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Saturday, October 31, 2009

All Saint's Day

Everyone understands that All Saint’s Day is November 1st, but how many Catholics really understand the point of All Saint’s Day? Here are few main reasons for the celebration of All Saint’s Day:

1. To give thanks to God.

2. To consider the holy example of the Saints.

3. To ask for intercession by the Saints.

4. To make up for any remiss in honoring the Saints on their particular feast days.

Ultimately, All Saints Day is a celebration of the men and women of God who have preceded us and are now enjoying heaven. Make a special point to recognize, honor, and meditate on the Saints and the examples they leave for us as a roadmap to heaven. Try and learn something new about your personal saint. Look at the life of your namesake. There are many good ways to honor the saints from which we descend in faith. We must however remember that they are there as examples. God does not “cookie cutter” saints. We must all look to the saints and then apply what we learn to our own life for our own time and in our own way. They show us the way, but we are not them. We must strive to live our own life not theirs. Blessed Pope John XXIII said it best:

Practical experience has now convinced me of this: the concept of holiness which I had formed and applied to myself was mistaken. In every one of my actions, and in the little failings of which I was immediately aware, I used to call to mind the image of some saint whom I had set myself to imitate down to the smallest particular, as a painter makes an exact copy of a picture by Raphael. I used to say to myself: in this case St. Aloysius would have done so and so, or: he would not do this or that. However, it turned out that I was never able to achieve that I thought I could do, and this worried me. The method was wrong. From the saints I must take the substance, not the accidents of their virtues. I am not St. Aloysuis, nor must I seek holiness in his particular way, but according to the requirements of my own nature, my own character, and the different conditions of my life. I must not be the dry, bloodless reproduction of a model, however perfect…If St. Aloysius had been as I am, he would have become holy in a different way.

Remember, we are saints in the making. Strive always for holiness and God will fill in the rest.

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