Heroes are people who do ordinary things--
care for the poor, speak the truth, reject evil, love God--
to an extraordinary degree.
These men and women are so possessed
by an internal vision of divine goodness
that they give us a glimpse of the face of God
in the center of the human.
They give us a taste of the possibilities of the greatness
Throughout history these heroes--
lay and religious, male and female, Christian and non-Christian--
have stretched the very soul of humanity.
These are figures
gleaming in their holy causes
who have lived in circumstances similar to ours
and have shown us how to live
with character, with courage, with passion
for the right, the true, the holy.
They hold a fire in their hearts
bright enough to light the way for many.
They stand on gilded stilts
above the rest of their generation
and become a sign for all generations.
They are proof of possibility from ages past
and a symbol of hope
for ages yet to come.
Their lives provoke and prod
a critical measure of our own
until it becomes clear that sanctity
is simply a matter of living for the reign of God
with conscience, with voice, and with authenticity
—from A Fire in Their Hearts: 2016 Joan Chittister Calendar.
Image: KONSTANTIN AKIMOV iStock