Love, hope, conformity of will, and placing Christ at the center of one’s life.
These were the common themes as I prayed through a special Litany of the Saints compiled by Fr. Peter John Cameron, O.P. for the Vigil of All Saints and published in Magnificat.
In this litany, he has us asking 79 saints from throughout the ages to pray for us. With the invocation of each saint, Fr. Cameron has a short quote from them.
These quotes speak of love, hope, conformity of will and placing Christ at the center of one’s life. Each of these saints are saints because their talk was matched, if not exceeded, by their actions.
This litany got me thinking. There are so many polls in America today. Americans are polled about anything and everything. I would like to see the following poll taken – “Do you want to be a saint? Do you want to live a holy and pure life? Are you happy with just being good enough or do you want to fulfill your spiritual potential? Do you want to win against evil?”
I think this poll would be depressingly revealing.
Which is why today is so important and why it is one of the few remaining Holy Days of Obligation, when we are expected to participate in Mass. All Saints Day reminds all Catholics that we are each called to be a saint. It doesn’t matter what we are doing, what we have done, or who we are. We are called to be saints.
In the Magnificat litany, there were a few quotes that stand out and are applicable to the average Catholic.
“Once again I give you thanks for your merciful love, kindest Lord, for having found another way of arousing me from my inertia.” – St. Gertrude the Great
“About Jesus Christ and the Church, I simply know they’re just one thing, and we shouldn’t complicate the matter.” – St. Joan of Arc
“If we but recollect the name of Jesus, it is to fight with confidence – for this name subjects all the fury of our enemies to us.” - St. Bernardine of Siena
“As long as obedience is flourishing, all the other virtues will be seen to flourish and to bear fruit.” – St. Ignatius of Loyola
“My Jesus, if you want me, cut the fetters that keep me from you.” – St. Philip Neri
“We must fight our battle between fear and hope in the knowledge that hope is always the stronger because he who comes to our help is almighty.” – St. Francis de Sales
“But for divine grace I would be in temper hard and repellant, rough and crabbed.” – St. Vincent de Paul
“We must love God in the way that pleases him, and not just in a way that suits ourselves.” – St. Alphonsus Liguori
“If the soul longs for nothing else than to love its God, then don’t worry and be quite sure that this soul possesses everything, that it possess God himself.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina
These men and women had their priorities straight. They got it right. They knew what was important. They placed Christ and his Church at the center of their lives and everything else came together. They rebuffed evil in their lives and brought peace, hope and love to their age and time. They lived for God, not for this world.
We each share their calling, their mission, their life purpose – to build Christ’s kingdom and bring about the salvation of souls.
For those who go to Mass today, they may hear the following blessing to close out Mass; it is worth a great deal of contemplation-
“God is the glory and joy of all his saints, whose memory we celebrate today. May his blessing be with you always. Amen.
May the prayers of the saints deliver you from present evil; may their example of holy living turn your thoughts to the service of God and neighbor. Amen.
God’s holy Church rejoices that her children are one with the saints in lasting peace. May you come to share with them in all the joys of our Father’s house. Amen.
May almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.”
Stairway to Heaven is a weekly feature exploring how to live our Catholic faith in our culture.