Novena to St Catherine - Day 2

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Novena to St Catherine - Day 2

Dominican Nuns Ireland
Published by Dominican Nuns Ireland in Reflections (Dominican) · 21 April 2024
Tags: stcatherineofsienanovenatostcatherinefeastdaypatron
Novena to St Catherine - Day Two

Novena Prayer
The holy virgin, Saint Catherine, never ceased praying to God
to let peace return to His holy Church, alleluia.

V/: Saint Catherine of Siena, pray for us.
R/: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Almighty God, you made St Catherine of Siena a contemplative lover of the Lord’s sufferings
and an ardent servant of your
Grant, through her prayer that your people may be united
to Christ in His mystery,
and rejoice forever in the revelation of
His glory.

We make our prayer through Christ our Lord.

Vocations Sunday
21st of April (Fourth Sunday of Easter - Vocations Sunday)

The 2nd day of our Novena to St Catherine is also the 4th Sunday of Easter – Vocations Sunday – a day of prayer for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. In Ireland it also marks the end of a year for Vocations to the Diocesan Priesthood. With the current state of Vocations in Ireland, there is a big temptation to keep this day of prayer and pray for Vocations but not really believe that it will make any difference. St Catherine’s Dialogue provides a helpful message to counteract this.

A frequently recurring theme in her Dialogue is the appalling state of the Church in her time, due to the sins of the clergy, religious and lay-people, and that this is not a cause for despair but rather a call for faithful souls to devote themselves to prayer and sacrifice for the renewal of the Church.

In the early pages of the Dialogue God the Father says:
"I tell you further: the more the mystic body of holy Church is filled with troubles now, the more it will abound in delight and consolation. And this shall be its delight: the reform of good holy shepherds who are flowers of glory, who praise and glorify my name, offering me the fragrance of virtue rooted in truth. This is the reform of the fragrant blossoming of my ministers and shepherds – not that the fruit of this bride needs to be reformed, because it never spoils or is diminished by the sins of its ministers. So be glad, you and your spiritual farther and my other servants, in your bitterness. For I, eternal Truth, promise to refresh you, and after your bitterness I will give you consolation, along with great suffering, in the reform of holy Church.(DIALOGUE 12)

Bring then, your tears and your sweat, you and my other servants. Draw them from the fountain of my divine love and use them to wash the face of my bride. I promise you that thus her beauty will be restored. Not by the sword or by war or by violence will she regain her beauty, but through peace and through the constant and humble prayers and sweat and tears poured out by my servants with eager desire. (DIALOGUE 15)"

Another important message is that all of this is by God’s gift and God’s grace:
"But is seems they do not believe that I am powerful enough to help them, or strong enough to aid and defend them against their enemies, or wise enough to enlighten their understanding, or merciful enough to want to give them what is necessary for their salvation, or rich enough to enrich them, or beautiful enough to give them beauty, or that I have food to feed them or garments to re-clothe them.Their actions show me that they do not believe it. (DIALOGUE 140)"

I see this as a reminder that God can, and will, call many young men to the priesthood, but he also requires our faith, our trust and our willingness to pray “unremittingly” as the early Church did when Peter was arrested in Jerusalem (Acts 12:5). Let us, therefore, pray unremittingly that many young men will hear and answer God’s call and, in particular, that our Dominican Brothers will receive eight novices this year, in honour of the 800th Anniversary of their arrival in Ireland.

(Artwork: St. Catherine of Siena by Fr. Henry Flanagan, O.P., Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda)


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