Here we are again, starting the Church's New Year (the first Sunday of Advent) immediately on the heels of a uniquely American holiday, Thanksgiving, a day specifically ordained for the cause of giving thanks as a nation to our Creator. What a joyous union of our great country's secular and religious priorities!
To start off your Church New Year, I'd love to share with you a cherished novena, commonly known as the "Christmas Novena" or the "St. Andrew's Novena" (the former so named for its last day; the latter so named for its first). This novena is to be recited 15 times per day (yes, you read that correctly -- fifteen times per day...I know, whew!) from Monday, November 30th (the Feast of St. Andrew) through Christmas Day (the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord).
This is piously believed to be a powerful novena!
Think it's too much?
So, break up your recitations -- pray five at breakfast, five at lunch, and five at dinner or bedtime. Maybe post a few copies of the prayer throughout your house (scroll down for a copy!), along with your Christmas decorations, praying it as you move throughout your day. Maybe pray it as a family, assigning each person or child to pray it at least one, two, or five times per day to make a family total of fifteen.
Is it magic? No.
Is it fool proof? No. (Remember, I'm praying it, too!)
Does it not "count" if you miss a day or miss a recitation? Who knows.
No --I meant "Who" purposely with a capital "W." God knows. Only God knows. Only God knows what's in your heart and mind this Advent and Christmas season. Only God knows why you might need this novena and actually were inspired to click on this e-mail from that crazy lady in Savannah. Only God knows the efficacy of our prayers.
Only God, the Creator of the universe and of YOU, came down from on high as a helpless Infant Child, specifically to rescue YOU from the insanity of life as a flawed human being. Remember, He made you. He made you to know, LOVE, and serve Him and to be happy with Him forever in Heaven.
He loves you.
Please join me in TRYING to pray this novena, TRYING to focus at least a portion of our increasingly busy December days on the Infant Christ, Who is to come. He is coming to save the world -- to save YOU!
Hail and blessed be that incomprehensibly vast and singular moment of His arrival.
Please join me in prayer for a very merry Christmas, indeed! Enjoy! :-D
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God! to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.