Over the years I have developed some faith sayings or mantras that pop into my mind, or out loud at times when faced with different situations.
Get out of the way of the Holy Spirit
I fall back on this saying when I find myself trying to control a situation and direct the outcome of situations. One RCIA group quite a few years ago had 4 older high school ladies in the group. As you can imagine it was a bit like herding cats and very frustrating. Many times I felt like they were not getting it and it was a waste of time. I was often tempted to try and take control of the situation and read them the riot act. At the end of each RCIA year, I talk with the candidates to see where they are in their journey and how the year has been for them. I was totally blown over by how the Holy Spirit had been working in amazing ways in their lives and was reminded that by getting out the way and letting the Holy Spirit work amazing and unexpected things will happen. We all need to be able to trust God and give the Holy Spirit time and room to work.
Jesus can take care of Jesus
This mantra is for when I start to feel and act judgemental and righteous. I find this saying important when I am tempted to fall back on Canon Law or a strict interpretation of Church Teachings for a legalistic answer to a situation and in particular when dealing with sacraments. Many times when distributing the Eucharist you can sense that a person is not familiar with receiving the Eucharist in the Catholic Church. In such a situation one might be tempted to question the person and hold up the flow of people receiving the Eucharist. Personally, I do not do that and offer the host to the person and watch to make sure they consume the host. To do otherwise would be to assume I know everything in that situation and maybe even be a hindrance or roadblock to somebody coming to Jesus. To make a public spectacle of the situation would not allow Jesus to take care of Jesus, and I will try to connect with the person one on one later to see what their situation is. Other situations would be to judge who can and can’t get married or have their child baptized in the Church or the motives of somebody coming to RCIA. I believe it better to trust that the Holy Spirit has moved their heart to start deepening their relationship with God through the sacraments. An alternative way I look at this is not wanting to be face to face with Jesus at the end of my life and have him ask me why I got in the way of somebody coming to him, especially through the sacraments.
Jesus must be in this mess somewhere
Whenever life gets messy and it seems like a struggle I pause and remind myself that somehow, someway Jesus is present. Although it may not seem like it at the time I know that I will be able to look back and see how Jesus was walking with me during these times. During our years of struggle with our Son’s mental health issues and addictions, Julie would say to me “for a Deacon we sure are not getting many blessings”. It seemed like prayers were not being answered and it was emotionally and physically draining work. In those times there would be people that would be there to help, teach, accompany, and lead us in many aspects of what needed to be done in those difficult times. There were some definite answers to prayer that kept us sane and our son alive in some very challenging situations. I am happy to say our son is doing much better and he is working his way back and dealing with his mental health issues in a healthier way.
Come on Saint Tony
Like any good Catholic, I call upon Saint Anthony when I have lost something and I am searching for it. A bit self-serving but I do believe helps to relax you a bit and many times that is what you need to find something you have been trying to find. I am amazed at how many times I do find something after asking Saint Anthony for assistance. Of course, God likes to keep me humble in my old age when I tend to misplace things quite often by not always having Saint Anthony help me find items. A great reminder that we are connected to the communion of saints and they are there waiting to help us. And yes, I know there is a more formal and official prayer but for some reason, I have settled on "Come on Saint Tony".
This is one I do not say enough and is usually in response to some amazing event, display of nature, or when I finally realize that something I have been praying for has been answered. It is my response to when God hits me upside the head with a 2x4 and I finally realize something wonderful God has done or provided. Many times I would be walking into to work with a lot of concerns and stress when I would hear a bird sing, see beautiful clouds, or colorful leaves and be in awe of what God provides for us. Praise be! We all need to look for opportunities to acknowledge and thank God and a simple “praise be” is enough for God.
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Being married to an Irish Catholic this phrase was part of my response to things well before my conversion and entrance into the Church. When we are tempted to use inappropriate language when faced with difficult times that anger and upset us it is good to call on the Holy Family and be reminded that they led human lives that had many moments of struggle and frustration.
What are the Faith Sayings that you utter in response to different situations in your life?
Peace, Love, and Blessings