Wednesday, November 2

All Saints Day

Yesterday was the feast of All Saints.  At our parish, there is an exercise we are performing regarding this feast.  The laity was given pen and paper and asked to write down the name of a saint which personally inspires them.  Since I helped out collecting the papers, I got a chance to look at the names and it was more than a bit of a surprize.  In the first, let me tell you who was NOT on the list.

No Mary.  No ancient prelates or popes.  Nobody listed in the Golden Legend or Butler.  In fact, I don't believe there was a single canonized saint in the pile.

The people listed were people, most of them alive.  There are grandparents and cousins, fellow parishioners and neighbours.  Flawed, human beings who are doing their very best to be like the Master and in doing so, accidentally inspiring others to do the same.

Whether consciously and intentionally or not, this is pretty much the exact understanding of the saints which existed in the apostolic and pauline period of Christianity and despite my love of hagiography and history in general, I am comfortable with the the parish's general choice.  For there to be inspiration, the stories must have resonance and relevance to us as people in the here and now.  That's why, in part, I chose Michael Judge over the archangel of the same name.  Who holds more resonance, the general of the Armies of Heaven or a gay cleric who fought against alcoholism?

In the end, though, we should follow their example by following the example of Christ. 

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