Saint Ignatius's Novena - compiled by Grainne McEntee
As July 31st is the anniversary of St. Ignatius passing on from his human form into the spiritual realm,I have roughly translated his novena from the pamphlet distributed at the Casa. Its really beautiful& has great healing energy. This is a veryimportant time to invoke the Divine Power as we are reminded of Dom Ignacio's words concerning receiving graces from God
Saint Ignatius of Loyola was born in 1491 the youngest of 13 children into a noble Basque family of the castle of Loyola in Spain. Wounded in the field of battle in Pamplona when he was defending his king against French troops, the life of the 26 year old Ignatius changed dramatically. During his long convalesce in his paternal castle all he had to read was a biography of the saints and a book called the imitation of Christ. He decided after much meditation to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. He gave away his fine robes in exchange for sack cloth, surrendered his sword to our lady of Montserrat in Spain and retired into a rustic cave near this grotto to write his spiritual exercises - A guide about how to live a good life for the better glory of god (which is still very relevant in today's modern world) his life had changed forever.
The spiritual exercises are very much a part of Saint Ignatius Novena as they suggest a framework of prayer which helps us to get in touch with the stirrings in our hearts and to connect the events of our lives with those of the Christian gospel.
Each of the nine days of the novena we can reflect on the course of St Ignatius's conversion and walk in his footsteps as he began to dedicate his life to Jesus and in turn teaching us all to change our lives for the better.
Day 1 Contemplation in Action
St Ignatius of Loyola was a brave general in the army and he dreamed of a celebrated military career. At the age of 26 in the battlefield at Pamplona an enemy bullet shattered his knee as he recovered in his wealthy family castle at Loyola he read a book about the lives of the saints and began to ask himself ‘If these great saints made big sacrifices for God why can't I do the same?' He came to realise that marvellous divine graces were received when we allowed god to act in our lives.
Lord support us with your power and protection as we accept our commitment to your gospel. We walk with our brothers and sisters along this path, consciously making the world more just, fraternal and Christian as we all play our parts however small in this divine work.
With the blessing of our lady and the intercession of St Ignatius of Loyola allow us this grace as we humbly ask for it this moment (make a petition here) for the love of Christ our Lord. Amen
Day 2 Devotion to Our Lady
St Ignatius of Loyola cultivated a most profound devotion to Our Lady through his life. He walked to the grotto of the Queen of Heaven in Montserrat in Spain and surrender his sword at her feet making an all night vigil of prayer as he prostrated himself in front of her.
Under the eye of Mary he retired into a cave in Manresa beside the River Cardoner and wrote his now famous spiritual exercises. When in Rome he also venerated in a special way Our Lady of the road.
'Lord by the example of St Ignatius increase our veneration and love for Mary mother of the church, queen of apostles and missionaries.'
Day 3 Constructing God's kingdom
With the richness of St Ignatius personality and his progression on the path he was becoming a pilgrim of much importance. During this time he was filled with enthusiasm around the figure of Christ ... a presence Ignatius reminds us of constantly in the spiritual exercises ... So that we will love and follow him more'
Life is a pilgrimage. We are pilgrims of time on the eternal path. When we return to Christ we never turn our backs on our brothers and sisters. The Kingdom of God becomes our path and we are realising our belonging to God's great plans for us.
Day 4 The better glory of God
'I am the way the truth and the life' said Jesus Ignatius one day discovered the way and followed it generously. He saw the truth and embraced it without fear. And his life took another route ............a new direction. He was always searching for the better glory of god.
Ignatius founded the company of Jesus, a religious missionary order whose wish was for the church to serve Jesus mission with faith and the promotion of justice for all. He felt the impulse to change inside and to secure Jesus closer to his heart. Now the question arose that filled his deeds, thoughts and actions
'What have I done, am I doing and what can I do for Christ?' Spreading the gospel, making Jesus more known and loved, serving our brothers and sisters without rest and without looking for human rewards ... this was the main idea of St Ignatius and the Jesuits. He was a man of God but always had his feet firming planted on the ground.
