Today is the feast day of Saint Blaise, the patron Saint of throat ailments. On this day we ask for the intercession of St. Blaise during the Blessing of the Throats. The feast day falls in the middle of winter when the temperature here in Ohio is cold, fluctuating greatly, and can cause sore and scratchy throats on a regular basis. Often we think of this blessing in terms of the physical ailments such as strep throat, laryngitis, tonsillitis, cancer of the throat, and so on. But today I am focusing on the other aspects of our throats and how this one little body part can do so much for our spiritual lives.
“Let the high praises of God be in their throats” Psalm 149:6
Our throats enable us to speak. Our voices are wondrous things! We can pray aloud. We can sing praise to our Creator. We can teach others about the saving love of Jesus. We can encourage, uplift, and cheer others up with a kind word. The words that we speak can lead others to Christ. Conversely, our words can hurt others, Our voices can be used to spread lies, to gossip, to engage in negative or demeaning conversation, to take the name of the Lord in vain, and to turn others away from God. Let us pray that our throats be protected from spreading falsehoods and our voices halted from speaking against the Lord. Let us ask that St. Blaise pray for us that we might bring others to Christ and share His love through the words that we speak.
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Our throats allow life sustaining food and water into our bodies. We are blessed with a wide variety of delicious foods and beverages from the Lord. Let us ask St. Blaise to pray for us that we might always remember to give thanks for the food and drink that we have while also remembering those who go hungry. Let us all do whatever we can to help the poor; those who are starving and struggling to find food or fresh water. Let us not gorge ourselves on unhealthy foods or fill our bodies with extreme amounts of alcohol but instead take care of the bodies we have been given.
Our throats enable us to receive the Our Lord through the gift of the most holy Eucharist. What a wondrous gift! Let us pray that while we eat and drink we remain always mindful that our hunger will never be fully satisfied and our thirst never fully quenched except through the Lord.
“The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Job 33:4
Our throats serve as a sort of lifeline for us. If the throat is blocked, strangled, or slit, we will perish. But life does not come from our throats. It is by no accident that we breath in and out each day. Our loving God created us and breathed life into us! We are called to preserve that life. Let us ask that St. Blaise pray for the protection of all life. Let us pray together with St. Blaise and with all the Saints that all might come to respect the life we have as given to us by God Himself. Amen.