St Mutien Marie Wiaux F.S.C.

(entered heaven this day in 1917)

Dear Muriel,

Sometimes Providence makes some odd choices.  Maybe the job God has in mind for you after you graduate isn’t any of the ones you’ve been pursuing.  Maybe that uninvited letter could open the door to your destiny.  I don’t really know.  I do know, however, that if you are responsible in your job search, and prudent (getting good advice, researching, not taking things for granted, going step by step, not being rash), God will find a way to lead you to where you belong.  You may want to take today’s saint for a patron of your job search; his story is a bit unlikely.

He entered the novitiate of the Brothers of Christian Schools when he was 15.  He only had three assignments after he took his vows, all of them in Belgium: he taught first in Chamay, then in Brussels, then, for 53 years, in Malonne.  The funny thing was that he didn’t do very well as a teacher.  He was so good-natured and indulgent with his students that classes used to get out of control.  His superiors simply didn’t know what to do with him, since the very definition of a Christian Brother included being a school teacher.  They contemplated advising him to join another order, but gave him one last chance as an art and music teacher.  He had no special talent or background in those subjects, but the classes would be smaller, and he could dedicate himself to more personalized attention to the students.  Although he had to spend hours and hours training himself in the very subjects he was to teach, and practicing the instruments (until his death, in fact, he continued training and practicing), it turned out to be a fine match, and for over 50 years he spent his days instructing his students, giving good example to his brothers, and serving the neighborhood children as a catechism teacher.  He also prayed.  A lot. The students used to refer to him regularly as ‘the Praying Brother’.  He would make frequent visits to the Eucharist and to statues of the Blessed Virgin, and he always had a rosary in his hands and the angelic greeting on his lips.  From the moment he died, at age 76, favors and miracles were attributed to his intercession.

So, it’s hard to say where you should be.  What you think is the perfect match might not be so tight, and what seems like an odd combination may be right on the money.  I think the best thing you can do is stay faithful to your prayer commitments.  The ‘Praying Brother’ made his celestial mark by holding tight to the rope of prayer, and there’s no surer guide in the entire world.

Your devoted uncle,


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