All Saints’ Day

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All Saints’ Day, also called All Hallows’ Dayis a day commemorating all the saints of the church, both known and unknown, who have attained heaven. It is celebrated on November 1 in the Western churches and on the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Eastern churches. (Wikipedia)

A saint is someone who has been recognized as holy or virtuous to such a degree they can be emulated by others. It is presumed that following death they spend eternity with the God for whom they lived so faithfully. Some saints have a special day on the church calendar dedicated to them. There are many other holy saints who are unknown to us and they and the known ones are remembered on All Saints Day.

The church teaches that we can pray to the saints to intercede with God for us so that we live holy lives or if we need assistance in some way. We may be attracted to the way a certain saint lived her or his life, a life we find worthy of imitation, but there is another way to look at sainthood. It’s not just the holy women and men who have gone to God before us, but rather, there are the holy women and men who live among us today. They are living saints, and among them, there may be someone you know.

Think about the single mother who is faithful to her God, who is kind and compassionate to all with whom she interacts, who dedicates her life to raising her children to do the same. Everyone likes her and is comfortable in her presence. They may even describe her as a holy person. Is she one of the saints among us?

Think about the neighbor who is concerned about others on his street. He shops for the disabled woman who lives next to him. He cuts the lawn for the elderly couple across the street. He is a school guard at the end of his street to make sure his neighborhood children are safe. He is always cheerful and generous with all he can share with others. Is he one of the saints among us?

Think about the retired teacher who keeps in contact with many of her former students, especially the ones who were in trouble or on the edge of trouble. She supports their efforts at raising their own families. She writes notes of encouragement to the ones she knows are struggling in some way. When she meets them while shopping she makes it a point to spend time talking with them, showing her continued interest in them. Is she one of the saints among us?

We all know people who are genuinely good, people we describe as kind, compassionate, loving, always caring about others. Who is the person you consider to be a saint among us?

What can you learn from a saintly person among us?

How are you now or how can you become a saintly person?

A Prayer for All Saints Day
by Safiyah Fosua

We give you thanks, O God, for all the saints who ever worshiped you
Whether in brush arbors or cathedrals,
Weathered wooden churches or crumbling cement meeting houses
Where your name was lifted and adored.
We give you thanks, O God, for hands lifted in praise:
Manicured hands and hands stained with grease or soil,
Strong hands and those gnarled with age
Holy hands
Used as wave offerings across the land.
We thank you, God, for hardworking saints;
Whether hard-hatted or steel-booted,
Head ragged or aproned,
Blue-collared or three-piece-suited
They left their mark on the earth for you, for us, for our children to come.
Thank you, God, for the tremendous sacrifices made by those who have gone before us.
Bless the memories of your saints, God.
May we learn how to walk wisely from their examples of faith, dedication, worship, and love.

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