Monday, November 01, 2010

See What Love the Father Has Bestowed

November 1, 2010
Solemnity of All Saints

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
Matthew 5:6-9

All Saints Day: A Litany of the Great Cloud of Witnesses
by Rose Marie Berger (

We call to mind the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us in faith…

Our parents of earth and life, Adam and Eve…Pray for us.
Mothers Sarah and Hagar, and Father Abraham…Pray for us.
Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob, Leah, and Rachel…Pray for us.
Puah and Shiprah…Pray for us.
Miriam, Moses, and Aaron…Pray for us.
Ruth, Naomi, and Boaz…Pray for us.
Daughters of Jeptha…Pray for us.
Daughters of Lot…Pray for us.
Dinah and Tamar…Pray for us.
Bathsheba, Uriah, and David…Pray for us.
Women of Midian…Pray for us.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea and all Hebrew prophets…Pray for us.
Judith, Deborah, and Jael…Pray for us.

The Forerunner, John the Baptist…Pray for us.
Holy Mary, Mother of God…Pray for us.
Joseph, Elizabeth and Zachariah…Pray for us.
Mary of Magdala and Peter…Pray for us.
Andrew and James…Pray for us.
Mathew, Mark, and Luke…Pray for us.
John the Beloved Disciple…Pray for us.
Paul and Barnabas…Pray for us.
Anna, Dorcas, and Lydia…Pray for us.
Priscilla and Phoebe…Pray for us.
John the Revelator…Pray for us.
Stephen, the first martyr…Pray for us.
Perpetua and Felicity…Pray for us.

Amma Sarra, Amma Syncletica, Amma Theodora…Pray for us.
Abba Poemen, Abba Anthony, Abba Macarius…Pray for us.
Mary of Egypt and Elizabeth the Wonderworker…Pray for us.
Matrona of Perge and Theodora of Thessalonike…Pray for us.
Basil, Athanasius, Gregory, and John…Pray for us.
Gregory, Ambrose, Augustine, and Jerome…Pray for us.
Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Sienna, and Thérèse of Lisieux…Pray for us.
Isadore and Maria…Pray for us.
Benedict and Scholastica…Pray for us.
Cosmas and Damian…Pray for us.
Dominic and Diego, Clare and Francis…Pray for us.
John Calvin and John Knox…Pray for us.
Martin Luther and Menno Simons…Pray for us.
John and Charles Wesley and Sarah Gwynne…Pray for us.
All you holy men and women, saints of God…Pray for us.

Grant us your wisdom…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your patience…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your courage…Hear our prayer.

We call to mind the great cloud of witnesses who have gone before us in faith…

Our Lady of Guadalupe and Juan Diego…Pray for us.
Juana Inés de la Cruz and Bartolome de las Casas…Pray for us.
Hannah More and William Wilberforce…Pray for us.
Fredrick Douglass and Harriet Tubman…Pray for us.
Ottobah Cugoano, Olaudah Equiano, and Ignatius Sancho…Pray for us.
Sojourner Truth and Joseph Cinquez…Pray for us.
Angela Grimke and Sarah Grimke…Pray for us.
Antoinette Brown and Olympia Brown…Pray for us.
Peter Tolstoy and Fyodor Dostoevsky…Pray for us.
Mohandas Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar …Pray for us.
Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin…Pray for us.
Tagashi Nagai and the Martyrs of Nagasaki and Hiroshima…Pray for us.
Agnes Le Thi Thanh and the Martyrs of Vietnam…Pray for us.
Mother Jones and the Martyrs of the Coal Mines…Pray for us.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Karl Barth, and Martin Neimoeller…Pray for us.
Maria Skobtsova and Ilya Fondaminsky…Pray for us.
Etty Hillesum, Franz Jaegerstaetter, and Victor Frankel…Pray for us.

Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer…Pray for us.
Abraham Joshua Heschel and Sylvia Straus…Pray for us.
Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King…Pray for us.
Caesar Chavez, Helen Fabela, and the Martyrs of the Fields…Pray for us.
Mahalia Jackson, Duke Ellington, John Coltrane…Pray for us.
Oscar Romero and the Martyrs of El Salvador…Pray for us.
Elizabeth O’Connor and Flannery O’Connor…Pray for us.
Evelyn Underhill, Caryll Houselander, and Henry Nouwen…Pray for us.
William Stringfellow and Anthony Townes…Pray for us.
Howard Thurman and Sue Bailey Thurman…Pray for us.
Denise Levertov and Jane Kenyon….Pray for us.
Penny Lernoux, Jean Sindab, and Ginny Earnest…Pray for us.
Dale Aukerman and Rosemarie Freeney Harding…Pray for us.
Philip Berrigan and Ladon Sheats…Pray for us.
Tom Fox and the Martyrs of Iraq…Pray for us.
Verna Dozier and Jeanie Wylie-Kellermann…Pray for us.

[Invite the congregation to call aloud the names of the dead they want to remember.]

All you holy men and women, saints of God…Pray for us.
Grant us your wisdom…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your patience…Hear our prayer.
Grant us your courage…Hear our prayer.

(Rose Marie Berger, author of Who Killed Donte Manning?, is an associate editor at Sojourners magazine, a Catholic peace activist, and poet. She blogs at

My Lord, you are the one who knows.

We can pursue all kinds of knowledge, read all kinds of books, listen to all kinds of preaching. However, we will not know truly anything while we are still here on earth. Yet how we THINK we know all. Yet how we THINK we can impose our judgment on the lives of others. Yet how we think we can know God.

Our actions, too, are partial and imperfect until our action is united in love with the action of Jesus. Matthew reveals true understanding of that action in these attitudes of Christ that we are to imitate.

Those who hunger for justice will not be satisfied by you nor by me. Nor will they be satisfied by the courts and the laws. God will satisfy them.

Those who are merciful will be granted mercy by God, not by other humans. The reason the world does not grant such gifts is that the world does not know the Lord.

What do we have to be to be considered card-carrying member of the cult of the Children of God? It’s not as easy as calling yourself a member of the Rotary. Or the Elks. Or the Tea Party. Or the Elvis fan club.

Popular culture makes it sound so easy with their WWJD bracelets. Jesus loves the little children of the world. We are precious in his sight. Matthew passes on to us the pre-requisites Jesus set forth in the beatitudes. Later, Jesus simplifies the membership requirements tremendously. Membership is free. Just pick up your cross daily and follow Him.

To be Children of God means not following Mike Shanahan and the fate of the hometown football team. It also means not following the fate of that football team in South Bend. Or your preferred political party. Or your preferred entertainer. Or your preferred shares of stock. Or your preferred bottle of Scotch whiskey.

Rose Berger’s litany of many of those who have preceded us on the “cloud of witnesses” recognizes their love in action in this world. However, it also shows how short the memory of the world really is. The world too easily forgets the names of those who may attain sainthood by the love-in-action of their lives even if the Curia does not grant them that status in the Church.

Today, as Catholics focus on the Solemnity of All Saints, what will you do to pick up your cross and follow Jesus, to get to better know Jesus in your piety, to know Jesus better through your study, and to know Jesus better through your action like those who imitated him as children of God?