Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
Hot Springs Village, Arkansas
I am still reflecting on the beatification of Blessed Stanley Rother, a priest/martyr who died for the Lord and for the flock he shepherd in Guatemala on July 28, 1981.  Bishop Taylor, who did much work that furthered the cause of Blessed Stanley's beatification commented to me that he never thought he would live long enough to see the day of his beatification as we now pray for his canonization.  I believe we can thank Saint, Pope John Paul II who, during his Pontificate changed somewhat the process of getting someone declared by the Church to be blessed and some, declared a saint.  This gives us not only saintly people of the past, and some long past to venerate, to ask for their intercession and to seek to emulate, but it also gives us role models and intercessors who lived in our time and who show us how to live as a faith-filled disciple of Christ in the time and circumstances in which we live.  Blessed Stanley Rother was a missionary to a region of the world that needed such a Christ-like person of love, hope and charity.  The fact is, however, that we can be blessed to be touched by people close by (like Marilyn Burke who I spoke of in my homily last weekend), who give of themselves for the sake of others every day, who help us to grow in our own credible witness to Christ to people we encounter in the place we live.  It is a great sign of faith whenever we ask for the intercession of holy people like Blessed Stanley Rother and people who we know seek to be in union with God in prayer and in action.  It is humbling, and a blessing when people ask us to intercede for them, for their loved ones, and for other needs.  Experiencing a beatification or canonization also serves to turn our minds, hearts and hopefully our actions to the things of heaven where we believe that Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father, and where we hope to be one day with all the saints in glory.