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NOVENA To St. John Of The Cross


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This Novena begins today, December 5th

Beginning Prayer to be said each day:

O glorious St. John of the Cross, through a pure desire of being like Jesus crucified, you longed for nothing so eagerly as to suffer, to be despised, and to be made little of by all; and your thirst after sufferings was so burning that your noble heart rejoiced in the midst of the cruelest torments and afflictions. Grant, I beseech you, O dear Saint, by the glory which your many sufferings have gained for you, to intercede for me and obtain from God for me a love of suffering, together with strength and grace to bear with firmness of mind all the trials and adversities which are the sure means to the happy attainment of all that awaits me in heaven. Dear Saint, from your most happy place in glory, hear, I beseech you, my prayers, so that after your example, full of love for the cross I may deserve to be your companion in glory. Amen.

First Day: Unwavering Faith

Prayer:

My glorious father St. John of the Cross; overflowing with love for Mary and for the cross of her divine Son by which you merited to become the protector of afflicted souls, obtain for me from Jesus and Mary, I beseech you, an unwavering faith and a love of the cross so deep and so valiant that no possible misfortune will ever be able to separate me from the love of my God. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make your request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Second Day: Spirit of Penitence

Prayer:
Glorious St. John of the Cross, you preserved to death in unspotted brilliancy the radiant whiteness of your baptismal innocence, while nevertheless practicing the most cruel and persevering penance. In honor and imitation of this crucifying love, I entreat you that I may share your mortified and penitential life so that, even in this world, I may receive the grace to atone for my many sins, purify my soul, and acquire merit, that I may also enjoy heaven’s glory with you. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make your request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

 

Third Day: Holy Enlightenment

Prayer:
O my beloved father St. John of the Cross, your continual prayer merited for you the name of Ecstatic Doctor, favored with special graces in the guidance and direction of souls. I humbly beg you to enlighten my soul and to give me a relish for holy meditation that, detached from earthly things, I may love God alone and desire heaven only. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

 

Fourth Day: Holy Patience

Prayer:
Great St. John of the Cross, model of patience and generosity, for the glory of God and for the propagation of the holy reform of Carmel, you endured grievous trials and undertook heavy labors, finding, as did St. Paul, joy in opprobrium. Obtain from our Lord for me the grace of unalterable patience in adversity that I may thereby glorify God, have cleansed my souls of every stain, advance in the practice of solid virtue, and obtain at last the crown promised to those who suffer for the love of God. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

 

Fifth Day: Protection from Temptation

Prayer:

Dear St. John of the Cross, you exercised dominion over the powers of hell, often obliging them to relinquish the souls, as well as the bodies of their victims. Have compassion on me; ask God to preserve me from the temptations and deceits of these wicked spirits, not only throughout my life, but above all at the hour of my death, that persevering to the end in the grace and love of God, I may possess Him with you forever. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

 

Sixth Day: Purity of Soul and Body

Prayer:

Great St. John of the Cross, favored by our Lord and the glorious Virgin, His mother, in reward for your angelic life and with the precious gift of chastity, you converted many souls held captive by the most shameful passions. Obtain for me some share in so priceless a gift that, pure and chaste in soul and body, I may reach heaven where nothing stained may enter and where choirs of virgins follow the Lamb wherever He goes. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Seventh Day: Humility

Prayer:

Blessed father St. John of the Cross, in you was joined the most profound humility to the most sublime knowledge of the ways of God. Obtain for me real humility of heart, making me love humiliation and contempt that, despairing worldly vanity, I may learn from you to esteem only God and heavenly things. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Eighth Day: Comfort in Affliction

Prayer:

St. John of the Cross, my glorious protector, in your lifetime you were the father of the poor, the consoler of the afflicted and the assured refuge of the suffering; you worked miracles of charity for all, miracles which you repeat even now by means of your holy images and relics. Deign also to be my consoler and my father; comfort me in my sorrows and aid me to see in every cross a pledge of divine mercy that, through the cross, I may gain heaven. Obtain for me, too, the special grace I ask through your intercession during the novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys.

Ninth Day: Holy Abandonment

Prayer:

O my loving father St. John of the Cross, to imitate more perfectly our Lord, you generously renounced every consolation, even the spiritual; prayed to suffer and to be despised for God’s sake; and finally died suffering, happy to be condemned by men. Obtain for me the grace of abandonment to the Will of God that, placing all my joy and my hope in the passion of my Savior, I may at last rest eternally with you in His glory. Obtain for me also the special grace I ask through your intercession during this novena, if it be for the glory of God and for my salvation (make request).

