Every group, community, organization, parish – and any gathering of human beings – has its stories that look to a “golden age.” When I served in the Navy, it’s was the tales of “iron men and wooden ships – aaaaargh!” As a Franciscan friar our provincial stories include the Paul Bunyan-like tales of Fr. Tex Dooley OFM in Bolivia who tamed a mountain and built a road. Here in the parish in Tampa it is the stories of the Jesuit missionaries who rode out from Tampa across central and south Florida establishing missions and churches from Tampa to Key West. In the Catholic Church we have the stories of the saints, martyrs, missionaries and holy people. It is good to tell the stories. But…
Admonition 6: Imitation of Christ
1 Let all of us, brothers, consider the Good Shepherd Who bore the suffering of the cross to save His sheep.
2 The Lord’s sheep followed Him in tribulation and persecution, in shame and hunger, in weakness and temptation, and in other ways; and for these things they received eternal life from the Lord.
3 Therefore, it is a great shame for us, the servants of God, that the saints have accomplished great things and we want only to receive glory and honor by recounting them.