Community Novena – Day 9 Generosity

 

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus. And thank you for the men and women who have made a gift of themselves by entering religious life. Holy Spirit, please share your Wisdom and Counsel with us during this novena. We ask you to speak to our hearts now in this time of quiet prayer.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for the good gifts that you have given us in our lives and particularly during this novena. We ask that you inflame our hearts with a desire to generously give ourselves to you and others. Please show us how we can use our unique gifts and talents to build up the body of Christ. We ask that you clearly reveal our next steps and give us the inspiration, courage and resources to do your will. Amen.

Community Novena – Day 8 Faith

 

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus. And thank you for the men and women who have made a gift of themselves by entering religious life. Holy Spirit, please share your Wisdom and Counsel with us during this novena. We ask you to speak to our hearts now in this time of quiet prayer.

Heavenly Father, help us to draw closer to you in prayer so that we may serve you with the same gifts that you have given us. Teach us to praise you with words, with silence, with music, with art and with our actions. You are goodness, truth and beauty and for all that you have given us to deepen our faith, we give you thanks and praise. Amen.

Community Novena – Day 7 Hope

 

Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of your Son Jesus. And thank you for the men and women who have made a gift of themselves by entering religious life. Holy Spirit, please share your Wisdom and Counsel with us during this novena. We ask you to speak to our hearts now in this time of quiet prayer.

Heavenly Father, we ask especially for the virtue of hope. Though our direction may have changed radically, we have hope in your plan for our lives. Be with us when we feel confused and give us a deep and abiding hope. Help us to share this hope with others who are in difficulty and be a light to the world.

Community Novena – You’re Invited!

Hello Everyone!

You’re invited to pray a novena with us June 20-28.

Listen to the audio invitation below for more information. Each day I’ll post a new reflection on this page.

 

Hi Everyone, it’s Theresa!

I’d like to invite you to be an active part of our apostolate by praying with us for two minutes per day for nine days starting on June 20 and ending on June 28, The Sacred Heart of Jesus.

June 16 is Leonie’s feast day so I thought it would be a great day to announce this exciting opportunity.

Each day I’ll post a 2 minute recording with a short prayer and a time of quiet reflection.

I’m confident that at the end of the novena, things will happen. I can’t wait to hear about what God says to you in your prayer and what comes up in your heart.

Please join us June 20-28. God bless you!

Novena playlist can be viewed here

When Doing Less is More

By Belle.

One of my favourite passages in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass (the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) recounts an incident between Alice and the Red Queen. The Red Queen starts to run, holding Alice by the hand. The Queen keeps crying out: ‘Faster! Faster!’ Just as Alice is beginning to feel that they are going as fast as they possibly can, so fast that they are almost flying, they come to a standstill. Alice is taken aback to see that they are in exactly the same place as before. She questions the Red Queen, who replies promptly:

‘If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that.’

The Red Queen’s comment, although frustrating for poor, tired Alice, feels very applicable to my spiritual life sometimes. With a perfectionistic temperament, I often have the nagging feeling that I have slowed down too much in my spiritual efforts and that if I ‘just did more’, all my problems would go away. My answer is to redouble my efforts, applying myself even more intently to daily spiritual exercises. Sooner or later, I discover to my exasperation that I still have the same problems. Just as for the Red Queen and Alice, determined sprinting seems to have left me in the same place.

At different times, the Lord in His great kindness has shown me that this isn’t His will. In fact, it is often the exact opposite that He is asking of me. He is asking me to wait, to slow down, and to let Him act in His own time.

Fr Robert Spitzer, in his great book on enduring suffering with faith, The Light Shines On in the Darkness, points out that one of the Enemy’s tactic, when he sees Christians making some improvement in a virtue like humility, is to suggest that they could do even better, go a little faster, apply themselves harder. In doing so, he tries to push them into ‘exhaustion or spiritual pride—or both’. These insinuations that we need to go ‘faster, stronger, harder’, Fr Spitzer writes, are ‘usually the tactics of the Evil One’. The answer? ‘Go back to who God is – the Father of the prodigal son.’

The psychologist Dr Gregory Bottaro talks a lot in his Catholic Mindfulness lectures about the failure of the ruminating, ‘doing mind’ to solve our problems. Sometimes, he explains, the reality is counterintuitive: we have to exert less effort to move in the right direction.

As St Thérèse wrote, doctors put their patients to sleep before they operate on them. In the same way, the Lord who ‘gives to His beloved sleep’ (Psalm 127) can work miracles when we are not looking. Some of the greatest graces I have received have been when I felt spiritually exhausted and inactive.

Fr Jacques Phillippe, in his beautiful book In the School of the Holy Spirit, says: ‘The only commandment is to love. We can suffer in love, but we can also rejoice in love and rest in love.’

It is very true that the ‘love of Christ urges us on’ (2 Corinthians 5:14) But at the same time, He ‘gives us rest in green pastures’ and ‘leads us near restful waters’. And sometimes it has been at the very hardest times in my life that He desired that rest for my spirit.      

This Palm Sunday, listening to Luke’s account of the Passion, I was struck by the last words of the reading: ‘And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.’ (Luke 23:56)

These holy women were in deep grief and mourning. Their hearts were broken; Jesus was dead. But they still faithfully did the one thing that God was asking them to do: they rested. And how great was their reward the next day! On Easter Sunday, the time would come for action again. The holy women would begin running again in joy to spread the news of the Resurrection.

Good Friday was the time to suffer in love. On Holy Saturday, the call was to rest in love. And on Easter Sunday, the call was new again: this time to rejoice in love.

As women, we can easily feel guilty for not ‘doing’ enough, whether in our personal, professional or spiritual lives. It is beautiful and freeing to discover that at times, all the Lord might be asking of us is to fulfil our daily tasks peacefully, even restfully, and wait for Him to ‘make all things new’.