Friday, October 30, 2015

Finding Francis

It's not as if I had lost him, or didn't know about him at all. But there was a bit of the miraculous in what happened yesterday.

I was facing a difficult situation at work, a delicate, pretending-like-everything-is-okay-but-it's-really-not situation. And that, on top of the grief and worry, was making for some desperate hours. I needed quick relief, an instant infusion of calmness and strength. So for some reason — I'm not sure why — I googled a 16th-century saint, Francis de Sales.

This is not St. Francis of the Franciscans, namesake of Pope Francis. This is the other Francis. I know about him because my parish priests are of his order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, and his writings are sometimes reprinted in the bulletin.

Still, googling saints is not something I do in times of trouble. I'm more likely to pace or bite my nails. Nevertheless, the impulse was so strong that it was like reaching for Motrin when I feel a headache coming on. There was the near certain promise of relief. I knew this was what I was supposed to do.

So I found this: "Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset." And this: "Have patience with all things but chiefly have patience with yourself." And this: "The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or give you unfailing peace to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings."

Yesterday I found Francis when I needed him the most.

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