All of us must be saints, or as Leon Bloy said, “the only real tragedy in life is not to become a saint.” To get into heaven we must become saints, that is, learn to trust God with all our “issues.” God has provided Purgatory (a second chance!) for those of us who don’t learn to trust in this life. It is unspeakably sad not to become a saint, and hell is an unspeakably sad place. Consider if one of your children were not to become a saint, that is, would end up in hell. If we find it hard to bear the death of a child, who could bear the eternal damnation of one’s own child? On this Halloween, in which not so few children do dress up like the damned, we must ask ourselves if we are safeguarding the innocence of our children. Our best hope, of course, is the Eucharist, as the older form of receiving communion says: Corpus Domini nostri Jesu Christi custodiat animam tuam in vitam aeternam. “May the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ safeguard your soul unto eternal life.” May God reward all you parents who bring your children to Mass faithfully. It is their best hope for eternal happiness, for “he who eats this bread will live forever.”
Last week I spent three days with my elderly parents. Dad came out of his room one morning to see two of the great-granddaughters eating breakfast with simple joy. He lifted his hand and smiled sweetly: “to such as these belongs the Kingdom of Heaven.” No earthly beauty compares to the innocence of a child, in which is revealed all the perfection of God’s sacred face. Nothing is so sad as the day a child loses her trustful purity. As the world tears away at her purity, she looks to her parents and elders for safety.
Are we convinced that the only real tragedy is not to become a saint? And do we realize how viciously the world tears at the souls of our children? Our children trust us with their innocence. Have we been worthy of that trust? Have we done what we can to protect them from scandal? Have we fulfilled our sacred duty to teach them the eternal truths that safeguard their purity and strengthen them against corruption? Have we made sure our schools, to whom we entrust our children’s purity 40 hours a week, safeguard that purity? Something to consider this Halloween night, the eve of All Saints.