Different Kinds of Saints

sisters at sunriseSister Weekend 2013 is coming to a close.  We were all up this morning though to see the sunrise–and there were dolphins!  All bundled up and with blankets, we laughed and told stories and huddled close while the humongous perfectly round orange sun rose into the clear sky.

Mom and I were up at 5am first, saying our prayers.  We got into a discussion about how different people pray in different ways.  She prays for others.  My Mom has a list of people she prays for every day.  This list is SO LONG.  And some of the people on her list are people she’s heard about on the news or gotten a prayer request about long ago–and she doesn’t even know if they’re better yet, but she keeps praying for them. But the majority of her prayers are for her eleven children, their spouses and children, and Dad.

One person on her list is a child who was smushed by an elevator—but she doesn’t know how he is doing today or if he even survived.

Mom has all these saints and prayer cards and typed meditations in her little prayer bag—she has a third or fourth degree relic for Padre Pio, something that touched another Padre Pio relic.  My mom loves to pray through Padre Pio, Saint Faustina, Infant of Prague.  She has a prayer for priests, a prayer for religious liberty, a prayer for the Pope, a 30 day prayer she says for all of her children.  She was showing me, “I pray this prayer for you and your sister, this prayer for that person, this prayer for this person, this one for the sons-in-law, this one for Paul’s back troubles…

me and jennyI was so impressed.

In my prayers, I read/pray and meditate on the writings of Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Catherine of Siena, Saint Francis of Assisi, John of the Cross, Mother Theresa, Saint Therese the Little Flower, and lately I’ve been praying on the Cloud of the Unknowing.

And then (full disclosure here) I “remember” to pray for everybody else.  It’s like an after thought for me to pray for others during my morning prayers.  I pray for my loved ones throughout the day as their struggles come to mind, but unlike my Mom I do not have a list and a persistence to my prayers for others.

I find what she does is truly remarkable. I’ve thought about this before–like is my way is a little selfish?  I’ve wished I prayed better for others.

And then my Mom this morning commented she wished she could pray more like me.  She’s actually taking a Lectio Divina class at Church with Daddy to learn how to do this better.

She said she has trouble connecting directly to God, having an intimate relationship with him. I said that’s all I do, is connect intimately with God—but it’s all about me!  lol

I was floored.  So, is my way of praying “okay?” If my Mom thinks it is okay, then it must be okay because my Mom is a living saint.  I am thinking about this now.

Last week’s Gospel reading at Mass explained how we each have different spiritual gifts but we’re all of the same body. And there are hundreds and hundreds of saints given to us by the Church to show us there are different ways of approaching God, living our vocations, praying.

I’m drawn to the mystics because they pray like I do:  read, reflect, meditate and pray.  My Mom is drawn to other types of saints, who do acts of service and pray for others.  Because they’re more like her. Like Saint Faustina whose whole big thick diary is filled with praying that others receive divine Mercy.

Anyways, these are thoughts I think of today.  We are all different parts of the same body.

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace; where there is hatred, let me sow low; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved, as to love: for it is in giving that I receive, it is in pardoning that I am pardoned, and it is in dying that I am born to eternal life.

7th Step Prayer

From page 76 of the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous

My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad.  I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character (propensity toward sin) which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows.  Grant me the strength, as I go out from here, to do your bidding.  Amen.