7 Quick Takes on Seven Saints for 2016

 

 

One tradition that Catholics have in the new year is that they pick a saint to be their patron for the year. Usually, it’s done using Jennifer Fulwiler’s Saint Generator. However, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to get to know more than one saint. So for today, I’m gonna do a Seven Quick Takes on seven saints that I want to get to know this year.

 

— 1 —

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The Saint Generator gave me Saint Zita. I first read about her in an A-Z book of saints from my local library. Saint Zita is the patron saint of homemakers, housekeepers, servants, domestic workers, etc. Basically, she’s the patron saint for the downstairs half of Downton Abbey. She was born in Lucca, Italy around the time that Saint Francis was beginning his ministry, so it’s no surprise that she dedicated her life to helping the poor, sick, and imprisoned. It’s not certain whether she was married, but she didn’t enter a religious order either, so she’s a great saint for single women who work on the grind. Plus, if you ever have to deal with flack from co-workers, Zita understands that struggle all to well, so ask for the patience that she had with her fellow servants.

Also, she’s one of the incorrupt saints. That’s something I consider majorly cool.

— 2 —

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Another saint that I want to get to know this year is Saint Teresa of Avila. She was the Teresa that inspired St. Therese of Lisieux and helped reform the Carmelite Order. I’m reading bits and pieces of her autobiography, The Way of Perfection, and The Interior Castle. I love how she describes the soul as a castle made out of a single diamond with many rooms inside. I feel like that’s how I see my own identity. I also love her prayer of “Let Nothing Disturb You” because it feels more like a meditation or a grounding mantra. Just thinking of it right now makes me feel at ease.

— 3 —

Mutter Teresa, lachend, Dezember 1985

I’ve already written about Mother Teresa, so without repeating myself, I just want to say that out of all the saints I’ve been reading and admiring, Mother Teresa is the one that I want to emulate the most. I want to be able to go out into the world and show God’s compassion to everyone, regardless of whatever faith or social class they’re in. I want to have her compassion for the sick, the poor, the dying, as well as for those who are spiritually bankrupt. I hope I get to watch her canonization in September.

— 4 —

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Mary Magdalene continues to be an enigma for me, even with the headcanons that I have for her. But instead of trying to speculate over who she was, I’m gonna start by going with what I do know. She was a Jewish woman. She was a leader amongst the disciples, especially with the female faction. She had seven demons exorcised out of her. She was there for Jesus during his crucifixion, burial, and was the first to see Him in his resurrection.

Many saints looked to her as a model for constant penitence because of her reputation as a fallen woman. She can be seen in a feminist subtext as someone who stood out amongst the norm by being a female leader without any husband with her. But what I admire most about Mary Magdalene is her loyalty. To stay with a friend when everyone else has gone away, to watch them die…It takes a lot of courage and loyalty. It’s that kind of loyalty and faithfulness to Jesus that I want to emulate.

— 5 —

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Even though I learned a lot about the life of Saint John Paul II, I’ve only skimmed the surface when it comes to his writings. One book that I want to read this year is Theology of the Body. I found a copy at my local secondhand bookstore (best place to find almost anything really) and I have other books that give commentary on the Theology of the Body. Since it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be going to Poland for World Youth Day (unless I win the lottery), I want to get to know the wisdom of this particular saint.

— 6 —

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For the past week or so, I’ve been praying the 30-Day Saint Joseph Holy Cloak Novena. It’s a long one, but I’ve already experienced some great graces from praying this. And given how I credit Saint Joseph for helping me out during my Lenten retreat last year, I have faith that he will help me out with whatever I decide to do this coming spring. He’s also been a big help when it comes to my writing, which I consider to be both my work and my passion.

 

— 7 —

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I think everyone out there has a favorite Marian title. Our Lady of Perpetual Help has been with me ever since I was a kid, when I went to a school that bore her name. The school has closed down, but the church is still there and it hasn’t changed much since I last saw it. But I want to know more of the devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Help beyond the image I’ve seen throughout my life. I learned that it has Czech origins, but nothing beyond that.

