All Saints Day (Fr. Vinner)
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Nobody is born a saint. It’s something you have to become.
Sometimes those who become saints aren’t the ones we expect. They may be the filthy, the rejected, the outcast, and the homeless. People like Benedict Joseph Labre.
He grew up the son of a prosperous shopkeeper, but felt called to give up everything and follow Christ. He spent his life wandering from church to church in Rome. He rarely bathed, never washed his clothes. Some people were repelled by him. But the purity of his devotion and his love of God moved and inspired those who saw him day after day. When he died at the young age of 35, priests of Rome preserved his filthy clothes as relics and they buried him in one of the churches he loved. Today, he is the patron saint of the homeless.
What is the good life which God intends for us? And how is it related with the ultimate end or purpose of life? Is it not our desire and longing for true happiness, which is none other than the complete good, the sum of all goods, leaving nothing more to be desired? Jesus addresses this question in his sermon on the mount. The heart of Jesus’ message is that we can live a very happy life. The call to holiness, to be saints who joyfully pursue God’s will for their lives, can be found in these eight beatitudes sum up our calling or vocation – to live a life of the beatitudes. The word beatitude literally means “happiness” or “blessedness”.
God gives us everything that leads to true happiness what is the significance of Jesus ‘ beatitudes, and why are they so central to his teaching? The beatitudes respond to the natural desire for happiness that God has placed in every heart. They teach us the final end to which God has calls us, namely the coming of God’s Kingdom (Matthew 4:17), the vision of God (Matthew 5:8; 1John 2:1), entering into the joy of the Lord (Matthew 25:21-23) and into his rest (Hebrews 4:7-11). Jesus’ beatitudes also confront us with decisive choices concerning the life we pursue here on earth and the use we make of the goods he puts at our disposal.
Jesus tell us that God alone can satisfy the deepest need and longing of our heart. Teresa of Avila’s prayer book contained a bookmark on which she wrote: let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you. All things pass – God never changes. Patience achieves all it strives for. Whoever has God lacks nothing – God alone suffice.
Is God enough for you? God offers us the greatest good possible – abundant life in Jesus Christ (John 10:10) and the promise of unending joy and happiness with God forever. Do you seek the highest goods, the total good, which is above all else?
The beatitudes are a sign of contradiction to the world’s way of happiness. The beatitudes which Jesus offers us are a sign of contradiction to the world’s understanding of happiness and joy. How can one possibly find happiness in poverty, hunger, mourning, and persecution? Poverty of spirit finds ample room and joy in possessing God as the greatest treasure possible. Hunger of spirit seeks nourishment and strength in God’s word and spirit. Sorrow and mourning over wasted life and sin leads to joyful freedom from the burden of guilt and spiritual oppression.
God reveals to the humble of heart the true source of abundant life and happiness. Jesus promises his disciples that the joy of heaven will more than compensate for the troubles and hardships they can expect in this world. Thomas Aquinas said: “No one can live without joy. That is why a person deprived of spiritual joy goes after carnal pleasure”. Do you know the happiness of hungering and thirsting for God alone?
“Lord Jesus, increase my hunger for you and show me the way that leads to everlasting peace and happiness. May i desire you above all else and find perfect joy in doing your
“The Eucharist is the secret of my day. It gives strength and meaning to all my activities of service to the Church and to the world.” Pope Saint John Paul II
“Nothing great is ever achieved without enduring much.” St. Catherine of Siena
“In my deepest wound I saw your glory and it dazzled me.” St. Augustine
“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” Saint Mother Teresa
“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Saint Mother Teresa
“The saints did not all begin well, but they ended well.” St. John Vianney
“He who possesses God lacks nothing: God alone suffices.” St. Teresa of Avila
“Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.” Saint Mother Teresa
“I love You, O my God, and my only desire is to love You until the last breath of my life. I love You, O my infinitely lovable God, and I would rather die loving You, than live without loving You. I love You, Lord and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally….My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You, I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.” St. John Vianney
All Saints Day beckons us to something beautiful. It reminds us of our great potential—the promise that lies within each of us. The promise of holiness.
It is the promise that was fulfilled in the countless people we venerate this day—our models, our companions, our inspirations, our guides. All the saints. They give us blessed hope.
Because they assure us again and again: no one is born a saint.
But every one of us, by the grace of God, can become one.
FR. S.Vinner HGN