We recently celebrated the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si. In it, he reminded us that if “the outer deserts are multiplying in the world, it is because the inner deserts have become more widespread”. The ecological crisis is a call to a deep inner conversion. Comparisons like this one used by Pope Francis help us understand our Founder who also used spiritual realities. Therefore, in this novena we will be inspired by metaphors and comparisons taken from nature that he used, so that they can help us to reach our interior life and as a contribution to our necessary ecological conversion.

Day 16

In the beginning, our Congregation was no more than a mustard seed and was often threatened with drowning, but with the blessings of heaven and the high and benevolent protection of the illustrious and holy Bishop of Belley, Mgr. Devie, of eternal memory, this mustard seed has grown so quickly that it is now a great tree. Brother Gabriel.

Prayer (for all days)

Our Triune Lord, o beloved community of infinite love, teach us to contemplate you, as y did Brother Gabriel, in the beauty of the universe, where everything speaks of you. Awaken our praise and gratitude for every being you have created. Give us the grace to feel intimately united with everything that exists. God of love, show us our place in this world and, like Brother Gabriel, make us instruments of your love for all the creatures of this earth, because you forget none of them.  We ask you, Father, the glorification of your Servant, Venerable Brother Gabriel Taborin, granting us through his intercession the grace we ask you. We ask this insistently through our Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN.

Day 17

We are pleased, dear brothers, to see that the branches of this tree, so dear to us, have extend over a great number of dioceses, and that thousands of children come to find shelter under its beneficent shadow.  Brother Gabriel

Day 18

May it grow even more so that it may serve as a housing for a greater number of young souls whom the wind of passions threatens to dry up and burn, even within the garden of the Church, where the grace of Baptism has placed them.  Brother Gabriel

Day 19

Yes, may God grant that this tree, the object of our sleeplessness, grow and expand more and more, may it be deeply rooted in piety, humility, purity and obedience, and may it continually be watered with the life-giving waters of grace. Brother Gabriel

Day 20

Likewise, we want it to remain unwavering in the midst of the assault of passions and resist the enemies who will try to destroy it. Finally, we want it to bear only good fruit. Brother Gabriel

Day 21

Just as a current of water flows towards the sea as it flows towards its center, so must we return to God who created us. We must aim at this source in the ordinary activities of our life including all the details.  Bro. Gabriel

Day 22

The current of water that goes towards the sea does not stop among the stones and the brambles that it encounters, nor in the metal or stone channels that it runs through, nor against the banks covered with green grass and flowers. It just crosses all the obstacles that seem to hinder its passage. In the same way, we too, dear Brothers, must not stop on the path that leads to God: the devil, the world and the flesh, setbacks, sufferings, in a word, nothing should prevent us from practicing the virtues that lead us to God, our supreme good.   Bro. Gabriel

Day 23

The water seems to be always restless, one would say that it murmurs and complains about being far from the sea. If we loved God, we would not want to be far from him, and would leave this world of exile in complete tranquility to return, as soon as possible, to this good Father.  Brother Gabriel

Day 24

Let us be calm, dear brothers, about our future, as far as material things are concerned. If God allows the birds of the air to have their nests and the foxes their lairs, if He feeds the reptiles of the earth and takes care of the smallest insects, will He abandon those who make or wish to make a vow to belong to Him alone. Brother Gabriel