ALL-SAINTS and ALL-SOULS

“Hey.  We all have souls, and when we die it will all work out all right then, right?”

It’s about midnight here.  As we make the transition from All Saints Day to All Soul’s Day, we get an opportunity to look at these two terms more closely,    There was a time when I took offense at the idea that the Church could declare some people “special” and call them “saints.”

st louis ixWhat right do they have calling some people more special than others?

Are some men and women “holier”  than the average  believer?

Well, yes — as long as you remember that their holiness is not their own, but comes from God Himself, Who alone is the only Source of what we know as “holiness.”   And the distribution of  holiness appears to be unequal among believers.

So, if this is a Good God who is so willing to give us blessings, why does he give more holiness to some believing souls?    I suspect it’s  because He could give some more than others.

st catherine

That is,  it was something in the saints themselves that allowed the blessings and graces to flow into them more easily.    Any soul that believes in  Christ as Savior is said to “cooperate”  with grace (supernatural aid) from  God.     A saint is said to have shown “heroic” virtue  or “heroic” faith and perseverance, right to the end of their earthly existence, and every November 1st  Christendom remembers in so many ways those who left their good example for us — and who live on, consciously aware of our ongoing struggles.

But it’s All-Souls day now, and we acknowledge all those who are technically saints,  but in a more general sense of that term   There could be at least three levels of believers below a canonized “saint.”

There is the ordinary good person, a believer, doing the best he knows how, climbing that upward ladder.

ladder

Then there is the half-asleep believer who vaguely assents to what he has been taught,  sleep-walking through life, picking and choosing what appeals to him, avoiding any serious obstacles.

Sleepwalking

Nice guy, though.

And the lowest category has to be the wrong-doers.     They certainly exist.     They align themselves with the Church, they probably believe in something about God  , but they aren’t (yet)  seeing a connection between their behavior and Christ and His teachings.

Talk about “Christianity”  and the enemies of the Church will draw your attention to this third category of “general saints.”

But what is the Truth of the matter?      I don’t know.    Jesus said the fields would be sown with wheat and weeds and it’s going to be hard to tell the difference.    If you uproot the seedlings you don’t like,  you’re likely to take out some good wheat too.

So that’s not our job because  we’re all seedlings! 

All those who have chosen to believe in Christ, the Son of God, Savior,   all those are “seedlings.”     We’re not quite the best that we’re going to be.    And that’s what All Souls Day tells us to remember:   those believers who have died, who are still part of the Communion of Saints,  and who still need our friendship and our prayers.

 

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