Sister, Would you please guide me to a patron saint. These are my issues: I work full time as a school guidance counselor, I am married and have three children. My son is a nice young adult who has graduated from college and lives successfully on his own. My daughters are a mess. Both still live at home. The oldest thinks partying is her main purpose in life and she has a daughter out of wedlock. The youngest suffers from mental illness and struggles from day to day. Needless to say I feel stressed and am often vacillating between being angry, frustrated, and worried sick. I would really appreciate your guidance. Thank you your blog really is a bright spot for me.
You need to head straight to St. Monica. Her child was a mess, too. He ended up being a Doctor of the Church. Her husband was no picnic, either, but her prayers straightened him out as well.
When we ask a saint to pray for us, just the same as when we ask our friends to pray for us, we pick a saint who we feel understands our travails. But I think St. Monica is a good choice for another reason.
Keeping in mind that St. Monica has no power to help out except through intercessory prayer, like anyone else who might pray for you, clearly, prayer is something at which Monica really, really excelled.
Keep in mind one other thing: Monica led by example.
One of our wonderful readers who left a comment suggested Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I couldn't agree more. For me, she is the soft place to land when life pushes your to your wits end. You know that saying that God doesn't give you anything you can't handle? I don't believe that. Whoever said that just made up something that sounded good. Life kills people all the time. PTSD, anyone?
But God has provided us with grace and sanctuary, and one of the many ways he has done that is through Mary. God provided us with a mother, Mary the Mother of God.
Go home to mother! Here is the prayer to Our Lady of Perpetual Help:
that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, oh virgin of virgins, my Mother.
To thee I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful.
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petition, but in they mercy, hear and answer me. Amen.
If we back away from the fancy language what does the prayer say?
Mary, everyone knows that you have never turned a deaf ear to anyone who has asked for your intercession. This makes me feel safe in asking for your help, even though I don't feel much like I deserve any help from anyone, let alone, you. Thank you for your compassion for me.
And hey, everybody! Can we please note the word INTERCESSION, right in the prayer, there? Thanks.
I think teaming up with Mary will help your stress level enormously, knowing you have two very powerful pray-ers, on your team.
One word of advice. Stop being a doormat for that girl. If she's out too late, lock the door. Make yourself available to babysit, only if the child's mother is at work or at school and at no other time. She'll need to find a job to pay a sitter. Set some boundaries, as they say. She can treat you with respect and pitch into the household (far be it from me to dismiss the idea of communal living!) or she can leave.
I have compassion for her, as she may be behaving badly due to the stress you are all under. But she's going to have to try out some new coping mechanisms.
Also, drop the anger. It's okay to feel anger. It's not okay to harbor anger. Recognize it for what it is: pain that is not resolved.
Okay, that was more than one word. Now, you'll have Monica to help you out!