Tomorrow is the last day of the first Novena of the summer Novena of Novenas for Justice, Peace, and Creation. During these nine days, we have prayed the Magnificat of Mary every night, as well as prayers to Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin, founders of the Catholic Worker movement, and St. John Chrysostom.
On Monday we begin the second summer Novena, as we call upon Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Martyrs of Latin America as companions in our journey.
The general intention of this Novenas was — for the redemption of structures of violence, oppression, exploitation, and despair with beauty, goodness, mercy and peace. Reparations for all sins against life.
This intention goes right to root of the problem of the world. It is way too easy to do evil and it is often way too difficult to do good. The more we commit evil, the easier it becomes to commit more evil. But the same is true on the other side — the more good we do, the easier it becomes to do more good.
These novenas are not just pious exercises, although I certainly hope that we have an attitude of piety about them. The prayer ultimately is for the conversion of our ways and manners of living. It doesn’t matter if we are new to this journey or have walked it for many decades. There is always more to be done. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God — but we also know that with the Blood of Christ God is reconciling the world to himself.
It’s easy to fall into despair; hope is sometimes a difficult road to walk. Yet it is the path that leads to the peace that passes human understanding. We may not understand the path that is ahead of us. It may lead us to places that are unknown. We may not be able to see very far ahead of us and our steps may thus be tentative and unsure. Nevertheless, even when we don’t know what to pray for, the Spirit intercedes for us before the Throne of Grace.
The Novena of Novenas is well begun. May God, who has seen fit to set our steps on this path, give us the hope to see us through to the end.