It’s hard to believe so much of the country is so cold today when we were enjoying a warm snap. 57 degrees! I forced the children to take a walk and none of us wore coats, just light jackets! The snow was melting and the street was awash with runoff but we had to walk in it because the sidewalks were still buried. Bella’s feet got wet but I think we’re all much the better for the fresh air and exercise. So funny to see the snow sublimating to water vapor, clouds of fog everywhere rolling off the snowbanks.
Most years, I eventually figure out why a particular saint “picked” me, but it is not always obvious, and some years December comes and I ask my patron, with whom I’ve lost contact, “so, what was that about, anyway?”
The thing is, if you don’t take it seriously — if you don’t remember to talk to your patron every day — the thing doesn’t jibe. You never figure out why the Holy Spirit, or the saint, thought there was a match, there. When you really seek out your patron, really study his life and remember him (or her) while at prayer, you develop a genuine relationship with them — a true friendship. It’s great that everyone is talking about pulling their saints this week, but if you don’t work the relationship, it ends up meaning very little.
Still, I feel like I’ve got a little head start. I visited St Andre’s shrine in Montreal in 2003? 2004? with my little brother Stephen. It was Thanksgiving and he was living in Montreal at the time and I thought it would be lovely to drive up and join him for a few days. We had our Thanksgiving dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant– delicious! And had fun discovering a bit of the city. Climbing up to St Joseph’s Oratory, exploring the church there and the tiny chapel built by St Andre– though at the time of our visit he hasn’t been canonized yet– and attending Mass was one of the highlights of that trip.
When I picked Saint Andre and quickly read through his biography to refresh my memory, I immediately felt drawn to his hospitality and his healing ministry. Both of those have been longings of my soul: a desire to open my home and my heart to others, to Christ. And a desire to seek healing for the wounds in my soul, especially those that harm the ones I love most. So to St Andre I entrust these two intentions. I am also very drawn to his devotion to St Joseph, I’d love also to draw closer to him. So I also pray that Saint Andre will lead me closer to his dear friend St Joseph and, further, that he let me know further why he has chosen to be my particular friend, to know what else it is that he can teach me that I’m not even looking for yet.
I look forward to getting to know St Andre much better in the coming year.