By The Hermits, Nov 1 2016 10:39AM
Today we celebrate the Feast of All Saints, a feast that can be lost in a sort of vague half realized Heavenly Scene, which is best depicted by some of the Renaissance paintings of Heaven, in particular those of Fra Angelico, but perhaps the best way to understand this feast visually would be if you were attending the Divine Liturgy in the Ouspensky Cathedral in the Kremlin with the hundreds of icons gleaming in candle light amidst clouds of incense with the magnificent chants of the Russian Orthodox. Something of Heaven overwhelmed Grand Prince Vladimir’s ambassadors to Constantinople when they went to Santa Sophia “We knew not whether we were in heaven or on earth, for on earth there is no such splendour or such beauty and we are at a loss to how to describe it.” Not long after Vladimir was baptized in 987 and so begins the history of Holy Russia, which the West has been oblivious of in the main.
The life of the saints of Heaven is one of continuous praise of God. All those who go to Heaven are those who have worshipped God and not simply prayed to Him for things, for wealth, or good health, or for happiness. They are those who have loved God for his own sake and not theirs. It his glory that matters, and so the more that the saints have conformed their lives to Christ, the more his glory has overshadowed them.
Whether we imagine Heaven as a wonderful Divine Liturgy, or the old Papal Masses prior to Vatican II, or even the various coronation ceremonies of Christian kings, what is important to remember is that the saints in Heaven, in their different ways reflect various qualities of Christ, as they are all his brothers and sisters. Heaven then is like some glorious garden with endless vistas of tree lined avenues, flower beds radiating unknown colours, fountains that create musical sounds, waterfalls like cascading diamonds, and scents beyond description, and all these different things represent the souls of the saints, and bask in the late afternoon Summer sunlight, which is the light of God himself. Heaven itself is so often depicted as the Golden Heavenly City of the Apocalypse, whose wall “was jasper, while the city was of pure gold, clear as glass” and the foundation stones of course are of fabulous jewels but I cannot think that it is only that, I am sure that it is some astounding garden cit. Above all it a city where love abounds, where the saints with the grace of God have triumphed and the prize is to gaze on God’s face forever.
Is it not indicative of the era that we live in, that Halloween has become so important? This is not a secular festival, but an evil festival that is celebrated by people who are secular, and are playing with fire. It is all part of a world that is enslaved to the ugly, the dark, and the defiled. It is a celebration of sin, and a grand denial of the good, and those revellers think it is just a piece of harmless fun. Would that it was simply about witches on broomsticks, but it is not. It is a celebration of Hell. The sad thing is that Halloween simply means “All Hallows Eve”, which is the vigil of All Saints. Our present society wants none of the glory of the saints. Those who really rule the World deem the praise of the saints in Heaven laughable, for these earthlings do not wish to bow the knee to God, and to know his love, they want power and never to bend the knee to anyone or so they think, but if they do not worship God, they will end up in eternal bondage to Satan. Let us pray to God that they will repent, convert, and love God, for time is running out, and the forces of Heaven will soon execute God’s punishment on this profoundly evil age, which disguises its evil under the form of philanthropy and liberty, equality, and brotherliness; but do not be deceived God will not be mocked. If we love Him, Heaven will be ours, if we do not the gigantic city of Hell with its halls of despair, and its tortures beyond our wildest waking fears will be our eternal lot.
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