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Novena

Novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic

 Today we being the novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic – before Vespers each evening for the coming nine days we have a short reflection followed by the singing of the ‘O Spem’ – a prayer reminding St Dominic of his promise that he would be more helpful to his brothers and sisters after his death than when he was alive.  Readers of this blog might like to join us in praying to St Dominic during these days:O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, that after your decease you would be helpful to your brethren.Fulfil Father what you have said and help us by your prayersYou shone on the bodies of the sick by so many miracles, bring us the help of Christ to heal our sick souls.Fulfil Father what you have said and  help […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 9

  The theme of ‘newness’ is woven into the Mass Readings for this 5th Sunday of Easter – ‘a new heaven and new earth; the new Jerusalem, a new creation’ and in the Gospel Jesus speaks of a ‘new commandment’.  At the Episcopal Ordination of our new coadjutor Archbishop on Sunday last, both he and Cardinal Brady commented on Archbishop Eamon’s motto: ‘Sing a new song to the Lord.’  To quote Archbishop Eamon “the new song is a song of love, that God unconditionally loves each one of us, despite our sinfulness and imperfections, and that the Lamb of God, who suffered and died to take away the sins of the world, has mercy on us.” But we must ensure that “it is the Lord’s song that we are singing, and not simply our own composition” and “we must sing in harmony with one another”  and our “new song […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 7

On this 7th day of our Novena, I would like to share an extract from “The Life of St. Catherine of Siena by Raymond of Capua”.  Blessed Raymond was St. Catherine’s Confessor and Spiritual Director. It illustrates St. Catherine’s love of the Blessed Eucharist and her frequent reception of it at a time when that was not common practice in the Church.“All who knew Catherine were well aware of her profound and characteristic reverence and devotion towards the Blessed Sacrament of the Body of our Lord.  She received the Sacrament so frequently that it was popularly reported that the “maiden Catherine receives Holy Communion every day,” and that she lived and kept up her strength on it without taking any other food.  Although in saying this they were not quite correct, still I believe they spoke in good faith, and to the honour of God, who always shows himself […]

Novena to St Catherine – Day 6

 In this Year of Faith, St. Catherine’s teaching on faith in the following letter can be helpful to all of us as we ponder her words: Letter T 31 to Madonna MitarellaMarch 1373 In the name of Jesus Christ crucified and of gentle Mary.Dearest and very loved mother and sister in Christ gentle Jesus, I Caterina, useless servant of Jesus Christ, send you greetings and encouragement in his precious blood. I long to see you a faithful servant in God’s sight, firm in the faith that gives joy and happiness to our soul. We must have the sort of faith our Saviour spoke of: “If you had faith as small as a grain of mustard seed and you commanded this mountain, it would move.” I beg you, dearest sister, to keep living in this faith.You wrote me that because of what has happened, you are placing your faith and […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 5

The Prayer of St. Catherine on which I am reflecting  today, is a typically Trinitarian one, calling on the Father as Power the Son as Wisdom and the Holy Spirit as Mercy.  Its concerns reflect St. Catherine’s pre-occupation:  Peace and unity for the Church, mercy for the world and the people to whom she was ministering, and strength for herself in the tension under which she found herself working.  PRAYERPower of the eternal Father, help me!Wisdom of the Son, enlighten the eye of my understanding!Tender Mercy of the Holy Spirit, enflame my heart and unite it to yourself!I proclaim, eternal God, `that your power is powerful and strong enough to free your Church and your people, to snatch us from the devil’s hand,to stop the persecution of Holy Church, and to give me strength and victory over my own enemies.I proclaim that the wisdom of your Son, […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 4

Reflection on Charity – from the Dialogue of St Catherine of Siena, Chap. 148 Enlarge your heart, daughter, and open your mind’s eye to the light of faith. See with what great love and providence I have created and ordained humankind to rejoice in my supreme eternal reward. I have provided everything in soul and body, for the imperfect and the perfect, for the good and the bad, spiritually and temporally, in heaven and on earth, in this mortal life and in the immortal.In this mortal life, so long as you are pilgrims, I have bound you with the chain of charity. Whether you want it or not, you are so bound. If you should break loose by not wanting to live in charity for your neighbors, you will still be bound by it by force. Thus, that you may practice charity in action and in will, I in my […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena – Day 2

Today is the 2nd day of the novena to St Catherine. It is also Vocation Sunday. So during the week as I was reflecting on St Catherine I had the theme of Vocations in mind also and today’s Gospel-‘I know my own and mine know me’. Somehow these converged for me in a single Gospel text-‘This is Eternal Life to know you the one true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’.This is the reason for our existence. This is why God created us, why He sent His Son to redeem us- so that we might know God, might participate in the very life of God, might experience being utterly and completely taken up into God’s love and be endlessly happy. The vocation of every human being is to fulfil this purpose for which we were brought into being. Our personal vocation is to discover and to follow […]

Novena to St Catherine of Siena, 2013 – Day 1

During the Novena to St Catherine, each evening before Vespers a sister shares a reflection or some extracts from her writings. We are happy to share these with our readers during the coming days.Day 1Recently we experienced the great joy of the Election of Pope Francis following the Retirement of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and as today we begin our Novena in preparation for St. Catherine’s Feast day, I was reflecting on her deep concern and zeal for the Papacy in her particular time of the Church’s history.For many eras, the Church has been truly blessed with wonderful Popes, each with his own personality and God given gifts has been one hundred per cent dedicated in responding to his high calling from God.   Pope Francis, no less than his predecessors faces  so many difficulties in our own particular historical situation both in the Church and in our world.  Surely we can […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 9

At the beginning of the Libellus – Blessed Jordan’s account of the beginnings of the Order, we read: “God’s Providence raised up the Order of Preachers as a remedy for the perils of these latter days.”   Other early biographical documents describe the world into which Dominic was born as a “world wrapped in darkness where the light was sinking” – where Dominic “shone like a new star” and as a “light that would illuminate with its beams the whole world”  – a light not just for his own time but has continued to shine, through the members of his Order, down to our own day when the darkness and confusion seem to grow even more intense and widespread. We are all part of that darkness through our own sinfulness, blindness and stubbornness.  Yet as Christians and followers of Dominic we are also called to be light in the midst […]

Novena to St Dominic – Day 8

Today’s liturgy leads us into the great mystery of the Transfiguration of our Lord, Jesus Christ. At Mass, we heard in the Gospel: “this is my Son, the Beloved, listen to him”. (Mk 9:8)Each line in the Scripture is an expression of the Eternal Father’s Word, calling us to LISTEN to that Word so that we might have “life in abundance” (Jn 10:10).Our entire existence is really a call to be a hearer and keeper of the Word of God. When we speak of hearing, it is FAITH first of all of which we speak. Thus ‘faith is the organ of hearing,’ and ‘believing and hearing the Word of God’ is one and the same.For me, St. Dominic is the best teacher of listening and obeying the Living Word.In the Legenda of St. Cecilia we are told “in the evening time, Dominic used to come to the sisters and […]