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Official Website of the
Catholic Diocese of Little Rock
Published: October 31, 2015
Bishop Anthony B. Taylor preached the following homily in Edmond, Okla. on Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015.
Thirty-eight years ago I was in
So I have been present for the canonizations of four of the 13 saints from the
But notice, 13 canonized saints is just a drop in the bucket. There are more than 10,000 canonized saints and the United States is — after Brazil, Mexico and the Philippines — the fourth largest Catholic Church in the world, making us per capita just about the least likely Catholics in the entire world to be found to display the kind of heroic holiness required for official recognition as saints by the universal Church.
How hard do you really try to be pure of heart? Most people try to live “good” lives, or more precisely: “good enough” lives, but good enough for what? Good enough to stay out of jail? Good enough to make it into purgatory?
I feel very honored to have a role working on the cause of canonization of Father Stan Rother from
The Bible says that purity is required for holiness. Today's first
As John says in our second
So why there are so few canonized American saints? Could it be that as a culture we fall short in the purity department? ... That we tolerate far too much that is unworthy of the Lord, not to mention unworthy of ourselves? From whence do most immoral trends get started these days and transmitted to the rest of the world? If you read the obituaries in the newspaper it sounds like everybody goes straight to heaven, regardless of how they lived their lives.
That's the opposite of what we find in the Bible; no wonder there are so few American saints. How hard do you really try to be pure of heart? Most people try to live “good” lives, or more precisely: “good enough” lives, but good enough for what? Good enough to stay out of jail? Good enough to make it into purgatory?
Today we honor all the saints and we ask them to pray for us, that we will be one day be allowed to join them in heaven. And tomorrow on All Souls Day we pray for all the faithful departed who are still being purified in purgatory for eventual admission into heaven. And on both days we pray for ourselves, that the Lord help us become pure of heart now, purified by the trials we endure for Christ now, holy now and saints in the life to come!