Finding Saint Friends for the Journey
Editor’s note: FMS Communications Associate, Bekah Galucki, reflects on her journey towards the Lord thus far. Pondering life through the lens of hindsight, she pauses to acknowledge the great distance of her walk already taken. She reflects on the impact and kinship of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis of Assisi, who have both called her to greater holiness.
We all have a story, a journey that we take throughout this life. Some paths are windy and repetitive, while others are long and scenic. When I take a moment to pause and turn around, I see my lifelong trail running from the fading lines in the distance to the clarity of where my feet now stand. There were many different options to take, but by God’s grace, my feet have been confidently led towards His light with the help of a couple friends in particular. I take a look up again to be met by the loving gaze of two friends —my gal pal, St. Therese of Lisieux, and my big brother, St. Francis of Assisi. These saint friends have linked their arms to mine and swayed my steps along the little way closer to Himself.
It has only been until recently that I recognized the pair of saints who have been working together for so long in my heart all for my good. What had felt like sheer coincidence was actually the Holy Spirit planting a seed of what would grow to be a deeply rooted relationship.
Flashing back to my 16-year-old introverted self, I met Therese once upon a sacrament. When it came to picking a Confirmation saint, I did what all my friends were doing– a swift Google search.
I stumbled upon this young girl who allowed the great love placed within her heart to slowly transform the world around her. There didn’t seem to be anything special about her, like some heroic stories of martyrdom that I’d skimmed. She just was, and I could see myself within her. Life walking with her by my side helped me to discover life with childlike wonder, focusing on being present to Himself in all around, throughout, and within me.
My journey continued, only to be accompanied by another saint friend in my college years–my toughest years by far. Transferring to the University of Georgia, I stretched myself and grew more than I knew possible. For the first little bit, I spent the majority of my time in dark isolation, reaching depths of myself that I still don’t fully understand. By grace, I forced myself to really lean into the goodness & truth of nature as a refuge from that solitude. Those long days on campus were welcomed with promised glimpses of His goodness. The beauty of creation around me transcended into my darkness and illumined a path to the Lord.
Along this path, I was led to the Catholic Center on campus, led by Franciscan friars. Trying to break the chains of my deeply ingrained creature comforts, I found myself walking hesitantly into the chapel just to find ourselves in line for Reconciliation. In total surrender, I was welcomed into the community with a thick Canadian accent and overflowing joy from the campus priest, Father Frank.
His warmth and welcoming presence opened my heart slowly and intentionally. My appreciation for the Lord grew to all of His creation, including the vitality of fellowship within the Church. Francis helped guide my steps to walk alongside others through accompaniment and solidarity. I quickly found that living with intention is the catalyst for putting love into action with myself and others.
The Holy Spirit used my openness, from across many years I might add, and allowed it to stir goodness in me that I myself couldn’t have known. I know that at FMS I am heeding His call, with my saint friends by my side, Christ within me, and the Lord always in my sight. These siblings in Christ, both Therese and Francis, have adopted me, called me, too, towards sainthood, and patiently led me closer to the Lord through this little way.
Who is calling the saint forth within you? How can you be more open to this call? Who walks alongside you on your journey?