Together in Spirit

Browsing From the Desk of Fr. Mike

Teaching the Lives of the Saints

Sep 3, 2019

I like watching the afternoon westerns on ME TV, especially the old Gunsmoke reruns that are shown at lunch time. Growing up my mom would never let us watch the show, so much of the stories are pretty new to me. It occurred to me a while ago that there were specific reasons for us not to watch the show. The major form of entertainment was to go into the bar and get drunk. In most episodes this leads to a drunken brawl or a murder. Matt Dillon, the marshal, is the one piece of order that keeps the town from wrecking itself.  Every so often you get a glimpse of the true hard working families that pioneered the area, but they were never as entertaining as the bandits; cattle rustlers and con-men that the show seems to focus on. All in all it was just not a good family show to inspire better behavior but instead it often modeled mob-led activities in which the steady hand of Marshal Dillon was the only positive intervention.

My mother encouraged us to read about many things, but she was particularly fond of having us read stories about the saints in heaven. I suspect that if EWTN had existed during my childhood we would have watched much of its programing, especially its presentations about the lives of the saints. In her own way she was teaching us that we can make a difference in the world by introducing us to others who did just that. In getting to know different saints you begin realizing how there is uniqueness in each of them. God doesn’t have a cookie cutter in which he models one saint after another. Each saint responds to the demands of their present age and helps bring about a sense of God’s love to the people that they encounter. 

In this day and age of the “reality” shows and extreme athletics there is not much good family friendly TV. It makes it that much more important, especially with younger kids to point them to your favorite saints so that they can grow in their own relationship with the communion of saints. 

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