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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Gone Limping

Some days are easier than others. Since yesterday, our day of 'rest' wasn't so easy, I've decided to go with a couple of 'No Brainers' here on the answering side of "Ask Sister Mary Martha":

Hello Sister,
Is there a Saint for protection of property (house/car) against vandalism and vindictive neighborhood brats (oops! I mean, "dear little children")? Could also do with one to ask for intercession in coping with the anger of the irritation of vandalized property. Thanks.

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! St. Dismas will fill in for both of your needs. First of all, he's the patron saint of thieves and criminals and since he is is a reformed criminal himself, he should be right on the case for being against vandalism, especially that perpetrated by young people. Certainly he doesn't want them to end up the way he did. His earthly life came to a sad end. His heavenly life started with a bang!

St. Dismas is that guy who Jesus forgave while they were being crucified together. You remember the story. There was a third guy, who said something to the effect of, "if you're God or whatever, why don't you stop this mess?" And St. Dismas, who wasn't St. Dismas yet, but "man #2" said, "Shut your soup hatch, you clueless wonder! That's the Messiah you're talking to!"

So Jesus told St. Dismas that He would take Dismas to heaven that day. And since Jesus told Dismas he was going to heaven, we know he is in heaven which makes him a saint.

His name probably wasn't Dismas. We have no idea what his name was. There is a story about how Dismas knew Jesus as a little boy or something, but that's just.....a legend.

In any case, part two of your question is also covered by St. Dismas, since somebody showed us the nature of forgiveness during that whole exchange.

Our next easy answer comes from a few days back when we were discussing our Weight Watchers charm bracelet:

It does seem such a simple concept, and we all KNOW the answer, 'to cut back' and 'use willpower', but as for something to 'DO' when someone suggests it's a matter to simply 'increase exercise' why not think of it as a matter of changing a current 'habit' to incur more physical exertion, such as instead of using the elevator to go up one floor, use the stairway (if appropriate), or instead of settling in to watch TV after dinner, going out for a walk around the block (again, if safe or appropriate), or when planning to attend the out-of-town seminar at the Westin, bring a swimsuit for the lunch break (help keep awake during the afternoon session)? Now, what to pro-actively 'DO' when the fidgets set in while combating an anxiety attack? Which Saint might possibly have an intercessory role in assisting those of us who want to quickly think of something useful or beneficial to do, when experiencing anxiety? Hmm, why not a quiet stroll and a talk with God about this one?

This is also a bit of a two part answer, so bear with me.

Just the other day I stumbled across some sort of "anxiety hot line" type of web pages with tips and information for the anxiety disabled (a disability I am all too familiar with here in the house). There was a hot tip on there! Whenever you feel anxious, go limp.

GO LIMP! What great advice. Relax all your muscles and go limp.

I have to say, I've tried it myself it and it works superbly! I may look a bit odd, slumped at the steering wheel, or hanging on the grocery cart, but I am not anxious!

So....the patron saint for anxiety can be a saint who suffered from anxiety, say, like St. Teresa of Avila, the patron saint for perfectionists who are not perfect.


We can find a saint who knew the wonders of going limp.

I vote for St. Rosalia, who really didn't do anything remarkable (heroic virtue aside) except to go hide in a cave. Then she moved to a new cave. Then the cave caved in on her and no one even knew until years later when some people digging around in there found her bones and she cured their town of a plague. While lying down. While just hanging there.

Going limp helped get me through our crazy Sunday. More on that later.


Katherine said...

Something that helps me when I get anxious - and I have a very bad chronic problem with anxiety, though it is slowly but surely getting better - is saying the rosary. If I'm not collected enough to remember the mysteries in the right order, as sometimes happens, I just think of whichever one comes first to mind when I reach the beginning of the decade. It's not doing it properly but I don't think that God or St. Mary mind that. If I don't have a rosary with me, I just use my fingers to count. It really does help.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Sister

I have been thinking a lot on the Mary’s immaculate conception lately and was wondering if you could clear up a couple of questions for me – fistly, does the fact that Mary had the stain of the original sin removed at conception mean that she remained sinless and secondly if God removed Mary’s stain at conception, why could this not be done for everyone and save the sacrifice of Jesus? If being given the choice of accepting Jesus and being baptized is what removes our stain does this mean that Mary did not really have free will? I think that’s actually three questions but I keep going around in circles pondering on this.

Many thanks!


Tami said...

The rosary is such a fabulous prayer. I can see why Mary keeps urging us to pray it daily. . .yet, I fall short.

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

My son, Doah, who was hospitalized for three months as an infant would go limp any time the doctor appeared. The doctor was sure that he had no functional brain at all. (He is retarded, but he has a pretty clever little brain -- especially one that knew how to handle anxiety at the age of three months!)