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Ask and you shall receive

novena_01Last week brought vivid evidence of how people are turning to prayer in these straitened times. The feast of the Sacred Heart was celebrated this year on 1 July, and the Novena which prepared people for it was organised by the Sacred Heart Messenger, the Jesuit publication which is read by well over 90,000 people. The Messenger Office printed meditations for the Novena in a pull-out leaflet, written by Paul Andrews SJ, and spread the word to parishes across the island, and also to the viewers of the prayer website, Sacred Space. The first run of the leaflet was snapped up, and more and more demands came in, so a second printing was quickly taken up – some 35,000 in all. This year showed a marked increase in the take-up outside Dublin, and in Northern Ireland, and a sharp voicing of people’s distress, especially over unemployment.