Welcome to our Remember series, where we pause to reflect on how God has proven faithful in the past so to help us place our trust in Him in the present. We look to the future, knowing that God always keeps His promise and that He always makes a way. We invite you to pray with us, to write your own Psalm (see the end of the post!), and share with others about how God has been faithful in your life.
When I moved to Buffalo, New York for nursing school, I was lonely. The first thing I did when I unpacked and settled into my new dorm room was Google “young adult groups in the area.” Nothing came up. After Mass one morning, I asked a priest if there were any groups or gatherings for people my age. He said he did not know of any. The school I went to was Catholic in name but felt very secular.
That loneliness continued to grow and I felt my faith life suffer from a lack of community. I desired real community and authentic friendships with my entire heart. Loneliness can make us turn inward. I had to resist that temptation and I knew I needed to turn outward to God in prayer. I needed to pray for friends and I needed to pray to be a good friend.
I began to ask the intercession from my “twenty-four year old Saint friends”—five men and women in Heaven who all died at the age of twenty-four:
- Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
- Saint Elizabeth of Hungary
- Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
- Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
- Saint Kateri Tekakwitha
During those first few months in a new city, they were my only friends.
I had been asking them for help for the past few years, yet my prayers heightened as I grew in loneliness each day. I began asking them for a gift for my twenty-fourth year. I told them that they received the best gift at the age of twenty-four: to enter into Christ’s Kingdom. I asked that they might send me a gift just like they obtained during their twenty-fourth year. I prayed this prayer daily throughout each day.
WEEKLY BLOG UPDATES (+ more!)We'll send you the blog updates weekly in your inbox (with some special tips + tricks to living liturgically from our Blog Editor, Olivia Spears).
God was teaching me something so powerful during that time: to depend on Him. In times of both bounty and famine, He must be first in my life. As I asked the intercession of His Saints, I realized that they did just that. They placed Christ first, no matter what situation they were in, no matter how they felt, lonely or otherwise.
One evening I looked at an image on my wall of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. “Lord, what should I do?” I prayed. The answer was immediate. I knew I had to start a young adult group in honor of the Blessed. The group had its first meeting when I was twenty-four.
I met the most beautiful people in that group, some of whom are still my dearest friends. And I received my gift, that gift I had longed asked for. “Ask and you shall receive that your joy may be full,” Jesus tells His disciples. My joy was full! I met Mike, my husband, my gift, in the group. I know it is through the intercession of these five Saints that I met the man I was going to marry, that I was led to my vocation.
Exactly as Christian communion among our fellow pilgrims here on earth brings us closer to Christ, so too our communion with the Saints in Heaven joins us to Christ. God is not in competition with us or our relationship with the Saints; rather, He delights in it and even channels His grace to us through their intercession. In retrospect, my life during that time was made so much richer through cultivating friendships with the Saints. They are here for us, championing us on—that beautiful host of Heaven—awaiting the day we can join them in perpetual praise of our Father.
During my engagement to Mike, I collected images of these five Saints. I framed them and placed them on a small table beside the altar during our wedding Mass. The priest blessed them after we said our vows and they now hang in our home. These images are a powerful reminder of our wedding day, the vows Mike and I promised to one another, and the fidelity of the Saints towards us! I thank God and His Saints every day for their gift to me.
If you are feeling lonely, isolated, and in need of a faith community, don’t be afraid to start making the changes yourself and create a young adult or women’s group. People will come! I promise! Every single person here on earth desires community and deeply desires the true, good, and beautiful. Don’t be afraid to cast your nets into the deep for a beautiful catch! And pray for your gift. Ask these Saints—so active in Heaven—for your gift. Whether you are eighteen, twenty-four, forty-four, or one hundred and four, ask these Saints for a gift. They are ready to send us Christ’s love, guidance, and grace. Through them, Christ will make a way.
If you would like, we invite you to write your own psalm to help you remember the marvelous works of the Lord. We walk you through it here. Keep this psalm handy. Pray it when life makes it difficult to see Who reigns sovereignly.
REMEMBER Series // Finding Friendships #BISblog // Click To Tweet