Today my mom told me a kind of funny story. Yesterday she called me and said she lost her new glasses which cost over $500 to replace. She cannot afford another new pair of glasses and is only eligible for a free replacement every five years. She said, “Looks like I’m blind for five years.”
With hopes of seeing their return, she said she was going to pray to St. Anthony. She also said she would give up temporarily drinking, though her day yesterday was crummy, if it meant she could be reunited with her new glasses. This is the type of Catholicism I have observed my whole life from my parents - their bartering of habit for favor, or enactments of self-betterment as a sort of public-spiritual practice. St. Anthony is the only saint I can remember praying too and one of the few whose patronage I understand.
Today while my aunt was gardening she found my mom’s glasses. My mom determined this was a combination of her own efforts and saintly grace. She told me she was going to drink two beers tonight (maybe toasting to the Saint) and that “the universe does not run out of ways of working.” Obviously how my mom uses religion is opportunist but I do not think it is empty, just treating vision with sacrifice. This treatment is kind of optimistic, surrendering to a faith away from dwelling, toward a semi-mystical trust supported by arbitrary breaks in daily habits. I have not lost anything recently but there are some less arbitrary things I would like to find. The universe, I guess does not run out of places for opportunity as I am sure, there are saints for better jobs and romantic love. I think it is on my end, as it was with my mom, to create an earthly way of working against waiting, or overthinking about things and perhaps find a new saint, who does not hear so much from my family.