Blessed are you… | 2017 Novena to the Immaculate Conception
Each day of the novena we will honor our Lady by taking the time to pause, reflect, and pray for her intercession as we prepare for her feast day on December 8th.
We will be reflecting on the beatitudes with St. Josemaria Escriva to help deepen our understanding of them and to ask our Lady, whom all generations call blessed, to help us find true happiness in our daily lives.
“The Gospel of the beatitudes… is God’s prescription for human holiness and happiness (see Mt 5:1-12), but they aren’t things that would naturally be your ‘first pick.’ Yet the Lord solemnly pronounces ‘blessed’ those who accept and even seek many of the conditions that people try to avoid. (…) By losing ourselves for Christ we find our true selves in Him—and as both children and aspiring saints, our profile needs to match the outlines drawn by Jesus in the beatitudes, because it is His own ‘profile.’ There is none purer, poorer, more meek and merciful, than the Son of God Himself” (Fr. John Henry Hanson, O. Praem; The Formation of Saints: The Beatitudes Form Christ within Us).
2017 DAILY REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS
Day Nine: “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:1-2,11-12)
IMMACULATE AND FULL OF GRACE
“The divine Motherhood of Mary is the source of all the perfections and privileges with which she is endowed. Because of it, she was conceived immaculate and is full of grace; because of it, she is ever virgin, she was taken up body and soul to heaven and has been crowned Queen of all creation, above the angels and saints. Greater than she, none but God. ‘The Blessed Virgin from the fact that she is the Mother of God has a certain infinite dignity which comes from the infinite good, which is God.’ There is no danger of exaggerating. We can never hope to fathom this inexpressible mystery; nor will we ever be able to give sufficient thanks to our Mother for bringing us into such intimacy with the Blessed Trinity.
“We were sinners and enemies of God. Redemption has not only freed us from sin and reconciled us with Our Lord. It has also made us into children of God and has given us a Mother, the very Mother who gave birth to the Word when he took human nature. Could there ever be a greater, more generous, outpouring of love? God longed to redeem us and, in his infinite wisdom, could have chosen many different ways of carrying out his most holy Will. He chose one which dispels all possible doubts about our salvation and glorification. ‘Just as the first Adam was not born of man and woman, but was formed of earth, so also the last Adam, who was to heal the wound of the first, took a body formed in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, in order to be, in his flesh, equal to the flesh of those who sinned.’”
St. Josemaria Escriva
Friends of God, no. 276
WHY A NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION?
The Novena to the Immaculate Conception is a custom that flourished in the Church as a way of preparing for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8.
St Josemaria Escriva encouraged everyone to practice this devotion and to do so personally in whatever way they thought best. In addition to special prayers and readings, our devotion can also include a greater effort to keep up a constant conversation with our Lady and to put loving care into our prayer and daily tasks. During the novena we can also help our family members, friends and acquaintances to come closer to Jesus Christ through our Mother Mary.