For my confirmation, my grandmother framed a prayer that was written by hand by her mother and gave it to me. Years later it has become my all time favorite month of prayer in the whole year.
Everyday from Nov 30 to Christmas, you pray this prayer 15 times in a row. It becomes very meditative and I’m usually pretty sad on Christmas when it’s the last day of reciting it.
I’ve only told a few people this story, but three years ago, I was really unhappy with my job – was perpetually trying to figure out my place in the world, what I was called to do. For my Christmas Novena, I prayed about it and asked guidance. In the last days, I started thinking about being a calligrapher. Don’t ask me why. I still didn’t even know how to use the pen correctly (I always tell my students that I used the wrong side of the nib for FOUR months before figuring it out).
Case in point, this present that I made for my spiritual director that year. I mean, it was really bad:
But at the end of the Novena I told this guy I was talking to “I know this is crazy, but I think I’m going to be a calligrapher.” He literally laughed at me and told me that wasn’t a real job and asked me if I would just put a sign on my bike saying “calligrapher.” I kind of brushed it off and went about my life.
A year later when people asked me what I did for a living, I honestly was able to say, “I am a calligrapher.” I still don’t understand how that all happened, but I can say that it has all felt as a divine grace that carries me.
Last year 10 seconds (literally) after finishing my last of the 15 times of the day on Christmas, the guy I was currently talking to facetimed me, switched the camera for me to see where he was and asked if it was my parent’s house. I swear I had just talked to him earlier that day when he was in New York City. He brought presents for my whole family and asked me to be his girlfriend. It was so magical. I wanted to be bitter about it (I’m good at that) and say well, that went sour a few months later. But holy moly what a year it has been. That relationship and breakup taught me more this year than I’d learned in almost any other year about relationships and life and love. I have grown exponentially and don’t even know if that man standing there a year ago would recognize the woman I am today. In all of that I see the answer to my prayers.
So a day late because yesterday was pure insanity over here, I wrote out the prayer that you can put on your phone and desktop to remember to pray each day. I hope it brings you many many blessings as it has for me. You can download below: