Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. I think one of the things that has surprised me most about life is who the real heroes are. The little old couple that has been together for 60 years, the faithful priests who end their lives largely forgotten. When we are young our walls are strewn with pictures and posters of the latest rock stars and actors, but when you look back how many of those people still even cross your mind?
As Catholics we have the example of countless saints to look to. Amazing people like Blessed John Paul ll, Pier Giorgio, and Mother Teresa, but I think it important to remember that they are people just like us. The only difference between you and I is they consciously chose to be virtuous in everything they encountered. Conversion is a daily choice for all of us.
So, I want to tell you about my cool uncle. He is the type of guy that you spend hours staring at the stars with, talking about poetry. The kind of uncle you share secrets with, (such as your obsession with French Vanilla Moolates) but most importantly you share insights about your faith. As long as I can remember he has been there with a laugh and a word of wisdom, a cowboy with a love for life. What I admire most about him is the fact that he is never afraid to try something new, to improve himself. You see, he is a recent convert to the Catholic faith. He had the grace to realize that the circle of his life needed completion, and he found it in the Catholic Church. Now in the trials of life he has a reason to keep going. Below is one of my favorite poems from him. It is a reminder to me that we all can attain holiness. We can’t by ourselves, but with God’s grace we can be the next Mother Teresa’s.
I wake up with a dream
And my legs won’t let me
Denying reality so the dream won’t die
Trying again through a swamp of pain
I must overcome this deafening scream
But soon I come face to face with my dream
Will lifts me and compels me to move
Pain stabs my back with a thousand knives
As I pull on my jeans to greet the day
I thank the lord I can still feel his joy
And remember the love he gave to me
My eyes can see the Cross
My hands can feel the nails
Thanking him for loving
And letting me carry this gift
Of love he gave to me
People knock me down and laugh
They taunt my dream and scream
You can’t you are just a man
Jesus lifts me and I say yes but, he can!