Tuesday, 10 May 2011 00:00
Today is St. Damien's feast day. During his beatification homily, Pope John Paul II remarked: "Holiness is not perfection according to human criteria; it is not reserved for a small number of exceptional persons. It is for everyone; it is the Lord who brings us to holiness, when we are willing to collaborate in the salvation of the world for the glory of God, despite our sin and our sometimes rebellious temperament."
In this way St. Damien is truly a saint for all humanity: for though we are all sinners we can all aspire to sainthood by the saving grace of God through Jesus Christ. If we simply say yes to God's plan for our life and stop trying to control our own destiny and dictate our desires to God, He will use us to make our own mark, no matter how small, on this world so in need of love. "For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 16:25) We can keep running in circles trying to gather up as much stuff as we can in this life, or we can walk God's path for us and gather in the good, accepting what He gives us as part of His design for our life.
As a young priest, Fr. Damien recognized that the path God had laid out for him would take him to a remote colony cut off from the rest of the world by high cliffs and restless seas. Still he went forward, trusting his life to his Lord and relying on Christ to help him overcome whatever difficulties he may face, from without and from within. On this, his feast day, let us ask Fr. Damien's intercession in being more open to God's direction for our lives.
St. Damien of Molokai, pray for us!