All believers are called to holiness Print
Seeing with Jesus' Eyes
Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

Occasionally I ask second and third graders to name someone who is kind, loving, forgiving, and reminds them of Jesus.

Often they reply grandma, grandpa, mom, dad, teacher, coach, friend, priest, Sister, or someone else. The person whom they name may be one of the countless uncanonized saints whom we honor on All Saints Day, November 1.

On All Saints Day, we honor the Church's canonized and uncanonized saints. Canonized saints are persons whom the Church, after thoroughly examining their lives, declares they are in heaven. Uncanonized saints are persons who lived Christ-like lives, but whom the Church does not officially recognize as saints.

In no. 2013 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it says, "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity. All are called to holiness: 'Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.'"

Communion of Saints

All Saints Day reminds us that we are members of the beautiful Communion of Saints, the spiritual union of all members of the Church, those on earth, in heaven, and in purgatory.

Each member contributes to the good of all and shares in their welfare. We are united in Christ by bonds of love stronger than death. We pray for and support each other on earth and ask those in heaven to pray for us.

On All Souls Day, November 2, as members of the Communion of Saints, we join those in heaven in praying that those in purgatory be purified of sin and enter heaven.

Answering call to holiness

Canonized and uncanonized saints' lives are characterized by patience, respect, love, understanding, and other gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit. Their Christ-like example inspires us to answer Jesus' call to holiness.

We Catholics who live our faith can enjoy the best of both worlds. We can be happier in this world and help to make it a better place as countless saints did.

When we live a Christ-like life, we believe that for us, death is not the end, but the door to heaven, where, through God's grace and mercy, we will enjoy God's presence face to face forever.


Fr. Donald Lange is a pastor emeritus in the Diocese of Madison.