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!
There are many who consider Sunday worship the extent of their duties as Catholics. They will attend Mass consistently, give alms, and pray faithfully during the hour or so that they spend in God's presence each weekend. But when we are called to serve God, we are called to serve seven days a week, not just on our day of rest.
Everyday discipleship is frequently counter to our surrounding culture. It demands a self-giving love from us that pushes us to put others before ourselves. In a culture of "me, me, me", it can be difficult to even know how to do this, let alone do it in a crowd of people all moving in a different, self-serving direction.
Depending on your vocation, everyday discipleship may look a little different. Mothers at home with their children cannot serve that way a diocesan priest can. A single man can perform acts of a service that a cloistered nun cannot (and vice versa). Regardless of your vocation, there are seven things we can try and incorporate into our day-to-day in an effort to be active disciples of Christ every single day.
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