A Novena in honor of Ven. Bruno Lanteri, founder of the Oblates of the Virgin Mary
Day 6 – Protecting against Sin and Vice
“Through joyfulness one avoids sins and easily triumphs over temptation. It is proper to temptations to begin to instill despondency and sadness. And in these troubled waters the devil begins to fish. The joyful man has great regard for and always enjoys the spiritual goods he hopes for and possesses. When these are compared to the apparent goods temptations offer, he quickly decides the question with the exclamation of St. Philip, “Paradise, Paradise.” Therefore, he sins less and gains much more merit… With joyfulness, one drives out the sloth which impedes the practice of virtue.
With joyfulness one easily acquires holiness and perfects oneself through virtuous actions. “God loves a joyful giver” (2 Corinthians 9: 7). Joyful giving is done not as a burden, but by good grace, with love. If one thinks too much about a good action that is to be performed [and thus hesitates], the merit of that action will be diminished… So act promptly… The one who gives promptly, gives double.
Compare a sad person with a joyful one in their daily activities. The despondent one behaves like an old lazy man, who is sleepy, cold, frozen…. The joyful one behaves like a young man who carries himself well, is graceful, robust, and energetic. In fact, if one prays, if one meditates with joy, if one approaches the sacraments joyfully, if one converses with his neighbor with joy, how many sins against God and neighbor will be avoided!
With joyfulness one’s perseverance in good is more easily assured, because doing things with sadness and against one’s will constitutes a violent state that cannot last. In such a case, if great difficulties are encountered, how much more easily is everything abandoned. The joyful man, on the other hand, is resolute, generous, energetic, and so he easily overcomes the difficulty of perseverance.”
Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, you created me in your plan of love. You created all the things on the face of the earth to help me find true happiness. Fully aware of my weakness, I resolve this day to think often of heaven, and to be generous in love.
Daily Novena Prayer
Venerable Bruno Lanteri, I come to you confident in the words of Jesus: Ask and you shall receive (Matthew 7:7). You said, “It is impossible to hope too much; the one who hopes for everything attains everything.” You taught that the greatest miracles are those that change the heart. Through your intercession, may the good God, whose infinite mercy surpasses all the malice of the world, console my heart and grant my request.
By your prayers keep my poor heart in peace, protect me from discouragement, and help me to serve God with a holy joy. Amen.
O Father, fountain of all life and holiness you gave Father Bruno Lanteri great faith in Christ, your Son, a lively hope, and an active love for the salvation of his brethren. You made him a prophet of your Word and a witness to your Mercy. He had a tender love for Mary and by his very life he taught fidelity to the Church. Father, hear the prayer of your family and, through the intercession of Fr. Lanteri, grant us the grace for which we now ask…. May he be glorified on earth that we may give you greater praise.
We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.