Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I am at a loss for words.

I am not sure whether to say I am exhausted, nostalgic, somewhat sad or relieved.

What I can say with certainty is I am at peace.

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The kind of serenity which comes with finally accomplishing what I set out to do some five years ago.

First though, let me place you in my world these past twenty-four hours.

With great gratitude at the last minute, a late night settlement was signed. What a huge relief – a court trial would be avoided.

Yet, this morning we still needed to appear to submit the settlement agreement.

How do I explain this?

It was awkward meets unnatural meets stranger meets familiar meets unfamiliar. 

The long-ago love of a naive nineteen-year-old girl was replaced by the aging heart of a wiser woman.

One who could not bring herself to make eye-contact with a man who once permanently stole her gaze.

Instead, I fixed my eyes downward.

Somehow believing averted eyes led to protected pain.

I am an avoider.

A lot of women would have looked their husband straight in the face. They would have stared down the demons.

Not me.

I wanted it over.

In fact, I have wanted it over for five years.

When I did eventually lift my gaze there was no one before me I recognized.

Instead, a man replaced a memory I once knew.

There was no anger at that moment.

There was no love at that moment. 

There was nothing left to be said and nothing left unsaid. 

There was nothing incomplete. 

I am left wondering what my husband witnessed.

The romantic vision of our first meeting or the crumpled picture of our last?

I am reminded of his perpetual words – ‘you’re never going to win Colleen.’

I did not win.

Not yesterday or today.

No one won.

And rather talk of winning I would rather speak of what my children lost.

But these are just reflections.

Lessons learned.

When I first began writing this column I wrote one entitled Men Who Are Champions of Women. 

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/howgreatthoupart/2014/12/men-who-are-champions-of-women.html

It recounted the day I spoke to my very best guy friend from high school telling him of my impending divorce. Within days I found him on my doorstep. He had selflessly without request made the trip from Connecticut to take me out to lunch. I was scared and uncertain and yet, he assured me not to be.

He told me this was my graduation.

The next great phase of my life.

And just as we innocently, apprehensively, and resistantly left behind the ones we loved in high school for new adventures…

I would be doing so again.

I respected him.

And I absorbed his words.

I just wasn’t ready to fully believe them.

But with the love, loyalty, and valor of a truly great friend he was correct.

No, it wasn’t the giddiness of our final high school goodbyes or the ceremonial decorum of our college graduation. No tassels swiped from left to right nor caps engulfed the air. No parents smiled proudly nor cameras clicked with last-minute documentation.

There was no major ceremony.

No formal procession.

Just a formal proceeding.

And the visceral feeling that amidst the unfortunate goodbyes there was an infinitely exciting world to be found…

Once the cap and gown hit the floor.

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

Relationships are born from sharing.

It is where emotional intimacy is created.

Society today has a love-hate relationship with technology.

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But it may be more important to embrace these advances while empowering yourself and making them fit into your life.

They are here to stay and no different than the previous generation complaining about the dangers of too much television.

The most important conversation about technology and those we love is “How is it impacting my relationships?”

It’s critical to get a handle on it rather than being wrapped up in the daily grind.

Why? 

Individuals who live in a home without sharing, aka, emotional intimacy may end up becoming more like roommates than connected family members. 

But shockingly, it isn’t just technology which is endangering family intimacy. It is some of the choices we have chosen to make in raising our children today.

Imagine the visual of toddlers doing what is called ‘parallel play.’ 

Parallel play is when children play in a room independently of another. 

They look happy enough while engaging with their own toys in their own imaginary world but they are not truly cognizant of the other child.

Just how much parallel play is happening in your own home? 

A few small changes could bring the family together for much-needed experiences, sharing, and bonding.

3 Things Stealing Intimacy from Your Family Relationships:

Televisions and Computers in Bedrooms

There’s a true danger to televisions residing in children’s bedrooms. 

