as unusual, or even weird—one which assumes that being a saint is something reserved for the very few who can be in two places at the same time, or who glow in the dark, or float a few inches above the floor.  Saints, the world assumes, all have long faces, and have somehow escaped from the cares of the world.

    In reality, the opposite is more nearly correct.  One is more likely to become a saint by facing responsibility in the world, rather than by ignoring it.  Very few saints glow in the dark—in fact, the Church cautions us to place very little importance on such showy phenomena.  Most importantly, we must realize that we are all called to be saints.  God made us to show forth His goodness in this world, and to share His happiness in heaven—and that is what it really means to be a saint—to share God's happiness in eternity.

    Look at the reading this morning from Saint John’s Apocalypse.  It describes the assembly of the saints in heaven before the throne of God.  But there are far more than just a few eccentric souls.  There are twelve thousand from each of the twelve tribes of Israel—one hundred and forty four thousand souls.  But Saint John continues:  “After this, I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; and they cried with a loud voice, saying, «Salvation to our God who sitteth upon the throne, and to the Lamb. »”  A multitude of people so great that no one could count it.  There must have been quite a few ordinary souls there.

    If there is any doubt as to whether or not we are called to be saints, all we have to do is consider the alternative—and eternity of misery, suffering with the devils in hell.  Not much of a choice, is it?!

    Now, given this choice between heaven and hell, we ought to give some consideration to what is required to ensure sanctity instead of damnation.  We may not have done much of this, if we have been laboring under the worldly illusion that we can never be saints.

    In a general way, we can say that saints are those who love God.  Clearly, if we go through life loving God, and treating Him as one whom we love, we can expect His love in return—guaranteed.  To be more specific, we should be mindful of the need for keeping ourselves from becoming mired down in the material pleasures of the world.  Not that they are necessarily evil, but that they tend to draw us away from the love of God.

    Along with focusing on divine things, we will want to keep God's Commandments.  The first three of them simply remind us what we are trying to accomplish—to love God.  If we love Him we will never desert Him for a false “god,” or a false religion, or abuse His good name.  And certainly, we will want to visit Him in person when He comes to us at Holy Mass, or waits for us in the tabernacle.

    The other seven Commandments are nothing more or less than the things necessary to live an orderly life—to get along with those around us, and to preserve our own peace of mind and prosperity.  You may have heard me refer to them as the “Manufacturer’s instructions for the people whom He created.”

    If we love God, we will love our neighbor for the love of God.  We will take for granted the need for doing good works; for visiting the sick and feeding the hungry; for instructing the ignorant and counseling the doubtful; for praying for the living and the dead.

    The Gospel speaks to this today:  “blessed are the poor in spirit,” the humble, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven ... Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.  Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:  Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven.”[2]

    And, perhaps most important, as we come to know and love God, our prayer life will deepen.  At first, we will have to consciously set aside some time and discipline ourselves to prayer.  We will probably have to resist an inner laziness to get ourselves to meditate on the life of our Lord, in order to appreciate what He has done for us.  But, if we are persistent, we will find ourselves looking forward to prayer—to conversation with our beloved Lord.  And these feelings of Love will strengthen us in the all important virtues of Faith Hope and Charity.

    Today then is the feast of All Saints.  This is a day to honor the holy souls who have gone before us—whoever they might be—Popes and Confessors, Martyrs and Virgins—but also Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick makers.  This is a day to call upon them and ask for their intercession, that we might become like them.  This is a day to remember that we too are called to be saints—and a day to start out on working to be one.


[1]   Epistle: Apocalypse vii: 2-12.

[2]   Gospel Matthew v: 1-12


Dei via est íntegra
Our Lady of the Rosary, 144 North Federal Highway (US#1), Deerfield Beach, Florida 33441  954+428-2428
Authentic  Catholic Mass, Doctrine, and Moral Teaching -- Don't do without them -- 
Don't accept one without the others!