“All Saints Day”

What do Ashley, Brittany, and Heather all have in common? None have a patron saint! How sad to be stuck with made-up names instead of the potential modeling of those who witnessed the love and mercy of God. (How they got baptized is beyond me.)

And then, there is our lives. Lived often in ambivalence (choosing between “this and that” and choosing “that” when it should have been “this.” In faith how often are we unsure of our relationship with the Trinity. How often are we hesitant to take that faithful plunge into surrender rather than holding tightly on our pride and control. There is also in our lives glorious occasions with endearing and enduring friendships, satisfying work (“labors of love,” we call them), moments of pure peace even if the next day brings confusion and discord. The miracle of this life is that it is full of those contrasting Beatitudes. Monday we’re thirsty for knowledge and Tuesday we find an inspiring book to read.

Speaking of holding things in common, what do all the saints hold in common? Indeed, the saints hold the same ups and downs that we waver between. What makes them saints, as you all know, is the balance they found in their lives – living with sin but practicing and perfecting charity, selfless love with a solid eye staring upwards.

In other words, they did it. What makes any saint story interesting is their “ups and downs.” If there were no “downs” then their saintly life would never be saintly. They would only be perfect people doing perfect things. That’s not the human adventure. And, certainly not ours. It is through their overcoming obstacles, making mistakes and correcting them, and a whole litany of the Beatitudes opposites.

Just as we have, every saint has a story to tell. Unfortunately, some of them are fictional (but still with an important tale to be told), others exaggerated for the sake of impact, still others horrifying and still others humbling. Just like ours.

However, a caveat. It gets monotonous after a while but almost every saint came from a wealthy family. (So much for our reaching.) I guess it shows a giving up or giving in to the call from God. Renounce the big bucks, beg (never borrow) and slowly God will beckon you to do great things in the name of God.

But the true wealth of any saint is the powerful, potent message found in his/her story. The Catholic Church has a saint in charge of covering every profession, illness, condition, situation and more. I guess the Church thought God has enough on His mind.

So continue to live your story against the background of those ancient and contemporary saintly stories. They have the ability to influence and guide your spiritual life. They have the witness to show us the Godly path to walk.

To Ashley, Brittany, and Heather? Good luck being on your own.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). www.Salvatorians.com. Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on Amazon.com.
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