Three Our Fathers and three Hail Marys

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One Dark Night


One Dark

Yesterday, I noticed a strange looking bud on one of the cactus I have. I wasn’t aware of what species the cactus was, nor was I even curious as to its species, until something different began to happen.

How we creatures take so much for granted every day, as we become accustom to the way things are. Until something is no longer the same. Something becomes different.

I had not been able to do much with this latest bout of back and neck issues. Least of all, pay attention to my plants. This particular one, has sat on my front stoop for about 8 months. As I would walk by it, any water from my water bottle I had, I would dump in the pot, on my way up to the door after a day of work. I didn’t admire it. I didn’t spend any time caring for it. It just existed as it was. Much as our faith life does the same way.

At the very least, that occasional watering, lead to a beautiful discovery. This cactus, is a Night Blooming Cereus, Queen of The Night. The flowers are very short lived, and some only bloom for one night and are gone before the next morning. I hear this is a highly celebrated plant in some circles, and a very rare sight to see, actually open and blooming. Please see the article below:

One Night a Year, This Cactus Flower May Surprise You

The night progressed, and the beauty of the cactus, abounded, unnoticed by most, but I. I found myself deeply moved to share the photos of this beautiful flower on social media as it was opening. In the dark she blooms, as only our Lord can see.

This morning, she is still in bloom, for all to see.

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As the story of yesterdays discovery progressed, I find myself deeply pondering this beautiful opening, in correlation with the words of St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul…

STANZAS OF THE SOUL

1. One dark night,
fired with love’s urgent longings
— ah, the sheer grace! —
I went out unseen,
my house being now all stilled.

2. In darkness, and secure,
by the secret ladder, disguised,
— ah, the sheer grace! —
in darkness and concealment,
my house being now all stilled.

3. On that glad night,
in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything,
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

4. This guided me
more surely than the light of noon
to where he was awaiting me
— him I knew so well —
there in a place where no one appeared.

5. O guiding night!
O night more lovely than the dawn!
O night that has united
the Lover with his beloved,
transforming the beloved in her Lover.

6. Upon my flowering breast
which I kept wholly for him alone,
there he lay sleeping,
and I caressing him
there in a breeze from the fanning cedars.

7. When the breeze blew from the turret,
as I parted his hair,
it wounded my neck
with its gentle hand,
suspending all my senses.

8. I abandoned and forgot myself,
laying my face on my Beloved;
all things ceased; I went out from myself,
leaving my cares
forgotten among the lilies.

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Contemplation


 

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Jesus alone gives us all the new loving perspective of the escape from the grips of death.

“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9:23).

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I Am All Yours, Lord


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The soul, has grown aware of her obligations and observed that life is short (Job 14:5), the path leading to eternal life constricted (Mt. 7:14), the just one scarcely saved (1 Pet. 4:18), the things of the world vain and deceitful (Eccles. 1:2), that all comes to an end and fails like falling water (2 Sam. 14:14), and that the time is uncertain, the accounting strict, perdition very easy, and salvation very difficult. She knows on the other hand of her immense indebtedness to God for having created her solely for Himself, and that for this she owes Him the service of her whole life; and because He redeemed her solely for Himself she owes Him every response of love. She knows, too, of the thousand other benefits by which she has been obligated to God from before the time of her birth, and that a good part of her life has vanished, that she must render an account of everything—of the beginning of her life as well as the later part—unto the last penny (Mt. 5:25) when God will search Jerusalem with lighted candles (Zeph. 1:12), and that it is already late—and the day far spent (Lk. 24:29)—to remedy so much evil and harm. She feels on the other hand that God is angry and hidden because she desired to forget Him so in the midst of creatures, Touched with dread and interior sorrow of heart over so much loss and danger, renouncing all things, leaving aside all business, and not delaying a day or an hour, with desires and sighs pouring from her heart, wounded now with the love for God, she begins to call her Beloved.  – St. John of the Cross

Msgr. Pope has a beautiful analysis here

St. John of the Cross, pray for us

 

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St. John of The Cross


SJC 1

In this world, the reasons we hate are vast. So vast you can’t count them. No matter the circumstances, reason or justification from any soul, the reason to Love is greater. As Love has conquered the many reasons to hate.

