All Saints Day

Today the Catholic Church celebrates the Solemnity of All Saints. It is a day on which we honor all of the saints who have gone before us.

Pope Benedict XVI observed that “the saints bring to light in creative fashion quite new human potentialities” and are “Christian constellations, in which the richness of God’s goodness is reflected.”

Sometimes non-Catholics get nervous about saints, mistakently thinking Catholics put them on a par with God or that Catholics feel that they need the saints to occupy a place between them and God. Neither is the case. We do not worship saints. We do not think that we need them to speak to God on our behalf.

However, the saints do reflect God’s light in a certain way. And they all have something to teach us about discipleship. They give us examples that illuminate our paths.

So today, I will give special thanks, not only for the “major” saints who sit front and center in my visualization of the communion of saints. (People like Vincent de Paul, Ignatius of Loyloa, Francis of Assisi, John the Baptist.) I also give thanks for the “lesser” saints, those who have simply lived the life God asked them to live. Those who by their simplicity and their humility inspire me in both thought and deed.

Who do you give thanks for this day? Spend some time in your silent prayer giving thanks for those who have gone before you, for those who inspire you in a special way.