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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Of Mice and Advent

Advent is not all fun and games.  Although it's not Lent, we are supposed to prepare ourselves for Jesus' arrival, which, considering the shape in which many of us find ourselves, could take some work.  Hence the timeliness of today's question:

Sister, I am new to all this, but I love your blog. Can you explain exactly what you mean by 'offering it up'? Are there certain prayers that you use?

I assume you are not being sarcastic- but not totally sure...

I volunteer with a lot of nuns, and am amazed by their toughness, warmth an energy!

I am SO not being sarcastic.

First, let's revisit what we mean by "offering it up".  You're not a cradle Catholic, are you?  Somehow, that is something people raised in the faith just...get.  But here you go.  I'll wait while you catch up.

Are we on the same page now?  Any prayers will do, but there are prayers that are expressly for the souls in Purgatory.  There are two St. Gertrudes and they are both famous for their devotion to the souls in Purgatory.  St. Gertrude the Great has a prayer for you to say.  St. Gertrude of Nevilles is the patron saint of cat lovers.

But that was because she thought of the mice overrunning the convent as a metaphor for the souls in Purgatory and since she was so interested in mice she became the patron saint of cat lovers, because cats are very interested in mice, too.

Our newer cat, Chester, is a fine mouser but leaves his gory leftovers on the bathmat.  Go in to wash your hands and suddenly you're in a cat horror movie.

I digress.

It's not just prayers we offer up, but our sufferings, large and small.  Nuns tend to be energetic and tough precisely because they are so highly trained in doing this.  You'll be amazed at the burden that is lifted from you when you're sufferings are no longer your own, but going to a greater good.


Anonymous said...

Hi Sister, I agree, it truely does make things better. The pain of natural childbirth, passing up receiving holy communion because of gluten intolerence, etc. - all MUCH easier when you think that your suffering will help others. I highly recommend it. Thanks for your blog.

priest's wife - S.T./ Anne Boyd said...

yes yes yes- why suffer for no reason?

Anonymous said...

On about.com I found Catholic prayers for each day of the week for poor souls in Purgatory. I really like these prayers. Do you know the history behind them? http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/p/Prayer_Dead_Hub.htm

Thanks, and Blessed Advent, Sister.il

Cynthia said...

Hello! Im a recent follower of your blog, and I have a question for you. Im feeling very disatisfied with my present life, but there should be no reason for this. Im recently married, young (24), have a good job and finished school. To make a long story short, I had a very traumatic childhood which caused me to lose my faith in God and everyone around me, but I am slowly finding my place again. Despite all this, I feel like there is something more that Im not getting, and its bringing me much unhappiness. Is there a Saint that could help me out?

Anonymous said...

For Cynthia- I am 33 and still finding my way out of lifelong depression. It's a long, slow and beautiful journey. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Sister--HELP--who is the patron saint of finals week and midterms? Thanks ever so much.

Anonymous said...

Who to ask for help when you're pulling out all of your hair because of a disobedient teenager??

Anonymous said...

Hey Sister,

I'm a young Catholic woman currently in college, and I'm certainly not immune to my school's hook-up culture. In fact, some days almost all I think about is sex and men (and by men I mean man-candy and not man-dignified-human-being). Also, while I'm still a virgin, I've done some things I'm not proud of. Any words of advice on how to keep sane and curb sexual frustration so I can actually focus on what's important in my life? As someone who must take a vow of chastity, I assume you're an olympic champion at this. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hello Sister,
I was wondering if you could tell me who is the patron saint to save failing marriages and/or of wives who have been cheated on? I don't believe in divorce but I need a whole lot of help to heal the hurt.
Thank you for your time.

AnchorMama said...

I love that our sufferings can be offered up for a greater good! My children on the other hand roll their eyes at me when I tell them "Don't waste it! Offer it up!" They like to try to hide those eye rolls from me, but I still see them do it. :)I'm pretty sure I used to roll my eyes at my mom, too. I'm so glad the lesson stuck anyway.

elfin said...

Saint of the day: Saint Mary (Paula) Di Rosa.
Yay! I remebered! It must be because I have my St. Anthony of Padua charm!

I have St. Monica (I have teenagers). I love Catholicism. There is always help if we will just look for it.

May God bless you, Sister!