Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 7

05 Dec 2018

Day 7 – December 5: “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God”

“I have called you by name” (Is43:1).  The first reason not to fear is the fact that God has called us by name.  The angel, God’s messenger, called Mary by name.  To God belongs the power to give names.  In the work of creation, he calls into existence every creature by name.  There is an identity behind a name, that which is unique in every single thing, in every single person; that intimate essence which only God truly knows.

When God calls someone by name, God also reveals to the person his/her vocation, God’s plan of holiness and fulfilment, through which the person becomes a gift to others and is made unique.  And when God wants to expand the horizons of life, God gives a new name to the person he is calling, as Jesus did with Simon, whom he called “Peter.”  Since the divine call is unique and personal, we need the courage to disentangle ourselves from the pressure of being shaped by patterns of conformity, so that our life can truly become an authentic and irreplaceable gift to God, to the Church, and to all.

To be called by name is therefore a sign of our great dignity in the eyes of God and a sign of God’s love for us.  God calls each one of you by name.  All of you are the “you” of God, precious in God’s eyes, worthy of respect, and loved (cf.Is43:4).  Welcome with joy this dialogue that God offers you, this appeal God makes to you, calling you by name.

 

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.