What is a Novena?

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When I first heard the term novena, it was usually used colloquially to describe the last resort in a difficult situation, as in, you-need-a-novena-it's-so-bad.

Now, I know the true meaning of a novena as a daily prayer in an 8 day period where you pray for specific intentions in a specific way. It sounds so practical put that way, because it is. Sometimes prayer, the big vague term, can be just that. Where do I begin? What should I say? Usually my prayers were more like complaints and straight up nagging. 

After subscribing last Fall to praymorenovenas.com, a beautiful apostolate started by a young married couple, the first novena I did was to St. Therese, essentially asking her to pray for me. Each morning I received a short email with the directed prayer for that day, with the space to [insert my intentions], and the simple 30 seconds it took to read changed the way I pray for good. My soul's desires, my deepest hopes, were inserted into those brackets and suddenly I felt lighter. I found myself musing over my intentions throughout the day and feeling completely at peace that I had expressed them to God. The kind of peace you have when you know it may not work out exactly as you picture it, but that good is bound to come from the simple exercise of deliberately expressing it.

Nearly 1 year later, and I can count every single time a prayer was answered and I know it's not because God is suddenly answering my prayers, it's because I am aware of my intentions and waiting to see their resolutions. It has deepened my faith in ways I can't explain, and I know it has made me a better woman, wife, mother, and friend.  

Nicole M. Caruso

I was born in Manhattan to two native New Yorkers who met working in the Garment Industry. Fashion was the family business. Suburban Connecticut is where I grew up and often daydreamed about someday attending New York Fashion Week.

When I was in college studying Communication & Media, I met the man of my dreams. We married nearly one year after our first date, and have been adventuring together ever since. While we moved around the country for his job, I freelanced as a makeup artist, worked in retail, and blogged about style & beauty as a creative outlet. 

Moving back to New York led to serendipitously working for two major fashion houses, where I learned the ins and outs of the industry, and attended Fashion Week both backstage and in the tents. Soon after, Verily Magazine brought me on as Beauty Editor, which was my dream job. It combined all of my passions and hobbies into one, and granted me a deeper understanding of print and digital media. One year after that, I had my daughter and experienced true fulfillment in motherhood. 

Everywhere I have traveled, I have met incredible women who inspired me to be the best version of myself; to wake up every day feeling confident and ready to Carpe Diem. I want to inspire women to explore their feminine genius by investing in their self-worth. This lifestyle blog is the place where I can share my worldview, my experiences, and my tips and tricks to live a more fulfilling life, which include expert style and beauty advice, tips for healthy living, and reflections on marriage and motherhood.