Please join our community around the world in praying this novena for your family and all families. We do this for nine days, finishing on Venerable Patrick Peyton's anniversary of birth on January 9. As we pray, we also thank God for Father Peyton's memory and his timeless message to all families, "The Family That Prays Together Stays Together."
How can we grow old gracefully? Maybe Anna from the Bible gives us the answer. First, she never lost hope. Second, she never ceased to worship. Third she never ceased to pray.
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Recently, I was gazing out the window and noticed a walker pushing a child in a stroller. I imagined the person navigating was a grandparent. It was a cold day, and my first thought was: that youngster should have a hat! Now, in fairness, maybe the child did have a hat but preferred not to wear it. All parents and grandparents have had the: “I won’t wear this!” battle of wills. How much to insist is part of the wisdom of the moment.
My mother started praying the Rosary with me as an infant everyday as she held me in her arms. With Mary, she introduced me to Jesus. She shared with me her love of Jesus. I realize now that I was already living the truth that is the core of Saint John’s First Letter that we hear these days: God is Love.
An elderly man in Oklahoma calls his son in New York and says: "I hate to ruin your day son, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are getting a divorce. We've survived 45 years of marriage….and that much misery is enough." The son was shocked. "Dad, what are you talking about?", he yells. The old father explained, "We can't stand the sight of each other any longer."
Friends, there is a splendid, magnificent, grace-filled, experiment you might want to know about and possibly take up in the New Year. It is called a NOVENA, a nine-day exercise in prayer that just might change the trajectory of your spiritual life for the better in 2022.