Novena to the Infant Mary

1. Sign of the Cross 2. Hymn: A hymn suited to the theme of the day 3. Daily Readings
August 30 : Mother Mary teaches us to love God and love our neighbour: Lk. 10: 25-37 : Mother Mary teaches us to love the Church. Acts 1: 12-14 : Mother Mary invites us to listen to the word of God and live by it. Mt. 12: 46-50 : Mother Mary invites us to pray. Lk. 11: 5-13 : Mother Mary invites us to do God’s will in our life. Lk. 1:26-37 : Mother Mary invites us to lead a life of faith. Mt. 8:23-27 : Mother Mary invites us to praise God. Lk. 1:45-56 : Mother Mary calls us to partake in the passion, death and resurrection of the Lord. Jn. 19:25-30 : Mother Mary invites us to repent and believe in the good news. Jn. 3: 16-21

August 31 September 1

September 2 September 3 September 4 September 5 September 6

September 7

4. Reflection on day’s reading
Day One: August 30: Lk. 10: 25-37: Love God and love your Neighbour
This story of the Samaritan can be viewed through the lens of an act of kindness, compassion and generosity. I believe that this story calls for a very deep inner conversion of attitude and cultural bias out of which I can define human relationships. The Jews and the Samaritans had defined each other on ethic and cultural grounds. The parable, like the Word of God, ‘is a two edged sword piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow; it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.’(Heb 4:12). It invites me to cut deeply into my own heart and to identify where any prejudice, bias or resistances to love may reside; where I might be unprepared to open up and to be changed by the Word of God.

Perhaps a question for today is “Who is not my neighbour and why?” Who are those excluded from my love and my life? Who are those, whose perceived unacceptable behaviours might irritate me and so I leave them out in the cold? Against whom do I discriminate and why? This parable calls each and every one of us to allow God as the Kind Samaritan to heal our hearts and our minds from all discrimination, prejudice and cultural bias, so that we can receive our neighbours in just relationships and with integrity of heart.

Day Two: August 31: Acts :1:12-14: Love the Church
The Reading from the Acts of the Apostles shows us the source of strength for those early communities. They prayed together and they prayed frequently, especially at times of decision and crisis. Today we see the apostles praying along with several women among who was Jesus' mother. There are many examples in the Acts of the Apostles of the apostles and other followers of Jesus praying together, very often with the "breaking of bread", the celebration of the Eucharist. They prayed especially on important occasions such as elections, laying hands on ministers, when new rulings were issued in the name of the Church and, naturally, during times of persecution. "On most occasions it is a prayer of asking and also to obtain pardon, prayer of praise, thanksgiving, finally witness to the faith: 'calling on the name of Jesus' is the hallmark of the Christian". Prayer must always be central to the life of the Christian and all prayer is getting in contact with God, from whom all good things come and who is the ultimate destination of all our living. We should all try to set aside some time to spend with God in prayer. We know that the excuse "we don't have time" is not very convincing. It is amazing how easily we find time for many things we don't really have to do, like time spent in front of the television set, gossiping and day dreaming. Just think how we re-arrange our working day when there is a feast or match! We will pray when we realize how meaningful it is, when we realize that it is a very special time that eventually we would not want to miss.

Day Three: Sept. 1: Mt. 12: 46-50: Listen and live by the word of God
A family is a source of love and acceptance and a stronghold of support and encouragement. But we are not limited to the blessings of a physical family. Jesus hinted at the existence of an extended family which has the benefit of leaving all to follow Him and even if it meant leaving one's physical family. He used the opportunity to describe that family, as His physical family sought to speak to Him, who made up His "spiritual" family. He used the occasion to express His deep affection to His disciples, who had left everything to follow Him, and emphasized the fact that our spiritual relationship with His eternal Father is more important than our intimate but temporal kinships here on earth. Which is our true family today? If it is only our physical family, we are setting ourselves up for a great disappointment. If we want a family that will last for eternity, make sure that our bond is a spiritual one, joined together by a mutual faith in Christ, working together as we do the will of our Father in heaven. What have you done for your true family lately? Have you gotten to know your brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you growing in your love for them? Are you encouraging them to do the

Father's will? Are you in the family of Jesus? No matter what kind of physical family you may have been born into, you have the opportunity by God's grace to be born into the wonderful family of God!

Day Four: September 2 : Lk. 11: 5-13: Pray with confidence and trust
We are encouraged to ask boldly, knowing that we can trust God. The writer of Hebrews encourages us, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). We are to come with a confident asking, seeking, knocking. God our Father desires to hear our petitions and we are entirely open with him. Prayer is not a time to hide what is going on inside us, but to share it openly with our Father whom we know loves us and understands us and seeks good for us. We can trust him, even though we might misunderstand an issue, or ask for the wrong thing. Trust your Father to give you good gifts, even when you ask incompletely or perhaps wrongly. He is not peevish or petulant. He loves you. Don't ever, ever fear to pray to your Father. You can trust him to do you good, and not evil. Don't be satisfied with where you are or what you have. Your Father is wealthy beyond all imagination. And he wants to meet your needs with abundance, "according to his glorious riches" (Philippians 4:19). So speak up. Now is the time to joyously and expectantly ask and seek and knock in prayer to your Father. Expect his best gifts to be yours. Holy Spirit is the Father's very best gift to us. It is the gift of himself to dwell with us and within us forever. How marvelous! Do you long for a full portion of the Holy Spirit? Jesus promises that your Father in heaven will give you the Holy Spirit if you ask him.

