Me: What about X?
Tommy: X? Why X? Who in either of our families is named X?
Me: Well, no one I guess. But there's a saint X!
Tommy: There's a saint everything, woman. That doesn't mean we're gonna name our kid, I don't know, Eustadiola.
Tommy: What about Y?
Me: Already taken.
Tommy: What does that mean?
Me: Sibling A of yours has already named his/her son/daughter that.
Tommy: Does that matter?
Me: With ALL the awesome saints throughout all of history you wanna reuse a first name from this very generation? Because you like confusing people?
Tommy: Fluffy-butt McDiaperson!
Me: Babylinda Sillystink!
Katie: I'm going to get the saint cards out...
Lizzy: Is there a Saint Barbie?
This time has been no exception. So the other night I hopped onto Jennifer Fulwiler's Saint's Name Generator and prayed for a little divine intervention. And guess what? Sometimes the answer to our prayers is "no". Boys names and already-played names all in a row!
So I gave up my insta-baby-name dreams but immediately remembered that I had used the same name generator to get my personal patron saint for the year back in December. Had I read about her since then? Had I prayed for her intercession? Had I thanked God for giving the gift of her wisdom and selflessness to the world?
Sometimes the answer to my long list of rhetorical questions is "no".
Do you know about Edith Stein? Born Jewish, turned atheist, converted to Catholicism, took the name Teresa Benedicta when she became a Cermelite nun and was then executed at Aushwitz in 1942 Edith Stein? Apparently the Holy Spirit's answer to my prayer back in December was a resounding YES but I guess I wasn't ready to listen.
A friend from our parish calls these kinds of things God-incidences because "coincidence" implies chance. Being matched up with Teresa Benedicta of the Cross for this year was definitely not mere chance. She a convert. I a convert. She a student of phenomenology in the early 20th century. I a student of phenomenology in the late 20th century.
She was a philosopher. She translated Aquinas from Latin into German. She gave lectures. She wrote books.
And then she was killed.
This world is temporary for us all. How can we best use our God given talents in the short time we're here? How will we prepare for the eternity which inevitably follows our passing? How will we seek justice for those who are voiceless and oppressed?
"Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother's hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself."
-St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, from Verses for a Pentecost Novena
Also linking up with Sunday Snippets--A Catholic Carnival