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The Communion of All Saints
Catholic Legate ^ | November 1, 2003 | John Pacheco

Posted on 11/02/2003 6:45:49 AM PST by NYer

When discussing beliefs about Mary, it is helpful to first discuss the Catholic view of the communion of saints. When Catholics speak of "saints", we are typically referring to canonized saints who the Church has infallibly recognized are in heaven. Yet the Church also recognizes that faithful believers on earth are also saints:

The Council of Trent, in its 25th Session, declared the following to be the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church:

The doctrine of the Communion of Saints is not as explicit as other Christian teachings, but this fact does not mean that the teaching is absent from the Word of God. In fact, there are many doctrines that Protestants accept which are not explicit or even apparent in the bible. These implicit teachings are built upon other, indirect explicit teachings of Scripture. Scriptural passages on the Trinity, the natures or wills of Christ, and original sin are not, arguably, explicit in the bible. These and other teachings rely on other explicit passages which, together, form the justification for the belief. In some cases, it is possible for the rejection of an implicit teaching to effectively deny one or more of the explicit teachings which point to it.

Many Protestants proudly claim they are not "going beyond" Scripture, and therefore do not fall into the "extra-biblical" trap which Catholics do. An overriding quality of sola scriptura is its reliance on the explicit nature of a doctrine. For Protestants, the more perspicuous or explicit a doctrine is, the more likely it is to be true. Conversely, the less explicit a doctrine is, the less likely it is to be true. This is a logical consequence of the heresy of sola scriptura. The degree of communion among its adherents is, at least in part, determined by holding to what is explicitly taught in Scripture and shying away from more implicit teachings where disagreement may arise.

Ironically, however, it is the Protestant who ends up denying an explicit teaching and therefore "detracting from Scripture". In denying the logical conclusion of a set of combined, explicit teachings, the Protestant must deny one of the explicit teachings which, together with the others, point to the conclusion. This is exactly what happens when the Catholic doctrine of the Communion of Saints is considered and rejected by Protestants.

In seeking to understand this Catholic belief, the non-Catholic inquirer will be able to better understand the Catholic communication which exists among the saints on earth, the saints in heaven, the Blessed Mother, and God. In seeking to provide the foundation for this belief, a number of Scriptural principles must first be presented and accepted.

The first pillar of this doctrine is founded on the honour and respect we owe to all people and, in particular, our brothers and sisters in the Faith.

Scripture is clear that we are to honour and respect everyone:

In fact, St. Paul says that Christians are to "outdo one another in showing honor" (Romans 12:10). In other words, it is unbiblical to assert that showing honour to a Christian somehow detracts from the praise and glory due to Christ. If we are all one body joined to the head (Cf. Ephesians 4:15-16), then the praise of one part of the body redounds to the whole body, especially the head. As St. Paul reveals to the Christians, "...if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it" (1 Corinthians 12:26). It is not unlike a father taking pride and glory when one of his children is praised by someone outside of the immediate family. Since God's fatherhood is more perfect and more sublime than a mere human fatherhood, are we to believe that His disposition toward this filial honour should be any less? Of course not.

No where in the bible does it say that once someone dies, we are to stop honouring them.

The second pillar of this doctrine rests on the imitation of virtuous people.

Many Protestants, especially Fundamentalists, do not accept that we are to imitate anyone but Jesus. While their devotion to Our Lord is commendable, the restriction is misplaced. First of all, imitating virtuous Christians is indeed imitating Christ. It is imitating Christ in the time, the place, and the circumstances where Christ is not physically present. But these men and women throughout the ages represent "other Christs" who people of the time can emulate. Secondly, it is not a biblical teaching to refuse imitation of the saints. St. Paul contradicts this idea:

Do these passages point to the fact that we are to imitate Jesus only to the exclusion of holy men and women? Or, rather, are we to imitate St. Paul and all holy men and women because they imitate Jesus? In short, is it "either/or" or is it both? Secondly, if it is just a personal relationship between "me and Jesus", why would Paul bring honor and respect to himself by asking the early Christian to be imitators of himself? Does any of this really detract from the glory of God, or rather does it magnify it (Cf.Luke 1:46)?

No where in the bible does it say that once someone dies, we cannot continue to imitate them.

The third pillar of this doctrine holds that the saints in heaven are alive.

Many Protestants accuse Catholics of praying to "dead people". This comment is specious since the saints in heaven are certainly not "dead" in the colloquial meaning of the term. For a Christian, death is merely a separation of body and soul. An atheist does not define death in these terms. For an atheist, death is the annihilation of existence. For the Christian, however, the soul is eternal and so is the body which will be raised on the last day - either to eternal glory or to eternal damnation. Hence, the saints in heaven may have their souls separated from their bodies, but this is not an argument against communicating with them. It is difficult to understand the Protestant presumption that having a human body is required for communication. Where is this belief taught in Scripture? No where.

Jesus said: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not God of the dead, but of the living" (Matt 22:32). The saints are alive in Christ Jesus because God is the God of the living and not the dead. Jesus' point in this passage is to reinforce the fact that the saints in heaven are TRULY living, and because they live, they can intercede with Christ just like any Christian on earth can intercede.

Even in the Old Testament, we learn that there are saints who are indeed alive. Take, for instance, this account from the first book of Samuel:

This passage is clearly teaching that Samuel, when he was in Sheol (the abode of the dead), was aware of earthly matters. Now a Protestant might object to such an example being used to support the Catholic view. Instead, he will claim that this is an example of a demonic act by the witch, and therefore actually serves as a proof text against the Catholic view. This interpretation would be a sloppy reading of the passage, however. First of all, witches or sorcerers have no power over the living God. Therefore, the witch did not have power over Samuel, a prophet of God, to call him up from Sheol. Secondly, notice the witch's surprise at Samuel? appearance. This suggests that she did not even conjure him up, but rather he appeared before she even attempted to do so! Thirdly, Samuel speaks of a prophecy that comes true and therefore demonstrates that he is still speaking for God and honouring him (28:19).