The life of St. John of the Cross, was full of many reasons for him to hate. But he choose to love instead. For all the reasons in the world to hate and despise can never match the one reason we Love.

I never knew until today how much I can identify with this wonderful Doctor of the Church. I sit here and ponder and contemplate everything. I have been doing this most of my life and never understood the reason why I can’t become angry anymore about the sufferings I have gone through and still go through every second in exile, until I received that wonderful grace today at Holy Mass in honor of St. John of the Cross.

What good can come from anything other than Love?

Thank you, on your feast day, St. John of the Cross, for prayers answered. I hold my cross with Love to give all the glory and honor to our Lord. I carry it in Love. There is no other way to hold it or to carry it.

“Who teaches the soul if not God?”- St. John of the Cross

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Jesus Christ Is God


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22 Who is the liar, if not one who claims that Jesus is not the Christ? This is the Antichrist, who denies both the Father and the Son.

23 Whoever denies the Son cannot have the Father either; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father too.

24 Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you; as long as what you heard in the beginning remains in you, you will remain in the Son and in the Father.

25 And the promise he made you himself is eternal life.

26 So much have I written to you about those who are trying to lead you astray.

27 But as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; since the anointing he gave you teaches you everything, and since it is true, not false, remain in him just as he has taught you.

28 Therefore remain in him now, children, so that when he appears we may be fearless, and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. Reading 1, First John 2:22-28

In my conversion back home to Him, I remember my childhood. Innocence. What I heard in the “Beginning” of my life. Jesus Christ is God. On the path to adulthood this “Truth” was compromised by the evil that sought my soul through lack of faith, lack of practicing my faith and through all sources away from the Truth. I remember a time when He, our Lord, came first. Christmas Eve as a three or four-year old, I was so excited that I would be receiving gifts but had so much love for our Lord that took over my soul, I needed to find something to give back to our Lord. I wondered so much what He would receive from me for His birthday. My presence didn’t mean much. The present I could give to Him ment so much more. I looked around the house and found two pieces of candy. I didn’t take into account He being an infant couldn’t eat it. I just knew I had to give Him something. How could we be celebrating His birthday and yet give Him nothing. I didn’t have any wrapping paper nor anything to place the candy in to present to Him. I took a paper towel roll and put the candy inside. I bent both ends down and wrote His name on it and placed it on the table. I thought about the Holy Family so much that night and who they would be with Santa Clause and I KNEW He would take what I had given to Him. Time came and presents were packed under the tree. I didn’t care about the presents. All I wanted to see was the present to our Lord was gone. It was still there, on the table where I placed it. I thought it wasn’t accepted. My heart was broken.

“Sometimes the only way the good Lord can get into some hearts is to break them.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

Our Lord did not refuse that candy I gave Him, although it was still on the table. He took what it represented, all I had to give at the time and by my heart breaking, never left my side and gave me something much greater than anyone else could. He gave me faith in Him. He gave me joy in the midst of the destruction of self. He gave me everything I could need to make it through life in exile. Love. It wasn’t about the physical candy that I offered to Him, it was the love I had in my heart to offer all I had to Him. ALthough I lost sight of that, He didn’t. And that is what makes Him God. No matter how bad we mess up or pull away from Him, He allows us to understand He is with us FOREVER. The reason the present was still there is because what we place on His table, is always accepted in faith, without any physical need of the candy. The candy does not bring Him anything. We do by our simple faith and love in Him.

“You must remember to love people and use things, rather than to love things and use people.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

“Live in the world, as if God and your soul only were in it; so shall your heart be never made captive by any earthly thing.” – St. John of the Cross

St. Gregory Nazianzen, pray for us.

“God accepts our desires as though they were a great value. He longs ardently for us to desire and love him. He accepts our petitions for benefits as though we were doing him a favor. His joy in giving is greater than ours in receiving. So let us not be apathetic in our asking, nor set too narrow bounds to our requests; nor ask for frivolous things unworthy of God’s greatness.”
– St. Gregory Nazianzen

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River Of Suffering


suffering river

“And I saw the river over which every soul must pass to reach the kingdom of heaven and the name of that river was suffering: and I saw a boat which carries souls across the river and the name of that boat was love.”

St. John of the Cross

My heart is breaking for the parents and children in Newtown, Connecticut. Through the tears, I will keep you all in my prayers.

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