Monday, August 10, 2009

My First Novena :- St. Joseph


What is a Novena? A Novena is a prayer / devotion that is made for nine consecutive days for some petition to God. The nine days of prayer biblical root can be found after the Ascension of Jesus when the disciples and Mary spent 9 days praying in the upper room. At the end of those nine days, was Pentecost, where the Holy Spirit descended upon them. There was something in particular that I wanted to pray for, and praying a Novena seemed like the most appropriate thing to do.

I decided to pray the Novena to St. Joseph. What a beautiful experience. How much I have overlooked this man and his great example of faith. Over the course of the nine days, you take the time to thank St. Joseph for his contribution to the faith and all of the roles that he played, many of which I can relate to, including:

Father
Husband
Servant
Protector
Provider

This is a new type of prayer for me, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. I felt closer to St. Joseph and I have confidence that he is one of the Saints in heaven that presented my prayers before the throne of God, Rev 5:8.

Thank you St. Joseph....Ora pro nobis.

12 comments:

triednotfried said...

sigh..... I'm glad my prayers work the first time, the first day, when I pray to GOD....

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

I am glad that you spend time with God in prayer. I hope that this is a practice that you continue as well as encourage others to do as well.

As Christians, we are called to a relationship with God. I cannot think of a better way to grow a relationship than to spend time with the person, in this case God, you are trying to have a relationship with.

Keep praying!!!

God bless...

Paul and Christy said...

TNF,

I think you missed the point. The Christian faith is communal. God wants us to be a body of believers, not just isolated Christians.
James 5:16 tells us that the prayers of righteous man is very powerful. This implies that some prayers have more effect that others, so why not call on a righteous man to pray for us? If your prayers "work" the first time, do you only pray once per item? Why not use all means available to turn God's attention to your prayer?

triednotfried said...

Paul and Christy,

God has 3 answers, yes, no and not yet. I ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me all the time, here, on earth. I'm not gonna call on anyone in Heaven to pray for me when I can go directly, to the Father himself. It's a rediculous notion. You guys esteem certain people and raise them to different levels cause ummm why? Rediculous. If people are not elevated here, why elevate them once they are with the Lord? Into what? Sainthood??? We're all saints...I pray to God until HE gives an answers...so if you pray to a "saint" in Heaven who gets the credit and the glory for the answer? God or the saint? Why not us all means available??? How many means do you need beyond the Father? He's all I'll ever need. if someone says they want to pray over a situation great...but I'm not going into anything with "There's strength in numbers so I better get alot of people here" when all I really need to go bodly to the throneroom myself. So no I haven't missed anything except alot of extra unnecessary work.

Carlus Henry said...

triednotfried,

You said:
I ask my brothers and sisters to pray for me all the time, here, on earth.

Then you go on to say:
I'm not gonna call on anyone in Heaven to pray for me when I can go directly, to the Father himself.

Do you see the contradiction? If you can go to the Father Himself, then why do you ask other's to pray for you?

Then you say:
You guys esteem certain people and raise them to different levels cause ummm why? Rediculous.

Are you suggesting that one person's relationship with Christ may not be stronger than another person's?

Then you say:
If people are not elevated here, why elevate them once they are with the Lord? Into what? Sainthood???

This question shows you do not understand what it means to be a Saint recognized by the Church. All of us are saints, yes. However, the saints in heaven are on a completely different level than the saints here on earth. They are on a different level because they are in heaven and with God and able to see Him face-to-face.

o if you pray to a "saint" in Heaven who gets the credit and the glory for the answer? God or the saint?

When you ask for a friend to pray for you for something, does your friend get the credit?

Then you say:
but I'm not going into anything with "There's strength in numbers so I better get alot of people here"

Yet that is exactly what Scripture tells us to do. When two or more are gathered together in my name I will be in the midst of them Matt 18:20. Notice how Jesus doesn't say to approach His throne on your own. He is specifically saying that there is power in numbers...why? Because we are a community, and not only a bunch of individuals approaching God on our own....

God bless...

Paul and Christy said...

TNF,

I definitely don't think that you must to pray to Saints, only that you can. By prayer I don't mean worship. Catholic's don't have to pray to saints. I understand and agree that some can over reach and pray to saints to the exclusion of God. The proper understanding and practice, though, is firmly rooted in history and scripture.

The elevation is to highlight the saint as an example of how to live as Christ did. God always gets the credit. Read any saint's story and you will find that they point everyone to Christ.

Why are saints so difficult to accept?

Chad and Tammy said...

The proper understanding and practice, though, is firmly rooted in history and scripture.

I won't ask for historical precedent because I am sure there are several examples out there. As far as scripture goes, I'm fairly certain that you will only find an example in a book that is part of the Apocrypha and not part of everyone's Bible. So "firmly rooted in scripture" is not the case.


The elevation is to highlight the saint as an example of how to live as Christ did. God always gets the credit. Read any saint's story and you will find that they point everyone to Christ.

Why are saints so difficult to accept?


The glory point from TNF is a good one. Twice in Isaiah, God says that he will not give his glory to another. One place is 42:8, which says "I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another, Nor My praise to graven images". The other place is 48:11, which says: "For My own sake, for My own sake, I will act; For how can My name be profaned? And My glory I will not give to another." Remember He is a "jealous God". (Exodus 20:5)

Once you go down the path of turning your attention away from God to another source of potential power, it is a slippery slope. By praying this prayer, there is more going on than asking Joseph to pray for the petitioner. Again, I believe that alone is wrong, but I want to point out the other errors.

