Sunday, November 20, 2011

Novena of Bl. James, Day 9

Reading (Pope Benedict's letter "Porta Fidei" announcing the "Year of Faith" that will open next October):
Through his love, Jesus Christ attracts to himself the people of every generation: in every age he convokes the Church, entrusting her with the proclamation of the Gospel by a mandate that is ever new. Today too, there is a need for stronger ecclesial commitment to new evangelization in order to rediscover the joy of believing and the enthusiasm for communicating the faith. In rediscovering his love day by day, the missionary commitment of believers attains force and vigour that can never fade away. Faith grows when it is lived as an experience of love received and when it is communicated as an experience of grace and joy. It makes us fruitful, because it expands our hearts in hope and enables us to bear life-giving witness: indeed, it opens the hearts and minds of those who listen to respond to the Lord’s invitation to adhere to his word and become his disciples. Believers, so Saint Augustine tells us, “strengthen themselves by believing”.

Bl. James writes (in the third person!)

His prayer lasted four hours after the High Mass: [it was] for the century to be born in Christ, in the Eucharist; for new apostles to reform the law, education, literature, the press, morals; for the Church to give fresh impetus to mission; for good use to be made of the new means of apostolate; for society to welcome the great teachings of Leo XIII’s encyclicals.... His mind and heart became so fixed on the Eucharist, the Gospel, the Pope, the new century, the new means, ... and the need for a new band of apostles, that from then on these things always dominated his thoughts, his prayer, his spiritual work and his yearnings. He felt an obligation to serve the Church, the women and men of the new age, and to work with others in an organized way.

Prayer: O God, who raised up in  your Church Blessed James Alberione, priest, to proclaim your Son as the Way, the Truth and the Life through the many forms of communication, grant, we beseech you, that we may follow his example and devote ourselves to preaching the Gospel to all nations. Through Christ our Lord.

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