Crossed The Tiber

An Evangelical Converts to Catholicism

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Location: Pennsylvania, United States

I was born into the Catholic faith. At 14, I was "born again" and found Jesus personally but lost His Church. After thirty years as an evangelical protestant, I have come full circle to find that He has been there all the time, in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I wish others to find the beauty and truth of the Catholic faith as I have found.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

All Saints Day

The Church has honored the martyrs/saints since the very early days of the Church. This can be seen as early as the 3rd and fourth centuries, so it's not a "meeeedeeevil invention of the Catlik' Church." When the early Church wanted to honor a martyr who had died for the faith, they chose the day on the anniversary of their martyrdom and often remembered them at the actual site where they gave their lives. Is this a gruesome and superstitous practice of a group of christians who "went off the rails?" No, actually, it is human nature to honor those who have gone before us with ritual, reverence and ceremony. The Jewish people reverenced the bones and graves of their spiritual fathers so this tradition of honoring the saints and martyrs is not a novel concept.

In modern times, the solemn celebrations that occur on the anniversary of 911 and Memorial Day show us that humans still sense the need to honor "those who have gone before." Thousands of average folks, including the families of those lost who loved ones on 911, still gather at the site to be close to the memory of their loved ones. So there is something in the very nature of man, found in every culture and religion that wants to keep the memory alive of their loved ones.

Now back to the early Church. After the persecution of Diocletian, there were so many martyrs that a separate day could not be assigned to everyone. So the Church chose one day to remember all the martyrs (who we call saints, after the formal process of canonization developed). So that is why we have All Saint's Day. Not an evil necromantic practice of a deluded cult but part of the great tradition of Christianity.

Now finally the best part: Not only do we remember and honor the saints but we are still in communion with them! As the Church clearly enunciated in the Nicean Creed in 325 AD we believe in the Communion of Saints. (They weren't talking about gatherin' at the Lord's table as I used to read it) Check this link for my more detailed explanation of the Communion of Sts.
The saints still intercede for us because they are more alive now than ever! We can access them by the grace of Jesus Christ.
The Eucharist was probably the best part of becoming Catholic, but the Communion of Saints is an added benefit that I am so thankful to have discovered. I suspect they've been praying for me for quite some time.

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 Godand this is the vocation of each of us.”


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