Sunday, November 1, 2009

All the Saints

The challenge of sainthood
is to go where love takes me.

Today is All Saints Day!

Another name is All Hallows Day. It follows, of course, All Hallows Eve...or, obviously, Halloween. I love that we don't just celebrate Halloween and its not just a creepy horror fest or excuse to dress up and scarf down way too much sugar (Baby Ruth's, Reeses, pie, oh my!) But that in actuality these are three days of remembrance.

Remembrance of what?
No, not only that you need to stay on your blood sugar meds or that there's always tomorrow for a new diet.
Rather, its remembrance of the dead.

Its why I think the Dia de los Muertos is cool too, not creepy. Plus of course there is usually lots of food involved, especially Pan de los Muertos (Special bread), and whats not to like about that?

Its why those Dutch Veritas paintings were all the rage way back when (Ok, ok, 16 & 17 C). They were a way of reminding us that "all is vanity" in life (You know, Eccliastes and all); this life here is but a blink.

It's remembering our dear ones who went before us, and also those who were not so dear personally perhaps, but now can be so very dear as they listen to our prayers and pray on our behalf.

Yup, I'm talking about the Saints!
We love them!

And for those who have concerns with praying to saints, I understand. But, well, here is a bit on the concept of communion of the saints. But for me, I think its one of the most cool and natural concepts of the faith and well, life in general. Because this tells us that we are connected. You all know how much I rely on those connections!

And to be connected to those who have gone before us, and who, since they no longer are bound by their human tendencies toward sin, are pure of heart and intent...to be connected to these special souls and be able to hit them up for prayers? Well, that is just too cool and a huge comfort for me.

Its a lot like asking your best girlfriend or Aunt Midge to pray for you, but knowing that the prayers will be less distracted and without any overlying layers of selfishness. For instance, "Please let Coffeemom figure this out so she will stop droning on about this, it's making me nuts." See, thats one kind of prayer that any earthly person might (ok, surely does) pray if I ask them to pray for me.

But we know that the saints will pray for God's will for us, more along the lines of "O God, come to her assistance, send the graces she needs to understand your will and thus also take pity and have mercy on her best friend." See? Much better, don't ya think? Me too.

So, today is the day that we try to recover from All Hallows eve and the food feasting and instead feast on the deep contentment and uber coolness of knowing that the saints, both the "rock star" saints and the little known ones, will pray for us and care about our little human lives.

They've been there, done that, know the traps and are cheering us on our way. What's not to like? Or celebrate? I'll take every bit of help I can get. And, blessedly, this is real help, right now....and forever. Ah....

Photo by Richard Flynn. Saints in the cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, Los Angeles: Cecilia, Stephen, Casimir, Ignatius of Loyola, Frances of Rome, Bernardine of Siena, Thomas Aquinas, Katharine Drexel, John of God, Maximilian Kolbe, John Baptist de la Salle, Paul Chong Hasang, Moses the Ethiopian, Kateri Tekakwitha, Thomas More, Nicholas, Dominic, Mary Magdalen, Ann, and Joseph.

Happy All Saints Day!
I'm gonna go have another piece of pie!

1 comment:

notjustlaura said...

Thank you so much for such an interesting and informed post. I'm in RCIA now and have so much to learn :)