The other day I picked up a pamphlet about a Novena to St. Jude in the back pew of Church. To those who work for the Church this is a regular occurance.
It’s a sort of chain-letter kind of thing:
- Make this Novena to St. Jude
- Publish in a newspaper the results OR leave a copy (or LOTS of copies) of this novena in Church
Lots of church vestibules constantly see these sorts of things, sometimes with stern warnings to not remove the novena material and so forth.
Why do some Catholics do such a thing? Well, in a word, superstition. There are lots of superstitious things that well-meaning (although mistaken) Catholics do.
For example, even more popular than the St. Jude Novena (NEVER KNOWN TO FAIL, BY THE WAY!) is the goofy practice of burying a statue of St. Joseph in order to sell your home (HE WORKS FASTER IF YOU BURY HIM UPSIDE DOWN!).
And, of course, often enough the home is sold, or the novena request is granted, thus reinforcing through lived experience and the resulting word-of-mouth how effective such activities are.
Thankfully Joseph and Jude are both Jewish; so they can smile when I say, oy vey!
Leave the propaganda at home and just pray the novena, people. And for God’s sake quit burying St. Joseph in the ground – not only disrespectful, but a violation of the First Commandment for sure, and likely the Fourth Commandment to boot.
We Love You Terri
Last night I spent the evening with two remarkable people, Bob & Mary Schindler. They traveled to Omaha on the feast of All Saints to deliver a talk at Pro Sanctity’s annual Call to Holiness program.
As you probably remember, they are the parents of Terri Schindler-Schiavo, who was deprived nutrition and hydration on March 18th and died thirteen days later. View more info about Terri here.
I was so moved by the spirituality and love exhibited by these two people, as they shared the story about their beloved daughter.
How fitting it was to celebrate Terri’s life on this glorious feast. You see, All Saints Day is the day to celebrate and honor every saint.
For those unfamiliar with the Catholic teaching on the Communion of Saints – this is simply the belief that those in heaven can and do pray for us here on earth.
People oftentimes narrowly construe the term saint to only mean those canonized saints. But that is not the teaching of the Church. Everyone in heaven is a saint – that’s what the very term means. Canonization is simply a declaration by the Church that a given individual IS in heaven, and thus a saint.
God created you and desires for you to live with Him forever in heaven. Our job on this earthly sojourn is to prepare ourselves for that everlasting reality with God.
And through the exercise of our free will, we either walk in the way of our Lord Jesus or not. We either prepare ourselves for life eternal or not. We either make use of the gifts, called sacraments or mysteries that Jesus left us or not.
And we use the talents God graced us with to bring about the kingdom here on earth or not.
Michael Schiavo, George Felos and George Greer used their talents to end Terri’s life – pure and simple. They will be held accountable for their actions when they meet our Lord Jesus at the Particular Judgement.
The Schindler’s use their talents to raise awareness and advocacy so others do not have to endure what they did. They assist other families with hope, with support and with love. They produce a quiet whisper of life & love to a culture of death.
There is no doubt whatsoever to me that Terri Schindler-Schiavo is in heaven, with our Lord. She is a saint.
St. Terri, pray for us all – help us to learn from the ultimate sacrifice you paid – a sacrifice not unlike our Lord Jesus paid. An innocent life taken from us all. We love you, Terri!