Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is a Novena?

A novena is a series of prayers, said for nine consecutive days, for the purposes of requesting special blessings.  Since I'm a Lay Dominican, and the Feast of Saint Dominic is August 8, nine days away, I'll begin a novena, today.

First Day
The Faith of Saint Dominic
"Without faith it is impossible to please God." (Heb. xi 6)

With his mother's milk, St. Dominic imbibed that greatest of virtues, divine faith.  Blessed Jane of Aza was a woman of remarkable piety, and her son was a faithful imitator of his holy mother.

Fortified by his strong faith, St. Dominic undertook all those works which resulted in such wonderful blessings to the Church, and in such great glory to God by the salvation of so many souls.  Nothing dismayed him.  His confidence was unbounded.  In His name he accomplished all.  And though he sighed for martyrdom that he might seal his faith by shedding his blood, God did not will this sacrifice.  In the thousands of his children, however, who offered their lives for Christ, St. Dominic may well be considered a martyr.


Our Lord tells us that we may know ourselves by our fruits.  What are the fruits of our faith?  Are they such that we may have confidence that we are pleasing God?  What is the motive of all we do?  Do we live, as the just man, by faith?  Are we strong in trial and faithful in temptation?  Do we rely on God or seek human motives and human means in the good we do?

Let us learn a lesson from St. Dominic.  Let us ask of him to obtain for us the gift of a lively faith, his unshaken confidence in God.

1 comment:

Michael Seagriff said...

Sometimes the hectic pace of our lives cause us to forget matters of great importance. Thank you for reminding us of the approaching feast day of our beloved Father Dominic and this timely prompting to begin a Novena to him today.

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