Solemnity of All Saints

Dear Allie,

Do you remember when you were a high school freshman, and you went to the senior graduation ceremony, and all those exemplary seniors received their diploma, and many of them received special awards recognizing their achievements during the past four years?  Do you remember how eagerly you longed to be up there on the stage, celebrating the victorious completion of your high school years?  I sure do.  And I think about it every 1st of November.  What is life on earth if not a kind of school where we are supposed to learn holiness?  And what is heaven if not an eternal awards banquet, filled with feasting and joy and highlight films and bright lights and fabulous speeches… Well, maybe I’m getting a bit carried away.  I am sure heaven will be much better than that, but today’s Solemnity reminds us that it will be at least that wonderful.  After all, justice is not done on earth – hundreds and thousands of holy men and women suffer through life’s privations and challenges, glorifying God by their patience and heroic generosity, and we never hear a peep about them.  And yet, we hear more than an earful about a few movie stars, politicians, and CEOs who lead lives of luxury, self-indulgence and downright scandal.  It’s almost as if someone is trying to get us to strive so energetically after the empty glamour of this world that we completely forget about the real purpose of our lives – to defend and spread Christ’s Kingdom.  Thanks be to God, the Church reminds us of what it’s really all about.  That’s why it makes today a Solemnity, a day when we all gather around the altar of the Lord to bless him for the wonders his grace has worked in countless souls throughout history, souls who are with him now enjoying the intense, indescribable heavenly adventure.  We praise him for working such marvels, and we ask them to pray for us, so that we can meet them all face to face when our terrestrial journey comes to its close.  What a relief to know that this beautiful but incomplete earthly life is duly crowned in the life to come!

The way things are going here in captivity (bread and water, sleep deprivation, frequent interrogations – sounds kind of like finals week, doesn’t it?) I may not get a chance to see you again until (please God) we meet over on the other side.  In the meantime, at least we can be together in our prayers and our longings.  We’ll let God take care of everything else.


Uncle Eddy

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