Somehow, it’s difficult for us to imagine saints as ordinary people. We would not think of a saint as wearing a uniform, an apron or a pair of overalls. A kitchen apron or a nurses’ uniform do not fit into how we imagine saints would look. Saints should be a bit unusual! Indeed, many of the canonized saints were very unusual indeed.
On Tuesday, 1st November, All Saints Day, we celebrate the feast of the vast majority of Saints, some of whom you have met yourself. Sit back for a moment and remind yourself of some of those saints, the really good people you have known and there were many. The poor in spirit, members of your own family, people you have worked with, a neighbour or someone you have simply met by chance. They had their faults and weaknesses, but their love and thoughtfulness shone through their lives. Their holiness may not have been noticeable, but they were loyal and faithful. Their lives were full of kindness and generosity, and they prayed to the best of their ability. They made their own way to God and wherever it was possible to practice the love of Christ, they did so unstintingly.
Many people become saints through the mystery of suffering. The patient sick who are not embittered are an example to us all. The heart-broken spouse whose world has collapsed through the death of a life partner; the single parent buying shoes for their children when they really needed shoes themselves; the person living alone who struggles to serve the community and keep going despite their loneliness. There are so many others we have known who lived ‘years without event’, whom we felt privileged to have known.
On Tuesday, we will remember the Feast of the Saints. We hope to do something special to celebrate in a happy way. We feel the joy of knowing that our loved ones have gone home to God, to see Him as he is. They have fought the good fight, they have finished the race, they have kept the faith. The winter season with the clocks going back fits the mood of November. During the weeks ahead, the names of those who died in the past year will be given a place of honour in our churches.
(From Ennis Parish Newsletter) Adapted.