By Edgardo Juarez
Have you recently asked yourself who the heroes of our children are? Who is influencing our young people?
Or how about yourself, who are the heroes in your life? It seems that today more than ever our society is looking for heroes and role models in celebrities, popular television artists, or superheroes that possess unrealistic superpowers.
As Catholics, we have heroes that go beyond the summer blockbuster movies, the spotlight of the cameras and popularity of social media. The heroes of our faith are the many men and women who answered the call to holiness and, guided by the Holy Spirit, lived selfless, fearless and bold lives for God.
The Saints are not Saints because they did great things, but rather because they allowed God to accomplish great things in and through them. On the Feast of All Saints, Pope Francis stressed that the Saints were not “supermen” who are “born perfect,” but rather are ordinary people who followed God “with all their heart.” These men and women are like each and every one of us; they lived an ordinary life, with heartaches, struggles, and hopes. The Pope reminds us that each Saint changed his or her life “when they recognized the love of God, they followed him with all their heart, without conditions and hypocrisies.” (2015 Feast of All Saints, Angelus prayer).
They spend their lives serving others, enduring suffering and difficulties without hate, responding to evil with good. You and I are called to be holy men and women, too. We often find ourselves lacking the courage and strength to be all that God wants us to be. In these times of spiritual combat, the Saints remind us, as Pope Francis says, to “Be faithful to the Lord, because the Lord does not disappoint! He does not disappoint ever, and he is a good friend, always by our side.”
As we reflect on the heroes that are shaping the minds and life of our children, youth and even ourselves, let us remember that we can look to our Catholic faith to find many men and women who discerned their vocation and lived lives filled with purpose and meaning; lives that, to this day, continue to inspire others to be heroes and transform their own communities in their service to God. I invite you to take some time to recall your patron or confirmation Saint. If you don’t recall it, research your name or a saint that comes to your mind; begin to read about their life and faith journey. You will start to learn from their wisdom, life experience and conversion stories. You will realize that the saints make a life spent with God “doable” because sainthood is not a privilege for the few but a vocation for everyone.
You are cordially invited to our upcoming Catechist Summer Institute: “Let’s be Heroes” from June 27-30. Come and learn more about the life and ministry of the Saints, their spirituality and practical ways to share their life story with your family. For more information and to register visit our website: www.catecheticalsb.org
Edgardo Juarez is a Vicariate Coordinator in the Diocesan Office of Catechetical Ministry.