Our Novena readings are excerpts from the Christmas letters of St. Paul of the Cross.
Print on your heart the advice I am going to give you in this letter. First, I tell you that the crosses you suffer, your sickness and the other hardships, are excellent signs for you. Since God loves you much, therefore, he visits you with suffering as he has always done with men and women saints. Therefore, I rejoice with you. Accept with resignation all the sufferings from fevers and other discomforts, for God sends them to make you a holy married woman, and do not complain, but bless God and kiss his holy hand, caress and kiss the cross often.
Above all, be meek... Do not answer... back, but suffer in silence. But since God wishes to make my little daughter holy... God is using her as an instrument so that you may exercise the virtues of humility, meekness, patience, etc. Do this, my blessed daughter, and you will be holy. Remain silent, show a good face, and do not complain with your husband over your mother‑in‑law in order not to sadden him. Always have a cheerful countenance for your husband. Keep him happy so that your married love never grows cold. This is a most essential point. The cross, my daughter, must be borne every day; therefore, do not lose time to profit by the opportunities to exercise virtues, especially humility, gentleness, and peace of heart, trying to keep your heart at peace at all times with holy affections toward God. Since you are sickly and perhaps will always have poor health, so in the morning with a pillow under your shoulders make your mental prayer and in this way strengthen yourself to bear your cross and be a holy married woman. I want you to approach the holy sacraments at least every week, when you are stronger and can force yourself to get to church. Help yourself with ejaculatory prayers and make an oratory in your heart, keeping Jesus Crucified always there. With the eyes of your mind see him there and offer him caresses.
Greet your husband for me. Treat him with cordiality and keep him happy. This is a very essential point. I am always praying for you. I greet the doctor, your mother‑in‑law, and... Jesus bless you and make you as holy as I desire.