That's a lot of visuals to take in at one go, but we need to see what's coming down the pike (sofar as we can - which is not very far, I admit!), and what's coming is so lovely that we have four thousand words today before I've even started typing. You know, a picture is worth a thousand?
It turns out there are two VERY true things in my life at this juncture. Well, okay, three.
1. I have many friends who really need our prayers.
2. I'm practically a superhero when it comes to counting to 9.
3. The Saints are loving our attention, and now that they know what kind of fun we have with Marcel and Therese, they're all about getting in on the action!
So let's go in order here.
First, there are two lovely women who I am blessed to count as dear friends, and who are both so beaten down by suffering right now that they don't know which way to turn. I'm eternally grateful that I was in the right place at the right time, and so to some extent I've convinced them to turn to me! They both have children who are suffering, and come to think of it, that reminds me of a third friend, a man, who is also watching one of his children suffer these days, which is about the hardest thing a person can do. But as I say, God allowed our paths to cross, and so I'm thrilled and honored to spearhead more prayers to ease their hearts and obtain the miracles they and their children need. And if you who are reading this are neither of these 3 people or their children, that means you are yet another friend who just may have some unanswered prayers left in your outbox!
Second, there's this gift for counting to nine which has become almost a super power with me.
You see, I have no attention span for praying lately (yes, maybe my whole life, but that hardly concerns us here), which means I have a lot of free time during Mass on Sundays. And that, in turn, means I need to amuse myself, but with something approaching the sacred so I don't go home feeling too awful. (Ha! I do not go home feeling awful at all, because I have decided scrupples are for not for the likes of little souls!)
What I can do, though, that I find tremendously entertaining and seems, if not holy, at least not impious, is to count on my fingers to nine. Did you know that if you start with the thumb of your left hand (at least that's where I start) and count to your pinky and then start on your right hand (though if you started right, you next go left), if you stop before your pinky, you've counted nine? It is absolutely true, and very convenient!
Very convenient because it allows a person to quietly count out nine days in particular. like this:
October 5, St. Faustina, October 6, October 7, October 8, October 9, October 10, October 11, October 12, and BINGO October 13 (ring finger of right hand).
This is an amazing super power because 9 is a great holy number (3 of 3's) and a novena to boot. Which means that if I can go from October 5, St. Faustina, and get to October 13, 102nd anniversary of the miracle of the sun at Fatima, and hence a kind of Fatima feast (though I can't remember if it's official and I'm too lazy to look it up) - well that's exciting right there, isn't it?
We could start a novena on October 5, St. Faustina, and go straight into Fatima-day! How cool is that?!
But you know what else? Triple novenas are totally addictive! And impressive! You trot out those numbers, and people think you're some kind of liturgical expert rather than just a super girl with this one crazy super power of counting to 9 (and a really short attention span, and, happily, ten fingers)!
Because what comes next is this:
Starting on October 14 (just after finishing our first novena), if we count 9 days, we get to October 22 - the feast of our beloved Pope St. John Paul the second! And then - get ready, because we've got something even better coming next - if we count nine more days (doing a third novena, hence "triple novena"), we arrive at the Vigil of All Saints!!!
So what do you say? Do you begin to see where we're going with this?
I've received many wonderful responses to our first triple novena, including a request to re-post an interview I did with Michael Lichens (God bless him and his bride Sophia!) at Catholic Exchange. The re-post happened after I talked to my agent (ha!), and it happened at this truly spectacular website of the Padre Pio Prayer Group of Nashville.
And guess what? Those people in Nashville are something! You just connect them with the love and prayers of St. Padre Pio and kablooey! We're talking major miracles, and what's more, a whole group of saints who want in on the action! I hope you'll enjoy roaming around on their website which is HERE. (Not here as in on my blog, but HERE where the big letters are, both times!) Enjoy their amazing and edifying and completely inspiring faith-driven site, and if you scroll down a little, you'll see me and Marcel and Therese! Thrilling news for us little ones!
Meanwhile, a new friend of ours in Minnesota went to see St. Padre Pio's relics on guardian angel day, and while there, he prayed for everyone in our first triple novena!
Not to mention our Rome correspondent praying for us (she prayed for me, and my intentions, which of course include all of yours, especially since we've started this triple novena club) at a Carmelite church in Rome on St. Therese's feast day . . .
And then I'm expecting, thanks to the immense kindness of our friends in Nashville, 3rd class miracle working relics (well it is God who will work the miracles, thanks to the Saints' intercession, but these Saints are so much closer to us thanks to physical objects which have touched their holy bones!) - and they are slated to arrive if not tomorrow, on St. Faustina's day, just as we begin our next triple novena, at least very, very soon!
I think God couldn't be any kinder than He is!
As St. Therese explained, He is in fact much kinder than we imagine, and satisfied with a glance or sigh of love . . . Which means our prayers will be very simple for this triple novena, like they were for the last one. And if you don't get the prayers said every day - if you don't manage one day's prayer - know you are still covered, as if by a warm blanket that is really Our Lady's mantle, because you are in our hearts and we are all in this together!
First, then, from October 5, St. Faustina's day, up to October 13, Fatima day, let's say this prayer which Jesus taught Faustina. He told her that if said with confidence, it will convert a sinner! Isn't that great news? And if you don't feel much confidence, just do what I do and borrow St. Therese's confidence because she doesn't need it anymore, now that she sees Love face to Face! Here we go then, and if you want to say this prayer at 3 p.m., that's perfect. But if you want to say it when it occurs to you, go for that time too! Or if you simply say it now, how wonderful is that!?
"O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a font of mercy for us, I trust in You!"
And now, let's conclude with our secret handshake prayer, the one that entrusts the whole world to Jesus in five simple words:
Draw me, we will run!!!
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