Other evidence is found in Jeremiah:

At the writing of Jeremiah, Moses and Samuel had been dead for centuries. So what are Moses and Samuel doing? They are pleading with God - by "standing before him" - obviously in intercession.

In the New Testament, there is the testimony of the Transfiguration of Our Lord on Mount Tabor in Matthew 17:1-3:

What does this show? It handily demonstrates that the Old Testament Prophets are communicating with God and are obviously aware of earthly affairs. As Moses and Elijah stand with Jesus and communicate with him, Jesus wants us to understand that there is no separation in the body. He makes the Old Testament prophets present to the three Apostles, and by extension, to the entire Church.

There is also the witness in Matthew's gospel about those who had fallen asleep before the time of Christ:

Again, this is a clear presentation of how the power of the Resurrection unites what death had divided. Death has no power over the communication of the saints on earth or in heaven.

Protestants also reject praying to the saints on the basis that they would not be capable of hearing all of the prayers directed at them simultaneously. Yet this is a very impoverished way of looking at how the saints exist in heaven. Clearly, the same limitations do not apply to human souls in heaven as they once did on earth! In heaven, the soul is more fully incorporated into the body of Christ and, through the ONE body, has infinite power to accomplish ANYTHING. As St. Paul reveals to the Corinthians:

In the Old Testament, King Solomon reserved a place for his mother, and provided a throne for her, ?ho sat at his right hand?(1 Kings 2:19). Sitting at someone? right hand implied great power in Jewish tradition. When presented before the chief priest and the elders of the Sanhedrin, Jesus testified:

It is evident from Jesus' witness to the place of "the right hand of God" and the Sanhedrin? immediate and unmistakable reaction to it, that belonging to this place is indeed seen to be equivalent or near-equivalent to divinity, and all that that entails.

Even the Apostles understood the power of this place in God's throne. Consider the incident with James and John, for instance:

The Apostles, James and John, ask for their places in Jesus' kingdom. The other Apostles, knowing what has been asked by James and John, become "indignant" with them. Now, while it is true that Jesus admonishes them for their squabbling, He certainly does not dispute the hierarchical throne of heaven. In fact, He confirms it because He says, "but to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant. These places belong to those for whom they have been prepared." The right hand of God is not inactive. The very notion of a "right hand" is that it is active, and if it is active, it is alive in Christ Jesus!

No where in the bible does it say that the saints in heaven are not alive in Christ Jesus and helping Him to accomplish His will.

The fourth pillar of this doctrine holds that the saints in heaven observe and pray for us.

The Old and New Testaments provide ample evidence that indeed the saints in heaven do observe and pray for us. The angels and saints can even know certain things in our hearts:

No where in the bible does it say that the saints in heaven do not observe or do not pray for us.

The fifth pillar of this doctrine holds that the we should pray for one another.

Evangelical protestants insist that it is not necessary to "go through" anyone but Jesus. This is because He alone is Lord and God over all creation. Despite the seemingly noble sentiment, it really has no biblical basis. In fact, it is decidedly anti-biblical! The bible specifically encourages believers to pray for one another. If salvation were simply a matter of "me and Jesus", there would be no point to this clear biblical command.

The bible is therefore clear that we are to seek another believer's intercession for our spiritual benefit. It does not say that that petitioning is to stop once that believer has gone on to meet the Lord. In fact, because the believer is now beholding the face of God, his prayers are more effacious than they were on earth.

No where in the bible does it say that we are to stop asking the saints - whether in heaven or on earth - to pray for us.

The sixth pillar of this doctrine holds that God does not hear and act upon everyone's prayers.

Many Protestants fail to grasp that God really might not hear their prayers or act upon them - even if they should ask. Sometimes it takes persistence and a lot of it. Consider for instance, Our Lord's encounter with the Caanite woman:

There is no guarantee of a prayer being answered (Cf. 1 Peter 3:12). In fact, St. James implies that there is a gradation of response from God: the more righteous you are, the more attentive God is. "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:16). In the Old Testament, there are many examples about God hearing the prayers of some people on behalf of others. Moses is an obvious example of this (Cf. Exodus 17:8-13, 32:9-14). And so is Job:

All of these passages are teaching that God does not necessarily hear all of our prayers, and He does not necessarily grant our requests. These passages are teaching us that people, like Moses and Job, are the "righteous men" of James 5. They are successful in their supplications while a less spiritual Christian might not be. If these Christians were righteous on earth, are they any less righteous in heaven? Are they further removed from God? Do they have more or less "pull" with God?

No where in the bible does it say that God answers every Christian's prayers indiscriminately.

The seventh pillar of this doctrine holds that all Christians together with Our Lord form the one mystical body of Christ.

Not apart from Christ, not beside or ahead of Christ, but because and through Christ, the saints who have gone before us are living members of Christ and the temple of the Holy Ghost (Cf. 1 Cor. 3:16, 1 Cor 6:19, 2 Cor. 6:16). The blessings of God is mostly conferred, not by God in isolation, but by and through his creation - by the angels, by the saints, by St. Paul? handkerchief (Cf. Acts 19:12) and by St. Peter? shadow (Cf. Acts 5:15). God works through and with his body not outside or despite it. Why is it that God chooses to use the word "body" to symbolize the community of believers? Is it not because He wants to emphasize the eternal unity and communion of its members? Are the members who have now passed on from this earthly existence excluded or ripped out of the body of Christ? Or instead, are they more powerful with God than they ever were on earth when they intercede for us, beholding the Face of Almighty God?

