Wednesday, the 30th week of Ordinary Time
Mass at noon: Tuesday - Friday
Saturday at 5:00 - Sunday at 9:00 and 11:15am
When the people gather for prayer, all are welcome.
Saint of the day - All of our Holy Dead
Readings for today’s Mass
We have always had saintly figures in the Christian world. But for the first half of Christianity, there was no formal process of saintly recognition. It tended to be more a matter of popular acclamation. If someone was known to have died for their faith or otherwise lived an extraordinary life of holiness, it was the people who knew them or knew about them who kept their memory alive and held them up as models for others to emulate. While the stories of some saintly lives were told and retold far and wide, many were simply a matter of local observance.
It wasn’t until late into the 10th c. that a formal procedure began to take shape. As we know it today, it begins with gaining Vatican approval to open a Cause for Canonization. If approved, the individual of note is known as a Servant of God. With each step of the process, the title changes to Venerable to Blessed to Saint. On November 18, Venerable Solanus Casey, of the Diocese of La Crosse, will become Blessed Solanus. After that, he may one day be called a saint.
A requirement for any of this to take place is the demonstration of heroic virtue. In part, this refers to the extraordinary practice of the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity; and the cardinal virtues of justice, fortitude, prudence and temperance.
In short, this simply means that, in our world, there are people of extraordinary holiness and goodness. They know God as a best friend and they know other people as neighbor. (Lk 10:25-37) These are the folks who go the extra mile, who offer their coat when i ask for their shirt. (Mt 5:40-42) When we find such individuals, we lift them high and say, how good if we all modeled our lives according to the example set by this one; maybe Dorothy Day, who started the Catholic Worker Movement. No, we don’t worship them, as some would insist. We simply invite the faithful to look to these folks when we need a good example.
We have no idea how many such people have been part of the Christian story. That is one reason why we have the Feast of All Saints. It’s a day to express thanks to God for the lives of those who continue to model the best of what the gospel calls us all to be.
Do you have a favorite saint? Do you share a name with a saint? Today you might google one of our holy ancestors and learn a little bit more about their life of heroic virtue. As you make your way around campus and on the streets, keep this thought in mind: someone you meet may be looking to you as a good example!