"...What do they care about earthly honours when their heavenly Father honours them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son? What does our commendation mean to them? The saints have no need of honour from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them.
"But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins.
"In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the saints."
--from a sermon of St. Bernard
sometimes twice had an experience, sitting in church before Mass alone, of feeling myself quite clearly in the midst of that great cloud of witnesses, that immense number of angels gathered, that ten thousand times ten thousand of them and
thousands upon thousands, and all of us before the throne of the Lamb -- it was glorious.
Once it was in an enormous, gorgeous edifice which was all arranged, and quite magnificently, in anticipation of All Souls. But once was in a stark little chapel on no particular weekday when my thoughts had not been on End things, End times... who knows why?
How long, O Lord?
We do not know. But we can rejoice in anticipation.
(I'm trying to get over my mad at the USCCB, or the NCCB, or the Council Fathers, of whomever I should blame this on -- because there is no "obligation" and it falls on a Saturday, there is simply no MASS. Really?)