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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nine Days to the Feast of St. Philippine Duchesne

Philippine was such a great pioneer woman and showed such heroic courage throughout her life combined with a great love for all and a tremendous zeal for souls with an intense desire for the conversion of the North American Indians. I often wonder if her zeal did not influence those early Missourian Jesuit novices who later worked on the Indian missions. We know of her maternal solicitude for those who were the first to make their novitiate near our convent in Florissant. She saw to it that they had cassocks made from the nuns chapel cloaks; she sent food when her own convent had so little; she prayed for them and their work.

I am not much on novenas, but today I began one to Philippine. (When I was in Chile I had a spiritual friendship with a Spanish religious who lived for a time in the same community and we would both choose a practice of some austerity and rival each other during the nine days before the feast of our great missionary in keeping it; maybe that is why I think of always doing something to prepare for Philippine's feast.) This is an easy one for any who want to join me. It is the Novena of Confidence:
"Lord Jesus, through the intercession of St. Rose Philippine Duchesne, to your Sacred Heart I confide...(here I am putting my friend from Scotland, but you may add your own intentions, too) Only look...Then do what Your Heart inspires...Let Your Heart decide... I count on It...I trust in it...I throw myself on its mercy...Lord, Jesus! You will not fail me!..."

I am, of course, continuing my "walking prayer" with an invocation from the Litany of the Sacred Heart each day. Today is Sacred Heart of Jesus, to your universal charity, I unite myself." Jesus certainly taught us about loving everyone, even our enemies. He could say while being nailed to the cross:"Father, forgive them..."

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