Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Novena

O Blessed Rosary of Mary, sweet chain which unites us to God, bond of love which unites us to the angels, tower of salvation against the assaults of Hell, safe port in our universal shipwreck, we will never abandon you. You will be our comfort in the hour of death: yours our final kiss as life ebbs away. And the last word from our lips will be your sweet name, O Queen of the Rosary, O dearest Mother, O refuge of Sinners, O Sovereign Consoler of the Afflicted. May you be everywhere blessed, today and always, on earth and in heaven. Mary, Mother of the Church/ Model of All Christians, Pray for Us.

( then pray the Rosary for each day )

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Holy Name of Mary Feast ~~ September 12

May I take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Feast of Mary. Today, we are celebrating the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Mary, having a Hebrew origin, means "The Beautiful." Indeed, she is as a beautiful blooming flower of the Lord God who has and continues to manifest endless favours upon her.
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Mary’s name was given her by God. He Himself told her parents, St. Joachim and St. Anne, to call her Mary. The name “Mary” means “lady” or “queen.” It also means “star of the sea.” What beautiful meanings! How perfect this name is for our Blessed Mother! She is truly our loving Queen and our Star. She will show us the way to reach the blessed kingdom of heaven.

The devotion to Jesus through Mary has been progressive throughout the entire history of the Holy Catholic Church. While some members of the Church have written about the Blessed Virgin Mary prior to the fourth century, it was not until then that her name had become rather popular among the Christian community.

Today, when we consider the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception that was proclaimed in 1854 by Pope Pius IX, we can now perceive why God had sent His Spirit to guide the Holy Catholic Church towards the granting of great honours to the Most Holy Name of Mary. According to this Dogma, "The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. (Inneffabilis Deus 1854, cited in the Catechism of the Catholic Church # 491)

As the only human being, this excluding Jesus, who was free of all traces of sins and remained so throughout her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary achieved perfection where the first Eve had failed. As the Second Eve, the Blessed Virgin Mary, was elevated by God as the spiritual mother of mankind.

These honours, and the many more that have been bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin Mary leave no doubt in the mind of Catholics that her Most Holy Name, Mary, the Beautiful one, a name that has been elevated higher than all human beings and angels, is the fountain of superabundant graces that shower upon us sinners from the Throne of God.

So powerful is the Most Holy Name of Mary, that it is said that the devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from those who seek her help as from a burning fire."

From the life of St. Bridget, we learn that the Blessed revealed to her "that there is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determination to repent." On another occasion, the Blessed Virgin Mary stated, "that all the devils venerate and fear her name to such a degree, that on hearing it, they immediately loosen the claws with which they hold the soul captive."

In view of all these great Marian blessings that have been bestowed from Heaven, let us today honour the Most Holy Name of Mary with great esteem so our loving Mother may continue to be praised in every nation on earth. And may our spiritual devotion not only last one day, but be extended to every day of the year.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

September 12th is the Feast Day of The Most Holy Name of Mary

After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in Jeaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness.

The promises of help made by Jesus Christ to those who have devotion to the name of Mary can console and help us very much ; for one day in the hearing of St. Bridget, He promised His Most Holy Mother that He would grant three special graces to those who invoke that holy name with confidence: first, that He would grant them perfect sorrow for their sins; secondly, that their crimes should be atoned for; and, thirdly, that He would give them strength to attain perfection, and at length the glory of paradise. And then our Divine Savior added: "For thy words, O My Mother, are so sweet and agreeable to Me, that I cannot deny what thou askest."

In every danger of forfeiting divine grace, we should think of Mary, and invoke her name, together with that of Jesus; for these two names always go together. O, then, never let us permit these two most sweet names to leave our hearts, or be off our lips; for they will give us strength not only not to yield, but to conquer all our temptations.

"The invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary," says Thomas a Kempis, "is a short prayer which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those who use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy to remember."

