As I go about my day, I like to look for signs to remind me that we have friends in high places to help us through whatever challenges we may face. For example, not long ago, a bird in my neighborhood took a disliking to me. Whenever it saw me, this bird would fly at my face and dive-bomb me; it even chased me down the street!
The perpetrator was a mockingbird. I had no idea why this mockingbird was harassing (or mocking, perhaps?) me. Was it protecting a nest or a fallen baby bird? There was none that I could see. What was I to do aside from duck and cover each time I walked outdoors?
I decided to pray to St. Francis of Assisi—known for his love of nature and living creatures of all kinds. With deep sincerity, I prayed: “St. Francis, please keep this crazy bird away from me!” From that day on, all has been well. No more bird attacks and now, whenever I go outside, I pray a heartfelt “thank you, St. Francis.”
We Are Not Alone
As kooky as my experience was with the mockingbird, praying to St. Francis helped me to appreciate that we are not alone to fend for ourselves in this world. We have a multitude of saints in Heaven to guide us each day, enabling us to see God’s hand in our lives. Case in point: Through St. Francis’ life, we see the loving relation between our Creator and the creation of humanity and nature. Francis’ sense of fraternity under God ran deep, calling all creatures his brothers and sisters, and especially loving all those for whom Christ died.
Like St. Francis, we are called to have a personal relationship with Heaven’s Almighty—made manifest in the way we live and care for one another as well as our surroundings. For this relationship to flourish, the Word of God became flesh in Jesus Christ and the lives of the saints show us how to be brothers and sisters to Jesus by way of the Holy Spirit. So long as we embrace this divine bond, life on earth always will be connected to Heaven.
Pray for Help
However, when bad events happen, perhaps that is when we feel most disconnected; that is also why we need to pray. Prayer tells us we are not alone; and daily prayer maintains our heavenly connection, for ourselves and for the world. Therefore, we should never hesitate to ask the saints for help—just as we should never hesitate to pray to Mary, Queen of all Saints—to bring us closer to our Lord.
And may we never take for granted those little signs in our midst that show us we are connected to God in Heaven—the divine source of infinite love and support. “The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made” [Psalm 145:9]. By keeping a prayerful bond, we are never alone. The antics of an overzealous bird and an earnest plea helped me make the connection. Thank you, St. Francis!