By Maria G. Covarrubias
On November 1st, we, Roman Catholics celebrate the Feast of All Saints. Who are the saints and why do we celebrate them?
The saints are not people different from us. In all times there have been saints of different ages, gender and ethnicities. Some were tall or short, some were rich and some poor. Some lived a life away from God, until they encountered Jesus, and then their lives changed and they followed him. Others followed the Lord all their lives.
The great news is that all baptized are called to be saints. God wants us to become saints and for this reason He gives us the gift of faith. At our baptism we were welcomed into the Church as sons and daughters of God. Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit and the door which gives us the access to the other sacraments. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “all the activities of Church are directed to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God. It is in the Church that ‘the fullness of means of salvation has been deposited. It is in her that by the grace of God we acquire holiness.’ ” CCC #824
“The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect. Therefore, ‘strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state - though each in its own way - are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father himself is perfect.’ ” CCC #825
A saint is one who wants to follow Jesus, acts like Him, does good like Him and loves like Him. To be a saint is to be a friend of Jesus
Do you have a favorite saint? Do you know how and why did he or she become a saint?
A most contemporary saint is Mother Teresa of Calcutta who always wanted to please Jesus by serving the poor and the less fortunate; those brothers and sisters who did not have anything or were sick. Mother Teresa cared for them with love and compassion because in doing so she encountered Christ. Every morning, she attended Mass and took communion so all she did was a work of Jesus. She spoke to many people, presidents, priests, religious sisters, inviting them to take care of the lives of all, especially those less fortunate. Mother Teresa often prayed the Holy Rosary to ask the Virgin Mary for her intersession and help.
What is there available to us to help us in our journey to holiness?
Prayer - help us to be in relationship with God and discover God’s plan for our lives.
Regular attendance to Mass and regular communion – the Eucharist is the source and summit of our faith
Going to Confession – seeking God’s forgiveness and mercy when we have sin
Trusting in God – knowing that Jesus is always with us
Listening and studying God’s Word – taking time to read and reflect on the Bible, learn the teachings of the Church to know what is pleasing to God.
Announcing God’s Word- Being missionaries, sharing with others the joy of encountering Jesus; this can be done with our words, our behavior, our company and helping others with love.
Reflection: What more can you do to continue in the journey in becoming a saint?
Maria G. Covarrubias is Director of Catechetical Ministry in the Diocese of San Bernardino.