A Saintly Bishop: Get the Heck out of Bed and Go to Mass!


I am reading Willa Cather's Shadows on the Rock. Though not a Catholic, Cather certainly captures the heart of Catholicism in 17th century Quebec. Her passages concerning St. Francois de Laval, the first bishop of Quebec, are especially moving. Behold, how the saintly man called his flock to Mass every morning:

"The Bishop got up at four o'clock every morning, dressed without fire, went with his lantern into the church, and rang the bell for early mass for the working people. Many good people who did not want to go to mass at all, when they heard that hoarse, frosty bell clanging out under the black sky where there was not yet even a hint of daybreak, groaned and went to the church. Because they thought of the old Bishop at the end of the bell-rope, and because his will was stronger than theirs. He was a stubborn, high-handed, tyrannical, quarrelsome old man, but no one could deny that he shepherded his sheep."

May God grant us many stubborn, high-handed, tyrannical, quarrelsome old men to shepherd us as such. 

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