Friday, March 6, 2015

The Problem with Neon

Last November, while at Eucharistic Adoration, I started looking up more information about Saint Gianna, since some of her relics were coming to a parish not that far from us. Through the wonders of autocomplete, I instead ended up at the website for Saint Mary International Adoption, which I had previously bookmarked. That simple autocomplete convinced me that it was time to at least request information. Through the joys of cell phone data, I wasn't sure that my request had been submitted; I quickly found out that it had, and that the folks at Saint Mary's are incredibly attentive and persistent. By the time I got home from running some errands, I not only had an e-mail with detailed information, but I had missed a phone call from them. 

A short time later, I was going through the drawer where I have "Catholic stuff" that I inherited from my grandparents. Amongst everything else, I stumbled across these.

The first is clearly a medal, though I don't know what is being shown behind the glass. It appears to be a piece of of fabric. (Guesses/hypotheses welcome.) The second set of pictures is more obviously a relic of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini. Who is Saint Frances X. Cabrini? The patron saint of immigrants. How did these items come to belong to my grandparents? Even my father doesn't know; I am hoping that my great-aunt can answer that question. Was this a sign? I wasn't sure; it could just be coincidence. Mother Cabrini made her mark in the United States first in New York, then Chicago, which were the two cities my grandparents lived in longest. I am wary of seeing signs and portents where there could be just coincidence and desire.

When it came time to draw patron saints for the new liturgical year, I prayed that our saints for the year would provide some guidance about what would come and what God is calling us to do. I was disappointed to find that our saints provided no obvious indication; my patron would be Saint John of Parma; Husbandido's patron saint for the year would be Saint Clare of Assisi. Neither of those suggested anything regarding conceiving a child or whether we should proceed with adoption. From that point, I started being more specific in my prayers. "Lord, I am not sure I am hearing what you are trying to tell me. Could You please give me neon? Something that is so obvious that it cannot just be me grasping at straws?"

Yesterday I got neon. One of the things I always do while I'm Adoration is to read about that day's saint in my copy of Fr. Alban Butler's Lives of the Saints. With this scheduled to be our last month of TTC, I decided to look up a couple of other relevant dates. Based on what I have seen so far, peak day will have been March 4, Saint Casimir's day. Who is Saint Casimir? The patron saint of Poland. Okay... what about peak+15, the day I would expect to start spotting if we have failed? Saint Joseph, foster-father of Jesus. What about P+17, the day which (if I made it that far) I could potentially be taking a pregnancy test? Saint Benedict - no hope there. Truly, I had been hoping that P+17 would belong to a married saint who had 10 kids. It was not to be be. I wept. Short of burning bush or angelic messenger territory, this seems a pretty clear sign. 

As I told Husbandido, it's not that I think we should let it affect our trying (we are still aiming to get I's on every day through P+3), but I no longer have hope that this will work. The problem with neon is that sometimes you have to face that which you would rather not face.


  1. Wow! Those relics are awesome! I totally try not to read into anything either, but the first thing that popped into my head about St. Frances Cabrini is her affiliation with orphanages. Signs are tough :(. Whenever I ask for one, I always get something confusing back. I guess God's trying to tell me that not knowing is supposed to be part of my journey, ugh.

  2. What precious relics!!!! It was tough to be at the official end of ttc road for us. Lots of surrendering. Sounds like God is leading u to some new friends in heaven to help in the next steps. Prayers for your heart.