Why Do We Celebrate the ‘Feast of All Saints’?

On the Solemnity of All Saints, the Church invites us to view, with hope, our heavenly brothers and sisters; to encourage us to travel fully the path that began with our Baptism and will reach full happiness in the glory of the Beatific Vision.

Newsroom (02/11/2021 09:00, Gaudium Press) On the Solemnity of All Saints the Church celebrates all those who are already in full possession of the Beatific Vision, including those who have not been canonized. Saints are also – in the broad sense of the term – all those who form part of the Mystical Body of Christ: not only those who have conquered Heavenly Glory, but also those who have satisfied the temporal punishment in Purgatory, and those who, still in the Land of Exile, live in the grace of God.

Whether we are in this world as members of the Church Militant, in Purgatory as the suffering Church, or already in eternal happiness in the Church Triumphant, we are one and the same Church.

The Saints intercede for us and set an example

Let us turn our attention to the Blessed – our brothers and sisters, if we live in the grace of God – because they are closer to Him, Our Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Head of this Body. They are a reason for hope for those who suffer in the flames of Purgatory. And for us, who through Baptism possess the germ of that glory which they already enjoy, they are a model of the holiness of life we must attain.

All our efforts will be too little for this seed to become a leafy tree – with its flowers in full bloom and its abundant fruit – that is, eternal glory, which is our final goal.

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We must advance, then, towards those who are in the presence of God with the same desire with which we would seek our family – for among the members of a harmonious and well-established family there is an intermingling, the fruit of consanguinity, so unbreakable that if one of the brothers attains a prestigious situation, all the others rejoice.

Indeed, much greater must be the union of those who, through divine brotherhood, belong to the family of God, and greater also must be the joy when we contemplate our brothers praising God in Heaven for ever and ever and interceding for us before Him.

The idea of eternal happiness

This is the absolute happiness which our brothers, the Saints, already enjoy in eternity and with which no consolation of this life is comparable.

Our idea of happiness is so human that we often think we possess it in the highest degree by obtaining something we greatly desire.

The mere intelligence of man does not attain to the comprehension of the happiness of Heaven, for in relation to God we are like ants who, walking on the earth, raise their heads to look at the flight of an eagle in the sky. The difference between an ant and an eagle is ridiculous when compared with the infinity between human reason and divine intelligence. And even if, endowed with an uncommon capacity, we were to spend three hundred billion years studying, our description would still be faulty and we would not find the terms to express ourselves properly about God.

A loan from the divine intelligence

And so, in His infinite love, God wanted to lend to intelligent creatures, Angels and men, His intellectual light, the lumen gloriæ, so that they may understand Him as He understands Himself, keeping the correct proportions between creature and Creator.

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Only in Heaven will we really see our Lord Jesus Christ, since while He lived on earth no one saw Him as He is. Not even at the Transfiguration, when He took on, as a passing quality, the clarity inherent in the glorious body, did St. Peter, St. James and St. John ever contemplate the essence of His divinity, for otherwise their souls would have detached themselves from the body.

The more we grow in the hope of this encounter and of this vision, and therefore the more we grow in the desire to give ourselves to God and to belong entirely to Him in charity, the more we are purified of the self-love and selfishness deeply rooted in our nature.

We must keep in mind that there are not three loves, but only two: the love of God brought to the point of forgetting oneself or the love of self brought to the point of forgetting God.

Let us follow the example of those who have gone before us in grace and await us in glory!

Man, even when deprived of grace, has an appetite for the infinite that does not rest until it is satisfied by union with God. This is what St. Augustine reveals in his Confessions: “And behold, Thou wast within me, and I was without, and without I sought Thee; and, formless as I was, I cast myself upon the beautiful things Thou hast created. You were with me, but I was not with You. I was kept away from You by those things which, if they had not been in You, would not have existed”.

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This immense and indescribable happiness, for which we were all created, will be attained only by following those who have preceded us with the sign of Faith and who already enjoy it through their fidelity to that call.

Let us ask that this eternal beatitude may also be a privilege for us, through the merits of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the tears of Our Lady, and the intercession of all the Saints, so that one day we may find ourselves in their company in Heaven.

Until we get there, we can relate to this enormous plethora of heavenly brethren, members of the same Body, through a direct channel much more efficient than any modern means of communication: prayer, love for God, and love for them while also united to God.

Let us be certain that, from on High, they look kindly upon us, pray for us, and protect us.

Msgr. João Scognamiglio Clá Dias, EP

Text extracted, with adaptations, from the book The Unpublished on the Gospels vol. VII. p.227-239.

The post Why celebrate a feast for “All Saints”“? appeared first on Gaudium Press.

On the Solemnity of All Saints, the Church invites us to see our heavenly brothers and sisters with hope, as a stimulus to travel the full path that began with Baptism and reach full happiness in the glory of the beatific vision.
The post Why celebrate a feast for “All Saints”? appeared first on Gaudium Press.Read MoreSpirituality, All Saints Day, Why celebrate All Saints?

 

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