When writing about nuns on sleds, I happened to mention that my randomly-pulled patron saint for 2010 is St. Philip Neri, of whom I am not well-informed, beyond the fact that he was known to be “cheerful and charming.”
Since a lack of both charm and cheerfulness has generally defined Lizzie, I have been assuming that Neri and I would make an uncomfortable team; I am certainly open to being taught those habits (or traits) if they are in fact teachable, but I believe good St. Philip will find me a less-than-stellar pupil.
So it was heartening to receive an email today from Fr. Patrick, who wrote:
One of [Neri’s] best prayers was: “Lord, don’t trust Philip!”
As a fervent lay person Philip inspired many vocations. St Ignatius Loyola criticized him: “You are like the bell in the steeple: you call many people into the church but don’t go in yourself.”
Heh. “Lord, don’t trust Philip,” completely rang my bell; I identified. I also identified with the second part in ways most would not comprehend.
A look at Neri’s hagiography brought some additional comforts. We both exhibited early and rather spectacular detachments from our lineage and our father’s houses. We’ve both been broke and managed to scrape by on our wits. We have a Benedictine connection, and Jesuit friends; we share an inclination toward visiting the sick in hospitals. We do not share a love of fasting, though, but hey, Neri founded the Brotherhood of the Little Oratory, (still going strong), and I have a little Oratory, so…you know…I’m feeling more and more comfortable with St. Philip Neri, all the time! We could get to be good friends!
And then, who knows, perhaps some of that cheerfulness and charm will rub off on me!
Yeah, okay, go ahead and snicker. I’m a Catholic; I believe in miracles.
And perhaps I have now found the motto for my whole life: “Lord, don’t trust Lizzie!”
UPDATE: Larry D points us to A daily source of Neri Quotes. Is there nothing that cannot be found online? :-) Thanks, Larry!