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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Angel of God, My Guardian Dear

I'm in the market for some new slippers. I go through them very quickly because I always have to have something on my feet here in the house and my big nun shoes are hard on the hard wood floors. I must wear something on my feet because otherwise I break my little toe over and over again. I have broken my little toe on both feet a total of six times, once every summer for three years running, the last time was in the fall and was the very worst. Does God want me to have my toes broken? Do I owe Him a little something and it's my toes rather than my kneecaps? Is my guardian angel under orders to hold his ears and hum during all of this?

I don't know how that works.

We have some follow up questions and comments on our angels and our check books.

Speaking of angels, my best friend asked me a question and I still don't fully understand the answer. We know that God protects us, right? So then why do we need guardian angels if we have Him?

It's God's Will. God can do anything He wants, including delegate. Here is what we do know: Every single person has a guardian angel watching over them 24/7. It's your guardian angel's job to keep you out of trouble and keep you from harm.

I'm not sure how this works, what with free will and all. I'll have to chalk that one up to "It's a Sacred Mystery"*. It seems to mean that your guardian angel keeps you safe from all harm that is not God's will. If God wants you to get hit by the bus, your angel has to watch helplessly from the curb.

Otherwise the angel is on the case. Here is a good illustration of how this all works from a reader named Lawrence:

When I was about 4 years old... this would have been in the early 1950's... my Mom and Pop took us to a local creek for the afternoon. My Aunt Mary and Uncle Buddy came along with us. I was the youngest child, and was playing by myself near the edge of the creek, but only about 20 feet away from my parents and my Aunt and Uncle, who were all sitting around a small campfire talking. I took a notion to walk out into the creek and did so, and promptly stepped off into a deeper part of the creek and sank out of sight. I still remember the silence and beauty of that strange underwater world as I sank down to the bottom of the stream. The very next thing that happened was a large hand reached down and grabbed me, and pulled me out, and I began to wail and cry. It was my Uncle Buddy who had saved me, and after that he often told what had happened. They had all been sitting around the campfire talking when he heard a voice say "LOOK!" and he looked up just in time to see me go under. No one else heard anything. Had an Angel not warned him and had he not seen me, and acted, I would surely have drowned.

If only Uncle Buddy would tell us if the voice was male or female, you'd know a little more about your guardian angel, Lawrence.

Most of my readers
disagreed with me about the Mary checks being a bad idea. I am not easily swayed, but I am on the fence. Their argument, simply, is that it never hurts to hand somebody something with Mary on it in the hope that the person receiving whatever it is will maybe inquire about the image. That would allow you to stick your big foot in the door and say a few words about Mary.

So far so good. Certainly I am all about sacramentals.

A sacramental is anything that reminds you of Jesus, or of God, or that you need to pray or sacrifice or head out to Mass or hang a sacramental picture of Jesus in your house to remind you of prayer, God, sacrifice, Mass.....

I just think there is a limit to where we stick Mary and what we do with her image. Perhaps it's a matter of taste. I don't care for rosaries hanging from car mirrors, but many people tell me they keep the rosary there and use it during traffic jams and such. That's good. Especially since they could be spending that time in utterly useless texting.

Unless they are texting someone to remind them to say a rosary.

I kind of like the little plastic Mary or Jesus statues that have a peel off bottom so you can stick them wherever you like, car included. I encourage St. Joseph real estate kits for the home seller. A glow in the dark rosary is great for sleepless nights. I must have some sort of cognitive dissonance going on.

But at the point where we extinguish our cigarette butts on Jesus, I'm done. The Mary checks are just about there for me. Jesus flipped over the tables at the Temple because of the money changers out there and the idea of His Mother on a check just seems to push the boundaries of taste.

Don't feel bad if you ran right out and got yourself some Mary checks. I'm sure your heart is in the right place.

There's no accounting for taste. You can tell that by my shoes.

* "Sacred Mystery" is a Catholic term that means "just let it go."


Helen said...

Dear Sister,
I just love your definition for Sacred Mystery.

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Neat guardian angel story - thanks!

Lisa said...

I recommend the boiled wool Mary Janes from L.L. Bean. THEY ARE THE BEST!


Anonymous said...

My thought on the checks is that if I had Jesus or Mary on my checks it would cause me to think twice about spending money. There are good ways and bad ways to spend money, and I think having Mary's picture on my checks would help me to take a bit more time to discern whether a particular purchase was wise or not. Sometimes even 30 seconds could make a difference.


Joanne in Jackson said...

