First a bit of news:
Our Sister Margaret Joseph, stationed in Rome, tweeted that Sunday's earthquake (the 6.5 temblor that leveled the Basilica over St Benedict's birthplace) could not only be felt in Rome but left a calling card: visible cracks in the majestic facade and on a wall near the sanctuary light of the Basilica of St Paul's-Outside-the-Walls. The Basilica was closed for a day, but reopened by Monday evening.
And now to today's Solemnity, our own future feastday, All Saints Day!
The reading from the book of Revelation got me thinking about the "little" saints, not only the "unknowns" but the ones who just squeaked through the pearly gates. Something tells me that these may be these souls (who were perhaps shocked on finding themselves there at all) are those whose thanksgivings in Heaven are the loudest. It may be that for all eternity, they will forever be surprised and grateful for the mercy bestowed on them by someone whose name they may never have heard in all their earthly lives.
It is these little saints that I am turning to today, because they know how free a gift salvation is. I pray to them to help me start NOW thanking God for the grace I overlook or misconstrue.
Similarly, I think that on tomorrow's All Souls Day I will especially pray for the souls who are being purified over things nobody had the mercy to help them resist; the sins that our culture takes for granted, but that do so much harm (even spiritually deadly stuff). And in this week before the Presidential Election, I think I will also pray for those who abused the power of communications media to manipulate, distract, enrage, divide, and scapegoat--all for the sake of money and influence. How much harm has been done to society over the past year and a half because clever campaign managers used tactics amplified by repetition through media to pit people against each other instead of guiding our attention to the common good and ways society can work together, step by step, toward that good. There is need for reparation by all people of good will for the spiritual harm that has been visited upon all of us; we can start by offering prayers and acts of self-denial on behalf of the souls in that ante-chamber to Paradise we call "Purgatory." Once cleansed of all the residue of sin, those very souls who contributed to the harmful climate we find ourselves in will become our most ardent intercessors!
Here at the convent, we will have Mass in the little chapel on the hill where our sisters are buried. I will pray for your deceased loved ones (and mine), too. (If you contributed to our Webathon, your loved ones will be remembered in a Novena of Masses during this month of November.)