Monday, March 3, 2014

St. Anthony's Workin' Overtime

For the last three years, our family has adopted a patron saint.  A few days leading up to New Year's Eve, we begin discussing which saints are in the running for becoming our Family Patron Saint in the coming year. Then, after Mass on New Year's Eve, we come home to narrow down our choice and vote.  In 2012, we selected St. Cecilia - the patron of musicians.  We have a home budding with young musicians, so St. Cecelia was a great choice.  Before piano recitals and school concerts, we would invoke St. Cecelia for her prayers to calm nerves.  St. Sebastian, the patron of athletes, was our family saint for 2013.  He was called upon more than once for our swimmers, gymnasts, football and basketball players.  This year, we chose St. Anthony, the patron of lost things.  As Sweet Potato argued before the voting, "He should win because we lose things ALL. THE. TIME."

Everyday, someone in our household misplaces something; hats, mittens/gloves, snow pants, boot liners, homework, backpacks, toys, keys - you get the idea.  I try, really hard, to keep everyone organized.  I make it painfully simple, or so I think.  Regardless, time each and everyday is spent searching for something. St. Anthony is beckoned often.  We ask for his prayers in finding the lost and restoring some sort of order. When the lost is found we give a prayer of thanksgiving.

Earlier today, Pumpkin and I were at Walmart.  I had a list of things I needed to purchase, and since it was really cold outside, I wanted a one-stop shopping experience.  We were at the photo center, getting some pictures developed.  I ordered what I needed and then told Pumpkin to follow me over to the scanner to pick up our pictures.  I assumed she was behind me.  I scanned my ticket, waited for my pictures to print, collected my photos and then turned to tell Pumpkin it was time to go.  That is when I realized she wasn't behind me.  I quickly looked around the photo area, trying to search out her pink coat and her pink, piggy hat.  She wasn't there.  I yelled her name, to which the other shoppers turned to look at me.  My face turned red and my stomach knotted up.  I ran out into the main aisle and looked left and then right.

I didn't see her.

I pushed my cart to the side and prayed, first to Jesus to be with her, and then to St. Anthony to lead me to my baby.  I pleaded that I would find her quickly.

I ran back to the main aisle.  And then I heard her cry.  I looked to my left and saw her pink, piggy hat headed towards the automotive center.  I ran in her direction, yelling her name.  She saw me and came running into my arms.  We were both crying.  At that moment, my fear turned into relief and then into disappointment.  I was disappointed the Pumpkin had wandered off and disappointed in myself for not keeping closer tabs on my child.

I firmly held her hand for the rest of our shopping trip.

Thank you Jesus for your protection, and thank you St. Anthony for your prayers.

The following are excerpts about the saints from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

956   The intercession of the saints. “Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.... [T]hey do not cease to intercede with the Father for us, as they proffer the merits which they acquired on earth through the one mediator between God and men, Christ Jesus.... So by their fraternal concern is our weakness greatly helped.”495 (13702683)

957   Communion with the saints. “It is not merely by the title of example that we cherish the memory of those in heaven; we seek, rather, that by this devotion to the exercise of fraternal charity the union of the whole Church in the Spirit may be strengthened. Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims brings us closer to Christ, so our communion with the saints joins us to Christ, from whom as from its fountain and head issues all grace, and the life of the People of God itself”498: (1173)
We worship Christ as God’s Son; we love the martyrs as the Lord’s disciples and imitators, and rightly so because of their matchless devotion towards their king and master. May we also be their companions and fellow disciples!499
958   Communion with the dead. “In full consciousness of this communion of the whole Mystical Body of Jesus Christ, the Church in its pilgrim members, from the very earliest days of the Christian religion, has honored with great respect the memory of the dead; and ‘because it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead that they may be loosed from their sins’ she offers her suffrages for them.”500 Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective. (137110321689)
959   In the one family of God. “For if we continue to love one another and to join in praising the Most Holy Trinity—all of us who are sons of God and form one family in Christ—we will be faithful to the deepest vocation of the Church.”501 (1027)

495 LG 49; cf. 1 Tim 2:5.
498 LG 50; cf. Eph 4:1-6.
499 Martyrium Polycarpi, 17: Apostolic Fathers II/3, 396.
500 LG 50; cf. 2 Macc 12:45.
501 LG 51; cf. Heb 3:6.

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