Wellspring Community

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WALKING WITH THE SAINTS

BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Settle into silence, into peacefulness, into profound silence and keep listening in quietness, stillness and serenity.

Now I invite you to consecrate your time and all that comes with this moment….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

May this moment and all other coming moments open new doors for you and may God bless you with wisdom and courage to walk in faith, as you continue your journey of life!

Take a moment. Bless your morning. Let your morning Bless you……Take another moment…. Bless your world…… Let your world bless you……

Be still…..Relax…….Do not rush.

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Our meditation today is on walking with the saints since we are celebrating the feast of All saints today. John describes his vision in chapter seven of the book of Revelation. “I had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.” (Revelation 7:9)

Saints of God come in every age, in all sizes, shapes, colors and age. Some are remembered by name, many are unknown to us. Known or unknown, honored or forgotten, they have one thing in common: during their lives they helped proclaim the presence and love of God, the reign of God. Bernard of Clairvaux said, “calling to mind the saints arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company.” Their communion is our longing and that’s what we celebrate.

Abraham was 175 years old when he died; Moses died at the age of 120; Jesus was 30 when he was crucified; Agnes and Maria Goretti were only 12 years when they were martyred; Antony of the desert died at the age of 105.

All saints day is truly a harvest festival. As we come to the close of the agricultural year, we celebrate God’s great harvest of all people throughout history, who have shown love, joy and service, who have proclaimed good news, who have made God’s presence real, tangible, who have surrendered to God in faithfulness and love.

And that’s why flowers, fruits and vegetables; apple-bobbing and pumpkin carving and other harvest games ; trick-or-treating and funny faces – all make sense! It’s festival! It’s all saints! It’s great harvest! It’s God’s harvest! Remember the words of Jesus: Look there is a rich harvest, but no one to gather it in….. So we remember and we celebrate and we pray…Gather us in…………and hold us for ever!

It’s celebration! It’s more than just remembrance of good and holy people. We rejoice in the communion of saints. We are part of this communion! All creation is united and is in harmony in the spirit! We connect and commune with all people of every time and place. We look forward to the day when all creation will be transformed and brought into communion, into holiness, into perfection. Our celebration is part of this great process!

Let us rejoice and pray: Gather us in and hold us for ever…… and make us your own……. all peoples together……… Fire of love in our flesh and our bone.

The Psalmist reflects in Psalm 24
about who may worship the Creator of all, who may go up to the Holy City to worship the God who rules the world!

He finds the answer……..

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?

Who shall stand in his holy place?

The man with clean hands and pure heart,

who desires not worthless things,

who has not sworn to deceive his neighbor.

 

He shall receive blessings form the Lord

and reward from the God who saves him.

Such are the men who seek him,

seek the face of the God of Jacob.

It is important to recognize that the qualification for worship is not keeping the law or performance of required rituals. It is about the “heart” of persons who gather for worship, “clean hands and pure heart” – such people are welcome to the holy place for worship.

What is asked of the worshipper is not observance of the law or performance of rituals or perfection of life, but “clean hands and pure heart”, sincerity of purpose, purity of heart, single-mindedness. This is what was asked of Abraham and Jacob and in this “purity of heart”, “a seeking heart” lies blessing.

“The Lord appeared to Abraham and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless” (Genesis 17:1.) God has a simple requirement for all who would want to walk with Him: “Be blamelessness”

This is what it means to walk with the saints. It is about a spirituality that touches our daily life as we go about doing our daily chores and fulfilling our responsibilities.

Saints are not all extraordinary men and women. They are ordinary men and women who lived extraordinary lives!

The author of the first letter of John (1 John 3:1-2) tells us that we are God’s very dear and beloved children. It also tells how excited and amazed we should be about our status as God’s beloved children who are not recognized by the world. The world, that does not recognize Jesus, does not recognize God’s children either.

Rejoice! Be happy! You are God’s very dear and beloved children! And be grateful and be faithful to this calling! Be steadfast on the road!

