Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Jesse Tree - Day 6: Isaac

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 6: Isaac

Symbols: bundle of wood, altar, ram in bush

Abraham's-sacrifice-from-Raduil
Abraham's sacrifice - a fresco from the Old church of Raduil. Bulgaria,
by Edal Anton Lefterov (Own work);[CC-BY-SA-3.0 or GFDL  via Wikimedia Commons
How Abraham must have trusted and loved God above all to follow his instructions for sacrificing Isaac. In this way he is the opposite of Adam and Eve who did the "reasonable" thing instead of trusting in God's love. Perhaps he remembered that God loved Isaac even more than he, Abraham, did. Perhaps it was a continual struggle with himself to obey God's will. Or both. Did Abraham think of that star-filled night, of the promise of more descendants than he could count? And what do I do when faced with an "unreasonable" request? We saw what Christ did. He obeyed and trusted and loved God to the very end ... and to a resurrection. And that made all the difference for us.

Abraham embraces his son Isaac after receiving him back from God, 1900 Bible illustration
Via Wikimedia Commons

Optional Memorial of St. Nicholas, bishop



This is the true St. Nicholas Day, celebrating that Turkish bishop who generously gave to the poor and is an intercessor for financial problems. Look Catholic Culture for information about St. Nick, including activities to do with the kids.

I love the details you can find there.
Patron: against imprisonment; against robberies; against robbers; apothecaries; bakers; barrel makers; boatmen; boot blacks; boys; brewers; brides; captives; children; coopers; dock workers; druggists; fishermen; grooms; judges; lawsuits lost unjustly; longshoremen; maidens; mariners; merchants; murderers; newlyweds; old maids; parish clerks; paupers; pawnbrokers; perfumeries; perfumers; pharmacists; pilgrims; poor people; prisoners; sailors; scholars; schoolchildren; shoe shiners; spinsters; students; thieves; travellers; unmarried girls; watermen; Greek Catholic Church in America; Greek Catholic Union; Bari, Italy; Fossalto, Italy; Duronia, Italy; Portsmouth, England; Greece; Lorraine; Russia; Sicily.

Symbols: Three children in a trough or tub; three golden balls on a book; six golden balls; three golden apples; three loaves; three purses or bags of gold; anchor; ship; Trinity symbol on a cope; angel; small church; three balls;
Often Portrayed As: Bishop with three children in a tub at his feet; Bishop calming a storm; bishop holding three balls; bishop holding three bags of gold; bishop with three children.
Much more about St. Nicholas also may be found at the excellent St. Nicholas Center site. It can be incredibly busy this time of year, just so you know. They have many images and lots of great info.
Was St. Nicholas a priest?

Scholars believe Nicholas was one of only three persons to be selected to be a bishop without prior ordination (the others are Saint Ambrose and Saint Severus). He was most likely a monk, a lay brother. Before being consecrated as a bishop, Nicholas would have been ordained to the offices of deacon and priest, though he would not have served as such.
Jean Poyer, Prayer Book of Anne de Bretagne
Also, Recta Ratio has some great info and wonderful pictures including those from American Culture (of Santa, natch, not St. Nick).

AND Last But Not Least
One of my favorite stories about this saint is that he went to the the Council of Nicea which was debating whether Arianism was a heresy (read all about the incident and council and Arius here). Finally he couldn't take it any more and punched out Arius.

So, of course, I love this, courtesy of social media.


Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 7


The Madonna of the Roses
William Adolphe Bouguereau

REFUGE OF SINNERS
Cardinal Newman recommends that we do not think of God as a severe and harsh taskmaster. One who himself acts out of anger, with severity or harshness, or who is easily offended by others, is often led to perceive God in this light. Jesus, however, loves each one of us beyond our wildest imaginings. He seeks us out all the more earnestly the worse our situation may appear to us. Since God is forever kind and merciful, Our Lady's role is not to soften Divine justice, but to prepare our hearts to receive the countless graces the Lord has prepared for us.
Here is the novena for the seventh day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Jesse Tree - Day 5: Abraham

