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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Lean Your Ear This Way

St. Gemma was so pretty.

SMM, I have been a volunteer child advocate through the national CASA (court appointed special advocate) program on and off for ten years. Is there a saint for advocates of children?

Of course! Jolly old St. Nicholas!  Santa Claus is the patron saint for children.  The story has a "Sweeney Todd" flair to it.  It seems during a time of famine and evil innkeeper murdered three children, chopped them to pieces and put the pieces in the pickle barrel to cure.

He was planning on passing them off as ham.  Perhaps they were chubby children.

But St. Nicholas came along and solved the crime.  We don't know how he did that.  Perhaps he fancied a pickle and lifted the lid to help himself.  This is why, by the way, we have the "Christmas Pickle",  a German tradition of hiding a pickle ornament somewhere on the Christmas tree. The child who finds it gets a prize. We have two Christmas pickles on our tree.  I can never find them when it's time to take the tree down. No prize for me! And I'm the one who puts them on there in the first place.

I digress.

St. Nicholas rescued the children and miraculously brought them back to life.

Now, while I'm dubious that any of this took place,  I can imagine that you sometimes feel as though you are rescuing chopped up children hidden in pickle barrels.  But that's not really happening to you, either.

It does seem to me that St. Nicholas had a sweet heart, or these legends would not have arisen around him.  We don't have legends of sweet things done by nasty people or even crabby people.  Legends arise from the heart, because of bravery, compassion, strength.

Here's to your bravery, compassion and strength.  I hope Santa was good to you this year.


Anonymous said...

Aw, thanks for answering! My daughter and I celebrated St. Nicholas Day with stocking gifts, and at the time it felt very good to do so. Thanks again for answering!

mph said...

Thanks for your blog Sister. It's an inspiration and always brightens my day, and many other people's, judging by the comments to your various posts. I love reading the comments as well.

Donna. W said...

Here's what I love about you: You dare to say things like "Now, while I'm dubious that any of this took place..."
I didn't know Catholics were allowed to say anything like that!

Paige said...

Hi Sister! I need your help with helping to choose a confirmation saint for my husband. Well, he needs your help. He's an artist, but also really into comic books. He's got really bad ADD, and has a hard time finishing things. He also is a revert and came to the Church a bit later in life though he was baptized Catholic. I thought Augustine would be great, but he's read about him and doesn't feel like they have a lot "in common." Any thoughts? A couple he could read up on would be great!

Wendy said...

@ Paige Fra Angelico (recently canonized) is the patron saint of artists. You might try seeing if he connects through the artwork. Angelico wasn't his name, BTW, he was known for his paintings of angels. You've probably seen his Annunciation, but it's worth looking at his Adoration of the Magi - there's always a lot of story going on in the background - early sequential art, if you will!

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister,
I need to pray for my mother. She suffers from alzheimer's to the extent that she is completely unresponsive to any stimuli.

She always told us that she would never want to be a 'vegetable', and put a no heroic measures in her will- but she has been kept alive for 2 years in this state and the Dr s say that she may well live on for another 5 or more...

Can I pray for her release? I fear that she is trapped, alone, in a totally unresponsive husk of a body. Is there a Saint who would help?

And thank you for your wonderful blog.