Monday, September 24, 2012
Novena For The Nation -- Sept 29th
A little-noticed novena for the nation is scheduled to begin on September 29th, this Saturday. A novena is nine days of prayer, focused on a particular topic, asking for God’s intervention and blessings. This novena, a Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation, was promoted in the recent edition of the National Catholic Register newspaper. A cover letter, written by Rev Frederick L. Miller, Professor of Systematic Theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Maryland, notes the following:
“Many of the values that shaped our country from the beginning seem to be at risk. Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, and the American bishops have noted the erosion of religious freedom in the United States, the first value guaranteed by the Constitution. Other fundamental truths are also in danger: the God-given right to life of every unborn child, the value of virginity until marriage for our young people and the virtue of chastity for everyone, the very definition of marriage as the indissoluble bond between a man and a woman who are open to receive new life from God, and the responsibility of all to care for the disabled and the elderly until God calls them to himself.
It has rightly been said that there is more love in Mary’s heart than evil in the world. This is the meaning of the angel Gabriel’s greeting: ‘Rejoice, Full of Grace.” Mary is the woman chosen by God to be his mother and ours, but also to be the chief human enemy – the nemesis – of the evil one (Gn 3:15, Rv 12). From her place in heaven, the Blessed Mother is eager to help her children in their struggles. The bishops at Vatican Council II expressed this consoling truth:
Taken up to heaven, the Blessed Virgin did not lay aside her salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into the happiness of their true home.
This ‘Novena to the Mother of God for the Nation’ will remind us of some of the central truths of the faith, in particular, the incarnation, passion, death and resurrection of the Lord and Mary’s unique role in our salvation. It will be, in a way, a catechism lesson that challenges us to a deeper conversion to Christ and a more generous life of charity. With these intentions in mind, we shall turn to Mary and meditate on the graces of her life.
Everyone who joins in these nine days of prayer has his or her own needs. Each person should remember to pray for the intentions of all. We await a powerful outpouring of the graces of heaven through Mary’s hands.
You can find the full novena, additional suggestions of prayers and actions and information on EWTN’s coverage of the novena, at ReligiousLiberties.org/novena/.”
For me, this shall be the start of prayers and other actions during this year declared by the Church as The Year of Faith. More on this later.