There is a line in the novena to St. Rita that I pray that has always carried special meaning for me.
The Catholic Devotional Life
Earlier today, as I was finally cleaning off the top of my dresser after a year of collecting loose change, cuff links, and knick knacks, I happened upon a few items I did not know I had in my possession. If you have ever had a special devotion to a particular saint this will not surprise you in the least. I found that I had four separate medals of my Cascian intercessor , apparently acquired in Italy by one of my nieces who had traveled there several years ago for a semester abroad.
So let’s talk about devotions and the life of a Catholic. Prior to the middle of the 1960’s (gee, not sure what happened then) Catholics were raised to be in relationship with the saints. We were taught to pray to our guardian angel and to converse with him, to call upon our friends in heaven because they are God’s friends first. It is said that Padre Pio did not know until he was ten years-old that other people couldn’t see their angels, such was his devotion.
Devotion and Memory
And then the Catholic world forgot. To be sure there was a malicious force at work helping to suppress that memory. But memory is a beautiful gift from God. Like physical strength, it requires some exercise on our part to develop more fully. The ancients knew how to memorize epic poetry on the first hearing. They trained their memories and knew how to actively listen. Likewise the memory of our devotional life must be fostered. We must worship God in the manner He chooses (the Holy Mass) and listen in silence to Him. We must work at our devotions. Sometimes, like the occasional miraculous physical healing where the lame man regains his strength, God can intervene to remind us of what we lost and what we forgot. We must then thank God for that grace and jump back into fostering our devotional life.
Friends, remember your devotions. Make the saints and angels a part of your life. Those medals remind me to keep going and to continue to seek her prayers. I see them as a gift from God to continue in my devotion. Today in particular I see them as a nudge to continue in my novena prayers. Another nine days it is! Perhaps there are four particular people who need these prayers. Who knows? God knows.
Remembering that I will make known her favor and glorify God for his gifts, I share the days events with you and again invite any intentions that I might add to my prayer.
God bless us, the Virgin protect us, and St. Rita, pray for us!