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Today is All Saints’ Day. On this day, we give thanks for all those who have belonged to God, not as plaster saints, but as men and women of flesh and blood who, by God’s Grace, have come through the muck and the joys of being human. They have endured the darkness and now they shine as stars.

Who are saints? The saints of God are those persons who inspire us to follow after Jesus — Mary, Joseph, Francis of Assisi, Patrick, Joan of Arc, Mother Teresa, Pope John XXIII, Pope John Paul II, Oscar Romero and many, many more. Their devotion to God is like precious perfume. It leaves a fragrance to follow after them. They remind us that to live and to act like Jesus did, is possible for each and every one of us.

The following words challenge me and help me to follow Jesus and to model the saints in my day-to-day life. I try to read them on a regular basis and to share them with others:

IF I REALLY CARED….

I’d look you in the eyes when you talk to me.
I’d think about what you’re saying, rather than what I’m going to say next.
I’d hear your feelings as well as your words.

If I really cared….
I’d listen without defending.
I’d hear without deciding whether you’re right or wrong.
I’d ask you why, not just how and when and where.

If I really cared….
I’d allow you inside of me.
I’d tell you my hopes, my dreams, my fears, my hurts.
I’d tell you where I’ve blown it and when I’ve made it.

If I really cared….
I’d laugh with you, but not at you.
I’d talk with you, and not to you.
And I’d know when it’s time to do neither.

If I really cared….
I wouldn’t climb over your walls.
I’d hang around until you let me in the gate.
I wouldn’t unlock your secrets.
I’d wait until you handed me the key.

If I really cared…
I’d love you anyhow.
But I’d ask for the best that you can give.
And gently draw it from you.

If I really cared….
I’d put my scripts away.
And leave my solutions at home.
The performances would end.
We’d be ourselves.
Ruth Senter
Startled by Silence

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