The Letter to the Hebrews presents a number of testimonies that encourage us to “run with perseverance the race that is set before us.” It speaks of Abraham, Sarah, Moses, Gideon and others. Above all it invites us to realize that “a great cloud of witnesses” impels us to advance constantly toward the goal. These witnesses may include our mothers, grandmothers or other loved ones. Their lives may not always have been perfect, yet even amid their faults and failings they kept moving forward and proved pleasing to the Lord.

The saints now in God’s presence preserve their bonds of love and communion with us… Each of us can say “Surrounded, led, and guided by the friends of God… I do not have to carry alone what, in truth, I could never carry alone. All the saints of God are there to protect me, to sustain me and to carry me.”