Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Where There's Smoke
It's so lovely and cool here. It's because the smoke from all the fires is blocking out the sun. A metaphor for life in general.
More on saint making:
Supposing one prays to more than one Blessed and results in a miracle, how will it be attributed? I happen to have a family member who needs a miracle, and am not certain whether to confine my prayers to a particular Saint/Blessed, or call upon any and all available. Father Damien sounds very appropriate for our needs, though he already has his.
You have two options. Put all your eggs in one basket or cover some ground. If you're trying to help out with a cause for sainthood, you're really going to have to focus your effort, otherwise your proof of a miracle just won't work.
When we hear the stories of a saintly miracle, we generally hear the part where a person prayed to St. Soandso and his tumor melted. But in actuality, usually what has happened is that a whole bunch of people were praying to St. Soandso on Mr. Tumor's behalf.
You could get your whole bunch of people to spread out their prayers among a few 'Blesseds', but you would not be able to submit the resulting miracle, should it occur, to the Congregation because no one would know which saint had helped.
Out of the smoke, this question:
Sister, I hope you don't mind my asking a question here, but I have a saintly question of my own, regarding my favorite saint, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Do you know anything about Our Lady of the Airways? There is a Catholic chapel in Boston's Logan Airport (run by the Archdiocese, so I am assuming it's legit) with that name, and another in the Toronto area. I haven't been able to find anything about her on the Internet.
Our Lady has a gazillion names. At least one hundred. Besides her titles, such as Blessed Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Sorrowful Mother and on and on, there are her names from sightings: Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Our Lady of Guadalupe did not appear in Guadalupe, by the way. (The place is called Guadalupe now, but wasn't called Guadalupe for 300 years after the apparition.) Although there is an Our Lady of Guadalupe, it's not the Our Lady of Guadalupe that comes to mind. Like St. Philomena...the one that's still standing.
There is no "Our Lady of the Airways", so to speak. No sighting of Mary at an airport, helipad, airplane wing, airshow, runway or baggage claim. I think they just called the Boston airport chapel "Our Lady of the Airways" because a chapel named for Our Lady at an airport would make her Our Lady of the Airways. It sounds better than "Our Lady of the Airport" or "Our Lady of Logan".
I don't know what's going on in Toronto.
The priest who is in charge of Our Lady of the Airways at Logan Airport has some very interesting stories to tell. For one thing, he has to take his shoes off and put them back on about a hundred times a day.
And finally, out of the fire:
Sister, thank you for this post about vocations! My almost-7 year old daughter is talking about being a nun. I know things could change, she's so young, but they may not. She's not as mercurial as most. I was going to ask what kind of education one needs to become a nun. I know if you're going into a teaching or nursing order you need that school first, but what if you're a contemplative or cloistered order?
When I was seven years old I told my mother I wanted to be a nun during the day (I didn't know there was any kind of nuns but teachers, or any teachers who weren't nuns) and come home at night to my husband and family. I thought that's what the nuns did. The way things are going with nuns these days, my childhood dream may yet be realized.
Anyhow, that's what it's like to be seven years old. It's lovely that your daughter is thinking about a vocation, but she has no idea what a nun actually is. Really.
If only it were 1960, she wouldn't need any education past high school to go be a teacher. I'm not kidding. Now she'll have to get some kind of degree. Maybe not, if she's a missionary...not sure.
I'm also not sure if the contemplatives and cloisters actually require much education. I don't think they do. You have to have decent reading comprehension skills. That's because they spend a lot of time picking out one little sentence of scripture and thinking about it for hours and hours. That's what they do most of the day. Hence the term 'contemplative.'
But don't think they just take any dumb bunny. Just because you want to be a nun doesn't mean the nuns want you. Everyone seems to think you can just go be a nun. That has never been true. (Well, almost never. Galileo's daughters got in.) You have to fit into the community. You have to be subservient and obedient. You have to carry your weight. You have to have something to
And above all, you have to know what you're getting into. We'll love hearing from your daughter when she's 18. Will they take her if she has tattoos?