Thursday, November 1, 2012

All Saints Day. . .Lives to Emulate!

I listen to this Podcast called Catholic Answers and one of the hosts, Patrick Coffin, always says, "Be a saint, what else is there?"  While, yes, it is a bit of a tag-line, we should all strive to be saints!  Today in the Catholic Church is All Saints Day.  It is a feast day, always celebrated on November 1st, where we Catholics honor the lives of all saints -- known and unknown.  The feast of All Saints traces back to Pope Gregory III in the early part of the 8th century.

Saints have been an important part of the Catholic Church since the beginning.  Many people outside of the Catholic Church accuse us of "worshipping" the saints and essentially committing idolatry.  This couldn't be further from the truth.  We honor the saints and pray to them for their intercession.  In the Catholic Church, we believe that the saints are in heaven and closest to God, so why not ask someone close to God to pray for a specific cause?  Have you ever asked someone to pray for you?  I see people on Facebook every day saying, "please pray for 'such and such' who is sick."  Have you ever asked your family or friends to pray for you?  Here is some more good information if you want to explore why Catholics honor and pray to the saints:

Outside of the debate that often occurs between Protestants and Catholics around the saints, it is hard to disagree that these people were some of the holiest to ever walk the Earth.  Many did not lead easy lives.  Quite often they were persecuted for their beliefs, many were jailed and tortured, and others were martyred.  But, in the end, we have people that were examples of what it is like to devote your life to others -- a selfless living.  The saints didn't live their lives worried about the material things in this world, but instead they were more worried about helping the poor, feeding the hungry, taking care of the sick, and spreading the loving message of Jesus Christ throughout the world.  The saints didn't wait until tomorrow to do what they could do today.  They knew that tomorrow might never come.  They knew that at any time we could be pulled from this existence and judged based on how we lived our lives up to that very moment.  They lived every day to honor Jesus Christ by doing good and living a life of prayer.  Whether you are Catholic or not, these were good people and we should all try to "Be a Saint."

If you are interested in being inspired, go read about a couple of them.  Just Google Catholic Saints.  Or, some of my favorites are St. Patrick, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Padre Pio, St. Therese of Lisieux,  St. Vincent de Paul, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

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