No Christian would deny that the holy souls in heaven are part of the Body of Christ. Therefore, the inevitable question is raised to the Protestant who rejects the communion of saints: does death have power to sever the Body of Christ? The answer to that question is in the negative. Jesus CONQUERED death:

Did not Jesus say, "what God has joined, let no man put asunder"? And does not the Body have a Head who is Christ Jesus? Or do you believe instead that the Head is now severed from the rest of the Body? That somehow, in this protestant deformation, the saints in heaven and on earth are united with Jesus but not united with one another? Or that, in this twisted protestant doctrinal calculus, the communication within the body is somehow impeded between the saints in heaven and the saints on earth? Where does the bible teach this impediment?

The brute fact is that the bible NO WHERE places an artificial obstruction between the saints in heaven and the saints on earth. Why? Because both groups are united in the body of Christ and therefore enjoy full communion and communication. Protestantism's denial of this truth puts a manufactured obstruction within the body of Christ:

The bible makes no qualitative distinction between the saints on earth and the saints in heaven. Jesus unites believers into HIS body. Every Christian is a member of the Body of Christ (Cf. Rom 12:4-5, Col 2:12; Rom 6:4, Gal 3:27). Because Jesus' body is divine, it cannot be separated by natural or spiritual means, including death:

Scripture speaks frequently about Jesus conquering death (Cf. Acts 2:24, Romans 6:9, 1 Cor. 15:26, 1 Cor. 15:54, Hebrews 2:14). In conquering death, Jesus united Himself to every believer (Cf. Romans 6:5, 1 Cor. 1:10, 2 Cor 2:5, and 2 Cor 1:5, Philippians 2:1) and every believer shares both in His glory (Cf. Romans 8:17, Gal. 4:30, Eph. 3:6, Philippians 1:7, Col. 1:12, 2 Thes. 2:14, Hebrews 6:4, 1 Peter 5:1) and in His Body (Cf. Mark 14:22, Luke 22:19, 1 Cor. 11:24-27). Therefore, those who die in Christ Jesus are alive in Him and remain part of the ONE body of Jesus Christ, as St. Paul reminds the Ephesians: "This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus." (Ephesians 3:6, Cf. Eph. 4:4-6, Eph. 4:25, Eph. 5:29-32, Col 2:18-19, Col. 3:15)

But not only does Scripture speak of the one body of Christ, the Church (Eph. 1:23, 5:23, Col 1:18, Col. 1:24), Scripture also is very clear that all of the saints belong to one another. And this "belonging" is to happen for all eternity because the body of Christ is for all eternity (Cf. Hebrews 13:8, 1 Tim. 3:15, Rev. 3:12):

Just like Jesus Christ is the same "yesterday, today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8), this mutual belonging among the members of His body is as well. Because the saints in heaven and on earth are all part of the same body, the communication within this body also continues.

The most conclusive and unassailable evidence for the Catholic conception of the doctrine of the communion of saints can be found is St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians:

St. Paul begins his discourse above by re-affirming the unity of the body. He says, "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body..." He then goes on to insist that division in the body is foreign to mind of Christ: "...there should be no division in the body..." And finally he demonstrates the real interconnectedness and the common spiritual fabric within the Body of Christ. "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it..." The Catechism of the Catholic Church recognizes this reality, stating: "In the unity of this Body, there is a diversity of members and functions. All members are linked to one another, especially to those who are suffering, to the poor and persecuted." (CCC,806) Here it becomes obvious that the spiritual and mystical aspects of the body of Christ transcend the physical plain. In fact, if one part of the body suffers and rejoices, then it only stands to reason that this suffering and rejoicing represent only a fraction of the activity of the body. If one part of the body "rejoices", then this same part of the body - whether in heaven or on earth - can pray for and petition God on behalf of another member.

Protestants who object that the saints are obstacles to their communion with Jesus Christ do not properly appreciate St. Paul's theology of the mystical body of Christ. The passages cited above prove, quite decisively, that the saints in heaven can no more be an obstacle to the body of Christ than Jesus is. Why? Because, as St. Paul, reminds us, Jesus is the head of the body (Cf. Eph. 1:10, 5:23, Col 1:18). But the body includes more than just the head: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts..." Hence, it is a distortion to say that the saints are obstacles to approaching Jesus. From a Catholic perspective, one may understand such intercession of the saints by referring to this idea of a "body". Just as the sensation of a needle's puncture travels from the nerve endings on the body's surface to the spinal cord and then to the brain, the same can be said of a saints intercession before the throne of God. The only difference is that all prayer initially goes through Christ: "For from him and through him and to him are all things." (Romans 11:36) The eye, after all, sees the needle coming before the flesh experiences the sensation.

Another Protestant objection to this co-mediation within the Body of Christ revolves around 1 Tim 2:5:

For a Catholic, this is passage poses no difficulty because St. Paul is speaking about the ultimate and final mediation in Christ Jesus. It does not represent an attack on Catholic teaching because all Christians are to be mediators with Christ. All Christians are in a profound and deep sense mediators with Christ. When we witness to someone, we are fulfilling our duty as an ambassador of Christ, and the job of an ambassador is to mediate:

Two things to reflect carefully on:

1) St. Paul attributes Christ? mediation THROUGH the body;

2) St. Paul? appeal is ON BEHALF of Christ. This makes St. Paul a type of mediator between the world and Christ.