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 5: Abraham

Symbols: stars, torch, sword, mountain

011.Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan
Abraham Goes to the Land of Canaan, 1866, Gustave Doré [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gen. 12:1-3

God promised Abraham that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars at night. If, like me, you live in a city, then that promise loses a lot of its force. Think of the thick blanket of stars you see when you are in the countryside, mountains, or any other place where there isn't a lot of light. It is truly awe inspiring. And God kept that promise. Abraham couldn't have imagined how far and wide and numerous his descendants would be now, thousands of years after his lifetime. Abraham is our father in faith too, so we are some of those descendants thanks to our adoption through Jesus Christ into the family of God.


Abraham and the angels η φιλοξενία του Αβραάμ
Abraham and the Angels, By orthodox painter [FAL], via Wikimedia Commons

Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 6


Mother of God Oumilenie
(Affectionate Tenderness), Russia, XVth Century
via Icons Explained
Next to the Lord, when he is nailed to the Cross stands Mary, John the beloved disciple, and some holy women. At this climactic moment the Lord speaks to the Blessed Virgin with words that have particular meaning for each one of us. He says to her: "Woman, behold thy son." Then He says to the disciple, "Behold thy mother." (John 19:27) ... It is moving to see Jesus forgetful of his own sufferings and loneliness during the anguish of the Passion ... The immense love he shows for Mary, whom he does not want to leave on her own, still moves us today. There, next to Mary, John personifies every single one of us. Christ gave us his mother to be our own.

On this day of the novena we can consider our own personal relationship with her. Do we approach her trustingly as St. John would? Do we often remember that she is at our side? Do we seek her intercession frequently, saying with all our heart: Mother, O Mother of mine...

Here is the novena for the sixth day.

Genesis Notes: Abram's Practicality

GENESIS 13
When Abram gives Lot the first choice of land, we begin to see not only his generosity but his wisdom. Abram is willing to put family peace above what he might want personally. We also see that there is a bigger lesson about wealth being taught here.

The Parting of Lot and Abraham mosaic from Santa Maria Maggiore
Abram's wealth meant that he and Lot could not dwell together on the land. This created strife in the family, which leads to a separation. It is worth taking note that this first mention of great wealth in the Scripture is associated with unhappiness and lack of peace. This will become a constant theme in the rest of Scripture. It is no surprise, then, when Jesus tells His followers not to bother laying up treasures on earth. If the heart of man is so closely connected to his treasures, better that he should build treasures in heaven, where there can be no threat to happiness or peace (see Matt. 6:19-21).
This also is a continuation of what God showed Noah through the rainbow, the use of physical things as sacraments.
If Abram's descendants were ever to become a "great nation," as God had promised, the first thing they would need was land. Tribes of people without land of their own remain just that-tribes of people. God told Abram to take a good look at the land itself. This was the concrete reality that lay before his eyes. The land was real to him; the promise of descendants to fill it was still a hope, which depended entirely on God's trustworthiness. This is reminiscent of God's use of the rainbow with Noah. He uses here a concrete reality within nature as a sign of His promise to act. In the Church, God continues to do this in the sacraments.

Abram may have been thinking the same kind of thoughts we think when we approach a sacrament. "All I see here is land-dirt, rocks, bushes. God says this will be the home of my great nation. I don't have any kids, and my wife is barren. Can I really believe this?" In the sacraments, we are always faced with these very human questions. "This is just water on a baby's head. Is this child really being washed from original sin and given the Holy Spirit?" "This looks and tastes like bread and wine. Can I really believe that I am eating the Body and Blood of the Lord and that it will give me eternal life?" When we think those thoughts, we are much like Abram, walking through that desert land, pondering the promises of God. That is why his response will be of interest to us.

