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I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. (Revelation 7:9)
Today we honor all the saints, who form “so great a cloud of witnesses” for us and for the whole Church (Hebrews 12:1). We don’t often think about it, but millions of holy men and women are in heaven right now, praying for us and cheering us on. If you could hear them, they might be saying, “Don’t give up! Stay close to Jesus! It really is worth it!”
For the most part, these saints are people just like us—only now, they’re in heaven. Their lives mirrored ours: our desires, our doubts, and our struggles to follow Jesus. Are you a wife, a mother, or a teacher? Then look to St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. Are you praying for family members who have fallen away from the faith? Ask St. Monica to pray for them also. Do you struggle dividing your time between prayer, work, and play? Let St. Benedict help you.
Today’s feast reminds us that the saints in heaven aren’t just the famous ones like Mother Teresa, Francis of Assisi, or Anthony of Padua. The list includes our deceased parents, grandparents, old friends, and former pastors. Those who were closest to us in life are also close in spirit to us now—a sort of heavenly support group! They’re looking down on us with love and concern, and they want nothing more than to see us grow into the fullness of Christ’s love.
To increase your appreciation of the saints, you may want to read about some of them. Or maybe make a list of those whom you especially want to pray for you, and call it your own Litany of Saints. Then take time each day to ask for their help. Remember: they are in the best position to do just that!
“Thank you, Lord, for all the saints who are praying for me and helping me every day. I praise you for preparing me a place with them, where I can worship you for all eternity.”
Psalm 24:1-6; 1 John 3:1-3; Matthew 5:1-12
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