Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Brandon

5/3/2010 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (

That well known fictional American philosopher Pollyanna said: "If you search for the good in people, you will surely find it."   If you do, you will encounter Jesus in the flesh; but if you really look hard, you might find an Ordinary Hero, whose example can be a lamp on your own path of salvation.

Finding Ordinary Heroes in our day to day lives is not about their aptitude, but about our attitude.

Finding Ordinary Heroes in our day to day lives is not about their aptitude, but about our attitude.


By Michael Brandon

Catholic Online (

5/3/2010 (6 years ago)

Published in Christian Saints & Heroes

TUCSON, AZ (Catholic Online) - In the world in which we live, particularly here in North America, we have become enamoured with heroes.  One dictionary definition of a hero is:  "A person noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially one who has risked or sacrificed his or her life."
But, the modern day hero in our North American culture has been diminished to someone we look up to mainly for their wealth and/or fame.  Today's heroes typically consist of star athletes, film and television stars, and musicians.  When one of our heroes scores the Super Bowl winning touchdown, leads his team to the Stanley Cup or Olympic Gold, or wins an Academy or Grammy award, we rejoice and celebrate along with someone we don't even know.  The media may even trumpet our sports heroes as showing great courage in playing a game, you know the star player, injured along the way, who comes back to lead his team in the final contest, as though that were a meaningful act of courage.
When one of our heroes falls out of grace, such as the most famous golfer in the world did recently, we lose a bit of our way too.  These heroes are all larger than life, and thrust into our daily paths with great frequency.  We have become vicariously invested in them and their success.
Though some folks are inspired to grow in the areas that they have become famous for, these heroes are by and large a distraction from real life, and one can easily question whether they really are worthy of being thought of as heroes.
For those of us who are committed to Christianity, we have a hero, well the ultimate Superhero really, who outshines all others, Jesus Christ.  "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." John 15:13 NAB.  That verse pretty well sums up the real definition of a hero.   But, for us earth bound folks, it is hard to picture how we can emulate God made man on a day by day basis, now over 2,000 years later.
We can find our real Hero, Jesus Christ in others.  In its immense wisdom, the Catholic Church has given us the saints, people of virtue, who have lived and in many cases died for the faith, to be heroes of the faith for us as well, to be examples of Jesus in the here and now.  But, there too, is a difficult challenge for us earth bound folks, in this day and age.  Most of those heroes are from a different here and now than we are.  As well, our knowledge of them is mostly about their exploits for the propagation of the faith, and not about how they went about their daily lives, about their fears, sorrows and joys, trials and tribulations.  Though it is true that they model the faith for us, there are things about them that are so much larger than life as we understand it, that following in their footsteps seems beyond our capabilities.
So, I concluded that we need not just to look to Jesus and the saints for guidance in our daily walk of faith, but must find Ordinary Heroes, men and women who choose to live the faith in their daily trials and tribulations, the ones who live out the words of the gospels.  These Ordinary Heroes are normal everyday men and women, who are concerned with putting food on the table, clothing their families, giving them right guidance, loving God and their neighbor, all in a world that grows more hostile day by day to the faith of our fathers, and those who walk in it.  They, or their spouse or kids get sick; they lose their jobs.  They, like us, are tossed by the storms of daily life.  But, in them we also see people who have ridden out those storms, and when it looked like they should call it a day, stepped up to the challenge in faith, and saw it through.
If we look to their lives, and let their perseverance in times of trial, and their determination to take opportunities seriously to live and share their faith, I believe that we too can become examples to those who look to us.  We can make tough choices because we see them do so, and we can grow in love and service to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
As I spoke about this with My Dear Wife, she reminded me of a story that Father Tom Lever gave us in a homily at St. Michael's Parish in London, Ontario many years ago.  It went like this.
A man was walking between two towns, and stopped along his way to converse with a farmer who was in his field by the roadside.  The man had left the first town to move to the second town, and asked the farmer this question: "What are the people like in the town I am going to?"  The farmer replied with another question: "What were they like in the town you just left?"  The man replied that they were kind and gentle, and that he had really hated to leave the first town.  The farmer then told him that he would find the people in his new town to be just the same.
As it happened, another man came down the same road a short while later, having left the first town to go to work and live in the second town.  He too asked the farmer: "What are the people like in the town I am going to?"  The farmer replied yet again with his own question: "What were they like in the town you just left?"  The man replied that they were mean spirited and unkind, and that he could hardly wait to get out of the first town.  The farmer then told him that he would find the people in his new town to be just the same.

Finding Ordinary Heroes in our day to day lives is not about their aptitude, but about our attitude.

Michael Brandon is a Canadian Catholic, in love with God in His three persons, and in love with his wife and soul mate.  He is also the father of three, step father of three, and step grandfather to 2 1/3.   He and his wife spend part of winters keeping warm in sunny Arizona.  You can visit him at his blog site Freedom Through Truth.