Day 5 In Solidarity with Those Most in Need
Though from an affluent family himself, Ignatius deliberately chose the path of poverty in order to experience firsthand what the poor went through. This enabled him to reach out to them in a practical and tangible manner. Ignatius was aware in his day that poverty was the result of the selfishness of a few, and so constantly encouraged all those who came in contact with him to live lives of selfless service and thus become witnesses to the Kingdom of God here on earth.
Today, more than five hundred years after the death of St. Ignatius, we are living in a world that has become even more consumerist than it was at his time, and so are in even more urgent need of the awareness that Ignatius had, namely that it is basically our selfishness which is at the root of poverty, and the separation of the “haves” from the “have- nots”. Through our own lives and reaching out to those most in need we need like Ignatius to make known to others that is more important to “be more” than to “have more”.
Through the intercession of St. Ignatius we pray for the grace to be aware of our selfishness and desire to have more and realize that what is more important is to be more. God of the poor and the marginalized, we pray that through the intercession of St.Ignatius of Loyola who himself worked with the powerless, the sick and the needy, we too might have the grace to realize that you are primarily a God of the poor, and then have the courage to reach out to those who are in need. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.
Day 6 New Pentecost
After presenting the church with an instrument of communion and liberation the bishops of Latin America remind us'... This is the time of Mary ... time of the new Pentecost.
Holy Mary Patron saint of Brazil and Latin America help us to remain equanimous in work and prayer, placing faith and life in the way of the gospel. Following in the teachings of Ignatius we pray as all depends on god and act as all depends on us.
Day 7 The Gospel of love
Speaking about the Jesuits in Rome, Joao Paulo II reminds us ' among all this debris where hate and violence are planted we need to construct a civilisation based on the heart of Jesus' In this day and age where our spiritual paths are inactive it is a good time to reactivate the spiritual exercises of Ignatius so as to have a fundamental knowledge of Jesus Christ, his love for us and his actions. In a phrase of Ignatius 'nobody will know what God does for us if we keep setting up obstacles to receive his Grace'
Father, we often get disappointed when things do not go our way. We sometimes give in to despair and lose hope. Gift us with the gift of Ignatian indifference so that we may be able to accept everything that happens to us as your will in our lives. Let us learn to be content in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, all the days of our lives. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day 8 Options for helping the poor
As an example for children, for young people and simple folk, protector of the humble and the abandoned, St Ignatius wants every human to know the face of Jesus. Working his whole life for the betterment of the disenfranchised Ignatius revitalises the message of Isaiah ' The lord sent me to give good news to the poor, cure the broken hearted, free all those oppressed, and console all those afflicted.
PrayerGod of all creation, we often tend to let things slide and so become complacent and self-satisfied. We give in to the sin of mediocrity and are content with the status quo. We prefer the tried and tested ways and are afraid to try the new. We are afraid to make changes because of the fear of change. Give us the grace to strive always to make the good, better; the better, better still and the better still, still better. This we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Day 9 The Will of God
We know of the hardship of Jesus' life. His hidden life and his public life, always searching for his father's will and obeying his redeeming mission. As we learn to surrender to the divine power through the prayer of saint Ignatius of Loyola. Lord Jesus Christ, take & receive all my freedom, my memory, my understanding and my will. All that I have and cherish, you have given me. I surrender it all to be guided by your will. Your grace and your wealth and your love are enough for me. Give me these lord Jesus Christ and I ask for nothing more... Amen
“Lord, meditating on ‘our way of proceeding’, I have discovered that the ideal way of acting is your way of acting. Give me that sensus Christi that I may feel with your feelings, with the sentiments of your heart, which basically are love for your Father and love for all men and women. Teach me how to be compassionate to the suffering, the poor, the blind, the lame and lepers. Teach us your way so that it becomes our way today, so that we may come closer to the great ideal of St. Ignatius; to be companions of Jesus, collaborators in the work of redemption.” Through the intercession of St. Ignatius, we pray for the grace to make Jesus’ way of proceeding our way of proceeding, his way of acting our way of acting. Amen.