Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Yes, I know St. Nicholas Day is not on the Presbyterian calendar. But I might be more into Saints than your average Presbyterian. I think it started years ago when I read something C.S. Lewis wrote. He said that if one really believes in the Communion of the Saints, that the church is made up of Christians across space and time, then why wouldn't you consider asking both the living and the dead to intercede for you when you are in need of prayer? This made sense to me. I'm more likely to go to one of my grandparents or beloved, departed members of congregations I've served--but every once in a while, I'll call on one of the official Saints whose story I've found inspiring or who I know is a patron of the type of person or situation I'm concerned about.

Day before yesterday, I lost my calendar. I know your guts are all clenching in anxious sympathy. At first I wasn't too worried. I'm an absent-minded person where stuff is concerned. I lose things all the time. Usually the lost thing surfaces within a couple of hours. But my calendar was gone for two days. Two. Whole. Days.

I was awake at 3:30 a.m. stewing about this. I had a sense that I have several appointments and meetings on Thursday and Friday, but I couldn't remember exactly what they were. It occurred to me to ask St. Anthony for help. St. Anthony is the patron saint of lost items and also the saint for whom my husband is named. A formerly Roman Catholic member of one of my former congregations years ago taught me the traditional prayer Catholic children are taught to pray when searching for something they've lost: Tony, Tony! Look around. Something's lost that must be found!
Couldn't hurt, might help, I thought. And so I prayed.

After about ten seconds, I heard a voice in my head say, "Look in the trunk." And then I went to sleep.

This morning I got up, went to the garage, popped open the trunk of my car and sure enough--there in the trunk was a box of books I had decided to tranfer from my office back to the house, and perched on top of the box was TA DA!!!! My calendar!

I'm not headed for Rome any time soon, I'm just tellin' ya what happened.

Update: As I was doing a little research on St. Nicholas for staff devotions today, I was reminded of a unique part of his story. Nicholas was made Bishop of Myra even though he was a layperson, not a priest. This was highly unusual--irregular even. Now I'm asking: who believes that laypeople should be the ruling elders of the church? Uh huh, that's right: Presbyterians!!! St. Nick is OURS, baby.


zorra said...

One of my rather unusual drama dept. friends in college lived in an old house filled with all kinds of stuff, like lifesize statues that had formerly been in a Catholic church. He borrowed a huge amethyst cross from his mom to wear with his mitre (sp?), robes, and the rest of his regalia to be the Archbishop of Canterbury in our college Renaissance Festival. (It was 1974. You had to be there.) He LOST his mom's cross and was in a panic, turning the house upside down. Finally in desperation he cried, "Please, St Anthony, help me find my mother's purple cross!" And there it was. Right behind the statue of St. Anthony. True story.

more cows than people said...

I have prayed to St. Anthony at least three times this week already. Glad to know I'm not the only Presbyterian with this inclination. (actually inclinations- losing things and imploring this particular saint for help!)

Quotidian Grace said...

Love it! Hooray for St. Nick and St. Anthony!

ppb said...

I love st. nick. I always put my shoes out just in case. I also love saint lucia.

Kathryn said...

The other lovely thing about St Nick is that he had, apparently, to be dragged protesting to his ordination...Sounds like an awful lot of people I know!
Now I must get on with asking St Antony about my cheque book. It has to be somewhere...

Presbyterian Gal said...

Can St. Anthony help find more esoteric lost items such as patience, nerve, and will-power (especially at this holiday time with so much available chocolate)?

I often ask St. Francis to help out when my cats are squabbling.

SpookyRach said...

Pretty cool stuff.

I love those little "saints trading cards" you get at the catholic bookstores. Its just my lil baptist heart yearning for ritual and symbolism. ha ha!

Catholic passing by said...

You know, you all would make really fine Catholics.

(Not trying to cause a fuss, I'm just sayin'...)

Pax et bonum