Monday, April 29, 2013

Catholic Monday: Novenas for the Church Year

It's been about a month since I finished a Bible study series on prayer. I figured I'd be so much better at prayer now, but sadly I am not. I hope to get better, but I know I will not do so without better and more consistent practice. I used to have a book on novenas that I enjoyed, but at the moment it is missing in action. Fortunately for me, Our Sunday Visitor deemed I needed another one. God works in the big things as well as the little ones.

Novenas for the Church Year is exactly what the title suggests. I assume most people are familiar with what a novena is, but for those who aren't, it is a prayer that lasts nine days. For example, if you wanted to pray a Christmas novena, you would start the prayer on December 17th and finish on December 25th. In this book of novenas, Fr. Cameron provides a brief commentary on the specific feast day then the prayer you pray for nine days.

Fr. Cameron could have easily used already established novenas, but these are all original ones. You will notice that some months have more novenas than others, but that is dependent upon the liturgical cycle of the Church. January and December are extra busy, but July is very sparse. You aren't locked into praying a novena at a specific time of the year, though. St. Joseph would be just as happy interceding for us on May 1, his feast day, as he would any other day of the Church Year.

I do like that only major Feast days are focused on, such as the Ascension of Jesus or the Assumption of Mary. Yes, there are novenas to other saints, like St. Anthony or St. Benedict, but those don't exactly fit within the flow of this book and would have made the book unwieldy and large. This book is just the right size for a pocket or a purse, so you can carry it wherever you go. Pick up this 5 star prayer book and pray your way through the Church Year one novena at a time.

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