Saturday, March 31, 2007
John Paul II said we needed it. Many say John Paul II had it. I am still trying to define it. What does it mean to be holy? It has been a long time since we've seen much of it in our Masses. Mostly what we get is worldliness as we sing songs about us and pray for each other, but somehow seem to place God second to our earthly efforts to help the poor and downtrodden in the course of living our faith. At least so it seems to me. Holiness is not found in that.
I couldn't sleep last night so I finished the miracles section in the book MAN OF GOD: SAINT JOHN OF SHANGHAI & SAN FRANCISCO. The book is about Archbishop John Maximovich who built the Orthodox Cathedral of San Francisco.
The stories of the miracles that were gathered prior to his canonization have come from many sources, some of them non-Christian. It seems that St. John would help anyone who appealed to him, and help he did, over and over and over. There are so many miracles of healing, and the healing continued after his death through his continued prayer for all who sought his intercession. God hears the prayers of St. John Maximovich and answers them. There are healings of brain cancer, of chills, of a badly cut finger, of mental illness, of kidney disease, of hair loss in a young girl, of intractable pain, of family relationships. There are stories of protection of a military aircraft carrier on assignment, of helping in the discovery of faith, of warnings of disaster. There are so many stories in this book--all of them short and to the point.
I couldn't help but contrast the one single miracle that will lift John Paul II into the realm of sainthood with the outpouring of miracles from the intercession of this Orthodox Archbishop. I also could not help but contract the life of this Archbishop with the life of our Roman Catholic bishops. St. John was a man of faith. His entire life was bound up in God so much so that non-Orthodox who came in contact with him could discern his holiness even while he was living. Roman Catholic bishops by contrast are very worldly.
St. John Maximovich, pray for me!