So Great a Cloud of Witnesses ...... All Saints Day
All Saints Day reminds us of the communion we continue to share with those saints recognized for their holiness as well as those who went unrecognized on this side of the veil. Saints are great examples of holiness for us and inspirations to help us live more like Jesus.
Hebrews 12 says this:
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
The Pope quoted St. Bernard in his response to the question of offering tribute to the saints today saying, “’Our Saints do not need our honor and do not receive anything from our ‘worship.’ But for my part, I mush confess that when I think of the Saints, I find myself burning with great desires.’ This, therefore, is the significance of today’s solemnity,” Pope Benedict said, “our looking upon the luminous example of the saints ignites in us the great desire to be like the saints: happy to live close to God, in His light, in the great family of the friends of God…and this is the vocation of each of us.” “The experience of the Church shows that all forms of holiness, even though proceeding in different ways, pass always through the way of the cross…The biographies of the saints speak of men and women who, docile to the Plan of God, have faced at times tests and indescribably suffering, persecution, and martyrdom. They have persevered in their work, ‘they have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Rev 7:14),’” the Pope continued. He also recalled that while true joy comes from trusting in the Lord, “the only true cause of sadness and misery for mankind is to live far from Him.”