All Saints’ Day

It seems that we will always need heroes. Sports personalities, singers, actors, ‘celebrities’; they can construct a public image that may be far from the reality their families or subordinates rub up against.

Back in the 1970s, before he became Pope John Paul I, Albino Luciani quoted Sixtus V: ‘Show me a woman whose husband has never complained of anything, and I will canonise her at once.’ (And perhaps the same should be said of a man whose wife has never complained.) John Paul went on:

When I heard that the parents of Saint Theresa were being considered for beatification, I said: ‘At last, a couple are being considered! St Louis IX is a saint without his Margaret. St Monica is one without her Patrick. But Zelie Guerin will be  a saint with Louis Martin her husband,  and with Theresa her daughter.’                                                                                               Illustrissimi, London, Collins, 1978

Not many of us are called to be hermits; we bring each other to God; husbands and wives, children and parents, friends and neighbours, confreres in community. No man or woman is an Island and ‘love can be kept only by being given away’: a useful reminder from the monk, Thomas Merton.

My little children, let us not love in word, nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1John 3.18.


No Man is an Island Boston, Shambhala, 2005, p1.



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