I know All Saints Day has passed and tomorrow we intercede for all those in Purgatory, but I want to write a quick reflection on what these beautiful people who have gone before us mean to me. My five year old told me, “Mommy, I want to be a Saint. What must I do?” I responded, “Honey, you have to love God and live His love on Earth.” That, of course, led us to the question of what that type of Love looks like, what does it mean?
For my daughter and I, though, we have experienced that the Love of Christ that Saints had in life does NOT end with their earthly death. This past year and a half we have experienced directly the Love these Saints continue to share with the rest of the Body of Christ.
One evening, during prayer time, my daughter insisted to ask “St. Sarah” to pray for us. I did not know of a St. Sarah, but my daughter insisted that St. Sarah really existed and that we needed to add her to our nightly Litany of Saints. I began to research and discovered that St. Sarah was a Desert Mother who was revered by the Desert Fathers. That is pretty much all we know. I returned and asked my daughter why she knew about St. Sarah. She told me in a matter of fact voice that St. Sarah had appeared to her in a dream and that my daughter experienced deep peace and happiness with her. I was later told that the Desert Parents often appear to people who are in need of comfort. Considering that my daughter had been through trauma and upheaval, the appearance of a Saint, whom we had never heard about, was comfort beyond doubt. It was God telling us that He loved us and had not forgotten about us. Not only that, the Saints had our backs. They were praying for us! Even now, writing about this just makes me cry.
During this last year and a half, it was not only St. Sarah who gave us comfort, but also the greatest Saint of all, Mary Our Mother. When I was in deep distress I would always be sent an image of me at her feet with her mantle over me. It happened often enough that I began to realize it was not “me” who was doing the imagining. It was this experience of literally her mantle over me that I now understand the whole Scapular devotion. Prior, I never could comprehend it. I was always suspicious, but now I completely understand that the Scapular is a tiny scrap of Mary’s mantle to wear. And the need to have one and wear one has continued to grow within me. It was Mary who I knew could completely comprehend what it was like to stand by and watch her child suffer unjustly and not be able to do anything. As my daughter began her long road to heal from trauma, it was Mary who I begged would stand by in my daughter’s dreams so that she would not be so terrified. It was Mary who *I* needed as a Mother when I was not sure if I could say “yes” to the Tenet of Suffering that our Faith demands. I begged her not to give up on me even as I struggled through the pain of injustice and tried to understand a Loving God in the midst of pure evil.
Lastly, St. Therese, my Little Flower. We did a novena to her requesting a miracle. She sent me 18 beautiful roses to let me know “yes.” And a miracle she did perform. There is no explanation how it happened, except a woman in Heaven who wanted to spend her Heaven doing good on earth. I will forever be grateful to this woman who rendered a miracle for my family.
I have no doubt there are other nameless saints who intercede for us every day. But I tell my daughter that when we are Saints–for that is our Call–we can spoil the Body of Christ like these Saints do for us now. But first, we must learn how to spoil Jesus in His people on Earth.