Prayer Helps in Little Things


June 8, 1997

Brother John Raymond


Recently I had the joy of my parents visiting me here at the monastery to attend the graduation ceremony for my Masters degree in Theology. In the parking lot I showed off my great learning to my parents by locking the keys in the car. But I wasn't worried, we always have a spare set of keys hidden on the outside. Wouldn't you know it, this time they weren't there. So I resorted to that great tool for opening cars invented by the clothing industry — the coat hanger!

Now if you have ever had the pleasure of trying to open a door with a coat hanger you know that cars are designed to protect from break-ins. They work especially well against inexperienced thieves — like owners of cars! So here I was fishing around inside with the coat hanger trying to snag the door latch. That proved useless. Next, I thought I would try to push the power-locks button but the hanger was not strong enough to move it. I was doing all this with great encouragement from my father who assured me this was never going to work. My next brilliant idea was to try to roll down the window a little. I started to fish for the window handle when my father said something and I turned to talk to him. When I turned back to what I was doing the end of the hanger was caught between the power lock switch and the plastic surrounding it. In this position I now had leverage to move the button. I did this and the locks opened.

Given the unusual circumstances of my success I suspected some help from above. Sure I had offered up the frustrating situation to God. But I had not asked for any help. So I looked with a suspicious eye at my mother. With not too much confidence in her son she had prayed to St. Jude the Apostle, patron of impossible situations. Now I knew where my unexplained help came from.

This experience taught me the value of turning to God and the Saints for help, even in seemingly small matters. It is always valuable to offer up the every day annoyances and frustrations in union with Our Lord's suffering on the Cross for the salvation of others. But after doing that, why not get a helping hand from above, so to speak? I wonder how many situations would either be solved or go more smoothly with just a little prayer for help.

Another recent incident may examplify this. I had to bring Brother Craig to a medical clinic for an infected leg. He had no medical insurance that covers this and they needed intraveneous treatments three times a day. So I had to drive him back and forth. After two days the doctors advised Brother to stay in a hospital, insisting vehemently even though Brother said he couldn't afford it. Brother just wanted to continue everything the way they were doing it. The next time I took him for treatment he was concerned about dealing with the doctors again. So I used a trick I had learned from Pope Pius XI. Before any important meeting this Pope used to tell his guardian angel to tell the guardian angels of those coming to the meeting what he desired from the meeting. These meetings always went exceedingly well. So I told my angel to tell the angels of the doctors to make them accept Brother's decision. Sure enough, the doctors and staff were like different people. They accepted everything and went from being forceful to peaceful!

Back to St. Jude. Since I am indebted to St. Jude for opening the car door, I thought I would end by thanking him for a favor granted, even if it was through the prayer of my mother!