A balanced view of salvation history will grant to the Blessed Virgin Her proper place in both the Incarnation of the Second Divine Person and in the Kingdom won by Him on Calvary. Therefore, She is venerated with thanksgiving as both the one who, in union with the Blessed Trinity, gave Jesus to the world, and as the one who stood by Him during His Passion, uniting Her "Com-Passion" to His Salvific Passion for the restoration of fallen mankind to the friendship of God.

It was prophesied in Eden that the Mother of Christ would be given a share in the work of the One Mediator and, because of this, a unique share in His glory. As had been prophesied by Simeon in the Temple, the soul of the Co-Redemptrix was pierced beneath the Cross on Calvary. The Mother of the Church, who experienced no physical labor pains during the birth of the Incarnate God at Bethlehem, did undergo unimaginable spiritual 'labor pains' as Her Son hung on the Cross, dying the cruelest death imaginable. And God, in His wisdom, has decreed that these sufferings of Mary count for something, and something indescribably precious, in the economy of salvation. They were not the sufferings which redeemed humanity, like those of Jesus. They were not needed in order to augment or complete the superabundant Sacrifice of Jesus, which alone could and did atone for all the sins of the world. Yet, God decreed that Our Lady unite Her Sufferings to those of Jesus, the Woman of Genesis standing beside Her Seed during the restoration of the world.

Our Lady did this-----suffered as She did-----for us, for the spiritual progeny bequeathed to Her by Jesus in the person of St. John: "Woman, behold Thy son!" Therefore, we truly are brethren of Jesus, "the rest of Her seed:" "And a great sign appeared in Heaven: A Woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under Her feet, and on Her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, She cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered . . . And She brought forth a man Child, Who was to rule all nations with an iron rod: and Her son was taken up to God, and to His throne . . . And the dragon was angry against the Woman: and went to make war with the rest of Her seed, who keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." [Apoc, 1-2, 5,17]

The Woman prophesied in Eden . . . The Virgin prophesied by Isaias . . . The Beautiful One of the Canticles . . . When the time had finally come, the world knew Her name at last: "And the Virgin's name was Mary." This woman uniquely honored with the title, Co-Redemptrix, was rewarded by Her Lord and Redeemer with a queenly crown in His Kingdom . . . and with the role of Mediatrix of All Graces, to dispense those graces which had cost Her Son so dearly on the Cross.

And so, we call out to this Mother and Queen in confidence: Ave Maria . . . Salve Regina . . . Ave Maris Stella . . . Ave Regina Caelorum. Because of this, we honor, respect and set aside in our hearts a special place for Her Holy Name, "Mary," for it was the beacon of our redemption. During the nine months that Jesus rested in His Mother's womb, no one encountered Christ except through Mary, as did the infant St. John the Baptist in the womb of St. Elizabeth. Men and women still, and always will, go to Jesus through Mary:

"Considering things as they are, because God has decided to begin and accomplish His greatest works through the Blessed Virgin ever since He created Her, we can safely believe that He will not change His plan in the time to come, for He is God and therefore does not change in His thoughts or His way of acting." [True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin]

Mary, the daughter of Joachim and Anne . . . She is not a goddess, not a mythological warrior-queen, not a curious, elusive character recalled through the mists of antiquity. She is a person, a uniquely blessed and honored individual, but a person still. "When you approach the time for reading about Mary Immaculate," wrote St. Maximilian Kolbe [+1941], "always remember that you are entering into contact with a living, loving person." No wonder, then, that Catholics [members of Christ's Mystical Body and, therefore, the "rest" of Mary's seed] should hold their Blessed Mother's name in such esteem. It reminds us of God's goodness, of His mercy and generosity to struggling mankind:

"The name of Mary is a name of salvation for those who are regenerated; it is the insignia of virtue, the honor of chastity, the sacrifice agreeable to God, the virtue of hospitality, the school of sanctity, a name altogether maternal." [St. Peter Chrysologus +450]