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for SEPTEMBER 2016
Centrality of the Human Person: That each may contribute to the common good and to the building of a society that places the human person at the center.
Evangelization: Mission to Evangelize: That by participating in the Sacraments and meditating on Scripture, Christians may become more aware of their mission to evangelize.


More Christian Saints & Heroes

St. Ignatius of Antioch: Model of Bravery, Man for our Times Watch

Image of One of many icons of St. Ignatius of Antioch

By Billy Atwell

In the face of the current "witch-hunts" endured by some of our Bishops, let us remember a hero on October 17, the feast of St. Ignatius of Antioch.  St. Ignatius of Antioch is a bishop and martyr of the Church who died in the ... continue reading

St Francis Through the Eyes of His Friend St Bonaventure Watch

Image of Francis of Assisi in prayer

By Deacon Keith Fournier

There is so much to write about in this marvelous account of the life of one of my own personal heroes, the saint whose witness led me back to the Church, Francis of Assisi. However, I will focus on one aspect of Bonaventure's tribute to Francis. He was his ... continue reading

A Promise to God: St. Michael the Archangel, Defend Us in Battle Watch

Image of Michael is also represented in icons as standing on a horizontal body and with his left arm held high, holding a small image of a

By Youngsun Jun

Though I am not strong enough to hold the suffering souls in my arms and carry them home, I can do one thing: I can pray for the deliverance of the souls who are in the darkness. I can request help from the angels for them. I can make a 911 call for them. So again, I ... continue reading

The Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel and Raphael: Archangels and Powerful Spiritual Allies Sent by Love and for Love Watch

Image of

By Deacon F. K. Bartels

The Catechism of the Catholic Church informs us - The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls 'angels' is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition (328). Charged by God to ... continue reading

My Memoir of St. Padre Pio: Price of Suffering and Beatification by the Brush of Grace

Image of Padre Pio in death.

By Matt Hicks

Miraculous testimony of an elite level gymnast touched by Padre Pio: 'Pio, like all the saints, is like the window-washer that scales tall buildings to clear away the muck and allow us to see His luminous rays aflame. God sends them, as He pushes us forward, ... continue reading

Which is it? Saint Teresa of Calcutta or Mother Teresa of Kolkata Watch

Image of The icon of Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

There is confusion over the proper title of Mother Teresa. Her name is appearing in the media as both "Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta" and "Mother Teresa of Kolkata," sometimes written with the word "Mother" and sometimes without. Which is correct? LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

The saints are real and active in our lives! Saint Padre Pio intercedes on behalf of baby with critical heart condition Watch

Image of Saint Padre Pio has been credited with intercession that saved the life of baby Caitlin Dooley.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The saints are real and active in our lives. This is more obvious than ever following the miraculous recovery of a baby in an Irish intensive care unit. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - A relic of Saint Padre Pio has been credited with a dramatic improvement in ... continue reading

Clare of Assisi as Model: Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Calls for Women of Courage to Renew the Church Watch

Image of


In her convent of San Damiano, Clare heroically practiced the virtues that should characterize all Christians: humility, a spirit of piety and penance, and charity.  Her fame of sanctity and the prodigies that came about thanks to her intervention led Pope ... continue reading

Fr. Paul Schenck on Edith Stein: Daughter of Israel, Daughter of the Church Watch

Image of St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, Edith Stein, Catholic feminist, philosopher and martyr of Auschwitz: Throughout her life, Edith never renounced or denounced her Jewish identity. Rather, as demonstrated in her memoir, her participation in Jewish customs at home, her letter to the Pope and in her correspondences, she spoke of her Jewish roots as intrinsic to her self-identification, to her views and even to aspects of her vocation

By Fr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck

August 9 is the Memorial of St. Teresia Benedicta a Cruce, Edith Stein, Catholic feminist, philosopher and martyr of Auschwitz. In this sketch, Fr. Paul Chaim Benedicta Schenck, Jewish born priest and Chair of the National Pro-Life Center (Washington, DC), examines the ... continue reading

Saint Ignatius of Loyola Challenges All of Us to Become Saints Watch

Image of On July 31st we remember the founder of the Company or Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Ignatius of Loyola. He is the patron saint of soldiers and of retreatants. There is a connection. He was a soldier and the Spiritual Exercise which he left us have been used for hundreds of years to help men and women like us encounter Jesus Christ, on retreats, and in our daily lives. The disciplines they promote can help us to grow in holiness of life, no matter what our state in life, and equip us for service in the Army of the King, Jesus Christ.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Over the centuries, the Jesuits have been relied upon by Popes as trustworthy, heroic soldiers for Jesus Christ and His Church. Yes, there have been times when the company seemed to lose its fervor. However, Jesus Christ the King has always sent His Spirit to ... continue reading

All Christian Saints & Heroes News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 5:21-33
21 Be subject to one another out of reverence for Christ.22 ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 128:1-2, 3, 4-5
1 [Song of Ascents] How blessed are all who fear Yahweh, who walk in his ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:18-21
18 He went on to say, 'What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 25th, 2016 Image

St. Daria
October 25: There is very little known about them. ... Read More