Today we celebrate All Saint‘s Day. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. Of course I want to be a saint, as do most practicing Catholics. Saint Kelly… yes I want to be the first Saint Kelly (though there may be one already… I am talking about the ones recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.)! But after the homily today I became a bit, just a bit discouraged… you see Fr. Phil said in his wonderful homily that he once heard someone ask a priest, “What makes someone a saint?” and the reply was, “A saint is gentle in everything he does.”
Me, gentle? Ha! That is probably the last thing someone would say to describe me.
Yup… that would be more like it. I am …hm… how should I say this… passionate… zealous… and at times quite honestly obnoxious. Gentle?… nope, not me. I am the proverbial bull in the china shop of life. I can be loud, selfish, opinionated, animated… the punk rock Catholic. I seethe … yes seethe at the statement, “Let’s agree to disagree!” Because no I don’t want to agree to disagree, especially when it comes to topics such as abortion… killing a baby is wrong so there can be no agreeing to disagree~ you are wrong, change your mind! I can be intolerant, yes I said that, INTOLERANT at times of other people’s opinions and beliefs (like on abortion)! So yeah… I can be intense and very UNgentle.
Case in point, last month while at Derry Fest (our town’s annual festival) I saw that Planned Parenthood had a tent… so what was my knee-jerk reaction? As I walked by I yelled out to them, “Defund Planned Parenthood!” Yeah, classy. My friend Jennifer, who is very involved in 40 Day’s for Life, was a much holier person than me that day. She went up to them and told them she would pray for them. She spoke kindly to them. She expressed her beliefs in a nice, kind way. Not like crazy, mad Kelly.
I do admit that I have been working on not being so…. ME. I have been trying to be holy. I am trying to not blow up as much (my Irish temper!). I am trying to hold my tongue. I am trying to not post as much (in-yer-face stuff) on Facebook (yeah that won’t happen haha 😛 ). This summer I actually stopped myself from freaking out on a woman who misunderstood how we (a co-teacher and I) were handling an autistic student who was melting down in the middle of Manchester Community College. She got all up in my grill, accusing us of things… which infuriated me, not only because she did not understand the situation but she didn’t understand our students… I was furious… BUT… I refrained from freaking all up and down her… I kept my cool and I turned and walked away. My co-teacher said she was impressed with me, in the past I would have lost my cool. So, there is hope for me… for Saint Kelly. 😉 ha!
So on this Feast Day I have learned something (thank you Fr. Phil). Be gentle. I need to continue to try to be less me and more Him. I know that it is hard. I know that it takes time… years even…. and I know the saints weren’t all perfect. And some were very wild too. One of my favorite Saint Francis of Assisi quotes (which I have quoted before) is, “I have been all things unholy; if God can work through me He can work through anyone.” God is working in me … no worries… There is always hope for us wild obnoxious Catholics.
Phew. Thank God.