Jesus taught his followers certain attitudes that they must cultivate if they are to live as a kingdom people….certain disposition toward themselves and the world around them. We have come to know them and love them as the “Beatitudes”. We are called to cultivate these attitudes…..they are to shape our character….the quality of our presence must become “Be-Attitudes”!

Noble people must have noble attitudes…. God’s people must have godly attitudes. The Beatitudes are for people who have their hearts set on the reign of God, the kingdom of God. They are not doctrines, not policies of a Church, not rules legislated by an authority. They are for those who want to live noble lives, for those who want their lives to be a blessing for themselves and for the world around them, they are for those who want to live godly lives, as sons and daughters of a loving God. They are for kingdom people and we are a kingdom people!

The love of Christ became the moving force in the life of St. Paul. He says, “The love of Christ impels us.” This love, he says, makes us a “new creation”, with a new life style. This is God’s gift of reconciliation and peace. In Jesus, God has reconciled us to himself so that we may become “the very holiness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:14-21).

Therefore, set your heart on what pertains to higher realms. Be intent on things above rather than things of earth. Be faithful to your higher calling. Paul reminded the Colossians, just as he did the Corinthians, that they had a noble vocation, that they were “God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” and that they were clothed with the garment of salvation (Colossians 3:1-21). Therefore they must live a life worthy of this noble calling by living lives of honor, virtue and grace. They must live lives that are holy with “heartfelt mercy, kindness, humility, meekness, patience, forgiveness and love”. This is our calling today…to be noble men and women, wearing garments of holiness!

This also means, Paul says, that we must put to death whatever in our nature is rooted in earth. We must avoid sinful ways and embrace ways of virtue and honor and nobility. We must set aside anger, jealousy, greed, foul language and all that degrades and lowers our dignity and that of others and clothe ourselves in garments of “heartfelt mercy, kindness, meekness, patience, forgiveness and put on love which binds all virtues together and makes them perfect. We must let Christ’s peace reign in our hearts (Colossians 3:5-17).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavens, as he chose us in him, before the foundation of the world, to be holy and without blemish before him (Ephesians 1:3-4).

St. Francis De Sales teaches us that the call to holiness, to perfection is addressed to all men and women. One of the constant concerns of Francis de Sales was to make people aware that perfection is not the prerogative of a few or luxury of the chosen ones, but for all. All are under obligation to strive after holiness, no matter what their profession or state in life.

His “Introduction To The Devout Life” was intended to bring home this message and to help people in the world attain holiness. The practice of devotion has to be adapted to the strength, life situation and duties of each individual…it is an error, or rather, a heresy, to try to exclude the devout life from the soldiers’ regiment, the workmen’s shop, the court of rulers or the home of the married. “Devotion is to be practiced differently by the noblemen, the workmen, the prince, the widow, the young girl, the wife.”

All are called to perfection, since our Lord was speaking to all when he said, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

But in truth, we may well say what is said in the Gospel: “Many are called, but the elect are few”. (Mathew 20:16, 22:14) There are many who aspire to perfection, but few attain it because they do not walk as they should – ardently, yet tranquilly; carefully, but confidently; passionately, but gently; that is to say, relying more on Divine Goodness and His Providence than upon themselves and their own works.

We must use the means that are given to us according to our vocation, and then remain in peace concerning all the rest. For God under whose guidance we have embarked, will always be attentive to provide us with whatever is necessary.

When all shall fail us, then God will take care of us, and then all will not fail us since we shall have God, who must be our all. (St. Francis De Sales)

The Psalmist exclaims: “You have made us little less than gods and crowned us with honor and glory”. God made us to image Him – to be “godlike” – to do what he does and to reflect his glory! (Psalm 8)

Being and becoming “godlike” is our journey to holiness, to perfection. Saints are those who made this journey. Let us learn to walk with them in faith and in prayer and in service to all people.

‘Go to prayer in faith. Remain there in hope. God out only by Love’

Fr. Gus Tharappel,msfs