All quotes from Genesis, Part II: God and His Family. This series first ran in 2004 and 2005. I'm refreshing it as I go. For links to the whole study, go to the Genesis Index. For more about the resources used, go here.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 5

maternal bond
But Mary kept in mind all these things, pondering them in her heart. (Luke 2:19) And his mother kept all these things carefully in her heart. (Luke 2:51)

The Blessed Mother treasures in her heart the events she is privileged to witness. She ponders the great and small happenings of her ordinary life in the light of faith. Her considerations, full of affection, colour her entire attitude toward the various occurrences of her life as they unfold. Mary gives us a supreme example of interior recollection. Her insistent prayer rises to heaven like the sweet perfume of the rose...

The Blessed Virgin shows us how to ponder the truths of the Faith in our heart. We also come to perceive the events of our life in the light of God's presence. Apparent disaster and success, the birth of a child and the death of a loved one, the difficulties that arise at work and in family life and the experiences of our friendship, all these will take on their deepest meaning before our contemplative gaze. Like Mary our model, we can habitually seek the Lord in the intimacy of our soul in grace.
Here is the link for the fifth day of the novena.

Jesse Tree - Day 4: Noah

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic Culture, Loyola Press, Faith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 4: Noah

Symbols: ark, animals, dove, rainbow

Building of the ark, Illumination on parchment,
41 x 28 cm, British Library, London, ca 1423.
Via Wikipedia
I love the story of Noah. It is relatively short but has such a wealth of material for reflection. It's a bit of a shock to realize how quickly mankind became so wicked that the best solution was to eliminate almost everything. Except, of course, Noah, his family, and the animals on the ark. It's sobering to think how intimately we are connected with creation that our wickedness affected nature too.

I know many people didn't like it, but for me one of the best aids to reflecting on this story is the 2014 movie Noah. (You can hear my conversation with Scott Danielson about it at A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast.) It vividly expresses the wickedness of those ancient times, the flood, and the love that is felt at the end when God's rainbow fills the sky as a merciful promise never to destroy the earth like that again.

Jacopo Amigoni Dankopfer Noahs,
Noah's Thanks Offering, Jacopo Amigoni
via Wikimedia Commons

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 4


Lord our God, you were pleased to bring joy into the world through the Incarnation of your Son. Grant that we who honour his Mother, the cause of our joy, may always walk in the way of your commandments with our hearts set on true and lasting joy in you. (Prayer over the Gifts, Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

Christ is our principal reason for happiness. He removes every trace from sadness from our hearts. Our Lady is truly the Cause of our joy, since her cooperation in the economy of salvation makes it possible for Christ to enter into us.

...The Blessed Virgin can show us how to be the cause of joy for others in our family life, at our place of work and in all our social contacts, our most casual encounters with acquaintances, our interviews and business trips. The brief duration of our meeting with neighbors does not matter ... Our own original source of joy is God, to whom the Blessed Virgin leads us.

On this fourth day of the Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception we can examine the quality of our joy. Can others find God through our cheerful disposition? Are we uplifting -- do we bear charm not harm for those with whom we come into contact every day? Today we can offer Our Lady a firm and sincere resolution: May we make the way lovable and easier for others, since life brings enough bitterness with it already. Our cordiality is a way of imitating the blessed Virgin, who smiles on us from heaven as we brighten up the way of holiness for our fellow men. She encourages us to discover her Son in others.

Here is the novena for the fourth day.

Jesse Tree - Day 3: Fall of Man

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 3: Fall of Man

Symbols: tree, serpent, apple with bite

The story of the Eden Garden. The temptation of Adam and Eve by the devil.
Pedestal of the statue of Madonna with Child, western portal (of the Virgin), 
of Notre-Dame de Paris, France.  Via Wikipedia

Original sin. Whatever separates us from God is sin and it begins here when Adam and Eve consider whether they should trust and obey God or take matters into their own hands. We all know what happens next. It's the reason we have Christmas, so the "new Adam" can come and restore us to that original, beautiful relationship.

