Many of our saints were ordinary people guided by the Lord to do extraordinary things with spiritual integrity. As Catholics we are invited to follow their example. We are invited to model our behavior after them and follow their holy way of life. We are challenged to learn from them and to learn more about them.
On Thursday, November 2nd, we commemorated All Souls Day. It is a day to honor and pray for all souls. We especially pray for our deceased relatives, friends, neighbors, parishioners, co-workers, and all who shared their lives with us. In addition, on Thursday, we celebrated a Mass of Remembrance. We honored the memory of our loved ones who have died, especially those who have died recently. A litany of names and an offering of roses with appropriate lighting of candles marked this special occasion.
Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, chose to comment on the significance of All Saints Day and All Souls Day. In a homily on All Saints Day, the Vatican News Service reported that he stated All Saints and All Souls are “days of hope.” He said the virtue of “hope is like a bit of leaven that enlarges your soul. There are difficult moments in life, but with hope you go forward and keep your eyes on what awaits us. Today is a day of hope; our brothers and sisters are in the presence of God, and we, too, will be there in the Lord’s arms if we follow the path of Jesus.”
Our Holy Father indicated that the early Christians used an anchor as a symbol of hope. He stated, “To have our hearts anchored up there where our loved ones are, where the saints are, where Jesus is, where God is – that is hope. That is the hope that does not disappoint.” As we reflect on the profound words of Our Holy Father, we may thank the Lord for our loved ones who came before us. We may also thank Him for all our wonderful saints who can teach us so much about living and serving. We can continue to seek the intercession of our saints as we pray for the guidance and wisdom we need to continue on our own journey of faith.