Prayers and Novenas

Prayers and Novenas

On October 31, 1988 Our Lady said:

“Dear children, tonight your Mother wants to encourage you to begin to pray with the heart. This prayer is necessary to today’s man for today’s world. Do not pray just with your lips. Do not pray if you don’t know what you pray. During this period too, dear children, I need your prayers, because I have great plans. I want to collaborate with you. I have repeated that many times in my messages. I need you. Because of that, pray, pray with the heart!”

That message was given in Medjugorje less than a month from the day the visionary Marija would come to stay at the home of the Founder of Caritas and his family. It was in these first apparitions, from November 24, 1988 until January 26, 1989 that Our Lady revealed that She desired to have a community begin here, in which Her messages would become the foundation of their lives. “…I have great plans. I want to collaborate with you…I need you. Because of that, pray, pray with the heart!” The founder has often said that the Caritas Community needs to be successful at one thing only, and that is prayer. If they are successful at prayer, then grace will be attached to all they do.

The Community of Caritas is a praying community, but they are also a working community and the balance of the two has born great fruit in the mission of converting hearts. Early in the apparitions, Our Lady of Medjugorje set forth the standard of four hours of prayer a day, in her messages. She received resistance when She first made this request in Medjugorje.

April 24, 1984

To the priests of Medjugorje:

“The information suffices. People already know enough. Tell them this place is a place of prayer. Pray as much as you can, pray however you can, but pray more always. Each of you could pray even four hours a day. But I know that many do not understand because they think only of living for their work.”

Father Vlasic questions Our Lady concerning telling the people to pray four hours a day and having them turn away. Our Lady then said:

“Even you do not understand. It is hardly a sixth of your day.”

Our Lady still gets this reaction. Four hours of prayer…that’s impossible, our lives are too busy. That, no doubt, is Our Lady’s point. Our lives are too busy. All we think about is our work. But when we don’t take the call to prayer seriously, people do not have the spiritual fiber to maintain their conversion. As Our Lady said, “…This prayer is necessary to today’s man for today’s world…” When Our Lady spoke about four hours of prayer, She prefaced it first by saying, with tears and a very sad expression on Her face:

“So many people, after they have begun to pray, to be converted, to fast, and to do penance here, quickly forget when they return to their homes and to their bad habits.”

In order to “stay” converted and grow in conversion, we must develop new habits, habits that will support and strengthen our conversion. So, first, a decision is needed to accept the obligation of daily prayer, and then with that decision, there must also be a period of “construction”. Our Lady said,

March 27, 1989

“…Pray as much as you can and renew yourself through prayer. Construct yourself spiritually. This construction lasts until the end of your life…”

Establishing a prayer life is not something that can be done in a half-hearted or haphazard way. Prayer must be built into your day, from the time you wake up in the morning until you go to bed at night. Prayer times must be planned, adhered to, and habited into your daily life. The Caritas Community has a daily prayer schedule they have followed, virtually unchanged, for the past 20 years. The same prayers, day in and day out, for 20 years. As the saying goes, “A life hemmed in with prayer won’t unravel.” Prayer is woven into the fabric of their lives. They have been successful establishing four hours of prayer into their daily lives, and they do it working 10-12 hour (or more) days. They are a witness that it can be done. Again, it is Our Lady who said, “…Pray as much as you can, pray however you can, but pray more always…” What is the first step in making that happen? Our Lady of Medjugorje gave the following advice:

November 25, 1988

“…I call you to prayer for you to have an encounter with God in prayer. God gives Himself to you, but He wants you to answer in our own freedom to His invitation. That is why, little children, during the day find yourselves a special time when you can pray in peace and humility and have this meeting with God, the Creator. I am with you and I intercede for you in front of God. Watch in vigil so that every encounter in prayer be the joy of your contact with God…”

This monthly message of Our Lady was given in the home of the Caritas founder during Marija’s first visit. It was this message that led to the inspiration of 5:00AM prayer in the Field. Rising early in the morning for this chosen time to encounter God in prayer makes it improbable for obstacles to get in the way of fulfilling Our Lady’s request of consecrating a special time of the day for prayer. A Friend of Medjugorje put this into his life, lived it first in his life, and the community followed in this witness. This was the first step. From 5:00 AM prayer, Our Lady gradually inspired the daily prayer schedule of the Caritas Community.

