Circle of Prayer - Sacred Heart Novena
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NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART by Enda O'Callaghan, S.J.

How to Pray the Novena This novena is to help you prepare for the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday, 27 June. You may pray the novena privately, or with others.

Remember that Jesus is there with you as you pray, and that real prayer is always from the heart. Read the scripture slowly. Try to imagine the gospel scene. Speak to Jesus about anything that strikes you. The meditat-ion is to help you find things to talk to Jesus about. 
Jesus was 'like us in all things but sin'. He experienced the ups and downs, the joys and sorrows that are the lot of every human being. In these days, you might try to spend 10-15 minutes meeting Jesus in the joys and sorrows of his life on earth. End with the Novena Prayer each day with.

Novena Prayer

Lord Jesus, your Sacred Heart is always open in love to each of us, and especially when we are suffering. To all who come to you seeking your help, you show your compassion and your healing power. You .care for us when we are lost, sympathize with us in loneliness and comfort us in mourning. You are closest to us when we are weakest. You reach out your hand to us when we stumble and have most need of your help. I ask you to listen to my prayer during this novena, and grant what I ask (make your request silently). But if what I ask is not for my own good and that of 
others, grant me always what is best, that I may build up your Kingdom of love in our world. Amen. 

First Day (19 June): Jesus is found in the Temple
Scripture: 'Three days later they found him in the Temple, sitting among the teachers And he said to them, "Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?"' 
(Lk.2:46,49).

Meditation: Jesus loved to pray to his beloved Father. It was natural for him to be in this place of worship and to forget time, as he engaged with the teachers in their discussions. To worship and love God is natural to our human souls, for it is our destiny and our only way to reach total joy and happiness. 

Prayer: God our Father, if we really knew your love, beauty and goodness we would never stop wanting to adore and praise you. Help us to come closer to you in this novena through Jesus your Son. Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to experience your love. 

Second Day (20 June): Jesus in the happy home in Nazareth
Scripture: 'He went down with them and came to Nazareth... And Jesus increased in wisdom, in stature and in favour with God and with people' (Lk.2:51-52). 

Meditation: The hidden years, as they are called, pass swiftly in that holiest of hoines. Mary watches her Son at play and as he masters new skills in Joseph's workshop. In that home of love and prayer there is great peace and joy. 

Prayer: Jesus, help us to realise that our homes, too, can be havens of peace and prayer, and that our human lives are given to us so that we may grow in love and holiness. 
Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us to welcome you into our homes.

Third Day (21 June): Jesus is rejected by his own townspeople
Scripture: 'He came to Nazara, where he had been brought up... They sprang to their feet and hussled him out of the town' (Lk.4:l6,29). 

Meditation: How he must have looked forward to sharing his Good News with those he had grown up with, and to curing their sick! Their hardness of heart must have been a bitter disappointment to him. They even tried to 'throw him off the cliff' (v.29). 

Prayer: Lord, how often do we too have our hopes dashed, and we feel rejected. Help us to accept these hurts and to pray for those who, in their blindness, wound us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, help us to forgive others. 

Fourth Day (22 June): Jesus goes to a wedding feast in Cana 
Scripture: ' And they ran out of wine... The mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine"' (In.2:3). 

Meditation: The wedding of family friends is always an occasion of joy. Jesus , closeness to his mother is clearly shown by the way she simply makes known to him the situation. It was a joy for him to answer his mother's request and to help the young couple. 

Prayer: Lord, we know that you always hear every prayer and petition, and that in your wisdom and love for us you know what is best for us. Let your will, not ours, be done. Sacred Heart of Jesus, we place all our trust in you.

Fifth Day (23 June): Jesus wept over Jerusalem 
Scripture: ' As he drew near and came i sight of the city, he shed tears over it an said, "If you too had only recognised o this day the way to peace"' (Lk.19:4l). 

