Many moons ago, I attended a Visitation academy that subsequently was kept alive by the enormous sacrifices of a lay Board of Trustees, and now has been renewed, both in faith and formation, by the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, Tennessee.
But that's a story for another time.
It is relevant to this post, however, because in my senior year, those Dominican Sisters saw to it that daily Mass was offered in the academy's chapel. Every day. Every day at 7:30 a.m. (school started at 8:00 a.m.), daily Mass was offered in a chapel built by Visitation nuns and dating from pre-Civil War, a chapel located both physically and spiritually at the heart of the school.
And every day, I was there.
Oh, don't be too impressed. I'm not naturally an early riser, but I had ulterior motives, that's for sure. Big ones. Every day, I silently offered up my Mass with these words, "Please send me a good husband and good children." That's all. Just send me Prince Charming and his charming kids, and *voila!* we'd be happy. I figured that if I had the primary players in my life dedicated to Him, the rest would be gravy.
And you know what? It worked!
Today, I've been happily married to My Hero for over 20 years. And, after being told I was infertile and adopting our first child, we now have six children, the rest of whom arrived in our house in the usual way. (We're Irish Catholics with fiery temperaments. What can I say?)
But, that's not the only success story formed out of devotions in that chapel. Many religious vocations were born there, and I was delighted to discover this weekend that my niece also has been deeply inspired to add her own prayer to the millions that have arisen there.
Every day, on behalf of whomever her future spouse might be and for their life together, my niece asks God to, "make me into the woman he needs, make him into the man I need, and make both of us into the parents our children need."
So if there are any young ladies out there reading this blog, this isn't plagiarism -- feel free to make that prayer your own!