Day Five: September 3 : Lk. 1:26-37: Doing God’s Will
God lavishes his grace upon all who believe in him. He shows his favor to the lowly, to those who are humble and receptive to his word. How does Mary respond to the word of God deliverd by the angel Gabriel? She knows she is hearing something beyond human capability. It will surely take a miracle which surpasses all that God has done previously. Her question, “how shall this be, since I have no husband” is not prompted by doubt or skepticism, but by wonderment! She is a true hearer of the Word and she responds with faith and trust. Mary's response of "yes" to the divine message is a model of faith for all believers. Mary believed God's promises even when they seemed impossible. She was full of grace because she trusted that what God said was true and would be fulfilled. She was willing and eager to do God's will, even if it seemed difficult or costly. God gives us grace and he expects us to respond with the same willingness, obedience, and heart-felt trust as Mary did. When God commands he also gives the help, strength, and means to respond. We can either yield to his grace or resist and go our own way. Do you believe in God's promises and do you yield to his grace? Are you willing to seek his will and do it in all circumstances of your life believing that God will walk before you to the promised land prepared by Him.

Day Six: September 4 : Mt. 8:23-27: Lead a life of Faith
The message of the passage is rather straightforward: Jesus has authority over nature. He has the authority to do all the things that He said He came to do. The authority that Jesus has is usually demonstrated by His mighty works, His miracles.

They all reveal to us the nature of the Son of God who does not have the limitations we now have. What does this mean for us? First, it should help us to build our faith, our confidence in Christ. We do not follow a simple itinerant preacher from Galilee; we follow Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. Nothing is impossible for Him. Second, our faith may be expressed in our prayers to Him, “Lord, save us” — from any of the dangers and troubles of life that we face. It is interesting to note that here Jesus answered their prayer/plea and calmed the storm even though they had “little faith.” Any turning to Him in prayer is an act of faith. Jesus did not rebuke them for their request. It is the proper thing to do. Third, the more we see the power of the Lord, both in the Bible and in the experiences of believers around us and in our own lives, the more our confidence will grow. We will always struggle with fears in this life, because the world is not a safe place. But gradually as we learn more and more in the faith, as the disciples did over several years, we will become bolder and more confident in the Lord. But building faith is a process, and so we have to be patient and continue to develop it. And the comforting thing is that even in our fears and terrors, our weak faith, we may cry to the Lord: “Lord, if you are willing, save/heal/deliver/protect . . . .” And often He answers our prayers in ways that we can only marvel, and say, “What manner of man is this?”

Day Seven: September 5 : Lk. 1:45-56: Live praising God
In the magnificat, Mary shows us the nature of God, and instructs us upon a right response to His goodness. Mother Mary through this hymn teaches us, with her words and by the example of her experience, how to know, love, and praise God." Furthermore, the words my soul magnifies the Lord signal the Blessed Virgin's total dedication to the work of God and they remind us that her whole life and being, mind and strength, esteem Him highly. She is caught up, as it were, into Him and feels herself lifted up into His good and gracious will. My spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant". So says the Mother of God. Mary not only instructs us to rejoice in the gifts that God has given, but by her example shows us how to do so. The Blessed Virgin does not boast in that which God has done for her. In Luther's words, Mary confesses that the foremost work God did for her was that He regarded her, which is indeed the greatest of His works, on which all the rest depend and from which they all derive. For where it comes to pass that God turns His face toward one to regard him, there is nothing but grace and salvation, and all gifts and works must follow.

Day Eight: Sept. 6 : Jn. 19:25-30: Partake in the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus
We struggle to live in a suffering-free, pain-free state such that we gradually become desensitized to the suffering of others. In order to avoid pain ourselves we retreat from others, afraid to risk involvement for fear of being drawn into their suffering or being wounded ourselves. The heart of our Christian faith is the proclamation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This is the Paschal mystery. Death and resurrection are the distinctive pattern of we see in the life of Christ and in his disciples. It is this pattern

of living that offers the possibility of salvation. If we are to experience the joy of resurrection we must submit to a life of loving and compassionate vulnerability in which we risk pain and suffering. It is only through the willingness to feel pain, to suffer, to know real loss, that we can know delight, gratitude and the joy of life that the Spirit offers us. Human fulfillment follows the pattern of the paschal mystery, that is, death and resurrection. To live as a Christian is to freely embrace the reality of constraint, loss, and the necessity of pain as part of human existence. We find fulfillment precisely when we accept vulnerability and are willing to take risks giving ourselves over to lives of committed service and love. It is precisely because the Blessed Mother was willing to love totally and so deeply as she loved her son that her life was so joyous. To be full of grace implies a willingness to embrace both life’s joys and sorrows.