 

So those are my 7 Saints for 2016. Feel free to comment about which saints or devotions you feel like focusing on this year!

Seven Quick Takes Monday On This Weekend

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1) There was a slight delay on my Buffy Countdown due to me coming down with what could either be a sinus infection or the flu. Either way, I was resigned to my room since Friday. I couldn’t update my Buffy countdown until now was because the topic of the episode dealt with death. I’m approaching the death anniversary of a dear friend this week. Grief and loss are not something you want to think about when you’re sick. If all goes well, I’ll be writing more about dealing with grief and loss on the 24th.

2) I learned that you can make yourself sick. While I tend to get sick during the change of seasons, the last time I remember being this sick was when I was under a lot of stress. Before I got sick, I was trying to deal with the disappointment of not going to Dallas Comic Con. I might have some more disappointments in the future. But I can’t dwell on disappointments and let them get to me. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way that you plan and you just gotta learn how to cope with it.

3) The Rosary was a powerful medicine that helped me calm down when I was sweating at night. I started cooling down as I was meditating on each decade. Never underestimate the power of prayer. When I prayed the Rosary, I visualized myself inside the chapel I spent a lot of time in during my college years. I remember seeing Mary floating over the monstrance, smiling at me. It was a peaceful, wonderful experience.

4) One bright side to this weekend was that I got a lot of movies from the library before I got sick, which means I can watch movies all day. I also had Netflix and YouTube for when I was put on bedrest. One downside to being sick is that I seriously miss my friends. I can’t even talk to my online friends that often because I have to constantly sleep. Some of my friends are sick, too. It’s that time of year, I guess.

5) I watched the three-part “Girl Meets Texas” and feel like the drama bomb has finally hit the show. To my surprise, the last episode had a lot of quick scenes and didn’t exactly give the audience any answers as to what’s gonna happen with everyone. But then again, we’re not done with the season yet. I know that Tumblr is jumping really hard on the “Lucaya” ship. The two characters have amazing chemistry. But if there’s anything I learned from the Captain Swan ship of Once Upon a Time, a good OTP can’t just rely on chemistry alone. And no, I do not ship Captain Swan. I don’t really invest in any ships on Girl Meets World, either. I just want everyone to be happy.

6) I’m starting to hear about how people are asking Saints Louis and Zelie Martin to intercede in their dating life. I’m so happy that the Catholic Church canonized a married couple for the first time. And since I have such a devotion to St. Therese, I have no doubt that Sts. Louis and Zelie will start interceding in my life as well.

7) One practice a lot of single ladies like to do is pray for and write letters to their future husband. When I decided to pick up that practice again, I found myself wondering if such a person could exist. It’s bizzare, but I can more easily believe in the existence of God than in the existence of a human being that I haven’t met yet. And when I think of the person my future husband could be, my mind just went to the worst case scenarios. I’ve been hurt and disappointed in love so many times, it’s just hard for me to believe that there’s someone out there who can love me with all my complexities, fandoms, and obsessions. 

It’s times like this that I have to remind myself of a Bible verse that’s been on my tablet and hanging on my mirror: Jeremiah 29:11. “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” God has already created my heart. And ultimately, my life is in His hands. Women may lament that “all the good ones are married” and I’ll admit, I have to wonder if I’m worthy of a husband. Then again, are any of us worthy of receiving grace? Of receiving God’s unconditional love? NOPE! Good spouses don’t come into our lives just because we want them or we feel like we deserve them. They come into our lives because God planned it that way.

As of right now, I believe that my future husband is out there. I also know that I’m not ready to meet him yet. If you feel like me, take this advice: spend this time preparing yourself. Take time to love yourself first. Your life won’t be instantly perfect when you get married. Check out this article from Verily Magazine if you don’t believe me.

Pray that I get well, y’all.