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Questions about fostering devotion to saints


Lady Grey, Hot

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1. I have a saint who I love in theory, aspire to be like, have prayed novenas to, etc. But I would like to develop an actual relationship with him - and I have no idea how to go about doing so. How do you really get to know someone who is not accessible to you in a concrete way? Any suggestions?

2. My relationship (if it can be called that) with God Himself is on the rocks. If I seek out a saint's help and companionship before getting things squared away with Our Lord and Savior, am I getting ahead of myself? Wouldn't it always be preferable to go to Him directly?

3. Is it possible to pick the wrong saint to try to develop a devotion to? Is one ever going to give you the side-eye and say, "Could you please go talk to someone else? Maybe I can give you a referral..."? It's my impression that the object of my affection was stunningly virtuous from an early age, and I can't imagine he'd be all that thrilled with the prospect of having to put up with devotion from someone as vicious as I am.

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1. Sounds like you already have a relationship with him. 

2. All of our relationships with God Himself are on the rocks, and remain so to more or less degrees until we are dead.  The Saints help our relationships with God.  They have no reason to have a relationship with us, other than that.

3. Yes, it is possible, but not for those reasons. All of the saints in Heaven have achieved perfection, and all of them are leagues holier than we are.  None of them are annoyed by our devotion to them.

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22 minutes ago, fides' Jack said:

Yes, it is possible, but not for those reasons.

Out of curiosity, what would be some reasons?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/3/2022 at 9:33 AM, Lady Grey, Hot said:

Out of curiosity, what would be some reasons?

There's really only one that I can think of: that God has other plans for someone, and that doing so is not in accord with His plans or His timing.

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St Benedicta of The Cross Edith Stein OCD, Carmelite nun, wrote that  the search for Truth is indeed the search for God (God IS Love and He is Truth, the Ultimate Truth).  She also wrote that the search for Truth/God is, of itself, a prayer or a relationship with God.  What grows out of that prayerful relationship is the embrace and awareness that He was always there first.  The only reason a person searches for Truth/God is because God has already found/within the person and calls to Him or Her: "Come to Me all you who labour and are burdened, and I will give you Rest".

On 8/4/2022 at 12:40 AM, fides' Jack said:

. Sounds like you already have a relationship with him. 

:harp:  Well said.

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"Him or Her" should have been written "him or her".  No upper case.

The Rest Jesus gratuitously gifts is indeed Profound and Divine Rest and yet it is also a Profound and Divine Restlessness.  Therein a paradox and our spirituality is full of them.  It is Jesus that unites the two polarities into a unity of Profound and Divine Rest that is yet Restlessness.

The attraction to a saint or saints is a Gift from God.  We strive to imitate their virtues and, I think, through that and our appeal or prayer to them, we are drawn into, by The Lord, a relationship with them.  Our own special vocation or work (perhaps totally different to that of the saint or saints in question) will require the virtues we have been striving to imitate.

Keep prayer as vital............Jesus will effect the rest for sure but in His Time.  Patient and persevering Prayer.

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On 8/16/2022 at 10:37 PM, BarbTherese said:

Keep prayer as vital............Jesus will effect the rest for sure but in His Time.  Patient and persevering Prayer.

Any recommendations here? Prayer is something I have a particularly bad foundation in.

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Five minutes, no exterior distractions (inner ones come and go, we have less control over those), maybe take a short walk, beginning or end of the day maybe. Could verbalize your thoughts to God. Or count your blessings. Or count your crosses. Give thanks. Ask for help. Express your frustrations. Doesn't even have to be verbal. Could just sit and be quiet with the intention for that moment to be prayerful or thankful. Pick a verse from the Scripture you like and let it run through your head. Say "Come, Holy Spirit", and just sit for a bit, then go on about your day.

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On 8/21/2022 at 1:38 AM, Lady Grey, Hot said:

Any recommendations here? Prayer is something I have a particularly bad foundation in.

l can't help but wonder if there is something such as a "bad foundation" in prayer.  I am going through a struggle just now and has been so for quite a while.  I think it is due to expectations and all I have read about prayer possibly fashioning what I expect to get out of prayer.  Prayer is largely an action of God, of The Holy Spirit.  I think the mere reason I do want to pray is a Gift of God.  I can't get what I think I should be getting out of Prayer, for whatever is the reason.  But at its core it is about my expectations.  Nor am I able any longer to just sit quietly and attentive to inner silence.  But I do want to be able to pray.  I am finding sitting with a cup of coffee or even with my 200mls daily allowance of a glass of red (i.e. doctor's advice.  I am on some heft medications), I am best able to talk to The Lord about my situation.  I rest in that and it is a restless rest.  Perhaps it could be due to the fact that I have stopped smoking and trying to cut down on food in order, hopefully, not only to not put on weight, but to lose some.  But largely I have lost the awareness of Presence and of Silence, that Silence that is Presence.  But I do want to pray and that is Gift to me.........my whole personal edifice of praying has just collapsed, gone, vamoosed!  It was my foundation for Prayer as well as the sustenance as it were of Prayer in my life.

Thomas Merton wrote about a novice monk that asked his master what he was to do.  The master replied to sit in his cell and his cell would tell him what to do.  When I am sitting quietly, I simply talk to The Lord all about my situation and how I am experiencing it.......there is no answer at all it seems to me.  Writing helps me too to relieve stress, wherever I choose to write. But I persevere in the hope something or other meaningful will unfold in the unfolding of my days.  A door seems to have closed on me and I can no longer be where I was at. But that, it seems to me, is a longing for what was, for the past. A past that appealed and was a consolation.  My hope is that another door might open.  I don't know really, I simply hope.  I hope that I am patient and that I will persevere.  While, patience has never been a strong point with me.

I do believe that recriminations against myself for either a real or imagined reason(s) are fatal to Peace and to Prayer.  That I do cast out as quickly as I might become aware of such.  Someone wrote somewhere "pray as you can, not as you cannot".  (If something in my life is a matter of sin, I confess it and then move on leaving it as past and pardoned, behind me.)

I hope, LG, that you will find Peace and consolation somewhere.  Please say a prayer for me as I will for you.  Other members too may be able to help.  I think that the Post by @chrysostom was particularly good and a help to me too.

Mary Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Edited by BarbTherese
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