Of course, in a proper understanding of doctrine and Scripture, such a declaration will not be misinterpreted as any contradiction to the words of St. Paul concerning Our Lord and His sacred Name:

"For which cause God also hath exalted Him, and hath given Him a name which is above all names: that in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth: and that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father." [Phil. 2: 9-11]

St. Peter Chrysologus did not say that the name of Mary is a "name of salvation." He wrote that "the name of Mary is a name of salvation for those who are regenerated." A person who wishes to follow Christ, yet denies the Mother given to him by Jesus on Calvary, is fooling himself. Through the inspired Gospels, Our Lady has been presented to the world as Advocate and Mediatrix [in the Visitation and Wedding at Cana episodes], and as Spiritual Mother [on Calvary]. Because there are no empty shows or meaningless displays with God, then we are bound to understand Mary's advocacy and spiritual maternity as active, vital components in the life of the soul, for it is the good of souls that moved God to ordain the Incarnation:

"For God so loved the world, as to give His only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting [Jn. 3: 16] . . .
For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." [Lk. 19: 10]

The Blessed Virgin, then is a Divine bestowal, a gift bequeathed to the Church by Her dying Savior. And Her name? Her name will become more than a name It will be a sign of Our Lord's solicitude, a pledge of His love . . . and a prayer unto itself:

"We scarce remember now that once this name was spoken softly in a time before the Aves rang. Perhaps across some threshold it was said, so casually, by one who called to Her, 'Mary.' Then, She might have turned and come, obedient from where the children played together in the dusk: and no one knew that more was said than just a young girl's name." [Fr. John W. Lynch, A Woman Wrapped in Silence]

The Introit for the Mass of the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary, taken from Psalm 44, is an eloquent testimony to the reason we celebrate this beautiful name:

"All the rich among the people shall entreat Thy countenance: after Her shall virgins be brought to the King: Her neighbors shall be brought to Thee in gladness and rejoicing . . . My heart hath uttered a good word: I will speak my works to the King."

We are presented to Christ by His Mother. She presents our needs and petitions to Him; She is the instrument of His mercy and of the disposition of the "Treasury of Grace" won by Him for us on Calvary; She consoles our hearts and through Her maternal care, imparts to Her children whatever peace or happiness we can know in this vale of tears-----nothing less than the peace of Christ. We may struggle to maintain this peace in our bruised and weary hearts, but Our Lady is always ready and eager to share it with us again and again. Yes, the name of Mary, this brief, simple name, speaks volumes to us. "There is hidden in that Divine name [of Mary] a spell so potent," wrote Abbé Orsini, "and of such marvelous sweetness, that merely to pronounce it softens the heart, merely to write it beautifies the style." St. Bonaventure declared the the name of Mary "cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly."

Monday, September 8, 2008

Feast of Holy Mother of God's Birth

A baby girl was born as sweet as May

And like a rosebud in her cradle lay.

She looked up to her mother with blue eyes

And smiled up at her father baby-wise.

Through all the house bright sunbeams seemed to

And swarms of larks began to sing outside.

White lambkins leaped in through the open door

And bleated joyously as ne'er before.

Into the garden father soon took babykin

And fondly stroked her dimpled little chin.

The palms and roses bowed in reverence,

White doves flew up from every garden fence

And sat right on the darling baby's breast

And cooed to her in never ceasing zest.

Up in the skies floated another air,

Much sweeter than the lark song and more fair,

And softer than the harp and violin;

It must have been her happy angel kin.

And all the people who that day passed by

Were strangely happy though they knew not why.

In all the town no evil word was spoken

And all day long no law of God was broken.

Old pious songs and joyous laughs were heard

In every home, as if by magic stirred.

Old Mother Anna blossomed in young grace,

No slightest fold lay on her kindly face.

She put her hands so soft and motherly

Around her babe and sang her melody.

The sun stood still, it seemed, for many hours,

As if too loath to seek her wonted bowers.

The stars came out and joined in merry dance

Around the golden moon's new radiance.

