Back in 2011, we took a group of youth from our parish on a summer pilgrimage to New York City. We saw all the popular sights, a Broadway show, did some service projects with the CFRs, and visited the awesome Catholic sites in the city like St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton’s house, and St. Frances Cabrini’s shrine to name a few.
We also stopped at a door. It doesn’t look like anything out of the ordinary, but has a special significance. It was the door that Venerable Fr. Solanus Casey used to answer and open to those in need. If you’ve never heard of him, Fr. Solanus was a Capuchin friar and priest in the early 1900’s. He was eventually assigned to NYC and had a simple but strong faith and loved the sick and poor. His main duty was to be the porter – the one who answers the door – and he was known for his spiritual advice and prayer which opened the door for many souls. You can read more about him here – he’s amazing and is actually the first US born man to be named Venerable!
One of the things that Fr. Solanus was known to do was thank God ahead of time for blessings and answered prayers. On our pilgrimage, we adopted this motto and thanked God ahead of time for all sorts of things along the way.
Jason and I took a moment to go up to the door together and say a quick prayer, which is what the photo above shows. (Thanks Karen for capturing it!) At that time, we were still somewhat early in our infertility journey and decided to thank God ahead of time for the gift of a child. It was an emotional moment to say the least. Little did we know what was ahead and that it’d be a few more years before we’d see that prayer answered.
But how beautiful is this concept of thanking God ahead of time? It’s definitely not easy. It requires some serious trust, hope, and faith that He will provide, when who knows how long it will take to see the end result.
It makes me think of the Scripture passage in Matthew 6 about the care given to the birds and flowers. These creatures do not worry about things, so why should we? We know that He will take care of us and answer our prayers, big or small, according to what’s best for us.
So let’s thank God ahead of time for the blessings that are to come and the answers to our prayers!
I’ll leave you with part of a beautiful prayer from Fr. Solanus: