On our way home after visiting family for Thanksgiving we passed by a strip mall and saw people pitching tents to wait for the the store to open at 4am.
Wouldn't it be wonderful to come across this same scene at our parish church? Wouldn't it be wonderful to see people pitching tents and lining up waiting for the doors to open in great anticipation to spend time with Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament? We can ask ourselves the same question: Would I wait in line for hours to receive the Eucharist? To receive the Sacrament of Penance?
The early Church Fathers, especially those Fathers of the Eastern Rite speak about keeping vigil. They speak of sleeping part of the night and praying part of the night. In this short excerpt they talk about the soul living the life of the Spirit which includes fasts and vigils.
From the Philokalia, Volume IV, pg. 109:
Those who cleave to the Spirit and are totally committed to the spiritual life live in accordance with God's will, dedicated to Him as were the Nazirites. At all times they labour to purify their souls and to keep the Lord's commandments, expending their blood in their love for Him. They purify the flesh through fasts and vigils, they refine the heart's dross with tears; they mortify their materialistic tendencies through ascetic hardship; they fill the intellect with light through prayer and meditation, making it translucid; and by renouncing their own wills they sunder themselves from passionate attachment to the body and adhere solely to the Spirit.
There are many religious who keep constant vigil for our needs and the needs of the world.
In our own family of Carmel, the cloistered sisters keep vigil on our behalf throughout the day. Please remember them in your prayers.
Our monastic days begins at 1.00 a.m. with a prayer to Our Lady, who never ceases to engender spiritually the life of Christ in us.
At 1.15 a.m., we hasten to church for the night office. A time of singular importance in the Carthusian liturgy, the night vigils are a clear sign of the orientation of our life: for through them is expressed the watchful expectation for the Savior, and the prayer that a dawn of resurrection may rise over the darkness of the world.During this Advent Season let us keep watch with Our Lady. May She help us to be vigilant in our prayer for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. May the Holy Spirit give us the grace to be holy sentinels--souls constantly on guard looking for Our Savior wherever he may wish to reveal himself to us.
150th Anniversary Of Our Lady of LourdesNovena to Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Lourdes, Immaculate Virgin, pray for us. Our lady of Lourdes, at your feet I ask for the grace of (mention your request) my trust in your power is unshakable, you can obtain all from your divine Son.
You who kindly accepted to come down on earth to bring us the graces of this same Son, obtain for us the grace to merit them.
Hail, Wonder of the Most High, we praise you for your glorious privilege, and joyfully repeat a thousand times: She is Immaculate. Our Lady of Lourdes, who graciously accepted to visit us!
Resolution: Purity of intention in all our actions. Queen of Virgins, pry for us.
Be blessed, O most pure Virgin, for having vouchsafed to manifest yourself shining with light, sweetness and beauty, in the Grotto of Lourdes,saying to the child St. Bernadette: " I am the Immaculate Conception!" O Mary Immaculate, inflame our hearts with one ray of the burning love of your pure heart. Let them be consumed with love for Jesus and for you, in order that we may merit one day to enjoy your glorious eternity. O dispenser of His graces here below, take into your keeping and present to your Divine Son the petition for which we are making this novena. (mention your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
"You are all fair, O Mary, and there is in you no stain of original sin." O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. O brilliant star of sanctity, as on that lovely day, upon a rough rock in Lourdes you spoke to the child Bernadette and a fountain broke from the plain earth and miracles happened and the great shrine of Lourdes began, so now I beseech you to hear our fervent prayer and do, we beseech you, grant us the petition we now so earnestly seek. ( make your request)
O Brilliant star of purity, Mary Immaculate, Our Lady of Lourdes, glorious in your assumption, triumphant in your coronation, show unto us the mercy of the Mother of God, Virgin Mary, Queen and Mother, be our comfort, hope, strength, and consolation. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, to whom Jesus can refuse nothing, pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, you have power over your divine Son's Heart, prevail upon Him to be favourable to us. Ask, Heavenly Queen, and you will be heard. See our misery and our need, and have pity on us. O Mother of goodness! Bestow generously the treasures of heaven on those who pray before your altar.
Virgin most powerful, pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, you who cure the sick,pray for us. Our Lady of Lourdes, health of the sick, you who heal bodies and even more heal souls, be favourable once again to our fervent prayer. Be the hope of our dear sick, may their confidence in you be rewarded. Merciful Virgin, whose very name recalls wonderful cures, show us that you are once again our hope. Intercede for us and for our dear ones, Our Lady of Lourdes, help of the sick, pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Immaculate Mother, it has never been known that anyone called on you in vain, Those in distress, the unhappy, all who suffer: broken-hearted, wounded souls, sick bodies yearn for your loving care, most kind Virgin! If you so wish, no one will be left forsaken, and leave without feeling the effect of your powerful intercession. If we imitate your virtues you will intercede for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, help of Christians, pray for us.
Our Lady of Lourdes, who wept over our sins, grant us true repentance for our faults,. Help us to detest all that can wound the Heart of your divine Son. Make our contrition perfect by a sincere resolution not to offend Him again. Give us that Christian force which does not hesitate before any sacrifice in Order to merit the forgiveness of sins committed and the grace not to fall again.
Our Lady of Lourdes, refuge of sinners, pray for us!
Our Lady of Lourdes, protect our Holy Father the Pope...,fill him always with the light of the Holy Spirit, may we always have for him a filial love. may we always be faithful to his voice, may those who have gone astray come back to the Church to console the heart of our beloved Pontiff.
Our Lady of Lourdes, bless all priest, especially all those who make you known and loved.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Queen of Apostles, pray for us!
Our Lady of Lourdes, do not forget the children of the Church Militant, nor those of the Church suffering. Give them "rest, light and peace." The church, our Mother, asks this each day in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Hear their cry for help, and answer the prayers of those who pray to you for them. We wish to expiate for the souls of our relatives: father, mother, husband, wife, friends. For these dear departed grant grace an d mercy, Our Lady of Lourdes, so that they may sing your praises in Heaven.
Our Lady of Lourdes, the Immaculate Conception, pray for us!
Peace be with you!