Anyone know the name Thomas Rousseau David’s Byles? In my minds eye he deserves human recognition as a saint.
The United States Conference of Bishops sets the bar low, at least, post-humorously low: “All Christians are called to be saints. Saints are persons in heaven (officially canonized or not), who lived heroically virtuous lives, offered their life for others, or were martyred for the faith, and who are worthy of imitation.”
There is no verification process here, no Congregation for the Causes of Saints, or road of scrutiny gradually being elevated as candidate, venerable, blessed, and for some finally Sainthood in the official Catholic. This latter designation is a steeper hill. It is estimated that over ten thousand saints have recognized by “the Roman Catholic Church.”
This Canonization process, in crude brevity, requires one be martyred for the faith or have verifiably performed a miracle not explained by science.
My bar goes below both definitions: “Any person, Christian or not, alive or dead, who lives a heroically virtuous life, selflessly serves others, is tested by a period of intense acute sacrifice or sustained sacrifice over time, and whose life is worthy of imitation” is Saintly. These people could not care less if we noticed their holy lives unless it furthered serving others, spreading love, and living for the greater glory of humanity and God by whatever name we call the unknown one.
Getting back to Thomas, he bought peace to people facing death by unpleasant means when he himself could have escaped the same fate.
This priest reportedly boarded the Titanic to travel to officiate a wedding request. When the ship hit the iceberg he was on deck praying. He went down to third class and calmly helped people find there way to the deck. He declined a life raft, unlike the captain, and stayed and prayed with those that went down with the ship. https://www.americamagazine.org/faith/2021/04/14/titanic-anniversary-catholic-priest-refused-lifeboat-rescue-240380
Is it by accident that fate can be answered by faith? Or the seriousness of Post Humorous thoughts about our loved ones is sometimes best handled by humorous banter and acceptance of our mortality?
Perhaps even more intriguing about Thomas is that he was a Catholic convert. It says something when an individual seeks out a spiritual practice that speaks to him and is willing to leave one denomination for another, neither being perhaps better then the other.
Did fate bring him aboard that ship? I don’t know. I only hope I could lead like he led when circumstances call for sacrifices, big or small.