The mediation of the members of the body is predicated and draws its power and authority from the supreme mediation of Christ who is the true and only mediator between God and men. To say that Jesus is the only mediator does not preclude his body from participating in that mediation. How could it? There is, after all, only ONE BODY OF CHRIST (Cf. Romans 7:4, Romans 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Eph. 3:6, Eph. 4:4,12,16,25, Eph. 5:23, Col 1:18, Col 3:15)! What it does exclude, however, is another way to the Father through, for instance, another prophet or religion. In existing as the body of Christ, individual members of this body are not set against Christ in His mediation, but act as a sort of conduit through which He works in this world (Cf. Rom. 15:18). Hence, our mediation is a logical corollary to this great truth since the body cannot be separated from the Head (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:3). Or, as St. Paul asks the contentious Corinthians: Is Christ now divided? (Cf. 1 Cor. 1:13) Since Christ lives through his mystical body in this world, so too therefore does His mediation.

Moreover, the Protestant objection to a singular mediator is contradicted by Scripture. Our Sacred Writtent tradition frequently says that there is "one" source, but then goes on to talk about other sources which draw from this "one" source:

Conclusion

At the beginning of this paper, we discussed how a series of explicit teachings in the bible point to an implicit teaching. Here is a summary of these explicit teachings discussed above:



TOPICS: Activism; Apologetics; Catholic; Current Events; Ecumenism; General Discusssion; History; Ministry/Outreach; Prayer; Religion & Culture; Theology; Worship
KEYWORDS: bible; faith; saints

1 posted on 11/02/2003 6:45:50 AM PST by NYer
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To: american colleen; sinkspur; Lady In Blue; Salvation; Polycarp; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; ...
A long but worthy read! John Pacheco is Director, Apologist for Catholic Legate.
2 posted on 11/02/2003 6:53:48 AM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer
bookmarked for later reading
3 posted on 11/02/2003 8:06:05 AM PST by pegleg
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To: NYer
Thanks for the post. I'll be back later.
4 posted on 11/02/2003 8:20:40 AM PST by RichardMoore
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To: NYer
Questions and Answers

Calendar of the Saints
Question from Rob Sheahan on 11-27-2002:
Is there a document which explains the reasons why most of the Feast days of Saints were moved to other days on the liturgical calendar? I believe this happened in the late 1960's. I would like to know what the reasons were in the particular instances, for instance, why St. Dominic was moved to just a couple of days away.

Thank you.

Answer by Colin B. Donovan, STL on 12-04-2002:
There is no such document. The Church's practice is to put saints on the month and day of their death. If that is not possible, either because it is a greater feast or another saint occupies it already, then it is usually put as close as possible to that date. Sometimes another date is chosen, such as the date the relics were moved to a place of honor (called translation).

By 1962 the calendar was very crowded, and many deviations from the date of death practice had entered in. Also, few places were available for notable saints of our times. The UNIVERSAL calendar was re-organized to correct the accidents of history and to winnow the field of saints no longer universally venerated. As the new Roman Martyrology shows, with its thousands of saints, each saint still has a feast day, but only a couple hundred are on the universal calendar of the Latin Rite. Many of the others still occupy days on the particular calendars of dioceses and religious comunities. There are also many saints little known to Latin Catholics on the calendars of the Eastern Churches, as well as other saints, such as the Patriarchs and Prophets, whom it has not been the Roman custom to place on the calendar, but who are nonetheless legitimately venerated as saints by Catholics, East and West. One of my favorites is Elijah the Tishbite (July 20th), the prophet of the Old Covenant.

As for St. Dominic, he used to be celebrated on August 4th, and today is on August 8th. Since he died on August 6th, the Transfiguration, he clearly needed another day. I don't know why he was originally placed 2 days before, and moved to 2 days after. I'm sure he was not moved without consulting the Dominicans, however. Perhaps there is some significance to the 8th in the life of St. Dominic or of the Order, or it simply seemed better to celebrate after the date of death than before.


5 posted on 11/02/2003 8:27:56 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
No where in the bible does it say that once someone dies, we are to stop honouring them.

Why do Catholics spend more time honoring people than Jesus?

There is a difference between honoring someone and praying to them. Prayer is a form of worship. The scriptures tell us that, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus" 1 Tim 2:5. If there is only ONE, then why pray to anyone else.

6 posted on 11/02/2003 8:35:11 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: NYer
The topic of saints is a sticky wicket for Protestants. Good to have all this information on hand for discussions with them. thanks.
7 posted on 11/02/2003 8:47:07 AM PST by PoisedWoman (Fed up with the CORRUPT liberal media)
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To: PoisedWoman
Glad to see you, Poised Woman. I pray that all is going well with you.
8 posted on 11/02/2003 8:55:51 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: aimhigh
We honor Jesus, and pray through Him for the faithful departed.
9 posted on 11/02/2003 8:56:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer; PoisedWoman; aimhigh
One Bread, One Body

One Bread, One Body


<< Sunday, November 2, 2003 >> All Souls
 
2 Maccabees 12:43-46
Revelation 14:13
Psalm 23
John 6:37-40
View Readings
 
12 REASONS TO PRAY FOR THE DEAD
 
“It is the will of Him Who sent Me that I should lose nothing of what He has given Me; rather, that I should raise it up on the last day.” —John 6:39
 

When we pray for the dead, we:

  • obey the Lord and His Church,
  • love our neighbor,
  • express our unity with the other members of God’s family,
  • help purify people in purgatory,
  • help those in purgatory to go to heaven,
  • face death and thereby become more aware of reality,
  • express and strengthen our faith in the power of prayer,
  • receive the benefit of the prayers of those in purgatory (Catechism, 958),
  • rejoice, for all those in purgatory have given their lives to Jesus and will go to heaven,
  • purify ourselves so that we will go directly to heaven and skip purgatory, or lessen our time in purgatory,
  • share in the pouring out of God’s mercy, and
  • enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s love and His plan of salvation.

