Novena to Blessed Solanus Casey-Day 5

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Rom 8:28-30).

Is there anything that God cannot do?

Christian tradition tells us that Anne, wife of Joachim, was told by an angel after years and years of prayer that the couple would finally be blessed with a child.  Anyone who has read the story of Abraham and Sarah knows that age is not a hindrance for God’s blessing of fertility.  Scripture also tells us that the couple’s daughter, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was told by an angel, “For nothing will be impossible with God” (Lk 1:27).  Not only was Mary, a virgin, to become pregnant with the Son of God, but her elderly cousin Elizabeth was pregnant with His forerunner, John the Baptist! Indeed, the purposes of God cannot be shaken.  He works all things for the good for those who love Him, and He does it through our weakness and brokenness.  Jesus, the Son of Mary, took on our weakness in the flesh, yet without sin, so that we might be brought into the glory of His Kingdom.  He is the fulfillment of the promises of God, the kindness and the comfort of which today’s psalm speaks: “Let your kindness comfort me according to your promise to your servants” (Ps 119:76).

Fr. Solanus was no stranger to extraordinary faith and the hope in God to fulfill all of His promises.  People would come to see him by the busload to receive his counsel, encouragement, and intercession.  He witnessed to the pain and despair in the hearts of those who sought him out, and responded with one Word: Jesus.  He used the practice of gratitude to inspire confidence in God’s providence and to fight against discouragement, exhorting all with whom he prayed to “thank God ahead of time.” 

In His amazing Providence, God has worked multitudes of miracles throughout history to bring us to this point in time.  From the faith of Abraham, to the prayer of St. Anne, to the “yes” of the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the death and Resurrection of Jesus, to the intercession of faithful servants like Blessed Solanus, God has been working all things for the good for those who love Him.

Today let us pray to live in gratitude, thanking God ahead of time for the great blessings that He has in store for us today and for eternity.

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Solanus Casey

O God, I adore You.  I give myself to You.

May I be the person You want me to be,

and may Your will be done in my life today.

I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.

If it is Your will, bless us with the Canonization of

Father Solanus so that others may imitate

and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.

As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,

I ask You, according to Your will,

to hear my prayer for…(your intention)

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“Blessed be God in all His designs.”

Novena to Blessed Solanus Casey-Day 4

“For we who live are constantly being given up to death for the sake of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor 4:11).

“By death He conquered death, and to those in the tombs He granted life!”  This is the Paschal troparion sung on Easter morning in the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Byzantine Rite of the Catholic Church.  The compelling truth that Jesus has conquered death is the joy in the hearts of all Christians.  It is the one thing that always conquers the evil one — the Love that is willing to experience suffering, and even death, for the sake of another.

St. James the Greater was the brother of John the apostle and son of Zebedee.  He was the first apostle to be martyred in AD 44. He was buried in Jerusalem, but in the 9th Century his remains were brought to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain.  The Cathedral that holds his remains is the conclusion of the pilgrimage called The Way of St. James, or el Camino de Santiago.

We are the pilgrim Church that travels the path of everyday life and the joys and sorrows that come with it.  Most of us are not called to be martyrs in the way of the Apostles, but we embrace the crosses of daily sufferings, moment by moment, and offer them to Jesus.  Blessed Solanus wrote of five ways to do this everyday:

1. Detachment of oneself from earthly affections, Singleness of purpose.

2. Meditation on the passion of Jesus Christ.

3. Uniformity with the Divine Will.

4. Mental prayer – meditation and contemplation

5. Prayer – “Ask and it will be given to you.” (Mt 7:7)

Today let us pray for the grace of suffering well and embracing whatever trials we encounter on the way of life, thus sharing in the joy of Resurrection that Jesus offers us in every moment.

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Solanus Casey

O God, I adore You.  I give myself to You.

May I be the person You want me to be,

and may Your will be done in my life today.

I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.

If it is Your will, bless us with the Canonization of

Father Solanus so that others may imitate

and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.

As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,

I ask You, according to Your will,

to hear my prayer for…(your intention)

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“Blessed be God in all His designs.”

Novena to Blessed Solanus Casey – Day 3

“But the seed sown on rich soil is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.” (Mt 13:23).

Unity.  It is a mark of the Church. The seeds of the Word of God sown in unity will bear the fruits of peace and joy.  Scripture tells us “…in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians” (Acts 11:26c).  Antioch was the birthplace of the the first Gentile Christian community, and began when Christians were scattered from Jerusalem because of persecution.  The home of the Syriac Maronite Church of Antioch, born from the seed of the Antiochian Church, is Lebanon. One of her great saints is St. Sharbel Makhluf.  St. Sharbel is known for uniting Christians and Muslims in prayer and in favors granted through his intercession. He is therefore a great intercessor, along with Blessed Solanus, in times of disunity and persecution.

There are two great virtues in the life of Blessed Solanus that are essential for the grace of unity: humility and docility to the Holy Spirit.  Insisting that we must praise God “in all His designs,” he responded to major disappointments in life with gratitude, always thanking God ahead of time for prayers answered.  He lived every moment of his priesthood with confidence in God’s gracious Providence.  Through this docility he was able to comfort the afflicted through prophetic words, and multitudes of souls received the graces of conversion of heart and miraculous healings through his intercessory prayer.  He literally opened the door to all and sowed the seeds of God’s mercy, bearing fruit “a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.”

Today let us pray for the Lord to sow the seeds of conversion into the hearts of all His people, bearing the fruits of unity, peace, and joy.

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Solanus Casey

O God, I adore You.  I give myself to You.

May I be the person You want me to be,

and may Your will be done in my life today.

I thank You for the gifts You gave Father Solanus.

If it is Your will, bless us with the Canonization of

Father Solanus so that others may imitate

and carry on his love for all the poor and suffering of our world.

As he joyfully accepted Your divine plans,

I ask You, according to Your will,

to hear my prayer for…(your intention)

through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

“Blessed be God in all His designs.”