Some years ago, I undertook a little exercise of writing "Letters Home." These were notes to various saints, talking of life in the world here and now. I scribbled those somewhere in a long forgotten journal. It was a helpful exercise of the imagination, but not entirely imaginary (I decided), since the saints are real people whom the Church declares to be in heaven. We believe they can see us, hear us, and intercede for us before God. Since I generally express myself better in writing than by talking, it was not much of a stretch for me to write to a saint rather than just "talk to" him or her.
My letters Home were a grace for me in several ways. Mostly, they helped me remember that earth is not my ultimate destination. They made me recall writing letters home from school in my teens. School was not my home; it was where I had gone to learn and grow.
My journal of Letters Home also helped me remember that I live in a mission field. I'm here not only to learn and grow holy, but also to help others do the same, in whatever little ways I can.
So - how am I doing? In what ways am I making progress or falling short? How did I (or did I not) share the love of Christ this week with my neighbor next door, or the woman who cuts my hair?
I think it will help me to try a few more Letters Home. And it seems that a blog entitled The Breadbox Letters might be just the place to keep this "mail," although I assure you I won't be doing it on a daily basis. Maybe once a week, or even once a month? We'll see how it goes. And of course I could write directly to YOU, but, well... the thing is.... there are things I can shine up and polish for you if I wish. But I can't gloss over something I write to a saint.
I know this has been a long post already, but here goes a first try:
Dear St. Jane de Chantal,
Just a quick note to genuinely ask your help with this "project" I'm starting on. It is estimated that you wrote "no less than eleven thousand letters," so I ask you to pray that I write what Our Lord wants in these few I will offer. You know how much I admire and identify with you, in so many ways. Especially since, as a laywoman and mother, you envisioned a cloister within your own heart.
Eleven thousand letters?!?!!?! All by hand, of course, and delivered by messengers traveling on horseback. You should see the system we have here now. You should see the systems we have of everything, but well, I'll deal with that another time. About so much in the world of today, you would be frankly appalled. But of course you do see, and of course you're praying. May our good God help us to, as you might have phrased it, LIVE JESUS in this world, in this time, in this age of the Church.
God be praised!
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