If I were to pray this, I would be considering myself a child of Joseph--viewing him as my father. I would also be calling on him as a protector. Beyond that, in third place, I would be placing "all my hope of salvation in" him. That one really blows me away. Finally, I would be asking him to guide me and assist me.

Then, if my prayer to Joseph were to be answered, I could not help but at least be partially thankful to Joseph for whatever I asked. If I felt protected, assisted, or guided by him in any way, my thanks would in some way be directed to him even if most of my thanks went to God.

Again, a very slippery slope.

Chad

Carlus Henry said...

Chad and Tammy

As far as scripture goes, I'm fairly certain that you will only find an example in a book that is part of the Apocrypha and not part of everyone's Bible. So "firmly rooted in scripture" is not the case.

While it is true that there is some evidence of communion of saints in the Apocrypha, what Catholics consider the Deutero-Cannonical books of scripture, evidence is not exclusive in the apocrypha. Scripture is filled with examples of other interceding on behalf of Christian people on earth. Interceding here on Earth as well as interceding in heaven.

Here are a couple of verses to consider:
Rev 5:8, Rev 8:3-4, Matt 18:10, Luke 15:7-10 - I will purposely not go into much detail with the evidence behind these scriptures that support not only that they saints and angels are aware of what is happening on Earth, but also that they participate through their prayers and rejoicing.

You also mentioned:
The glory point from TNF is a good one.

Which I can only assume is regarding TNF's comment:
I pray to God until HE gives an answers...so if you pray to a "saint" in Heaven who gets the credit and the glory for the answer? God or the saint?

Which I replied earlier:
When you ask for a friend to pray for you for something, does your friend get the credit?


Of course God gets all of the credit for answering prayers!!! At the same time, you thank the saint (which we all are) that agreed with you in prayer, and also brought your petitions before God. This is true if the saint is here on Earth, or if the saint is face-to-face with God.

Once you go down the path of turning your attention away from God to another source of potential power, it is a slippery slope.

The same argument can be made if you ever ask anyone to pray for you. If you ask someone to pray for you, and your prayers are answered, if you have the wrong mindset, you can start to think and believe that the reason why your prayers were answered were due to the person who prayed as opposed to the God that answered them.

Beyond that, in third place, I would be placing "all my hope of salvation in" him. That one really blows me away.

Chad....evidently you read the prayer. However, reading your comment suggesting that the prayer says that all my hope of salvation in Joseph, makes me think that you didn't cath the context. Here is the complete context:

You know that I have special confidence in you and that, after Jesus and Mary, I place all my hope of salvation in you,

Notice it says after Jesus and Mary. Not that anyone is placing all of their hope of salvation in St. Joseph. Why is any hope of salvation placed in Joseph, or Mary for that matter? The same way that I place my hope and salvation in all Christians that I meet. I believe that their prayers are effective, and that God answers the prayers of the faithful.

bloomwinxfan said...

This novena has helped me alot. So i want to post my thanks to God, Jesus and of course also Saint Joseph for interceding for me. Here are a list of things which i want to thank very much for:

1. Thank you Saint Joseph for interceding to God and Jesus to let the friendships i share with each of my 4 friends improve and for the opportunities to do so as well. Thank You Lord God and Jesus for hearing and answering my petiton through Saint Joseph.

2. Thank you Saint Joseph for your intercession to Jesus to give me self confidence when i present in front of the class and to not let me blank out again. Also, thank you for interceding to Christ to let me be confident in public, especially also as i wait and board the bus to and from school where i tend to feel really self concious at times usually around kids my age. Thank You Lord God and Jesus for hearing and answering these petitons through Saint Joseph again.

3. Thank you Saint Joseph for interceding to God and to Jesus to let another friend of mine whom i have upset unintentionally (due to my social anxiety problems) to stop talking bad about me if he was, to let him forgive me and forget about the upsetting incident and to want to be friends with me again. Also, thank you for the intercession to help our friendship to be improved and also for the opportunities to do so. Thank You once more Lord God and Lord Jesus Christ for answering these intercessions.

4. Thank you Saint Joseph for interceding to Jesus to let my cheque be sent safely, quickly and pretty smoothly as well, and not letting any unfortunate event happen especially fraud cases or it getting lost in mail and such. Thank you for interceding to Jesus to let my package arrive quickly, smoothly and safely as well. Thank You Jesus for answering Saint Joseph's intercession for me again.

5. Thank you Saint Joseph for interceding to Jesus to let me pass the tests/exams/modules with an A grade. Thank You Jesus for hearing and answering this petition of mine again through Saint Joseph.

6. Thank you Saint Joseph for interceding to Jesus to let me find what i have been looking for. Thank You Jesus for hearing Saint Joseph's intercession for me.

All in all, thank You Lord God, thank You Jesus and thank you Saint Joseph so very much!

bloomwinxfan said...

Hello again! I want to thank St Joseph for interceding to God and Jesus in letting the situation improve today and for giving me the self confidence i need again. Thank You Jesus, thank You God for hearing and answering my petitions through the intercession of St Joseph. :-)

Carlus Henry said...

bloomwinxfan,

As I mentioned before, this is the first time I have ever prayed a novenna. My specific intention had to do with providing for my family, and how appropriate it was to ask for the intercession of St. Joseph?

As a father, I know that I have a lot to learn from this great Saint.

God bless...

Audrey said...

Dear St Joseph, thank you for your intercessions to Lord Jesus! (: