It's a chilly Divine Mercy Sunday here and the little one and I have been up since 4 am. We had plans as family to attend Mass despite Josh's crazy work schedule, but now, I'm hoping my little one will crash within the next few hours and allow his daddy to sleep in and me to slip away to Mass for one-on-one time with the Lord, especially since I forgot to pray my Divine Mercy Chaplet yesterday evening.
Now, I love a good novena as much as the next subscriber to Pray More Novenas email list, but I've found that mindset surrounding wasn't necessarily accurate. Novenas are nine days of prayer dedicated to a particular set of intentions and a particular intercessor. You pray the written prayers that have been determined as the novena until the time frame is up. I have found a lot of grace and mercy in novenas, including prayers answered for finances and for our marriage. There is so much fruit available when you really commit to praying and asking someone else, closer to God in Heaven, to pray for you too.
But novenas are not magic spells. Length and accuracy are not directly related to their effectiveness! If you miss a day, it can be easy to conclude that there's no point in going on, but sisters, God doesn't exist in our time! If you missed the Divine Mercy chaplet novena yesterday like I did, because of a great day with your family, then offer up two today with deep sincerity and faith. If this is the first you're reading about a Divine Mercy novena, set aside time before and after Mass and pray three before and three after. You can do the remaining three before bed tonight (they're pretty short).
God does not need a loud, showy performance of prayer that is nine days long. God only wants your sincerity of heart when you turn to Him. Your intentions behind the prayer, the purposefulness within your heart and soul are what create powerful prayers. Recall the Jesus' parable about the two men praying. One was flashy and loud, condemning the poor tax collector in the back of the temple who was fervently repenting before God quietly in his own heart. Who did Jesus say would receive his reward in Heaven? The tax collector!
Through St. Faustina, Jesus and Mary gave us a beautiful set of prayers that fill us with grace when we pray them like the tax collector. God will pay us a full day's wage, regardless of when we started. Don't let the excuse that you forgot prevent you from participating in powerful prayers today, sister!
Similar to New Year's resolutions, Lenten resolutions have a tendency to be set intentionally and then lack the purposeful follow through needed to actually keep them. We have great aspirations for ourselves after deep thought that often lack follow through. With that in mind, I want to share one my Lenten additions with you to help you check in with how you are doing thus far!
Ignatian spirituality includes a daily examen that reflects on the past day (or in this case past few weeks) with great intention and the help of the Holy Spirit. Something I really love about the examen is that it does not just focus on the negative of our day, but also encourages us to reflect on and relish the good in each day. Just follow these 5 R's:
Don't give into the temptation to just give up because Lent hasn't gone the way you intended so far. Make a prayer of contrition and penance and then firmly resolve to do better each and every day.
You got this friend, wherever you are in your journey.