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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saints on Vacation

My family and I are taking a long road trip next week. I will have my son (almost 10) wear the brown scapular he got as a gift for his First Holy Communion. I was going to buy some for my husband and I, but I am wondering about our two little girls. One just turned 7 and one is 5 and a half. I'm inclined to get some for them, or is that overboard because they're so little and haven't made First Penance or First Holy Communion yet?

Don't you have your son wear the Brown Scapular when he's not on a road trip? I think you might be a little confused about the Brown Scapular. It's not a 'good luck charm' to protect him from outside harm. It's a promise from Mary about what will happen to his soul if outside harm does him in.

That said, he should be wearing it all the time. So should you and your husband. And even though your seven year old hasn't made her First Reconciliation (that's what we call it now...I have trouble keeping up, too) or her First Communion, she has reached what we call the "Age of Reason", which means she is now responsible for her sins.

The five year old doesn't need a scapular because she is not responsible for her sins and will go straight to heaven if she falls off her Grand Canyon donkey or crashes her Disneyland Teacup.

The idea that you think maybe she should have one and the fact that your son is only wearing one to travel is what leads me to believe you are confused about the scapular.

I think what you really might want is a St. Christopher medal. He's the saint that protects travelers. I don't put much stock in St. Christopher, myself. His story is obviously just that, a story. It has a "Three Little Pigs" quality to it. Many of my readers disagree.

I recommend St. Joseph for travel, or St. Raphael, the patron saint of young people leaving home for the first time, or St. Michael the Archangel.

Don't forget, while obsessing about their safety, that your children, as well as you and your husband, are fully equipped at all times with your very own Guardian Angel.

And while you're on the road you might also want to call on St. Frances Cabrini, the patron saint against car trouble. Are you flying? That's St. Therese the Little Flower, ironically because she never went anywhere in her whole life.

There are also patron saints for the various activities you may be enjoying. Horseback riding (St. Joan of Arc), swimming (St.John Nepomucene, who was tied to a wheel and thrown into the river), going to amusement parks (St. Barbara, patron saint of fireworks), sight seeing in America (the North American Martyrs), traveling Europe (St. Thomas Aquinas, who walked everywhere over there).

My goodness, I should have written this entry at the beginning of the summer, not as it's coming to a close! At least we can have St. Thomas Aquinas, the patron saint of students and pencil makers as a bridge from summer to school year.

I have a question for you -- according to the RC church, what happened to the souls of all of the people who died in the years BC? This question is really bugging me.

Put your mind to rest! This is an easy one! Everyone who died before Jesus came to save them went to what we call "The Limbo of the Fathers". Then when Jesus died, He went and opened the gates there and everyone went to Heaven. The people who were headed for Hell never even went to the Limbo of the Fathers. They went straight to Hell.

Anyhow, that's what Jesus was up to on Holy Saturday, in between His death and resurrection. That must have been quite a party!


Donna. W said...

Whew! You Catholics have to remember all these saints?

Maybe it's easier being a protestant and simply praying to God through Jesus.

That isn't meant to be argumentative; it's just the first thought that came to my mind. These entries you do about the saints are fascinating, and I love reading them.

In fact, one of these days I'm going to order one of your bracelets or chains... once I figure out which saints I need the most!

Anonymous said...

Two things:
Donna, remembering the saints is just like remembering your good friends or family members. Nobody can list ALL of them right of the top of their head (not even SMM!), but we all have our favorites and we have no trouble remembering them. Hopefully, they don't have trouble remembering us, either!!

Also, actually, Sister, St. Therese DID travel during her lifetime....just not after she entered Carmel. Remember how she went to Italy with her father and asked the Pope to let her enter the cloister even though she was too young?

Anne said...

Well now I'm disappointed. I was just about to get all excited about St. Therese and how I am just like her because I have never been anywhere, but if she's been to Rome she certainly has one up on me! Actually she has a lot up on me! Lord, make me a saint like Therese, please!

Maggie said...

Isn't St Anthony also a patron of travelers?

Anonymous said...

Oh, yes. Being a protestant IS much easier. I used to be one before I became a Catholic. And, we 'get' to remember all of these saints. We don't 'have' to.
At least I don't think we do. (I should go look that up, but it's 'easier' to just sit here where I am instead.)

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you read about the Saints, Donna. They are people who we want to behave like in our lives if we can because they did a good job at trying to live life the way Jesus asked us to. They are given "patronage" over certain things because they either overcame something, were employed in a certain career or had a real empathy for some condition etc.
For instance, St. Francis who we all know loved animals.
We choose a Saint at our Confirmation (about 13 yrs old) to emulate in our lives. It's nice to know we have heavenly citizens to help look after us and intercede on our behalf with the Lord. They can help us "Throw the rocks at the window" so to speak, as we make our requests of God.

Anonymous said...

I believe that being a Catholic requires a lot more hard work. But once you find God the rules and the rememebrance is easier. I used to hate having to remember easy things like the Ten Commandments and to go to Mass on Sunday. But I find the more time you spend with God the closer you get to him and the easier it is for you.