Tuesday, November 2, 2010


VATICAN CITY (CNA) - Yesterday was the All Saints Day, and today the feast of All Souls. During these days Roman Catholics and other Christians hold ‘Day of the Dead’ celebrations, honoring their favored saints and offering a prayer for those who blessed and guided them in their journey of life. Pope Benedict XVI celebrated All Saints Day by urging the faithful to follow the example of the Christian martyrs and other men and women who dedicated their lives to God. Benedict made the appeal before thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square. During their earthly life, the saints “were poor in spirit, hurt by sin... hungry and thirsty for justice, clement, pure in their hearts, agents of peace, and persecuted,” Benedict said. In his homily for the celebration of All Saints’ Day, the Pope spoke of all the “anonymous saints” - that is, those who have not been canonized formally.

In particular, he recognized the “mothers and fathers of families who, by devoting themselves every day to their children, have contributed so much to the belief of the Church and the building of society.” To the faithful gathered on Sunday in St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus, Pope Benedict XVI presented the communion of saints, a “beautiful and comforting” reality that says “we are never alone.” The Pope also spoke about the commemoration of the faithful departed, also known as All Souls Day. He explained that Christ died and rose again and opened the door to the house of the Father, the kingdom of life and peace: “Those who follow Jesus in this life are welcomed where He came before us. So as we visit cemeteries, let us remember that there, in the tombs, are only the mortal remains of our loved ones awaiting the final resurrection.”

Pope Benedict XVI said “We live by the grace of God and are called to respond to his gift. This frees us from fear and gives us hope and courage in a world full of uncertainty, anxiety, and suffering.” He concluded his remarks by teaching that the most proper and effective way to honor and pray for the faithful departed is by offering acts of faith, hope and charity. The Pope also asked Christians to remember in their prayers for the deceased, especially today on the feast of All Souls, November 2. We are all children of the same Heavenly Father, and therefore, not only Christians but all of us are called to live a life of holiness.

There are the two kinds of people: those who follow the advice of Krishna with faith, and why I can have faith without understanding?, just because the saints are asking me to do it and because I see that the saints are above ordinary people. The saints don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t eat meat, don’t lie, don’t cheat, they are not lazy, not lustful, not liars. The saints are superior, they know better all the things; a saint could run much better this world and its economy, so it is not necessary to study Economics to lead the world, it is only necessary to have a good heart, to have holiness. ... But what is the position of the sadhu, of the saint? : I want you in ecstasy; I want you to know the truth; I shall endeavor; I will fight; I will try to improve myself more and more for you to know the truth; I will try to be a best example, to be a better acarya; I will try to prepare myself more. That is the commitment that the devotees are feeling in your heart. I have to sacrifice for others, I have to worry for their sake, and I can not be selfish, because God is not selfish. ... You can see the lives of the saints, they have only one problem, and this is that you do not want to become a saint.

Śrīla Atulananda Ācārya :
“Paradharma, Duties of the Soul”

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