When I was a tween I was obsessed with celebrities. I had pictures of my favorites all over my walls and could tell you a million factoids about all their lives. I idolized them because I wanted to be just like them: famous, attractive, important and rich.
A few years later my focus had shifted from the celebrities of this world to the King of the Universe. As I grew deeper in my Catholic faith, I discovered that God had His own band of celebrities, people that were famous, attractive and important because they were rich in His love: the saints.
Saints are people that we honor because of their heroic love for God and His people. They are people that inspire us to be holy and to seek God above all other things. Their witness to the Gospel helps us to live out our faith in real and concrete ways every day and their constant prayers give me the strength to serve God, especially during my time of ministry here at Maggie’s Place.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us* and persevere in running the race that lies before us” (Hebrews 12:1).
Just like the celebrities I once obsessed over, I have several saints who have a very special place in my heart now. I surround myself with their pictures and quotes and try to learn everything I can about them so that I can become more like them.
October is one of my favorite months because it is the month of many of the saints that have inspired me the most: St. Therese of Lisieux (Oct.1), who teaches me to love simply and sincerely; St. Francis of Assisi (Oct. 4) who teaches me to love boldly and radically; St. Faustina (Oct. 5) who reminds me of God’s unending, merciful love; St. Teresa of Avila (Oct. 15), who teaches me how to pray and trust God’s providence; and St. John Paul II (Oct. 22), whose apostolic zeal is the reason I am working in ministry in the first place.
All of these saints (and many more) make up the cloud of witnesses that surround me as I work as a Maggie’s Place MissionCorps. This work is often demanding and sometimes emotionally draining. I know that I literally cannot do it on my own. It is Christ’s love that keeps me going when I am faced with disrupted plans, challenging relationships and crisis situations.
Christ’s love is my motivation, my strength and my refuge. It is the same love that I can see in the lives of the saints and in the other witnesses that surround me. I can see Christ’s love lived out every day in my fellow MissionCorps, the Fiat staff, all our donors and volunteers and even in the moms that we serve.
Our moms do not have very many material things, but they have an abundance of love to share with each other, us and especially with their children. They are a part of my cloud of witnesses, the people who inspire me to love more, give more, serve more, especially on the days when it is difficult.
Every day I am so grateful to be a part of the Maggie’s Place community!
May God bless you, through the intercession of all of the saints, this month and always!
By Dominique Lefaive, a MissionCorps member