According to the Pope, one of the reasons why we have a Solemnity of All Saints is to make up for all the times we have failed to honor the saints during the rest of the year.
This raises the question: What do we owe the saints?
They of course do not need anything from us. That is the whole point of it: The saints are done with needing things. They are in the state of enjoying–enjoying eternal life with God.
For our sakes, we owe the saints praise, admiration, reverence, and imitation. Their memory is fully alive in heaven; we owe it to ourselves to keep their memory alive here on earth.
Today’s feast provides a good occasion for friendly ecumenical reflection. Protestants have charged the Catholic Church with neglecting God by worshiping the saints.
Now, in truth, to revere a saint is to worship God, since God alone makes a saint a saint. To admire a saint is to admire the work of God’s grace.
Let us Catholics freely express regret, though, for any instances of ignoring God for the sake of saints. Shouldn’t happen. God is God. God alone deserves our highest praise, adoration, and submission. There is no doubt that our dear Protestant brothers and sisters are right to insist on this point.
On the other hand, we Catholics have something to say to our Protestant friends, too. Face it, people: We owe the saints. We owe them some serious props. For our sakes, we owe them liturgical acknowledgement (i.e., prayers).
How, dear Protestant brethren, can you so shamelessly neglect to keep the saints’ feast days? They are up in heaven praying for all of us and winning graces for all of us–and you ignore them? Not nice.
Let us, then, keep All Saints Day by loving the saints all the more and praising them all the more. We need to make up for all our good Christian brothers and sisters who neglect to keep the saints’ feast days.