Today, November 1 is known as All Saints Day in some religious circles. Technically, “saints” are all those who have attained heaven. However, most people traditionally associate this day with remembering those officially declared as Saints (St. Patrick, St. Michael the Archangel, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa of Avila, St. Therese of Lisieux etc.). I think that this is an important day to recognize because the Spiritual Leaders, the people who are officially Sainted, are those who we should be looking to for guidance and wisdom about how to live our lives and grow our faith.
You may think that there isn’t a lot of point to talking about the same people all the time, whether we’re talking about Saints or people from the Bible like Abraham, David and Paul. Or that because we spend so much time talking about them we don’t take the time to talk about the things that the regular people are doing with their faith like you and me. I get that, and I agree that we don’t take time to recognize the faith of the individual as we should, and sometimes feel that we’re so busy putting spiritual leaders on pedestals and figure that we could never measure up, which makes us forget that they’re human just like us.
But the simple fact is the faith of the world is built on people both large and small, people who have world-wide stages, and those who just share their faith with a few. Yes, we’re all called to spread the word about God to the nations, but we’re not all called to do it in the same way. We each do things differently and while we’re not all created to be a “Spiritual Leader,” we are all called to use the different gifts and talents God has given us to spread the word in our own way.
Everyone needs guidance, and the Spiritual Leaders like the Saints are there to give us the strength, courage and guidance to know how to handle situations. Don’t be afraid to look to those who have more wisdom and experience, instead celebrate that they were given that gift, that responsibility, and take the opportunity to learn from them rather than rejecting them because they are too well known or you figure you’ve heard it all before.