This week is a special Sunday! We celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints, which takes precedence over the usual Ordinary Time readings. This week, the Solemnity is celebrated in both the Ordinary and the Extraordinary form of the Mass.
Almighty ever-living God, by whose gift we venerate in one celebration the merits of all the Saints, bestow on us, we pray, through the prayers of so many intercessors, an abundance of the reconciliation with you for which we earnestly long. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
The “gift” in the prayer is this Solemnity. The opportunity to venerate (revere, honor) ALL the Saints.
Have you thought about what the Saints are to you? I often find myself asking a Saint for help, or coming across a quote or writing of a Saint, but I think I under-use the Saints.
Last weekend I had the privilege of speaking at Sonja Corbitt’s "Standing in the Word" retreat at the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Hanceville, Alabama. As I walked into the conference center (aka the Castle), there she was and she was beautiful. It was Joan of Arc with a knight in armor standing at each side. Directly opposite of St. Joan was St. Michael, who also had a knight on each side.
There’s something about an almost-lifesize statue that makes you stop. Well, it did me, anyway. This prayer is a good reminder that the Saints are our intercessors. In the Latin form of this word (intercessoribus) it means an interferer, adversary, preventer.
This prayer brought to mind a couple quotes from the book, In Sinu Jesu: When Heart Speaks to Heart--The Journal of a Priest at Prayer. In the book, the anonymous author records the conversations he has with God during adoration.
God tells the author, “St. Peter Julian Eymard recognizes you as one of his own. He will communicate to you a share in his spirit. You will live from this and you will cause others to live from it.”
I want that. I want to remember that there is a Saint in heaven praying for me!
The book goes on, “I never wanted to leave you alone on earth; this is why I have always surrounded you with My saints. I wanted, and want still, that you should find in them a true friendship, a friendship that is all pure, a friendship that does not disappoint. Through the saints and by their ceaseless intercession for you before My Face, you will, at length, come to Me in glory. Do not cease invoking My saints and teach others to seek from them the help they need in the trials of this life on earth. In heaven, the saints will all be glad for having helped you make your way to Me in glory.”
This week’s homework starts today. Read Revelation 7:9-10. Try to imagine the countless in Heaven wearing white robes! Also, find a picture of your Saint, your Confirmation Saint, your namesake Saint, the Saints who has revealed themself to you. Look up quotes by the Saint, find writings of your Saint, study icons of that Saint. Ask your Saints to intercede for you, for your family, your diocese and for our nation.
The Church Militant need to remember that the Church Triumphant is on our side!
Thanks for praying with me,