I don't even remember how long I've been claiming a patron saint every year, on the Saturday before the first Sunday of Advent, but it has been a good long time. I use Jen Fulweiler's Random Saint Generator. The nature of a saint is that we all have something to learn from them, something to gain from them in terms of the riches of God's love. But there have been many, many times when either immediately or as the year went on, my random saint's involvement in my life proved very fitting and helpful. A few times, they were people who left writings. Usually it was something about their lives that I reflected on, or that frankly came to do a jump-scare on me.
This year my selected saint is St. Ivo of Kermartin. I had never heard of him, but a perusal of his biography has me just a bit up in my feels, as they say.
Patronage: Abandoned People; Advocates; Attorneys; Bailiffs; Barristers; Canon Lawyers; Judges; Jurists; Notaries; Orphans. That's what came up on Jen's site.
Lately my prayer, formed by listening to the fourth pillar of the Catechism in the Catechism in a Year podcast, formed by a lesson in Becoming Who I am, formed by a blink-and-refocus look at my Carmelite vocation -- all these point me to my need to be authentic, real, raw with God. To try to do something else is futile and a waste of my life, and to be otherwise through laziness is reason to throw open the windows as I carreen down the highway of life and let in the blast of cold wintery air that sets me right again.
This entails being honest with myself first about my felt needs.
And I have felt such a need for an advocate. It's hard to put into words. There's a psalm that says, "Though I constantly take my life in my hands..," or another translation says, "Though I constantly put my life at risk.." My feeling of what an advocate does (or THE Advocate, the Holy Spirit) is to take my life in His hands. The Advocate knows me, knows all the ins and outs, understands it all, and is for me, to plead my case against the Adversary who comes to try to ruin my life with his claims. When I just let that scene sink in, I let out a huge sigh. The weight of things falls off. Without a doubt, I can trust the Holy Spirit. But so often I act like I have to defend myself against Him. It really is more like I need to humble myself before Him.
Parts of me can relate to feeling like an abandoned child. If not because of actual life events, definitely because I abandon my own self regularly. I recognize in me the anxiety that makes it hard to relax, hard to enjoy things. It's an imbalanced overvaluing of my work and an impoverished eye toward the granduer, majesty, and love of God that actually holds me in life and, in fact, shows a feeling of having been abandoned as the utter lie that it is.
My sense is that St. Ivo would say to me, "Nope, you aren't abandoned, and you don't have to do everything for yourself. Let me remind you to how the Holy Spirit actually operates for you."