St. Raphael is the patron saint of Happy Meetings…I remember, a couple of years back, during one of the times when I was feeling very very down – I had a talk with one of my friends who also happens to be a priest, Father Jim, who sent me this message along with the prayer via email:
I will pray that the Lord lead you to the best place of the many which, I am sure, are available to you. (I mean that. I am convinced that in major life decisions there are usually numerous options — I mean, I guess, major decisions concerning our work. Some will be better suited to our current needs and hopes than others, but there’s more than one possibility out there, waiting for you.)
Toward that happy end, here is the Prayer to St. Raphael:
O Raphael, lead us toward those we are waiting for, those who are waiting for us.
Raphael, Angel of happy meeting, lead us by the hand toward those we are looking for.
May all our movements be guided by your light and transfigured with your joy.
Angel, guide of Tobias, lay the request we now address to you
at the feet of Him on whose unveiled face you are privileged to gaze.
Lonely and tired, crushed by the separations and sorrows of life,
we feel the need of calling you and of pleading for the protection of your wings,
that we may not be as strangers in the province of joy,
all ignorant of the concerns of our country.
Remember the weak, you who are strong, you whose home lies beyond the region of thunder,
in a land that is always peaceful, always serene and bright with the resplendent glory of God.
God bless, Carmen! Father Jim
Once I got into this prayer, it occurred to me that there is a divine hand in people who cross our paths, that everyone comes into our life for a reason, and not necessarily for the reason we might want at the time 🙂 It usually hits me much later why this person was in my life at THAT precise moment, THAT precise second, when I silently cried out ‘help’ and didn’t know how it would come … but, somehow, I knew that there was an energy there, a strong power…once I stopped questioning it, the answer would come much more easily to me as to why I am in a certain place, with certain person, dealing with a certain situation…
In no particular order, things that only God and San Raphael could have had a hand in:
1. When I had not one dollar, unemployed, waiting for an unemployment check, and I was JUST going to let my SFSU Department Head know that I wouldn’t be returning to school…I get a message from my Guardian Angel who tells me that she will PAY my tuition so that I could finish my program … thanks to her confianza en mi, I was able to finish up my studies at SFSU and am now waiting to see if I passed Phase II of the State Interpreter Exam.
2. During one of the many times that I had lost a job, this friend had told me, ‘let me know if you need any money, es mas, I have this amount of money for you now, how do you want it?’ It was a huge amount that allowed me to pay my rent and car payment until I got back on my feet — was very happy the day that I paid him back the FULL amount. And to the rest of you to whom I owe money — no worries, I’m working hard to pay you all back.
3. I had gone on a job interview where I straight-up told them, ‘I know nothing about this job, but I know how to deal with people’, and left, way upset, SURE that I had messed up because the interview was only 20 minutes long or so…by the time I got home, I had already gotten the call that the job was mine.
4. One of my all-time best friends and I had gotten into a terrible argument and did not speak to each other for years…in fact, we lived (and still do) at opposite ends of the state. One day I was walking down a street in Sacramento, and who should I run into? Coincidence? Fate? San Raphael? We made up that minute … life is too short…
5. The other night, I’m in Walmart in Pleasanton and see a colega/friend whom I haven’t seen in months…you better know that we stood in the Crafts aisle and talked for 2 or 3 hours LOL. We got to talking about living life as a workaholic and shared the war stories, the good, the hilarious, and also how it’s been no life, no weekends, nothing but work for years and how it’s time to step back and have work be a means to an end … something that, we who are in the event or media industry, have the HARDEST time with as work becomes all-consuming. I feel like I’m 90% there, that I do not have to hand over my life and my nervous system over to any company…thanks amiga for helping me to focus on the important things in life and work toward that 100%!
I have made a ton of personal changes in my life in the past year or so — and have decided that I no longer want to live to work, that I no longer want my personal time interrupted for any job, that I no longer want to spend time away from my familia, that I want to spend more time with my friends, that I want to live my life instead of living for a corporation and/or a job. Not that things change overnight or anything, but I know that I will eventually move out of the rat race and back into a life. Believe me, there are tons of people ready to take my place who want back in as much as I want out. The big difference now is that I’m not tripping on how to keep my ‘place’ as I was before…
Feeding my soul during the past year has been the best gift that I could have given to myself, working the projects that I want, hanging out with the people whom I want, and, more importantly, learning to not jump in head first — still working on that jumping in head first thing, it’s a work in progress…
Learning every day from St. Raphael that Happy Meetings are an awesome gift … once I stop trying to control everything and get grateful and positive, I can sit back and enjoy these happy meetings with familia, friends, colleagues, clients, and uno que otro hombre 🙂 and look forward to what life has in store for me…
Carmen’s Life, as always, is still Under Construction LOL