And all because this rosy babe was born

To usher in Redemption's blessed morn.

( written by Fr. Lynk ~~ more poems on great Udayton site )

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Martyrdom of Mary Was Never Equaled ( written by St. Alphonsus Liguori )

To what shall I compare thee? or to what shall I liken thee, O daughter of Jerusalem?. . . for great as the sea is thy destruction; who shall heal thee? (Lam. 2:13) No, the acuteness of the sufferings of Mary are not to be compared, even with those of all the Martyrs united. "The Martyrdom of Mary," says Saint Bernard, "was not caused by the executioner's sword, but proceeded from bitter sorrow of heart." In other Martyrs torments were inflicted on the body; but Mary's sorrow was in her heart and soul, verifying in her the prophecy of Simeon, Thy own soul a sword shall pierce. (Luke 2:35) Arnold of Chartres writes that "whoever had been on Mount Calvary, to witness the great sacrifice of the Immaculate Lamb, would there have beheld two great altars, the one in the Body of Jesus, the other in the heart of Mary; for on that Mount, when the Son sacrificed His Body by death, Mary sacrificed her soul by compassion." So much so, says Saint Antoninus, that whereas other Martyrs sacrifice their own lives, the Blessed Virgin consummated her Martyrdom by sacrificing the life of her Son, a life which she loved far more than her own, and which caused her to endure a torment which exceeded all other torments ever endured by any mortal on earth.

As a general rule, the sufferings of children are also the sufferings of their mothers who are present at and witness their torments. This Saint Augustine declares, when speaking of the mother of the Machabees, who witnessed the execution of her children, Martyred by order of the cruel Antiochus: he says that "Love caused her to endure in her soul all the torments inflicted on each of her children." Erasmus adds that "Mothers suffer more at the sight of the sufferings of their children than if the torments were inflicted on themselves." This, however, is not always true; but in Mary it was verified; for she certainly suffered more in witnessing the sufferings of her Son than she would have done had she endured all the torments in her own person. "All the wounds," says Saint Bonaventure, "which were scattered over the Body of Jesus were united in the heart of Mary, to torment her in the Passion of her Son" so that, as Saint Lawrence Justinian writes, "The heart of Mary, by compassion for her Son, became a mirror of His torments, in which might be seen, faithfully reflected, the spittings, the blows, the wounds, and all that Jesus suffered." We can therefore say that Mary, on account of the love that she bore Him, was in heart, during the Passion of her Son, struck, scourged, crowned with thorns, and nailed to the very Cross of her Son.

The same Saint Lawrence considers Jesus on His road to Calvary, with the Cross on His shoulders, turning to Mary and saying to her, "Alas, My Own dear Mother, where are you going? What a scene will you witness? You will be agonized by My sufferings, and I by yours." But the loving Mother would follow Him all the same, though she knew that, by being present at His death, she would have to endure a torment greater than any death. She saw that her Son carried the Cross to be crucified upon it; and, adds Abbot William, she also took up the cross of her sorrows, and followed her Son to be crucified with Him. Hence Saint Bonaventure considers Mary standing by the Cross of her dying Son, and asks her, saying, "O Lady, tell me where did you then stand-----was it near the Cross? No, you were on the Cross itself, crucified with your Son." About these words of the Redeemer, foretold by the prophet Isaias, I have trodden the wine-press alone, and of the Gentiles there is not a man with me. (Isaias 63:3) Richard of St. Lawrence says, "It is true, O Lord, that in the work of human redemption You did suffer alone, and that there was not a man that sufficiently pitied You; but there was a woman with You, and she was Your Own Mother; she suffered in her heart all that You endured in Your Body."

To show the sufferings endured by other Martyrs they are represented with the instruments of their torture; Saint Andrew with a cross, Saint Paul with a sword, Saint Lawrence with a gridiron; Mary is represented with her dead Son in her arms; for He alone was the instrument of her Martyrdom, and compassion for Him made her the Queen of Martyrs. On this subject of Mary's compassion in the death of Jesus Christ, Father Pinamonti gives expression to a beautiful and remarkable opinion: he says, that "the grief of Mary in the passion of her Son was so great, that she alone compassionated in a degree by any means adequate to its merits the death of a God made man for the love of man."

