Novena To St. Benedict of Nursia # 2

Day 1

In the Holy Rule, St. Benedict said:

“Listen, O my son, to the precepts of the master,
and incline the ear of your heart,
and cheerfully receive and faithfully execute
the admonitions of your loving Father,
that by the toil of obedience
you may return to Him from whom
by the sloth of disobedience you have gone away.

To You, therefore, my speech is now directed,
who, giving up your own will,
take up the strong and most excellent arms of obedience,
to do battle for Christ the Lord, the true King.”
(Holy Rule – Prologue)

DAILY PRAYERS

Glorious Saint Benedict,
sublime model of virtue,
pure vessel of God’s grace!
Behold my humbly kneeling at your feet.
I implore you in your loving kindness
to pray for me before the throne of God.

To you I have recourse
in the dangers that daily surround me.
Shield me against my selfishness
and my indifference to God and to my neighbor.
Inspire me to imitate you in all things.
May your blessing be with me always,
so that I may see and serve Christ in others
and work for His kingdom.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces
which I need so much in the trials,
miseries and afflictions of life.
Your heart was always full of love,
compassion and mercy toward those
who were afflicted or troubled in any way.
You never dismissed without consolation
and assistance anyone who had recourse to you.
I therefore invoke your powerful intercession,
confident in the hope that you will hear my prayers
and obtain for me the special grace and favor
I earnestly implore.

[Mention your need(s) here…]

Help me, great Saint Benedict,
to live and die as a faithful child of God,
to run in the sweetness of His loving will,
and to attain the eternal happiness of Heaven.

Amen.

O Holy Father, St. Benedict,
pray for us.

Day 2

In the Holy Rule, St. Benedict said:

“What, dearest brothers,
can be sweeter to us than this voice of the Lord inviting us?
See, in His loving kindness,
the Lord shows us the way of life.
Therefore, having our loins girt with faith
and the performance of good works,
let us walk His ways under the guidance of the Gospel,
that we may be found worthy of seeing Him
who has called us to His kingdom. [cf 1 Thes 2:12]

If we desire to dwell in the tabernacle of His kingdom,
we cannot reach it in any way,
unless we run to it by good works.
But let us ask the Lord with the Prophet,
saying to Him: “Lord, who shall dwell in Your tabernacle,
or who shall rest in Your holy hill?” [Ps 14:1] (Holy Rule 1)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 3

“Brothers, the Holy Scripture crys to us saying:
‘Every one that exalts himself shall be humbled;
and he that humbles himself shall be exalted.’ [Lk 14:11; 18:14] Since, therefore, it says this,
it shows us that every exaltation is a kind of pride…

Hence, brethren, if we wish to reach
the greatest height of humility,
and speedily to arrive at that heavenly exaltation
to which ascent is made in the present life by humility,
then, mounting by our actions,
we must erect the ladder
which appeared to Jacob in his dream,
by means of which angels were shown to him
ascending and descending. [cf Gen 28:12] Without a doubt, we understand this ascending and descending
to be nothing else but that we descend by pride
and ascend by humility.
The erected ladder, however,
is our life in the present world, which,
if the heart is humble,
is by the Lord lifted up to heaven.
For we say that our body and our soul
are the two sides of this ladder;
and into these sides
the Divine calling has inserted various degrees of humility
or discipline which we must mount…” (Holy Rule 7)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 4

“The first degree of humility, then,
is that a man always have the fear of God
before his eyes [cf Ps 35:2],
shunning all forgetfulness
and that he be ever mindful of all that God has commanded,
that he always consider in his mind
how those who despise God will burn in hell for their sins,
and that life everlasting is prepared for those who fear God.
And while he guards himself evermore
against sin and vices of thought, word, deed, and self-will,
let him also hasten to cut off the desires of the flesh.