Meditation: Jesus foresees the siege an destruction of Jerusalem and the sufferin that will come upon its people. The con passionate heart of Jesus is deeply move by human suffering. Through our war and hatreds we cause so much unnecessary suffering. Only by accepting Jesus and his message can we change our world 

Prayer: Lord, our sins are always self inflicted wounds. In your love for us, it is this that causes you most sorrow. Lord open the eyes of our minds and hearts to accept your love. Sacred fleart of Jesus, have mercy on us 

Day Six June 24th: Jesus rejoices with his disciples
Scripture: 'Jesus said, 'I bless you Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to little children"' (Lk.10.2l). 

Meditation: We need the trusting attitude of little children to know God. Only by accepting the truth of own frailty and dependence on God can we be open to the God of truth as he reveals himself to us. 

Prayer: Lord, you found joy in whatever pleased your Father. Help us to recognise our true littleness and frailty, which lead to real humility, so that we can receive th gift of faith. Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthen our weak faith 

Seventh Day (25 June): Jesus is betrayed 
Scripture: 'Jesus said, "Judas, are you betraying the Son of man with a kiss?"' (Lk.22:48). 

Meditation: Judas had been specially chosen by Jesus, and had been his constant companion for the past three years. Because of this, his treachery was a cause of even deeper sorrow for Jesus. When someone close to us rejects our love, it is felt all the more keenly. 

Prayer: Lord, you experienced all of our human pain except the wounds of sin. Give us the courage to forgive anyone who injures us. Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. 

Eighth Day (26 June): Jesus visits his friends in Bethany 
Scripture: ' A woman named Martha wel- comed him into her house. She had a sister called Mary, who sat down at the Lord's feet and listened to him speaking' (Lk.10:38-39). 

Meditation: Bethany was just two miles from Jerusalem, and it is clear from the gospels that Jesus loved to go there. He was received in this home with great love and faith, and they became very close friends. 

Prayer: Jesus, you call each of us to grow in intimate friendship with you during our life on earth. May we come to know you better and find joy in the time that we set aside for you in prayer each day. Sacred Heart of Jesus, teach us to meet you in prayet: 

Ninth Day (27 June): Jesus enters his passion 
Scripture: 'He said to them, "my soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and stay awake with me"' (Mt.26:37-38). 

Meditation: Human suffering can be very lonely, for no one but God and ourselves really knows what our pain is like. Jesus asked for the company of his closest friends, but they fell asleep. In his passion, Jesus entered into our human suffering and changed it through his resurrection. Now, by accepting our sufferings and uniting them with Christ's, we can be brought closer to God. 

Prayer: Lord, your suffering was real human suffering, and you freely accepted it out of love for us. Ease our sufferings. Give us the courage to accept what we cannot change and to unite it to your sufferings, so that we can be caught up in the glory of your resurrection. Sacred Heart of Jesus, strengthen us by your dying and rising. 


Moytura has several other sites with a 'Christian flavour'. Prayerful Thoughts & Thoughtful Prayers is a little collection of prayers and thought-provoking stories, and a few links to some other really nice websites. Reflections for Lent offers a daily meditation for the 40 days of lent and the week leading into Easter. As part of my Journey section of the website join me to learn a little of the Early Christian Church in Ireland by visiting Clonmacnoise, founded by St. Ciaran on the banks of the River Shannon in the 6th. Century. Read about Saint Brendan the Navigator who started a Monastic settlement in the tiny village of Clonfert in the 6th century, located on the Galway/Offaly/Tipperary border. Travel on my journeys to two of Canada's most famous Catholic Shrines - Saint Anne de Beaupré and Cap de la Madeleine, both on the shores of the Saint Lawrence river in Quebec. Finally I welcome you to come with me to see a little of Medugorje, a peaceful haven in a war-torn country - Bosnia-Herzogovina. Please also pay a visit to  Moytura's Irish Bookshop where you can find books on the history of Christianity in IrelandIrish Prayers and Celtic Christianity

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