I try to start my homeschooling year with a novena. This year I was prompted to share with others. I went searching some of my past novenas for direction. I came across a novena that a parish friend had initiated in 2009. It was providential!
She sent the novena invitation on July 23, nine days prior to the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola.
Here’s what she wrote, it’s my invite to you. Let us form a communion of prayer to discern God’s will, Glorify God and raise one another up.
Dear Homeschooling Families,
It seems that no matter, how many years one has been at this, the balancing of interests and needs of our families, while ever-changing never gets any clearer or even any easier. Each year we are faced with decisions about our children’s education, what grade, what subjects, what books along with trying to fit into a 24 hour day all the other things we do that are necessary to keeping our homes, like laundry, dishes, etc. We wonder how many outside activities we can reasonably take on, what to make sure we include and what we may have to omit. In the end each of us desires to do the Will of God, for ourselves and for our families, each and every member. The desire to do His Will does not necessarily always translate though into a clear understanding at all times what exactly His Will may be and so we try very hard to balance all the decisions that our multi-faceted vocation entails and discern what He is really asking us to do.
A couple of months ago I approached two of our Priests at St. S’s to ask them which Saint’s intercession would be the most efficacious for discernment. Both responded – St.Ignatius of Loyola. I know everyone else probably already knew this. I tried to find a Novena prayer to post to this group, so we could all join together, praying for our families and each other, but I was distracted and delayed. The time has come, however, since today begins the nine days prior to July 31, the Feast of St. Ignatius. So I invite you to join my family in praying for discernment of God’s Will in our homeschooling families, that we are able, as much as God will allow, to know which choices to make in all areas of our lives that will reflect His Holy Will and work always for God’s greater glory for this upcoming school year.
Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me: I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more.
Grant, O Lord, that my heart may neither desire nor seek anything but what is necessary for the fulfillment of Thy holy Will. May health or sickness, riches or poverty, honors or contempt, humiliations, leave my soul in that state of perfect detachment to which I desire to attain for Thy greater honor and Thy greater glory.
O my God, teach me to be generous:
to serve you as you deserve to be served;
to give without counting the cost;
to fight without fear of being wounded;
to work without seeking rest;
and to spend myself without expecting any reward,
but the knowledge that I am doing your holy will.
St. Ignatius of Loyola Novena Prayer
Holy Father Ignatius,
through the centuries millions must have known
the influence of your inspiration.
Our world today needs to find your secret
of finding God everywhere,
of putting Him first in our intention and endeavor,
of desiring nothing but what He wants,
of yearning for nothing but His love and grace.
Teach us the freedom that comes from committing ourselves
to God’s designs for a world laden with creative beauty
yet marred by our violent ways.
You knew that Christ was your companion
at every step of life.
You joined him in his ongoing work
for the salvation of us all.
Help us to find courage in his presence,
to feel that he works with and in us.
through the power of your prayer
give us peace and joy
and grant us our most intimate requests
in this Novena
if they be for His greater glory
and our greater good.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be to the Father (three times).
(The Litany of the Holy Name of Jesus or the Litany of the Blessed Virgin may be added.)
V. Pray for us, O Holy Father, Saint Ignatius.
R. That we may be made worthy of the Promises of Christ.
Let us pray.
O God, who, for the increase of the greater glory of Thy Holy Name, hast been pleased by Blessed Ignatius to strengthen the Church militant with new help, grant that, aided by his prayers during our warfare on earth, we may so imitate his virtues as to be happily crowned with him in heaven. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Let us pray.
O Holy Lord, Father Almighty, Eternal God, who, imparting to the bodies of the sick Thy gracious blessing, dost guard Thy creature by Thy manifold tenderness, graciously assist us to invoke Thy Holy Name, that, by the intercession of Thy Confessor, Saint Ignatius, Thy servants, freed from sickness and blessed with health, may be raised up by Thy right hand, strengthened by Thy help, guarded by Thy protection, and restored to Thy Holy Church with every blessing. Through our Lord Jesus Christ.