Thought of the day
Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

Saint Cyprian (c.200-258), Bishop of Carthage and martyr On mortality, ch. 26 ; PL 4, 583f. (©The Fathers of the Church) Our true home

The Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed (All Souls)

Commentary of the day 

Saint Cyprian (c.200-258), Bishop of Carthage and martyr 
On mortality, ch. 26 ; PL 4, 583f. (©The Fathers of the Church)
Our true home

We should consider, beloved brethren, and we should re­flect constantly that we have renounced the world and as strangers and foreigners we sojourn here for a time (Heb 11,13). Let us embrace the day which assigns each of us to his dwelling, which on our being rescued from here and released from the snares of the world, restores us to paradise and the kingdom. What man, after having been abroad, would not hasten to return to his native land? Who, when hurrying to sail to his family, would not more eagerly long for a favorable wind that he might more quickly embrace his dear ones? We account paradise our country, we have already begun to look upon the patriarchs as our parents. 

Why do we not hasten and run, so that we can see our country, so that we can greet our parents? A great number of our dear ones there await us, parents, brothers, children; a dense and copious throng longs for us, already secure in their safety but still anxious for our salvation... There are to be found the glorious choir of apostles, there the throng of exultant prophets, there the innumerable multitude of martyrs wearing crowns on account of the glory and victory of their struggle and passion, there the triumphant virgins..., the merciful enjoying their reward who have performed works of justice by giving food and alms to the poor, who in observing the precepts of the Lord have transferred their earthly patrimony to the treasuries of heaven! 

To these, beloved brethren, let us hasten with eager longing! let us pray that it may befall us speedily to be with them, speedily to come to Christ. May God see this our purpose... who will give more ample rewards of His charity to those whose longings for Him have been greater.