The journey of Tuesday mornings with St. Anthony

“St. Anthony joins me on Tuesdays. I’ve got you covered.” A dear friend sent me those words in a text message this morning, and those words are giving me life today.  

“St. Anthony joins me on Tuesdays.” Now, you have to understand that I’m not Catholic. The saints haven’t been a part of the fabric of my faith as I’ve grown up from little Southern Baptist girl to Presbyterian pastor. To say one has been spending time with a saint is foreign language. In fact, it may sound pretty dangerous to some. In my younger years, I remember hearing some church folks say—with a mixture of scorn and horror—that Catholics “worship the saints” or “worship Mary” (i.e., blasphemy to a southern, Bible-belt Protestant). But I also remember a Catholic spiritual director who visited my seminary class a number of years ago. She helped me realize that when Catholic Christians pray to Mary or the saints, they see it as talking to a good friend. Just as if I would go to a trusted friend and say, “I’m struggling with something. Please pray for me. Please pray with me. . . .” I must confess (pun intended), I don’t know exactly who St. Anthony is. (Google assignment to self for later today.) But I already feel safe with him. Because he’s a friend of my friend.

“I’ve got you covered.” It’s a wild and crazy world we live in now, isn’t it? But what a comfort to know that there are friends who will say, “I’ve got you covered.” I know that my friend has, with deep sincerity, lit candles in the solitude of a worship space for me and my family this morning. I know that he has truly lifted me and any of my concerns to a reality bigger and beyond this powder keg of an earth. He has reminded me that love and kindness and goodness will triumph, will endure. He has brought me a glimpse of peace and hope.

From a simple text message, I feel surrounded by love and comfort. And so the thoughts that are guiding and compelling me now are: Who’s joining me on this Tuesday, and how can I “cover” someone else? 

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