Friday, February 21, 2003

Saint?



Thanks to Martin Farkus for pointing out my negligence in posting the USA Today link for their front page story yesterday on Father Mychal Judge.



Father Mychal Judge is included in a new book entitled "Modern Heroes of the Church" by Leo Knowles. This book includes both canonized saints and people who likely will be at some later date along with some who probably never will be.



I know that conservatives love to judge Judge. Rumors about his activity within the homosexual community swirl around and even hint at his own possible lifestyle.



Guess what folks, if he was a sinner, even a grevious sinner--he was just like you and I. Could any of us ever be declared saints? Of course. How?



Our past is our past but what matters is our present and our future. St. Paul stood by as St. Stephen was stoned to death and for Paul it was all a day of being a good religious--hardly any of us would see killing someone as being good. Neither would St. Paul in the end. He was converted and looked with shame on what he had done in his previous life. St. Augustine's story is well known to most of us and offers all of us hope.



But in Father Judge's case I would point to another historical figure who ultimately gives the worst of us hope to one day be declared a saint--St. Dismas.



We have no evidence that Dismas did anything praiseworthy during his life but at the moment of death he cried out to Jesus in Faith and became the first canonized (declared so by the head of the Church--Christ) saint when Jesus said to him, "This day you will be with me in Paradise!"



Father Judge risked his life to bring the sacraments to those who were in peril. In the end he gave his life in the process. If that isn't saintly, I don't know what is. But I do know that standing in judgment is not saintly. In fact it is a direct violation of Our Lord's command, "Judge not and you will not be judged!"



Judge Father Judge at your own peril.



Here is the link The making of St. Mychal Grass-roots campaign grows to canonize priest killed at WTC:



There was a time when 4-year-old Matthew Brown did not speak well. He wouldn't respond to certain noises. He could hardly look a person in the eye. Specialists said his communication and cognitive skills were delayed.



So Scott Brown prayed that God would loosen his son's tongue. He prayed to family members long dead, to St. Nicholas and St. Joseph. And after Sept. 11, 2001, Brown began to pray to the Rev. Mychal Judge, the 68-year-old New York priest who was the first person listed as a casualty of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.



''Once I started praying to Mychal Judge, the positive outcome . . . was almost instantaneous,'' says Brown, 41, a Newport, R.I., firefighter, about his son's recovery. ''For someone who was so silent and would never make eye contact with you, he's like a different child. . . . I can't help but to say that it is miraculous.''

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