All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day: Weekly Message for 10-31-17

Dear Friends in Christ,

I had a lovely, memorable experience recently. I was having a conversation with a newly ordained priest, a young man whom I had known when he was just in college. He reminded me of something I had entirely forgotten: He had been present at my very first homily. It was when I was a transitional deacon, and the homily was for a group of college students gathered in Boston who happened to be celebrating the Solemnity of All Saints’ Day (the real meaning behind the Christian version of “Halloween”, originally “All Hallows Eve”, “hallows” being an old synonym for “saints”).

I gave that homily more than a decade ago. Since it was my first homily, I remember how painstakingly I prepared, and how unbelievably nervous I was when I gave it. But imagine my surprise when this newly ordained priest reminded me of it and told me that he still remembered the first line of that homily: “Have you decided to be a saint?” Wow – I think I must have had a lot guts back then, to start out a homily like that.

But it is a question worth reflecting on, and maybe even meditating about. In the end, “being a saint” is really all that matters. Heaven is populated only with saints. Sanctity is living in communion with God, friendship with Christ. Nothing else – absolutely nothing else – matters more than that, and nothing else will lead us to the fulfillment we long for. So, as we get ready to enter the month of November and celebrate the Solemnity of All Saints, and then All Souls’ Day, maybe it would be worthwhile to ask that question of ourselves.

And if you want to go a little deeper, I would invite you to revisit our Retreat Guide on this theme, Fire of Mercy. And don’t forget to follow the Daily Saint Emails from Uncle Eddy to keep learning from those who have gone before us and followed through on that all-important decision to become a saint.

That, we sincerely believe, is the only long-term way to re-christianize culture: by bringing the truths Jesus came to reveal into contact with the daily lives of those he came to save – one person, one family, one parish at a time. RCSpirituality is committed to doing our part to make that happen.

Keep counting on our prayers from here, and please keep us in your prayers as well.

God Bless You!
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. John Bartunek, LC, SThD

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