Begin your Novena each day with the Peace Prayer of St. Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Then continue with the reflections and prayers of the day, as listed below.
Day 1: September 25
Conversion: St. Francis, a wealthy young man, scorned beggars until he realized they, too, were God’s children. He vowed never again to refuse anyone who asked him something in God’s name.
God calls you, as he did St. Francis, to undergo a “conversion” experience. Many times in our lives we see the face of God in others, yet do not act. When we rise above our natural feelings and extend a small kindness, whether a helping hand, a smile, or a phone call, we are the ones who are blessed.
Action: Today, find your conversion opportunity, and then be kind to someone who needs you.
St. Francis, friend of the lowly and poor,
Open my eyes to see God in all my brothers and sisters.
Pray for me St. Francis,
that I, too, might experience a conversion on this day,
and in the days to come.
Day 2: September 26
Conversion: Francis was graced with a generous heart, but he sometimes used God’s gifts incorrectly. During his conversion God showed him how to use his gifts of generosity in a new way.
As you open your heart to be transformed by God’s great love, He will guide you to a new understanding of how to use your gifts wisely.
Action: Today, thank God for the many ways He has graced you.
St. Francis, you are the Saint of Joy because you found true riches in God’s field.
You are the Saint of Peace because you found the true peace that comes from trusting in God.
Help me, St. Francis, to find this same joy, and experience this same peace.
Day 3: September 27
Trust: Francis had to grow in holiness. He had a great fear and loathing of lepers. He would ride away quickly so as not to speak to them. One day he asked himself, “Is this what Jesus would do?” And inspired by the answer he knew in his heart to be true, he began to care for those less fortunate and trusted in God to care for him in return.
Can I change my response to the “lepers” in my life? Will I find the face of Christ?
Action: Today, consider how, with God’s help, you can change your attitude.
St. Francis, all holiness stems from how we treat one another.
Open my heart and my conscience to see the area I need to change.
Pray that I may act upon the graces given, to respond lovingly and generously.
Day 4: September 28
Relationship: While Francis was in church praying, he heard God say, “Go Francis, and restore my church.” Francis immediately went out and began to move stones and to beg for supplies. Another word for prayer is relationship – if we spend time in prayer listening to God, He will speak to us.
If I want God to answer my prayers then I must be as ready as St. Francis to respond to God when he calls me into action.
Action: Spend five minutes in “relationship” with God today.
St. Francis, I do not have the resolution and firmness of heart to prayer as I should.
Beg God to give me the grace of a prayerful and listening heart.
Day 5: September 30
Get Started: Francis heard God tell him to build his church and immediately he found a run down church in need of repair, Portiuncula, or “Little Portion”. As Francis heeded the call, his simple response grew as more and more people volunteered to help him. Out of one simple man’s actions God created the Order of Franciscans, the order of the Sisters of St. Clare, and had His Church around the world reborn.
Hearing God’s voice, I must listen, follow, and with His Grace, see amazing things happen.
Action: Today, listen to what God has been telling you and get started!
St. Francis, help me to listen.
Help me to follow through.
Help me to get started in the way I think God is drawing me
You are not calling me to great things,
but to pick up a few rocks,
a few simple stones and rebuild your church,
right where I am today.
Day 6: September 30
Follow Jesus: Francis was determined to belong totally to God and so gave away his belongings to do just that. Pride is sometimes the hardest thing to discard in our Christian walk; perhaps that is what Francis did when he threw off his clothes.
What is it that I have to give up to be able to follow Christ as Francis did?
Action: What do I fear most? Today I offer it to God.
St. Francis, help me to let go of the many things that are
holding me back from living a truly free and unencumbered life.
Help me to let go of my pride in self,
my fears that hold me away from God,
and help me instead to be filled with courage and joy
in my Christian identity.
Day 7: October 1
Witness: St. Francis was not the most popular of saints during his lifetime, and was considered a fool for giving up his money, position and way of life, to help the poor. Today, he is the Patron Saint of the Environment and Animals, and people of many faiths know him and respect him.
In many ways our daily decisions are silent witness to our commitment to living a Christian life.
Action: What change can I make to help my environment today?
St. Francis help me to become more committed to living my life totally as a follower of Jesus.
Give me the courage and boldness to live totally for God each day.
Make known to me any changes I need to make to make this possible.
Day 8: October 2
Love: St. Francis lived a simple life devoted to the love of God. He was always growing in his faith and in his love for others. Loving as Jesus did is often hard work, and can only be accomplished by recognizing God’s love for us.
How do I show God’s love for my family, friends, co-workers and strangers?
Action: Be a loving presence to others today.
St. Francis, you loved God
and took Him completely at His Word.
Help me to do the same.
Day 9: October 3
Community: St. Francis’ community was built on the spirit of “fraternity” and many said “See how they love one another.” It is in how I relate to others, how I treat others and how I walk in faith with others, that shows whether or not I am a follower of Christ.
Action: Today, think about how you live as a member of St. Francis of Assisi Parish and of the wider community.
St. Francis, I know there is no greater virtue than love to draw souls to God.
Help me let go of self and embrace my brothers and sisters
with the great love and generosity God is asking of me.