Brother Daniel is pictured above with his Latin school class. And below is a reflection sent to me with an adaptation to the Marianist vocation.
Question, "What's a hero?"
Answer, "A man who gives his life for others."
A fireman who rushes into the World Trade Center to save a life but loses his own.
A soldier who walks toward enemy fire to drag his buddy behind the lines.
A pilot who bails out in the Hudson River, keeping his cool and thereby saving lives.
But let's face it: These are moments of heroism, performed on impulse and usually over before the "hero" has a chance to consider the consequences.
What about someone who gives his whole life for his God, his Church, his fellow man and woman? What about someone who takes—and keeps—a vow of poverty, chastity, and obedience forever? For what personal gain? For what ulterior motive?
I'm sorry, this one's a slam dunk:
It takes a special kind of courage to be a consecrated religious.
Pope Benedict explains,
"In our culture today we want to be able to react to new demands, and we hope, by changing jobs fast, to be able to climb the ladder as quickly and as high as possible. But I think there are still callings that demand the whole of a person. Being a doctor, for instance, or a teacher, is not something I can do just for two or three years, but is a calling that requires my whole lifetime. That is to say, even today there are tasks that are not a job that runs alongside my life, so to speak, in order to ensure I have money to live on. For a true calling, income is not the criterion, but the practicing of some skill in the service of mankind. . . .We all stand in a great arena of history and are dependent on each other. A man ought not, therefore, just to figure out what he would like, but to ask what he can do and how he can help. Then he will see that fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease, and following one's inclinations, but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon you, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man who "risks the fire," who recognizes a calling within himself, a vocation, an ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. As we have said, it is not in taking, not on the path of comfort, that we become rich, but only in giving."