The feast of Corpus Christi is quickly approaching and now, more than ever, Catholics are urged to join in a national novena for peace and the renewal of saintly living. The feast of Corpus Christi is Thursday, June 16, and is held to commemorate the Last Supper Jesus held with his apostles prior to his crucifixion. It commemorates the Lord giving the Church the Eucharist and it honors the real presence of the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist.
The word novena is derived from the Latin word “novem” which means “nine”. It’s a nine-day period of prayer that seeks special favors, graces, or answers to petitions to the Lord or a saint. It appears there has been a decline in the use of public novenas since Vatican II as opposed to the popularity of them prior to the council. Now, more than ever, there is needed a renewal of commitment to praying novenas.
With the abundance of anger, rage, violence, and evil penetrating our homes through social media and the nightly news, it is now, more than ever, we need to pray a novena and beg God to move. If you want to join in praying the Corpus Christi novena with Catholics around the nation, here is the prayer for each day:
Most Holy and Almighty God, we thank you and praise you for giving us the most precious body and blood of Your only son, Jesus Christ. Through the institution of the Sacrament of Holy Communion we are able to nourish our bodies and souls. We thank you for having made Yourself our food and for uniting us with You in this beautiful Sacrament.
In receiving the body and blood of Jesus, we live in You and through You. We praise you for offering Yourself as a continual sacrifice to Your Eternal Father for our salvation. Although we are not worthy to receive You, You sacrifice Yourself for us daily. And so, we request your most Holy intercession for the peace of our land, safety of our children and loved ones, the renewal of faith within your holy Church and a renewal of belief in the Real Presence. If it is Your holy Will, please grant our requests.
Most holy body and blood of Christ, grant us the sacred mysteries so that we may know the grace of Your Redemption.
Dear Lord Jesus, You made the ultimate sacrifice so that You could wash away the sins of the whole world. You have left us the great gift of your body and blood through the Holy Eucharist. We thank you and praise you every day for renewing in the daily sacrifice the actual sacrifice of the cross offered on Calvary, in which you gave divine justice and love for all of us sinners.
It appears, many times, there is no hope in things getting better. The doomsday scenarios the mainstream media portrays gives an appearance that all is lost. However, we as Christians know the end of the story. We know we serve a God who is present to His people in the Eucharist with his body, blood, soul and divinity and the Lord still reigns.
Let us come together as the children of God in this novena to honor the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Praying a novena is not a magic formula, a genie in a bottle sort of wish, or a superstitious ritual that is supposed to guarantee a result. The novena is more of a pious, spiritual exercise that has a greater impact on the individual praying it than a guarantee of the result for which it is prayed. Praying a novena for nine consecutive days will bolster an individual’s faith and help remind us in whom our source of hope and strength is found.