26 July 2010


Catholic and Gooey Thought of the Week!
(Because being "Punk" all the time is exhausting)

If I had remembered earlier today that it is the Memorial of Sts. Anne and Joachim, then I would have delayed my post on Jaws: The Revenge and put this one up instead. But one personal peculiarity of mine is that I start my novena to St. Anne on her memorial rather than in anticipation of her memorial, and so the day itself sneaks up on me every year.

Besides, Shredded Cheddar is a place where the cheesy and the Catholic can co-exist.

The other night, I remembered a song from my childhood with a line about keeping a prayer in your pocket. (Sound familiar? Guess the title!) And I thought about the traditions of Catholic prayer making room for prayers of all sorts of sizes.

There is the Mass, of course, which is an hour-long prayer all Catholics are obligated to make every Sunday--no exceptions, thanks.

Then there is the Divine Office, which is big enough to wrap an entire day in; and therefore, big enough for all the days of the year; and ultimately big enough for all the days and years remaining before us until the end of the world.

Some big prayers are constructed out of little prayers, like the Rosary . . . and the Chaplet of St. Anne!

Perhaps the littlest prayers are the two-line aspirations which can be as simple as a saint's name and an Ora pro nobis.

Here are three of my favourite small-ish prayers, shared with you in celebration of this day . . .

3 Little Prayers
for Your Spiritual Pockets

Good Saint Anne, send me a man!

Dear Saint Anthony, please come down!
Something is lost and needs to be found!

Angel of God, my Guardian dear,
To whom God's love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side
To light and guard, to rule and guide.

Image Sources: a) St. Anne, b) St. Anthony of Padua, c) Guardian Angel


Dauvit Balfour said...

I love the Guardian Angel prayer. It's nice to have a list of these little missives that one can fire off without having to first prepare, then pray for five, ten, fifteen, or twenty minutes.

What would be the man's equivalent of the St. Anne prayer? "St. Joachim, send me a woman" just doesn't sound the same.

Enbrethiliel said...


I'm afraid you're on your own with St. Joachim! =P Men don't seem to pray for good wives at the rate (or with the intensity) women pray for good husbands, so I'm not even sure who your patron saint would be for that.

Lola said...

I think Dauvit should ask St. Joseph. After all he found the perfect woman.

paul bowman said...

Funny how that extravagant spectrum of given prayers (not to mention the business of address to saints & angels) can be at the same time so strange & so appealing to someone taught to be a really thoroughgoing Protestant — who wants to pray & knows how necessary it is, but for whom form can often be a problem (not necessarily a bad thing) or even an obstacle (more likely a bad thing than not).

Enbrethiliel said...


@ Lola: Heck, even I ask St. Joseph! You're right!!!

@ Paul: Yeah, funny. =) Is it any use pointing out that the Pater Noster is a form?

Sara said...

Re: Wither


First off, I totally didn't think that cover model looked like Mandy Moore until you mentioned it. Now that's all I can see. HA! But I still like it. :)

Also, the author (Lauren DeStefano) has a message for you:

"To the person who commented that WITHER's synopsis was reminiscent of HANDMAID'S TALE: You make my heart sing."

As always, thanks for the comments! :)



Enbrethiliel said...


Awwwww! Thanks for letting me know what Lauren said. That made my day! =D

And please let her know that any time she wants to host an international giveaway of Wither, I'll be first in line! ;-)

As always, you're welcome for the comments. Thanks for visiting my blog, too.

Dauvit Balfour said...

Why, thank you Lola, that's a good suggestion. I've actually found myself doing that on occasion, though, as E said, without the rate or intensity of a woman praying for a husband, I am sure.

Michael said...

Arrow prayers we call them in Orthodoxy. Of course you probably know my favorite from previous comments:

Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

It changed my life.

As far as I know there is no particular saint in Orthodoxy (at least in Russian Orthodoxy) who is invoked for finding a husband or wife. There are however saints who are known for bringing couples together.

St. Xenia of St. Petersburg, Holy Fool for Christ

Prince Peter and Princess Febronia - considered the patron saints of newlyweds, though many ask for their intercession for a husband or wife.

The arrow prayer is quite simple:

St. Xenia pray for me

Then add your request for a husband or wife.

I may be one of the few men who pray regularly and intensely for a wife, not because there isn't opportunity (there is plenty of that) but mostly to keep from behaving badly (which, when left to my own devices, I am prone to do) and not recognize the answer when she shows up (which I did once because I was behaving badly - and no I do not mean immorally).

There is that famous passage from Proverbs 31:30:

Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.

The first part which can literally be translated:

"Bodily form is deceitful and beauty is of no real value..."

Deceitful in the sense that it leads you to think you are getting something (substance) which you are not. Boy do I know that!

My roommate and I used to walk around reminding ourselves of what the real priority was in finding a wife by quoting that verse to each other. It was funny but it was also helpful. The Lord answered his prayer just a few months ago.

I do remember a few years ago a group of men getting together for prayer at my church for the express purpose of finding a wife.

The Lord was gracious. Within months all of them(6) were married.

paul bowman said...

Form in praying is a challenge for such a person in a variety of senses, I mean — not always in ways consciously recognized. Recitation is discouraged to greater & lesser degrees, but form is still implicitly & sometimes explicitly an issue, both in public & private.

Re. the Our Father, in the churches of my childhood and much of my adult life, it's never used liturgically at all, but is frequently a didactic object, not as a prayer but as an analyzable pattern for the individual's prayers.

Mark in Spokane said...

Three great little prayers. The Guardian Angel prayer is a favorite. It is always good to memorize a few prayers to use when, for whatever reason, we can't seem to come up with any prayers of our own. One of things I love about the Rosary is that it makes it so easy to enter into the mysteries of the lives of Our Lord and Our Lady.

BTW, when it comes to praying for a wife, I prayed to St. Joseph for 6 months asking him to pray to the Lord for me that God might send me a godly wife and give me the grace to be a good husband to her. It worked! So, pray to St. Joseph for him to intercede on your behalf!

Thanks for the post -- I'm linking to it over at my own blog!


Enbrethiliel said...


@ Dauvit: I think was being rather presumptuous when I drew that contrast between women praying for husbands and men praying for wives. All I know is that women seem to do it in greater numbers--or more publicly.

@ Michael: "Arrow prayers" sounds very nice.

I pray that God answers your prayer soon, too.

@ Paul: I'll take the Our Father as a formula prayer over the Our Father as a template any day.

@ Mark: That is precisely what I love about "little" prayers: they make it easy for the simplest person to ponder the great and profound mysteries of God!

Thanks for the link!

To Everyone: This was splendid, but I really can't have a Catholic post which came out on the same day as a Horror/B-movie post collecting more comments. So I'm closing the thread now. Thanks! I know you'll all understand . . .