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Wanted: Extreme Revolutionaries of Holiness

October 31, 2017
A Reflection for All Saints Day
Is there room for God in our world today?  Is there room for God in Canada today?  Is there room for more extreme revolutionaries of holiness in our culture today?  The answer is a resounding “yes.”  Why should Christians and Catholics in this country be reticent about declaring themselves Christian, Catholic, or an extreme revolutionary for holiness?  Why should we behave as though our message could be harmful or that we have a word and story but don’t know how to announce it?  Do we fear indifference, hostility, being ridiculed or sidelined?  If that is the case, let me remind you of the response of the young Bernadette of Lourdes to the chief of police who said that she did not convince him of the events that had taken place at a grotto near the river.  Bernadette said: “The Lady did not instruct me to convince you, but to tell you.”
The core of the proclamation of the Saints and Blesseds was always hope, even in the midst of the darkest moments of history.  And the core of our own proclamation and announcement must be hope.  “Spe salvi” -in hope we were saved, says Saint Paul to the Romans, and likewise to us (Rom 8:24).  At the times when the Church hits its low points God raises up tremendous saints to bring the Church back to its real mission.  It's almost as if in those times of darkness the light of Christ shines ever more brightly.  We are living through one of those times, and the Lord is still taking applications for his extreme form of holiness and sanctity.
We need young successors of Sts. Jean de Brébeuf, Noël Chabanel, Anthony Daniel, Charles Garnier, Isaac Jogues, Gabriel Lalemant, René Goupil and Jean de Lalande.  The Church is seeking new agents who will take up the vision and work of Sts. Marguerite d'Youville, Marguerite Bourgeoys, André of Montreal, and their winning team of Blesseds: André Grasset, Kateri Tekakwitha, Marie de l'Incarnation, François de Laval, Marie-Rose Durocher, Marie-Léonie Paradis, Louis-Zéphirin Moreau, Frédéric Janssoone, Catherine de Saint-Augustin, Dina Bélanger, Marie-Anne Blondin, Émilie Tavernier Gamelin, Nykyta Budka, Basil Velychkovsky.
Today on this great feast of witnesses, we must thank God for giving the Church in Canada such impressive founders and models. They challenge us to undertake a new evangelization.  They encourage us by their devotion to Christ, as well as by their courageous zeal and spirit of prayer along the highway to heaven.  These Martyrs, Saints and Blesseds remind us that on this highway to heaven, we are never finished; we are only and always on the way.  When we think of holiness in these terms - as a kind of direction, rather than a destination - we have a sense that what unites us with the saints, our fellow travelers, is much deeper than all that sets us apart.
Happy Feast Day to you today!
Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB
CEO Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation
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