I have never heard of the St Andrew Christmas Novena, so I did a little research. I went to http://catholicism.about.com/od/prayers/qt/Andrew_Novena.htm.
I started the Novena today. My intention shall remain private but I know that ultimately Jesus is going to grant my request. What I do not know is whether or not I will be alive to see the request granted, or what form it will take.
One of the first concepts about prayer that was taught to me at good old Christ the King was that all prayers are answered, but sometimes the answer is "No".
What I have learned over the years is that God is not Santa Claus getting a list of my wants every time I hit my knees. My prayer life has deepened. It is rarely about me, other than asking God to give me the necessary grace to walk the path He has obviously chosen for me. The fact that this path is not one I would have chosen no longer concerns me the way it used to - I no longer need to know 'why' I am where I am, doing what I am doing, with the people I am doing it with when I had a very different career path in mind (and often still do!). Besides, 'why' is often just a code word for "oh come on PULLLEEEAASSEE????" and I am far too old to be an attractive whiny child.
I do pray for others. Like St Monica, I often cry during those prayers. Sometimes, like St Jerome, I curse those I pray for (not with obscenity). Suffice to say, I am not a saint. I am, however, a faithful Daughter of Holy Mother Church and that sometimes makes life very, very unpleasant.
For what it's worth, I will continue to pray. For what it's worth, I will pray the St. Andrew Christmas Novena.
I will let you all know what happens......
Prayer to Obtain Favors
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, O MY GOD! TO HEAR MY PRAYER AND GRANT MY DESIRES, THROUGH THE MERITS OF OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, AND OF HIS BLESSED MOTHER. AMEN.
+Imprimatur+ Michael Augustine, Archbishop of New York
New York, February 6, 1897.