When every individual in the house can retreat to their own rooms and watch what they want there exists no opportunity for shared experiences.

The type of moments in a movie where a family can be moved to communal tears or laughter.

Furthermore, it impacts other childhood lessons such as communication and compromise.

When a family comes together to decide what they will watch critical lessons of communication and compromise are being learned. It isn’t uncommon today for children to retreat to their own bedrooms rather than remain in a family room because they choose to watch what they want to watch over being together.

The same can be said for computers. They need to find their place in a house and laptops should be used occasionally. The most important lesson really is to have this conversation with your children. You are not limiting or restricting their luxuries but instilling the importance of family time.

Phones

On the television show Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines recently opened a restaurant.

One of the highlights were pockets attached to the wall above each table where cell phones could be deposited.

Chip Gaines said his hope was people would enter their breakfast place and choose to focus just on family for that time.

Interestingly, much has been said about meals and cell phone use, but this meaningful addition to a restaurant actually took the steps to do something about it – in a positive manner.

It wasn’t don’t use your cell phones.

It was a reminder time with family and friends is precious.

Sports and Lessons

This is having a definite impact on families. 

There is a hyper-focus today on doing the most and giving the most to our children. 

There are tons of lessons and sports to be attended.

It is not unusual for parents to divide and conquer for a day or the weekend. A mother to drive one child an hour away and a father to drive another child and even friends helping to get children where they need to be.

People who are pro this lifestyle will say there is also communal time driving to tournaments and spending the weekend together but there are larger lessons here.

The family is revolving around the individual.

From a young age, it is not uncommon for children to miss family get-togethers including important ones such as Communions or graduations. Not only missing critical family time but sending the message the individual’s agenda comes before the family.

Our children won’t be playing sports or taking violin when they are thirty but they will still need their family.

A happy compromise would be to return to the days where sports and lessons were more balanced. Sports were played in backyards and on the school playground and organized sports much more laid back. Additionally, some started at later ages. And lessons were to enrich a child or speak to their passion not to excel.

There is nothing in this world more precious and beautiful than the family.

And nothing greater than the love of a parent.

It’s crucial parents consider the type of relationships they hope to gift their child.

And if enough emotional intimacy is being fostered within the four walls we call home.

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

I love sending thank you cards.

In fact, I just love sending cards.

I do not need a reason.

Throughout the years I have always believed in the value of the written word. I am, after all, a writer. 

light-sign-typography-lightingRecently, I have felt the need to discover other meaningful avenues to say thank you. 

In the past, I found myself penning a few words for a gift, a favor or some form of hospitality. My divorce has elevated my need to thank the loving people in my life for their genuine kindness.

They didn’t buy me a gift because it was a special day.

They bought me a gift to make my day special.

To let me know I was supported and loved.

And it doesn’t take a divorce to experience this type of extraordinary kindness. It can be any time in an individual’s life where additional comfort and support are needed. It could be caring for a sick parent or child, unusual professional demands, etc. Anything which somehow announces to others we are in need.

And they hear and answer the call.

Of course, I still adore a handwritten card.

But this time I wish to send something which might last longer.

I want to remind them of the significance their kindness holds in my life.

This means presenting them with something which will live past the thanks.

7 Truly Meaningful Ways to Say Thank You

A Cookbook

An inscribed cookbook is an incredibly intimate gift.

Each time the book is opened and its worn pages turn it is a reminder of the person who gifted it to you. Even better it generally happens during a time of community shared between family and friends.

To take this to an even higher level of meaning, inscribe a personal thank you inside the cover and present it along with one of the dishes in the book. This way not only will the recipient have the book as a reminder, that particular dish will always carry additionally sweet memories.

An Animal

There are so many great organizations who sponsor ‘adopting’ an animal.

And they provide pictures of the pig or orangutan complete with their name and details.

This is a fun way to thank someone and do something philanthropic at the same time.

