The Saints are Marching In my house and I'm so very grateful. They've always been kind of hanging around, peeking in the windows, knocking on the door, yelling at me from across the street. I've always been happy to welcome them, as well, as long as they weren't too intrusive, too nosy or too time-consuming. You know how some house-guests can be.
I was especially happy to open my door to them in times of great need (mine, of course), and they've always always come through, but it wasn't until recently that I truly made up the guest room, vacuumed the floor, set out some flowers and begged them to stay a while.
It started when a friend of mine found herself in deep peril a few months ago. Her teary phone call to me stopped my world, made me re-evaluate the things I most valued in life, and immediately I found myself praying.
While I'm always in constant one-on-one conversation with The Big Guy (I've got him on speed-dial, don'tcha know), there was something so indescribably comforting about having these two friends to talk to as well, to share my worries with, express my concerns through, and basically beg of them for aid and assistance.
I know those of you reading this who are not of the Catholic faith have all kinds of pre-disposed ideas and convictions about us nutty Catholics and our Saints, and I am in no way going to attempt to teach you a lesson on the Saints or try to convince you to think otherwise -- that's not my job. I will say, though, that we in no uncertain terms do not "worship" them. They are just other vessels we use to pray through. Just like Mary, we know that they have a special seat in God's kingdom and we feel that if they hear our petitions, they might just tug on The Big Guy's ear for us a little.
So this is what I did. I turned to Jude and Rita, because that's who my grandmother and mother always turned to. Jude is known as the Patron Saint of such things as Lost Causes and Rita tends to help out those who are Ill, Lonely or Suffering. I found a website selling their devotional candles, bought a handful, lit 'em up and hit the ground.
My friend turned out just fine, her problem was taken care of, but whether or not that had anything to do with the prayers I offered up on her behalf, I have no idea. What I do know is that they helped me feel as though I was doing the most good for her at a time when she needed it. The gave me solace when I couldn't find it within myself, and they brought me closer to God in ways I hadn't experienced before.
I continue to burn their candles and pray to them in times of need, and I feel comforted just knowing they are there.
Why am I devulging this in public? I owe them that much. I owe them a public declaration of gratitude, an acknowledgement of the ways they've worked in my life. I am happy to call them my friends, and happier to know that they are available to all of us, any time we should need them, whether we light a candle, kneel in petition, or just drop by every now and then to shoot the breeze.
So, no, you haven't typed in the wrong web address, and unclench, this is not becoming a "religious" blog, but if from time to time you see a post of thanks to my buds, maybe you'll understand that it's part of my growing as a woman, a wife, a mother and a Christian, and if I were none of those things, I wouldn't have such hilarious tales of woe for you to laugh at, and wouldn't that suck just a little?
I'm just sayin'.