Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Randy Sly

6/4/2011 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The heart of any Novena is the same as the first one, called by our Lord Himself

For most converts from Protestantism the term Novena is quite strange, yet the Biblical account of the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary tarrying in the Upper Room after the ascension for nine days is quite familiar.The heart of any Novena is the same as the first one, called by our Lord Himself. "He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father."

Disciples and the Mother of the Lord in the Upper Room

Disciples and the Mother of the Lord in the Upper Room

Highlights

By Randy Sly

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

6/4/2011 (3 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Novena, Randy Sly, Prayer, Holy Spirit, Convert, Piety, charismatic


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - The Catholic Encylopedia on our site defines a Novena as "nine days' private or public devotion in the Catholic Church to obtain special graces." While the number eight in the Judeo-Christian tradition was always thought of as a festive number of new beginnings, the number nine seemed to be often linked with suffering.

On the tenth day, Pentecost, the Holy Spirit came upon them and the Church was born.

The heart of any Novena is the same as the first one, called by our Lord Himself. "He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father." (Acts 1:4, emphasis mine)

I remember hearing a sermon many years ago asking the question, "What if they had given up and left?" The persistence of the Christ's followers and His mother to wait for the promise ended in fulfillment. On the Feast of Pentecost, tongues of fire appeared of each of their heads declaring the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Nine day vigils were noted in Church history from the third century onward. By the middle ages novenas for the Pope and Cardinals were commonplace. Still today, whenever we undertake a novena of prayer, we are declaring that same supreme desire to wait for the promise, persevering with confidence until the end.

Either as a public or personal observance, a novena involves nine days of hopeful anticipation of an answer for the petition or intention for which prayers are being offered. Often a sense of urgency and earnestness accompanies these times. they are also a wonderful witness to a belief in the power of prayer and the dynamic role of genuine faith.

When we pray a Novena, we either pray the same prayer for all nine days or follow a list of prayers to be prayed for each day. Every novena is a bit different in the intention, formation of prayers and practice.

The Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to say, "The novena is permitted and even recommended by ecclesiastical authority, but still has no proper and fully set place in the liturgy of the Church. It has, however, more and more been prized and utilized by the faithful."

Parishes often offer a novena of Masses for the departed or for a special intentions, such as mothers and fathers or vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.

There are a number of Novenas, most of which focus upon Mary, St. Joseph, the Sacred Heart, particular Saints, a special theme such as Divine Mercy or the Holy Family, or preparing for Special Feasts. Often they are focused on special needs of the whole Church or a particular part of the Church.   

On the day after Ascension the Church often enters in to a Novena to the Holy Spirit, which culminates with the Feast of Pentecost. In our own day it is time to reach into the treasure house of the traditions of prayer within the Church and pull out treasures old and new. (Matt. 13:52) The Novena is just such a treasure.

We invite you to join us at Catholic Online in this time of focused prayer from now until the great Feast of the Birthday of the Church.We need a New Pentecost for the Church in the Third Millennium. Come Holy Spirit!

-----------------------

Randy Sly is the Associate Editor of Catholic Online. He is a former Archbishop of the Charismatic Episcopal Church who laid aside that ministry to enter into the full communion of the Catholic Church.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Living Faith

5 Disney movies you never knew had hidden religious messages Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disney movies are a well-known and well-loved part of most people's childhood. These stories talk and teach us things, like believing in ourselves and follow our dreams. Recently, the stories inspire courage and kindness, as well as forms of "true love." But viewers ... continue reading


5 excellent tips on how to read the Bible Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Bible is one of the most popular published books ever written in the history of life, but also one of the hardest to read and understand. Unlike most books published today, the Bible contains a lot of statements that are full of dates, metaphors and written to ... continue reading


Unholy political positions in the Holy Land Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

As the minds and hearts of Christians throughout the world focus on the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we naturally think of the Holy Land. Throughout much of history, in the land where the world's savior taught human beings to love one another as ... continue reading


200 Christian teachers denied day off for Good Friday Watch

Image of The 2014-2015 school years are the first time in recent memory that officials scheduled classes during both Good Friday and the Jewish holidays.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Rhode Island school district is being sued over the claim that 200 Christian teachers were denied requests to take Good Friday off from work. The teacher's union claims that the decision denies educators the two religious days that they are afforded in their ... continue reading


For the first time in over 150 years -- Blood of St. Januarius liquefies during Francis' visit to Naples Watch

Image of According to legend, Januarius was allegedly born in Benevento to a rich patrician family that traced its descent to the Caudini tribe of the Samnites.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

For the first time in over 150 years, the blood of St. Januarius liquefied in the presence of a pope this past weekend. The phenomenon occurred when Pope Francis visited Naples this past weekend. It was the first time the blood liquefied in the presence of a ... continue reading


Church to Canonize Mom and Dad of St Therese, Show the Holiness of Christian Marriage Watch

Image of Pictured: Louis and Zelie Martin, the Mom and Dad of St Therese
For those called to live their Christian life in a consecrated Christian marriage, it is in the domestic church where progress in the spiritual life finds its raw material. The question we face every day becomes whether we live Christian marriage and family as a Christian vocation by responding to grace.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Louis and Zelie married in France in 1858. They had nine children. Five entered a consecrated or religious life in the Church. We have 218 letters which were written by Zelie.  They record the naturally supernatural pattern of a very real, human and devout ... continue reading


Drinking the Chalice of the Lord: Facing Suffering, Struggle and Failure Watch

Image of All of those who bear the name Christian are invited to follow the path of Jesus' struggle, to walk along with Him on the way of His rejection. We too are invited to climb the mountain of His great saving act of unmerited selfless Divine love. Golgotha beckons.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

James was the son of Zebedee and brother of John. From faithful stock, we see in this encounter that some forms of zeal may indeed be genetic. In fact, the zeal in both of these brothers caused the Lord to name them the Sons of Thunder.(Mk 3:14-17) However, human ... continue reading


7 endangering myths Christians believe about other Christians Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Disheartening isn't it? But it has been observed that Christians are divided among themselves. This is not what God wanted, as expressed by the writings in the Scriptures. However, there are some issues between the believers that makes them not united as they should ... continue reading


Josephs Way: Joseph, Husband of Mary, Model for Christian Men Watch

Image of The Dream of Joseph led to the response of a life given over to God

By Deacon Keith Fournier

In an age that has lost its way, because it has succumbed to the selfish pursuit of illusory pleasure, Joseph needs to be lifted up as a model for men who truly want to follow Jesus Christ. It is time for Christian men to follow his example, and become men again. ... continue reading


Pope tells Nigeria's bishops to form united front against terror group Boko Haram Watch

Image of In addition to addressing various issues, the Pope praised Nigeria, with a population of more than 170 million people, and has experienced strong economic growth.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the emerging African economic powerhouse of Nigeria takes to the polls, Pope Francis, in a stirring message, has urged the country's bishops to build a united front against the Boko Haram terrorist group. Pope Francis' comments came in a letter to the ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-7
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 22:8-9, 17-18, 19-20, 23-24
8 'He trusted himself to Yahweh, let Yahweh set him ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 15:1-39
1 First thing in the morning, the chief priests, ... Read More

Reading 2, Philippians 2:6-11
6 Who, being in the form of God, did not count ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 29th, 2015 Image

St. Berthold
March 29: Considered by some historians to be the founder of the Carmelite ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter