This morning as I put the final touches on my religious education lesson for my 20 fifth graders, I think about how to make the lesson memorable for each child. What will they take away from that class? What will they remember a day, a week . . . dare I say it? a decade from now?
Today, we study the life of St. Miguel Pro, who donned disguises in order to bring the sacraments to the faithful of Mexico who were willing to risk their lives rather than deny their faith. Which raises the question of the day: If I knew that the police were going to rush the sanctuary and arrest anyone who had received Eucharist -- would I be willing to risk it?
As President Obama signs the "hate speech" legislation into law, am I going to speak up publicly regarding the teachings of the Church on natural family order and the theology of the body? Or will I melt into a philosophical pile of relativistic goo, so as not to offend those determined to live outside those parameters?
As we pray for the souls in purgatory, who need the refining fire of God's burning love to cleanse them prior to receiving the beatific vision, will I remember not to idealize my dearly departed, and to allow that they were not as perfect on earth as God will make them in heaven? And will I extend that grace to those who are still living -- being willing to learn from them, and love them despite their flaws and weaknesses?
St. Gertrude, patronness of travelers and souls in purgatory, pray for us! As we travel this road of life, may we read the signs God places in our path and to follow them faithfully.