“I’m sorry to hear of your anxiety with regards to your vocation. Novenas are great prayers, but I don’t recommend them for vocational discernment. It’s tempting to use them in an effort to alleviate anxiety about the future, because we expect an answer within nine days. This can be dangerous because we may be looking so hard for signs that we are not actually growing in the gift of discernment.
“In college, I did a novena to St. Raphael the Archangel for discernment on a relationship. At the time, I was in school in Austria and my girlfriend was back in school in Ohio. I hoped to marry her, and on the ninth day of the novena, as I said the word “Amen,” the phone rang and it was her, just saying hi. I went through the roof, seeing this as divine providence . . . and she’s now happily married to a friend of mine. …” >>READ MORE