Sister what can you tell us about novenas? I make a good start then get busy or distracted by the devil and don't finish. I did finish one once and it worked! Any help would be appreciated. Also who are the best saints to ask for help in prayers for one's children?AND....
SMM, I know this has nothing to do with movies but can you post about Adoration. Are there certain prayers we can say during. I find my mind wandering to my to-do list instead of meditating on the Eucharist.
The devil, indeed.
Let's start with novenas. A novena is when you pray for nine days in a row for a specific purpose. The whole idea is based on the fact that perseverance is an important quality of prayer. There are four types: mourning, petition, preparation, and indulgence.
Mourning is nine days of prayer for the dead. Petition is when you are praying for help, guidance or favors. (We hope you're praying for God's grace to handle your difficulties and not putting in nine quarters in some imagined heavenly Coke machine.) Preparation is to prepare for a feast day. In fact, the earliest novena we know about is in preparation for Christmas. And finally the novena of indulgence, which is the hope that God will accept your prayers instead of the punishment you are due for your sins. Sometimes there are strings attached to a novena of indulgence. For example, you may have to actually show up at a church or chapel at some point.
The whole idea started because the Apostles prayed for nine straight days between the Ascension and the Pentecost and were rewarded with the Holy Spirit, tongues of fires and all that excitement.
Here's the thing: you don't have to get through nine whole days of prayer to complete your novena. You just have to say your novena prayer (there are at least 139 different ones) once a day for nine days. I just can't figure out how you can't manage that. Ever heard of refrigerator magnets? Post it notes?
Do you look in a mirror at yourself? You could put a post it note on the mirror. Do you eat? You could put a note on a refrigerator magnet on your refrigerator. Jumpin' Jeehosaphat woman! Pin a note to your coffeepot! Stick a stick it note on the cat dish! Tie a message to the bathroom tissue! Stick a reminder on your car keys! Put a message to yourself in your underwear drawer! Leave a note in the mailbox! Tape a big message on your TV! Get one of those little tape recorders and say into it, "Note to self....say novena prayer." Put your novena prayer on your screen saver! Distracted by the devil. Please. Too much Sesame Street as a child, more likely.
As for prayers for one's children, I would suggest St. Monica, who had to contend with St. Augustine. Monica's son Augustine was such a party animal that even after she prayed him toward becoming one of the greatest saints the church has known, he still ended up as the patron saint of beer. She cried so much for his soul that the city of Santa Monica is named after her.
Now as to our second question...
One afternoon when I had the flu some time ago, I happened to see the Oprah Show. She had an author on that day who had written a book called, "He's Not That Into You", the premise of which was that women shouldn't go chasing after men who don't pay them proper attention, because a man who is interested in a woman will chase after her to the ends of the earth. He wasn't talking about stalkers. He was talking about ordinary men.
I can't help but think of that book when you say your mind wanders during Adoration. Apparently you're not that into Him.
I suggest you mediate about what's adorable about Jesus. If you're mind wanders (I have to admit I can't picture it....) either pull you brain away from your 'to-do' list (and it's all important trip to take DVD's back to Blockbuster before you have to pay a fee vs. 'loved me enough to die a horrible and humiliating death') and re-train yourself to mediate thusly...or...leave and try again tomorrow. Jesus is very forgiving. But he knows when you're just not that into Him.