Start the month with reading this months theme. The meditation and the text will give you the topic for meditation for the whole month. The novena prayer below is used as you wish: every day, every week or once a month. It is the same prayer for the nine months novena.
Fruit of the Spirit: KINDNESS
Mankind is a family; and so is the Church; therefore, Little Thérèse is our sister, which she became in a deeper sense on April 9th, 1888, when she entered the Carmelite convent in Lisieux. She had been raised in a family that was open and life-giving, even to those outside of it; she therefore knew that the true and divine kindness is never exclusive. Kindness should apply to “ALL who dwell in the house; without exception “(S S p. 199), i.e. even to those whom we personally have not chosen and whom we emotionally do not “like” and who may in no way share our beliefs nor our choice of life. Little Thérèse exemplified this when she decidedly acted against her natural antipathy towards a sister and did “all that I would do for the one I hold dearest”. M. and Mme Martin also showed their kindness when they had to accept soldiers into their own home.
Week 14: That everyone with a vocation to the consecrated life may prove, in words and deeds, to be true brothers and sisters of the Risen Lord.
Week 15: That we may be given the supernatural insight that our neighbour is a beloved sister or brother.
Week 16: That our families and communities may be open and life-giving even to those who do not belong to them.
Week 17: That we may choose to show kindness even to those whom we perhaps dislike.
Novena prayer to St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face
(We use this prayer for nine months)
Dear St. Thérèse, little flower of Jesus,
with joy and gratitude I look forward to your visit
to Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Island and Finland
in company of your holy parents.
I ask you to prepare me for your visit,
so that I can receive all the grace
God wants to give me by means of it.
I ask you to pray for our countries
and for our Catholic dioceses here.
Little Thérèse, scatter your rose petals of grace over our families
– so that they more and more may resemble your family.
Pray especially for our priests and for vocations to religious life.
Pray for Carmel in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Island and Finland.
Pray for all children, for those who are elderly, for the lonely and suffering.
Dear St. Thérèse, you who wanted to spend your heaven doing good on earth,
receive then also this special intention of mine,
which I trustfully place in your hands (say your intention).
Dear St. Thérèse, I want to become a saint.
Teach me to love Jesus like you,
with a pure and undivided heart
and trustfully to surrender my life to God’s Merciful Love
through the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Lead me on your little way
so that I speedily may reach perfect love. Amen.
Our Father… Hail Mary… Glory…
The fruits of the Spirit grow as we stick to the Tree. Little Thérèse experienced this at the time of her first communion. When she “was united with the divine Power”, she, the exiled, was filled with “all the joy of Heaven”, and because of its greatness and depth she could only cry. People around her misunderstood her, but during the family celebration that ensued this joy was transformed into a “calm joy”. The joy she tasted in that moment would, by Christmas, become a persistent source of joy, as she learned that this kind of joy follows from one “forgetting oneself for the sake of others’ happiness.” So it was for her mother Zélie too, who once she started living entirely for her children found all her joy in them. Communal life, such as is family life, produces joy in us if we forget ourselves for Jesus’ sake in order to attend to the happiness and joy of others.
- Week 9: That all the children now preparing for their first Communion may experience the same deep encounter with Jesus as Little Thérèse did. And that catechists and parents may receive God’s grace and assistance to help prepare the children for such a wondrous sacrament.
- Week 10: That the hope of Heavenly joy may bring comfort and joy to all who suffer and mourn.
- Week 11: That we in our communities and families for the sake of Jesus may choose to forget ourselves so that we may give joy to others
- Week 12: That all parents may experience what the saints Zélie and Louis discovered, that children are one’s joy in life, and that they may be given the help and wisdom to raise their children for Heaven.
- Week 13: That we may all, who now enter Holy Week with Jesus, remain faithful to Him and, like Him, carry the crosses that come our way, as to partake with Him in the joy of Resurrection.
February: Patience and Forbearance
St. Thérèse writes that “perfect love means to show forbearance with the defects of others, not to be surprised at their weaknesses” and that she herself wouldn’t be able to love perfectly unless Jesus “himself loved” through her. She showed this perfect love in practice towards her sisters in the convent for instance by helping Sr St. Pierre and being indulgent with the sister who made a noise during prayer time. Perhaps her patience was most severely tried when she was lying on her sickbed. When she once had failed to show patience she wrote, not without a hint of irony, to Sr Agnes: “Alas! Tonight I have really shown you my virtues and my treasures of patience!” But she is happy that Jesus now gets the chance to be patient with her. She meets her own lack of patience with patience.
Week 5: That we in our families and communities out of love may show forbearance with each other’s differences, weaknesses and deficiencies.
Week 6: That we may fully trust Jesus’ own power and ask for it when our patience is tried.
Week 7: That all who suffer in body or soul may get patience and strength to bear each day’s burden.
Week 8: That we may have patience with ourselves and trustfully get up when we have fallen.