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The Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia invite you to join them in a novena to St. Cecilia beginning November 13.


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and In Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis writes, “Faith encounter.

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is born of an encounter with the living God who calls us and reveals his love, a love which precedes us and upon which we can lean for security and for building our lives. Transformed by this love, we gain fresh vision, new eyes to see; we realize that it contains a great promise of fulfillment, and that a vision of the future opens up before us” (n. 4). Saint Cecilia experienced prayer as a true encounter with the living God, and so she was able to hear the call to consecrate herself completely to him. She knew that the faithful love of God would sustain her in keeping her pledge of purity of body and heart and in remaining true to Christ even unto death. She allowed herself to be transformed by Christ’s love and so had the eyes to see all of life in relation to God and his loving providence. May we, like Saint Cecilia, commit ourselves to daily prayer as an encounter with the living God and welcome the love that can transform us from within and grant us freshness of vision.

Saint Cecilia, whose heart burned with the fire of divine love, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and In Lumen Fidei, the Holy Father speaks of encounter.

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the response to God’s revelation as one of entrusting oneself to his word. He writes, “The man of faith gains strength by putting himself in the hands of the God who is faithful...As Saint Augustine explains, ‘Man is faithful when he believes in God and his promises; God is faithful when he grants to man what he has promised’” (n. 10). Saint Cecilia was faithful to God and to her husband Valerian because she hoped in God’s promises. To entrust oneself to God or to another person requires radical trust, and such trust rests on fidelity. The faithful love of God is the source of all our own faithfulness. Even in a world in which trust has been deeply wounded among people, we still celebrate fidelity – wedding or ordination anniversaries, jubilees of profession of vows, and years of service in one’s workplace. May we, like Saint Cecilia, look to God in his faithfulness to be the security of our lives in a changing world and the source of grace for fidelity to our promises.

Saint Cecilia, faithful virgin, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and Reflecting on the link between faith and encounter.

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the communion with God and one another we live in the Church, the Holy Father writes, “In baptism we become a new creation and God’s adopted children...In baptism we receive both a teaching to be professed and a specific way of life which demands the engagement of the whole person and sets us on the path to goodness” (Lumen Fidei, n. 22). Saint Cecilia lived deeply the grace of her baptism, and she prayed and worked to lead others to newness of life in Christ. Her own zeal for professing her faith and the witness she gave by her virtuous life inspired the conversion of her husband and his brother. When we are baptized, we receive an outpouring of grace. We become children of God and members of Christ’s body, the Church, filled with the Holy Spirit. Strengthened by God’s grace, may we like Saint Cecilia, have courage to share God’s teaching and willingness to engage our whole selves in the task of the New Evangelization, as urgent today as it was in ancient Rome.

Saint Cecilia, who by your pleadings moved the hearts of pagans and brought them into the true Church, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org

I t e


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and Pope Francis reflects, “The clearest proof of encounter.

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the reliability of Christ’s love is to be found in his dying for our sake. If laying down one’s life for one’s friends is the greatest proof of love (cf. Jn 15:13), Jesus offered his own life for all, even for his enemies, to transform their hearts. This explains why the evangelists could see the hour of Christ’s crucifixion as the culmination of the gaze of faith; in that hour the depth and breadth of God’s love shone forth” (Lumen Fidei, n. 16) Saint Cecilia, like all the saints, gazed often on Christ crucified and from him learned the depths of God’s love for us and the way of loving others. She led her husband also to kneel at the foot of the cross, and there they were strengthened to witness to Christ in self-sacrificing love even unto martyrdom. To love as Christ calls us to love requires sacrifice each day, the willingness to die to selfishness to live to serve. May we, like Saint Cecilia, look to Christ and his sacrifice offered for us in the Eucharist as the source of strength to love selflessly.

Saint Cecilia, who converted your spouse and procured for him the crown of martyrdom, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and encounter.

NOVENA TO

Saint Cecilia 2

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Exploring the link between seeing and hearing in faith, the Holy Father writes, “Faith’s hearing emerges as a form of knowing proper to love: it is a personal hearing, one which recognizes the voice of the Good Shepherd (cf. Jn 10:3-5); it is a hearing which calls for discipleship, as was the case with the first disciples: ‘Hearing him say these things, they followed Jesus’ (Jn 1:37)” (Lumen Fidei, n. 30). Saint Cecilia listened to God’s word proclaimed in the liturgy, and she meditated on and shared this word with others, recognizing in it the “voice of the Good Shepherd.” Saint Cecilia knew that to pray the words of the Scriptures was to encounter the Word of God and to be transformed by his Spirit. Today, as impersonal words multiply, we need to rediscover the Word that is Spirit and life. May we, like Saint Cecilia, meditate on God’s Word, and proclaim the Truth who is Christ in our conversations and by our witness.

Saint Cecilia, apostle by your zeal and charity, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org

I t e


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat Pope Francis considers the the culture of waste and of throwing out so asIntoLumen fosterFidei, a culture of solidarity and link between faith and the common good: encounter.

