Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 6

04 Dec 2018

Day 6 – December 4: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God”

As is understandable, the sudden appearance of the angel and his mysterious greeting, “Hail, full of grace!  The Lord is with you,” strongly disturbedMary, who was surprised by this first revelation of her identity and her vocation, as yet unknown to her.  Mary, like others in the Sacred Scriptures, trembles before the mystery of God’s call, who in a moment places before her the immensity of his own plan and makes her feel all her smallness as a humble creature.  The angel, seeing the depths of her heart, says, “Do not be afraid”!  God also reads our inmost hearts.  He knows well the challenges we must confront in life, especially when we are faced with the fundamental choices on which depend who we will be and what we will do in this world.  It is the “shudder” that we feel when faced with decisions about our future, our state of life, our vocation.  In these moments we are troubled and seized by so many fears.

Vocation is a call from above, and discernment in this context principally means opening ourselves to the Other who calls.  Prayerful silence is therefore required in order to hear the voice of God that resounds within our conscience.  God knocks at the door of our hearts, as he did with Mary; he longs to establish friendship with us through prayer, to speak with us through the Sacred Scriptures, to offer us mercy in the sacrament of Reconciliation, and to be one with us in the Eucharist.

Act of Veneration to the Immaculate Virgin Mary (Pope Francis, December 8, 2013)

Virgin most holy and immaculate, to you, the honor of our people,
and the loving protector of our Church,
do we turn with trust and love.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary! In you there is no stain of sin.

Awaken in all of us a renewed desire for holiness:
may the splendor of truth shine forth in our words,
the song of charity resound in our works,
purity and chastity abide in our bodies and hearts,
and the full beauty of the Gospel be evident in our lives.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you the Word of God became flesh.

Help us always to heed the Lord’s voice:
may we never be indifferent to the cry of the poor,
or untouched by the sufferings of the sick and those in need;
may we be moved by the loneliness of the elderly
and the vulnerability of children,
and always love and respect the life of every human being.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you is the fullness of joy born of a blessed life with God.

Help us never to forget the meaning of our earthly journey:
may the kindly light of faith illumine our days,
the comforting power of hope direct our steps,
the contagious warmth of love stir our hearts;
and may our gaze be fixed on God, in whom true joy is found.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
Listen to our prayer, graciously hear our plea:
may the beauty of God’s merciful love in Jesus remain in us,
and may this divine beauty save us,
our Church and the entire world.  Amen.