We All Need Saints (Heroes)
Catholic heroes are called saints. The process for recognizing one has become formalized over the past millenium but the path to becoming one remains the same: Lives of heroic faith lived for God and fidelity to the Church. I like to think of them as that great cloud of witnesses we are surrounded by. All Christians regardless of whether they are Catholic or not recognize the need for saints in their lives. Protestant Pastor John Piper says:
"The lives of our flawed Christian heroes are inspiring for two reasons: because they were flawed (like us) and because they were great (unlike us). Their flaws give us hope that maybe God could use us too. Their greatness inspires us to venture beyond the ordinary.
How does it come about that an ordinary person breaks out of the ruts of humdrum life to do something remarkable? It usually happens because of the inspiration of a man or woman they admire.
Do you have any heroes? Do you read about the lives of men and women who broke out of the mold and escaped the trap of the ordinary? Why not make a resolution now for the year 2000? - That you will read a biography. You have six weeks to plan this and choose the book. You can even put it on your Christmas wish list if you start thinking now. If you plan it, it is likely to happen. If you don't, it probably won't."
Not only do the heroes of our faith provide role models, Mary being the first among them, they also provide an added benefit too! They intercede for us. I suggest that you read Butler's volumes of The Lives of the Saints.
"Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness. . . . They do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus. . . . So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped."
St. Terese, pray that I will begin to have a heart for God as you did. Pray that I can love Jesus the way you do.