Day Nine: Sept. 7 : Jn. 3: 16-21: Repent and Believe in the Good news
True love doesn't count the cost; it gives liberally. A true lover gives the best he has to offer and everything he has for the beloved. God proved his love for us by giving us the best he had to offer, his only begotten Son who freely gave himself as an offering to God for our sake and as the atoning sacrifice for our sin and the sin of the world. The gospel passage which we read tells us of the great breadth and width of God's love. Not an excluding love for just a few but a redemptive love that embraces the whole world, and a personal love for each and every individual whom God has created. God is a loving Father who cannot rest until his wandering children have returned home to him. Saint Augustine says, God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us to love. So, what is the Good News that Jesus announces? It is that God loves us, and He wants us to live with him in happiness forever. What then is our response to this Good News? It is repentance. Repentance requires a life change, a change of mind, sorrow for sin and its consequences, a hatred of sin and a firm resolution to avoid it in the future. The Lord gives us grace to see sin for what it really is -- a rejection of his love and wisdom and a refusal to do what is good and in accord with his will. His grace brings pardon and help for turning away from everything that would keep us from his love. To believe is to take Jesus at his word and to recognize that God loved us so much that he sent his only begotten Son to free us from bondage to fear and sin. God made the supreme sacrifice of his Son on the cross to bring us back to himself. God loved us first and he invites us in love to surrender our lives to him.

5. Novena Prayer to the Infant Mary
Leader: Holy Child Mary of the royal house of David, Queen of the angels, Mother of grace and love, I greet you with all my heart. Obtain for me the grace to love the Lord faithfully during all the days of my life. Obtain for me, a great devotion to you, who are the first creature of God's love. Hail Mary... Leader: O heavenly Child Mary, who like a pure dove was born immaculate and beautiful, true prodigy of the wisdom of God, my soul rejoices in you. Oh! Do help me to preserve the angelic virtue of purity at the cost of any sacrifice. Hail Mary... Leader: Hail, lovely and holy Child, spiritual garden of delight, where, on the day of the Incarnation, the tree of life was planted, assist me to avoid the poisonous fruit of

vanity and pleasures of the world. help me to engraft into my soul the thoughts, feelings and virtues of your divine Son. Hail Mary... Leader: Hail, admirable Child Mary, Mystical Rose, closed garden, open only to the heavenly Spouse. O Lily of paradise, make me love the humble and hidden life; let the heavenly Spouse find the gate of my heart always open to the loving calls of His graces and inspiration. Hail Mary... Leader: Holy Child Mary, mystical dawn, gate of heaven, you are my trust and hope. O powerful advocate, from your cradle stretch out your hand, support me on the path of life. Make me serve God with ardor and constancy until death and so reach and eternity with you. Hail Mary... Leader: Blessed Child Mary, destined to be the Mother of God and our loving Mother, by the heavenly graces you lavish upon us, mercifully listen to my supplications. In the needs which press upon me from every side and especially in my present tribulation, I place all my trust in you. O holy child, by the privileges granted to you alone and by the merits which you have acquired, show that the source of spiritual favours and the continuous benefits which you dispense are inexhaustible, because your power with the Heart of God is unlimited. Deign through the immense profusion of graces with which the Most High has enriched you from the first moment of your Immaculate Conception, grant me, O Celestial Child, my petition, and I shall eternally praise the goodness of your Immaculate Heart. Amen.

6. Litany of the Holy Infant Mary
Lord have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us. Lord have mercy on us. Christ hear us. God the Father of Heaven, God the Son, Redeemer of the world, God the Holy Spirit, Holy Trinity, One God, Lord have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us. Lord have mercy on us. Christ graciously hear us Have mercy on us.

Holy Infant Mary Pray for us Infant Mary, Daughter of God the Father, Infant Mary, Mother of God the Son, Infant Mary, Spouse of God the Holy Spirit, Infant Mary, possessed by the Divine Spirit from the beginning of your ways, Infant Mary, beautiful as the morn, Infant Mary, brilliant as the Sun, Infant Mary, terrible as an army in battle array, Infant Mary, our Mistress, Infant Mary, our Mother,

Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant Infant

Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary, Mary,

powerful in weakness, great in littleness, treasure of grace, tabernacle of Divine Love, masterpiece of God's omnipotence, delight of your holy parents, Queen of Angels, shoot of the Patriarchs, foretold by the Prophets, procuring salvation to infants, resource of all mankind,

Be merciful to, and hear us, Be propitious to, and intercede for us, By your Immaculate Conception, intercede for us, By your Sacred Nativity, intercede for us, By your glorious Presentation, intercede for us, By your infancy, intercede for us, By your childhood, intercede for us, By all your virtues, intercede for us,

O Infant Mary.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us. Pray for us, O Holy Infant Mary, That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray Grant, O Lord, that we who honor the infancy of the Mother of Your Divine Son, may, through her intercession, arrive at that bliss promised to those only who become as little children for love of you. Through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord, Amen.

7. Final Hymn:

Marian Hymn