Sacred Space - Sacred Heart

The theme of the novena is Christ is close to me and gives me hope

‘The Lord waits to be gracious to you!’

Our God is a gracious God and will attend lovingly to your prayer over these nine days. While God knows the special grace you may be asking for in this novena, it is right that you ask him for it. In prayer we give our attention, our desire and our time; that is our contribution to the encounter: God does the rest.

Meeting the Lord

Try to set aside some regular time daily for your prayer. When you are settled in your prayer chair, draw up another chair for the Lord, and imagine him gazing at you lovingly and humbly, as Saint Teresa of Avila says.

If you are sick and in bed invite him to sit beside you in the visitor’s chair. You can spend time on this mutual gazing; it is consoling to gaze at someone who looks at you with great love. Next read the scripture text for the day slowly. Then ask the Lord to read it to you. Hear the tone of his voice, see his facial expression. He is speaking to you. Chat with him, as one friend would chat with another – as Saint Ignatius of Loyola puts it. Chat about what? About what he has read to you, about your relationship with him, your daily affairs, your hopes and fears, the persons and situations that you worry about. Imagine him responding to you.

At the end, don’t just drift out of your prayer: say goodbye to your Guest, thank him for coming, and plan together when to meet again. All of the above takes imagination. So in teaching us to pray, Ignatius says: ‘Imagine!’ Imagining brings you right into the scene: you can identify with the characters and feel as they must have felt, and learn about the mystery of Jesus as in no other way. Likewise you can imagine Jesus speaking the words of scripture to you personally. In this way we can let Jesus come closer to us and we can come closer to Jesus.

Remember Jesus said, ‘I stand at the door, knocking. If anyone opens the door I will come in and eat with them.’ (Revelations 3:20)


The days of the Novena will become available here from 11 June 2009.


Sacred Space Daily online prayer Novena