Wednesday, 14 October 2009

An Outpouring of Blessings; a Novena in Thanksgiving


Since Father Mark recommended this blog on July 27th it has taken wing. Over past weeks, and particularly since the relics of St. Therese of Lisieux have been touring England and Wales, many spiritual mothers and their friends have been sharing our experiences as they have happened. Our feeling is very strong that we are linked not only by Our Blessed Mother and St. Therese as role models of Spiritual Motherhood, and by their intercession, but also by the Holy Spirit working among us and spreading the word about our vocation beyond the readership of our blog. We are being linked to each other in ways that are remarkable.. One instance of this is Clare's recent article about St. Therese and Spiritual Motherhood. I did not know she was writing it; she did not know when she submitted it that I'd been reflecting on the influence of St. Therese, particularly since the Australian blog 'Spiritual Mothers for Priests had reminded me about Patrick Ahern's book, "Maurice and Therese: The Story of A love". Nor did Clare know that on either side of this incident were many others, and that I had been trying to find a way of telling you them all. In the thanksgivings that follow, many of my correspondents, will recognise the stories they have shared with me, but unless they have given permission for their names to be revealed, no one else will know who they are. What will be known, are the stories themselves. In this way all Spiritual Mothers and their friends will be profoundly encouraged and will want to join in this nine day period of thanksgiving.

Day One

Opening Prayer
My God, from my heart I thank you for the many blessings you have given us. I thank you for having created and baptised us, and for having placed us in your holy Catholic Church; and for having given us so many graces and mercies through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son. And I thank you dear Jesus, for having become a little child for our sakes, to teach us to be holy and humble like you; and for having died upon the Cross that we might have pardon for our sins and get to heaven. We thank you that your Providence should have arranged for the following to happen.

Spiritual Mothers and Priests in Crisis
A friend of Jane's was looking at websites to do with St. Therese of Lisieux. In the course of this she came across 'Priests in Crisis' and read about Father Gordon Macrae who has been 15 years in prison in America, convicted of abuse. Had he pleaded guilty, he would have been out of prison by now. Father has his own blog 'These Stone Walls". She was terribly upset by the story because the Father claims he is innocent of the charges brought against him. She contacted Jane and discovered that she also knew of his case. Jane told her that she too had discovered the story when she had found the "Priests in Crisio website to put on the blogsidebar but for some reason, she didn't know what, had not highlighted Father Gordon's case in a blogpost. Her friend's email came as a pointed reminder, and she looked again in greater depth. Both women agreed that they felt Father was telling the truth, and both were 'haunted' by his plight. The result is that Jane's friend now counts herself a spiritual mother to this priest and that Jane prays for him too every night. The two have been friends for some time but now they feel there is a much closer and deeper link between them. in You, and for Father Macrae.

You alone know the state of Father's soul. We know that whatever it is, that You have made it clear that we must pray for him. It is our loving duty and privilege to do so. We turn to the love and mercy of Your Most Sacred Heart for Father Macrae, for all Your beloved priests in crisis, and for ourselves.

Holy Mary Consolation of the afflicted and Help of Christians, and the supreme example of spiritual motherhood, pray for all priests in crisis.
Saint Therese of the Holy Face, holy example of spiritual motherhood, pray for all priests in crisis.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of thy love.
v. Send forth thy Spirit and they shall be created.
R And thou shalt renew the face of the earth .

O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be always truly wise and ever rejoice in his consolation. Through Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.

Deo gratias.

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