Some questions are so easy to answer. Regarding Blessed Salt:
Where can I get some?
You can't get any. It's a sin to sell blessed objects, even if the object is a grain of salt. You can have some blessed salt by taking some salt to a priest and asking him to bless it. Glad we cleared that up.
And some questions are slightly more complex (regarding the hundreds of orders of nuns and clergy):
And yet another question on the same topic: my mom told me when I was little that habits (the kind that Julie Andrews wore in The Sound of Music) looked the way they did because in the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon for widows to become nuns, and that was what widows wore. Is this totally bogus? And, how did Mother Theresa come up with the habit for her Sisters of Charity (I think that's what they're called)? I noticed some sisters walked around dressed in white-with-blue saris in a picture of Pope Francis' visit to Brazil, and at first I thought, "Gosh, I thought he was in Brazil, not India!" and then I felt dumb because, oh yeah, Sisters of Charity can be in Brazil, too. But it make me think of it. And I think they're beautiful. And they remind me of Mother Theresa, so even if I hadn't thought they were beautiful to start with, I would love them for her sake
Your mother is more or less correct about habits. It is what women wore. Completely covered from head to toe, head always covered with a veil, relatively drab colors. Most, however, did not have monkeys. Does she have a rosary AND a monkey? I can't tell.
This is why I have an issue with people who believe that nuns should have stayed in those elaborate old habits. Nuns can blend in if they want. You need to behave yourself.
Here is an explanation of how Mother Teresa designed her habits.
And some questions....are doozies:
Sister, I’m hoping you can help match my family to an appropriate saint; we are looking to start a novena on behalf of my sister. She is a practicing Catholic and has been in a romantic relationship for around 9 years with a non-Catholic who has expressed discomfort with even discussing marriage. She knows she is in a bad situation but cannot bring herself to end the relationship; she genuinely loves him, he does not have many friends, or a close connection to his family and she believes if she leaves he will do something to himself. She has also struggled for the past two years with finding another full time job. Her life seems to be on pause and we wish to unite our prayers for her guidance. Who would you recommend? Many blessings! A faithful reader.
So you sister is committing suicide because her boyfriend who can't commit might commit suicide. Is that about right? Yes, a novena is in order. The number nine figures prominently in the novena, too.
He doesn't need help (he has everything just the way he wants it) but your sister does. She loves him. But he doesn't love her. He is a selfish man who uses emotional blackmail to continue the relationship. She is the one who is tortured.
Of course, you novena prayers are aware of this. Very, very well aware. She needs a job. Better, a career. Something she could really sink her teeth into so she can engage in life instead of her bleak and pathetic '"relationship".
He has no friends or family? Not surprising. He won't create one with her either. He's not a boyfriend, he's an anchor that keeps her ship from setting sail. If he actually loved her, he would at least discuss something that would make her happy. That isn't love. That's manipulation.
She should love him. Jesus commanded us to love everyone. But He did not command us to play nursemaids to manipulative selfish people. She can love him just fine and keep him in her prayers always, while she moves on to have a happy fulfilling life.
There are saints who have had some pretty awful husbands and who managed to pray said husbands into the light. St. Monica, for example. But St. Monica also engaged herself in a life of prayer and education and usefulness during her tribulation.
So, maybe St. Monica is your novena girl. And for finding a fulfilling job there is no better Church Triumphant member than Pope John Paull II. He's going to be a saint any second. He's a saint now, we just haven't made it official.
By the way, I have his new "I'm a saint now" medal available in the shop. I don't have it listed, but I have it. I'll try to put it up there.