The Galway Solemn Novena, which runs from Monday February 15 until Tuesday Feb 23 is asking What’s the Point? through its theme ‘Stories of God, Stories of You’ for this year’s Novena.
Ireland is a nation of storytellers and the country loves nothing more than a good tale, so this year the Novena is centred around stories, focusing on nine specific parables told by Jesus in the Bible, which are simply stories with a point. The 2016 Novena is reclaiming these stories for today and for the now.
The mindful messages in these parables range from the importance of our relationship with God, living in the moment, being present, gratitude, kindness, second chances, fresh starts, new beginnings, how greed can creep into all of our lives and how we can find grace to offer positive and fulfilling life gifts to others and ourselves.
“There are choices to be made every day, often these challenge people. One of the Parables, The wheat and the weed asks “How can we be sure we’ve made the best choice? We ask the best questions we can. Is this the most loving choice? Will it make a more loving person? Is this the kind thing to do? Will this benefit my loved ones? Will the course of action open up possibilities or close them off? Is this a wise or prudent thing to do? The parable explores these daily challenges and just how we can decide if what we are doing is the right thing.
Love and mercy are also explored on many levels throughout this year’s Novena but they are really honed in on through the parables: The Secretly Growing Seed and The Seed and The Four Different Types of Soil. These stories are timeless classics of spiritual insight. Many turns of phrases in modern language come from these stories like: The Prodigal Son or The Good Samaritan. The aim of this Novena is for people to revisit these classic stories and use them in reassessing their own lives.
These stories capture the essence of what it is to love and be loved. Often we can only dream of experiencing that all consuming love - a faithful, generous, unselfish, wild, passionate love, and a love that throws all caution to the winds. An ‘in your face love’, that says “You are mine, I choose you in the beginning, I choose you again now and I will always choose you, I love you.”
This year’s Novena is unusual in that it takes place during Lent and we hope people will make it part of their Lenten observance.
The Galway Solemn Novena will run from Monday 15 February until Tuesday 23 February at Galway Cathedral. Week day Mass times are at 7:45am, 11am, 1:10pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm, 9pm and mass will be said at 9am, 10:30am, 12:30pm, 4:30pm, 6:30pm and 8pm on Sunday. The Candle Light meditation sessions will take place at 10pm on Wednesday 17 and Monday 22 and last about an hour.
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