There are other reasons to pray for the dead, but these twelve reasons show that, in praying for the dead, we act “in a very excellent and noble way” (2 Mc 12:43), for it is “a holy and pious thought” to pray for the dead (2 Mc 12:45).

 
Prayer: Father, free me from all attachment to sin so that I will go to heaven without going to purgatory (see Catechism, 1472).
Promise: “I heard a voice from heaven say to me: ‘Write this down: Happy now are the dead who die in the Lord!’ The Spirit added, ‘Yes, they shall find rest from their labors, for their good works accompany them.’ ” —Rv 14:13
Praise: Praise the risen Jesus, Who lived, died, and rose in the perfect will of the Father.
 
 

10 posted on 11/02/2003 8:57:31 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Your quotes are from men, not God. Your use of Apocrypha included.
11 posted on 11/02/2003 8:59:33 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh
Why do Catholics spend more time honoring people than Jesus?

???? Catholics pray to Jesus. They will sometimes ask a saint to intercede on their behalf or that of someone else. Think of it this way ... you've got an ally right there in heaven who is with Christ , right now! These individuals have merited a place in heaven by living the gospel that Christ brought to mankind.

The Council of Trent, in its 25th Session, declared the following to be the dogmatic teaching of the Catholic Church:

"...the saints, who reign together with Christ, offer up their own prayers for men . . . it is good and useful suppliantly to invoke them, and to have recourse to their prayers, aid and help for obtaining benefits from God through His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who is alone our Redeemer and Saviour."

The scriptures tell us that, - "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus...

For a Catholic, this passage poses no difficulty because St. Paul is speaking about the ultimate and final mediation in Christ Jesus. It does not represent an attack on Catholic teaching because all Christians are to be mediators with Christ. All Christians are in a profound and deep sense mediators with Christ. When we witness to someone, we are fulfilling our duty as an ambassador of Christ, and the job of an ambassador is to mediate:

"We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God." (2 Cor. 5:20)

Two things to reflect carefully on:

1) St. Paul attributes Christ? mediation THROUGH the body;

2) St. Paul? appeal is ON BEHALF of Christ. This makes St. Paul a type of mediator between the world and Christ.

The mediation of the members of the body is predicated and draws its power and authority from the supreme mediation of Christ who is the true and only mediator between God and men. To say that Jesus is the only mediator does not preclude his body from participating in that mediation. How could it? There is, after all, only ONE BODY OF CHRIST (Cf. Romans 7:4, Romans 12:5, 1 Cor. 10:16-17, 1 Cor. 12:12-27, Eph. 3:6, Eph. 4:4,12,16,25, Eph. 5:23, Col 1:18, Col 3:15)! What it does exclude, however, is another way to the Father through, for instance, another prophet or religion. In existing as the body of Christ, individual members of this body are not set against Christ in His mediation, but act as a sort of conduit through which He works in this world (Cf. Rom. 15:18). Hence, our mediation is a logical corollary to this great truth since the body cannot be separated from the Head (Cf. 1 Cor. 11:3). Or, as St. Paul asks the contentious Corinthians: Is Christ now divided? (Cf. 1 Cor. 1:13) Since Christ lives through his mystical body in this world, so too therefore does His mediation.

12 posted on 11/02/2003 10:42:10 AM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: Salvation
it is “a holy and pious thought” to pray for the dead (2 Mc 12:45).

as opposed to "pray to the dead" (another misconception often associated with catholics).

Thanks for the great posts to this thread!! I always wondered why the calendar of feast days was rearranged and now I know. :-)

13 posted on 11/02/2003 10:48:15 AM PST by NYer ("Close your ears to the whisperings of hell and bravely oppose its onslaughts." ---St Clare Assisi)
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To: NYer
Since Christ lives through his mystical body in this world, so too therefore does His mediation.

ThThis type of logic could justify worshiping people within the church. Where would it end? Your conclusions are not scriptural.

14 posted on 11/02/2003 11:54:39 AM PST by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh
"Scriptural" seems to mean what is contrary to your own beliefs. Catholic doctine about the dead is an inference from the notion of the Communion of saints. which is simply another way of the Kingdom of Heaven. You seem to have glided over that part in which he points out that much doctrine accepted by Christians or all sorts is based on what is implied in Scripture rather than what is stated explicitly.
15 posted on 11/02/2003 12:53:29 PM PST by RobbyS (XP)
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To: RobbyS
"..implied in Scripture"

The Gay Episcopalion Bishop loves implied doctrine.

16 posted on 11/02/2003 4:02:21 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: aimhigh
Your own personal interpretation of Scripture.

YOPIOS!

And it seems that you cannot accept the fact that the Catholic Church was in existence long before any Protestant Churches -- 1500 years, in the least.

And now you must try to discredit the Scriptures as well as the Holy Tradition that was passed down through the Apostles -- Acts tells the story. But then, perhaps your personal interpretation of acts is different than mine -- that Peter, Philip, Paul and others followed the instructions given them by JESUS!

And your church????
17 posted on 11/02/2003 4:39:27 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
Peter, Philip, Paul and others followed the instructions given them by JESUS!

Show me where Jesus instructed them to pray to, or for the dead. It ain't there.

18 posted on 11/02/2003 5:24:08 PM PST by aimhigh
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To: RobbyS
FEAST OF THE DAY

Today is the feast of All Souls, this is the day set aside out of the
year for us to pray for the souls of all who have died, especially the
souls in purgatory waiting for the joys of heaven. This feast has
biblical origins, for example, in the Second Book of Maccabees,
"Judas made atonement for the dead, that they might be delivered
from their sin, and it has historical origins because from the
beginning of the Church, the Faithful were encouraged to pray for all
who had died.

