Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Monday, October 31, 2011

All Saints Day


Today we celebrate all the holy men and women who have gone before us in faith--those canonized, those whom we remember as saints (even though the Church will probably never formally recognize them), and all those known only to God who intercede for us night and day before the  heavenly throne. We often sing the hymn, "For All The Saints" on this day, with its stirring melody by Ralph Vaughn Williams, but the words strike an odd note somehow--they speak of the saints "who from their labors rest", when in fact we hope that, like St. Dominic and St. Therese and a host of other saints, they are still working hard from Heaven for us. This was St. Dominic's great promise on his deathbed--"I will be of more help to you where I am going than I have been here". His words were echoed by countless other saintly Dominicans as they lay dying. And we are probably all familiar with St. Therese's promise to "come down" from Heaven after her death. Maybe Heaven is more of a dynamic state of union with God than a place of eternal rest, with our beloved dead interceding for us who remain on earth. Whatever Heaven is like, it's got to be better than the cartoon version that shows a man apparently recently arrived in Heaven (decked out in white robe, halo, etc) sitting on a cloud and saying wistfully, "Wish I'd brought a magazine!" 

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