While traveling in Italy, we visited a lot of churches, monasteries, and other places where the lives of the saints were celebrated. We got to see many relics of the saints, as well as view artwork and read stories about the lives of the saints including Peter, Francis, Catherine, Claire, Anthony, and many others. That is why the celebration of All Saints Day this year is so special for me.
Pope Francis, in his Angelus talk, reminds us on the feast of All Saints:
Today, we celebrate all the saints, and we might have a misleading impression: we might think we are celebrating those sisters and brothers who in life were perfect, always straight, precise, or rather “starched”. Instead, today’s Gospel belies this stereotypical view, this “picture-perfect holiness”. In fact, the Beatitudes of Jesus (cf. Mt 5:1-12), which are the identity card of saints, show the complete opposite: they speak of a countercultural life, a revolutionary life! The saints are the true revolutionaries.
Father Crispin’s All Saints Day homily echoed Pope Francis’ words and also emphasized that the pivotal Beatitude is humility and that the saints were especially humble. (Perhaps that is why the virtue of humility is part of the first two Beatitudes: “Blessed are the poor in spirit” and “Blessed are the meek.”)
Are we regularly practicing the virtue of humility? To me being humble, means recognizing that the world does not revolve around me, but that I am one element of God’s beautiful creation. It also means that I need to treat others, from the rich to the poor, from family members to the people living across the world, with kindness, respect, and compassion. And it means treating my earthly cohabitants, the animals, plants, and nature with that same respect and reverence.
Working together, we can help take care of our common home.