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Faithful told: For heaven’s sake, be holy!

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Cycle of life: A man climbs his way up a ladder to light a candle in memory of a child who had gone ahead of him. (Photo: Maria Tan)

PARAÑAQUE City, Nov. 2, 2015 – A priest has pointed out the obvious—All Saints’ Day is about the “Communion of Saints”—urging the faithful to strive to live holy lives so that they can one day enter heaven.

“Today we commemorate the Communion of Saints. This occasion reminds us of the sanctity all of us must aspire for. The souls who now enjoy the company of God in heaven, but who were once just like you and me, prove that sainthood is possible, that sainthood is within the reach of everyone,” said Fr. Rolando R. Agustin, rector of St. Andrew’s Cathedral Parish, in his homily Sunday, Nov. 1, the “Solemnity of All Saints.”

Earthly pilgrims

According to him, the reason Christians are on earth is none other than to prepare themselves for heaven, given that only pure souls are allowed there.

“In a way, by virtue of our baptism, we are already saints. But we are ‘saints on a journey.’ Our brothers and sisters who had gone ahead of us in heaven are ‘saints in glory,’ while those who passed away but are still in purgatory are ‘saints in purification,’” he added.

Agustin went on to say that Catholics venerate saints not for the latter’s sake, but the former’s, noting that saints like the Blessed Virgin, St. Andrew the Apostle, St. Anthony of Padua, and the rest have already received the highest honor Christians can possibly get.

“We venerate them for own sake, not for their sake. We need them more than they need us, that is why we ask for their intercession,” he explained.

Work of mercy

For their part, the priest added that Christians still in the world have a duty to pray for the souls in purgatory, stressing it is through this spiritual work of mercy that they can hope to enjoy in the future what theologians refer to as the “beatific vision.”

Paragraph 1475 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) reads: “In the communion of saints, ‘a perennial link of charity exists between the faithful who have already reached their heavenly home, those who are expiating their sins in purgatory and those who are still pilgrims on earth. Between them there is, too, an abundant exchange of all good things.’”

CCC 1475 states further: “In this wonderful exchange, the holiness of one profits others, well beyond the harm that the sin of one could cause others. Thus recourse to the communion of saints lets the contrite sinner be more promptly and efficaciously purified of the punishments for sin.” (Raymond A. Sebastián / CBCP News)


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