Personalized Stationary

This is the consummate thank you gift for the ever-thoughtful giver.

It provides the tools they need to keep on being the generous soul they are.

A fun way to make this even more appreciated by a caring individual? Head to Michael’s and buy a cute fabric craft container and fill it with beautiful pens, stamps, quotes, and other mailable items to include with the stationary.

An Ordinary Household Item

Most of our days are spent doing routine things so what better than an everyday use item?

It could be potholders and a spatula because you are thanking them for meals made. It could be a wine opener because they showed up late night with a bottle of red and held your hand while you cried.

This is perhaps one of the most ingenious ways to thank someone because you are making sure the punishment fits the crime. Whatever they gifted you – you are somehow returning so they will always remember how that exact particular gift impacted your life in the best possible way.

A Seedling

A thank you which comes in the form of seeds to be planted or a small seedling or bush will allow kindness to continually bloom. 

Every walk to the mailbox or cup of coffee on a porch will be a reminder of gratitude.

To make a bigger impact combine two different flowering plants or flower seeds – your favorite and the favorite of your friend.

A Sign

Signs are the perfect long lasting thank you.

There are so many available to choose from today – wooden, ceramic, dishes – small or large.

And what will make this even more special? Pick a saying which is meaningful to one or both of you and have it created via Etsy shop owners who personalize signs and other objects.

A Bracelet

Bracelets are also the perfect place for a powerful inscription to find a home.

Again, there are many to choose from or personalize from online shops and Etsy. There are also poignant Alex and Ani bracelets which carry great symbolism.

Or, you could choose to purchase two bracelets of any kind for just your friend(s) and you.

 

There is nothing better than giving to another.

Except perhaps returning that favor.

These are just seven ways a thank you can have a lasting impact.

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

I punch the keys and sip my coffee. Tears find their way down my cheeks. I dab at them as my chocolate lab Hazel snuggles closer to my feet.

I find myself chuckling.

In between the tears, that is. I am editing my own work. Am I that good I writer I could move myself to liquid emotion? Or is this evil word they call ‘divorce’ really the culprit? I’m fairly certain it’s the latter but it would be nice to think my writing skills are owed the honor.

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I keep swiping the keys as I swipe my tears.

I am writing this column.

Yes, something beautiful has come from ugly. The type of silver lining we hold onto in the dark.

There is a quote by Jon Acuff  – “When you refuse to hide your scars they become a lighthouse for someone else.”

I never sought to be a lighthouse.

I just knew I in my own pain I had searched for one to no avail.

It’s not popular to be single in suburbia. 

This is my home, yet I feel as though I have lost my people. I made this choice myself. I wanted a divorce. I just never realized the number of people I would be divorcing. No one tells you that. Well, one friend tried to tell me. You think you are exiting a tired relationship, not an entire town.

Yet, I am getting to a place where I am comfortable being uncomfortable. 

There is no middle of the road in divorce.

It’s like football. 

If you’re a die-hard fan there can be only one team which has your loyalty.

I once brought my children to an Eagle’s game in Philadelphia.

My children think they grew up in Philly.

We went with our friends who touted Redskins Jerseys. Anyone who knows anything about Philly knows the fans are brutal.

Funny, in Philadelphia, I think they call it being ‘loyal.’

Sure enough, it’s not long before shouts of profanity fill the air.

“Mom,” implores my son. “Why are they yelling at me? I am one of them!”

The problem was he wasn’t wearing their jersey. If they couldn’t identify him in green and black they had no use for him. It’s a culture. You’re either one of them or your not.

Divorce is sorta like that. 

Only to be fair, it’s far scarier to be in Philly sans the green and black.

So essentially, I’m in suburbia minus my jersey.

No longer identified as a team.

The married in my life are wonderful. I’m just no longer one of them.

Sometimes even writers like me have a hard time exposing the truth.

Acknowledging I am now comfortable being uncomfortable.

