When I was growing up, most of my “heroes” were sports figures: Ernie Banks (Chicago Cubs), Bobby Hull (Chicago Blackhawks), Muhammed Ali (boxing). In retrospect, I think it’s safe to say that they were my idols rather than heroes.
An idol is simply someone who is adored for various reasons: good looks, accomplishments, charisma, and so on. A hero, on the other hand, is someone who puts personal needs aside and goes above and beyond the call of duty to make a profound and positive impact on the life of another. Learning about heroes in the Bible and in the lives of the saints has been and continues to be an important feature of Catholic faith formation, since we learn from these extraordinary men and women how we can be people for others.
It just so happens that October 8 is National Hero Day, an opportunity for us to recognize the heroes in our own lives and to learn from them how we can lead heroic lives—putting our own needs aside and going above and beyond the call of duty to make a positive impact on the lives of others. This is a good opportunity to focus on biblical heroes, the saints, and the heroes in our everyday lives. Here are some resources that can help in exploring such heroes and the notion of heroic living:
- 10 Hidden Heroes
- Heroic Leadership
- Heroic Living
- Loyola Kids Book of Heroes
- Loyola Kids Book of Saints
- The Loyola Treasury of Saints
- Little Lessons from the Saints
Image from Pixabay.