Tuesday November 1, 2005 Homily by Fr. Robert Altier   Feast of All Saints

Reading I (Revelation 7:2-4, 9-14)  

Reading II (1 John 3:1-3)  Gospel (St. Matthew 5:1-12a)

Following is the Homily from the Morning Mass

on the Feast of All Saints

Today as we celebrate this glorious Feast of All Saints, we are reminded that one does not have to be among the most extraordinary of human beings who have ever walked the face of the earth, but that holiness is attainable by each and every one of us, and that each and every one of us has everything we need to be able to get to heaven. Now the question, of course, is whether we are cooperating with the grace of God so that we can live holy lives. Most of us, I suspect–hopefully, all of us–would certainly say that we want to go to heaven, but do we want to do what is necessary to get there? That is the real question we have to ask. As we consider this feast, from the greatest being Our Blessed Lady, all the way down to the least, the little babies who are destroyed through contraception, through abortion, and through all of the other unfortunate things that medical people are doing with little embryos these days, all of these souls that have entered into glory are praying for us. They are praying that we too are going to choose Christ, not in a generic way but in a very specific way: to do His Will.

When we think about all of the things that the saints have done, we then need to go to prayer and ask the Lord: What is it that You want of me? Now one thing that we can all know is that God wants obedience to the duties of our state in life; that is always a given. But even beyond that, what is it that He is asking for? We need to understand that with the condition in the world today as it is, and with the things that are to come very soon, the world today needs saints more than it ever has before. And if where sin abounds grace abounds all the more, and if God raises up His saints where He needs them the most, then the principle is a very simple one: We are going to see in our day the greatest saints that have ever lived. These people have not yet come to the fore. They will come to the fore as soon as it is time, and you could be one of them. There is no reason in the world why you cannot be. The question is whether we are willing to be.

What does it require to be one of these great saints? It simply requires a great love for God; that is all. Now that does not mean a gushy emotionalism when we think about God, but rather what it means is spending time in prayer seeking the Will of God and trying with all our might to carry it out. Knowing that we cannot do it ourselves, we look to God for the grace to do it. It is just that simple. It does not require doing huge extraordinary things. As Saint Therese made very clear, it means doing the ordinary things with extraordinary love. The one who loves the most is the greatest saint. It is just that simple.

 Are we willing to do what God needs? We do not need to start all kinds of new social programs and all sorts of things that are already out there, causing us to run here and there; there are plenty of those already there. What we need are people who are willing to pray. We need people who are willing to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament because absolutely nothing–ZERO–will be accomplished without prayer. Nothing. You can spin your wheels all day long and rev your engine; it will sound great and it will look impressive but nothing will happen unless we are praying. All the things that are already in place, they are only going to succeed if people are praying. That is what we need more than anything right now. We need people who will pray.

So what do we need to do to become a great saint? We need to pray. We need to love God. We need to spend the time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. It is a very simple proposition. The more time you spend with Him, the more obedient you are going to be to the duties of your state in life. If you spend the time in prayer, you will be a better husband or wife; you will do better at your job; whatever it is that God is calling you to be, you will do in a way that is much better than you have ever done before because you are united with Jesus in prayer. Beyond that you will find yourself growing in virtue (your family will probably be much appreciative!), more patient, more charitable, all the virtues that we need. It is very simple, yet it is the single most difficult thing you will ever do. It is the greatest privilege we can have. Are we willing to do it?

The world today needs saints. Are you one of them? Is God calling you–and He is– to be a saint? The call is there; the question has to do with the answer. God needs saints. The world needs saints. Are you willing to be among them?


*  This text was transcribed from the audio recording of a homily by Father Robert Altier with minimal editing.

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