Novena of Novenas for Justice, Peace, and Creation VI: Our Lady of the Assumption and Saints Isidore & Maria

Today begins the Sixth of the Nine Novenas for Justice, Peace, and Creation, and this one is dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and Saints Isidore & Maria. It runs from August 4 through August 12, 2020.

I will not post this every day as the prayers and intentions are the same for each day. I’ll just leave it here for nine days; if I need to blog in the interim, I will just blog a reminder afterwards. For the background, please read this post (especially if you need to learn about who Bob Waldrop, the creator of this Novena, was, and why I am introducing it to you.) Or go here: A Novena of Novenas for Justice, Peace, & Creation.

Don’t worry if you jump in at some point later in the 81 days. To paraphrase Bob “just pick up whenever you happen to join in.”


Our Lady of the Assumption and Saints Isidore & Maria

General Intention: For the conversion of the rich and powerful. 

Corporal Works of Mercy.  Feed the hungry. Give drink to the thirsty. Clothe the naked. Shelter the homeless.  Visit the sick, Visit those in prison, Bury the dead. 

Act of Caring for Creation: Place matters! Work with your neighbors to heal and regenerate the natural environment, & to increase the safety, security, health, and well-being of your neighborhood.

God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me.
+ Let us pray together in peace, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, help the helpless, strengthen the fearful, comfort the sorrowful, bring justice to the poor, peace to all nations, and solidarity among all peoples.  Give us strength to stand against the demonic powers which prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Open our eyes to see the beauty, joy, redemption, and goodness which comes through obedience to your Son our Lord. Teach us to be a refuge of hope for all who are oppressed by injustice and violence.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, your Assumption into heaven is a sign of the triumph of good over evil and the coming renewal of all Creation. Help us to be visible signs of hope and comfort for all we meet and give us strength and inspiration to do the works of healing and renewal.

Saints Isidore and Maria, Teach us that creation is good and bears the imprint of Christ from beginning to end. Reveal to us the full expression of God’s generosity and blessings that are found through oneness in the Mystical Body of Christ. Instruct us regarding the dignity of work, the necessity of charity, and our vocational call to care for people, care for Creation, and to have a care for the future. Amen.

Novena to St. John Chrysostom on behalf of the Bishops of the United States of America 

 Most Glorious and Venerable St. John Chrysostom,
Grace shining forth from your lips like a beacon
has illumined the universe.
It shows to the world the treasures of poverty;             
it reveals to us the heights of humility.
Teaching us by your words, O Father John Chrysostom,
intercede before the Word, Christ our God, to save our souls!

Pray for the bishops of the United States of America,
who do not teach or practice the Catholic faith in its fullness,
that God will deliver them to orthodoxy,
and reform their ways of living,
so that as exemplars of orthopraxis, they will protect all life,
from the moment of conception to the time of natural death.

Teach them true solidarity with the poor, so that they
understand the consequences of their moral abandonment
of entire nations of human beings to a collective fate of cruelty and violence
because they were in the way of the American Empire and
its gluttonous lust for oil, supremacy, and blood.

As you refused to obey the aristocratic commands of your era,
help our bishops turn away from the political demands
that cause them to preach a false gospel of moral relativism regarding war and peace.

Having received divine grace from heaven,
with your mouth you teach all people to worship the Triune God.
Instruct our bishops with the wisdom of the Gospel,
so that they repent of their material cooperation with the objective evil of unjust war, and call all people, in authentic word and deed, to live in solidarity, peace, and justice.

All-blest and venerable St. John Chrysostom,
we praise you, for you are our teacher, revealing things divine!
Pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

O God, Who by the preaching and teaching of Saint John Chrysostom
has given us an example of fortitude in the face of persecution and political corruption, grant that we who reverence his life and ministry may also imitate
his example of fidelity to wisdom, truth, justice, and beauty,
through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Our Father . . . Hail Mary… Glory be. . .

Thoughts for the journey.

God loves everybody and so should we.  That in fact includes everybody, and “everybody” includes the rich.  So we must love and pray for them and be in solidarity with them too.  But because our love is motivated by our personal relationship with Christ Jesus, we should endeavor to help the wealthy understand the role they play in maintaining structures of sin and injustice that enable poverty and prevent people from full participation in their own lives.  Our prayer and work to bring all people into a relationship with Christ Jesus is for the rich as well as the poor.

This is a much better solution to modern justice issues such as the widening gap between rich and poor, the on-going centralization of wealth, and the corruption of our political system by wealthy campaign donors.  Historically, what happens is that eventually the rich become so oppressive that a violent revolution breaks out, which is typically a rather hard ending for the wealthy.  Alas, also historically, the old boss is replaced by a new boss but its all the same system so those who are poor and oppressed remain poor and oppressed.  So we work for the salvation of the rich, as well as the poor and all points in between, because that can drive the decentralization of wealth, universal health care, full participation on the part of everyone in their own lives and the lives and stories of their communities and many other blessings.

Earlier in this series of novenas, we learned about the importance of growing our own food.   For centuries, the Church has blessed the fruits of the soil on the Feast of the Assumption.

Here are the traditional blessings for this purpose.

  • Let us pray. Almighty everlasting God, who by your word alone brought into being the heavens, earth, sea, things seen and things unseen, and garnished the earth with plants and trees for the use of man and beast; who appointed each species to bring forth fruit in its kind, not only for the food of living creatures, but for the healing of sick bodies as well; with mind and word we urgently call on you in your great kindness to bless + these various herbs and fruits, thus increasing their natural powers with the newly given grace of your blessing. May they keep away disease and adversity from men and beasts who use them in your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
  • Let us pray. God, who through Moses, your servant, directed the children of Israel to carry their sheaves of new grain to the priests for a blessing, to pluck the finest fruits of the orchard, and to make merry before you, the Lord their God; hear our supplications, and shower blessings + in abundance upon us and upon these bundles of new grain, new herbs, and this assortment of produce which we gratefully present to you on this festival, blessing + them in your name. Grant that men, cattle, flocks, and beasts of burden find in them a remedy against sickness, pestilence, sores, injuries, spells, against the fangs of serpents or poisonous creatures. May these blessed objects be a protection against diabolical mockery, cunning, and deception wherever they are kept, carried, or otherwise used. Lastly, through the merits of the blessed Virgin Mary, whose Assumption we are celebrating, may we all, laden with the sheaves of good works, deserve to be taken up to heaven; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

With Christ within us, it becomes easier to understand what is important.  So we always must ask — How is my life open to the reality that Christ is alive and he loves me?  Jesus gave his life to save us and our societies from sin and oppression. He was with Isidore and Maria in their lives as farm workers. Jesus lives today and is at our side every moment of every day to enlighten, strengthen, and free us.  Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, of our journeys of justice and peace.

Act of Caring for Creation: Place matters! Work with your neighbors to heal and regenerate the natural environment, & to increase the safety, security, health, and well-being of your neighborhood.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)