On June 30, the day after the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Pauline Family celebrates the Feast of Saint Paul, which means that today (June 21) we begin the novena to Saint Paul. (If you're reading this later, please feel free to join in!) Sister Mary Leonora, FSP, our provincial superior, suggests the intentions for which to make this year’s novena during this special time of grace: the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
“It seems to me that both St. Paul and our Divine Master are calling us to intercede for the world in a very particular way… More and more we are confronted with the misuse of the media on a regular basis and in many different areas; each time it is a reminder of our vocation to make reparation for the sins of the media.
“We are called to use the media for good, for the spread of the Gospel and Gospel values, but we are also called to pray for and make reparation for the misuse of the media. This is something we can all do…and this is what I would like to invite us to do in this year’s novena to St. Paul. In an age where communication is defining our culture more than ever before, our mission of evangelization with the media and reparation for the misuse of the media is not optional, but essential. We Daughters of St. Paul are called in a very particular way to embrace this world, accompany it, directing it to the Lord.”
In keeping with this theme, each day we will read from the World Communications Day Message of Pope Francis.
We’d like to invite as many people as possible to join in praying with us in reparation for the misuse of the media, so that everyone will use the media as God intends us to use them: for God’s glory and the good of God’s people.
NOVENA TO ST. PAUL THE APOSTLE
Antiphon: O St. Paul the Apostle, preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles, intercede for us to God.
- After that, Saul began to harass the Church. He entered house after house, dragged men and women out and threw them into jail. (Acts 8:3) Antiphon
- “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Sir?” he asked. The voice answered, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting.” (Acts 9:4-5) Antiphon
- For he who worked through Peter as his apostle among the Jews had been at work in me for the gentiles, and they recognized the favor bestowed on me. (Gal. 2:8-9) Antiphon
- With my many more labors and imprisonments, with far worse beatings and frequent brushes with death. (2 Cor. 11:23) Antiphon
- And so I willingly boast of my weaknesses instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9) Antiphon
- But by God’s favor I am what I am. This favor of his to me has not proved fruitless. (1 Cor. 15:10) Antiphon
- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on a merited crown awaits me; on that day the Lord, just judge that he is will award it to me. (2 Tim. 4:7-9) Antiphon
READING - Day One
The Holy Year of Mercy invites all of us to reflect on the relationship between communication and mercy. The Church, in union with Christ, the living incarnation of the Father of Mercies, is called to practice mercy as the distinctive trait of all that she is and does. What we say and how we say it, our every word and gesture, ought to express God’s compassion, tenderness and forgiveness for all. Love, by its nature, is communication; it leads to openness and sharing. If our hearts and actions are inspired by charity, by divine love, then our communication will be touched by God’s own power.
As sons and daughters of God, we are called to communicate with everyone, without exception. In a particular way, the Church’s words and actions are all meant to convey mercy, to touch people’s hearts and to sustain them on their journey to that fullness of life which Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to bring to all. This means that we ourselves must be willing to accept the warmth of Mother Church and to share that warmth with others, so that Jesus may be known and loved. That warmth is what gives substance to the word of faith; by our preaching and witness, it ignites the “spark” which gives them life. -Pope Francis, 2016 World Communications Day Message
THE PAULINE OFFERTORY (adapted from Blessed James Alberione)
Father, in union with all those celebrating the Eucharist throughout the world, I wish to unite myself with the heart and intentions of your beloved Son, Jesus, who offered his life for our salvation:
— that the media may always be used to support the good of each person and the common good; to uplift the sacred dignity of every human person, especially those who are poor and most vulnerable; to nurture marriage and family life; to bring about solidarity, peace, greater justice, and equality for all people; and to build respect for the gifts of God’s creation;
— in reparation for the errors and scandals spread throughout the world through the misuse of the media;
— to call down your mercy upon those who have been deceived or manipulated by the misuse of the media, and led away from your fatherly love;
— for the conversion of those who have spread error, violence, or a disregard for the dignity of the person by wrongly using the media and rejecting the teaching of Christ and his Church;
— that we may follow Christ alone whom you, Father, in your boundless love, sent into the world, saying, “This is my beloved Son, hear him”;
— to acknowledge and to make known that Jesus alone, the Word Incarnate, is the perfect Teacher, the trustworthy Way who leads to knowledge of you, Father, and to a participation in your very life;
— that in the Church the number of priests, religious, and lay people who are dedicated as apostles of the media will increase in number and grow in holiness, making resound throughout the world the message of salvation;
— that all those who work in the media with good will (writers, artists, directors, editors, technicians, producers, advertisers, and distributors) may grow in wisdom and uprightness, living and spreading worthy human and Christian values;
— that the undertakings of Catholics in all forms of media may continually increase, so that by more effectively promoting genuine human and Christian values, they will silence the voices that spread error and evil;
— that well aware of our inadequacy and unworthiness, we may recognize our need to draw near the font of life with great humility and trust and be nourished with your Word, Father, and with the Body of Christ, invoking light, love, and mercy for all men and women.
Our Father and Apostle, St. Paul, you are preacher of truth and doctor of the gentiles. Intercede for us to God, who chose you.
You appointed Paul your apostle
to preach the good news of salvation.
Fill the entire world with the faith he carried
to so many peoples and nations.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.