Today is the feast day of St. Anthony! He is one of our very favorite saints, and when I say "our", I mean "OUR". Catholics, Protestants, Jews, agnostics and probably some Hindus and Buddhists routinely turn to St. Anthony when something goes missing.
Or some one. Or cats....
I lost my cat once. I looked all over for him for hours in the middle of
the night. I finally started to pray to St. Anthony (St. Anthony, St.
Anthony, Please come around, for Bon-bon is lost and cannot be found).
After deciding to check the neighborhood for the inth time at 3am, a
woman who was talking to someone in a car in the middle of the street
stopped her conversation, looked at me, and asked if I was looking for a
white cat. When I told her that I was, she told me she just saw one run
across the street to the train station. I ran over to the station,
called his name, and there was Bon-bon crying for me. St. Anthony,
through God's Grace, has never failed me!
Bon-bon thanks you, St. Anthony.
Eyeglasses, keys, documents, cell phones.
And why is that, do you suppose? Because St. Anthony never fails to come through.
"Holy Tony, come around, something's lost and can't be found."
St. Anthony is, therefore, one of the greatest examples of cognitive dissonance, religion edition, we can find.
Here we have people who don't believe in saints, or don't believe we should pray for the intercession of saints, doing exactly that--because it works--and then going right back to not believing in saints and not praying for their intercession.
Just for the record, so you don't have to go look it up, St. Anthony's penchant for finding your other shoe stems from the story that a novice made off with Anthony's beloved Book of Psalms. Anthony prayed very hard for the book to be found. The novice had a terrible nightmare about the book and returned it.
I just...whatever. I think there is a much better case to be made for Anthony's forte. Involving his actual forte. He was one of those people who remembered every word he ever read about everything. And so once, when a speaker failed to show up, St. Anthony was pressed to say a few words and wowed everyone with his knowledge and eloquence. Because he remembered every word he ever read. Which is why he can remember what happened to your shoe.
And if he can find your shoe and your dog, imagine how great your life could be if you turned to other saints for all kinds of other problems and fears and phobias! If you're already calling on St. Anthony, it's pretty illogical not to wade on in.