We are bound to time, and can easily overlook the eternal. Deadlines rush upon us, schedules crowd our thoughts and months pass as we work towards a goal. It is good to try to look with supernatural eyes at the world and the signs God has placed here for us to see. Each day. Signs pointing us toward our heavenly home. I caught a glimpse of a few such signs today.
The Federal Tax deadline weighing on my mind I ran to the accountant's first thing this morning to pick up our returns, ready to file. Other errands were planned into the morning hours creating a heavy sense of time and deadlines. Once home, I spent a few minutes reading blogs online and discovered a chain of Saints reaching out through time to let me know I am loved by God. Today.
St. Gemma Galgani is listed in the Roman Martyrology for April 11. A beautiful young woman, she looked like someone I would have wanted to know and be around. She was a mystic and one whom God chose to receive the stigmata. I was interested and read more about her. I noticed in her quotes a special love of Our Lady of Sorrows, who is dear to me and my family. But then I hit an "aha" moment as I read that she had a special devotion to our patron St. Gabriel Possenti! She was even visited by St. Gabriel Possenti and he assisted in her miraculous healing. "Huh!" I thought, St. Gabriel Possenti reached out through time to connect to St. Gemma and bring her closer to God. He led me to a new Saint, a new friend!
A few of us were interested in seeing the Medal of Honor being awarded to Servant of God Fr. Emil Kapaun today, and again I sensed those reaching out through time to touch lives of us still striving for heaven. CSPAN3 covered the ceremony, and we were in an online chat together as it happened. I listened to the glorious story of Fr. Kapaun, his generosity, his self-sacrifice, his encouragement, his daily commitment to do everything possible to make his part of the world an offering to God. I then looked at his family and friends, who did not give up pushing for the proper recognition of Fr. Kapaun's heroic efforts. Their perseverance, their commitment to his cause, and the dedication needed to wait 60 years for this moment is inspiring.
I watched as the president, perhaps uncomfortable recognizing a heroic priest's life, used stilted language and awkward phrasing to outline all that Fr. Kapaun did. The president mentioned a cross "and body" the other prisoners had carved from scrounged wood to remember Fr. Kapaun after he had died. Intrigued, I searched online and found a photo of sturdy, beautiful crucifix held by some of the men as they were freed. What a tribute to the priest!
I sensed that this priest, who may one day be canonized a Saint in the Catholic Church, was placed as a sign for us, and for the president. As he spoke the words, I wondered if they might be touching his heart, his soul - showing him what virtue is, what a real man does, how a faithful Christian serves God? I am certain Fr. Kapaun is to be canonized; to hear his actions described by a man who has no respect for the Catholic Church, who is actively pressing for Her destruction, who has no moral compass as he pushes for abortion in all forms, same sex marriage and other objectively evil things, my heart was touched, my eyes misty. Even coming from the mouth of one so distant from Mother Church and all that She teaches, Fr. Kapaun's story was still glorious!
How God decides to place each of us in a specific time and place to do His will includes even those beyond time, to be our friends and encourage us to holiness! He is the most gifted gardener, placing people in each others lives as one might select plants which compliment each other and grow well together. But not just people here and now, Saints already in heaven. They are the ones who strike a chord and touch our hearts and they will aid us as we strive for sanctity. Our friends on earth may fail us at times, snub our assistance, or rudely rebuff our kindness, but those in heaven never will! Hang onto the eternal friends, forgive the struggling ones here, and, as Fr. Kapaun did so heroically, offer every aspect of your life everyday to do God's will.