Bl. John Paul II prayer

So very excited for Bl. John Paul II’s canonization this weekend. I just found the official prayer for his intercession, and I’m putting it here for safe-keeping. 

Prayer to St. John Paul II

Oh, St. John Paul, from the window of heaven, grant us your blessing! Bless the church that you loved and served and guided, courageously leading it along the paths of the world in order to bring Jesus to everyone and everyone to Jesus. Bless the young, who were your great passion. Help them dream again, help them look up high again to find the light that illuminates the paths of life here on earth.

May you bless families, bless each family! You warned of Satan’s assault against this precious and indispensable divine spark that God lit on earth. St. John Paul, with your prayer, may you protect the family and every life that blossoms from the family.

Pray for the whole world, which is still marked by tensions, wars and injustice. You tackled war by invoking dialogue and planting the seeds of love: pray for us so that we may be tireless sowers of peace.

Oh St. John Paul, from heaven’s window, where we see you next to Mary, send God’s blessing down upon us all. Amen.




Some news you’ve probably already heard

It’s no secret anymore, folks, and after an unexpected round of some very — er — public publicity last week*, I guess there’s no point in holding back from my own little blog.

I have some news. Granted, I’m pretty sure most of you know it already, but just to make sure we do things properly, I’m writing it here.

It looks like I’ve only got a few months left in the gap. In August I will be moving down south to enter the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in Nashville, TN. Okay, so really, I guess I’m leaving one gap for another (postulancy and the novitiate are definitely not “settled” yet), but this gap has a clearly delineated trajectory and such a clear, beautiful end.

Still, I used to think that when I finally wrote The Post announcing my departure from the gap, I’d feel nothing but joy. I’d be washing my hands forever of the tedium of looking forward, and I’d rush off to greet the future with wide open arms. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot of joy in making this announcement, but it’s tinged with bittersweet. As one of my friends said to me this weekend, “I won’t say my joy is unmixed.” It’s been a good six years in the gap, and almost without realizing it I’ve put down roots, made lasting connections, and given out little pieces of my heart here and there that are already starting to smart something dreadful when I look ahead to the summer.

It’s going to be very hard to leave so many good things behind. Friends and family, don’t think I’m not going to miss you awfully. I’ve been hesitant to say anything on the blog because I don’t really want to think about it, and I certainly don’t want to talk about it. At the same time, I’m so grateful to know that leaving will hurt. It means I’m not running away from anything, which means I can honestly say I’m making this choice in freedom. God is very good to me.

That said, I’ve got a few months left here still, in that funny limbo between my normal, working world life and the postulancy. I’ll be working my regular job through June, then spending a month with my family before entrance. I’ll also be working my way through my “bucket list” of things to do before I go, and dragging my friends along with me on my adventures, including but not limited to a day trip to Harpers Ferry, brunch at the Kennedy Center and a trip to the Baltimore aquarium. During these next few months, I do intend to keep up with this blog, so do check back — more posts to come, I promise.



*Life lesson from a girl who works in PR: if you don’t want your story to go public, maybe don’t agree to talk to reporters, mm-kay? Sometimes I wonder how I survive from day to day, with the lack of brains I show sometimes.

Time to grow up

You know how sometimes you’re having a complete meltdown over something that seems absolutely critical to your future health, happiness, and overall well-being? There you are, staring out the living room window at the cold, dreary rain, thinking dark thoughts about the future without whatever it is and wondering how you will ever survive. You’re in the depths of despair, and you glower in black fury at your roommates when they walk innocently by and wish you “good morning.” Nothing interests you. Food loses its flavor. Life — what meaning does it hold now that That Thing is about to be taken from you?


So I was having one of those days on Sunday. And I’m both relieved and embarrassed to admit that the answer to my woes was incredibly simple. It went something like this: Grow up.

I’m realizing with increasing regularity that I spend a whole lot of time thinking about how the events and people in my life affect me. Those that affect me most get the most attention. Those that affect me less can sit and simmer on the back burner, if I give them even that much thought. Why worry about other people’s lives, seems to be my semi-conscious mantra, when I have my own to worry about?

But when someone else’s life has a noticeable impact on mine, theI stand up and take notice.

This weekend a blip in someone else’s plans threw my own plans into a tailspin, and instead of reacting in genuine concern for that person, I had a fit because I wanted things to go my way. Granted, this other person would probably like for things to go my way, too. I’m not being completely selfish. But it wasn’t until the blip in their plans unsettled mine that I took this person’s long-standing intention to prayer with real fervor. Heretofore I’ve been comfortable with the more passive, “Please bless so-and-so in such-and-such situation.” But now my own dearest wishes were on the line, and my prayers were much more focused.

As a result, I’ve been taking a much deeper look at all my intentions and realizing how selfish I am…yes, even in prayer. It’s easy to say, “I’ll pray for you,” and it’s even pretty easy to tack names on to my daily rosary or Mass. But to really carry the people I care about to Our Lord and present all their needs to him and beg him to look on them in love and satisfy their deepest needs–needs that have nothing to do with me? I won’t say that’s hard, but it’s hard to remember. It’s hard to pull my selfish head out of my own goings-on long enough to focus on The Other.

It’s just so dratted easy to be selfish. And quite frankly, it’s childish. The child can center the whole universe on her own measly wants and needs, but the adult is supposed to know better. Not just outwardly — it’s one thing to volunteer at the homeless shelter, give your seat to old ladies on the metro, or let the person with two items get ahead of you in line at the grocery store. Those are good things, but they’re also external and therefore easier to see. What goes on inside is just as important.

Real Christian charity isn’t just an outside thing. It should be all-pervasive, all inclusive, and deeply selfless. I should have genuine concern for the people in my life in everything, not just the areas that impact me directly. So I was grateful, albeit a bit embarrassed, when a wise person listened to my tearful tale and chuckled and said, “You’ll be fine. But you should be worried about that other person.”

Ah, perspective. It’s still not all about me. Maybe some day I’ll learn that lesson for keeps.

– Mabel