Novena to St. Benedict – Day Five – The Miracle Worker

We’re half way through!  Today we reflect on the power of God and miracles in our life.


 

HYMN

With sign of Cross, your weapon bright,
You put the evil one to flight.
Protect us by your loving care,
Defend us from the tempter’s snare.

They offered you some poisoned wine,
But you then made the sacred sign:
The cup of death broke open wide,
For death could not with life abide.

To you be praise eternally,
Most blessed, holy Trinity,
Whose loving grace did strength impart
And filled our Saint’s enraptured heart.

ANTIPHON: No one can work these signs, unless God be with him.

PSALM 95:1-6 The Greatness of God

Sing a new and joyful song, * praise the Lord in the psalms and hymns, / all you peoples of the earth.
Sing to him and bless his name, / his salvation loud proclaim, / day by day proclaim his name; * spread his name throughout the world, / make it known in pagan lands, / tell them of God’s wondrous works.
God is great, a mighty Lord, / worthy of all praise and thanks; * clothed in awesome majesty, / far above all other gods.
Pagan gods are lifeless things, / vain and useless works of man, / powerless to speak or act; * but our God is strong and great, / he it is who gave us life, / he it is who made all things, / all oceans, earth, and skies;
Clothed in splendid majesty, / God displays his might and power * in his holy dwelling place.

ANTIPHON: No one can work these signs, unless God be with him.

A READING FROM THE DIALOGS OF ST. GREGORY (II, Prol.)

Those who are in close union with God may, if necessity requires, accomplish marvelous things, sometimes by prayer, sometimes by a power given to them. St. John says: “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). Should we then be surprised if those who are children of God use this power to work signs and wonders.

R. Thanks be to God.

V. He was filled with the spirit of God.
R. He worked wonders by the power of God.

PRAYER

Let us pray.  God of power and might, you have sown forth your goodness by the many miracles which you wrought through your holy servant Benedict.  Grant us the final grace of eternal blessedness.  This we ask of you through Christ our Lord

R. Amen

PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH

V. Pray for us, holy Father Benedict.
R. That we may obtain the grace of a happy death.

Holy Father Benedict, * Blessed by God in grace and in name, * while standing in prayer with your hands raised to heaven, * you most happily yielded your angelic spirit into the hands of your Creator. You promised zealously to defend against the snares of the enemy, * in the last struggle of death, * those who shall daily remind you * of your glorious departure and your heavenly joys. Protect us therefore * this day and every day by your holy blessing, * that we may never be separated from our blessed Lord, * from the company of yourself and all the blessed. We ask this through Christ Our Lord. Amen.


REFLECTION: The Power of God

“Many people scoff at miracles, because they are so far from that inner life with God which brings heaven close to earth and makes heavenly powers visible.  Of course, miracles still do happen in the lives of God’s saints, but more rarely.  Is it that saints have become more rare?”

The above is taken from the reflection in the novena booklet–and it’s a good question.  I personally haven’t experienced the sort of miracles one reads about from places like Fatima or Lourdes, or that St. Gregory shares from the life of St. Benedict.  While the radical in-breaking of God’s presence into the world that happens with what we typically think of as miracles is undoubtedly a memorable and edifying event, the everyday faithful living of the virtues is its own miracle in this day and age.  Perhaps miracles would be more common if we were more faithful and committed, but I consider the simple fact that I have any faith in God at all a miracle, given that I was raised with no religion or faith of any kind.  Additionally, I came to faith at an aggressively secular state college within an Evangelical Protestant student fellowship–and from there sought out the Catholic Church as my spiritual home. By most definitions, I think that counts as a miracle.

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