////Ad majorem Dei gloriam\\\\
Prayer of Peace
Do not look forward in fear to the changes in life; rather, look to them with full hope that as they arise, God, whose very own you are, will lead you safely through all things; and when you cannot stand it, God will carry you in His arms.
Do not fear what may happen tomorrow; the same understanding Father who cares for you today will take of you then and every day.
He will shield you from suffering or will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.
-St. Francis de Sales
Today is my last day of my 54 day novena to Our Lady for my vocation. I chose not to blog about it until the end. I wanted to share some thoughts.
What is the 54 day novena to Our Lady?
On March 3, 1884, a young girl named Fortuna Agrelli was graced with an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and given this special devotion which she passed onto others. At the time, young Fortuna was ill with 3 separate incurable diseases and her doctors had given up on her case saying it was hopeless. In desperation, the young girl and her family began a novena of Rosaries. Our Lady appeared to the girl, sitting upon a high throne, surrounded by luminous figures, holding the Divine Child on Her lap, and in Her hand a Rosary. The sick girl greeted the Blessed Virgin with the following words: “Queen of the Holy Rosary, be gracious to me, restore me to health! I have already prayed to Thee in a novena, O Mary, but have not yet experienced Thy aid. I am so anxious to be cured!” “Child,” responded the Blessed Virgin, “you have invoked Me by various titles and have always obtained favors from Me. Now, since you have called Me by that title so pleasing to Me, ‘Queen of the Most Holy Rosary’, I can no longer refuse the favor you petition; for this name is most precious and dear to Me. Make three novenas, and you shall obtain all.” Once more, the Queen of the Holy Rosary appeared to the young girl and said, “Whoever desires to obtain favors from Me should make three novenas of the prayers of the Rosary, and three novenas in thanksgiving.” Obeying Our Lady’s instructions, the young girl was healed and restored to perfect health.
I feel as though I may have done it wrong. I know I may not have done it wrong, but I don’t think I did if completely correct. I began this in a conscious effort to discover God’s vocation for me, be it religious life or marriage. If it were religious life, to show me in some manner, if it were marriage, to reveal my future spouse. All this I realized may have been too much a of a push from me, and could have been against God’s timing. I chose to start it because I felt I was in a good place in my discernment were it could go either way, religious life or marriage. I began it strong, and have continued to pray it continuously with out missing a day. For me this was a huge test of patience and perseverance. I have ADD so I forget things easily and get distracted way too often. Being that I do have ADD, the novena was tough. It was hard for me to focus on it and not get distracted, sometimes giving into the small distractions. It felt a bit repetitious, but then again it is the Rosary. I would sometimes spread it out during the day, which helped. had to make a conscious effort to meditate on it. I would say I did, at times, get lazy with it. I would put it off toward the end of the day, but it was a nice way to end my day. But when I did leave it until the end of the day, I felt at that I just needed to get it done and go to bed. This, I felt, is not what Our Lady deserves. There were times were I felt I should just stop, I was not doing it right. But I persevered, and I am glad I did.
I had to trust, trust in God’s Will and Our Lady. Recently, I came to the realization that I don’t trust in Jesus enough, leaving it up to Him enough. So this has been really nerve racking, because I don’t know if I started this over impatience and lack of trust in God’s timing. And if I did, and nothing comes from it, it’s my own fault. However, I also have to realize that I did it, and have to trust that through Our Lady, God heard my pleas and trust that He has my answer. I added a few times during my rosaries that I would be okay if it were not His timing to reveal just yet, and to place that peace in my heart. So as I wrap this beautiful prayer up, I have to remember that it may not happen immediately or with the answer I desire, but I need to TRUST.
It has been a beautiful experience. I have had many realizations come through during this time. My eyes have been open up to options I had never thought of. My prayer life has ultimately grown. I just feel so much more blessed. I feel more trusting. However, there is still a feeling of fear that lies in my heart. A fear that I will not get an answer, a fear that my prayers were not hear, a fear that I did it wrong, etc. I am glad to say though, as I meditate on these past 54 days, the graces over shadow the fears. God is truly GREAT and has sent His beautiful Mother to intercede for us. There is so much love planted in my heart following this novena and I know my Lord has somewhere or someone to place it with, all in His timing. He knows my impatience, but I am grateful for this test. I can’t believe it is coming to and end, it honestly went my so quickly. I look back at the abundance of things that I have done and that He has done in these 54 days and am just in shock. The Novena itself went by incredibly fast, but my life went on as normal with normal day-to-day activities. I whole-heartedly recommend this beautiful prayer. As I journey forward following the novena, I look forward to God’s answer and will. I believe now it is an exciting waiting game, filled with blessings and hope. I praise God for his mercy and love. I give great thanks to Our Lady for her kindness, ear, love, and prayers. I am so blessed. Thank you Lord, thank you Mother.
Madonna of the Streets, pray for us.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Make me O Mary, docile and obedient to the voice of the Lord.
Hail Mary, full of Grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed it the fruit of thine womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, mother of God. Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
I love you my great Mother.
I love you my merciful God.
The young girl who discovered the Little Way to God:
St. Therese of Lisieux
The bad boy turned good:
St. Augustine of Hippo
The young woman who tried to pacify Europe, preaching and writing letters to the Pope:
St. Catherine of Siena
The politician who refused to betray…