A few years ago my mom and I bought my dad one of those Jesus ashtrays to try to get him to quit smoking. Our theory was that if we give him the Jesus ashtray and hide all his other ashtrays, the only way to avoid extinguishing his cigarette on the face of Our Lord would be to quit! We were right about one thing: he would not under any circumstances "butt-out" on Jesus. But it didn't stop him from smoking either. Now he was leaving ashes and cigarette butts in potted plants, empty cans and occasionally on the floor. When my mom found ashes in a candy dish that had been brought to this country by my great grandparents it was the last straw. Away went the Jesus ashtray, out came the regular ashtray and my dad went on smoking til the day he died.

Lola said...

I didn't even read this until after I commented on "Angel Girl Talk". Holy Cow, that is the worst ash-tray ever!

BTW If any of your readers smoke, please consider stopping! I have a darling who when she was four, started telling people to stop smoking, such as our Deacon. He told her to pray for him. That he needed all the prayers she could offer to help him quit. Well, she did pray, he did quit and unfortuantly too late. So, if you tell people to quit smoking, be prepared to say a few rosaries for the poor souls right here trying to quit!

God Bless you Sister! I can't wait until your next entry.

bam-bam said...

Dear SMM:
If you like your feet covered, and so long as you are wearing them indoors only, I recomment "CROCS" [the "fake crocs" are not as good] to solve your foot wear problem. They are light, and have been the best thing to save my aching knees and back as I stand around cooking in my ceramic tiled kitchen. They are easy to scrub clean, and you may even be able find some unique 'adornments' for them. I've got daisies, a ladybug, and a Canadian Flag on mine! If you prefer slippers which allow your tootsies to roam freely, I suggest either Naots, Burkinstock or similar... the toe end has a substantial lip which on MANY occasions have saved my toes when I have tripped, banged, or 'bucked' my toe. Regardless, please do not buy flip flops. They are the worst thing. Hope that advice helps.

distracted by shiny objects said...

Seriously?? Jesus ashtrays?? I'm speechless...I guess it's good to know that I HAVEN'T actually seen everything. You would think someone's guardian angel might break those things. They hurt my brain.

Ginkgo100 said...

Does God want me to have my toes broken? Do I owe Him a little something and it's my toes rather than my kneecaps? Is my guardian angel under orders to hold his ears and hum during all of this?

Sister, maybe your guardian angel was on the job and kept you from breaking your whole foot, or your hip.

When I wonder why God allowed a particular bad thing to happen, I try to remember that it could have been worse...

Thanks for a great blog!

Scarlett said...

I have a patron saint question - a friend just found out that he has cancer, and his prognosis isn't good. I've come across a prayer to St. Michael of the Saints for the healing of cancer patients, but he doesn't come up listed as a patron saint against cancer on any of the lists I've looked at. Does he still "count"? Or should I go with Peregrine Laziosi, since he's listed everywhere I've looked online? Does it matter? (I think not, but I want to check) Also - what the deal with St. Jude? I feel like praying to the patron saint of lost causes is antithetical to keeping up hope and being optimistic - which is also important to healing - but when the odds are really bad - and they are - it seems like a good choice.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Guardian Angel story: The same sort thing happened to me. Years ago, when my son was a toddler, we were in a greenhouse looking at plants. I let go of his hand for one minute. He disappeared...in a greenhouse with at least 50 tightly spaced aisles. I began to run down the middle aisle...not knowing which side aisle he might have taken. I "heard/felt" a voice say LOOK! and looked down the aisle I was running past at the moment.....just in time to see my 2 year old disappear through the floor! Someone had left the grate off the drain where the water goes to the sewer and he had walked right off. I have never run so fast in my life....I think I quite literally flew (with a little help from my angel friend) and grabbed his shirt as he bobbed to the top, covered with green slime. He could very easily have slipped all the way down and disappeared into the drains under the building if I had not looked down that particular aisle at that particular second. I know to the depths of my being that our Guardian Angels saved him and I can't wait to thank them in person some day!
Before anyone asks: No we did not sue the nursery, although I am sure we could have. We were just so grateful to have a good outcome that legal action just didn't come into it. I did, however, give them a good chewing out and hopefully they never did such a negligent thing again.

PS My son is now a devout Catholic father of three whose marriage and first born child were blessed by the Pope John Paul II. Coincidence? I think not.

Scribbit said...

Your friend is a deep thinker-I'd never thought of that before.

Katherine said...

I'm so pleased that you're following my blog! It was a lovely surprise to check on it and find that out. Thank you.

Claudia's thoughts said...

I think that Jesus on the ashtray is a bit sacriligious. I think we should but the devil on it thought.....

Anonymous said...

Question for you.

