Sunday, February 3, 2008

St. Blase

As is usual for me, God's perfect plan for my life heavily utilized the Communion of Saints today. I am recovering from the flu and a bad sore throat, and who would today's Feast day be? St. Blase of course. A fourth century, Armenian bishop and martyr, Saint Blase's intercession is often called upon for throat ailments:

"Through the intercession of St. Blase, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil, in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Does this mean that, as a Catholic, I believe a man who has been dead for nearly 1700 years will magically heal my strep? Of course not. It means that I believe in the Communion of Saints. You may have recited this in a Creed at some point in your life. The Communion of Saints:

"By which the unity of believers, who form one body in Christ, is both represented and brought about. The term refers to the communion of 'holy persons' in Christ who 'died for all' so that what each one does or suffers in and for Christ bears fruit for all. We believe in the communion of all the faithful of Christ, those who are pilgrims on earth, the dead who are being purified, and the blessed in heaven, all together forming one Church; and we believe that in this communion, the merciful love of God and his saints is always attentive to our prayers." CCC 960-962

We are One Body in Christ, and we do not walk alone. I ask my friend or my husband to pray for me for some intention or other. As One Body, might I not ask my brother Blase to pray for me, too? Is he not closer to God than I? He has beheld the beatific vision for centuries while I have years to go (hopefully) before I will. So I ask my brother Blase to ask my Father God if my throat may be healed and protected.

Not until I get to Heaven do I expect to understand why God has granted this particular grace to Blase over throats of all things. Tradition ties it to a particular story about Blase's life and a young child with a fishbone lodged in his throat, but God has responded to this with a Heavenly duty for St. Blase. I am glad of it and thankful for his prayers. God numbers each hair on our heads; why wouldn't he provide an intercessor for our throats?

This is my first posting. I'm not sure why I'm doing it, but I know the One who knows.

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