People of Honor

The title itself implies something old fashioned, don't you think?  Honor?  Isn't that a word generally associated with people on the front lines in armed services?  Yes, but isn't that is really too bad?  Why can't regular people be considered people of Honor?  What does it take for someone to have honor?

Even though I like to read and write, the material I generally choose to read is something most of you would never pick up.  I have never been able to read fiction books because I could never wrap my head around the twists and turns of a mystery novel, or empathize with any of the characters in a romance novel.  I think it is just the way I am wired.  I can't watch chick-flicks or love stories, or sci-fi either.  I guess you could say that I am a realist, a black and white kinda gal.  That's why I have never admired fictional characters or heroes on screen.  My heroes are real, they are those people I can relate to and try to emulate.

Who are my heroes?  My heroes are every day people, like my dad.  He was a hero to me because he was a real father to his eight kids.  He was completely selfless and honorable.  My dad worked long hours in a factory for 44 years, and on the side he obtained his real estate license to make "extra" money.  He never bought himself ANYTHING.  Every penny he made went to pay our bills, put food on the table, and send us to Catholic school....which was a huge sacrifice for a guy with my dad's meager wage.  He fought in WWII and he never complained about losing his favorite brother in that war in order to help his country.  He was tough as nails, selfless, and a man of great honor.

Other heroes I admire are people like Mother Theresa, Pope John Paul II, and Ghandi.  These people were remarkable examples of how to live.  They over came incredible obstacles.  They had to constantly work on themselves and to be faithful in many hopeless situations.  Mother Therese taught in India for years, completely forgetting that she had a call to serve the hopeless and neglected until her own Mother reminded her.  She gave up her comfortable life of teaching to go out into the streets and look at the most vile of circumstances.  She was brave and forthright, she was a woman of honor.  St. John Vianney was a very inadequate priest, he was not smart or handsome or charismatic.  His own fellow priests put him down and made fun of him all the time, but he persevered and went from being very small to being the patron saint of priests!  He was a man of honor.  St. Monica and St. Rita was both mothers of very bad boys.  They prayed day and night for their sons to be men of honor some day...and they were.  Their constant prayers for their children and families went completely unnoticed by their children, but they quietly prayed anyhow.  Their faith and love for their children saved their soles and showed mothers everywhere that their prayers for their own children do not go unnoticed by God.  They are role models to parents and women of honor.

Look at your own families for a minute, do you see any men or women of honor?  If so, tell them how proud you are of them, thank them for being honorable people and good examples to others.  If you do not see men, women, or children of honor around you, encourage them so that they may feel the pride that can come from acting honorably.  Remind them that they are children of God and capable of being all God wants them to be. I miss my dad because he was truly one of the last great heroes of honor.  I would like to see more men and women of honor but I am not sure that that word has such an appeal to people anymore.  Honor is not a badge you wear on your sleeve, it is an indelible mark of courage and sacrifice that is manifested in the heart and lived out in your everyday life.


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