Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Francesca Cabrini: Saints Show Us the Way

Much has happened since the last time we celebrated Mother Cabrini's feast day. She has special concern, no doubt, for her adopted country of the United States of America. She knows we are a young nation—a nation of immigrants and the descendants of immigrants. She knows our limits and also where we need to be stretched, and the challenges that lie ahead. She knows the troubles in the Church in America and in our society today.

We should invoke her assistance at this time, with confidence.

Saint Francesca Cabrini, missionary and tireless servant of the masses of destitute immigrants in the USA at the beginning of the twentieth century, understood real people. She knew how to deal with everybody. She was able to light a fire inside people's hearts.

What was her secret?

Trust in God. Love for Jesus Christ. Prayer and the sacraments. Perseverance beyond the point of "crazy." Prayer. More prayer. Patience, in spades. Willingness to ask God for everything and to do whatever God put in front of her. More prayer. Loving people, ignoring their pretentiousness and/or their self-doubts, and waking them up to how they could serve the Lord and overcome evil with good. Never giving up on loving God and doing good. Knowing when to be persistent and when to be flexible. Total abandonment to Christ. And...did I say prayer?

We can sum it up in one word: Sanctity.

Holiness. It sounds impossible because it is impossible—it is impossible for human beings to do on their own, or even dream about doing. But God makes it possible; God, who came to be with us in Jesus Christ.

We need saints today.

We need saints like Francesca Cabrini to see the real needs of our own time and let Christ work through them. We are all called to be saints. It starts with prayer and trust; the more we open our own hearts to God, the more He will enable us to recognize what He is doing, by His grace, in the hearts of others.

Also, this generation needs some extraordinary saints, like Mother Cabrini or like Mother Teresa or John Paul II (the saints who were the light of my youth). I think we should pray to God to raise up among us these special kinds of saints, who will be inspirations and examples for our children, and who will help us all to live our faith with hope and joy whatever obstacles we might face.

They are already among us, certainly, but we need more of them. We need saints who we can see and hear, who are alive with love. We need to see what love looks like in this world today, and how love can embrace us with our problems, our wounds, our need for healing and renewal.

I know for sure that I can't figure this out for myself. I need help. Don't you?

Let's ask for help: Lord, grant us saints for our time, and make us saints.