Over the years, I have been left with the impression that all our Catholics do want to go to Heaven, even though they are not entirely convinced that holiness is required to achieve that goal. Most simply want to do enough to get in. This past Sunday was, of course, Divine Mercy Sunday, now widely celebrated throughout the world by the faithful due to the life and devotion of Sister Faustina. In the writings about her life, she is often described as an uneducated Polish nun, three characteristics not frequently found in admission forms to elite colleges or institutions of higher learning. Mother Angelica, foundress of the EWTN network, as many of you know, went to her eternal reward this past March 27 at the age of 92. She had a poster in her private office that said, “We do not know what we are doing, but we are getting good at it.” Born in Canton, Ohio, she was part of a family that was abandoned by her father. She founded Our Lady of the Angels monastery in Birmingham, Alabama, where the sisters sold hand–tied fishing lures and roasted peanuts to pay their bills. After visiting a Baptist television station in Chicago in 1978, it is said of her that she quipped, “Lord, I have to have one of these.” Three years later, she founded her own network. Upon her death, it is doubtful that many VIPs from the church she served would have found themselves on her cell! Two strokes, suffered in 2001, placed severe limitations on her final years of devotion. Probably not the material you expect to find on holy cards or books about the spiritual life. So as we continue our earthly pilgrimage after the celebration of Easter, let us remind ourselves that the paschal proclamation is for everyone, and yes, holiness is expected. I am reminded of an old Irish saying: “I believe in the Sun, even when it is not shining……… I believe in Love even when I feel it not……… I believe in God, even when He is silent.”

God Bless,
Fr. John