Feeling stuck is one of the worst feelings in the world — when no matter what you do, no matter what new tactic you try or new message you share feels like it strikes the right tone. It’s especially hard for us in this day and age, where there’s an intense expectation for us to always be self-advancing and self-promoting. There’s a huge amount of guilt attached to the feeling of being stuck or not being successful, like somehow something we did or didn’t do could have changed the outcome, when sometimes there’s not a whole lot we can do.
We’ve talked before about how awesome the saints are, and cool it is that the Catholic church recognizes and venerates them in the way that we do. It’s like we have a special army of people loving on us, caring for us, and showing us all kinds of examples of how we might be able to shape our lives. No saint is identical to another, but each of their lives show holiness and commitment to Christ (two things I think we all might be aiming for!). And, the saints had their fair share of trials and tribulations, making them great people to turn to in stuckness.
St. Ignatius of Loyola might be one of the only saints with a notarized police record (for nighttime brawling), but his writings and teachings have become extremely well-known and offer great advice for the “stuckness.” He is the patron saint of soldiers, who often face extremely challenging conditions, and one of his prayers in particular is a good one to remember:
“O Christ Jesus, when all is darkness and we feel our weakness and helplessness, give us the sense of Your presence, Your love, and Your strength. Help us to have perfect trust in Your protecting love and strengthening power, so that nothing may frighten or worry us, for, living close to You, we shall see Your hand, Your purpose, Your will through all things.”
This prayer’s message of comfort and reassurance feels right for “stuckness”: when we cannot comprehend the larger plan that might be in store for us, we can always take comfort in drawing into the closeness of Christ. Jesus, in his time on Earth, felt the human emotions of anger and confusion and losing one’s way — Ignatius reminds us of that, and that we can always draw into Christ when we feel the same.
St. Dymphna, the patron saint of anxiety and depression, can offer comfort when our minds seem bent on getting us down. Blessed Margaret of Castello can offer comfort when physical ailments take precedence in our lives. St. Jude Thaddeus can offer comfort in “lost causes” or desperate circumstances.
If we were soccer players, and our lives were the World Cup, think of the saints like the fans in the stands. Their energy and enthusiasm keeps us going when we’re down in the match or we’re going up for that game-deciding penalty kick. We can count on them to be our number one supporters, and to always be there for us to get us out of the “stuckness.”
--Claire Kosewic, Staff Bulletin Writer
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