Caritas Community Prayer Schedule

5:00-6:00 AM—Silent Prayer in the Field (Rain or Shine º)
2-3 Rosaries are prayed in this time as well as some spiritual reading

7:00 AMPrayer at Dawn, St. Michael Prayer & 7,7 and 7 Prayer
Every Thursday: the reading of Matthew 6:24-34
Read a randomly chosen message of Our Lady from Words from Heaven
a message we strive to live during the day

7:00 AM in Our Lady of Victory School—Caritas School Prayer, St. Michael Prayer
Read a randomly chosen message of Our Lady from Words from Heaven—
a message we strive to live during the day

10:20 AM—One Rosary in the Field to coincide with Rosary
being prayed in Medjugorje in preparation for Our Lady’s apparition
Prayer to the Holy Spirit, the Rosary, The Magnificat, Prayer for the Abode of God

3:00 PMChaplet of Divine Mercy

At Night in our HomesA Rosary (by the end of the day we have prayed
all four mysteries of the Rosary)

The Single Consecrated Homes also pray The Consecration to the Two Hearts each evening

In addition to their prayers, they fast twice a week on Wednesday and Fridays. This is their minimum prayer schedule. Often included in their daily schedule are novena prayers for special intentions, the Three Hail Mary devotion, as well as their own personal, individual prayers, the daily reading of Holy Scripture and other spiritual reading. On Wednesday and Friday evenings, they meet together in the Field, or another designated place for family prayer group in which they pray and sing together. The youth of the Caritas Community, once a week, often at night, will climb one of the mountains to pray together.

The Caritas Community also has a seasonal prayer schedule, in which we pray certain prayers throughout the year.

The Fifteen Prayers of Saint Bridget during Lent

The Divine Mercy Novena beginning on Good Friday

The Consecration of Our Nation on the Fourth of July

Prayer for Non-Believers on the Second of Every Month

Novena to Reconcile Ourselves, Our Families and
Our Nation Back To God
and the Prayer To Heal Our Land beginning on the 25th
of every month from June to December every year

The Prayer to Purify and Protect Your Home at least once year
when we bless our homes with Holy Salt & Water

Litany of the Sacred Heart, Litany of Loreto, Litany of Saint Joseph, & Litany of the Saints on December 8th each year for the Re-Consecration of The Tabernacle of Our Lady’s Messages

And then the Caritas Community has certain prayers that are used for different circumstances that arise:

For any kind of emergency, physical or spiritual—Caritas 911 Prayer

When we have a special need or request—Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and
Prayer to Saint Joseph

For someone who is sick—Prayer for a Sick Person

For someone who is dying—Three Very Beautiful Prayers

For the consecration of our family—Marija’s Prayer of Consecration for Our Families

In times of personal need of conversion—Petition to God, How to Give Oneself to Mary,
The Lord’s Prayer all of which were dictated by Our Lady to Jelena

In Medjugorje, Our Lady gradually led the visionaries and villagers to increase their prayers, step by step. She did not require of them immediately to pray three (now four) Rosaries a day, go to monthly confession, fast two days a week, Holy Mass every evening, climb Cross Mountain every Friday and Apparition Mountain every Sunday. She had them establish one Rosary a day, then when that was habited in their lives, She requested a second Rosary, etc. It was the same with the development of the community’s prayer life. Through the reading of Her messages each day, She guided the Caritas founder in the gradual expansion of the community’s prayer life. As the habit of prayer grew stronger, the request for more prayer increased, but also the hunger for more prayer grew in their hearts. Often times the “desire to pray” doesn’t come until after the decision for prayer is made. Like any good habit, it takes work, discipline, and a commitment to stand against any temptation to make excuses not to continue.

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10 thoughts on “Prayers and Novenas”

  1. He has sounded forth the Trumpet that shall never call retreat; He is sifting out the hearts of all before His judgment seat; O be swift my soul to answer Him; be jubilant my feet! Our God is marching on. Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!

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