There are, however, others out there like me.

The uncomfortable ones looking for their lighthouse. 

And I’m comfortable being that light.

Hazel gets up, circles a few times and falls back into a snooze.

Sure, sometimes I still feel naked without my jersey, but it happens less and less.

And it let’s face it. It could be worse. 

I could be surrounded by the ‘loyal’ fans. 

I could be divorcing in Philly.

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It’s hard not to love Miranda Lambert.

She makes herself immensely vulnerable letting the world into her life and mistakes via her music lyrics.

Case in point?

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We somehow still loved her after she broke the World’s Sexiest Man’s heart! I mean, who doesn’t love Blake Shelton AND who doesn’t feel empathy for the ‘cheated on’ spouse?!!

But we left Lambert off the hook with ballads like Vice and Tin Man.

We felt her pain and her accountability.

But now even her brightest fans are dimming their lights.

Social media was abuzz insisting Lambert stay away from other women’s men.

All of this with the news she has hooked up with fellow musician Evan Felker of the Turnpike Troubadours.

Felker a married and now divorcing man.

Even worse, Lambert posted an Instagram pic next to a mirror with these words written in red lipstick,  “I do this thing called whatever I want.”

Hhmmm kinda reminds us of the time Jennifer Aniston said Brad Pitt was missing a ‘sensitivity chip.’

Lambert might want to rethink her choice of words when dating a man who has just left his wife.

Well, they say it didn’t happen quite that way but…

Once upon a time, Hollywood wives feared their husbands starring with Elizabeth Taylor and then Angelina Jolie. Country music wives may now add Miranda Lambert to the list of women they never want their husband to perform with or for.

Perhaps Felker should listen to his own lyrics and rewrite them to say…

“I had no clue I’d be the girl who your momma warned you about.”

But here’s the thing. 

We love Miranda!

Life and love are complicated.

And like most loyal country music fans, we know this is the stuff country music is made of. 

And the type of complicated matters of the heart which produces some of Lambert’s best music.

 

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There is a profound beauty in angels, both in their spiritual glory and what they represent to human beings.

Angels surround us here on earth.

They are spiritual beings, messengers of God sent to watch over us, guide us, pray with us and protect us.

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The word angel is derived from the Greek word Angelos meaning messenger. It is often referenced that the word angel attests to what they do and the word ‘spirit’ to who they are.

These divine messengers are our guardians.

We can pray to them to ask for their help or their intercession.

Perhaps some of the most beautiful angel portraits I have seen are those of artist VJ Schmitt.

Her extraordinary use of color is shall we say divine. But perhaps what is most striking is the profoundly muscular form of her angels.

This is due to Schmitt’s passionate feelings of these supremely celestial beings.

In her own words, “Angels are warriors. They are light and the most amazing light. There is an opportunity every day to interact with our angels. When we get stuck in our clay feet and focus down on the ground instead of up to heaven, we lose the magic which has been given to us. We elevate ourselves when we take the time in a secure and calm place and let our spirit which is really the Godly part of us, say this is beyond me. I just want to experience the love and I need to have help with that. This is where the angels come in. In a place of love, you have your arms and hands open. You are looking to give and receive gifts.”

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Schmitt takes the often ethereal portrayal of angels and combines it with the vivid strength which accompanies these protectors of humanity.

And the result is breathtaking.

A true visual of the strapping spiritual source angels represent to believers. 

One portrait is of Archangel Michael wrapping his body around the Earth he so lovingly cradles in his hands. This is Schmitt’s interpretation of “Michael protecting the earth while ridding the earth and its inhabitants of toxins associated with fear.”

Another is of Water Archangel Ariel and another fire angel is Archangel Uriel.

These strong angels stand ready and willing to help us when we call upon them.

The times when we find ourselves hurting and in need of comfort.

Fire_Guardian_300x951One other inspiring visual Schmitt offers… 

Imagine a church and high upon the rafters the angels sit perched just waiting and willing to hear from us and come to our aid. 

