Monday, January 6, 2014

Bright Maidens: Befriend the Saints and Be Prepared

A belated mix of  December Prompt: Holidays vs. Feast Days
January Prompt: Saints: Picking Them, Picking Us

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Befriend the Saints and Be Prepared

From my perch on the couch, I can catch a glimpse of the titles lining our living room bookshelf.  My husband brought most of the apologetics, while I carved a neat section for my many friends, the saints.

Counselors.  Confidants.  Encouragers.  Challengers.

The men and women of ages past and present are beloved on both the bookshelf and in my heart.

The archangels - Gabriel, Raphael, Michael - who come to my aid when I'm weak and fearful.  And who I always thank for not showing up visibly since that usually makes people more fearful.

Mary, the Mother of God, who makes me tremble as I read her "yes" to the Lord, who makes me look more closely at the way my soul, too, should magnify Him.  Mary, my mother, who wraps me in her mantle and crushes the head of the serpent when he skulks about.

St. Joseph, Mary's most chaste spouse.  Although there are no recorded words from him in Scripture, his whole demeanor radiates trust in God.  Oh, how confused and hurt he must have been when Mary first came to him.  How he must have pondered the angel's words in the dream.  But he always trusted and protected, despite long, difficult journeys and changes.

When I examine my life with theirs, the saints always urge me onward, upward: "verso l'alto" as Bl. Pier Giorgio might say!  Struggles, trials, joys, dark nights - reading about, engaging in prayer, and dialoguing with the saints is almost better than a coffee date with a dear friend.  Keep trying, they urge.  Open your soul to the Lord, they repeat.  I've sought counsel from St. Gianna Beretta Molla about marriage and sexual intimacy (who better than a wife, mother, and doctor to go to?).  I've begged St. Raphael to help me find genuine friends.  I've run into Venerable Fulton Sheen more times than I can count, starting with our first spiritual encounter at The Catholic University of America.  Become who you were meant to be!  they urge.  Seek union with God.  Let it be done to you.  Let it be.

In this time of the New Evangelization, the saints are a key to spiritual growth.  If we celebrate their feast days, introduce them to our friends here, introduce them to people who have never heard of them - well, they'd start whispering the same things they whisper to you and me.  And they always point to the Lord.

When we celebrate their union with God, when we celebrate God's intense desire for total union with us, won't we bring a little more joy, hope, and peace into this struggling world?  Into our struggling hearts?  And how about a little more partying?  Heaven is described as a feast!  Do people know that?  Do they realize that Hell is not the location of the party?  Let's go out and celebrate the feast days of the saints, to bring a bit of the feast of Heaven to Earth!   

We all need mentors.  Counselors.  Confidants.  Encouragers.  Challengers.  Befriend the saints and be prepared for great things to happen.


  1. My personal "best friend in Heaven" is Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity. Through prayer and her writings I almost instantly developed a strong and deep devotion to her, and her words have a profound ability to enflame my heart. I have this powerful intimation that if I had known her in life, she and I would have been fast friends. And whenever I am in Mass or Adoration and have a hard time focusing in prayer (with ADHD, that's not an uncommon occurrence), I can ask her for help and my attention almost ALWAYS becomes instantly focused on Her Divine Spouse, and my inattention doesn't return. God willing, she'll soon be canonized, as the Vatican is actively examining a very solid second miracle.

    More info on Bl. Elizabeth can be found here:

    1. Thanks for sharing, Mike! What a wonderful friendship!

  2. Hi!!! Nice to meet you :-) You wanted my kolaczki recipe...find it at this link:

  3. Trista, thank you for writing this! I used to spend a lot of time reading about the Saints, and lately (as in the last few years) I've really sloughed off. I still have a ton of books though. After reading your post, I think I'm going to get back into that this weekend. Maybe it will be something fun for James and I to do together. :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Connie! Hope you and your husband are well! :)