From the Mouths of Saints
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning. The kids and I have just finished our morning chores, and now we sit down to begin today’s schoolwork. We are focusing really hard this year on remembering our dear Saint Michael each and every morning. He is the namesake of our school! “Saint Michael, defend us in battle,” we pray. Saint Michael, pray for us!
As we go through our schoolwork for the day, we are met with stories, quotes, and images from a multitude of great saints. An image of Saint Augustine is found in a textbook, and I decide to find a quote to write next to it. I land on this one: “Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in thee.” We are made to know, love, and serve God. The saints are beautiful examples of lives lived for God, and of otherwise ordinary folks who chose to dedicate their lives, in some form, to knowing, loving, and serving God. Saint Augustine, pray for us!
One of my sons is reading a story about Saint Vincent de Paul. Saint Vincent reminds us, “We should spend as much time in thanking God for his benefits as we do in asking Him for them.” We ask Saint Vincent to pray for us and help us remember to always be thankful, for there is always plenty for which we can, and should, be thankful. Saint Vincent de Paul, pray for us!
It's lunchtime now. The first battle I face in my day. It is always at this time that the must-dos become increasingly lackluster, and the urge to spend the afternoon in complete leisure could easily lure us in. I attempt to assemble plates as the kids half-heartedly tidy up before we sit down to eat. Three kids sneak off to play, shirking their duties. My five-year-old has just spilled a shocking amount of sugar all over the kitchen, and my three-year-old is, quite emphatically, performing her very best rendition of "Let It Go." We finally sit down and begin to say grace when I feel the overwhelm and noise all hitting me at once. Saint Zelie, pray for us….
Ah, yes, Saint Zelie Martin. One of my favorite quotes of hers is about her daughter, Saint Therese of Lisieux. "I have to correct this poor baby, who goes into a terrible rage when things don't go as she'd like. She rolls around on the floor like a desperate person, believing all is lost." Even the greatest saints have temper tantrums! Saint Zelie’s writing is always inspirational, especially for mothers! We can trust that countless mothers, countless souls, have gone before us and have seen the finished product of all the big and small hardships life will throw our way.
After lunch, the kids and I conclude our school day and we all move on to conquering housework. Here I seek out the wisdom of Saint Teresa of Avila: “Know that even when you are in the kitchen, our Lord moves amidst the pots and pans.” Our work in the home is not insignificant, especially if that is where we are called to be. It is very important, because it is our work for the Lord, and He can and does find us here! Saint Teresa of Avila, pray for us!
I could never stop at just one lesson from Saint Zelie. I meet her again as we begin the rush to get to sports practice, which is among the most humdrum of tasks of my day. This quote always gives me a chuckle during those times that just seem to drag on, with faraway goals of: “Oh well, that’s the day so far, and it’s still only noon. If this continues, I will be dead by this evening!” I am positive she meant it every bit as much as any of us do, yet she did survive and went on to become a canonized saint!
Now it is evening. I am almost done with my workday. As I finish up baths, wash the last dishes, and read a chapter of The Magician’s Nephew to the kids, my mind also begins to wind down for the day. Who do I call upon at this hour? Saint John the Silent, pray for us.
By Katie Leonard, an NTC staff writer.