Sunday, October 31, 2010


Today is Halloween. It comes from a contraction of two words meaning the eve of All Saints Day. 'Hallow' means 'holy' or 'saint' In the Lord's Prayer we pray "...hallowed be Thy Name." So, All Hallows Eve became Hallowe'en.

We are part of the Communion of Saints: the church on earth, the suffering church in purgatory and the triumphant church in Heaven. Tomorrow, we honor the Saints in Heaven. The overwhelming majority of them are not known to most of us on earth. They are ordinary people who died in faith -- in grace. They did what God called them to do. Some were called to do things that became well known, and, as a result, these faithful people became famous. So, we have St. Augustine, who was a sinner, whom God pursued. Augustine confessed his sins and did penance. He led a holy life and through his preaching and writings led many others to God. God called St. Theresa, the Little Flower, to give up secular life and to become a nun who would pray for the world. There are many Saints in Heaven who are not known wide and far for their deeds. They struggled to be good and just. They failed, sometimes by sinning greatly. But, then they repented and struggled again. We, no doubt, know a number of them; they are our relatives and friends who have gone before us. Let us pray to them, that is, let us ask them often to pray for us before God Himself. We want to be saints too. Being a saint does not mean that we are without sin. Of course not! Remember that Christ came to save sinners. The Church is for sinners. Each of us is going to have our ups and our downs. That is expected. We are weak, and there are a lot of temptations. But, all God asks of us is that we try and never stop relying on his mercy.

Tuesday is the day we reserve for praying for the church suffering in purgatory. They are part of the Communion of Saints as well. They count on our love and on prayers and sacrifices for them. Let us not forget them. May we remember them not just on All Souls' Day, but every day.

Father Stanley