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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Step Right UP!

Things have been slow over at the shop. I'm sure it's the economy, even though we have saints to help with that. Of course, you don't need our products to ask for their intercession!

I never spend any time here on the blog hawking our merchandise except for when a saint is up for discussion and I can just direct the reader over to the shop for a description of the life of said holy person. Saves time.

But today's question from a reader is one that tickles me no end, because I dreamed up an item just to address this problem some time ago, and with the holidays upon us (beginning with a giant bag of Halloween candy, or a giant bowl of leftover candy because the trick or treaters were few and far between) it comes in timely fashion:

Sister, what saint should I invoke to help me loose weight and keep up my exercise?


I think I was trying to come up with a patron saint matching when I realized that:

1. There are quite a lot of saints for this problem.


2. It's a big problem that requires lots of help.

Especially around the holidays.

If you are a drug addict or an alcoholic, you can stop taking drugs and drinking alcohol forever, difficult as it may be.

But you have to eat.

So we dreamed up this item. A charm bracelet with five saints worth of heavenly will power (in silver or brass color). And since you don't actually need to purchase our product to have the help, I'll give you a brief rundown on why we chose these five saints.

St. Charles Borromeo is the patron saint of stomach problems. As you leave your bad eating habits behind, your bouts of heart burn and feeling stuffed will diminish. Meanwhile, St. Charles will keep an eye on your stomach and whatever it's doing.

St. Catherine of Sienna survived only on the Host. We don't recommend that. But how is that for some will power?

St. Martha is the patron saint of cooks. She famously busied herself in the kitchen and missed out sitting around with Jesus. Doh! Yet another reminder to spend less time thinking about food.

St. Lawrence was roasted to death on a spit. His famous last words were, "turn me over, I'm done on this side." That should be enough to put you off of another helping of pot roast and potatoes.

Last but in no way least, to say the least, St. Thomas Aquinas. Famously weight challenged himself, he feels your pain. Some people think it may have been a glandular issue, but we don't believe that anymore than we believe you when you say you have one.

We actually don't have any exercise saints on there. You're good to go with any or all of the Twelve Apostles, who walked all over the known world. You know if you walk just a half an hour a day, you won't gain any more weight.

Unless you eat another piece of cake because you walked off the first one. Doh!


Will Duquette said...

FWIW, St. Thomas Aquinas did quite a bit of walking as well. He travelled from Italy to France and back, multiple times, on foot.

Claudia said...

I work in the OR of a busy hospital. One day my patient was a frail little old lady. She had mentioned her crazy son and his wife.

She stated that the two of them were always on diets and it made her crazy...she said "I don't know whats wrong with them, all they have to do is cut their food in half and go for a walk everyday.

Great idea from the elders. We do not need special diets or expensive equipment. What we need is a little will power and the effort to do this every day. If you take small servings you can eat about anything you would like. Special diets excluded. But if we as a group woudl exercise our astonishing rates of diabetes would plummet and this alone would decrease the cost of health care.

Anonymous said...

Hi Sister,

What about St Francis Borgia? I was just reading about him in an article written by Woodeene Koenig-Bricker for 'The Word Among Us' (which has daily meditations for Catholics):

"One biographer tells us that when Francis entered the Jesuits, he was 'an exceedingly fat man'. Another story, perhaps apocryphal, says he was so large that he had to have a demicircle cut out of his place at the table...After joining the Jesuits, and at the advice of his spiritual counselor, Francis did curb his eating. Unfortunately, like a lot of formerly obese people, he went to the other extreme: he became so thin that his superiors had to tell him to lay off the fasting. Echoing Francis of Assisi, Borgia later admitted he had been overly zealous in his bodily mortification. In the end, he recognized the value of moderation as the safest road to holiness."

I don't know much else about him other then what I read in the article from which the above excerpt was taken, but he seems like a saint everyone can relate to.

Love your blog, Sister.

From a reader in Perth, Western Australia

mph said...

Hello Sister,
Is there a Saint for protection of property (house/car) against vandalism and vindictive neighbourhood 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 vandalised property. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

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 intercessionary 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?

Gail said...

Thanks, Sister. I was wondering about this very subject this morning but dismissed it as being a silly thing to ask the Lord to give me a heavenly mentor for my needing to lose weight. But lo and behold, our precious God spoke through you today.
Thank you for blessing my day.

Anonymous said...

Sister MM, I truly enjoy your site. Today in Mass, I was thinking about our church's patron saint (St. Elizabeth Ann Seton), and started wondering how she was chosen for our church. Do parishioners get to submit name suggestions when a new church is planned? Does the local priest or archbishop choose? Does the Vatican send out a list of approved names? I can imagine that this could be a very divisive topic if different factions were rooting for their own favorites.

Anonymous said...

I am a proponent of eating wisely and well, but I thought I'd throw something out in defense of fat people. Sometimes it is glandular. I had a thyroid condition that was undiagnosed for several years. It caused me to gain about 80 pounds in a short amount of time, despite exercise and a reasonable diet. I was unable to see a doctor, and when I did, they just told me to eat less. Didn't help. I've got great medical care now and am not gaining anymore, but I am not skinny. This may have been St. Thomas Aquinas' problem as well.

Also, God does make everyone different. Some of us are tall, or dark haired, etc. For some, a certain size may be healthy when it would be quite unhealthy for others. This is not to do with overindulging though, which is never healthy. I've found that if I take a little extra time to express gratitude - something Catholics and other Christians get to do when we pray before meals - I really become mindful of the blessings I enjoy and savor even the simplest meal more. Oddly enough, this makes me eat less because I can better appreciate when I'm full.

Dancing With Pussycats said...

A Dominican nun told me St. Thomas Aquinas was so rotund the table actually had a curve cut out of it to enable him to get closer. But then one day I read a biography where a novice was chastised for asking St. Thomas to help carry some items. The novice was chastised for wasting St. Thomas' time on menial labor. His intellect was so greatly admired that his writing was considered his labor. Maybe that contributed to his weight trouble.

Tami said...

Thank you reader from Austrailia who pointed out Saint Francis of Borgia. Indeed a good lesson to be learned is that of moderation. A little chocolate good, lots not so good. This concept goes to so many areas of our lives.