Posted November 03, 2014 in The Pope's Corner:
The Road to Paradise

by Pope Francis.

The Feast of All Saints reminds us that the goal of our existence is not death; it is Paradise!

The Apostle John writes, It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is (1 Jn 3:2).

The saints, who are the friends of God, assure us of this promise which does not disappoint.

During their earthly lives, the saints lived in profound communion with God. In the faces of the humblest and least of our brothers and sisters, the smallest and most despised brothers, they saw the face of God, and now they contemplate him face to face in his glorious beauty.

The saints are not supermen nor were they born perfect. They are like us, like each one of us. They are people who, before reaching the glory of heaven, lived normal lives with joys and sorrows, struggles and hopes.

What changed their lives? When they recognized God’s love, they followed it with all their hearts without reserve or hypocrisy. They spent their lives serving others, they endured suffering and adversity without hatred, and they responded to evil with good, spreading joy and peace.

This is the life of a saint. Saints are people who, for love of God, did not put conditions on him in their life… .

Saints are men and women who have joy in their hearts and spread it to others. Never hate, but serve others, the most needy; pray and live in joy. This is the way of holiness.

Being holy is not a privilege for the few, as if someone had a large inheritance. In baptism we all have an inheritance enabling us to become saints… .

Thus we are all called to walk on the path to holiness, and this path has a name and a face: the face of Jesus Christ. He teaches us to become saints. In the Gospel he shows us the way, the way of the Beatitudes (cf. Mt 5:1-12).

In fact, the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who do not place their security in material things but in love for God, for those who have a simple, humble heart that does not presume to be just and does not judge others, for those who know how to suffer with those who suffer and how to rejoice when others rejoice.

They are not violent but merciful and strive to be instruments for reconciliation and peace… . Thus holiness is beautiful; it is a beautiful path.

Through this feast, the saints give us a message. They tell us: trust in the Lord because the Lord does not disappoint. He never disappoints; he is a good friend at our side.

Through their witness, the saints encourage us to not be afraid of going against the tide or of being misunderstood and mocked when we speak about him and the Gospel.

By their life they show us that he who stays faithful to God and to his Word experiences the comfort of his love on this earth and then a "hundredfold" in eternity. This is what we hope for.

—Excerpted from the Angelus talk at St. Peters’ Square, November 1, 2013


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