It is interesting to reflect on the fact that the unexpected can sometimes occur in low moments. It is also sometimes good to share with people the story behind the work they read.
The Dedication to Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne has taken on a life I could never imagine, given the day it was composed… It’s been on bookmarks for groups and prayer cards for parishes; on websites, Facebook pages, and sheets of paper on the folding chairs for I don’t know how many students, parents, and faculty. It’s been translated into several languages and doesn’t seem to be done yet.
This morning I was reminded on my own Facebook page of what I posted about the day I wrote it.
I was in the midst of clearing out my father’s belongings, yet again, after he had to move. I had said good-bye to him the day before at the end of a driveway and had no idea where he was going. Tired and overwhelmed, I sought respite (and wi-fi) in the corner of somewhere I understood—a local library— and set to composing a prayer that someone at the school where worked had asked if I’d put together.
The warmth of that space and the simple, dry, no questions, welcome I found there at the Shelton branch of the Timberland library system was the environment I needed…for both my pen and my person.
A Prayer of Dedication to Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
When we are asked to be bold and courageous,
You are our inspiration.
When our imaginations dream and see beyond the limits of our sight,
You are our hope.
When we fail to meet a challenge and need to accept our limitations,
You are our model.
When we pray with the desire for deep union with God,
You are our Saint.
And with your blessing, to the greater glory of God, we seek to be loving people who live and serve others with your same purpose, vision, and quiet humility.
Thank you, librarians…there and everywhere, for being custodians of collections, yes…and also for creating space for weary minds and spirits to simply Be.
Seems to me that’s what Philippine did too, through prayer, openness, and love…and through her limitations. She could and did offer witness and presence with, I’d imagine, minimal conversation exchanged. That legacy of quality Being, open presence, and quiet testimony to a journey undertaken…with grace received and costs paid…is a legacy of invitation, a legacy of inclusion, welcome, humanity, understanding, and Heart. I am both challenged by that and proud to be a part of it.