Novenas are not magic spells, but they work.
You may remember that back in this post I shared that I was going to be starting a novena. A novena is just a fancy word meaning that you are going to purposefully pray for a specific intention for nine days. Well, the nine days part is negotiable- sometimes it is fifty four days, sometimes it is until the prayer is answered…but the point is that you are focusing your prayer, dedicating time every day to a concern close to your heart, and often times including the intercession of a certain Saint.
I understand how some people might think that this sounds a bit superstitious or repetitious or artificial. I imagine that there have been occasions when novenas have been abused as such. However, if the petitioner’s intent is genuine, the results are amazing. My experience with novenas (and the stories I hear from my friends) is that novenas work, usually quickly and with a strong and clear result.
Now I just said that they work- I did not say that you always get what you want. If you are genuinely praying a novena, it should be that God’s will be done, period. Novenas are not effective because pounding on the gates of heaven for nine continuous days makes God change His mind. (Although there is that story of the persistent widow…) Novenas are effective because repeatedly seeking God’s will changes our hearts.
Ever present on my mind and in my prayers over the past year has been seeking God’s will for my future-specifically as I decide what my next job would be. So many possibilities, so many choices, so many other people’s opinions. I needed some clarity. So, on May 1st, which is the feast of St Joseph the Worker, I started praying this novena not only to help me find my next job, but to work with more dedication and care in my current jobs. I also included several people who are also job seeking in my petitions.
I chose to start praying this novena because the prayer is not about finding a job. It is about working like St. Joseph did, with patience and perseverance, with care and thanksgiving, with petition and sacrifice. It is how I want to view my work, as an offering to God and a service to the people around me. So every day since May 1st, this prayer has been on my list.
It certainly got the ball rolling. More people than ever asked me about my job search. More suggestions/connections/networking flew my way. I had five job interviews. There also were three or four unsolicited job offers. This novena helped me to know how to turn down jobs, when to stop the interview process with two potential employers…and when to finally accept a job offer (exactly a month after starting the novena, btw!).
So, I am excited to announce to my blog readers…
(this is an appropriate place for a drum roll)
…that in the fall, a classroom of 5th graders will be greeting me as their new teacher!
And the name of the school that I will be working at?
St. Joseph, of course.