Friday, November 1, 2013

I mean to be one too

A popular hymn begins with this line:  "I sing a song of the saints of God."  It was written by a young Englishwoman, Lesbia Scott and first published back in 1929.  I mention this today because the hymn will be sung in a lot of churches all across the country, as this is All Saints' Day, the origin of which cannot be traced with exact certainty, but which has been observed on various days in different places and now most Catholics and Anglicans observe it on November 1st.
Today we honor of all the saints, known and unknown.  In the belief that there is a prayerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and those still living, we honor not only the named saints (such as those pictured in the icon here), but all the faithful.  The word all is important  to me here because I firmly believe that it is not just about the Blessed Virgin Mary, Blessed Paul the Apostle, Blessed Michael the Archangel, and the rest.  It is about every single person because we all have the ability to do good things and to make a difference.
Lesbia Scott's words seem to say the same thing.  She lists a doctor, a queen, and a shepherdess in her first verse and then continues the list adding a soldier and a priest and one who was slain, in verse number two.  It's really the third verse though that give me the greatest hope:

"They lived not only in ages past,
There are hundreds of thousands still.

The world is bright with the joyous saints
Who love to do Jesus' will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes, or at sea,
In church, or in trains, or in shops, or at tea;
For the saints of God are just folk like me,
And I mean to be one too."

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