Monday, November 01, 2010


Today was All Saints Day, and many oratories, shrines, and parishes (my own included) put out the relics of Saints for the veneration of the faithful. To some, the idea of bits of bone is a bit creepy. But I think it's a great reminder to all of us.

First, it reminds us that the Saints were real. Too many of today's heroes are not real; just characters created by a bunch of unknown writers who gather around a table each week and make sure this person says the funniest or most profound things while stuntmen make sure they do amazing things and casting directors have made sure they're incredible looking. The Saints were flesh and blood (and bone) like you and me, warts and all.

Look at what we "venerate" in pop culture: JFK's golf clubs, Jackie's jewelry, a baseball card, a football, Princess Diana's dresses, Elvis' sunglasses, Mr. Spock's rubber ear tips, a typewriter used by Hemingway. Using any of them doesn't make me powerful or glamorous or profound. But they remind me that it's the user who turns ordinary things into extraordinary ones, not the other way around. Can you imagine someday someone paying admission to look into your bedroom from behind a velvet rope?

What will be left behind of you or me 10 years after we're dead? 50 years? 200 years? We have a few years on earth to make our holiness known. If we do it right, we'll be talked about a thousand years after we're gone. That's amazing. Those are the Saints.

Geez, I'm in a weird mood tonight.


Anonymous said...

padre, you don't mention that this is a Holy Day of obligation. Our Parish still celebrates this day as a Holy day of obligation with a mass in the AM, as well as one at 7pm for those of us that work all day. Does this designation depend on the parish, diocese, or is it still a Holy day of Obligation for all? thanks, as always for your insight and teaching.

Father Jay Toborowsky said...

Mary, it is certainly still celebrated as the All Saints Day with the rank of a Solemnity (which means the Gloria and Creed are recited). But whether it is binding on the faithful as a Holy Day of Obligation is up to the local Bishops' Conference. In the United States, the USCCB has a policy that if a Holy Day fall on a Saturday or Monday, it loses the obligatory Mass attendance. No Pastor (or parish) can undo that; they have no authority to do so.

mmoc said...

Gentle reminder: "Geez" is a word not to be used since it is derived from "Jesus"

Father Jay Toborowsky said...

mmoc, oh, well, if Wiktionary says so, LOL.

That's the point, I did not use the name of Our Lord.