Adam and Eve expelled from Paradise, Paul Gustave Doré
Scan from a Dutch Bible. Via Wikipedia

Friday, December 2, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Chrysanthemums

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Chrysanthemums
via Arts Everyday Living

Well Said: To every life there eventually came a moment when one had to accept the fact that the future was entirely out of one's hands

In the morning when Mrs. Pollifax awoke she realized at once that a fateful day was beginning. She lay and thought about this dispassionately, almost wonderingly, because to every life there eventually came a moment when one had to accept the fact that the shape, the pattern, the direction of the future was entirely out of one's hands, to be decided unalterably by chance, by fate or by God. There was nothing to do but accept, and from this to proceed, doing the very best that could be done.
Dorothy Gilman, The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
I've been listening to The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, which is the first in the series about the grandmother who becomes a CIA spy. It's been a real pleasure revisiting a beloved character anew through Barbara Rosenblat's excellent narration. When I was young my mother would bring home the Mrs. Pollifax mysteries from the grocery store and it would get passed around. We all enjoyed Mrs. Pollifax's personality and ingenuity, as well as the author's talent for weaving a spy novel with a light touch.

I reread these so many times that the plot is coming back to me, several decades later, but it doesn't diminish my enjoyment.

Jesse Tree - Day 2: Adam and Eve

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

Day 2: Adam and Eve

Symbols: tree, man, woman


The Creation of Eve, Sistine Chapel, fresco Michelangelo, 
a "spandrel" in the Ancestors of Christ series.
"Then the man said, "This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh..."

Yes. Anyone who has ever fallen in love knows that feeling. After such loneliness in not having even one other person like himself, how great must have been Adam's joy.

I know the statue below is entitled Paradise Lost, but I like the touching tenderness of Adam and Eve as a couple.



Thierry Caro, Le Paradis perdu (Paradise lost), 
une sculpture de Jean Gautherin conservée par la Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, à Copenhague, 2007.
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Via Wikipedia

Immaculate Conception Novena - Day 3


Mary and Jesus Under a Palm Tree (Middle Eastern)
via Matt Stone's Global Christianity

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour; because He has regarded the lowliness of his handmaid (Entrance Antiphon, Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary)

...The Blessed Virgin gives us a perfect example of how to fulfill the Will of God by our complete availability. How unfortunate it would be if, in one way or another, we were to try to exercise our own caprice in the matter. We can best cooperate with the Lord through our complete dedication when we allow him free rein in our life.

Here is the novena for the third day.

Lisa Nicholas's Omniblog

New website alert - Lisa A. Nicholas who has her fingers in a lot of pies but most especially in Catholic writing and editing has launched a new website. Of most interest to me is her Omniblog which gathers all her blog posts from various sites. Check it out!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Worth a Thousand Words: Snowball

Snowball
taken by the incomparable Remo Savisaar
Living in Texas, the trees are just beginning to hit full color and we're hitting our first cold weather. Not only is this little fellow adorable but the snow on the branch reminds me that winter is in full swing in some places.

Well Said: Love can be hated when it challenges us.

God is love. But love can also be hated when it challenges us to transcend ourselves. It is not a romantic “good feeling.” Redemption is not “wellness,” it is not about basking in self-indulgence; on the contrary it is a liberation from imprisonment in self-absorption. This liberation comes at a price: the anguish of the Cross. The prophecy of light and that of the Cross belong together.
Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives

Immaculate Conception Novena: Day 2


Mary and Jesus (Chinese)
via Matt Stone's Global Christianity

HOUSE OF GOLD
Before God made known his coming into the world in the fullness of time, He prepared Mary as the suitable creature within whom He would dwell for nine months, from the moment of his Incarnation until his birth in Bethlehem. Evidence of God's power and love show forth in his creation. Mary is the House of Gold, the new Temple of God, and is adorned with so great a beauty that no greater perfection is possible. The grace of her Immaculate Conception, including all the graces and gifts God has bestowed on her soul, are directed towards the fulfillment of her divine maternity.
Here is the novena for the second day.

Jesse Tree - Day 1: Creation

Our online Jesse Tree is to help us prepare for Christ's coming by studying His roots and Salvation History. 

