Saturday, April 06, 2013

@Patron of Compulsive Disorders

This post is featured on  Catholic Lane.

As a cradle Catholic, I’ve had the privilege of learning about and praying for the intercession of many saints for all my life.   Lose my keys again?  Calling on Saint Anthony.  Test coming up?  St. Joseph of Cupertino to the rescue. Pregnancy issues?  Alternate between St. Gerard Magella and St. Raymond Nonatus. Husband unemployed?  St. Joseph’s novena hasn’t failed.  For homeschool issues, St. Anne is my patroness. Persecuted on face-book?  St. Joan of Arc.  Oh, I need humility here? St. Therese of Liseux, pray for me.

But there are modern day concerns that I’m stumped over which saint to pray to.  Such as the problem of quasi-compulsive shopping disorder, which is an honest to goodness recurring struggle for me.   Last time I hoarded children’s books (which they haven't all read yet), this time it was buying the shiny pewter sandals at 75% that kicked it off. On the way home, I rationalize that I need a pair in cognac, too.  Pretty soon, those nude flats begin to make sense inside my mental shopping cart, and suddenly, I make it my mission to add those black winter boots on clearance for next winter because surely, it’s an offer I can’t miss.  Next thing you know, I’ve justified that my closet is not even half the size of Imelda Marcos’ shoe collection and I’m browsing online to compare prices, and promising to return the following day. 

Looking through my impossibly fixed bank account, that’s when I know I’m in serious need of heavenly intercessors.

I know better than to ask St. Jude.  He won’t be able to relate to the need for another pair of shoes. (If you recall, Jesus clearly instructed them NOT to take an extra pair of sandals for the journey.)  I'm embarrassed to ask Blessed Theresa, who has her hands full  interceding for her order and the dying of Calcutta.  Ditto for the Blessed Mother. As for St. Pio, the wonder miracle worker, I have a feeling I’ll get a stern answer along the lines of “No Way, Jose!” (Or "Non e possibile, Giuseppe!" if the internet translator is correct.) And I can forget about asking the Church’s top guys during this tumultuous time in Church reform and persecution.  They'd reroute me to Luke 10:4.

So I turn to someone who’s never refused my soul assistance no matter how silly the prayers are:  my guardian angel.
Image courtesy of

“Please, guardian angel, give me shoes graces to overcome my weaknesses.  I want to return to the daily motherly duties of my life without fantasizing about sandals.  Enter my thoughts. Surround it with the holy so that temptation doesn’t overcome me. Give me peace.”

I don’t know if my angel networks me an unknown saint up in heaven (@patronoffirstworldproblems) to help intercede for me or if he approaches the throne himself or gathers a fleet (#angelSOS) to vanquish the legion of devils attacking me. 

But I am sure of one thing:  he obtains graces because when I browse the shoe shop the next day, I feel an absolute revulsion for everything displayed on the aisles and a deep remorse for even remotely believing the lie that things of this life can keep me satisfied. So I exit empty handed and head for the grocery next door, where I gladly shop for artichokes and pears for the kids.

Throughout salvation history, we’ve read about how the angels guide us like they did St. Joseph and St. Peter.   Angels also minister as Hebrews 1:14 points out “Matthew 4: “behold angels came and ministered to him.”  Angels protect us as they did Daniel and Philip.  Angels guard our souls: “Psalm 91: 11 For He will command His angels to guard you in all your ways.” 

The Catechism 336 sums up the role of our guardian angels: “From it’s beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.”

“Make yourself familiar with angels, and behold them frequently in spirit; for without being seen, they are present with you,”  St. Francis De Sales advised.

Oh I will, St. Francis I will.  My guardian angel is the patron of spiritual warfare.  From here on out, he's not going to be my last resort when he is the most knowledgeable of all my struggles and the closest one who can answer my pleas for help to, well, anything and everything.



Vicky said...

My daughter is a shoe person, Anabelle, but I just can't seem to fall in love with the smelliest items in my wardrobe. Still, they're useful when there's spiders and snakes around:-D

I love your guardian angel story! Lots to think about - I don't think about my guardian angel nearly enough when I need help.

Great post, Anabelle:-)

Sue Elvis said...


I LOVE your post! And I can relate to everything you say. All those times I've returned to the shops to buy even more of what I already have, not because we actually need more, but because it would be the prudent thing to do (I tell myself). Who knows when we'll need bright green shoes? And at that price? Doesn't it make sense to buy them just in case?... and of course, we'd better buy them in bigger sizes too, because feet grow...

So glad to hear your guardian angel came to the rescue! I'll be calling on mine.

God bless!

Anabelle Hazard said...

Vicky, I don't like old smelly shoes either --that's why I like them new. LOL on spiders. Eek.

Sue, I haven't used the prudence reasoning yet but I might next time ;)

Nancy Shuman said...

Love this post! I forget about my guardian angel far too much... and this was a great reminder.

mary333 said...

Vicky just admitted that her feet stink? Lol!

Your guardian angel is on the top of his game, Anabelle :) Great post!

(Okay, I've bought things simply because they were on sale. It seems like a good reason at the time. Afterward? Not so much :)

Anabelle Hazard said...

LOL Mary. You ladies are hilarious. Group hug.

8 kids and a business said...

LOL! I'm just catching up on my blog reading and finally have the time to stop by yours. Who knew shoes could teach a lesson on spiritual warfare and holines. True confessions: I'm having an issue with the "need" for another raincoat since it's pouring outside. I don't want to ask my guardian angel for help because I think i know what he'll say. Ohhh, why'd I have to go and read your post!!

Anabelle Hazard said...

Terry, I know what you mean about not wanting to ask!!! Did Jesus specifically say not to wear another raincoat or wasn't it tunic?