As we continue with our family Novena 2022, allow me to say something on what a NOVENA is.
Novena is a common and spiritually enriching prayer experience commonly used within the Church. There are a few essential guidelines to keep in mind, but there is no single “right” way to pray a novena.
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- Know what a novena is.
A novena is a traditional form of Catholic prayer. Those praying a novena recite a specific prayer or a series of specific prayers with a certain request or intention in mind. This practice continues over the course of nine days or nine hours.
- Understand what a novena is not.
A novena is not a magic spell. In other words, praying a novena does not guarantee that a miracle will occur, and the mere words of your chosen novena do not hold any set power alone. It is the act of devotion you display by praying a novena that has spiritual significance.
- Know the history of the novena.
After Jesus ascended to Heaven, Mary, the Apostles, and other devoted disciples prayed constantly for nine days until Pentecost Sunday. Catholics looked to this example and, from it, derived the practice of praying nine-hour, nine-day and nine months novenas.
- Ask yourself why you want to pray a novena.
As noted already, a novena is not a magic spell that will answer all your needs and wants. Nonetheless, there are spiritual benefits that can be derived from reciting a novena, and these benefits should not be overlooked.
Note the four basic categories.
Most novenas can be classified within one or more of four categories:
Mourning, preparation, Prayer, and indulgence. Some novenas may fall into more than one category.
- Determine your intention.
As previously noted, novenas are prayers recited with a specific intention in mind. Before you begin your novena, get a clear idea of the intention for which you are praying your novena.
- Consider including other spiritual practices alongside your novena.
Since novenas are an act of devotion, reciting them while performing other spiritually significant acts of sacrifice and devotion can further emphasize the seriousness of your intention. For instance, consider fasting or meditating throughout the novena period.
- Stay committed.
Once you decide to start praying a novena, stick with it. While there are no punishments for quitting halfway through, finishing the practice can be spiritually beneficial, regardless of whether or not your original request has been answered by the end of the novena period.