I always go back and look at where I was at these times of year in previous years and the past few years the Lord has been so faithful in answering prayers for me around these times. St. Paul is certainly my dude (if there was any doubt).
Last year at this time, I got the answer to my prayer regarding my new job. The year before, I got an answer regarding a specific relationship that I was questioning.
This year (as I've previously mentioned) I've been all over the novena train, praying before Pentecost, the feast of the Sacred Heart, and now today's feast. Pretty confident that the Lord is going to come through this year as well. I've covered all of my bases.
For the Year of Mercy, I signed up for some daily email reflections. Some days' reflections are better than others, and knowing what today's feast is, I was expecting something about the two main guys- Peter and Paul. Instead, I got this reflection from a favorite Franciscan saint, Padre Pio:
"Pray, wait, and do not worry. Worrying is useless. God is merciful and will listen to your prayer… Prayer is the best weapon we have; it is the key to the heart of God. You should speak to Jesus, not with your lips but with your heart.’”
First of all, the headline said "God's Timing" which I was like...okay! On a day that I finish a novena? I get it, God! I need to trust in my prayers and your timing. So even if my answer to my novena doesn't come right away like perhaps it has in the past, I can trust that His timing is perfect.
The email also had this little nugget from St John Vianney that I also found amusing: "The Saints did not all begin well, but they all ended well." Touche! That is especially true with the two that we honor today- Peter and Paul- but more on that later.
My summer did not get off to the start that it usually does. Usually, I have some fabulous trip right at the beginning of my break, which has made my Timehop and Facebook feeds a little painful this week. Each day I open up to some exotic location or adventure from the past couple of years- touring Ephesus in Turkey, or eating gnocchi in Rome, driving from Berlin to Prague, etc. This year, my summer started off with my car breaking down and going into the shop and the power in my apt going out for 4 days. I've also started to get a little bored. I've watched all of the Netflix and read like three books already. (Note: I KNOW NO ONE FEELS SORRY FOR ME. I know that it is a blessing to have this time off and my summer will be gone before I realize it! Also, I have New Zealand and Australia coming up soon!)
Previous early summer trips to Greece, Budapest, and Italy.
I also have some friends that are truly suffering right now. It was like all was well and good in the universe and then June came around and BAM! All of the things: breakups, breakdowns, loneliness. Bah! It is when things are going well that the devil tries to creep up on us. I know this. Doesn't always make it easier, though.
But that's why the quote from John Vianney, Padre Pio, and the readings for today's feast of Peter and Paul are so great. We are not perfect, none of these saints started off perfect, and it is all about God's timing. We know the story about Paul persecuting Christians and then when Jesus called him, he turned his life around. But the suffering didn't stop. Same with Peter. We are all familiar with his denial of Christ, even after he was called, but when the Church was left to him on the Ascension, he stepped up his game and turned it around. Timing.
pic of me rubbing the foot of St. Peter in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican last year. Still praying for what I prayed for in that moment. Come on, St. Peter! You always were a little slower than the others, I suppose...
I take comfort in that these saints persevered in spite of their flaws and sufferings and did come out successful. Things may not be perfect, but let's be honest, they never will be. I think the reflection from Padre Pio sums it up perfectly: Pray, wait, and do not worry. The best is yet to come.
Yay, saints, sun, and summer!