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.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

All Saints Day: So Great A Cloud of Witnesses

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. The communion of saints is a concept that has been part of the Church since the beginning and was part of the creedal statement from Nicea in 325 AD. "I believe in the Communion of Saints."  All Christendom since the first century after the disciples have taken advantage of the intercession afforded them through the martyrs and saints who have gone before them and the earliest recorded date of a worldwide remembrance of all saints day is recorded in 373 AD.   Even Luther had this to say regarding the communion of saints :

"When in his frailty, a man invokes the saints, he invokes Christ, and without fail he will reach Christ whenever he calls upon their names, for wherever they are, they are in Christ and Christ is in them, and their name in Christ's name and Christ's name in their name."

" 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
."  Hebrews 12

Pope Benedict the 16th quoted St. Bernard in his response to the question of offering tribute to the saints  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.”


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