We just need to look up and ask for their help.

The angels want to support us. 

God does his work through them and created them to support his love for us.

We each have our very own guardian angel and many other angels who walk with us daily.

In Schmitt’s words, “Think of our angels in terms of people looking to pick up day jobs – day laborers – not necessarily ‘assigned’ to us but rather the greater collective ‘us.’ Waiting for us to ask and employ them to help our hearts heal, carry messages, bring joy to others, and help send us symbols of hope. 

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There is a profound comfort in knowing we are surrounded by our angels.

Angels are a tenant of our faith. 

“Angel of God, my guardian dear, to whom God’s love commits me here. Ever this day be at my side, to light, to guard, to rule, to guide.”

Grace between the cloud and the moon. An angel Schmitt calls Embrace the New Dawn.

Pictures courtesy of VJ Schmitt Studios / vjschmittstudios.com / for information email at mktleader@gmail.com

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

 

I wish someone had cautioned me to take divorce one day at a time.

Or should I say one ‘pain’ at a time?

I wish they had mapped out each scenario and told me what to expect.

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The first hint of suffering in my children’s heart.

The first time I would feel uncomfortable walking into a cocktail party or school function feeling emotionally naked.

The first ‘couple’ friend lost.

The first feeling of vulnerability and fear.

The first sense of loneliness despite a crowded room.

I wish they had told me it was normal.

It would pass.

Instead of each pain making me feel my world was ending.

I wish they had told me to stay in the moment as painful as it might be rather than project an even more painful future. The kind that worried even more about my children, the finances, the unpredictability and what was to come. How I would be all things to my children and how I would make it on my own.

But no one talks about divorce.

It’s ugly.

It’s grief.

People don’t know what to say so they avoid the topic and say nothing at all.

Divorce shouldn’t be consumed comprehensively.

It needs to be taken one day and one pain at a time so it’s bearable.

There’s sufficient angst in the present to tackle the fears of what will be.

Your world feels like it’s ending when in reality it’s taking on a new shape.

There is an evolution of grief.

There is an evolution of divorce.

What seems insurmountable eventually transforms boulders into pebbles. 

It is violent like grief.

It is unpredictable like grief.

It is frightening like grief.

You just have to hold on to yourself and the ones who love you.

And remind yourself to stay in the present despite how painful it is or the fear of the future will tighten its grasp. Every single day is a step towards a horizon so vast it cannot yet be seen.

But it is there and the ones who matter most are lifting your gaze every chance they get to say, ‘look up, look up! Don’t look down, back or sideways.”

Focus!

Absorb one pain at a time.

It WILL  pass!

 

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E-mail: Colleen.Sheehy.Orme@gmail.com

Many years ago I read an article about the four traits of happy people. 

I never forgot them.

They were Optimism, Extroversion, Self-Esteem and a Sense of Being in Control.

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Before my marital problems, I can honestly say I spent my entire life feeling happy.

There were definite challenges along the way. No life is perfect. Yet, overall I had a definite sense of joy. I often thought about those four characteristics. They made perfect sense to me, puzzle pieces which together made for an extremely solid foundation.

Here’s the great news about getting a divorce.

You are leaving both a person and a situation which really didn’t make you happy.

No, in the beginning, it doesn’t quite feel that way.

Especially if you were the one who fought to keep your marriage together, was blindsided by an affair, or some other earth-shattering news. The devastation is real and raw. You continue to hold onto what isn’t really satisfying any longer because of the hearts resistance in letting go. And of course, the fear of the unknown.

But there is profound liberation in recognizing (once the sobs subside) you were resisting unhappiness and you actually get the opportunity to know true joy again. No more pushing a round peg in a square hole. No more trying to fix a person.

Life is once again about you!

Your happiness is now a priority.

So let’s revisit those four qualities of happy people.

Optimism 

The world is your oyster.

The possibilities in starting over are endless. The once heavy weight of dragging someone behind you is replaced with a buoyancy. It’s time to ask yourself exciting questions, such as what do I want?  What passions move me? What dreams still churn inside of me?

The future may be unknown but that doesn’t have to be strictly scary, it can be exhilarating.

New roads CAN be chosen.

Extroversion

It’s easy to feel the need to retreat during problems.

It’s not uncommon to want to stay close to home during marital issues. The stress, the inexplicable shame, and the exhaustion can silence even the chattiest human being.

But the caterpillar’s long emotional hiatus as we know eventually bears wings.

There is a renewed sense of returning to life, work, social commitments and yes, even dating.

Self-Esteem

It’s an odd curiosity that the demise of a relationship can inflict feelings of personal doubt on even the healthiest confidence.

Yet it often does.

The absolutely exhilarating news is the greater the distance from that damaged union the greater the sense of self. It makes sense. It’s easier to feel restored when we know we are making healthier emotional decisions. And thus, our normal behaviors return, letting go of the temporary ugliness which rears its ugly head in the dissolution of a marriage.

We can feel proud of who we are again.

A Sense of Being in Control

Nothing feels worse than two individuals in conflict.

It’s perpetual upset and chaos.

You don’t need to be controlling to hate feeling ‘out of control.’

The bottom line? We know this, you can’t control other people. If you wanted the marriage to work and your spouse did not the outcome will not be favorable. If you feared your significant other was cheating and they swore they weren’t, chances are it still made you feel out of control. If you are leaving a compulsive spender and they kept running up the credit cards you never felt in control of your financial security.

Another individual can certainly make your world feel as though it is unpredictable.

Now that you are on your own, the sense of being in control is restored.

 

We resist the end of our relationships.  

And we ought to.

Love should not be taken lightly.

But broken love threatens to break people.

And unhappiness is meant to last a season in our lives.

To make us emotionally richer, force us to grow, endorse our purpose, and humble us.

It is not meant to be permanent.

If so, we lose the necessary joy to touch lives how we were uniquely meant to.

 

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These past few months I have been a bit inconsistent in my writing.

It stems from what I will call the ‘Court-down’ aka the countdown.

I had no idea the extent of preparation the months preceding court would entail.

I have a new appreciation for the legal field. It’s my life and I have had a difficult time navigating the amount of research and paperwork involved. Therefore, I understand why it is not an easy task for lawyers, judges and the court system.

pexels-photo-534204They will have just minutes, maybe at the most an hour to decipher what has transpired between two people.

I have done my due diligence.

I have worked as hard as I could to expose the truth and find answers to questions I should have been smart enough to ask five years ago. I was too trusting and naive. I spent the better part of the last year trying to get to the bottom of things.

In a sense, it was a self-restoration.

A taking back of my power and investigating things previously unknown.

Now I have to rely on my faith.

As the saying goes, “When you have done all you can do, that is when God steps in and does the rest.”

Only about five to ten percent of divorces end up in court. An astounding and estimated ninety percent are settled outside of court. This attests to the difficult personalities who are unwilling to actually divorce and move on.

Instead, they see divorce as a means of winning and control.

Rather than a chance for healing and new beginnings.

If nothing else, it is a testimony to why the marriage problems could not be settled.

It takes two emotionally consenting individuals to avoid a ‘Court’down.’

 

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Catholics are devoted to their saints.

The saints provide valuable intercession to prayers and therefore, are often called upon for additional aid.

They signify hope in times of despair and hopelessness.

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Not only for their faithful intercession but because of the tremendous suffering the saints endured while never abandoning their devotion to God.

When praying to a patron saint Catholics are boosted by the knowledge of this saint’s true understanding of their particular plight. Be it, Saint Francis of Assisi known as the patron saint of animals or St. Anthony of Padua the patron saint of lost things.

