Sacrifice is the miracle that makes great things possible.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Self-sacrifice is a miracle in action. There are times when our world seems to be driven by greed and selfishness. One of the most powerful things to experience is a personal observation of one who freely gives for the sake of others. This story is one we watch unfold during the Christian observance of Holy Week.
Self-sacrifice is the act of deliberately following a course of action that has a high risk or certainty of suffering. We have witnessed such selfless action by our children as they cry out for an end to gun violence. They have exposed themselves at great cost. Pope Francis offered his support for their sacrifice in his Palm Sunday homily.
Such action always entails personal loss which could otherwise be avoided in order to achieve a benefit for others. It carries a powerful message saying; ‘There is something I want more than life itself. There is something more important.’
We are sanctifying our actions when we make sacrifices. The drive to make a personal difference, whether by living a life of service or rising to the occasion when it becomes clear that someone must, is the essence of self-sacrifice. We trade the uncertainty of options for the certainty of gloom when we surrender to despair. Life isn’t filled only with difficulty and pain. It is also filled with people whose dignity and spirit rise above their circumstances. There are situations when great sacrifice or love and wisdom turn a problem into an opportunity and strength. If we look at what has happened in our own lives and in those of others, we have ample reason to hope. This hope can change the world.
Today I will embrace self-sacrifice to make a difference!
Saint of 911In an enduring photograph of 9/11, a team of rescue worker scarry a Franciscan priest's body from the World Trade Center. The world came to know Father Mychal Judge, in death as a symbol of courage and sacrifice. "Saint of 9/11" represents the turbulent, restless,spiritual and remarkable journey of Father Mychal. Compassionate champion of the needy and forgotten, and a beloved New York City Fire Department Chaplain,he was a humble priest who wrestled with his own private demons while touching others in powerful and miraculous ways. "Saint of 9/11" weaves interviews with friends, colleagues, congregants and archival footage with Mychal's words and shows the full humanity of a special life interrupted. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellen. Features interviews with famed author Malachy McCourt and former New York City Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen.