This year’s Novena for Peace is a little later than last year because I had the privilege of being with my parents for most of the month of December to assist with my mom’s recuperation. She’d taken a nasty fall this past autumn and my sisters and I took turns going to Florida to help out.
Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, going to Florida in December wasn’t too much of a sacrifice. However, keeping up with work from there was a challenge, so praying last year’s Novena of Peace helped keep me centered and grounded.
I liked it so much that I wanted to invite you to join me in another round using those reflections too. There is a wonderful aspect of mindfulness that praying a Novena creates which is especially helpful as one year ends and another begins. Though time is an arbitrary construct and any time is a good time to set a new course for our lives, this week is a particularly good week to do so.
When reflecting on the year past and looking ahead to the opportunities for the year to come, mindfulness is a wonderful practice and discipline, especially when we invite God into that process. Habits form in seven days so nine days of prayer in a Novena can cultivate the practice and discipline that begins to develop, or deepens, your mindful awareness.
To facilitate your prayer, I will share the opening quotes from various chapters in the book Opening Hearts: A Cardiovascular Surgeon Reflects on Faith, Healing, Love & the Meaning of Life. I’ve had the honor of working on this book throughout 2014 with a gifted, spiritual, and truly saintly cardiovascular surgeon, Lester R. Sauvage, MD. The book will be published next month.
After reading the quote I invite you to click the links for the prayers and reflections from last year’s novena which focused on the Peace Prayer of St. Francis. I pray this exercise will keep you centered and grounded too.
Our first epigraph is from Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and opens Part II of the book: Healing & Health The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.