For many, many years our parish family have gathered to pray the Novena and the Litany to the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the First Friday of each month. We offer this prayerful devotion following the ultimate act of worship, our Eucharistic Liturgy. A Novena is usually nine days or nine months in duration, although ours is continuous. A Novena allows those making it to profess their faith in the love of God, to express their trust in his providential care, and to seek his intercession in their lives. When I first began my priesthood in Irwin we shared in the Miraculous Medal Novena.
I thought that I might share the Novena Prayer that we prayed this morning, a prayer addressed to Jesus in the love of his most Sacred Heart.
"Divine Heart of Jesus, to you we have recourse. In you we find consolation when afflicted, protection when persecuted, strength when overwhelmed with trials and light in doubt and darkness.
We firmly believe you can bestow on us the graces we implore. We are most unworthy of your favors, but you are the God of mercies and will not refuse a contrite and humble heart.
Remembering your words: "Ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you"; mindful, too that from your Sacred Heart have come words of tenderness and pleading love: "Come to Me, all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you"; we come to you now with childlike confidence to make our pleas in this Novena. [Pause here to make your petition.] But, if what we ask is not for the glory of God and the saving of souls, answer our prayer in the way you know best. Whatever may be your decision with regard to our requests, we will never cease to adore, love and serve you. Amen.