Jesse Trees follow the same general outline but I've found they are widely varied in some of the details. Some may have one day for Moses, others may spend 4 days on different aspects of his life. I'll be following the basic outline but, therefore, using my own discretion in a few spots.

My sources for days and symbols are Catholic CultureLoyola PressFaith Magazine, and A few beads short.  

This online Jesse tree grows very slowly as I add a day or two each year ... obviously this is a work in progress.

Let's begin with what a Jesse Tree is.
The representation of the Tree of Jesse is based upon the prophecy of Isaiah 11:1-2:

And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots: and the spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: the sprit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and fortitude, the spirit of knowledge, and of the fear of the Lord.

[...]

The Advent Jesse Tree is fairly recent practice, trying to emphasize "Christ" in Christmas by studying His roots. A home Jesse Tree can be a small evergreen tree, artificial or real, bare branch set in a sturdy pot, or a wallhanging made of felt, posterboard or wood. Each evening in Advent a new symbol is placed on the tree, the Scripture verse is read and the significance in Salvation History is explained.
Jesse was David's father, from whose line Jesus came (just to get all the connections straight). You can read the full story of Jesse in Isaiah 11:1-10 and David in 1 Samuel 16:1-13.

So if we begin at the very beginning, both in terms of Christ's roots and Salvation History, obviously we're talking about ...

Day 1: Creation

Symbols: sun, moon, stars, animals, earth

"The Blue Marble" photograph of Earth,
taken from Apollo 17, via Wikipedia


I read the story of Creation and love God looking over all he made and saying, "It is good." I also love the vivid descriptions of what is created: "... great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind." And, of course, Adam is also part of what is "good." He is here to be a part of creation also.


God creating the land animals (Vittskövle Church fresco, 1480s).
Via Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Lagniappe: Nature was absorbed in making cabbages when Mrs. Vesey was born

Some of us rush through life, and some of us saunter through life. Mrs. Vesey SAT through life. Sat in the house, early and late; sat in the garden; sat in unexpected window-seats in passages; sat (on a camp-stool) when her friends tried to take her out walking; sat before she looked at anything, before she talked of anything, before she answered Yes, or No, to the commonest question — always with the same serene smile on her lips, the same vacantly- attentive turn of the head, the same snugly-comfortable position of her hands and arms, under every possible change of domestic circumstances. A mild, a compliant, an unutterably tranquil and harmless old lady, who never by any chance suggested the idea that she had been actually alive since the hour of her birth. Nature has so much to do in this world, and is engaged in generating such a vast variety of co-existent productions, that she must surely be now and then too flurried and confused to distinguish between the different processes that she is carrying on at the same time. Starting from this point of view, it will always remain my private persuasion that Nature was absorbed in making cabbages when Mrs. Vesey was born, and that the good lady suffered the consequences of a vegetable preoccupation in the mind of the Mother of us all.
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
My favorite Wilkie Collins' book is The Moonstone, especially because it is so funny, but The Woman in White also has touches of Wilkie Collins' humor. The passage above is a favorite of mine.

Worth a Thousand Words: Titan Travel Poster

Titan
from NASA's Visions of the Future collection
Frigid and alien, yet similar to our own planet billions of years ago, Saturn's largest moon, Titan, has a thick atmosphere, organic-rich chemistry and a surface shaped by rivers and lakes of liquid ethane and methane. Cold winds sculpt vast regions of hydrocarbon-rich dunes. There may even be cryovolcanoes of cold liquid water. NASA's Cassini orbiter was designed to peer through Titan's perpetual haze and unravel the mysteries of this planet-like moon.

Immaculate Conception* Novena: Day 1

As has become tradition over the years, let's say the Immaculate Conception Novena together to get us in the proper frame of mind as we approach that feast day.



Master of the Winking Eyes, Madonna and Child, ca. 1450

Mary's purpose is to show us her Son. She always points the way to Him. I have never known her to fail me whenever I have asked her to show me Jesus. I will be posting something each day as this is a very worthy Advent contemplation ... and if you want to pray the novena, then here it is!
Mary constantly showers down graces and favours on the faithful, and so has won the prerogative all-powerful intercessor. Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Christians know that they can reach God through his Mother. She is our shortcut — the most direct path to God for us. Our love for her is shown in our continually coming up with new ways of expressing affection for her. We begin the Novena leading to the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception by trying to offer Our Lady something special each day.

