Why bother seeking the intercession of St. Gerard, when you can go directly to God yourself? There is truth to this, but it is not the whole truth. There is more.
You can and should speak immediately and directly to God. You have every right to do so. It is the right of all and the special birthright of those reborn in Christ. You should seek the same relationship with God as Jesus did. He experienced God as his loving Father, his Abba. However, this does not preclude or exclude friendship with God’s friends, the saints.
The saints are intercessors, always ready to lead you to God and to speak for you. Sometimes you may not know how to find or speak to God. The saints are friends of God and your friends too. They desire that you walk the path that leads to holiness, eternal life, communion and friendship with God, who creates, redeems and sanctifies us, because God is Love and God loves you.
Devotion to St. Gerard need not, nor should it ever take you away from God. On the contrary, friendship with St. Gerard helps you grow closer to God. Friendship with St. Gerard can never lead you away from God. St. Gerard wants you to know the same God he knew, in the same intimate and personal way that he did.
St. Gerard knows that your salvation ultimately lies in your loving friendship with Jesus, your Lord and Redeemer, with God the Father as your loving Abba. This is all through the Holy Spirit, Ruah (the feminine Hebrew word for breath or spirit), dwelling within you to make you holy as God is holy, that is, compassionate and loving like God. Undoubtedly St. Gerard would be dismayed if your devotion to him led you away from God and not more deeply into loving intimacy with God.
If you place your confidence and trust in St. Gerard, you are ultimately placing your confidence and trust in the same living, loving God in whom St. Gerard placed all his confidence and trust. In loving St. Gerard, you are loving someone God loves very much.
St. Gerard helps you to know, love, serve and worship the very same God that he and Jesus knew, loved, served and worshipped. In communion with St. Gerard, you can participate in his miraculous works. In loving friendship with St. Gerard, you too can become a channel of miraculous grace. You must be open to this possibility, submitting yourself perfectly, like St. Gerard, to God’s holy will. St. Gerard was a constant seeker of God’s will. He sought to do God’s will at all times, in all places, regardless of any necessary sacrifice.
To discern and do the will of God is not always easy. It demands that you overcome selfishness and sinfulness and open your heart to grace. You must allow yourself to be led by God’s hand to places you might rather not go, because of willfulness, fear or laziness. Only when you allow God’s will to direct you will you become a powerful instrument in God’s loving hands, able to touch others with miraculous and healing grace. In this way the Reign of God, always present, becomes visible.
Prayer is turning your mind and heart completely to God. Prayer to St. Gerard, directing your thoughts and heart’s desires to him, means that you are turning your mind and heart to God. God and St. Gerard are not competing for your affection. Love for one is also love for the other. There is no jealousy or envy between them, for they already live in the perfect communion of love that exists in eternity between God and God’s holy ones, the saints—those who have been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb and fully redeemed in Christ.
Devotion to St. Gerard can only lead you to a deeper faith and loving trust in God, who first loves you.