Candy wrappers on the floor,
Sweet memories of the eve before,
Melt before morns reddish gain,
Greeting the day of all saints reign.
Saints and saintliness are the keynote of this month. One would do well to engage in generous study of the lives of the saints during the days ahead. Their stories give evidence of the presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of men and women of the past and provide inspiration and enlightenment to men and women of today. Secularism and its insidious agenda pollute much of modern thought. However, the victory of its atheistic philosophy has been forestalled by the manifold and persistent outbreaks of spiritual movements. Serious efforts in the pursuit of the holy may be viewed in both Church and State. Within the Church, time-honored rituals are in revival and new spiritual practices are emerging. Unexpectedly, avenues of spiritual awareness are opening in many places throughout corporate America.
One may be familiar with the biblical theme of the Suffering Servant or the dictum of Jesus that true greatness is derived from service to others. There is growing evidence in the corporate world of a phenomenon know as the Servant Leader. In theory, fears of reproach and recrimination of employees by their superiors is being replaced by efforts to encourage managers at every level to understand their jobs as being of service to their workers by guiding them toward success in the performance of their tasks. Good morale and increased productivity are accomplished through the leader (manager) serving the needs of his or her followers (workers) and thus creating a more humane and more nurturing work environment. More to the point, chapels and spiritual workshops and talks are becoming part of the way of doing business in the corporate setting. I have had the opportunity of visiting a small technology company that stresses the importance of God in the workplace. Employees have a chapel for their use within the building. An atmosphere that supports spiritual growth is viewed not only as a benefit to the individual employee but also to the integrity of the manufacturing process itself.
The virulence of the hatred of God within the secular mind is difficult to fathom. Faith is seen as a vestige of a superstitious past. Religion is the bane of human enlightenment and modernity. Belief in the divine and its concomitant moral principles must be excised form the mind and heart of the populace. Then, and only then, freed from the constricting influence of moral values, will the human being reach the acme of creativity and discovery.
History, the rich teacher that it is, seems mute before the secular mind. The authors of the atheistic utopias inalterably end in feelings of despair and in disgust of human nature. Beholding only a meaningless universe, the cruelties of fate, and the cold void in the heart of the one who has no faith, the Russian author Leonid Andreyev in his work The Life of Man spews, "I curse everything that you have given. I curse the day on which I was born. I curse the day on which I shall die. I curse the whole of my life. I fling everything back in your face, senseless Fate. With my last breath I will shout in your stupid ears: 'Be accursed, be accursed!'" Only the belief in the love and mercy of God and the vision of a communion of saints urging all to share in their joy can comfort the human race in the face of their sins and failings.
These are times that cry out for saints. This is an age hungry for men and women exceptional in wisdom, courage, and holiness. Where are the heroic figures of the past? Where are those who will stand unflinching against the evils of our day? Look in the mirror! There are faces in mirrors all over the world asking the same questions. "No, not I. I am not worthy," comes the response. Those faces -our faces - must remember that these words echo the words of Saint Peter and countless others who rose beyond themselves to serve their God. We were not created to be them, but to be like them-like Christ. In spite of all that we lack, we have the capacity to become that great giver of the fruit of God's grace working in the uniqueness of each individual, a saint.
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