Saints and Humans, Heroes All

Christ moves among the pots and pans.” —Saint Teresa of Ávila

Did you ever know that you’re my hero
And everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle
For you are the wind beneath my wings.

Wind Beneath My Wings” (Composer, Lyricist: Larry Henly and Jeff Silbar; Artist: Lou Rawls)

We mark the special successive days in the Church calendar when we send special prayers to the saints, including our own, and we pray for those we remember, the souls of the faithful departed.

Of the saints, they are with us each day, not waiting for a request, but being our guardian, our shield against the daily evils of this world. We draw strength from their strength. The beauty of this God-given arrangement is that we on earth are in communion and conversation with those who have preceded us. It is our own special form of communication. We can’t “see” or “hear” each other conventionally. But, we think of those saints to whom we have been dedicated, remembering, that for many, they were as human as we are.

I well remember one of my Dominican monastic mentors remarking “Saints aren’t born, they’re made”. How true. Saints arise from ordinary humans being called on to do extraordinary things for the Faith. It may be a brief, but faith filled life. It may be a call to service to the faithful. It may be extraordinary courage in the face of unspeakable horrors. All these qualities do not “make” someone destined for sainthood, but they do prepare someone to say “yes” to God’s call to lead. We celebrate them on All Saints Day.

Our brothers and sisters remembered on All Souls’ Day are “one of us”. They are family, friends, perhaps even a face in the crowd,, celebrating the positives, asking for strength in the negatives and, as in the case of the saints, also saying “yes” to God’s call.

Where will they be when we die?

At a funeral this past summer, the presider read the passage from John:

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.

John 14:2-3

We will know our place in God’s house at that time. From Corinthians:

But as it is written:
“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
1 Corinthians 2:9

We will be judged, and God’s promise is, we will have our place in heaven. What joy there is in anticipation of that moment.

Saints and souls … thank you for being our heroes standing with us.

Image: Lawrence OP Flickr

Michael Throop