The November issue of Magnificat opens with a wonderful meditation by Bishop Robert Barron on the Feast of All Saints. He takes as his starting point those extraordinary words of Our Lord’s in John 14:12. “Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works.”
Bishop Barron points out that the staggering premise here outlined is possible only because of the Church. That is the Mystical Body, through which we all participate in the being of Christ. Outside of that, we are powerless to do anything.
The saints are a reminder of this. Their lives may not seem ‘perfect’ to us, we may not even relate particularly well to all of them – after all canonisation is not a homogenising process. But they all have one thing in common: they exist to draw us, through the sheer expansiveness of their souls whilst on earth, and then through a heavenly intercession rooted in that, to the saving place that is Christ. Trahe me post te.
In this world of ‘shadows and imaginings’, as Blessed John Henry Newman put it, we are often unsure of who and what we can trust. If the Church seems to be in turmoil over some issue, if the world is deaf to the voice of Christ, if we are not even in harmony with our Christian brethren: the only solution is to trust in Jesus. If he could make a promise as seemingly wild as those words confided to his most intimate friends on the night before he died, then all we can do is act as though he means what he says. Because Our Lord never said anything he did not mean. All Souls follows All Saints for a reason.
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