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Catholic Kids and the Communion of Saints

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My husband was not raised as a Catholic. He did not swim the Tiber until several years into our marriage, though he has always attended Mass and fully participated in our Catholic family life. Still, he continues to be amazed at things our children do and say. I just tell him, “That’s what Catholic kids do!” These moments of surprise often involve the Communion of Saints.

Most recently, my daughter who has only been driving herself solo for about a week, found herself driving the back roads of Northern Virginia in a snow storm. She had soccer practice at one of the fields located in the hinterlands. It is about a twenty-minute drive from home along winding, hilly, two-lane roads. We knew snow was in the forecast but it wasn’t snowing when she left and wasn’t predicted to start snowing until after practice was over. Wrong! The snow began soon after she left home. Committed soccer players that they are, however, the team kept practicing as scheduled. When it was time to leave they the found the roads snow covered and icy. She joined a caravan of folks trying to maneuver their way back to the main thoroughfare. It was slow going with much slipping and occasionally getting stuck. I guess at one point she really didn’t think she going to be able to stop and found herself reciting a litany of Hail Mary’s as well as invoking the intercession of “St. Monica(one of my favorites), St. Barbara (her favorite), St. Patrick (her boyfriend’s favorite), and whoever else is out there!” (I guess that is the hazard of the IM-ing generation. She was open to help from any saint who was “online”.) The car did stop. She ended up in front of a school friend’s home so she just invited herself in and hung out there until we could come rescue her. As she recounted the episode we laughed and my husband just shook his head as she explained her prayerful recourse to the saints.

My boys are certain that St. Monica keeps her eyes on them when I don’t. My second son was in high school and had hurriedly pulled together an English paper. As was his habit, he had waited until the last minute to work on the assignment. I knew he was working on the paper, but really didn’t pay too much attention, other than to give a proper scolding for procrastinating. A couple of weeks later I was returning from an errand and the thought just popped into my mind to ask my son about the paper. When he returned from school I asked him if he had gotten his English paper grade. His face turned white. He had gotten the paper back that very day. In fact, probably at the hour I had that thought he was getting it from his teacher. Let’s just say he got the grade he deserved for turning in little more than a first draft. There’s no keeping secrets from Mom with St. Monica around!

Just a couple of weeks ago when my oldest was home from college I asked him to finish putting away the groceries and fold the grocery bags while I did the next round of kid shuttling. He agreed. However, after I left he thought he would just play a little computer game before he got to his task. As he sat down to the computer, the power in the house went off. Since his game was unavailable he went ahead and took care the grocery chores. As he folded the last bag the power returned. St. Monica strikes again!

My youngest now has new respect for St. Lucy. He got contact lenses last fall and was having just a terrible learning to put them in. The frustration reduced him to tears which makes getting the contacts in even more difficult. I told him to take a break and ask St. Lucy to pray for him since she is the patron of eyes. He did and sure enough, the next try the contacts went in easily.

I am sure most of you can recount instances of saintly intercession. Sometimes these events are dramatic and momentous. Sometimes, they seem almost trivial. The saints have no power other than prayer. We ask for their intercession, not their intervention. I am so happy that my children share in the consolation I find from having the entire Church Triumphant ready to pray if I but ask. And unlike my kids’ IM buddies, the Communion of Saints is always “online”.

Comments

I have a good intercession story. I honestly hadn't asked the saints for prayers much before this happened, but since, I've made it more of a habit.

I have this little kitty cat toy that my mother got at her baby shower when she was pregnant with me. I still bring this kitty to any new place that I travel (which, yes, included my honeymoon). Before we moved to Virginia, Hubby was working for the same company he does now, but out of Florida. He had a two week trip to make, and instead of him flying back and forth on the weekend, my parents watched our children so I could spend a weekend alone with him in what eventually became the area we live in now. Naturally I brought the kitty cat.

Upon arriving home, I unpacked, but later on, I realized that I hadn't seen the kitty. I looked all over the place. Unfortunately, since kitty just sits on a shelf most of the time, it took me several months before I realized I didn't know exactly where she was. I searched under the bed in our room, all over the house...everywhere I could think of. Finally, I called the hotel and asked them what might have become of her.

"We hold items for a month, and if they aren't claimed, we either donate them or throw them away, depending on the condition of the item."

Needless to say, after hanging around for more than 30 years, kitty was not in good shape. I knew that if I'd left her in the hotel, she had been thrown in the garbage.

I thanked the woman and hung up. Sitting down in my husband's recliner, I started to cry. I was certain kitty had been thrown away. As a last ditch, I recalled that Saint Anthony is the patron saint of lost things and asked for his help.

As I finished the prayer, I glanced at the end of my bed, which was visible from the chair I was in. I saw something white sticking out from under the dust ruffle.

"How did I miss those socks when I was under there before?" I wondered, as I also wondered when Hubby would put socks in the hamper.

I walked into our room and bent down to pick up the socks, but it turned out that it wasn't a pair of socks. It was my kitty. Now I really cried, but this time with joy and thankfulness!

You know what? There have been hundreds of little moments like this (with and without saints' intercession) that prove to me that God cares even for the littlest worries of our lives.

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