Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 3

01 Dec 2018

Day 3 – December 1: “The Mighty One has done great things for me”

Mary was little more than an adolescent.  Yet in the Magnificat, she echoes the praises of her people and their history.

Our personal history is part of a long trail, a communal journey that has preceded us over the ages.  Like Mary, we belong to a people.  History teaches us that, even when the Church has to sail on stormy seas, the hand of God guides her and helps her to overcome moments of difficulty. The genuine experience of the Church is not like a flash mob, where people agree to meet, do their thing, and then go their separate ways.  The Church is heir to a long tradition which, passed down from generation to generation, is further enriched by the experience of each individual.  Your personal history has a place within the greater history of the Church.

Being mindful of the past also helps us to be open to the unexpected ways that God acts in us and through us.  It also helps us to be open to being chosen as a means by which God brings about his saving plan.  As young people, you too can do great things and take on fuller responsibilities, if only you recognize God’s mercy and power at work in your lives.

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.