Devotional/Discussion thought of the day….
” Tell Our Lord constantly and sincerely that you desire to be a saint and to do apostolate… Then the poor vessel of your soul will not get broken. And should it do so, it will be put together again and acquire an added attractiveness, and it will continue to be of use for your sanctity and the apostolate.”
This morning, as I prepare for Sunday’s sermon, I am thinking about those I know who have passed away in the prior year, and the names just seem to keep coming.
Some I know well, Warren, Joseph, Shirley, JoAnn, Frank and Peter. Other’s I know of, because I know their families or friends. Janice, Melanie, LaVonne. There are other friends that I still can’t believe are gone, Clyde and Armando, Rich, Richard, Dale, These people make a mark on our lives, and among those names above are some people whose lives spurred an increase in my faith, as I watched them live, even as their bodies were betraying them. The lessons they left me are invaluable – the faith they modeled inspired.
Today is All Saints’ Day, and depending on one’s church traditions, it is celebrated differently. I remember preparing for it as a young student, looking through the lives of saints and seeing how different they were. Francis, Bonaventure. As a Lutheran pastor, we look to those who have gone before us, to join the “great cloud of witnesses” as described in Hebrews 12, or in the words of our liturgy, the whole company of heaven. It is rare that in reciting that line that I don’t think of some of the names above, or other names that have impacted my life over the years.
But if there is a reason to consider those who have gone before, it is to remember how God sustained them. How God worked through them in so such diverse ways. Some where, as the quote from St Josemarie notes above – broken, yet in their brokenness, they found God’s beauty in ways we can never explain, except to agree – it demonstrated how God had set them apart, how God had made them holy, and how that holiness was such that it called people to them. As we see what God did through them, even though they were bed-bound, even thought their bodies were broken, we realize that God can do such in our lives, He can and does work to heal our brokenness. He can bring us into places, where we are His representatives, His apostles, brought there to share His mercy and grace.
We are called to be holy, we are called to be saints. we are called to be His children.
Learn to desire it, looking to those who have seen it happen in their own lives, imitate them, even as they imitate Christ.
Lord, teach us that you do have mercy on us, even as You had mercy on those who have gone before us….
Escriva, Josemaria (2011-01-31). The Forge (Kindle Locations 1413-1415). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.