We all have a friend, a really good friend… one that we can talk about anything with, one that we love to listen to, to seek their wisdom, to laugh with, to cry with, to share moments with. One who we can be vulnerable around and truly bare our soul. One who will encourage you and build you up, and also tell you when you are wrong because they care so deeply for you. One that you treasure those simple moments of sipping coffee on the porch together as you take in the afternoon sun and share those deep thoughts with each other, or just take a moment to breathe while you watch your kids play in the grass. Sometimes that friend is far away and those coffee retreats aren’t possible, and so you think of that person, maybe say a prayer, and finally make it to the phone or the keyboard to say a quick “Hello, I was just thinking of you” and you find out they had been thinking of you too. I am so blessed to have a few of these friends here on this journey Home. It’s so nice to walk together, isn’t it? God did not make us to be alone. He made us for each other in a sense. God said “It is not good for man to be alone…” Now I know this verse from Genesis is usually focused on marriage, but I do think of it when I think of community too. God, in the beginning, saw that it was not good for us to be alone in this world.
He designed our hearts to long for that friendship, that community.
Because, as my husband recently reminded me,
our longing for communion with one another,
is truly a reflection of our deep longing for communion with God.
We were made for Heaven, our true Home, to be forever with Him.
That is why our hearts yearn for Him.
He is our true happiness.
Our one Love.
I am also so very blessed to have these friendships in heaven. Sometimes, the saints seem so close, much like very dear friends. They are not far away in heaven with no interest in us, but they are indeed present, hearing our prayers, and take a great interest in us. They want to help us get Home. I just love the Saints. They have been a big part of my life and my spirituality I suppose. There have been some I have always been close to, like St. Therese and St. Joseph, and others I have grown to know and love along the way, such as St. Francis deSales, St. Gianna, St. Zelie. And some I have found out of necessity if you will. Whenever there is a problem, there is always a saint who can intercede. We pray to St. Jude for hopeless causes, or St. Anthony when something is lost, St. Peregrine for healing for someone with cancer, St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Joseph of Cupertino for help studying for and taking a test, St. Anne & St. Joseph for a friend to find a spouse, or a job, or a house, or money. (Important note: St. Joseph is ALWAYS faithful. He will always answer. I do find though, that he takes a while. And so I have started to ask St. Anne’s intercession along with St. Joseph’s… she is his mother-in-law after all… and I can just picture that conversation about hurrying it up. 🙂 The combination has proved to be very fruitful.)
But there are also the less familiar saints that we seem to find, or they find us. Like once we had about 20 friars over our house for meals for a few days, and the toilet got clogged, and the plunger was not going to help the matter. And, we didn’t have extra funds to be hiring a plumber. So I looked up the patron saint of plumbers… and found St. Vincent Ferrer. I prayed to him, and the toilet was fixed… no lie. I call on him now every time there is a toilet issue, which does happen with a large family.
We pray to St. George when we are looking for a parking spot close by. Because, well, how many people are asking St. George’s intercession for things these days? He might have a lot of free time on his hands. He is very good about parking spots I will say.
St. Rita is a great saint to pray to someone in a difficult marriage, or for one who suffers in family life, or for a parent whose children whose children have gone astray, or for a situation that needs extra perseverance to get through. One of my favorite stories of St. Rita is, after her husband and children died, she knew she was to enter a particular convent, but the convent refused her because she was too old. She was denied 7 times. But she did not give up hope and continued to pray. One night, St. John the Baptist and St. Nicholas appeared to her and took her by the hand and walked her through the locked entrance to the convent. In the morning, the nuns found St. Rita inside the convent and were astonished. They knew that it was a miracle that she could have gotten inside and took it as a sign that she was meant to be there. I love this story because of St. Rita’s faith, and also how the saints in heaven help us here on earth.
St. Gemma is pretty amazing too. Her short diary tells us how very close she was to the Lord, and her guardian angel. She is a wonderful saint to pray to for relief from headaches and migraines. Did you know one day she had this terrible headache and and asked her angel to help her… and her angel appeared to her with a hot cup of coffee?! She drank it and was better so she could continue on with her duties. I absolutely love this story… as I love coffee, and my guardian angel.
To those who gets to know the saints, in them they will find great friendship. The saints are our friends. They love us dearly, have deep concern for us, for they long for us to be in Heaven with them.
“A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter:
he that has found one has found a treasure.
There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend,
and no scales can measure his excellence.” ~ Sirach 6:14-15
I am ever grateful for the friends God has shared with me here on earth, and also for the many friends He has given me in Heaven. They are there adoring the Lord in Heaven, but are also beside uss, encouraging us, loving us as we are, and loving who we will become, gently correcting us when needed, and offering words of wisdom as we travel this road Home. Sometimes it can seem like a lonely road, but the Saints are there, cheering us on along the sidelines. I am certain beyond a doubt that they hear our prayers and bring our requests to Jesus for Him to answer them. And they eagerly await the day for us to join them at the Heavenly Banquet. The Saints are indeed a treasure, and I am so grateful for these faithful friends. The more I read their letters, or stories of their lives, and pray to them, the closer I feel to them… Almost like sitting with a good friend on the porch, with the sun shining and a gentle breeze moving the leaves in the distance, having a good cup of coffee and listening as they share a piece of wisdom.
Beautiful reflection and perfect right before Lent starts!! To treasure our heavenly friends as much and more than our dear earthly friends….working on making that veil that separates heaven and earth a little thinner:) I’ve got my task for Lent!:)