A Novena Worked When I Needed It
Around the feast of the Immaculate Conception, I ran into a copy of a novena. If you aren’t familiar with novenas, you typically say the prayers for nine days making a specific request or prayer intention. Here is the text for this one:
Oh Immaculate Virgin Mary, preserved from the slightest stain of sin, and enriched with all the treasures of divine grace. I thank you for the many blessings I have received through your most powerful intercession. You know my needs, my trails, my sufferings. Mother of mercy, I beseech you to hear my prayer, and to obtain for me of your Divine Son the favors I seek in this novena.
(Here make your requests)
O Mother most pure, guide me in dangers, enlighten me in doubts, strengthen me in temptation, and help me to bear the crosses of life in union with your Son, so that one day, with you, I might share His glory. Amen.
(Add your daily rosary)
Given my situation, the words of these prayers to Mary comforted me. I thought about some very specific prayer requests. I needed increased income and help paying my bills. But as I reflected some more, what I really wanted was peace. And I wanted peace for my wife who was experiencing even more difficulty due to her job loss than I was.
The final line of the prayers really hit me. “Add your daily rosary,” it said not, “Recite a rosary.” I heard it saying directly to me, “You know that rosary you should be saying daily. Do it here.” That clinched it for me so I started the novena the very next day.
I’d love to tell you the novena increased my income, led to instant inner peace, and resolved my financial worries. It didn’t. But interestingly enough, it did light in me a desire to pray the rosary. And by day six, I felt a calling to explore the mysteries of the rosary further. As I reflected upon them, and this time from the perspective of my current struggle, they spoke to me like they hadn’t before
I received a revelaton on day nine. I attended a local chamber of commerce meeting that Pilar, one of our Back on Track Network facilitators, attends. Pilar ended up giving me a ride home which led to an interesting conversation. After months of unemployment, she had started a virtual administrative assistant business. She wanted to include technical services as an offerings for smaller companies that lacked the necessary skills to do it themselves. And this included electronic marketing services which included websites and email campaigns. Coincidentally (NOT!) that was something requiring the exact skills I had been honing in my efforts to revamp our Back on Track Network’s website and launch Career Jockey. It seemed like the sort of synergy that would be an answer to my prayers – novena prayers
All these happenings gave me hope. My circumstances seemed more tolerable and had a more positive outlook. I could see things getting better. Which I know led me to recommit to another nine days and to another and to another.
Pray for my continued spiritual journey. Or better yet, pray a rosary for me. And I’ll do the same for you. . . daily.