A day set aside for prayer for all who had died began to be observed
in the Middle ages. In the eleventh century, St. Odilo, Abbot of Cluny,
decreed that the monks should set aside November 2 as a special
day to pray for the dead in the Divine Office, and through special
prayers.

The theological ideas for this feast day are based on the fact that
very few of us achieve perfection in our lives on earth, so we must
remove the scars of our sinfulness and imperfection before we come
face-to-face with God. This day is set aside for the Church on earth
to pray for those who have died and are still preparing to meet God
face-to-face.

A more recent addition to this celebration happened in 1915 when
Pope Benedict XV stated in an apostolic constitution that priests
could celebrate three Masses on this day. The intention for the first
Mass is for a particular intention of the priest, the intention of the
second is for all the Faithful Departed, and the intention of the third is
for the intentions of the Pope.

19 posted on 11/02/2003 5:39:57 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: aimhigh
You missed the point. If you stuck with explicit meanings you would not say that the words of the institution of the sacrament are "symbolic."
20 posted on 11/02/2003 6:24:13 PM PST by RobbyS (XP)
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To: NYer

BTTT on November 1, 2004.


21 posted on 11/01/2004 7:37:44 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Lord, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, hear us.

God, the father of heaven, 
God the son, redeemer of the world, 
God the Holy Ghost, 
Holy Trinity, one God, 

Holy Mary, 
Holy Mother of God, 
Holy virgin of virgins,
St. Michael, 
St. Gabriel, 
St. Raphael, 
All ye Holy Angels and Archangels, 
All ye Holy Orders of Blessed spirits, 
St. John the Baptist, 
St. Joseph, 
All ye Holy Patriarchs and Prophets, 
St. Peter, 
St. Paul, 
St. Andrew, 
St. James, 
St. John, 
St. Thomas, 
St. James,
St. Philip, 
St. Bartholomew, 
St. Matthew, .
St. Simon, pray for us.
St. Thaddeus, pray for us.
St. Barnabas, pray for us.
St. Luke, pray for us.
St. Mark, pray for us.
All ye Holy Apostles and Evangelist, 
All ye Holy Disciples of Our Lord, 
All ye Holy Innocents, .
St. Stephen, 
St. Lawrence, .
St. Vincent, 
Ss. Fabian and Sebastian, 
Ss. John and Paul, 
Ss. Cosmos and Damian, 
Ss. Gervase and Protase, 
All ye Holy Martyrs, 
St. Sylvester, 
St. Gregory, 
St. Ambrose, 
St. Augustine, 
St. Jerome, 
St. Martin, 
St. Nicholas, 
All ye Holy Bishops and Confessors,
All ye Holy Doctors, 
St. Anthony, 
St. Benedict, 
St. Bernard, 
St. Dominic,  
St. Francis, 
All ye Holy Priest and Levites, 
All ye Holy Monks and Hermits, .
St. Mary Magdalen, 
St. Agatha, 
St. Lucy, 
St. Agnes, 
St. Cecilia, 
St. Catherine, 
St. Anastasia, 
All ye Holy Virgins and Widows, 

All ye Men and Women, Saints of God,  

Be merciful, 
Be merciful, 
From all evil, 
From all sin, 
From thy wrath, 
From a sudden and unprovided death, 
From the deceits of the devil, 
From anger, hatred, and all ill will, 
From the spirit of fornication, 
From lightning and tempest, 
From the scourge of earthquake, 
From pestilence, famine, and war, 
From everlasting death, 
Through the mystery of thy holy incarnation,
Through thy coming, 
Through thy nativity, 
Through thy baptism and holy fasting, 
Through thy cross and passion, 
Through thy death and burial, 
Through thy holy resurrection, 
Through thine admirable ascension, 
Through the coming of the holy ghost, the paraclete, 
In the day of judgment, 
That thou wouldst spare us, 
That thou wouldst pardon us, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring us to true penance, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to govern and preserve thy holy church.... 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to preserve our apostolic prelate and all ecclesiastical orders in holy religion. 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to humble the enemies of thy holy church, 
That thou wouldst vouch safe to give peace and true concord to Christian kings and princes,  
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to grant peace and unity to all Christian people, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to bring back to the unity of the church all those who have strayed away, and lead to the light of the gospel all unbelievers, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to confirm and preserve us thy holy service, 
That thou wouldst lift up our minds to heavenly desires, 
That thou wouldst render eternal blessings to all our benefactors, 
That thou wouldst deliver our souls and hose of our brethren, relative, and benefactors from eternal damnation, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to give and preserve the fruits of the earth, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe to give eternal rest to all the faithful departed, 
That thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to hear us, 
Son of God, .
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, o lord
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.......
Lord, have mercy on us.......
Lord, have mercy on us.......


                                  

Christ, have mercy on us.


Christ, graciously hear us.

Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us

pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.
pray for us.

intercede for us.

Spare us, O Lord!
Graciously hear us, O Lord!
O
Lord, deliver us.
O
Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us.
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us
O Lord, deliver us

O
Lord, deliver us
We beseech thee, hear us.
We beseech thee, hear us.
We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.


We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.


We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.



We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.


We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.

We beseech thee, hear us.
We beseech thee, hear us.

S
pare us, O Lord.

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Have mercy on us.
Christ, graciously hear us....
Christ, have mercy on us.......
Our Father (ect.)  .....
V-    And Lead Us Not Into Temptation.
R-    But Deliver Us From Evil.

