Reclaim the Celebration of All Saints
By Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.
"What bad dude ‘from subterranean levels’ changed the ‘saints’ from ‘All Saints Eve’ to goblins, spooks, and devils?" So asked one of cartoonist Johnny Hart’s characters in his "B.C." strip about eight years ago.
At the time, I was master of novices for the Dominican friars in Oakland, California, and decided that I would break with tradition and not have the novices put on the annual Halloween party. The Church celebrates all its holy ones with the rank of "solemnity" and rightfully so.
These after all, are the heroes and heroines of humanity, the people who knew what humanity is about—that we are more about God than about us, and that we owe him the worship and love of our lives.When one begins to investigate the lives of these remarkable men and women who are the saints, it is impossible to ignore the extent of their diversity.
While the categories of martyrs, confessors, virgins, and holy men and women have their liturgical uses, they become irrelevant in the light of personal histories that are so spiritually exalted and at the same time so humanly identifiable.
"We were overwhelmed with grief, but she held her gaze steadily upon us and spoke further: ‘Here you shall bury your mother.’ I remained silent as I held back my tears. However, my brother haltingly expressed his hope that she might not die in a strange country but in her own land" (from the Liturgy of the Hours for August 27, Memorial of St. Monica.) Would you have expected such tender words from the great doctor of the Church, Augustine?
Read more here.