A novena is usually started nine days before the feast day, but you can do a novena any time.
I am one of those people who can never finish a novena. I always forget. I forget to start it. I forget to finish it. I forget days in between. Needless to say, I have stopped trying. This Catholic form of prayer has fascinated me on and off throughout my conversion years. I think the fact that I don't finish says a lot about me unfortunately.
While researching this novena, I found inspiring quotes that I would like to share with you:
The designs of his heart are from age to age, to rescue their souls from death and to keep them alive in famine. - Psalm 33 (32):11, 19 via Magnificat
This Psalm rendered me speechless.
The term 'Sacred Heart of Jesus' denotes the entire mystery of Christ, the totality of his being, and his person ... Devotion to the Sacred Heart ... calls for a fundamental attitude of conversion and reparation, of love and gratitude, apostolic commitment and dedication to Christ and his saving work." - Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy 166, 172 via Magnificat
Um ... I may have discovered my problem with novenas. Though I am a person of tremendous gratitude (and sometimes love), I should probably work on my "conversion and reparation."
Pope Benedict XVI sums up The Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus best:
The essential nucleus of Christianity is expressed in the Heart of Jesus; in Christ the whole of the revolutionary newness of the Gospel was revealed and given to us: the Love that saves us and already makes us live in God's eternity. Even our shortcomings, our limitations, and our weaknesses must lead us back to the Heart of Jesus. His divine Heart calls to our hearts, inviting us to come out of ourselves, to abandon our human certainties to trust in him and, following his example, to make of ourselves a gift of love without reserve." via Magnificat
I have a lot of shortcomings, limitations and weaknesses, so I have that going for me. All I need to do now is to come out of myself, abandon my human certainties to trust in him and, to follow his example, to make myself a gift of love without reserve.
I think I got this.
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