This novena consists of a daily meditation, a meditation prayer, and a Novena Prayer found in the sidebar. (Download English PDF Version) (Download Spanish PDF Version)
St. Therese, you answered the Lord's call to become love in heart of the Church by entering Carmel and living the hidden life of contemplative prayer, fasting, and self-offering for the mission of the Church and the salvation of souls.
Through your gracious intercession, grant our prayers for an increase in vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life in our diocese.
Beg our Lord to send us laborers who will be true disciples of the Lord faithful to the service of His Church, the pursuit of holiness, and always eager to place the needs of others before their own.
We make this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ Our Lord.
St. Therese, Patroness of Vocations, pray for us.
Day 1: "Mission"
Meditation: "The Church by its very nature is mission." Through baptism, we share in this mission. God sent His only Son to free us from our sin. As missionaries, we participate in God's plan of salvation. He sends us into the world to draw others into the saving work that has been accomplished through Jesus Christ.
Prayer: St. Therese, patroness of the missions, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may joyfully follow the mission Our Lord has laid before me, in order that I may lead others to Him. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully follow His will without reservation.
Day 2: "Prayer"
Meditation: Without a daily retreat into the quiet recesses of the heart, which pulses with the presence of Christ, we will achieve nothing; indeed, we will become nothing. Prayer is a vital component of the spiritual life. Although many of our actions can be classified as "prayer," they can never replace a personal encounter with God. We must learn to contemplate Him in the silence of our hearts.
Prayer: St. Therese, you who understood the richness and necessity of daily prayer, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may learn to spend time in quiet prayer at the feet of the Master. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully make my work my prayer.
Day 3: "Desire"
Meditation: "May I never boast of anything but the cross of Christ." Our words and actions must flow from the burning desire within us to share in the sufferings of the cross. This desire is quenched by the blood and the water that flowed from the side of Christ. His death brought life to the world. We must long to be united with Him forever in the Heavenly Kingdom.
Prayer: St. Therese, you whose desire was magnified in death, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may burn with a deep desire to serve God alone. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully serve the Church with zeal.
Day 4: "Simplicity"
Meditation: Simplicity is the key to living an ordered life. The challenge is to perform ordinary tasks with extraordinary love. Tying our shoes, washing the dishes or picking up after others, are simple tasks that can testify to our love for God. Everything we do in simplicity of heart becomes great in His eyes.
Prayer: St. Therese, you who lived a simple life in submission to the Child Jesus, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may grasp the significance of living a simple life so that every action may be done out of love for Jesus. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully be a tabernacle of His love.
Day 5: "Charity"
Meditation: "The greatest of these is love." Perfect love begets charity. All of our actions must be motivated by our love of God and His people. Charity springs forth from a heart which places the needs of others ahead of its own.
Prayer: St. Therese, through hidden works of charity you touched the lives of your fellow Carmelite sisters, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may develop a heart of charity so that all of my actions will testify to the intense love I have for God. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully practice charity in thought, word and deed.
Day 6: "Purity"
Meditation: Jesus welcomed the little children. Children possess an unblemished purity of heart. With child-like faith, we must strive to imitate the virtue of purity by guarding our thoughts, examining our intentions, and sanctifying our actions.
Prayer: St. Therese, daughter of purity, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may practice the virtue of purity. (For those called to the gift of celibacy): Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully embrace celibacy for the sake of the kingdom.
Day 7: "Obedience"
Meditation: "Father, not my will but yours be done." In the garden of Gethsemani, Jesus surrendered His will to the Father. Obedience requires that we surrender our will to those who God has chosen to unravel the mystery of His divine plan for us in this life.
Prayer: St. Therese, you who obediently accepted the will of the Father as it was revealed to you by the superiors of your community, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may always remain obedient to Holy Mother Church and those who have been called to speak the truth in Her name. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully surrender my will.
Day 8: "Discipline"
Meditation: Discipline is an essential element of being a disciple. We must order our daily lives according to God's plan. Balance is important. An honest evaluation of our routine may pinpoint obstacles that prevent us from loving God with all of heart, mind, and soul. Discipline will help us overcome these obstacles.
Prayer: St. Therese, you who lived the disciplined life of a cloistered Carmelite, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may have the courage to confront my weaknesses. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully practice discipline so that I may grow in holiness.
Day 9: "Perseverance"
Meditation: We cannot hope to ever become a true witness of the faith if we do not persevere. Perseverance manifests itself through fidelity to God's will. Perseverance flourishes when we endure the trials of living a Christ-centered life with joy in our hearts. Through perseverance, we receive the gift of peace that abides in our hearts.
Prayer: St. Therese, you persevered in your love for Jesus even when your life was filled with physical pain and spiritual darkness, through your gracious intercession, grant that I may persevere in fulfilling God's plan so that I may rejoice with you in heaven. Beg Our Lord for the grace I need to joyfully follow Him, even unto death.