Thirst…

“You gave me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet.” (Luke 7:45)

What a beautiful image of one who is thirsty for God! This woman had no regard for the opinions of those who looked on her with contempt both for what she had been, and for what she was now doing. This forgiven sinner had tasted the sweetness of the Lord, the living water and she would let nothing come between her and her beloved. This rich Gospel story has so many levels and lessons, one of which is to teach us what it means to truly desire God.

This woman had lived with the mirage of love for a long time. But in Jesus she encountered love the person, and it transformed her. More than that it gave her a deep thirst for union with the Lord of love, the living water. This thirst is something which the saints cultivated and something we should all strive for.

Catherine of Siena speaks of this thirst:

“If you would make progress, then, you must be thirsty, because only those who are thirsty are called: ‘Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.’ Those who are not thirsty will never persevere in their journey. Either weariness or pleasure will make them stop.”

So we can see how important it is to be thirsty. This very much affirms our call to a life of penance. Unless we allow ourselves to be hungry and thirsty, we will not make progress in the spiritual life. Think about someone who is lost in the desert. His thirst propels him on and he will drag himself as far as his body will take him to find water. In the same way, our every effort in our exile from the oasis must be focused on getting back to the oasis. If we get side-tracked by every the mirage, if we long for the flesh-pots of Egypt, we will never get back to the oasis. We must cultivate our thirst for the living water.

St. Thérèse of Lisieux speaks about the way that God increases our desire by alternately filling us with his presence and withdrawing from us, and our duty to be vigilant and attentive to the workings of the Spirit, whether we feel his presence or not:

“Unless we use the utmost vigilance in attending to these gift-laden visits of the Holy Spirit, we shall neither desire him when he seems absent nor respond to him when present. If he withdraws from us to stimulate us to a more eager search for him, how shall we seek for him if we do not perceive his absence? Or when he comes to animate us, how shall we give him the welcome due his majesty if his visit passes unnoticed? The man who is indifferent to his absence will be led astray by other influences; the man who is blind to his coming cannot offer thanks for the visit.”

 Again, we are being urged not to let ourselves be distracted by “other influences”. This echoes St. Catherine’s warnings about the distractions of “weariness and pleasure”. The sinful woman in the Gospel passage above learned that it was infinitely better to be thirsty for living water than to drink your fill at the mirage.

As we wander in this desert, longing for the oasis that is our homeland, let us be encouraged in our life of penance and prayer. May it lead to a constant thirst for the Holy Spirit, and a greater attentiveness to his action in our lives.


In her gratitude, the woman in this passage from Luke did not stop kissing the feet of Jesus. Some time ago, as I was praying for the conversion of a certain person, I felt the Lord wished me to offer a novena in honor of the Holy Feet of Jesus for him. However, when I tried to find a novena in honor of the Holy Feet of Jesus, I could not. When I told the Lord I was having trouble finding this novena, I felt him say to me, “Write one.” I began by searching Scripture for references or implied references to the Holy Feet of Jesus. I was surprised by how many there were and felt inspired to write the novena which follows. Use it as the Lord leads you, dear brothers and sisters, but I feel it is especially meant for lost sinners. (Click here for a printable version of this novena.)

Novena in honor the Holy Feet of Jesus

Day One – With Mary and Joseph we adore the Infant Feet of Jesus (Lk. 2: 8-19)

Beloved Jesus, your infant feet, cared for and adored by Mary and Joseph, were a visible sign of your innocence and purity. May we strive always to imitate your innocence and purity. As we adore your Holy Feet, may your merits win for us the requests we make to the Father in your name. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Two – The Holy Feet of Jesus bridge Heaven and Earth (Jn. 1: 14)

Beloved Jesus, your Holy Feet were the living bridge between Heaven and Earth. Each step you took sanctified and cleansed the world you came to save. May we be filled with unending gratitude for this amazing grace. We adore your Holy Feet as we make our requests with confidence in your saving love. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Three – The Holy Feet of Jesus carry the Good News to the poor (Mt. 11: 4-5)

Beloved Jesus, how your Holy Feet suffered as they trod the hot and dusty roads of the Holy Land to bring the Good News to the poor. May we imitate your untiring devotion in spreading the Gospel message. As we adore your Holy Feet, so battered for our sake, may you look with kindness upon our requests. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Four – Jairus falls at the Holy Feet of Jesus to make his request (Mk. 5: 22-43)

Beloved Jesus, you had mercy on Jairus who fell at your Holy Feet and made supplication to you for the life and health of his daughter. In your mercy you rewarded his faith and answered his prayer. May you look with mercy on us also as we fall at your Holy Feet to make our requests in faith and trust. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Five – Mary sits at the Holy Feet of Jesus listening to him (Lk. 10: 38-42)

Beloved Jesus, you told Martha that her sister Mary had chosen the “better part” in choosing to sit at your feet and listen to you. Like Mary, may we always choose the better part. As we sit at your Holy Feet to listen to you and worship you, may you look on our requests with love and compassion. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Six – A woman kisses the Holy Feet of Jesus (Lk. 7: 36-50)

Beloved Jesus, this woman bathed your Holy Feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. She covered your feet with kisses and anointed them with costly oil. May we also show you great love in gratitude for all we have been given and forgiven. With confidence and trust in your great love for us, we humbly make our requests to you today. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Seven – The Holy Feet of Jesus are nailed to the cross (Mk. 15: 25)

Beloved Jesus, you allowed your Holy Feet to be nailed to the cross out of love for us. You allowed your precious blood to spill to the earth from the wounds made by the nails. Give us the courage we need to stand at the foot of the cross–with our Blessed Mother and St. John–and kiss your Holy Feet. May the precious blood shed from your Holy Feet win for us the requests we humbly make today. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Eight – The disciples embrace the Holy Feet of the risen Lord (Mt. 28: 1-10)

Beloved Jesus, you met the disciples on the road after you had risen from the dead. In love and joy they embraced your Holy Feet and paid you homage. May we also worship you as Lord and Savior, embracing your Holy Feet. In your infinite mercy, please take our requests to the Father whose glory you share. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

Day Nine – God puts all things under the Holy Feet of Jesus (1 Co. 15: 25)

Beloved Jesus, your reign will last until you have placed all your enemies under your Holy Feet. May our prayers and sacrifices hasten the day of your coming in glory. Risen Lord, merciful King, look with favor on our requests and grant them according to your holy will. (Make requests here.)

Holy Feet of Jesus we kiss you and adore you. (Pray the Our Father ten times.)

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3 responses

  1. Peli,
    I truly love that you created a Novena honoring the Holy Feet of Jesus. Beginning it today. I, like many, had a huge debt forgiven. The biggest there is. The last cord that bound me was removed two weeks ago. It took 34 years, as there were many cords our Lord removed. Fully confident in the Mercy of our Lord Jesus, with His Mother holding my hand, I told my three adult children of my abortion in 1980. I will never forget what I allowed to happen, but now I’m free. Totally. And every time I pass the crucifix hanging on my bedroom wall, I kiss the Holy Feet. My Lord, my Beloved, has rescued me from death. Praise His Holy Name.

    Like

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