Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Saint I'll Be Remembering This All Saints


I've spent the last two weeks prepping and shopping for the All Saints' party that we plan and run each year for the local homeschoolers.  It's a lot of work but it's fun and it's worth it and even though every year I wonder if I should put in the energy to do it again, every year I find myself packing treat bags and planning games and worrying again during my late October evenings if we'll have enough food at the buffet table.

While I love the officially canonized saints dearly and feel a strong connection to a whole bunch of them, the part of All Saints' that I love the most is that it's for everyone.  

Kinda like that.

The point of All Saints' is not just a collective celebration for all those we've already been remembering through various memorials and feasts throughout the year anyway.  One of its primary intentions is remembering all the saints that don't have official recognition in the Church.  The billions (trillions?) of souls that are beholding the face of God that we can't name.

Except I can name one.
At least, I'm fairly certain I can.

I know that the official teaching of the Church is that the child we lost within my womb we can "entrust to the mercy of God" and we have "hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism" (CCC 1261).  My experience and knowledge of the mercy of God lets me have a pretty solid trust that this means my little one who was free from any actual sin and who we would have baptized had we had the chance is one of those souls in His Presence.*

So All Saints' Day?
That's the day the Church celebrates him.  My child.

I love that.  I love that I belong to a Church that recognizes all those who have made it.  The grandpas and grandmas, the little children, the mentally challenged, the deathbed conversions, the babies, the souls who died in a state of grace…if they're up there, this is their feast day.  This is why I can't ignore it or let it pass without intentional celebration.  This is why American Halloween doesn't register much with me.  I have something much more personal and beautiful to plan for and celebrate - the victory of one of my very own flesh and blood children.  My most intimate experience of death happened within my very body.  It was painful and difficult and heartbreaking, yes.  The tears were many and my heart sometimes still aches to think of it.  But it wasn't gory or grotesque or creepy - it was heart wrenchingly brutal and beautiful.  Death has lost its sting and that is something I celebrate with joy.  I have hope that my own child, through the merits of Christ, conquered death and is up there with Him.  His tiny little corpse now long decayed is not something I want to mock but something I want to revere.  This beautiful Solemnity of the Church is the day the Church gives us to realize the dignity of each and every person who has fought the good fight.  Even if that fight was a few minutes, days, or weeks long, they won.

So this All Saints' I'll be thinking yet again about him.  But not with the raw grief and sadness that sometimes hits, rather with the joy and hope and pride that my baby made it.  That one of these little ones He's given me is already there.  

That's worth the party, I think.   

 Joseph Mary, pray for us.



*A much more detailed explanation can be found in the Church document The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized



First time here? If you're interested you can get new Better Than Eden posts on Feedly or BlogLovin' and connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. Thank you so much for stopping by!


13 comments:

  1. Yes. Beautiful. I was surprised at how hard All Saints Day was for me last year, thinking of it as my firstborn's feast day and imagining him in heaven with all the other saints. This year I have three little saints to celebrate, and I hope I'll be more emotionally prepared and can focus more on the joy of knowing they are in heaven. John, Agnes, and Michael, pray for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so sorry for your losses. I hope it's a day of grace and peace for you.

      Delete
  2. {I'm not sure, but I think the internet ate my previous comment after it had me sign in so I will try it again. If it is just waiting moderation, feel free to delete this one.}

    One year, the priest saying Mass for All Saints used the first Eucharistic Prayer with the Roman Canon of Saints. We have always named our little ones lost before birth after the saint of the day we found out we were expecting them or the saint of the day we found out that we lost them. My first little one lost is named Felicity. When Father said, "Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha..." it made me think of my little Felicity and I started crying. Later, during Communion, the choir started singing the Litany of Saints. "Felicity, Perpetua, pray for us." It really hit me then that this was MY Felicity's feast day too. The Feast of All Saints, known and unknown! What a gift.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that name! And I love how you chose it. So sorry for your loss but so true that it's a gift to have all these saints celebrated, too!

      Delete
  3. This is beautiful! Our little Joan was stillborn at 40 weeks and last All Saint's Day was the first time we celebrated her feast day. The kids especially found it joyful that their little sister had a feast day they could celebrate. Thanks for the post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, that must have been so hard. I'm so sorry. I love your other children's enthusiasm to celebrate their little sister!!

      Delete
  4. I was very teary reading this post this morning. We still have yet to conceive again after the loss of our baby almost two years ago. What I would do if I didn't have the comfort of my faith and the Catholic Church I have no idea! Thank you again for such a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Still praying for you <3 May that little saint be praying for us, too!

      Delete
  5. This is so true and so easy to forget. It does seem that for the most part the canonized saints get most of the limelight on this day but it's so important to keep in mind All the other saints. Thanks for this reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Mary, this is so very beautiful and rings true in a way that makes me just want to rejoice! Thank you for every word and that meme...thank you for that meme!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey Mary, could I possibly use this blog post in our MOPS Newsletter for October? We let women light candles for Pregnancy and Infancy Loss Awareness Month and this ties in both the grief and All Saints Day...and it was so beautiful, I was almost crying! I would definitely site your blog as the source. Let me know! aklacroix@live.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words. I emailed you :)

      Delete

Your nice comment makes my day. I love knowing that you were here and the only way I do is if you take the time to leave a note here! Thank you for taking the time to do that! If you'd like to contact me privately, please email me at betterthaneden1 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Please know I read and appreciate every comment even if I can't reply personally.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...