Day 2 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
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Day 2 Novena Reflection
We are still joined in Jesus Christ with all who have gone before us because, in the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians in Rome, nothing can separate us from the love of God made fully present in Jesus Christ, including death. (Romans 8:38,39).
The Saints are a part of the eternal family to which we are now joined in and through Jesus Christ. They are part of that great cloud of witnesses which the author of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews makes reference in these inspired words of encouragement:
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfector of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:1-2)
Jesus never promised easy. He did promise to be with us always.
We are members of the family of Jesus. Our brothers and sisters are praying for us, offering both their example and their intercession.
One of my favorite readings in the Liturgy of the Hours is from a homily given by an Abbott and Doctor of the Church named Bernard of Clairvaux on this Feast entitled Let us make haste to our brethren who are awaiting us. Here is a portion:
'Why should our praise and glorification, or even the celebration of this feast day, mean anything to the Saints? What do they care about earthly honors when their heavenly Father honors them by fulfilling the faithful promise of the Son?
What does our commendation mean to them? The Saints have no need of honor from us; neither does our devotion add the slightest thing to what is theirs. Clearly, if we venerate their memory, it serves us, not them. But I tell you, when I think of them, I feel myself inflamed by a tremendous yearning.
Calling the Saints to mind inspires, or rather arouses in us, above all else, a longing to enjoy their company, so desirable in itself. We long to share in the citizenship of heaven, to dwell with the spirits of the blessed, to join the assembly of patriarchs, the ranks of the prophets, the council of apostles, the great host of martyrs, the noble company of confessors and the choir of virgins. In short, we long to be united in happiness with all the Saints.
But our dispositions change. The Church of all the first followers of Christ awaits us, but we do nothing about it. The Saints want us to be with them, and we are indifferent. The souls of the just await us, and we ignore them.
Come, brothers, let us at length spur ourselves on. We must rise again with Christ, we must seek the world which is above and set our mind on the things of heaven. Let us long for those who are longing for us, hasten to those who are waiting for us, and ask those who look for our coming to intercede for us.
We should not only want to be with the Saints, we should also hope to possess their happiness. While we desire to be in their company, we must also earnestly seek to share in their glory. Do not imagine that there is anything harmful in such an ambition as this; there is no danger in setting our hearts on such glory.'
All Saints of God, Pray for us
Novena Prayer to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth
Beloved Father, through the life, death and resurrection of your only begotten Son, Jesus the Christ, we have become your adopted sons and daughters.
Through Baptism we are now members of His Body, the Church, which is Your family.
Our Savior Jesus taught us that whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother. We thank you that promise includes each one of us.
As members of the family of Jesus we are now reunited to you, in Him. Through Baptism we have become adopted sons and daughters in your Beloved Son.
We now turn to you in prayer, through Him, with Him and in Him, in the unity of the Holy Spirit as OUR FATHER, ABBA.
We pray that, by the power of your Holy Spirit, you would raise up in our midst holy men, women and children, in every Nation, culture and walk of life.
Men, women and children who are so conformed to your Son Jesus that they make Him known by their words, deeds and life of love and sacrificial service.
Men, women and children who are saints for this urgent hour.
Men, Women and children who manifest the power of heaven on earth. Who continue the ministry of Jesus, your Son and our Savior, through signs of the kingdom to come.
May these holy men and women multiply - providing leaders and servants for a New Missionary Age of the Church.
And, we pray for ourselves and our families, that we could grow closer and closer to you, every day, that we would be transformed by your grace and our free cooperation with your grace - Empowered by your Holy Spirit to become new creations in Jesus Christ.
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