A Novena to Simone Weil

A little bit of a preface.  A novena is a Catholic devotion in which a certain set of prayers–typically directed to a saint, but sometimes to one of the persons of the Trinity–is repeated for nine consecutive days.  Generally, the novena is said for a particular intention, though some are more general.  There are many novenas addressed to many saints.  Go to a Catholic bookstore, or poke around online, and you can find them by the droves, as well as books containing compendiums of novenas.  Regular readers will know that I occasionally post novenas here.

Recently as part of my series “Your Own Personal Altar“, I wrote on Simone Weil, the French philosopher.  I won’t reiterate what I said there.  Rather, I want to fill a gap here.  Weil, though probably baptized before her death, was never officially received into the Church, though she was Catholic by conviction for the last six years or so of her life.  As I said in my post on her, she’ll never be canonized as an “official” saint.  Then again, the Church also allows prayers in a personal and private context to any given departed (e.g. a parent or other kin) with whom one has a connection and who might be an exemplar of faith.  In her own eccentric and unusual way, Simone Weil, I think, was indeed an exemplar of faith.  Thus, I think a novena to her is not inappropriate.

I searched the web, wondering if anyone had composed such a novena, and came up with no results. Thus, I have taken in upon myself to compose just such a novena.  I hope you will find it of spiritual benefit.  Sancta Simone, ora pro nobis!

A Novena to Simone Weil

 Daily Prayer:  O God, you always raise up for us holy men and women in all ages to witness to us in ways appropriate to the age.  The 20th Century was a time of war and confusion, secularism and loss of faith, oppression and totalitarianism; and also a time of progress, change, and hope.  Your servant Simone Weil fought for peace and justice for all people, for solidarity with workers, and against totalitarian regimes.  She saw the importance of fighting for justice; but more importantly, she sought the truth and kept searching until she found You.  Despite all the difficulties she encountered and the ways in which she was misunderstood, she held fast to her experience of Your love, and waited for You throughout her life.  Hear us now, we pray, and through the intercession of St. Simone, we beseech you to grant this favor (mention intention).  Through her intercession, grant us also the patience and courage to wait for You through all the struggles and challenges of life.  Amen.

Day 1:  St. Simone, you always lived in solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, the victims of war, and those in need, denying yourself for their sake.  Help us to see Christ in the least of our brothers and sisters, and to live our lives in solidarity with them.  Through your intercession, give us the strength to sacrifice and to practice asceticism for the sake of others.  Amen.

 Day 2:  St. Simone, you “hungered and thirsted after righteousness”.  Help us to open our eyes to see the ways in which injustice is perpetuated.  Give us the zeal for righteousness and justice that you had, and the strength not to weary or lose heart in pursuing them.  Through your intercession, give us discernment so that we can best act in accordance with God’s will.  Amen.

 Day 3:  St. Simone, you saw God active everywhere, in the lives of all, and in the traditions and faiths of all people of good will throughout the world.  Help us to see God in places we would least expect.  Through your intercession, give us the discernment to see the good in all cultures and belief systems, and help us to work together with our brothers and sisters of all faiths to make the world a better place.  Amen.

 Day 4:  St. Simone, you were born of the Jewish people.  Help us to see the Jewish people as our elder brothers and forebears in the faith of the One God.  Through your intercession, help us to bring peace and reconciliation between Jews and Christians, and an increase in knowledge of God for us all.  Amen.

 Day 5:  St. Simone, you spent much time in adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.  You said that the Eucharist is the only perfect purity in this world, and that through it we may be cleansed.  Help us to have a stronger faith in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  Through your intercession, stir up in us a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament in Adoration, and a firm resolve to receive the Eucharist worthily as often as possible.  Amen.

 Day 6:  St. Simone, help us to see the presence of Christ in our brothers and sisters who are autistic, mentally ill, or non-neurotypical.  Help them and strengthen them in all their trials and needs, and give us the patience and understanding to be of service to them.  Through your intercession, may we all come together as God’s children, praising and serving Him in diverse ways and loving each other in all our differences.  Amen.

 Day 7:  St. Simone, you rejected all totalitarian systems and you knew well how human sinfulness can corrupt even the best of institutions.  You abhorred the kind of false zeal that turns the love and mildness of Christ into oppression and coercion.  Help us to do the same.  Through your intercession, may we be more effective witnesses for Christ, and may we lovingly work to make the Church on earth a more effective sign of the Kingdom of God.  Amen.

 Day 8:  St. Simone, you lived through a time of economic depression, war, and genocide, and yet you did not lose hope.  Help us to keep a firm grasp on the virtues of faith and hope, no matter what personal or societal difficulties we may encounter in our lives.  Through your intercession, give us the strength and courage to face whatever challenges God sends us, and final perseverance in the faith.  Amen.

 Day 9:  St. Simone, you said that we do not have to search for God, but only change the direction we are looking, and that is for Him to search for us.  You patiently waited all your life for God, living in openness to His will and seeking His inspirations when and how He chose to send them.  Give us the same openness and patience.  Through your intercession, give us the fortitude to wait for God, no matter how difficult we may find it; the patience to endure; the openness and discernment to receive everything that God wishes to communicate to us; and the obedience to carry it out.  Amen.

 Concluding prayer:  Good and gracious God, you have given us your servant Simone as an example and an inspiration for us all.  Through her intercession, help us to imitate her virtues, especially her openness to Your will and her patience in difficult times.  Guide us through life as you did your servant Simone, and bring us at last to full fellowship with your saints in the world to come.  Amen.

Posted on 28/05/2018, in Catholicism, Christianity, prayer, religion and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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