I’m a Saint? I think I should explain, so let me try.
November 1 is All Saints Day,which to some people is just “The Day After Halloween”, to others is “Dia de los Muertos” (Day of the Dead), and to yet others just another day. Many churches celebrate All Saints Day on November 1, orelse the following Sunday. Some think of it as just a celebration of the the saints who don’t have their own day on the church calendar, and others as a celebration of all the saints, whether there is a special day to commemorate them or not. However, it is a day in honor of all of “those we love but see no more”. Unlike Memorial Day, Remembrance Day, Veterans Day, and others, it isn’t limited to any particular groups of the departed.
In today’s sermon, our priest, Rev. Dr. Catherine Gregg, emphasized that all of us are saints, in that we all recognize God and have gifts that we can and do offer in love and service to others. We don’t have to have any official position in the church, profession, or community, although some do so. We are present to others, we love and listen, we assist as we can, we help family and friends, as well as those we don’t know. She emphasized that many of us resist being called saints since we don’t feel especially holy, godly, worthy, or important enough to be deserving of being called a saint. But we are.
Although she didn’t mention it, this made me think of the many friends and family members who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons). The members refer to themselves as saints. I believe this is partly to distinguish themselves from members of other religions, but also to identify that they are saints just as those of us from other faiths are. St. Paul used the term to refer to members of the Christian community. Others use it to refer to the one of God’s chosen, one eminent for piety or virtue, or an illustrious predecessor. Personally, I don’t think you have to be involved in any organized religion to be a saint, even though I’ve not thought of the term that way before.
So, where is all this going?
First, I’ve come to accept that I’m a saint under this definition. I’ve spent my life in education, helping students and others to learn what they needed to through libraries and other methods. I’ve raised children who are successful and productive. I’ve served in church and other places in order to help others. I never feel I do enough, but I guess I qualify.
Second, it confirms my long standing belief that my departed family members are saints. I’ve often referred to my parents and all three siblings who have passed on as saints, but only because I’ve never felt I could live up to their standards and because I’m sure they’re all loving and supporting me from where they are now. I know I’ll write about each of them in the near future. Meanwhile, I’ll go back to doing some other things I need to do today and send this off.