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September 2015

Saints be praised, honored ... and buried!

I woke up this morning with a terrible thought. Starsinskywithpeople

I buried the wrong saint!

In my sleepy haze I remembered an image of St. Anthony holding the Baby Jesus and realized I had mistaken that same statue for St. Joseph and buried him in the ground in front of my Ortley Beach home.

Ordinarily I do not abide by traditions that seem more superstition than faith. I could never understand why St. Joseph would have to be buried, and why, for goodness sake, upside down, if you need to sell your home.  Why wouldn’t simple, heartfelt prayers to the saint suffice?

Well, after almost nine months on the market with no offers and the bank breathing down our neck with foreclosure, I gave in to pressure and thought, “What do I have to lose?”

I had a statue of St. Joseph, or so I thought, handed down to me after my mom died.  I took it from the shelf and asked my husband to bury it in the front lawn, upside down facing the house.  As the instructions came out of my mouth, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I rationalized it by telling myself it was my alter ego, a desperate woman grasping at straws.

Then, to realize it was the wrong saint anyway … how embarrassing.

Determined to make the best of it I apologized to St. Anthony and asked him to do what he does best ... find things and people … like a buyer for our house. I suggested he collaborate with St. Joseph, the patron saint of households, who had already heard from me many times.

So, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that within the past three weeks since the burial, we have had three showings and a potential buyer… one that is taking his time asking lots of questions and gathering information, which is very responsible of him and nerve-wracking for me … but a truly interested possible buyer none-the-less.

I am already readying a place… I mean places … of honor for the two saints who have seemingly forgiven my silliness.  I believe they are very much aware of my true need, not just to sell the house, but to be able to detach myself emotionally from a place that holds a great deal of meaning and memories.

Surely, the saints are as numerous as the stars in the heavens, each shining their own unique light on the world. These two saints, Joseph and Anthony, were standing by when I sought direction from God, prayed and cried, and asked for wisdom to make the right decisions.

They heard my words, “… through the intercession of the saints,” and they stepped in, not as real estate agents, but as companions ... companions who are always consolers, always leading us to God and, sometimes, responsible for miracles.


We must open the gift to discover what's inside

My mother loved receiving gifts, as most of us do, but for her it seemed to be a sworn duty to IMG_0199
display as many of them as she could, and once displayed they rarely came down.  It didn’t matter if the gift was a small, wild-haired troll or a beautiful porcelain sculpture of Rapunzel, with golden locks cascading around her feet.  They all shared a place of honor in our home.

Among those gifts were a variety of painted and jeweled eggs, most often given to her by my dad. Their beauty was in the remarkable designs and craftsmanship on their shells.  So when I received an exceptionally lovely porcelain egg music box from a special friend several years ago, I assumed all the beauty was on the outside.

I placed it behind the glass doors of our hutch, for protection, but close to the front so I could see it every time I walked by. But today was different. After having a heated “discussion” with my guardian angel earlier in the morning, and not being surprised if she were to take the day off, I stopped in front of the hutch and stared at the gilded egg.  Something inside me said “open it,” and for the first time, upon closer inspection, I realized the egg was formed of two separate halves.

I pulled the halves apart and there stood an enchanting guardian angel adorned with rhinestones.  Finally, the guardian angel prayer written in gold letters beneath the egg made sense, and I wondered if it were possible for me to be any denser.

I immediately moved this very thoughtful gift to my desk, leaving the egg open so I could see the little guardian angel who brightens my day.  She also serves as a reminder of a few things: Guardian angels are very patient with our humanness, friends are a true blessing for which we should be grateful, and never be impressed solely by outside appearances.  You never know what waits on the inside.

" ... let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart ... " 1 Peter 3:4