As I stepped inside, the air seemed to vibrate. Dark wood cases lining the walls, softly glowing, beckoned me into the semi-darkness.
As my eyes adjusted to the half-light, names began to pop out at me: Saint Therese of Lisieux. Saint Maximilian Kolbe. Saint Paul. With increasing joy, I spotted old friends and recent acquaintances, long-time mentors and names I had heard only briefly. Each relic preserved here represented a relationship. I was surrounded by my personal cloud of witnesses.
Saint John describes a great multitude gathered before the throne of the Lamb, crying out their praise to God. (See Revelation 7:4, 9-10.) "Who are these?" one of the elders asks Saint John (Revelation 7:13).
We know, even before he answers. They are the ones we remember today on this feast of All Saints. They are those who have come through this life and found themselves at Jesus’ feet. Their earthly suffering at an end, they now see Him as He is. They pray for us, still on our way. In their example, in the community of Christ’s body, we see what love the Father has bestowed on us . . . that we may be called the children of God.
"Yet so we are," the First Letter of Saint John says (1 John 3:1). Our shared belonging to Christ makes those faithful Saints surrounding God’s throne our brothers and sisters. As Saint John’s letter says, "What we shall be has not been revealed" (1 John 3:2), but we do know that we are God’s children now. Through Christ and the prayers of those gathered around His throne, we are called homeward to this great reunion.
May we, one day, see Him as He is. May we see them, too—may we run right up to greet our dear friends and mentors, recognizing that they’ve been praying for us all along, and join in their unending song of praise.
Lord, we are the people that longs to see Your face. Help us get there.
All you holy men and women, Saints of God, pray for us!
Abbey Dupuy is the Assistant Theological Editor for Blessed is She and writes her life as a homeschooling mama of four frequently barefoot children. She muses about imperfect parenting, practicing gratitude, and celebrating the liturgical year with her young family on her blog. In her spare time, she enjoys running, gardening, coffee, and cookbooks, not usually at at the same time. She is a contributing author to our children's devotional prayer book, Rise Up and author of our Blessed Conversations: The Virtues study found here. You can find out more about her here.