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When The Saints Come Marching In
Part of the Navajo reservation where it meets up with Marble canyon, Northern Arizona
This article was originally started as an Eric's Sunday Sermon. But it in fact does not inspire me much. It is more of conceptual information piece of a religious idea.
Interesting about veneration of those who have passed.
This just intrigues me. This whole concept of Saints. I am not Catholic. I do sometimes attend a Catholic service in California’s oldest Basilica. The preachers there are old and wizened and deliver uplifting sermons based on their years of living life. When I preached it was in what is often called “Catholic Light” Basically Episcopalian and then with the rift in the Episcopal church, Anglican. Wow the politics and structure was just amazing to me. With a law background I delved into the canons of the church. Very interesting. And so in search of greater understanding I have been taking the Catechism online for three years. There is much to be learned from the Catholic perspective.
My wonderful wife is from Vietnam. I met her there while working on a joint venture between Vietnam, the government, and a U.S. based firm. Very cool new age computer and internet stuff. While I oversaw the build out of offices there my main job was to gain as much knowledge of the Vietnamese culture, politics and economics and laws to guide us through without misstep or violations. As with many Asian cultures there they practice what is poorly translated as ancestor worship. It is really an honoring of ancestors who have passed on. They even celebrate death anniversaries. And so I developed a healthy interest in this thing the Catholics do that is referred to as honoring Saints. Those who have passed on and are believed to have lived an extraordinary virtuous life with a strong connection with God. Indeed they pray to Saints who then are believed to pray to God in intercession. Make no mistake they do not worship the Saints.
As we look toward the heavens.
I think this guy is still with us in spirit.
A peek into the world of Saints from a Catholic perspective.
And so I thought it would be interesting to some to peek a view of the catechism thoughts on the subject. These are freely provided by Flocknote and are not copyrighted.
Day #111: Why do we honor the Saints?
Does the first commandment forbid us to honor the saints in heaven? The first commandment does not forbid us to honor the saints in heaven, provided we do not give them the honor that belongs to God alone.
For, behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. (Luke 1:48)
Why do we honor the saints in heaven? We honor the saints in heaven because they practiced great virtue when they were on earth, and because in honoring those who are the chosen friends of God we honor God Himself.
Day #112: How to honor the Saints
How can we honor the saints? We can honor the saints: first, by imitating their holy lives; second, by praying to them; third, by showing respect to their relics and images.
Brethren, be imitators of me, and mark those who walk after the pattern you have in us. (Philippians 3:17)
When we pray to the saints what do we ask them to do? When we pray to the saints we ask them to offer their prayers to God for us.
Day #113: Why do we honor relics?
How do we know that the saints will pray for us? We know that the saints will pray for us because they are with God and have great love for us.
Why do we honor relics? We honor relics because they are the bodies of the saints or objects connected with the saints or with Our Lord.
Wheel Inside a Wheel
Quite impossible to climb
I do not know about everyone but I find this dogma/doctrine/ritual very interesting. As you can see they have scriptural foundation in this practice. I would say that as both my parents have passed I pray about them. OK, I admit it I pray somewhat to them as I search for answers to some of life problems. I say to myself what would dad do in this situation? What would bring honor or dishonor to my family?
I believe souls weren’t born and souls don’t die. They simply exist in different plains. So why couldn’t we get into a prayerful and meditative state and communicate with those who have passed, of course it would be a one sided conversation.
And so it is that if we keep an open mind we can learn much from others with a different point of view. Who knows maybe sometimes we will even adopt for ourselves their point of view.
Faith formulated and basically created by man is a tricky wicket. Oh there could be 100’s of thousands, and in fact there are who whole heartedly disagree with this concept and the interpretation of the scriptures that are used to support it. That is fine by me.
Let us just assume that souls do not die. Let us just assume that God is love. And let us just assume that the love does not die with the passing of the body. Well then one could just suppose that our souls are still together in love with those that have passed. I think of the adults that showed me love as a young child and taught me great lessons and perspectives. They have not passed from my love and adoration and respect though their bodies have passed on. In fact I still find comfort in their bosom. For me that is really cool and a healthy part of my life.
Are we to deny ourselves of the love of our parents because their bodies are dead? I won’t do it. I can’t do it. I have a wonderful best friend who lived quite close by. We would meet 5 days a week to walk in nature and then exercise at the gym. Early morning style. Life circumstances had him move a good distance away. We email, text and phone most every day. Has he left my heart because of the distance between us and our lack of being with each other? Certainly not. Here in my writing circle I have friends whom I have never met body to body and live half the world away. But we share feelings, hope and love. Does this distance make any difference? Of course not. How much more so is our connection with the loving souls who have died in the flesh? I think it would be absurd to think that we are less close to those people because of their earthly passing.
And so we give adoration and honor to the saints in our lives who have passed on from this plain. Now a cool thing about our Roman Catholic church is that through their process they have kept great historical documentation of great people who live extraordinary lives. This is a very good thing indeed. Oh of course I have bones to pick about that process and don’t buy into their notions completely. But I learned a long time ago that we can study a concept and take from it the good for us even though we are not totally in agreement with it. Wonderful things come from people, places and circumstances that we are not in accord with. I hope that each person can look for the good in everything they encounter.