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“Faith does not draw us away from the world or prove irrelevant to the concrete concerns of the men and women of our time. Without a love which is trustworthy, nothing could truly keep men and women united. Human unity would be conceivable only on the basis of utility, on a calculus of conflicting interests or on fear, but not on the goodness of living together, not on the joy which the mere presence of others can give” (n. 51). Saint Cecilia’s faith in Christ opened her to the blessing of each of God’s children. She knew that we live for a kingdom beyond this world, and that the charity of that kingdom begins in reaching out to others in this world. Faced with many material concerns, we could fall into a fearful or competitive mentality toward others. Faith enables us to trust in the providential love of God and to share freely what has been bestowed on us as a gift. May we, like Saint Cecilia, have the faith to rejoice in the presence of those who share our life and the love and courage to reach out to them in their physical and spiritual needs.

Saint Cecilia, consolation of the afflicted, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat Meditating the mystery of human sufthe culture of waste and of throwing out so as to fosteron a culture of solidarity and fering, Pope Francis writes in Lumen Fidei, encounter.

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“In the hour of trial faith brings light, while suffering and weakness make it evident that ‘we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord’(2 Cor 4:5)...Christians know that suffering cannot be eliminated, yet it can have meaning and become an act of love and entrustment into the hands of God who does not abandon us; in this way it can serve as a moment of growth in faith and love” (n. 56). Saint Cecilia knew well in the hour of her greatest suffering that she could not rely on her own strength, but only on that of Christ. Having been subject to suffocation for three days and then facing execution by the sword, she entrusted herself into God’s hands, thus showing the totality of her faith and love. We endure and witness suffering daily. As we strive to alleviate suffering where we are able, yet do we need the grace of God to see in faith the meaning of suffering. Like Saint Cecilia, may we unite our sufferings and those of the ones we love to Christ’s and prayerfully entrust ourselves to the Father who never abandons us.

Saint Cecilia, who during three days suffered most excruciating torments, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org

I t e


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat Faith transforms even death itself, writes the culture of waste and of throwing out so as to foster a culture of solidarity and Pope Francis: “By contemplating Christ’s encounter.

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union with the Father even at the height of his sufferings on the cross (cf. Mk 15:34), Christians learn to share in the same gaze of Jesus. Even death is illumined and can be experienced as the ultimate call to faith, the ultimate ‘Go forth from your land’ (Gen 12:1), the ultimate ‘Come!’ spoken by the Father, to whom we abandon ourselves in the confidence that he will keep us steadfast even in our final passage” (Lumen Fidei, 56). Saint Cecilia received the grace granted to every martyr for Christ – to trust more in God and his promise of life eternal than in any good this world holds. She loved the gift of life, but faith gave her the vision to see that life in this world, for all its beauty, will give way to the life that never ends with Beauty Himself. Abandoning herself to the Father, Cecilia knew that he would keep her steadfast. Even her extended fingers, three on one hand and one on the other, expressed her faith in the Trinity, the God to whom she went forth in peace. May we, like Saint Cecilia, persevere in confidence in God, whose love is far more powerful than death.

Saint Cecilia, illustrious martyr of Jesus Christ, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org


I would therefore like us all to maketo pay attention to every person, to combat t the of LumenofFidei, Pope Francis the culture of waste and of throwing out soAas toconclusion foster a culture solidarity and points to the ultimate witness to faith in Christ, encounter.

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the Blessed Virgin Mary: “In the fullness of time, God’s word was spoken to Mary and she received that word into her heart, her entire being, so that in her womb it could take flesh and be born as light for humanity...In the Mother of Jesus, faith demonstrated its fruitfulness; when our own spiritual lives bear fruit we become filled with joy, which is the clearest sign of faith’s grandeur. In her own life Mary completed the pilgrimage of faith, following in the footsteps of her Son” (n. 58). Like Mary, Saint Cecilia allowed the word of God to bear fruit in and through her. She, like so many holy saints who now behold the face of God, completed the pilgrimage of faith in the footsteps of Jesus, aided by the intercession of his Mother. We too need the aid of the great cloud of witnesses, the communion of saints, in our daily striving to praise God and follow Christ. May we, like Saint Cecilia, rely on the intercession of the Mother of God, and make the prayer at the conclusion of Lumen Fidei our own: “Mother, help our faith!...Teach us to see all things with the eyes of Jesus, that he may be light for our path. And may this light of faith always increase in us, until the dawn of that undying day which is Christ himself, your Son, our Lord!” (n. 60).

Saint Cecilia, who mingled your voice with the celestial harmonies of the virgins, pray for us. Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia Congregation 2 Nashville, Tennessee 2 www.nashvilledominican.org

Novena  

In this Year of Faith, join the Dominican Sisters in prayer as we reflect on the life of St. Cecilia. Like Mary, St. Cecilia allowed the Wor...

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