Catholic Problems

St. Joan of Arc, the Maid of Orleans.

I’m going to take a moment to thank personally the wonderful artist who drew and/or painted this picture.

St. Joan of Arc is my confirmation (patron) saint. She has been my role model since I extensively studied her life for a 10-page paper in 8th grade, and then again before my confirmation in high school. She was a brave young woman who fought for her country and her Faith - who did God’s Will, and who struggled to do it, like we all do.

In researching her life, I found so many portraits of her in armor; in prayer; in battle; in her childhood as a shepherdess. Almost 95 percent of the time, she is praying, suffering, or fighting. Most of the time she is seen with the expression that I will call “the saint face” – that expression of ongoing suffering which is only made redemptive through Christ’s Sacrifice; that expression of complete Faith and confidence in God’s Will.

There is nothing wrong with those paintings and portrayals of the Maid of Orleans. But, the above painting makes me cherish her life story and respect her all the more.

She was a young woman - a teenager - when she followed the voices of her Saints, met with her future King, took charge of an army, and led them through several battles. She was captured, imprisoned, tried, and martyred before she had the chance to turn 20 years old.

The above painting shows that better than any I’ve ever seen. She’s young. She’s worked and fought hard. She went through so much just to get an army, let alone lead it to victory.

When I look at this painting, I see St. Joan of Arc – rejoicing, happy, and relieved. She’s not suffering. She’s not looking to the Heavens with a martyred look.

She’s looking to the Heavens with a peaceful, joyful expression - one of gratitude, one of Thanksgiving. She and her army liberated Orleans and drove out the English. Not thanks to her – but thanks to God! And she knows that.

For the moment, a weight has been lifted. God has helped the French to claim the victory, and she’s reveling in that. She’s happy knowing that she liberated her people, and that it was God’s Will to do so. Her saints’ voices are real and true. God is on her side.

There are dark times - challenges, trials, and martyrdom - ahead. Maybe she already knows that. Maybe she doesn’t. But, if she does, she’s not thinking about that. She’s grateful for the moment she has - for the mission God is helping her to carry out. She’s happy that she’s not alone, that she’s not crazy, and that she hasn’t lead her soldiers to their deaths.

She’s happy that God is on her side, and that Christ’s own arm brought about the victory!

So, thank you, wonderful artist, for painting this portrait of St. Joan the way I want to see her - how I have seen her for years: overjoyed, happy, relieved, and grateful; young and bright; strong and courageous atop her white charger. St. Joan – happy to do God’s Will – a model of us all.

St. Joan of Arc, Maid of Orleans, Patroness of France and soldiers, pray for us!

last night i was explaining to my mom the idea of @god and she said “shouldn’t you at least @mary first? you can’t just @ god directly for all your problems”

#catholics

What people think Catholic aesthetic is: gold frames, icons, incense, holy water, prayers the pews of a church with gothic architecture or stained glass

What it really is: MY ROSARY IS TANGLED. ITS ALWAYS TANGLED. WHY DOES MY ROSARY GET TANGLED BUT THEN THE LITTLE METAL PARTS GET HOOKED TOGETHER. SCAPULAR OR A NECKLACE WITH CRUCIFIX AND 16 METALS YOU CANT HAVE BOTH. I NEED CONFESSION.

So funny story...

Today while I was at church I was talking to a friend when out of nowhere my priest, Fr. Gabriel, comes running over cassock flying everywhere shouting “Sara! I need to talk to you!” So I’m thinking oh no what did I do to upset him this time. And as he comes running he pulls a freaking squirt gun out of his pocket-less cassock and points it directly at me. While all this is going on parishioners are staring, children are screaming, I’m bracing myself for the water that’s about to blast me and my friend has this look of total confusion. Then as I’m standing there with my hands up because a priest is pointing a water gun at me Fr. Gabriel says ever so sternly “did you leave this in my office?!” I paused for a second and asked “why would i do that?” And he hands it to me and there’s a note attached. It read “So your hands won’t get tired from sprinkling the congregation with holy water. Step one: fill with holy water. Step two: spray the congregation” I didn’t leave it in his office and he insisted that I was guilty. But I’m honestly only guilty of one thing. Not thinking of that idea first.

If you are married and signing up for utilities, make sure both names are put on the account.

I recently had a wonderful woman come in to my office, broken, defeated…

Her husband had left the family supposedly on a short trip to help his family, but failed to return. He had recently stopped sending money home. Her electric bill was quite behind and disconnection notices were sent. The company was working with her, but with minor children and a minimum wage job, she still could not come up with the amount they needed.

The trustee’s office refused to offer aid as the bill was only in her husband’s name. The local charities could only offer a third due to the name issue as well. It took a full afternoon for me to coordinate with her church, and two charities to get it covered. But we still only could cover the amount to avoid disconnection.

Please pray for Ms Linda, for her husband, and the children.