From the desk of Fr Stephen
Today we celebrate the Feast of All Saints. This feast occurs every November 1st, so today we are privileged to celebrate on a Sunday with everyone in the church. I hope this doesn’t shock you or cause any undue anxiety, but all of us are called to be saints. Being a saint may sound like a very tall order, but the reality is that if we plan on going to heaven, we must become a saint. Becoming a saint can happen in this life or the next.
All of us, who have offended God, are like jagged rocks in God’s hands. The more we have sinned, the more jagged our edges are. Heaven is a place where only smooth rocks reside. For us to get to heaven, we must be smooth. Practically speaking, in this life, the way we smooth our edges, caused by sin, is through prayer, being generous with what we have and doing good works. The more we apply ourselves to these things, the smoother our souls become, and consequently, the quicker we get to see God face to face. Saints are those who went beyond the normal smoothing process of their souls. They were willing to sacrifice themselves completely for God and their fellow human being. We are honoring them today.
Tomorrow, November 2nd, we celebrate the Feast of All Souls. A day we remember those who have gone before us who may not yet be in heaven. These souls are right now engaged in the smoothing process of their souls. As Catholics, we believe that only the very purest of souls enter heaven, so those who are not yet ready to meet God face to face must undergo further purification. We have no idea how long this process takes, but it is a painful process that beautifies us and gets us ready for the Eternal Banquet.
This month, we have set up at St. Joseph’s altar pictures of our loved ones who have passed on. The Ladders of Remembrance is set up specifically in November to commemorate the Feast of All Souls. These faithful, our loved ones, need our prayers. Yes, we may remember their lives and how we love them, but we can also make their time in purgatory less painful as we pray and sacrifice for them.
Finally, November is Black Catholic History Month. As well as the already glorified and pronounced saints in heaven, we have six Black men and women whose cause is in process of canonization. Thomas Wyatt Turner, Sr. Antona Ebo and Fr. Cyprian Davis are not being considered for canonization.
- Thomas Wyatt Turner was a founder of the NAACP and the Federation of Colored Catholics
- St. Antona was a Sister of Selma and marched across the Edmund Pettis Bridge the week after Bloody Sunday
- Fr. Cyprian Davis authored many books and articles most notably the History of Black Catholics
The Interracial Committee for the North Deanery of St. Louis has provided us with an opportunity to honor them this month. The insert in the bulletin today provides their name and picture. This committee has provided us a chance to learn more about them on the website posted in the bulletin. There will be a prayer service here at the Rock on Nov. 16th to bring us together to honor them.