Let a man consider that God always sees him from Heaven,
that the eye of God beholds his works everywhere,
and that the angels report them to Him every hour.
The Prophet tells us this
when he shows God thus ever present in our thoughts,
saying: “The searcher of hearts and reins is God…” [Ps 7:10] Therefore, in order that he may always be
on his guard against evil thoughts,
let the humble brother always say in his heart:
“Then I shall be spotless before Him,
if I shall keep myself from iniquity.” [Ps 17:24] (Holy Rule 7)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 5

“The second degree of humility is,
when a man loves not his own will,
nor is pleased to fulfill his own desires
but by his deeds carries out
that word of the Lord which says:
‘I came not to do My own will
but the will of Him that sent Me.’ [Jn 6:38] It is likewise said: ‘Self-will has its punishment,
but necessity wins the crown.’

The third degree of humility is,
that for the love of God a man subject himself
to a Superior in all obedience,
imitating the Lord, of whom the Apostle says:
‘He became obedient unto death.’ [Phil 2:8]

The fourth degree of humility is, that,
if hard and distasteful things are commanded,
even though injuries are inflicted,
he accept them with patience and even temper,
and not grow weary or give up,
but hold out, as the Scripture says:
‘He that shall persevere to the end
shall be saved.'” [Mt 10:22] (Holy Rule 7)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 6

“The twelfth degree of humility is,
when a monk is not only humble of heart,
but always let it appear also in his whole exterior
to all that see him;
…and always saying to himself in his heart
what the publican in the Gospel said,
with his eyes fixed on the ground:
‘Lord, I am a sinner and not worthy
to lift up mine eyes to heaven.’ [Lk 18:13]

Having, therefore, ascended all these degrees of humility,
the monk will presently arrive at that love of God,
which being perfect, cast out fear. [1 Jn 4:18] In virtue of this love all things which at first
he observed not without fear,
he will now begin to keep without any effort,
and as it were, naturally by force of habit,
no longer from the fear of hell,
but from the love of Christ,
from the very habit of good
and the pleasure in virtue.
May the Lord be pleased to manifest all this
by His Holy Spirit in His laborer
now cleansed from vice and sin.” (Holy Rule 7)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 7

“We believe that God is present everywhere
and that the eyes of the Lord behold
the good and the bad in every place. [cf Prov 15:3] Let us firmly believe this,
especially when we take part in the Work of God.
Let us, therefore, always be mindful of what the Prophet says,
‘Serve the Lord with fear.’ [Ps 2:11] And again, ‘Sing wisely.’ [Ps 46:8].
And, ‘I will sing praise to Thee
in the sight of the angels.’ [Ps 137:1] Therefore, let us consider how it becomes us
to behave in the sight of God and His angels,
and let us so stand to sing,
that our mind may be in harmony with our voice.” (Holy Rule 19)

4 Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 8

“If we do not venture to approach men who are in power,
except with humility and reverence,
when we wish to ask a favor,
how much must we beseech the Lord God of all things
with all humility and purity of devotion?
And let us be assured that it is not in many words,
but in the purity of heart
and tears of compunction that we are heard.
For this reason prayer ought to be short and pure,
unless, perhaps it is lengthened
by the inspiration of Divine grace.
At the community exercises, however,
let the prayer always be short,
and the sign having been given by the Superior,
let all rise together.” (Holy Rule 20)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.

Day 9

“As there is a harsh and evil zeal
which separates from God and leads to hell,
so there is a virtuous zeal
which separates from vice and leads to God and life everlasting.

Let the monks, therefore,
practice this zeal with most ardent love;
namely, that in honor they forerun one another [cf Rom 12:10].
Let them bear their infirmities,
whether of body or mind,
with the utmost patience;
let them vie with one another in obedience.
Let no one follow what he thinks useful to himself,
but rather to another.
Let them practice fraternal charity with a chaste love.

Let them fear God
and love their Abbot with sincere and humble affection;
let them prefer nothing whatever to Christ,
and my He lead us all together to life everlasting.” (Holy Rule 72)

Repeat the “Daily Prayers” in Day 1 above.