Holding Out for a Hero


It’s not easy PR’ing all day and costuming by night. In fact, it’s down right exhausting. Moms with kids, I’m feeling you. Minus the kids. Minus passing out candy. For a Monday it felt like one giant conference call and then it was time to find a phone booth and poof, emerge as Lois Lane for the big Halloween bash. Well, there was no phone booth, just the “office” bathroom and me playing Bonnie Tyler’s “I need a Hero” song in my head while designing my live art.

I didn’t really think too hard about who to be, but around the corner from my house there is a giant Wonder Woman emerging from the sky at the Warner lot and I started to think that my favorite female among super heroes is actually Lois Lane. I like her because she’s equal to Superman with a gutsy, fearless approach and she really doesn’t need to fight all the battles, but she definitely wants to be by the side of the one who will. Plus she’s fashion cool (no gold belts and leotards, thank you very much). I love her for her idealistic “save the world” journalistic grit and her complete enchantment with the hero of all heroes, Superman. Their love is well. . nothing ever happens, but it’s for sure real and he seems to never be found, but he’s in fact really with her all the time. People sort of mock her because she’s holding out for her hero.

OK you know you are all singing the Bonnie Tyler song now..“I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong and he’s gotta be fast and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight.”

So Lois is in the superhero’s posse. She’s a catch and too busy for love because she’s out there exposing the scum of the earth…She’s light shining in the darkness. She looks good. She is good. And she wants good.

As I was costuming…. it was driving me crazy. What did Lois wear, look like?  It became so confusing with the movie versions and the TV versions. I was going for the Teri Hatcher look because the party rules called for TV characters, but the darn wigs don’t come bang-less…and mine was a tad long – so much so that I was told I looked like one of the lost Kardashians. (gasp!) So over the weekend, I discovered hair dresser talents I never knew I had as I took the shears to the wig and started hacking it into perfection. At this point I’m now spending way too much time on this costume.

Commercial culture calls it Halloween, but it’s really All Hallows Eve and a holy night for Catholics. It’s the Eve of All Saints – the date on the liturgical calendar where we celebrate and honor ALL SAINTS of the Church (those who have attained Heaven) – a feast so big that it’s a holy day of obligation, meaning you cannot miss Mass, it has the full weight of a Sunday Mass – it’s so important that the Church makes this rule so in our weakness we will not miss, but take it that seriously. (Get to Mass and encourage others to do the same, it’s a rule because it’s a blessing for you and for me) ALL Saints! Not some of the saints. ALL. Full court! That’s a LOT of saints and a huge heavenly host – ALL HALLOWS EVE. Translation: Heaven is open!

Like my costume and the hero track, the saints are the exemplary characters in the story of life. Those who have gone before us bearing the mark of Christ in the heroic manner in which they lived. Many bear witness to Christ even to the point of death – all lived sacrificially and all with virtue that’s been recorded and studied. The Church encourages us to model the lives of the saints.  We honor the saints on their holy days, we take their names at our Baptism and Confirmations and marry on their feast days.

The same way I was studying little Lois’s specific “ways” – her hair, accessories, shoes, taste in men (ahem, Superman), pencil skirt, and pearls..down to the press badge so I could saunter in to the party in perfect character, the saints too should be studied and emulated. I was obsessed with getting the wig right. I was in CVS with the wig on marching to the hair product aisle to find black hair pins because the bangs which were supposed to be a part down the middle with no real bangs were just out of place. I had to fix it and seriously hide my platinum blondness. Totally OCD Halloween. But this amusing perfectionist behavior over Lois’ look, got me thinking about Christianity and the imitation of Christ and his posse – the saints.  When we look to the saints who are models of a life in Christ lived well, do we see their persona, virtue, characteristics as a cause to reflect on our lives and how we relate to Christ and His Church?  We should. Do we identify saints who are a little like us in personality to be our hero saint to fight for us behind the scenes? We should.

This All Saints Day is a day to not only call upon the Saints for their most powerful intercession, but it’s a time for self-reflection and to see how we too can “costume” ourselves for perfection. (Matt 5:48 and Col 3:12-17).

Growing up we were encouraged away from the commercial idea of Halloween and its often scary symbolism and pointed to creatively (and competitively!) express beauty, heroism and joy, laughing in the face of what others have made it. On this All Hallow’s Eve and All Saints Day let us have fun and call to mind with great affection those brothers and sisters who have gone before us to show us the narrow way to Heaven. We can call on the saints, admire them and even copy them a little as we strive to be perfect as our Heavenly Father is perfect.

Who are your favorite saints?

I have so many, but here we go: Saints Mary and Joseph (everything is under his holy cloak!), Saint JP2, Ven. Fulton J. Sheen (on his way to sainthood), St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), St. Clare of Assisi, St. Catherine of Siena (Confirmation), St. Ann (Baptism, my middle name and patron for my family), St. Philomena (downright amazing, I have a great story on her), St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Faustina, St. Padre Pio, St. Gemma Galgani, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Francis de Sales, St. John Bosco, St. Therese de Lisieux, St. Dominic, St. Louis De Montfort, St. Juan Diego, St. Benedict, St. Michael, St. Patrick, and St. Katharine Drexel+

Saints of the Church, pray for us!

Praying for you+