“There are all kinds of saints, 
but everyone is someone who is known by God.”
- Jerome Berryman

With the days of Hallowtide beginning October 31 I share with you the writing of Janice MacLean, from Prayer Bench:

“The days of Hallowtide are coming beginning October 31: All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints and All Souls. It is a rich time. I thought I’d share six ways of living consciously through these thin days when heaven and earth are close.

The Great-Souled Ones 

I didn’t grow up with a calendar of saints. I came to know these people who illumine the path of love in the world much later in life through my study and practice of the contemplative way. Now I am friends with Julian of Norwich, St. Teresa of Avila, Hildegard of Bingen, John of the Cross, Meister Eckhart, St Francis and others. They are known as “the major saints.” Their existence and words weave wisdom into our being. 

We had the communion of saints, a cloud of witnesses in the life beyond life. For most of my life, they were “there” and I was “here” and I not anxious to join them too soon! Now I have a sense of their continuing, helpful presence in the world. The realms are thin. We are in this time together. 

And there are the saints alive, the ones who join us in our life today. They are the ones who come marching into church, the ones through whom the Presence of the Divine shines, and even the ones who irritate us, yet show us a deeper part of ourselves. They are the saints who don’t know they are saints. Yet they “save” us with a kind word, a loving glance, a healing touch. They join us in our work of healing the world. And we are one of them, of course, a saint in our own way. 

Practice for this Hallow-tide

1.    Our Common Life group was given an assignment to share the name of one person in our life, someone who upheld and encouraged us, who we would like to include in our calendar of saints along with the major saints. Who has given you personally a sense of the height, depth and breadth of God’s love? (I’m grateful to John Simons for this invitation.) There may be many to name, but work diligently to name one. 

2.    I read this line in a litany of saints: “Through Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,musician of Holy Mystery, you bathed the world in beauty.” 
I feel drawn to spend time with Mozart through the thin days. I’m grateful to Janet Hammock who pointed me to a few YouTube videos to taste his wisdom. Here is one. It is a wonderful Soul Pause. Listen.  

3.    Who might you be drawn to linger with on All Saints Day. Here is a Litany of Saints written by Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki. I invite you to prayerfully read through her beautiful remembering and pay attention to your energy. Is one of the named drawing you to spend time together? Perhaps you will learn about their life or find a quote or image from their life and work that is just for you during the thin days ahead. 

4.    Rest in Goodness. St. Julian of Norwich writes: “The best prayer is to rest in the goodness of God, knowing that that goodness can reach down to our lowest depths of need.” Pray. 

5.    Be goodness. Be active prayer in the world around you. Perhaps you don’t know you are a saint. You are! Be the kind word, the loving glance, the generous gesture.

6.    One of my remembered Children’s time in worship was to take my phone and show a few pictures of saints: St Francis with animals, St. Julian with her cat, St. Patrick with a shamrock. Then take a photo of the gathering community of saints, including the children, and talk about the saints today and the work we do in the world.

“There are all kinds of saints, 
but everyone is someone who is known by God.”
- Jerome Berryman