Whenever I lost anything as a child, my grandmother would tell me not to worry, just to pray to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, and it would be found. I'd often return to her a half hour later, holding up whatever I lost and she'd say "See? St. Anthony always comes through."
As I grew older, I went to her with other problems. She would still tell me to pray to St. Anthony. I would make a face, caught in the adolescent mire that convinced me my problems were beyond repair.
One day after I rolled my eyes at her, my grandmother said to me, her blue eyes tearing up "St. Anthony isn't just for finding lost things. He also deals with lost souls."
She nodded. "And if he can handle that, I think he can handle just about anything."
There wasn't much I could say to that, so I shut up, stopped rolling my eyes and gave St. Anthony another try, even though my problem du jour seemed insurmountable. It wasn't solved in a half hour or even a day, but I found that prayer and time did heal it. I began to grow up and learn that healing something doesn't always mean that what we're fixated on gets better. Often, we heal when we accept things and move on.
I suppose on this All Saints Day, a prayer to St. Anthony is in order. It's not just for the lost things in my life, but to help me keep my perspective when I face unanswered questions or when I struggle to find words to comfort a friend whose parent just died, as I had to do this week.
St. Anthony can find anything. Most importantly, for anyone who feels despair, he can even help us find our faith when we think it's lost.