                               Psalm LXIX

Incline unto my aid, O God.
O Lord, make haste to help me.
Let them be confounded and ashamed that seek my soul.
Let them be turned backward and blush for shame that desire evils to me.
Let them be presently turned away blushing for shame that say to me, "Tis well, 'tis well."
Let all that seek Thee rejoice and be glad in Thee; and let such as love Thy salvation say always, The Lord be magnified. But I am needy and poor: O God, help me.
Thou art my helper and my deliverer; O Lord, make no delay.

Glory Be To The Father, (etc)........

V-    Save Thy servants.
R-    Trusting in Thee, O my God.
V-    Be unto us, O Lord, a tower a strength.
R-    From the face of the enemy.
V-    Let not the enemy prevail against us.
R-    Nor the son of iniquity have power to hurt us.
V-    O Lord, do not deal with us according to our sins.
R-    Neither reward us according to our iniquities.
V-    Let us pray for our chief bishop: (name)
R-    The Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies.
V-    Let us pray for our benefactors.
R-    Vouchsafe, O Lord, for Thy name's sake, to reward with eternal life all those who do us good.
V-    Let us pray for the faithful departed.
R-    Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
V-    May they rest in peace.
R-    Amen.
V-    For our absent brethren.
R-    Save Thy servants who hope in Thee, O my God.
V-    Send them help, O Lord, from Thy holy place.
R-    And from Sion protect them.
V-    O Lord, hear my prayer.
R-    And let my cry come unto Thee.
Let us pray-
     O God, Whose property is always to have mercy and to spare, receive our petition, that we and all Thy servants who are bound by the chain of sin, may, by the compassion of Thy goodness, mercifully be absolved.

     Hear, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the prayers of Thy supplicants, and pardon the sins of those who confess to Thee, that, in Thy bounty, Thou mayest grant us both pardon and peace.

     In Thy clemency, O Lord, show Thy unspeakable mercy to us, that so Thou mayest both loose us from all our sins and deliver us from the punishments which we deserve for them.

     O God, who by sin art offended and by penance pacified, mercifully regard the prayers of Thy people, who make supplication to Thee, and turn away the scourges of Thine anger, which we deserve for our sins.

     O almighty and eternal God, have mercy on Thy servant (Name), our chief bishop, and direct him according to Thy clemency, in the way of everlasting salvation, that, by Thy grace, he may desire the things that are pleasing to Thee, and perform them with all his strength.

     O God, from Whom are all holy desires, righteous counsels, and just works, give to Thy servants that peace which the world cannot give; that, our hearts being disposed to keep Thy commandments, and the fear of enemies taken away, the times, by Thy protection, may be peaceful.

     Inflame, O Lord, our reins and hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit; that we may serve Thee with a chaste body, and please Thee with a clean heart.

     O God, the Creator and Redeemer of all the faithful, give to the souls of Thy servants departed the remission of all their sins, that through pious supplications they may obtain the pardon they have always desired.

     Direct, we beseech Thee, O Lord, our actions by Thy holy inspirations, and carry them on by Thy gracious assistance; that every prayer and work of ours may always begin from Thee, and through Thee be happily ended.

     O almighty and eternal God, Who hast dominion over the living and the dead, and art merciful to all who Thou foreknowest will be Thine by faith and good works: we humbly beseech Thee that they for whom we have purposed to offer our prayers, whether this present world still detains them in the flesh or the next world hath already received them divested of their bodies, may, by the intercession of Thy saints and the clemency of Thy   goodness, obtain pardon and full remission of all their sins. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end.

R-    Amen.
V-    O Lord, hear my prayer.
R-    And let my cry come unto Thee.
V-    May the almighty and merciful Lord graciously hear us.
R-    Amen.
V-    And my the souls of the faithful departed throught the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R-    Amen.


22 posted on 11/01/2004 7:39:02 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
American Cathlic's Saint of the Day


November 1, 2004
Feast of All Saints

The earliest certain observance of a feast in honor of all the saints is an early fourth-century commemoration of "all the martyrs." In the early seventh century, after successive waves of invaders plundered the catacombs, Pope Boniface IV gathered up some 28 wagonloads of bones and reinterred them beneath the Pantheon, a Roman temple dedicated to all the gods. The pope rededicated the shrine as a Christian church. According to Venerable Bede, the pope intended "that the memory of all the saints might in the future be honored in the place which had formerly been dedicated to the worship not of gods but of demons" (On the Calculation of Time).

But the rededication of the Pantheon, like the earlier commemoration of all the martyrs, occurred in May. Many Eastern Churches still honor all the saints in the spring, either during the Easter season or immediately after Pentecost.

How the Western Church came to celebrate this feast in November is a puzzle to historians. The Anglo-Saxon theologian Alcuin observed the feast on November 1 in 800, as did his friend Arno, Bishop of Salzburg. Rome finally adopted that date in the ninth century.

Comment:

This feast first honored martyrs. Later, when Christians were free to worship according to their conscience, the Church acknowledged other paths to sanctity. In the early centuries the only criterion was popular acclaim, even when the bishop's approval became the final step in placing a commemoration on the calendar. The first papal canonization occurred in 993; the lengthy process now required to prove extraordinary sanctity took form in the last 500 years. Today's feast honors the obscure as well as the famous—the saints each of us have known.

Quote:

“After this I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.... [One of the elders] said to me, ‘These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’” (Revelation 7:9,14).



23 posted on 11/01/2004 1:09:17 PM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

BTTT on the Solemnity of All Saints, 11-01-05, a holy day of obligation!


24 posted on 11/01/2005 7:06:18 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

BTTT!

Good stuff here.


