“God gave me a father and a mother more worthy of heaven than of earth.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux
As I mentioned in my last post I spent the better part of Christmas 2015 watching movies about Saints. I know that is what we are all called to be, that our ultimate goal is heaven, so I thought it would be good to see how these Saints lived their lives. Upon reflecting on their stories it occurred to me that most of them were Priests or Sisters. St. Rita was married and had children, but it seemed her total abandonment to God came after their deaths, though she was a faithful wife and mother in very difficult circumstances, and of course after their deaths she became a Sister.
I was mentioning this to my Spiritual Director. That it somehow seemed harder to become a Saint when you live in the secular world and not within the confines of the convent or monastery or church. He agreed that it probably was harder because quiet is necessary to hear God and that quiet is part of the Consecrated life. Families don’t always necessarily get that if they don’t make time. But we know there are married Saints, so it can be done.
Then he gave me my assignment. He gave me a list of Saints. These are companion Saints for the year. He said to print the list out. Cut them into strips, so there is only one Saint for each strip, and put them in a bowl. Then gather my family and have each member pick a name. He told me, we are not really picking them, they are picking us. He said we may not know the reason right away why we picked them, but once we read their story and pray the intention at the bottom of the paper we would soon know.
It was 18 pages of Saint names. It took a lot of cutting. My son helped fold them up. We gathered around the table and picked names. My oldest son picked, St. Damien of Molokai with the intention to pray for the holiness and perseverance of priests and religious in the missions. My middle son picked St. Dismas with the intention of praying for the conversion of criminals. I found it interesting that one son will be praying for Priests and one for criminals. My daughter picked Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati with the intention of praying for the youth and those who want to commit suicide. My husband picked St. John Neumann with the intention to pray for teachers, catechists, and all entrusted with the instruction of children. (Since I am a catechist, I am happy he will be praying for me!)
As I reached in, wondering who would pick me, I grabbed Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin with the intention to pray that holiness may be born in families. St. Therese of Lisieux's parents. I didn’t need to wait to know why they picked me. God was answering my lament directly. It can be done, Susan, here let me show you who will walk with you this year, parents of children, just like you. And so my year with Louis and Zellie begins. God will show me the fruit of this walk I am sure.
God Bless each and everyone of you this year.