Today my last great-aunt went to Glory. She was a Christian and ready for death and now sees what before she only believed. On All Saints Day she will be with Peter, Paul, Cecilia, Agatha, Lucy, and all the members of the great, growing, and glorious family of God who stand in joy unspeakable.
We are sad, but she will never be sad again.
As the fast of Advent looms with the coming feast of Christmas, the Church reminds us of all the saints who have gone before us in the faith. Many suffered and all died, but none were forgotten by God. All of them passed from the horrible moment of death to His presence. They struggled and gasped and then they were at rest forever . . . not the cold unfeeling rest of physical death, but the vibrant life of souls awaiting a second life and a new body. They throb with the music of the spheres and the future triumph of King Jesus is obvious to them.
There is no doubt in one dead man that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We struggled in this life and we strive and we hope and we plan . . . and we exhaust ourselves in politics, business, and religious activity, but an end will come. Our striving is often lonely, but we are never alone.
We are surrounded with a great cloud of witnesses. Every breath we take is witnessed by Peter, Paul, Lucy, Agatha, and an every growing company of the elect. I am not alone!
Death is a reminder that for a Christian that there is a community formed that is indifferent to time. We are surrounded by an ever growing multitude of those who know, who have set aside all doubt, and who rejoice in an imminent victory that they can see.
I am not alone.
You are not alone.
There is hope, because someone, some hundreds of thousands probably, have faced worse and gone one to victory. God’s grace is sufficient and the ever growing band of victorious Christians is to His glory and honor. We never are alone in our struggle, because millions of brothers and sisters are done with their labor and wait for us to join them.
Glory to God!
There is, of course, no competition in Heaven for attention! We rejoice in the examples of the saints, because God delights in our honoring His children. Like any good Dad, He is proud of them, but like any good children they are not spoiled by any attention. They were great, because His grace made them so.
We sing and pray with the Church of all ages as
The glorious company of the Apostles praise thee;
the goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise thee;
the white-robed army of Martyrs praise thee;
all thy Saints and Elect with one voice do acknowledge thee,
O Blessed Trinity.
Almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect in one communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of thy Son Christ our Lord; grant us grace so to follow thy blessed Saints in all virtuous and godly living; that we may come to those unspeakable joys; which thou has prepared for those who unfeignedly love thee.