Bansfield BeneficeDiocese of St Edmundbury & IpswichChurch of England Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes Benefice Scenes

Church News Volume 2, Issue 3

Dear friends,

The 1st November is All Saints' Day. This should be the feast day of all of us one day! We are all intended to be saints by God our Father, because those who love God are saints. A saint is one who is called to be holy and to love God : God wants us to love Him and anyone who dies with this love in his heart is a saint.

We believe that the population of Heaven is made up of saints. This does not mean that we are all able to rise to the heroic virtues of canonized saints, but it does mean that we are to live lives worthy of Heaven, by co-operating with the grace that God gives us.

In a very real sense, of course, it is God who makes saints - because none of us can perform any truly good actions without God's gifts of grace. We do have our part to play though; we may not be able, or have the opportunity, to do extraordinary or heroic acts of love and faith - but at least we must perform our ordinary actions well, out of love of love, and with His grace to help us.

Nor can we be a saint on our own, any more than we can be a Christian on our own.

We are not isolated units in a world of people; we are all God's children united to one another. "No man is an island" said John Donne - we are all part of each other.

As God's children, our task is to help one another to sanctity. St John says: "He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?" Without love of God we cannot even begin to be saints - as Ronald Knox wrote, "Love is the only luggage one can take to Heaven. Love is the luggage all the saints took with them across the grave." Though we are all called to be saints, we find the word itself rather embarrassing. It has become tarnished; we think of plaster saints and stained-glass windows; "saints" suggest something artificial and unnatural. In fact, to be a saint is the most natural thing in the world!

The reality is what matters; and the reality is that we are part of this world, live and grow in this world, and it is through this world that we grow in sanctity. Only thus can we make ourselves fit for the Kingdom of Heaven.

Rev'd Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011