Today we honor those holy men and women who have gone before us in faith and have done so in a glorious way. As we honor these great champions of faith, let’s reflect upon who they are and what role they continue to play in the life of the Church.
The Church Triumphant, those who have gone before us and now share in the glory of heaven, are not gone. We do not see them, and we cannot necessarily hear them speak to us in the physical way they did while on Earth. But they are not gone at all. St. Thérèse of Lisieux said it best when she said, “I want to spend my Heaven doing good on Earth.”
The saints, with a small “s” meaning all who are in heaven, not just those “canonized” by the Catholic Church, are in full union with God and make up the Communion of Saints. What’s important to note, however, is that even though they are enjoying their eternal reward, they are still very much concerned about us.
The saints in Heaven are entrusted with the important task of intercession. Sure, God already knows all our needs and He could ask us to go directly to Him in our prayers. But the truth is that God wants to use the intercession, and therefore, the mediation of the saints in our lives. He uses them to bring our prayers to Him and, in return, to bring His grace to us. They become powerful intercessors for us and participators in God’s divine action in the world.
Why doesn’t God just choose to deal with us directly rather than go through intermediaries? Because God wants all of us to share in His good work and to participate in His Divine Plan. God wants the saints to share in the distribution of His grace. This act fills His heart with joy!
The saints, especially those who lived with us and whose love and sacrifice benefited us in some way, give us a model of holiness. We remember the love and sacrifice they showed us, and we are inspired to do the same for others. Therefore, this charity in their lives creates a bond with us, a communion. It enables us to love them, admire them and want to follow their example. It is this communion, coupled with their continuing intercession, that establishes a powerful bond of love and union with us.
Of course, this is also true with those Saints (with a capital S) formally recognized by the Church as having displayed heroic virtue in their life of service to God. What Saint do you draw inspiration from to help you lead a holy and virtuous life?
Ultimately, we are all called to become saints, enjoying the glory of heaven for eternity as part of the Communion of Saints. Let us pause today and remember the saints who have helped us experience the Divine Love of the father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection
What Saint and saint have helped you draw closer to God?
Source for today’s reflection: https://catholic-daily-reflections.com/2022/10/31/all-saints-day/