25 posted on 11/01/2006 8:55:22 AM PST by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer
Solemnity of All Saints

All Saints
Solemnity

November 1
 


Christ Glorified in the Court of Heaven
Fra Angelico - 1428-30, Tempera on wood - National Gallery, London
"The glorious company of the apostles praise Thee.
The goodly fellowship of the prophets praise Thee.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise Thee.
All Thy saints and elect with one voice do acknowledge Thee,
O Blessed Trinity, one God!"

-- Feast of All Saints (November 1), Antiphon at Lauds. from the Te Deum

Prayers - Scripture Readings | Family Activities

Origin of All Saint's Day as a feast of the Church
What makes this feast so important that the Church celebrates both the night before All Saints and the day after it?

The Church has always honored those early witnesses to the Christian faith who have died in the Lord. (The Greek word for "witness" is martyr.) During the first three hundred years Christians were serverly persecuted, often suffering torture and bloody death -- because they were faithful . They refused to deny Christ, even when this denial might have saved their own lives, or the lives of their children and families.

The early history of the Church is filled with stories of the heroic faith of these of witnesses to Christ's truth. The stories of these saints -- these baptized Christians of all ages and all states in life, whose fidelity and courage led to their sanctity or holiness -- have provided models for every other Christian throughout history.

Many of those especially holy people whose names and stories were known, the Church later canonized (that is, the Church formally recognized that the life of that person was without any doubt holy, or sanctified -- a "saint" who is an example for us.) The Church's calendar contains many saint's days, which Catholics observe at Mass -- some with special festivities.

But there were thousands and thousands of early Christian martyrs, the majority of whose names are known only to God -- and throughout the history of the Church there have been countless others who really are saints, who are with God in heaven, even if their names are not on the list of canonized saints.

In order to honor the memory -- and our own debt -- to these unnamed saints, and to recall their example, the Church dedicated a special feast day -- a sort of "memorial day" -- so that all living Christians would celebrate at a special Mass the lives and witness of those "who have died and gone before us into the presence of the Lord".

This feast that we know as All Saint's Day originated as a feast of All Martyrs, sometime in the 4th century. At first it was celebrated on the first Sunday after Pentecost. It came to be observed on May 13 when Pope St. Boniface IV (608-615) restored and rebuilt for use as a Christian church an ancient Roman temple which pagan Rome had dedicated to "all gods", the Pantheon. The pope re-buried the bones of many martyrs there, and dedicated this Church to the Mother of God and all the Holy Martyrs on May 13, 610.

About a hundred years later, Pope Gregory III (731-741) consecrated a new chapel in the basilica of St. Peter to all saints (not just to the martyrs) on November 1, and he fixed the anniversary of this dedication as the date of the feast.

A century after that, Pope Gregory IV (827-844) extended the celebration of All Saints to November 1 for the entire Church.

The vigil of this important feast, All Saint's Eve, Hallowe'en, was apparently observed as early as the feast itself.

Ever since then -- for more than a millennium -- the entire Church has celebrated the feast of All Saints on November 1st, and, of course, Hallowe'en on October 31.

It is a principal feast of the Catholic Church. It is a holy day of obligation, which means that all Catholics are to attend Mass on that day.

Prayers, Scripture Readings for All Saints
Collect
[That the prayers of all the saints will bring us forgiveness for our sins]

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
today we rejoice in the holy men and women
of every time and place.
May their prayers bring us your forgiveness and love.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

or

[We rejoice and keep festival in honor of all the saints]

God our Father, source of all holiness,
the work of Your hands is manifest in Your saints, the beauty of
Your truth is reflected in their faith.

May we who aspire to have part in their joy
be filled with the spirit that blessed their lives,
so that having shared their faith on earth
may we also know their peace in your kingdom.

Grant this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

First Reading: Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14
I, John, saw another angel ascend from the rising of the sun, with the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm earth and sea, saying, "Do not harm the earth or the sea or the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God upon their foreheads." And I heard the number of the sealed, a hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, out of every tribe of the sons of Israel.

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no man could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels stood round the throne and round the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God for ever and ever! Amen."

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and whence have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Second Reading: 1 John 3:1-3
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every one who thus hopes in Him purifies Himself as He is pure.

Gospel Reading:
When Jesus saw the crowds, He went up on the mountain, and when He sat down His disciples came to Him. And He opened His mouth and taught them, saying: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

"Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven.

All Saints is a Holy Day of Obligation.
The principal activity for every Catholic family today is to go to Mass -- together, if possible. (Note Liturgical Calendar)
Other family activities:
    • After school, read (re-read) to your children Saint John's vision of the Resurrection of the Saints that we heard at Mass today. It is from the Book of Revelation (or the Apocalypse), chapter 7:2-4, 9-14.
    • Have them draw pictures of the descriptions it contains. Michelangelo's famous painting of the Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel was inspired by this scripture passage. Your refrigerator is not the Sistine Chapel, but it's a good place to display the kids' pictures!
    • Talk (or read) to your children about the saints they are named for. If you don't already have a good "age-appropriate" book to read from, prepare in advance by looking up the saint on this web site, or by reading from, say, Butler's Lives of the Saints, and tell them the story in your own words.
    • Have each child choose a favorite saint, and make a booklet of their own about the saint's life. See the saint pages on this web site.
    • Help them focus on how this saint gave an example of unusual courage, or devotion, or dedication to others, and how we can learn from their example.
    • Take the children to a religious goods shop and allow the children to look for a medal or small statue of their own patron saint, or another favorite saint, along with a prayer card for that saint to use for bed time prayers. Ask your parish priest to bless these images for the children. (They can give them to the priest themselves for the blessings.
    • Teach children the great hymn For All the Saints (here from The Adoremus Hymnal).


26 posted on 11/01/2008 12:50:42 PM PDT by Salvation ( †With God all things are possible.†)
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