ALL SAINTS' DAY and ALL SOULS' DAY
Once I had a wonderful conversation with an atheist-friend about heaven. I told him a good news: heaven is also for atheists! He said he is not a fan of heaven with images of souls wearing white, plucking harps and singing praises. When I said it is a bit constricted view of heaven, he asked me to enlighten him of a correct one. This was my response to him: Heaven is the greatest mystery that engulfs us; never a place! It is already here and now and yet still to be revealed in its fullness so we can bask in the highest Good ever in a timeless realm!
There is a more wonderful and sublime reason in the celebration of life in the present and beyond death.
The Solemnity of All the Saints (November 1st) and the Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (November 2nd) are Christian celebrations to remind us of an important article of our faith which is the Communion of Saints. The Communion of Saints is the super-natural unity of all the members of the Mystical Body of Christ namely: The Church Triumphant, the Church Suffering and the Church Militant.
Heaven is our goal! We believe that those who had been faithful to Christ until the end are rewarded with eternal bliss in heaven (the Church Triumphant); they are triumphant because they are given the crown of glory by God. There are those who are still expiating their sins in purgatory (the Church Suffering); they are being cleansed of the impurities caused by sin. We the living belong to the Church Militant because we still continue to fight against our sinfulness as we strive to live holy lives.
There is a wonderful exchange of spiritual goods among the members of the Church: the saints in heaven are praying for us here on earth and for the souls in purgatory. We pray and offer sacrifices/masses for the souls in purgatory and in return they also pray and intercede for us. All of us share in the “treasury of the Church” which are the inexhaustible merits of Christ and the prayers and good works of the saints. This exchange of charity overflows to all the members of the Church so that at the end, free from sin, we are able to have our final communion with God.
As we celebrate All Saints’ Day, let us reflect on the lyrics of the Disney song:
GO THE DISTANCE
“I have often dreamed of a far off place
Where a great warm welcome will be waiting for me
Where the crowds will cheer when they see my face
And a voice keeps saying this is where I'm meant to be
I will find my way, I can go the distance
I'll be there someday if I can be strong
I know every mile will be worth my while
I would go most anywhere to feel like I belong.”