Sun, 3 June 2018
Sunday of All Saints
Lives of the Saints: every day is an opportunity to learn, and then to remember.
One thing you will notice right away is that the saints were not the same. Some were martyrs, some were soldiers, some were preachers, some were bakers, some were known for their fasting, others for their courage, others for their patience, others for their charity. Some for their piety and others for their dedication.
This is encouraging because we are not all the same. The call to sainthood is not a call to become exactly the same. Growing up, many of us had Mother Theresa as a great example of sainthood; and she is an awesome saint, but could she have been a warrior saint? She certainly had the tenacity and courage, but did she have the physical strength?
Saints are all different because people are all different. Society's need for variation does not go away as it becomes more holy. The Church is the new humanity – the old humanity restored through Christ. But the new humanity still needs to eat, so it has to have virtuous farmers and bakers; it still needs protection so it has to have virtuous soldiers and police; it still needs to learn about the world so it has to have virtuous teachers, peoples' needs still need to be identified and met so we need entrepreneurs and investors. People still get sick so we need medical professionals and administrators.
The thing that makes the lives of the saints different is not what they did or do, but the Spirit in which they do it. The motivation of the saint is not greed or fear or power or attention. The motivation of the saint is to manifest the will of God in every moment. To see what each moment requires and satisfy it with virtue.
The moment requires something different from the baker that from the soldier; something different form the child than from the parent.
So the first charge to you, the saints, priests, and pastors of this parish is to know yourself: and especially your vocation and strengths – and work with God to perfect you and your service.
Perfection is not just some kind of warm fuzzy – I've got God living in my heart – but the ability to bring perfect intent and action into the world.
This leads to the second charge: listen to the moment – and then transform it with perfect action.
You won't always get it right, but if you work at it, you'll get better over time. And it is this kind of grace in action that will save your soul and bring salvation to those around you.