Day 2, 3 & 4 - Novena to the Saints in Heaven for the saints on earth - 27th October 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

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:

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

"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.

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Amen

Day 3 Novena Reflection

In its treatment of the ancient creed's profession of the "communion of Saints" the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

"After confessing "the holy catholic Church," the Apostles' Creed adds "the communion of Saints." In a certain sense this article is a further explanation of "What is the Church if not the assembly of all the Saints?

The communion of Saints is the Church.
AND WE ARE MEMBERS OF THAT COMMUNION CALLED THE CHURCH

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

In the Second Century, St Cyprian wrote:
Whoever has God for His Father, has the Church for His Mother

And the great Bishop of Hippo, Augustine, always spoke of the WHOLE CHRIST, Head and Body, as joined and inseparable.

In other words, we are joined together, NOW, with all who have gone before us, as we pray in the Liturgy, marked with the sign of Faith.

And the Catechism of the Catholic Church explains:

"Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others... We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head...Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments."

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

"As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund."

The term "communion of saints" therefore has two closely linked meanings: Communion in holy things (sancta)" and "among holy persons (sancti)." (CCC # 946-948a)

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.

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Amen

Day 4 Novena Reflection

In Matthews Gospel, we read these challenging words of Jesus:

Jesus said to his disciples: "You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust."

"For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (St. Matthew 5: 43-48)

 

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

How can we be 'Perfect?" What does it mean? What does holiness mean? Can we all become holy?

The admonition from Jesus is clear and undeniable. It is repeated in other Gospel accounts and developed in several New Testament Epistles.

Our problem with understanding and responding to the passage is twofold; we misunderstand the meaning of the word and we have a limited our comprehension of the goal of the fullness of salvation in Jesus Christ.

The Greek word often translated in the New Testament as perfect is telios. Telios refers to something being completed, brought to its full purpose, potential and intended end and vocation.

For example, in the world of objects, a hammer is telios or perfect when it is hammering a nail. In the world of subjects, things are telios or perfect when they are fulfilling their nature.

The One through whom we were first created, is re-creating us now through His grace - as cooperate and choose to live our lives now in Him. Yet, we do not yet perceive who we are to become.

 

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

The beloved disciple John explained in his first letter, "Beloved, we are God's children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. " (1 John 3:2)

We are called even now to become like Him. We are called to be "perfected" or completed in Jesus Christ.
We are called to holiness, to sanctity, 
We are called to become saints.

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.

 

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

 

Novena to the Saints in Heaven

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.

Amen

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