Act of Contrition and Opening Prayer
Learn of Me was an injunction that Christ gave to His friends, to those who would follow Him and repose in His love. Come to Me and I will refresh you was not a command in the strict sense of that term; it was an attractive appeal that a generous soul ever found and still finds impossible to reject.
The spirit of Christ is so convincing that to be generous, to be honest, to be faithful followers of the Master, we must draw near to Him. Not only must we enlist under His banner, but we must enroll among His shock troops, His chosen guard.
To be true to Christ, we must follow Him closely, even though our following Him bring us in the bloody footsteps after the Cross. We must try to model our life on that of Christ; we must try to be other Christs.
The whole explanation of our imitation of Christ is easy to grasp if we realize that the central theme of Christianity is to make of us Christs in word, in thought, in deed. It is to be like Christ in those elements that count, that have a bearing, not only in our daily life, but also on our eternal destiny.
To be other Christ in our conversation, we must be free from criticism, truthful in details, honorable and considerable. To radiate happiness by our kind words, by our consoling advice, by our strengthening counsel, - that is a model that we might well take.
To be Christ-like in thought, in those features of character, hidden but of such importance in moulding our words and acts; to have the element of Christ-like charity in thought is something to aspire for; it means sanctity if we succeed.
To be like to our Divine Savior in our actions, in the minutiae of our daily life, in the normal deeds that make up our work-a-day world, to have Christ's spirit in the greater ventures of life, this is happiness, this is conquest, even though it be the victory of the Cross.
And, bow is this to be accomplished? Certainly, we get nearer, closer and more intimate with the Son by seeking to acquaint ourselves with the Mother. We get to love Christ more, by knowing and loving Him through His Mother. Coming to a common ground, we draw nearer to Christ, when our love for His Mother resembles the love He Himself showed to His Mother.
Do I seek to make myself another Christ, heeding His plea, Learn of Me? And, do I seek to reach these heights through the medium of the Mother of Christ?
O Virgin of Carmel, Mary most holy, in order to show thy special love for the Carmelites thou didst honor them with the title of thy sons and daughters, encouraging them with a singular favor so that they might find in thee, as in a most loving mother, the remedy, counsel and protection in all their afflictions and necessities, assisting them, meanwhile, to acquire thy excellent virtues. I beg of thee, O Lady, that thou assist me so that I may be able to enjoy the company of thy Son and that my name may be written in the book of life of the sons of God and brothers of our Lord, Jesus Christ. This is what I ask and humbly supplicate thee.
Here recite three AVES for the special intention you have in making this novena.