Post by Admin on Dec 19, 2018 13:32:39 GMT
Traditional Novena to the Holy Innocents
December 19 - 27
December 19 - 27
Blessed Babes! we celebrate your triumph, and we congratulate you in your having been chosen as the companions of Jesus when in His Crib. What a glad waking was yours, from the darkness of unconscious infancy to the divine light of life eternal! How dear to you the sword that thus transformed you! What gratitude had you not for the God, Who thus chose you, out of millions of other children, to do honor to the birth of His Son, by this sacrifice of your blood and lives! Too young to fight the battle, yet did you win the crown. The Martyr’s Palm waved in those tiny hands, which had not strength to pluck it. God would give proof of His munificence—He would teach us that He is Master of His gifts. And, was it not fitting, that the birth of the Son of this great King should be commemorated by largess such as this? Sweet Infant Martyrs! we give praise to our God for His having thus favored you, and, with the whole Church, we rejoice in the privileges you have received.
Flowers of the Martyrs! we confide in your intercession, and beseech you, by the reward so gratuitously conferred on you, to be mindful of us your Brethren, who are struggling amidst the dangers of this sinful world. We, too, desire to receive those same Palms and Crowns, which you have won, but with such innocence and simplicity, that the Church says you played with them: (“Simplices Palma et Coronis luditis.”) whereas we have to fight hard and long for them, and are so often on the point of losing them forever! The God that has glorified you, is our last end as truly as He is yours; in Him alone can our hearts find their rest; pray for us, that we may possess Him for all eternity.
Pray for us, that we may obtain child-like simplicity of heart, whence comes that unreserved confidence in God, which leads man to the perfect accomplish of His holy will. May we bear the cross with patience, when He sends it, and desire nothing but His holy will. You gazed upon the murderers who broke your gentle sleep, and you found nothing to make you fear; the bright sword they held over your cradle, had but the look of a toy you asked to play with; death stared you in the face, and you smiled on him. May we imitate you, and be meek and graceful in the trials that come to us; making them our martyrdom by the quiet endurance of our courage, and the conformity of our will with that of our Sovereign Lord and Master, Who only gives the cross that He may give the crown. May we never object to or hate the instruments He uses wherewith to try us; may no harshness nor injustice nor pain ever quench the fire of our charity, nor any event ever deprive us of that peace. without which our souls live not to God.
And, lastly, O ye Innocent Lambs, slain for Jesus, and following Him whithersoever He goeth, because ye are pure—pray for us to the Lamb of God, that He permit us to come to Him in Bethlehem, and, like you, fix our dwelling there, for it is the abode of love and innocence. Speak for us to Mary, a Mother more compassionate than Rachel; tell her that we are her Children, and your Brethren. She that compassionated your momentary sufferings, will pity us and help us in our long years of temptation, pain, and sorrow.
From The Liturgical Year of Abbott Prosper Louis Paschal Guéranger, O.S.B.