What does it mean to you to be a woman of God in the 21st century?
The possibilities of answers to this question are endless and so many have already been covered. The more I thought about it, the more angles I discovered. But the one that stood out to me is my love of role models.
The Biggest, Best Group of Friends
No, I’m not talking about Hollywood teen idols, movie stars, or famous athletes. In fact, I’m talking about people who, for the vast majority, have never personally been on TV, never wrote a blog, never recorded a CD, never so much as had a personal photograph taken, and yet the Church Triumphant (those who are in heaven: Saints) are the “role models” of the Church Militant (those of us here on the earth). As a woman of God in the 21st century, I have access to the biggest, best, most powerful group of friends anyone ever had.
Though my siblings and I were all named after family members, our names happily match with saint names or, if we don’t have a particular relationship with our name’s saint, we have quite the collection of confirmation saints: Michael the Archangel, Our Lady (yes, she is a saint and, yes, one can choose her for their confirmation), Bernadette of Lourdes, Louis de Montfort, Francis of Assisi, Thérèse of Lisieux (no prizes as to whose that one is), Patrick, and Padre Pio.
Each of my siblings and I (there are 6 of us; my parents’ confirmation saints are included in the collection above) were able to develop a relationship with our saint and choose him or her ourselves. Each person’s story is a little different and the beautiful thing is that we each have a best friend in heaven who is rooting for us and whom we can count on to help us out when the going gets tough.
There is a saint for just about every cause you could concern yourself with. Need help with directions? Call on St. Christopher. Need help finding something? St. Anthony’s your man! Are you in an impossible situation and you just want out? St. Rita’s got your back. Is there someone in your life (family member, friend, classmate?) who drives you crazy? St. Thérèse of Lisieux has a remarkable solution. Do you consider yourself a poor student and can’t wait for summer? St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Jean Vianney are great supporters for the cause. Are you the queen of getting all traffic lights red? Sometimes a quick call to St. Patrick will do the trick.
In need of some humor in your relationship with God? Check out St. Teresa of Avila. Love the outdoors, can’t get enough of animals, or a convert to Christianity, but feeling very much alone? Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. Kateri Tekakwitha just might be able to relate. The point is, the possibilities are endless and the answers are just a google search away (although, when I googled “patron saint of those who are directionally challenged” the other day, Christopher Columbus came up. El Oh El.)
A shoulder to cry on / a friend to dance, laugh, and scream with / someone there for all seasons
Yup - that’s what the saints are there for. Though they aren’t likely to physically walk beside you, spiritually and even emotionally, they are there for you and desperately want to pray for you. Have you ever asked your best friend to say a prayer for your exam the next day, for your impending labor and delivery, for safe travels, or for your grandparent’s chemotherapy? It’s the same scenario: our friends, the saints have already finished the race, kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7), and are now beholding the beatific vision in heaven, eager and willing to assist us and are ever so happy to pray for our intentions.
Befriend a saint, if you have not already done so, and you will be amazed by the nearness you feel with someone who walked the face of the earth 50 years, 100 years, even an entire millennia ago.
God bless you!