• Going Deeper: Growing in Faith and Knowledge

Saints and Souls

The Rev. Dr. William Rich
November 1, 2018

This Sunday is one of my favorite days in the entire church year. In the morning at both 9 and 11:15, we will celebrate All Saints, and baptize new members— saints in the making— into the Body of Christ. At 6 in the evening, we will remember All Souls.  The choir will sing Victoria's Requiem, one of the most magnificent of all masses for the dead, and we will offer to God the names of all those dear to us who have died since last All Saintstide. 


Quite often, you ask me, or one of my clergy colleagues, "What makes someone a saint?" I know no better response than the one Cathy Portlock Pacitto, our Director of Children's Ministries, gives when our youngest souls ask her about saints. "Saints are people who love God, and let God's light shine through them for others to see." 


To let Christ's love pour through them for the transfiguration of the world, the saints struggled to cooperate with God so that divine grace could wipe away the darkness of their fears and hatreds. By these struggles, their souls were enlightened and polished bright so that each could better refract the shimmering Light of God, enlightening the Creation for the good of all.​


And like all our forebears in the faith, each of us is an infinitely precious and beloved soul, brought near to God's heart in baptism and marked as Christ's own forever. Like the saints, we each struggle to let God reshape and polish our souls. As we struggle, we live in the hope that we too might become more and more like Christ, and like the saints -- the known and named, but also the forgotten yet none-the-less precious to God -- who strove to do Jesus' will, for the transformation of this world into the Kingdom of God.


So come to church this Sunday. Rejoice in all the saints and give thanks for all souls. And may God, by grace and love, transform our struggling souls so that we might become "joyous saints who love to do Jesus' will."


Blessed be your precious souls, my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ.



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