St. Sharbel Makhlouf: Canonized: October 9, 1977, Saint Peter's Basilica, Vatican City by Pope Paul VI.
In the words of St. Claire of Assisi, “We become what we love and who we love shapes what we become. If we love things, we become a thing. If we love nothing, we become nothing. Imitation is not a literal mimicking of Christ, rather it means becoming the image of the beloved, an image disclosed through transformation. This means we are to become vessels of God's compassionate love for others.”
October 9 we celebrate the canonization of St. Sharbel Makhlouf. We also celebrate feast of St. John Henry Newman, England’s most celebrated Anglican homilist before he became Catholic on this day 1845. Both men, interestingly put their trust in the Catholic Church, and in the end neither one of them was disappointed!
But in the time between the conversion of J-H Newman and his death, the human dimension of the Church disappointed him. The trust he put in many Catholic bishops, priests, and lay leaders was often betrayed. His patient humility and perseverance in grief and suffering is why we call him a saint. He learned to put his trust in God, not in men. The same is true for St. Sharbel. Trust in human institutions is at an all-time low, I would say.
We can trust some people. We can trust the people we know, like your family members, your good friends, and your co-workers. Can we? But we can’t trust Big Anything. As a general rule, the bigger it gets, the less accountable it becomes, and the less trustworthy. Big Government, Big Pharma, Big Oil, Big Entertainment, Big Tech, —Big human must be regarded with a healthy amount of reserve. Trust your local grocery store, and your local parish, and the people you actually know. Smaller is better. Don’t trust those big chains that claim to be “Your Neighborhood Grocery Store”. Jesus did not do things big: he had 12 apostles, one of whom betrayed him. In the end, he put his absolute trust only in His Heavenly Father. You can trust God, and you can even trust some people--trust but verify. St. Sharbel and St. John Henry Newman realized, as do all saints, that in God alone do I place my [absolute] trust.