Saturday, April 18, 2009

I've Finally Found My True Patron Saint!

I love the Saints. I really do. I always have.

While I often can't relate to someone who was "born without sin", or even someone who was the Son of God made flesh, I can totally relate to other human beings [who kept screwing up and still managed to find God].

I have several patron Saints.

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton is one of my favorites - she was a convert, a teacher, had a bunch of kids with a husband she adored but who was profoundly ill, they ended up losing everything in bankruptcy, he died and left her widowed with a bunch of young kids, and yet instead of being bitter and angry, she still managed to love the Lord and serve her fellow human beings.

St. Mary Magdalene is also one of my favorites. I can really relate to a "bad" woman who found Jesus and got her act together. Plus, she was the first to see the Risen Christ and one of the only 3 people with the [ahem] balls to follow Jesus to the foot of the Cross. She rocks. ;) Still wish I'd named one of my girls Magdalena. ;)

St. Padre Pio is also a favorite of mine. You ever read his biography? That poor man! He suffered and suffered and suffered and still remained cheerful, with a great sense of humor and unfailing devotion to God. I am NOT like him [I'm not that strong and I complain way too much], but he sure gives me hope.

But I think I've finally found my TRUE Patron of Patrons. I never even heard of this Saint really until I ran across his story on Sister Mary Martha's blog.

St. John of God.

That's the guy. Patron Saint of lunatics. ;) St. John also almost lost his faith because of Catholics behaving badly, but managed to get through and continue on with a life filled with love for the sick and suffering and insane. [Being insane himself at least for a time it seems]. He also tended to do the right thing no matter what without fully thinking it out or considering the consequences [I've been known to do that from time to time. ;P ].

Here's a guy who put up with some crazy bad luck in his life and persevered till the end.

I want to be like that. I want to move beyond my current discouragement with my beloved husband's ill health and all the silly never ending sickness and financial woes and stress about which church is "right" and ... all of it.

I want to make the choice to "suck it up" and "drive on", loving the Lord and serving His people in spite of it all. I want to always do good in spite of the crazy stuff that happens constantly in my life.

Because really, that is all we control. We don't control the kind of "luck" we have - whether we lead a charmed life or run through life like our pants are on fire like St. John of God - from one catastrophe to the next. SOOOO much of life is external to us - we have no choice. We don't choose "illness or health" "wealth or poverty" "pretty or ugly" "smart or stupid" "sane or insane" - we don't choose any of it.

The ONLY choice we have is how WE respond. We can choose despair. We can curl up into angry little balls of malice and poison everything we touch. We can roll over and play dead and do nothing that ever impacts anything. Or we can rise up and reach out and make the world a better place - even if it means putting out the fire in the Asylum with our bare hands and an ax.

That is all we have. It is all we control.

As for me - I choose the better part. I choose to make the world a better place in any and every small way that I can. I choose to move beyond the sadness and discouragement.

I choose Love over Hate, Action over Inaction, Hope over Despair.

I think I'll ask old St. John of God to help me. I bet he will. ;)

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