Our celebrity culture even affects how we celebrate the saints. The phrase “all saints” often only brings to mind the celebs and heroes, rather than those who have grown in holiness in quiet and less dramatic ways.
Malcolm Guite has added a sonnet to his collection along these lines. It’s called A Last Beatitude. He suggests that the holiness of many is overlooked, even at All Saints tide.
And blessèd are the ones we overlook;
The faithful servers on the coffee rota,
The ones who hold no candle, bell or book
But keep the books and tally up the quota,
The gentle souls who come to ‘do the flowers’,
The quiet ones who organise the fete,
Church sitters who give up their weekday hours,
Doorkeepers who may open heaven’s gate.
God knows the depths that often go unspoken
Amongst the shy, the quiet, and the kind,
Or the slow healing of a heart long broken
Placing each flower so for a year’s mind.
Invisible on earth, without a voice,
In heaven their angels glory and rejoice.
You can hear Malcolm reading the sonnet by clicking A Last Beatitude
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