DAY 1: MORNING STAR
Our Lady's appearance is the first ray of dawn that shines forth in the world. She rises over the horizon and is the forerunner to the brilliant splendour of salvation that will enter the world through Jesus Christ.
Here is the novena for the first day.
PRAYER TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception
of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
did prepare a worthy dwelling place for Your Son,
we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son, You did preserve Her from all stain,
so too You would permit us, purified through Her intercession, to come unto You.
Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, world without end.

Amen.

Day One


O most Holy Virgin, who was pleasing to the Lord and became His mother, immaculate in body and spirit, in faith and in love, look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession. O most Holy Mother, who by your blessed Immaculate Conception, from the first moment of your conception did crush the head of the enemy, receive our prayers as we implore you to present at the throne of God the favor we now request...

(State your intention here...)

O Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Mother of Christ, you had influence with your Divine Son while upon this earth; you have the same influence now in heaven. Pray for us and obtain for us from him the granting of my petition if it be the Divine Will.

Amen.

Litany of the Blessed Virgin


Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, hear us
Christ, graciously hear us

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the World, have mercy on us
God the Holy Spirit, ...
Holy Trinity, one God, ...

Holy Mary, pray for us
Holy Mother of God, pray for us

Holy Virgin of virgins, ...
Mother of Christ, ...
Mother of Divine Grace, ...
Mother most pure, ...
Mother most chaste, ...
Mother inviolate, ...
Mother undefiled, ...
Mother most amiable, ...
Mother most admirable, ...
Mother of good counsel, ...
Mother of our Creator, ...
Mother of our Saviour, ...
Virgin most prudent, ...
Virgin most venerable, ...
Virgin most renowned, ...
Virgin most powerful, ...
Virgin most merciful, ...
Virgin most faithful, ...
Mirror of justice, ...
Seat of wisdom, ...
Cause of our joy, ...
Spiritual vessel, ...
Vessel of honour, ...
Singular vessel of devotion, ...
Mystical rose, ...
Tower of David, ...
Tower of ivory, ...
House of gold, ...
Ark of the covenant, ...
Gate of heaven, ...
Morning star, ...
Health of the sick, ...
Refuge of sinners, ...
Comforter of the afflicted, ...
Help of Christians, ...
Queen of Angels, ...
Queen of Patriarchs, ...
Queen of Prophets, ...
Queen of Apostles, ...
Queen of Martyrs, ...
Queen of Confessors, ...
Queen of Virgins, ...
Queen of all Saints, ...
Queen conceived without original sin, ...
Queen assumed into heaven, ...
Queen of the most holy Rosary, ...
Queen of Peace, ...

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord, Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

Grant we beseech Thee, O Lord God,
that we, Thy servants,
may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body:
and, by the glorious intercession of the blessed Mary, ever Virgin,
be delivered from present sorrow and enjoy eternal gladness.
Through Christ, our Lord.

Amen.
This link is where I got the novena.

* The Immaculate Conception is a belief in the Catholic church, as well as some Protestant denominations, that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was protected by God from the original sin during her own conception. Since she subsequently lived a life completely free from sin, this makes her perfectly pure. The idea of the Immaculate Conception is often confused with the doctrine of the Incarnation and Virgin Birth of Christ. The Immaculate Conception was defined as dogma by Pope Pius IX in 1854 and consecrated by Pope Pius XII in 1942. However, this tradition had existed within the Catholic church for more than a millenium. Eastern Orthodox Christians do not believe in the Immaculate Conception, because they have a different view of the original sin from Catholics, and in their tradition, it would be unnecessary for Mary to require divine purification from this. The majority of Protestants reject the idea because it is not explicitly stated in the Bible.  (Description from Olga's Art Gallery.)