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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Damage Control

Hi, Sister, Do you know a patron saint I can invoke for strength and perseverance and against being discouraged? My house and most of my hometown were just flooded by a hurricane. On a less drastic note, I'm struggling to complete my master's thesis, and it feels like I'll never finish.

Oh you poor thing! Our prayers are with you.

At least you can offering your own suffering for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. We can't speak for your poor neighbors.

Of course there are many saints who have weathered storms and saints who are invoked against storms.  There are saints who were trying to head off to be missionaries or trying to escape God's plan for them (by boat) and were dashed against the rocks before they headed on the right path.

St. Barbara is the official saint against lightening and storms, but I'm going with St. Scholastica for you! St. Scholastic was the sister of the famous St. Benedict of the Rule of Benedict fame.  In fact, they were fraternal twins. She was visiting her brother in a little house just outside his monastery walls (because she couldn't go into the monastery).  They were having a wonderful engaging conversation about philsophy and life and theology that went on all day and into the evening, when Benedict announced that he had to vamoosh before evening prayers. Scholastica begged him to stay but he insisted he must leave.

Not surprising for a man who made up a strict list of rules for everyone to follow.

Having lost this round, Scholastica bowed her head in prayer. I'm sure her brother thought that she was just praying for him, but she wasn't. She was praying to God to keep Benedict from leaving. A violent storm arose. Benedict was trapped. For the night.

Their conversation continued until morning when the storm broke and the siblings parted, never to see each other again. Scholastica headed back to the house in which she was staying for her visit and died. 

I think she's your girl for a little storm control.

You will, by the way, finish your master's thesis. Unless you don't. That will be up to you.


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Sister.

Unknown said...

I seem to have run out of words. How stupid of me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sister Mary Martha,
After many years of thought, research and prayer, I have decided that becoming a Catholic is my higher calling. However, many members of my family (some who are ex-Catholics) have expressed the fear that I will become an intolerant person if I become Catholic. It's primarily because many people in my family are gay or lesbian and have been shunned by their churches. How can I reassure them that my love and support for them will be unwavering even as I follow my Catholic calling? Also, who is the patron saint for new beginnings or spiritual journeys?
Sincerely, Nicole

Unknown said...

Sister, you have a very special medal, the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha medal. What is so nice is that even without a blessing it is enough, there will be much done by her, I see it!
I have been reading up on Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. When I got to the part of explaining flagellation I may have started feeling sad ( or feeling the start of a miracle ), may have seen deep, because now I am very sad ( Saint Kateri Tekakwitha love me in heaven ). You see, I was around a Jesuit Father during my youngest days enough to know something is not being said here. Your Father there must have at least once looked at you and said "I worship the ground you walk on Sister Mary Martha." I am not so stupid I will ask "Why did this happen." Nor will I kiss dirt. I read opinions I believe to be true that flagellation within the Church is without blood, it is even practiced by certain Sisters but under supervision, and so it is part of a vow, to evoke a stronger love between Spirit and flesh, yet her story explains that there was blood. "Do not ask me to forget it because I won't." On the other hand, here is a prayer I made to be recited for our Saint Kateri Tekakwitha. Since like her I believed only in God's word and the Cross and Prayer ( and a few medals, and Icon cards and and and, Ha, ha! ) it is strictly Holy Bible verse. Hope you like it :)
Saint Kateri Tekakwitha love me in heaven
( Lily of the Mohawks, the Pure and Tender Lily, the Fairest Flower among True Men )
"Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married," says the LORD.
And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in scarlet, that you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.
"Or if I send a pestilence into that land and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast,
even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were in it, as I live, declares the Lord GOD, they would deliver neither son nor daughter. They would deliver but their own lives by their righteousness.
How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?
Jesus, I love you.

( More reading on Saint Kateri Tekakwitha at http://books.google.com/books?id=IM10gt3hRUYC&pg=PA134&lpg=PA134&dq=Marie-Th%C3%A9r%C3%A8se+Tegaiaguenta&source=bl&ots=gqITQb9c9P&sig=-hfAqh_jn56WTHqyvFyaD1Pep3o&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Marie-Th%C3%A9r%C3%A8se%20Tegaiaguenta&f=false --- and one I prefer at http://books.google.com/books?id=AFWywxcofboC&pg=PA173&lpg=PA173&dq=Marie-Th%C3%A9r%C3%A8se+Tegaiaguenta&source=bl&ots=L_NkGOQtaF&sig=YR1Zj6DbpkAWKTEXV7rmxe5mLsA&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Marie-Th%C3%A9r%C3%A8se%20Tegaiaguenta&f=false )

Shannon B. said...

God bless you for answering your call into the Church, Nicole. I'm a convert myself, and was told by someone in my family that I would go to hell if I converted. More than likely, those in your family who have SSA have a rather tainted view of Catholicism on this subject, like most people. Tell your family members that the Church is Love because Jesus is Love. She is also our Mother and knows that not everything we want is good for us. God bless you on your journey:)

Sarah A. said...

Dear Sister,

I hope this is the right way to reach you. I've presented my question to several people, priests and deacons included, and I've never been given a fully reasoned answer. I have been a vegetarian for many years. I connect vegetarianism with my Catholic faith very strongly--God created the Earth and all the creatures on it, and He was pleased with them and entrusted them to our stewardship. Raising pigs in tiny gestation crates or butchering cows for their beef while they're still alive is not respectful of God's creation. The vast majority of meat preparation in the US today is simply not in accordance with the way we should be treating God's planet or His creatures.

I'm not an evangelizing or militant vegetarian, but I don't understand how most Catholics choose to ignore the situation. The old "animals don't have souls" reasoning doesn't cut it here, Sister. Even though a pig does not have a soul, surely it is wrong to keep it penned up throughout its whole life, keep it drugged and out of the sunlight, and then, rather than slaughter it with compassion, slowly mutilate it (I'm sure you can imagine the details). I'm not saying that it is always a sin to consume meat, but isn't it sinful to actively contribute to something that is devastating and disrespectful to what God gave to us? Especially when there are other options?