Saint Teresa of Avila, virgin and doctor
Today’s readings offer two choices:
•Write a righteous attack on prejudice and hypocrisy
(probably wasted on the type of people who read these reflections.)
•Celebrate “saints” of different backgrounds because
as St. Paul says, “there is no partiality with God.” Join my celebration
of three favorite personal “saints.”
Kathy Thomas – Protestant
My friend Kathy Thomas sounded stern instead of bubbling like usual when
I answered her call.
“I hear you’re sponsoring a Cambodian family and you haven’t asked
me for any help,” she said. “I’m sure the family could use something to do.
I’m sending Mark (her son) over with our old pool table.” A pool table???
We wondered if we could even get it in the door of the small duplex.
A couple of hours later, Mark appeared with the monster. It kept
our family happily occupied during the long winter. Kathy had been right
as usual. And like most saints, she couldn’t be stopped from giving,
giving and giving.
Milt Abrahams – Jewish
Ironically Creighton University almost expelled one of its most noble and
generous alums. When Milt founded our student newspaper in the 1920’s,
he ran afoul of a dean who wanted to censor the paper. Ever the man
of principle, Milt refused and was almost asked to leave school. Fortunately
a wiser Jesuit prevailed and Milt moved on to a career in law that had overtones
of Robin Hood. He worked for corporate clients to be able to serve the
poor. Late in Milt’s life, a business leader donated $1 million to
endow Creighton’s legal clinic in his honor – also an honor for Creighton.
Milt, a devout Jew, spent a lifetime promoting the values of social justice
and care of the person that he shared with his alma mater.
Otto Wirth – Catholic
I’ll close with Grandpa Wirth, not only for his lifetime of almost anonymously
raising money for good causes, but for the incident I cherish most. In
about 1970, my brother was taking his African-American fiancé home
to Nebraska City (pop. 7,000) to meet the relatives. My father decided
to inform the extended family of Alice’s race first so no one would be surprised
when they met her. In the silence that followed Dad’s announcement,
a voice was heard. “I couldn’t be more surprised if I found out she
had red hair,” said Grandpa.
Make your own list of your “saints” of all backgrounds who are basking in
God’s “glory, honor and peace.” I’ll bet you’re smiling
as you try to emulate them.