by Catherine Doherty.
Love God madly—there is so little time—is a motto that comes to mind, or should, this holy month of November, the month of all the saints of heaven. The known or canonized ones, the unknown ones, the big and small, if there is such a thing as a small saint.
For that is what made them saints. They loved God madly. They realized that there was so little time to prove it to him—just a little span of time from birth to death. That is all. And they used that time to love, passionately, madly.
Today they know him whom they loved, for they behold his face forever in the infinite joy of the Beatific Vision.
Oh, how our world today needs their help! Their help and that of Mary, Queen of all saints! How it needs that help to love God madly!
Unless we begin to love him with our whole mind, our whole heart, our whole body, we shall not see his face in eternity nor shall we show his face to others here, in time.
And show his face to others we must. That is the essence of the only hope left us on this earth today. Unless men see him in us, we and they will perish.
What are we for, but to clothe the Word with the flesh of our own lives—so that the unbeliever may see and touch Christ in us, and find faith, so that the doubter may listen and be renewed in hope. So that the tepid may grow hot and love; so that the cold may be warmed—and man and his institutions be restored to Christ.
That is the essence of living the Gospel: to fall madly in love with God and burn with the bright flame of such a love.
Burn brightly that we may become a light to our neighbor’s stumbling feet, so that all the dark corners, the frightening crossroads, may be illuminated by the fire, the flame that consumes us.
Let us pray to the saints and not only the canonized ones. Let us turn our faces to the housewife who loved God madly in the hiddenness of her daily chores done perfectly for him.
Let us implore the poor workman we knew who can teach us to love hiddenness and poverty borne gallantly for love’s sake. Let us ask patience from that old woman who lived in a slum room of a big city in the utter loneliness of desolation, sharing Christ’s loneliness with understanding love.
Let us ask the young man dying of cancer, the young man who was so determined to prepare well to meet his loving Master, the young man who in the long hours of sheer agony could smile a prayer of gratitude to the devoted nurses who tended him and who had absolute confidence that a Father’s loving Providence would care for his young wife and children.
Let us ask him for the fortitude to carry on when all is black.
Let us besiege the mother who died in childbirth—leaving her living brood to Mary, the Mother of all men. Let us pray to the boy who used to play ball in the vacant lot nearby—and died with a smile on his lips.
Let us ask these folks who are now with God, all these folks we knew and yet didn’t know, to teach us to love God madly.
Let this November be for us a prayer that, in its charity, takes in also the Holy Souls who passionately desire to see their hearts’ desire.
Mary, Queen of all saints, show us how to love, teach us how to pray to you and to all the saints that are now of your heavenly household.
—Adapted from Restoration, November 1962.
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