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"For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." Matthew 18:20


Filtering by Tag: pray more novenas

St. Maria Goretti, Ya'll

Laura DeMaria

Today is the first day of Pray More Novenas's St. Maria Goretti novena. Have ya signed up? Ya getting the reminders every morning?

Even when I don't really feel a strong connection to one of their chosen saints, I still pray the novena anyway, because you never know what fruit will come to bear. Trusting in the saints to intercede is a powerful thing, plus you get the added bonus of getting closer to them and learning why they were chosen by the Church to be saints (really, chosen by God). What you learn via prayer, and the closeness you feel as a result, may surprise you.

This is the case with Maria Goretti. Do you know her story? It's gruesome, and it's why she's the patron of chastity, among other things. Short version: as a child, a worker on her family's farm attempted to rape her, and rather than submit, she allowed herself to be stabbed to death by her attacker. Not only that! As she died, she forgave him. Then she then appeared to him in a dream while he was in prison and he repented utterly, eventually being forgiven by Maria's mother and becoming a lay brother of a Capuchin order. Oh and she was 11 when this all happened.

So, there is not much there that I really relate to. She lived a brief life; at 11 years old she was more saintly than I will ever be; she was clearly predisposed to many virtues and the grace of a mighty forgiving heart. Nonetheless, I 100% see things in her that I could better explore and emulate, of course, so pray I will do. And it is nice to think that by spending just a few moments in prayer with her every day, I will get to know one of God's very special children.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

The Pentacost Novena

Laura DeMaria

Our friends over at Pray More Novenas are gearing up for the next nine days of prayer, this time in the form of the Pentacost Novena, starting tomorrow, Friday May 6. You can sign up here to join the thousands of faithful bringing their hearts and intentions before the Holy Spirit.

I am especially interested in this one, because the Holy Spirit has played an important part in my life, and particularly my faith formation and return to the Church. At that moment in Confirmation, when the Holy Spirit descended, I was changed. Truthfully, I had signed up for RCIA as a sort of "Let's go ahead and make all this official, shall we?" gesture, not knowing the affect it would have on me. I went from living a more or less completely secular lifestyle, to becoming weekly involved in a variety of ministries (others' or those I've started myself), evangelizing, listening to the Mass readings every morning, going to Confession regularly and daily Mass at least once a week, deepening my knowledge of the Church and scripture, thirsting deeply for the knowledge of Christ, and finding true love and joy in all of this. The Holy Spirit descended, and I'd like to think, never left (and, I pray to God, He never will).

How has the Holy Spirit moved in your life? One of my favorite ways to see the Holy Spirit in action is how we often find the right people in our lives at exactly the right moment, due to no genius of our own. Or perhaps the apartment you needed became available to rent at the right moment; the compassionate words you needed to share with a suffering friend somehow found their way out of your mouth; you took a different way home for no particular reason and avoided an accident. It goes on and on. This is the Holy Spirit. And how nice to think it is the same Spirit that worked through St. Paul and the original apostles as they preached and converted, building the early Church and bringing Christ to the world for the first time. The Holy Spirit has become no weaker or diluted over the ages, which means that if you pray to Him, he will assist you in the same way He did the early Christians, if you allow Him. Take heart in that! 

I think in praying this novena I will ask the Holy Spirit to put me in the right time and place, and to be able to say the right things, to better serve God and others. In a way, that is a prayer to be more accepting of God's will, isn't it?  To be accepting, to be open, to take what God gives you with love. 

The Our Lady of Lourdes Novena

Laura DeMaria

Pray More Novenas has announced the next novena, which starts tomorrow, February 2, this one to Our Lady of Lourdes. This novena is particularly special to me given my devotion to Our Lady, and also because my home parish is Our Lady of Lourdes (or OLOL as the ol' regulars call it). The church is actually doing its own novena to her, with Mass intentions and lots of fanciness.

For the story of the apparition of our Lady of Lourdes, there are lots of good resources, including here, and about Bernadette, to whom Mary appeared, here. Lourdes, France, is now a pilgrimage site and many people have found miraculous cures visiting the water there. I believe it!

I find praying the novena first thing in the morning works best for me, and it's a lovely way to not only ask for intercession, but be reminded of all the good things I already have. 

The novena ends February 11, the feast day of Our Lady of Lourdes. Don't forget to sign up here!

What, or who, will you pray for?