Thursday, November 1, 2012

Solemnity of All Saints

(Revelation 7:2-4.9-14; 8 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12a)

Yesterday's costume parties hint at today's feast. Just as people wore clothes of different nations and periods of history, so saints come from a variety of backgrounds. And just as regular people don the dress of the standouts of the ages, so they might become saints.

Blessed Pope John Paul II canonized more saints than all previous popes. He did not do it for exercise. Rather he wanted to give Catholics models to help them live holy lives. Individuals with distant relatives who were canonized have found special inspiration to struggle against evil inclinations. In examining the lives of the saints postmodern Christians will find examples of women and men who dealt successfully with questions and doubts similar to their own.

Still it is not easy to become a saint. We need not only models but divine grace to love as we ought. Fortunately the Holy Spirit has also come so that we might successfully take up the quest.