O loving and merciful Father in heaven, on this glorious solemnity of all the saints, I pray to you borrowing the third encyclical of your servant Pope Francis, Gaudete et Exsultate (#63-94) issued last March 19 of this year to remind us of your call to holiness. Therefore, I implore you to:
Help me, O God to become holy by being poor of heart for Jesus said “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” (Mt.5:3) Let me take a deep look into my heart to see where I truly find security in life. Forgive me when I cling more to wealth that ensures nothing and leaves no room to love you and others that make me miss the most important things in life.
Help me to mourn with others, O God, for indeed, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.” (Mt.5:4) This is easier said than done for the world tells exactly the opposite that entertainment, pleasure, diversion, and escape make for the good life. Let me see things as they truly are so I may sympathize with those in pain and in sorrow, only to be comforted by your Son Jesus Christ.
Help me, O God to become holy by being meek (Mt.5:5). I know this is very difficult because it is the reign of pride and vanity in my heart that makes me think I have the right to dominate others. Give me the grace to trust in you more, not to be upset and impatient with others that leave me drained and weary always. Let me surrender everything to you, my only Lord and Master.
Help me, O God to hunger and thirst for righteousness (Mt.5:6) so that I may be holy by being filled with you. Hunger and thirst are intense experiences because they both involve basic needs and our instinct for survival. Let me be intense in working for your justice by being faithful to your words even if it is very attractive to join the train of winners through corruption. Let me be faithful to you even if I will not see in my lifetime the fruits of my fighting for justice.
Help me, O God, to be merciful (Mt.5:7) like you which is reproducing in our lives some small measure of your perfection which gives and forgives superabundantly. Teach me to be giving and forgiving like you.
Help me, O God, to have a clean heart (Mt.5:8) so that I may see you more clearly and follow you more clearly in love. Give me the grace to keep my heart free of all that tarnishes love.
Help me, O God, to be a peacemaker and truly become your child (Mt.5:9). When I think of this beatitude, I see the many endless situations of war in our world and yet, too often, I must admit that I am also the cause of some conflicts or at least of misunderstanding around me! Teach me how to sow peace all around me as I try to embrace even those who are a bit odd, troublesome or difficult, demanding, different, beaten down by life or simply uninterested. It is really hard work on my part, O God, demanding creativity, serenity, sensitivity and skill.
Living out the Beatitudes by your Son Jesus Christ is accepting the daily path of the Gospel, even though it may cause me problems, most especially persecution. But whatever weariness and pain I may experience in living the commandment of love and following the way of justice, the cross remains the source of my growth and sanctification. That is why “blessed are those persecuted for righteousness’ sake for there is the kingdom of heaven.”(Mt.5:10) No holiness can ever happen without pain and suffering for the path to heaven is always through the way of the Cross of Christ. AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. *Photos from Google.