Reflection for All Saints’ Day
”Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Jesus, in today’s Gospel Matthew 5:1-12.
“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.” Nelson Mandela.
All Saints’ Day can be celebrated this Sunday, although it actually falls on the 1st November, closely followed by All Souls’ Day on the 2nd. In Judaism, a day begins at sundown so the festival starts on Hallowe’en, All Hallows’ Eve, when the powers of darkness are said to be at their height. The ancient word Hallowed, or holy, is still used in the traditional version of the Lord’s Prayer and there are three days of remembering the saints and those who have died, which can be extended to Remembrance Sunday in the month of Remembrance that November has become.
All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day marks the powerful link between the Church triumphant – those in heaven – and the Church militant, those in this world. As Wesley’s hymn puts it, “Let saints on earth in concert sing/ with those whose work is done/ for all the servants of our King/ in heaven and earth are one.”
As the reign of King Charles III unfurls, so these may seem old fashioned sentiments but the power of prayer is part of the validation of that link. The example and legacy of those gone before us has been the motivation for many people of faith and the prayers or prayerful writings of the saints are still frequently used. One of those that is particularly challenging is from St Teresa of Calcutta, who knew dark times in her faith. As we face poverty in living as well as in spirit and darkness in our own generation, a darkness which some fear may be overwhelming, then perhaps her words will hearten and enlighten us this All Saints’ Day:
Do it anyway – St Teresa of Calcutta, formerly Mother Teresa.
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.With my prayers; pob bendith,