• Prayer of St. Joseph Cupertino
    St. Joseph Cupertino is a 17th C. Italian saint (1606-1663) who had a gift of knowing ahead of time what to study when preparing for his entrance exams to the priesthood. The bishop thought he was too simple to pass the test, but he surprised them all. Since he levitated while praying and saying Mass, he is today the patron saint of air travelers and pilots. His feast day is September 18th. People often ask me to share with them the prayer to St. Joseph Cupertino. I am happy to do so. This is the prayer I prayed which got me scholarships and good grades right up to the Ph.D. (never paid a penny for my education, tuition or books, after the 8th grade). Thanks, St. Joseph! ------------ O great St. Joseph Cupertino, who whilst (I always thought the "whilst" was important) who whilst on earth did obtain from God the grace to be asked at your examination ONLY THE QUESTIONS FOR WHICH YOU HAD PREPARED, grant for me a like favor in the exam for which I am now preparing. In return, I promise to spread your name in thanksgiving, to make you known and loved. (Lord knows I have done that!) Amen. ----------------- What I like about this prayer is that it creates a kind of anticipatory intent. It meant that I was not going to waste time studying something that was not going to be on the exam. And that therefore I would spend my study time productively. I have a special devotion to St. Joseph Cupertino (and have even rented the quaint and charming movie about him, The Reluctant Saint, starring--no joke--Maximillian Schell). Early on, St. Joseph Cupertino taught me to approach life with an attitude of belief that what you pray for will, in fact, happen.
  • Six Pointers to Give Your Writing Impact
    Aim for a personal, conversational tone. Use active voice, personal pronouns, and short paragraphs. Read your piece out loud and imagine yourself saying it in a conversation to the reader. Be specific. Substitute facts for fancy phrases and generalities. Specifics stick in the mind. Appeal to authority. Use testimonials or quotes from others to support your view. Show, don't tell. Nobody likes to be preached at, but everyone likes self-discovery. Become a seeker with your reader, or arrange your presentation in such a way that the reader arrives independently at your same conclusion. Keep it lively. Vary sentence length. Tell stories. People your piece to make it come alive. Think visually. Be sure your words create a picture in the reader°s mind, and add charts and diagrams where appropriate.