Nine day novena in honour of St. Anne
Table of Contents

Doug McManaman
Reproduced with Permission

The following are homilies delivered during the nine day novena in honour of St. Anne, at St. Anne’s Church, Hamilton, Ontario. This is the longest standing novena in North America.

1 Title: The Lord Provides

Synopsis: As a parent organizes and plans his life around the project of providing for his own children, God plans, and He plans from all eternity, and it is a providential plan, a plan that provides for us, all for the sake of our greatest happiness. And although the hearts of our own children are not in our hands, the hearts of all human beings are in the hands of God.

2 Title: The Interior of the Soul

Synopsis: When we discover Christ, we discover the interior universe within. So many people are frantically searching, while everything they really need, everything they are really searching for, is within them, hidden in their deepest interior, within the interior castle of the soul.

3 Title: Channels of the Divine Mercy

Synopsis: Everything in this life, if it is to have any ultimate and eternal significance, has to be a vehicle that serves an eternal end. Our purpose here is to be channels of the divine mercy, and the spiritual life is all about becoming more and more fully disposed to being used by God for that end.

4 Title: The Reality of Evil

Synopsis: If the human person is a self-determining agent, which is what free will means, if he has a free will which cannot be compelledsince to compel a will that is free is a contradiction, if the human person has the dignity of free will such that he is able to determine his eternal destiny by the use he makes of that free will, then evil is not something we can control, and that is a frightening prospect.

5 Title: The Lord Dwells in Deserted Places

Synopsis: Deserted places are uninteresting, unattractive, and yet that is precisely where Christ calls us to be alone with him. The reason is that he is not found in the noise and attractions outside of us, but he is found within.

6 Title: Gratitude, Love, and Humility

Synopsis: To taste the divine love, to finally come to experience it, is to want nothing else. Nothing else will matter after that, whether we live and die in complete and utter obscurity, it will not matter. And the knowledge of our own frailty and sluggishness, the knowledge of our own profound limitations, will only be a source of joy, because that awareness, will allow us willingly to decrease so that He, Christ, may increase within us.

7 Title: The Need for Confession

Synopsis: The most popular unit in grade nine religion is the seven capital sins. Students are intrigued by it. And yet the adult world wants to avoid the topic. So many priests and deacons rarely mention the wordless so now than it was in the 70s. But theres no way to really come to any profound sense of the divine mercy without getting deep into the muck of our own sins.

8 Title: The End of the Dream

Synopsis: Lord does not help us to fulfill our dreams. Rather, the Lord calls each one of us to help Him fulfill His providential plan. Each one of us has been given both natural and supernatural gifts, not so that we might fulfill our dreams, but so that we might faithfully carry out the vocation the Lord has for us. God does not have a vocation, we do. He calls us.

9 Title: The Last Will Be First

Synopsis: You always get what you want in the end. Why dont more people drink from the fountain of living water? Because they have another pleasure. Perhaps it is in their accomplishments, perhaps they delight in being the center of attention, in being recognized, acknowledged, in being in the know, or in delicious meals, warm weather and the exhilaration of traveling from one country to another, etc. They are too full. They are not empty. So they dont seek that living water.

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