Many Catholics have one saint, in particular, they turn most often to in prayer.

Yet there are also times when it feels necessary to pull out the big guns of faith.

And to call on the saints who can help when a situation seems impossibly lost.

The most notable is St. Jude the apostle but the good news is St. Jude may be the forerunner but there are a total of four patron saints of lost and impossible causes.

Catholics believe in the power of turning to our saints in heaven and asking for them to pray with us and to intercede on our behalf.

Turn to these four saints if feeling hopeless and in need of great miracles.

St. Jude of Thaddeus

It is said that St. Jude answers prayers of desperation because of his own unwavering faith. He is known not only for his intercession but for helping at the very last moment when it seems almost impossible. He is called upon by many and thus, has become one of the most prayed to saints.

St. Jude was one of the twelve apostles. Biblical scripture says it was Christ who inspired St. Bridget of Sweden in a vision to turn to St. Jude for aide. This inspiration that St. Jude would be the ‘most willing to help’ eventually led others to turn to St. Jude in prayer. St. Jude was martyred while preaching his faith something all of the apostles realized may happen to them.

It is customary to thank St. Jude in newspaper or print so his message of hope in hopeless causes will find its way to even more people.

St. Jude is the patron saint of lost causes and desperate situations as well as hospitals.

St. Rita Cascia

Saint Rita led an extremely difficult life and one filled with tremendous heartache. It is because of the impossible situations and trials she faced that she is known as the patron saint of lost causes. Upon her death, many wanted to visit her and a miraculous thing happened. She became one of the incorrupt saints meaning her body never decomposed and can still be visited in Italy.

She wished to devote her life to Christ from a young age. However, her parents arranged a marriage with a man who ultimately was abusive and unfaithful. He would die an untimely death just as he was redeeming himself followed by the death of her sons. St. Rita pursued religious life just to be turned away time and time again. Eventually, she was accepted into the Augustinian Convent. She is known most for her gracious and spiritually devout willingness to accept all of the never-ending hardships which were sent her way.

The rest of her days were devoted to God despite illness and disfigurement.

She is known as the patron saint of lost and impossible causes, mothers, marital problems, illness, infertility, widows, and abuse.

St. Gregory Thaumaturgus

St. Gregory is known for helping to significantly build the Christian faith. He was initially sent to minister only a few Christians in a predominantly pagan community. St. Gregory himself had been raised in a pagan household and at fourteen after the death of his father was converted to Christianity by his teacher.

As a bishop, he successfully converted many and ultimately the community became predominantly Christian. This is perhaps St. Gregory’s greatest legacy. He was a supremely devout missionary who not only converted many but performed wonders which many attribute to him being called the Miracle-Worker.

He is the patron saint of lost and impossible causes, and forgotten causes.

St. Philomena

There is controversy in the Catholic Church regarding St. Philomena. She was not known to be a saint until her martyred grave was discovered in Rome in 1802 followed by many miracles. Those who experienced the wonder believed her a saint and that God had waited for the right moment to bring her forth. Yet, in the 1960’s St. Philomena’s feast day was removed from the Catholic Church due to Pope John XXXIII. However, many saints remained devoted to her and her miracles as well as priests. Her feast day is August 11th.

St. Philomena was said to have been sacrificed for her unwillingness to relent her virginity at the young age of thirteen after her parents promised her to a Roman emperor. He later took her life because she would never succumb to his wishes.

She is known as the patron saint of infants, babies, and youth as well as priests and lost causes. She became known as the Wonder-Worker because so many of her prayers for intercession have resulted in miracles. 

Miracle after miracle and wonder after wonder are attributed to the intercession of saints.

Thus, making it abundantly clear they are simply waiting to be called upon.

The saints understand the loneliness and despair which accompanies suffering and the corresponding prayer and faith necessary to overcome it.

Feeling hopeless?

The saints in heaven are waiting to pray with you.

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