October 10th

The month of October has many great feast days in it.  The month began with the feast of St. Therese (the “Little Flower”), then there was the feast of the holy Guardian Angels; Saint Francis of Assisi’s feast day was this past Monday.  This week we will celebrate the feast day of St. Theresa of Avila, a great mystic and a female Doctor of the Church.  Before the month is over we have the feast of Saint Luke (the Gospel writer), as well as the feast of two of the Apostles: the feast of Saints Simon and Jude.

The Church celebrates the Saints in the liturgical calendar as a way of putting their lives before us as models of virtue.  It is good to learn about the Saints; the lives of the Saints make great spiritual reading.  Their heroic virtues inspire us to imitate them and their holiness compels us to seek holiness ourselves.

The Church also gives us feast days in order to remind us that we are united to those who are in Heaven.  The Saints in Heaven are still part of the Church; they are still members of the mystical body of Christ.  Traditionally, those members of the Church on earth were referred to as the “Church militant” and those in Heaven were known as the “Church triumphant.”  We continue to confess our belief in this reality when we say, in the Apostles’ Creed, that we believe in the “Communion of Saints.”

Besides being great examples, the Saints are also powerful intercessors for us in Heaven.  The Letter to the Hebrews says that we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.  (cf. Hebrews 12:1)  The Saints are not just historical figures: they are alive and they accompany us on our journey through this life.  The Saints are our older brothers and sisters in Christ.  We can ask them to pray for us.  We can have a relationship with them.  We all probably have our own favorite Saints and there are many patron Saints for various situations with whom we are probably familiar.  It is also good to learn about the other Saints as their feast days come up and invoke their intercession as well.  Saint James says that the prayer of a righteous person avails much.  (cf. James 5:16)

The Saints are in Heaven continually worshipping God and interceding for us.  They pray for us; they want us to love God as much as they do; they want us to follow God’s will for our lives and they desire that we be united with them, one day, in Heaven.  All holy men and women, pray for us!

God bless,

Father White