REFLECTION CAPSULE – November 01, 2021: Monday

“Making a choice to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life, and persevering in our faith, to live as a Saint!”

(Based on the Solemnity of All Saints)

The forests of northern Europe and Asia are home to a little animal called the Ermine.

It is characterized by its snow-white fur

Some countries have the state robes of the judges lined with this fur…
… the white fur being a symbol of honour and purity.

The Ermine would do anything to protect and safeguard its fur.

Fur hunters however, take undue advantage of this weakness of the Ermine.

They don’t keep a snare to catch the ermine

Instead the smear filth on the entrance and the interior of its house – usually in a cleft of a rock, or the hollow of a tree.

The dogs are then left behind the ermine…
… Frightened, the ermine runs towards its home, the only place of refuge.

However, it finds the entrance dirty and unclean.

It is unwilling to spoil the pure white fur coat.
And so, the ermine makes a choice…

To give in to the hungry and fierce dogs…
… than to spoil the purity of the white fur!

A choice is made – to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

Every Christian is expected to do the same…
… preserve the purity of one’s holiness, even at the cost of one’s life.

Today – on the Solemnity of the All-Saints – the Church invites us today to lift our gaze to heaven…
… and thank and praise God for the innumerable people who preserved purity, at the cost of their life!

On this Solemnity of All Saints, we celebrate and thank the Lord, for the perseverance in their faith…
… and the manner in which all Holy Men and Women of God, built up Christ’s Kingdom in the world.

Saints are not superheroes in the worldly sense…

What sets them apart…
… is not their miraculous power
… is not their popularity and fame.

Rather, what makes them saints, is their faith and their discipleship and their service to others.

The word – SAINT – sometimes strikes an odd chord in our minds…

Saints are often considered to be people…
… beyond our reach and too holy for our lives
… for whom the path to sanctity was made easy and cosy
… who are given a special boon from God to live a holy life

But the truth perhaps, is quite contrary…
Saints are people…
… who are truly very close to us and lived in simple and ordinary life situations like us.
… who had to struggle through many hardships and trials in the path to holiness.

… who co-operated with the grace of God and remained faithful to their commitment and call

Every Christian is called to a life of Holiness and to be a Saint…

How is this possible in our lives…?

The Beatitudes proclaimed by Jesus, in today’s Gospel shows us the path… (Mt 5: 1-10)
Being a saint…
… by depending on God in all dimensions of our life and seeking His Kingdom above all
… by mourning over our sins and seeking to live a life in repentance.
… by living a life of firm gentleness and trusting patience in the midst of injustice and pain
… by becoming agents of justice and seekers of establishing truth
… by offering mercy to the needy and even to those who we feel, don’t deserve
… by preserving purity in our thoughts, words and deeds
… by striving for establishing peace and harmony even in conflicting situations
… by accepting suffering and becoming stronger in our struggle to establish God’s Kingdom

This Feast day is a chance for us to sneak into the personal diary of the saints…
… and to “steal” some tips for us to admire and imitate them…

The Saints’ Favourite Food: The Holy Eucharist
The Saints’ Favourite Dress: The Armour of Faith
The Saints’ Favourite Pastime: Doing anything with immense Love of God
The Saints’ Favourite Symbol: The Holy Cross
The Saints’ Favourite Moments: Every time they discovered more the depth of God’s Love

The Church has a marvellous number of saints who are canonized.

On this special day, we also take our time, to raise our hearts in gratitude, for the many other holy men and women, who sparkle with sanctity, but have not been officially declared so.

A few may be known to us, in our family or friends circle…

Most of them, will remain unknown and unfamiliar and unheard.

But in the Lord’s presence, they dazzle and shine, in holiness and purity.

This galaxy of Saints beckon and encourage each one of us today to tread this path of holiness.

As St Augustine says:
“Do you aspire to do great things?

Begin with the little ones”
… Doing our simple works with much love of God.
… Living our Christian life with much faithfulness
… Seeing the deep presence of God in all areas of our life.

Let us live a life…
… of self-sacrifice, renunciation and trust in God
… seeking to do God’s will at all times
… laced with the tender Love of God in all our activities.

Like the ermine, in the world, we are faced to make a choice…

To die to the hungry and fierce world…
… than to spoil the purity of holiness!

Yes, we need to make a choice – constantly, at every moment…

A choice to preserve purity, even at the cost of one’s life!

Today, all the saints in heaven, with a loud chorus invite each one of us:
“Come, dear Child… Be a Saint!
Do not be afraid! We are with you!”

What is our response?

Happy Feast to all the Saints in Heaven… the Church Triumphant!

Happy Feast to all the faithful departed, being purged to be saints… the Church Suffering!
Happy Feast to all of us, striving to be saints, here on earth… the Church Militant!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism

“What the soul is to the human body, the Holy Spirit is to the Body of Christ, which is the Church.”
“To this Spirit of Christ, as an invisible principle, is to be ascribed the fact that all the parts of the body are joined one with the other and with their exalted head; for the whole Spirit of Christ is in the head, the whole Spirit is in the body, and the whole Spirit is in each of the members.”

The Holy Spirit makes the Church “the temple of the living God” (CCC # 797)

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