I'm thinking about converting but my husband won't want to (I don't think). We are currently church-attending Protestants.

If I were to convert what would be the status of our marriage in the eyes of the church?

Schelle said...

Dear Sister, I am an avid follower of your blog and try to take your advice to heart. I have a question which may tie in with the above noter. I recently lamented the lack of singing in my local church and decided that I would make more effort to sing hymns to my two young boys during the week. My sister, who lives in another state and only attends Mass at Christmas, asked why I don't try going to another Christian church - she looked in the phone book and found there were any number of nearby alternatives. I know she is only trying to help, but as I am godmother to her daughters, I would really appreciate your assistance in explaining to her why this is an important issue and not a good idea. I don't really have the 'why' clear in my own mind, so I would love to hear your opinion. Thank you very much! God bless :)

Anonymous said...

To Scarlett, I don't really have any answers for you. My sister was diagnosed with a rare, always terminal cancer in November. It is a horrible journey for anyone and for the people who love them.
Pray is critical. It gives strength to everyone involved. I also recommend a web site called caringbridges.org there anyone can set up a page that keeps communication open to all friends and family. The phone calls where you have to repeat the same grim news over and over gets exhausting - fast. God bless you, your friend and all who will feel your friends pain.

Kimberlee said...

About the checks -I have always wondered about the practice of putting religious images on disposable items. It is against US flag etiquette to put an image of our flag on anything for decoration and "The flag should never be used for any advertising purpose. It should not be embroidered, printed or otherwise impressed on such articles as cushions, handkerchiefs, napkins, boxes, or anything intended to be discarded after temporary use." So why is it that sacred images of Our Lord and Our Lady and the saints are frequently found on stationery and such (all those mail solicitations!) where they will most certainly end up in the trash or shredder. It doesn't seem like an appropriate use for such image. Why is it that the flag is protected by rules of etiquette and our sacred images, in themselves sacramentals and worthy of our respect, are not?

Lisa said...

Sister, are those your pants in the first photo? Where did you get them?!

Lawrence said...

SMM, I've thought a lot about Uncle Buddy since I read your comment, and I pray for him also, many evenings when I say my Rosary. Although I remember him telling that story more than once, I can't remember him ever saying anything about the Angel's voice. But his awe and his realization that he HAD heard an Angel were real. With real-life stories like this, it is astounding to me that more people don't march immediately into a Catholic Church and fall on their knees and thank God for all they have.

Arkanabar T'verrick Ilarsadin said...


As to how the Church regards your marriage, It Depends.

As long as it is the first marriage for both of you, the Church will presume it is a valid marriage. If it is not, you probably need to have all of your previous marriages annulled, at the very least.

Anonymous said...

HI sister.
I dont know if this is an old post or a new post but here goes anyway. My husband and I have been going through a rough patch of late in our marriage. I have prayed about this to God. The other morning, I awoke to the most lovely song. It was as if an angel was singing to me with my husbands voice. Totally wierd as my husband has a really bad singing voice. But this song I believe contained healing power straight from God because I can feel this song in my spirit and in my heart, healing my view of my husband. My question is "Have you ever heard of this before"
Dennise neicebyrne@bigpond.com

dove said...

Blessings to you all... Your Friend Through All Of Time... /,")

Anonymous said...

I had another of those angel experiences. I was about 3 months pregnant and driving home from a family visit. My husband was sleeping, and about midnight I decided to turn off the road into an all-night diner in a tiny town for some coffee. I slowed and leaned forward to turn when I heard a firm "No." I couldn't have described the sex, because I heard it more with my bones than with my ears. I paused for a brief moment while I thought "huhn?" and then continued my turn. This time I heard a louder and emphatic "NO," and my shoulders were pushed back into the seat back. Almost immediately a semi-truck passed me on the left going very fast. If I had crossed either time we would have been hit by it. I have tried to repeat the action of my shoulders being pulled backward to the seat. It's not possible. I can only push my spine into the seat and my shoulders follow, never the reverse. Only by someone else pushing or pulling my shoulders could I make them hit the seat first.

One other thing. I think the angel turned Uncle Buddy's and Anonymous's head. You hear a voice that says "look" and you instantly look in the one place where you will see what's happening. There was no time to search around. I know this is an old post, but I wish Anonymous and Uncle Buddy both knew that an angel touched them.

One other thing. I think the angel turned Uncle Buddy's and Anonymous's head. You hear a voice that says "look" and you instantly look in the one place where you will see what's happening. There was no time to search around. I know this is an old post, but I wish Anonymous and Uncle Buddy both knew that an angel touched them.