Christmas Novena Opening Prayer
(To be recited each day)
Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment
In which the Son of God was born
Of the most pure Virgin Mary
At midnight, in Bethlehem
In piercing cold.
In that hour, vouchsafe I beseech Thee, O my God,
To hear my prayers and grant my petitions
Through the merits of Jesus Christ and of His most blessed Mother. Amen.
(Mention your intentions here)
Why then are we so hard-hearted, repaying your love with our ingratitude? More than others, I have myself ill-treated you in this manner, Lord.
But your Passion is my hope. For the sake of that love which led you to take upon yourself our human nature and to die for me on the cross, forgive me all the offenses I have committed against you.
I love you, O Word Incarnate. I love you, O infinite goodness. Contrite and repentant, out of love for you, I could die of grief for these offenses. Give me, O Jesus, your love. Let me no longer live in ungrateful forgetfulness of the love you bear me. I wish to love you always. Grant that I may always persevere in this holy desire.
O Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, pray for me that your Son may give me the grace to love Him always. Amen.
Prayer: O Dearest Infant! Tell me, what have you come on earth to do? Tell me, whom do you seek? Yes, I already know. You have come to die for me, to save me from hell. You have come seeking me, your lost sheep, so that, instead of fleeing from you, my gentle shepherd, I may rest in the protection of loving arms. O my Jesus, my treasure, my life, my love and my all! Whom will I love, if not you? Where can I find a father, a friend, a spouse more loving and more lovable than yourself?
I love you, O my God; I love you, my only good. I regret the many years when I have not loved you as I ought, but rather spurned and offended you. Forgive me, O my beloved Redeemer; I am heartedly sorry for having treated you so coldly.
Pardon me, and give me the grace never more to withdraw from you, but constantly to love you in all the years that still lie before me in this life. My love, I give myself entirely to you; accept me, and do not reject me as I deserve.
O Mary, my advocate, by your prayers you can obtain whatever you will from your Son. Beseech Him, then, to forgive me, and to grant me holy perseverance until death. Amen.
Prayer: O Dear Infant Jesus, would I have been so ungrateful and offended you so often, if I had realized how much you have suffered for me? But these tears which you shed, this poverty which you embrace for love of me, fill me with the hope that you will pardon all the offenses I have committed against you.
My Jesus, I am sorry for having so often turned my back on you. But now I love you above all else. “My God and my all!” From this moment forward, O my God, you shall be my only treasure and my only good. With Saint Ignatius of Loyola I will say to you, “Give me the grace to love you; that is enough for me.” I long for nothing else; I want nothing else. You alone are enough for me, my Jesus, my life, my love.
O Mary, my Mother, obtain for me the grace that I may always love Jesus and always be loved by Him. Amen.
Prayer: O Dearest Savior, you have embraced so many outrages for love of me, yet I am incapable of bearing a single insult without immediately being filled with resentful thoughts, I who have so often deserved to be trodden underfoot by the demons in hell! I am ashamed to appear before you, sinful and proud as I am. Yet, do not drive me from your presence, O Lord, even though that is what I deserve. You have said that you will not spurn a contrite and humbled heart. I am sorry for the offenses I have committed against you. Forgive me, O Jesus. I will not offend you again.
For love of me you have borne so many injuries; for love of you, I will bear all the injuries that are done to me. I love you, Jesus, who were despised for love of me. I love you above every other good. Give me the grace to love you always and to bear every insult for love of you.
O Mary, recommend me to your Son; pray to Jesus for me. Amen.
Prayer: O Jesus, my sweet Love! I too have caused you to suffer during your life. Tell me, then, what I must do in order to win your forgiveness. I am ready to do all you ask of me. I am truly sorry, O sovereign Good, for all the offenses I have committed against you. I love you more than myself, or at least I feel a great desire to love you. Since it is you who have given me this desire, do you also give me the strength to love you exceedingly.
It is only right that I, who have offended you so much, should love you very much. Always remind me of the love you have borne me, so that my soul may ever burn with love of you and long to please you alone. O God of love, I, who was once a slave of hell, now give myself entirely to you. Graciously accept me and bind me to yourself with the bonds of your love. My Jesus, from this day and forever, I shall live loving you, and, in loving you, will I die.
O Mary, my Mother and my hope, help me to love your dear God and mine. This is the only favor I ask of you, and through you I hope to receive it. Amen.
Since you have waited for me till now, forgive me quickly, O my Jesus, before death finds me still guilty of so many offenses that I have committed against you. I am so sorry for having despised you, my sovereign Good that I could die of grief. But you cannot abandon a soul that seeks you.
If hitherto I have forsaken you, I now seek you and love you. Yes, my God, I love you above all else; I love you more than myself.
Help me, Lord, to love Thee during the rest of my life. I seek nothing else of you. But this I beg of you, this I hope to receive from you.
Mary, my hope, pray for me. If you pray for me, I am sure of obtaining this grace. Amen.
Prayer: Dear Infant Jesus, crying so bitterly! How much reason you have to weep in seeing yourself persecuted by men whom you have loved so much. I, too, O God, have persecuted you by my sins. But you know that now I love you more than myself, and that nothing pains me more than the thought that I have so often spurned you, my sovereign Good.
Forgive me, O Jesus, and let me bear you with me in my heart, during the remainder of my life’s journey, so that together with you, I may enter into eternity. How often have I driven you from my soul by my sins. But now I love you above all things, and more than all other misfortunes, I regret that I have offended you. I wish to leave you no more, my beloved Lord. But give me the strength to resist temptation. Never permit me to be separated from you again. Let me rather die than ever again lose your good grace.
O Mary, my hope, obtain that I may always live in God’s love and then die in loving Him. Amen.
Prayer: O Jesus, my Savior! When I consider how, for love of me, you spent thirty years of your life hidden and unknown in a poor workshop, how can I desire the pleasures, honors and riches of this world? Gladly do I renounce them, one and all, since I wish to be your companion on this earth, poor as you were, mortified and humble as you were, so that I may hope to be able one day to enjoy your companionship in heaven. What are all the treasures and kingdoms of this world? O Jesus, you are my only treasure, my only Good!
I keenly regret the many times in the past when I spurned your friendship in order to satisfy my foolish whims. I am sorry for them with all my heart. For the future I would rather lose my life a thousand times than lose your grace by sin. I desire never to offend you again, but always to love you. Help me to remain faithful to you until death.
O Mary, the sure refuge of sinners, you are my hope. Amen.
Prayer: O Adorable Infant Jesus! I should not have the boldness to cast myself at your feet, if I did not know that you yourself invite me to draw near. It is I who by my sins have made you shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem. But since you have come on earth to pardon repentant sinners, forgive me also, now that I am heartily sorry for having spurned you, my Savior and my God, who are so good and who have loved me so much.
This blessed night, during which you bestow great graces on so many souls, grant your heavenly consolation to this poor soul of mine. All that I ask of you is the grace to love you always, from this day forward, with all my heart. Set me all on fire with your holy love. I love Thee, O my God, who became a Babe for love of me. Never let me cease loving you ever more.
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and my Mother, you can obtain everything from your Son by your prayers. This is the only favor I ask of you: pray to Jesus for me. Amen.
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