Why We Need “Saints”

All Saints’ Day — And Why We Need It

imagesToday is All Saints’ Day, the celebration for which “All Hallows Eve” was the dark night preceding the remembrance of those who have modeled the way, truth and life revealed in Christ and have joined the saints around God’s throne (Revelation 7:9-17).  I agree with John Wesley who called it “a day that I peculiarly love.”

It’s also a day we desperately need this year!

“This Ugly Year” 

David Brooks, who is becoming the biblical prophet of our time, described “this ugly year” when “the nation’s moral capital is being decimated.”

Brooks defined “moral capital” as “the set of shared habits, norms, institutions and values that make common life possible.” He could not have been more true to scripture than when he confessed, “Left to our own, we human beings have an impressive capacity for selfishness…the struggle for power has a tendency to become barbaric.” As a result, “decent societies” develop “codes of politeness, humility and mutual respect that girdle selfishness and steer us toward reconciliation.”

Then Brooks named the painful truth.

“This year Trump…dismantled the codes of etiquette that prevent politics from becoming an unmodulated screaming match. By lying more or less all the time, he dismantles the fealty to truth without which conversation is impossible. By refusing to automatically respect the election results he corrodes confidence in our common institutions and risks turning public life into a never-ending dogfight.”

Brooks also points to the contributions the Clintons have made to the diminishing of our moral capital, though by his outrageous behavior, Trump has dragged us into the gutter of some of the darkest urges of our darkest selves and has made acceptable language and behavior that our “codes of politeness, humility and mutual respect” have previously constrained.

Brooks called us to the “giant task of moral repair ahead of us.” He concluded,”The one nice thing about Trump is that he has prompted so many people to find their voice, and to turn from their revulsion to a higher alternative.” (You can read his entire article here.) Which brings us back to All Saints’ Day.

Our Need to Remember the Saints 

We need to remember the saints because they show us that “a higher alternative” is possible for all of us. Emily Dickinson wrote:

We never know how high we are
Till we are called to rise;
And then, if we are true to plan,
Our statures touch the skies–

As a part of my personal spiritual discipline, I follow the Episcopal Church’s calendar of saints. It provides a brief description of each person along with related scripture and the prayer for the day. I am continually reminded of the way otherwise ordinary people have become extraordinary witnesses for Christ by facing the opportunities and challenges of their time as faithful followers of Jesus Christ. They remind us that it is possible to go higher, in Paul’s words, to “seek the things that are above.” In Colossians 3:1-17, describes what Christ-like “moral capital” looks like.

So, on this All Saints Day, may we hear them cheering us on as we follow Christ to a higher, holier, more loving way of life.  As the children’s song says, “they were all of the saints of God, and I mean, God helping, to be one too.” (“I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”)

Grace and peace,


Categories Uncategorized

1 thought on “Why We Need “Saints”

  1. Excellent!

    Mark P. Buell
    Buell & Elligett, P.A.
    3003 W. Azeele Street, Suite 100
    Tampa, Florida 33609
    Telephone: (813) 874-2600
    Facsimile: (813) 874-1760

    Email: Buell@belawtampa.com


    Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation Law Board Certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy as a Civil Trial Lawyer


    This e-mail is intended only for the individual(s) or entity(s) named within the message. This e-mail might contain legally privileged and confidential information. If you properly received this e-mail as a client or retained expert, please hold it in confidence to protect the attorney-client or work product privileges. Should the intended recipient forward or disclose this message to another person or party, that action could constitute a waiver of the attorney-client privilege. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or the agent responsible to deliver it to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any review, dissemination, distribution or copying of this communication is prohibited by the sender and to do so might constitute a violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C. section 2510-2521. If this communication was received in error we apologize for the intrusion. Please notify us by reply e-mail and delete the original message without reading same. Nothing in this e-mail message shall, in and of itself, create an attorney-client relationship with the sender.

    Disclaimer under Circular 230: Any statements regarding tax matters made herein, including any attachments, are not formal tax opinions by this firm, cannot be relied upon or used by any person to avoid tax penalties, and are not intended to be used or referred to in any marketing or promotional materials.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close