I have been praying steadily since mid-June to Bl. John Henry Newman for the following three practical desiderata – all of which seemed impossibly unlikely but nevertheless have been granted, at least to some degree.
1. Fix the horrible mess involving letters of recommendation from members of my rather fractious dissertation committee.
2. Influence the Pope/Synod on the Family to use the power of the keys to simplify the annulment process and/or liberalize the conditions under which divorced and remarried Roman Catholics might receive communion.
3. Facilitate a number of important social networking occasions at the AAR.
Number 3 seemed unconditionally successful originally, only to meet an unexpected hitch, leading to a series of informative divinations by bibliomancy while invoking Newman which seemed supernaturally prescient. (Bibliomancy is probably the worst form of divination ever, because it almost never yields passages which intelligibly imply the answer to one’s query. So a run of intelligible bibliomancy answers is probably attributable to supernatural agency).
Q1. If there appear to be so many logistical difficulties in obtaining a tenure-track job, what then is my vocation? A1. Sirach 38.24-39.11 (a long description of the prosperity and virtue of an intellectual studying religion professionally, who does not need to engage in non-academic labor to support himself).
Q2. What ought I to think that estranged professional contacts think of me? A2. Song of Songs 8.6 (set me as a seal upon your heart)
Q3. If that is true, why such inconsistency in words/behavior? A3. 1 Thessalonians 2.17-20 (we wanted to come to you, but Satan hindered us)
It all seems true, and very encouraging in the long-run.