November is traditionally the month when we remember not only the saints during All Saints Day, but all the faithful who have gone before us, on All Souls Day. So this week may be a good time to ask yourself what part the saints play in your spiritual life. Now, with many people the answer to that question is that it’s either a lot or nothing at all. People who are devoted to the saints tend to love them passionately, seeing them as the church invites us to see them: as both patrons and companions. In other words, as people who pray for us from their posts in heaven and offer us examples of how to live Christian lives. As Karl Rahner said, a saint shows us what it means to be Christian “in this particular way.”
For those of you who don’t have much devotion to the saints, might I suggest that you’re missing out on a wonderful part of the spiritual life? For myself, I love reading the lives of the saints, which help us to see that not only were they always very human, but that they struggled a great deal. It’s also wonderful to be able to call on them for help when you need it. If that doesn’t make sense, just ask yourself if you’d ask a friend on earth to pray for you. Most of us would say yes. In that case, why not ask your friends in heaven to pray for you too? And why not start this week? They’ve been waiting a long time for you to ask.