Two things about the extremely poor coverage of Mary MacKillop's impending canonization have irked me:
- The complete failure to recognize that she is worthy of the honours of the altar, NOT because she opened schools, succoured the poor, etc. BUT because she worshipped God aright and therefore loved her neighbour as Christ loved us, obeying His command to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect, possessing as she did the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, plus the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, justice and fortitude, all of them to an heroic degree. Nothing imperfect enters heaven! It is foulest Americanism, that detestable heresy akin to Pelagianism, to think a person is a saint because of their good works, howsoever many; one is a saint because of fidelity to grace.
- The complete failure of any Australians to recognize that she is not being canonized alone! How typically insular, parochial, provincial and self-absorbed of us all to forget that at least one of the other four beati about to be promoted is arguably more important that she is: Br André, the miracle-worker of Montreal, who was instrumental in establishing there the far-famed shrine of St Joseph to which millions of pilgrims repair each year to beg for blessings, prayers that are oft heard and granted.
And to add a third point: she is more properly Bl (soon to be St) Mary of the Cross; to use her Scottish surname instead of her religious title simply reinforces the relentless secularization of her cultus. As it is, the popular media seem only able to celebrate her as a nice lady who did good deeds, while pooh-poohing her miracles. The running-dogs of the media among the liberal clergy and religious do the same. There will not be any saints in Australia to follow her if we give in to this nonsense about bourgeois niceness as the be-all and end-all of holiness. She strove for the perfection of sanctity, and stormed heaven: do people nowadays even think about such a concept?
Dear Mary, obtain of the Lord that the truth of thy sanctity be grasped by all hearts, that thy blessed example lead us unto Him, Who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, world without end. Amen.