The Littlest Novena
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert . . .
to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself
that they might declare my praise." (Isaiah 43: 18-21)
Last year and the year before, here at Miss Marcel's Musings we rejoiced in triple novenas that brought us to the Exaltation of the Cross (September 14), then to St. Padre Pio (September 23), and finally to St. Therese on her feast of October 1st.
If any readers here have been inspired to pray the triple novena this year - Hooray!
For ourselves, we got into the saddle about the time the novena to Padre Pio needed to start. I do find it so marvelous that by saying a novena to the dear Padre to end on the 23rd, we are then just in time to begin Therese's novena (with hardly a breath in between) and invoke her intercession, remind her of her promises, and glory in her roses for the nine days of a real traditional novena (even if in our littleness we usually manage to forget a day here or there).
And so, in our typical better late than never fashion, this year Marcel and I are at last bringing you a special prayer to Padre Pio that you can say from now until the 23rd (or as long as you like!) because even when we are not up to the glory of former days, God is ready to do new things for us and always delighted when we turn to Him through His (and our) friends, the Saints.
Plus as the days roll along, the news of much suffering reaches our ears, and we are grateful to be able to pray for all those we love, all those whose crosses are heavy, and more recently, too, all those who have lost someone they love. There are no words capable of doing what we so desire to do - to console the afflicted in such a way that we take away their pain and suffering - but then again, there are words that can help immensely and perhaps even as much and more than we hope: namely, the words of our prayers. God's love is infinite - so very infinite! His mercy is everlasting and ever new, and He longs to pour it out upon us. He does so even before we ask, but when we ask, we delight His Heart as well as Him delighting ours.
And so, in the spirit of the previous novenas here, know that ALL your intentions are included. Marcel and I have been praying for Padre Pio's intercession since last week, and we invite you to join us for the duration. We found a most beautiful prayer and as we continue to say it, we are moved by its absolute fittingness to the situations we and those we love find ourselves in these days.
Since we like to do even little things a little big here, I'm going to start our novena prayers with our petition to Our Blessed Mother for everything and everyone - as our hearts grow bigger, this prayer seems to include the whole world - and then I'll give you our prayer to St. Padre Pio who, along with little Therese, cherishes the opportunity to make Jesus' love known to us by being very near.
You can say these prayers 9 times at once, or 3 times a day, or once a day, or once altogether! In fact, when typing out the prayer to Padre Pio, my angel and I found a way to divide it into 9 petitions, so just reading-praying it over once means you've covered the numerical requirements of a perfect novena! For simple souls, there must be no complicated ways, and for forgetful souls, sometimes all-at-once is our best hope of reaching the finish line!
One of my prayers today is that you know that you are loved and are part of something much bigger than yourself: that is, the Mystical Body of Christ whose Heart is ALL Love! I pray too for your confidence, because as our sister Therese taught us, it is confidence, and nothing but confidence that must lead us to that Love, but I know confidence can seem hard to find. My best suggestion is that if your confidence feels low, join us in co-opting Pio's and Therese's! Our brother and sister in Heaven have no need for their enormous confidence now that they SEE God face to Face, so I ask them to bequeath that confidence to us! And now, not worrying about the former things except to praise God for them, let us RUN together, and see what Our Father has ahead for us in this spate of new things, this torrent of His infinite Love which makes the desert of our hearts into very watered and flourishing places . . .
Ready? Asking our guardian angels to help us pray, let's go:
An Old French Prayer for Friends
Blessed Mother of those whose names you can read in my heart, watch over them with every care. Make their way easy and their labors fruitful. Dry their tears if they weep; sanctify their joys; raise their courage if they weaken; restore their hope if they lose heart, their health if they be ill, truth if they err, and repentance if they fall. Amen.
Prayer to Padre Pio for Help in Difficult Situations and Hard Times
Padre Pio, the Lord has given you the gift to carry out extraordinary works, I ask you in prayer to obtain, by your intercession, His powerful help to overcome this difficult moment.
Padre Pio, the Lord's faithful servant, the Church honors you as one who shares in the Divine Mercy; help me, come to my rescue, free me from this moment of overwhelming difficulty.
O Padre Pio, you have always been consolation in human suffering; you've given relief and peace, joy and favors, hear my voice, my prayer; I'm truly in need of your help to come through this difficult situation that is putting a strain on my life.
Dear Padre Pio, help me in this time of trouble, as my efforts seem vain . . .
I plead with you, guide me and strengthen me; let me not be abandoned in my desperation.
Padre Pio, I turn to you in prayer to seek refuge and protection, be a father to me and those I love.
Fill the emptiness in our lives, fill us with joy and hope.
Show us yet again your love, oh dear Padre Pio, and bring us before our omnipotent God so we may have all the help we need (make your particular petitions now with great faith and confidence - and remember, you can use Therese's and Pio's own confidence to supplement yours).
Renew each day my faith, body, spirit, and will - O Padre Pio, a Saint among men, intercede on our behalf and obtain for us peace, joy, and Jesus abiding in our hearts to banish all anxiety and fill us with Himself. Amen.
Draw me, we will run!
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