Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Here's to the Saints!

Happy All Saints Day everyone! This is one of my favorite Church Holy Days, because it brings back such special memories. This morning, I attended 8:00 mass with our 8th graders, who would miss the scheduled school Mass due to a field trip. Lining the altar rail were the beautiful Saint posters, lovingly decorated by our fifth graders. One of those was Adam's Ephraim, proudly hanging with all of the Patricks, Francises and Our Ladies. Second graders, garbed in Saintly frocks, were preparing for their big pageant of Saint Presentations.

As I sat waiting for Mass to begin, I looked around me at some of my fellow parishioners and thought about how many of them seem so saintly to me. I have great respect, these days, for my sons' 8th graders teachers who are greatly bestowed with the virtue of patience. I thought of the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, who could barely make it up the altar stairs to receive her ciborium, but would never dream of missing daily mass. I thought of the young mom who, all on her own, drags five young kids, lovingly dressed, in tow to Sunday Mass by herself. Many weeks, I'm sure she'd rather sit home with her husband watching football. Then there's the special older man at our church who stops on the way back from receiving communion to shake each hand he can see - I used to think he was crazy, but now I see him as a visible sign of the communion of saints...right there in my own church. The priests and sisters of my parish, swamped with heavy workloads and little to no reward or recognition, are characters in the cast of everyday saints in my own life.

Look around you and you'll see them too - those saints in training. They're the ones, like my daddy, who wake up early to remember by name in their prayers the poor deceased souls (even the ones he didn't know personally). They're the ones like my husband, who put up with my mood swings and crazy compulsive behavior and love me unconditionally, every day. They're my children, who teach me every day what it means to love and to have a childlike faith.

Few, if any of us, are perfect...but somehow I think most canonized saints were a lot like us in their day. They might have been impatient, or might have drunk or partied too much, or might have even sinned a bit along the way. But ultimately, they loved God the best they could, with their whole heart, mind and soul, and they led others into that love by their own example and by the lives they lived.

Thank you God for so many Saints as role models, and thank you for the saints-in-training that surround me every day!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Crying again...Love you and I feel very special to have a SAINT like you! Mom