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All Sinners & Saints Day

mother-teresa

I just realized I missed November 1st as All Saints Day this year, “dedicated to the saints of the Church… all those who have already obtained heaven.” Apparently the tradition goes back to 609 AD.

I also missed November 2nd as All Souls Day, dedicated to “all who have died… and may have not yet gone to heaven.” Really?

Perhaps these two days didn’t enter my mind because it has been so long since I have been a small child, under the influence of the Roman Catholic Church. My worldview has changed from the notion of original sin to original blessing (per Matthew Fox) and my focus now is on living fully “on earth as it is in heaven” rather than being concerned with an unknown place one may or may not go to after he/she dies.

I never did get the idea of praying to the saints, but I somewhat miss the adulation and reverential respect for the idealistic model Catholics give to those who are imagined to live holy and selfless lives – those who have a “beatific vision” and “can see God directly.” Really?

Mother Teresa was officially canonized as a saint in September 2016, but we know from her letters described in the book Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light that although she was a mystic, she felt lonely, abandoned and had spiritual doubts.

I particularly like the quotes attributed to Mother Teresa: “I see God in every human being” and “I am grateful to receive the [Nobel] prize in the name of the hungry, the naked, the homeless, the crippled, the blind, the lepers and all these people who unwanted, unloved.”

I believe we are connected to everything and that all of existence is sacred, deserving of reverence – including the least.

Similarly, I like the down-to-earth sarcasm of Nadia Bolz-Weber, the minister founder/pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints, in Denver, Colorado. She wrote the book Accidental Saints: Finding God in All the Wrong People, which “dem­onstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives.”

This Sunday, November 6th, the House For All Sinners and Saints is having the Sale of Indulgences, their annual bake sale and the beginning of their Reformation Sunday celebration. Glad to know us sinners [sic] can still buy our way out of purgatory.

 

 

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