|This is not exactly what I want - but read on|
As regular readers must have noticed, I talk a lot on this blog about how things are not working in the Church and in our lives - from our sinful natures, to our problems loving one another, to bad bishops, to you name it.
However, as I mentioned yesterday, the real astonishment is not that we are sick, but that we are ever well. And a while back, I described the selfless love of one of my non-Christian actresses, and some of the heroic virtue she showed as a single mother in raising her son.
Now I hate sappy good news stories more than most. POLICE OFFICER HELPS OLD LADY ACROSS STREET is far less important than POLICE OFFICER SHOOTS UNARMED MAN SIX TIMES. To plug "happy news" is as insipid as cute little pictures of kittens on the internet.
But, one of the things you discover when you become a Catholic is how inspiring the saints are. Their lives really do give us hope. And it's a hope that's much deeper and more real than pictures of cute kittens, because lives of true love are always burdened with the cross. Real joy always shares in the cross, and is always tinged with sorrow, and so is real virtue.
So I'm asking for stories of heroic virtue and self-sacrifice - stories of "anonymous saints" on earth. I'm not asking for people to assert that they're great grandma is in heaven because she made such good oatmeal cookies; I'm asking if any of you can send me (either in the combox or via email or Facebook) stories of ordinary people leading lives of extraordinary goodness - true stories, that you've seen or experienced or heard about or can link to.
We need that to balance the evil we see all around us. We need to remember why we love God - because we love what is Good, and many, many of us (even though a person like me hardly ever says it) are very good.
I'd like to post maybe one story a week - or even do a podcast or something. Anonymous Saints - Ordinary People who are Extraordinarily Good. That would be the title. And it would bring a lot of hope to a lot of people, I think.
If you like this idea, or if you have suggestions, let me know!