Blessed Amadeus also writes, that "Mary suffered much more in the Passion of her Son than she would have done if she herself had endured it; for she loved her Jesus much more than she loved herself," Hence Saint Ildephonsus did not hesitate to assert, that "the sufferings of Mary exceed those of all Martyrs united together." Saint Anselm, addressing the Blessed Virgin, says, "The most cruel torments inflicted on the holy Martyrs were trifling or as nothing in comparison with your Martyrdom, O Mary." The same Saint adds, "Indeed, O Lady, in each moment of your life your sufferings were such that you could not have endured them, and would have expired under them, had not your Son, the source of your life, preserved you." Saint Bernadine of Sienna even says, that "the sufferings of Mary were such that had they been divided among all creatures capable of suffering, they would have caused their immediate death." Who, then, can ever doubt that the Martyrdom of Mary was without its equal, and that it exceeded the sufferings of all the Martyrs; since, as Saint Antoninus says, "they suffered in the sacrifice of their own lives; but the Blessed Virgin suffered by offering the life of her Son to God, a life which she loved far more than her own."

The Martyrs suffered under the torments inflicted on them by tyrants; but Our Lord, Who never abandons His servants, always comforted them in the midst of their sufferings. The love of God, which burnt in their hearts, rendered all these sufferings sweet and pleasing to them. Saint Vincent suffered, when on the rack he was torn with pincers and burnt with hot iron plates; but Saint Augustine says that "the Saint spoke with such contempt of his torments, that it seemed as if it was one who spoke and another who suffered." Saint Boniface suffered when the flesh was torn from his body with iron hooks, sharp reeds were forced under his nails and melted lead was poured into his mouth; but in the midst of all, he could never cease to thank Jesus Christ, Who allowed him to suffer for His love. Saint Lawrence suffered when roasting on a gridiron; "but the love which inflamed him," says Saint Augustine, "did not allow him to feel the fire, or even that prolonged death itself."
The greater the love of the Martyrs for Jesus Christ, the less they felt their pains: and in the midst of them all, the remembrance of the Passion of Christ sufficed to console them. With Mary it was precisely the reverse; for the torments of Jesus were her Martyrdom, and love for Jesus was her only executioner. Here we must repeat the words of Jeremias: As the sea is all bitterness, and has not within its bosom a single drop of water which is sweet, so also was the heart of Mary all bitterness, and without the least consolation: Who shall heal you? Her Son alone could heal her and heal her wounds; but how could Mary receive comfort in her grief from her crucified Son, since the love she bore Him was the whole cause of her Martyrdom?

"To understand, then, how great was the grief of Mary, we must understand," says Cornelius a Lapide, "how great was the love she bore her Son." But who can ever measure this love?

Blessed Amadeus says, that "natural love towards Him as her Son, and supernatural love towards Him as her God, were united in the heart of Mary."

These two loves were blended into one, and this so great a love that William of Paris does not hesitate to assert, that Mary loved Jesus ''as much as it was possible for a pure creature to love Him." So that, as Richard of St. Victor says, ''as no other creature loved God as Mary loved Him, so there was never any sorrow like Mary's sorrow."

Now there stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother. Let us stay awhile to consider these words before concluding our discourse; but I entreat you to renew your attention.

There stood. When Jesus was on the Cross, the disciples had already abandoned Him; they had done so from the moment in which He was taken in the Garden of Olives: then the disciples all leaving Him fled. (Matt. 26:56) The disciples abandoned Him; but His loving Mother did not abandon Him; she remained with Him until He expired.

There stood by. Mothers fly when they see their children suffer much, and are unable to give them relief; they have not the strength to endure the torment, and therefore fly to a distance. Mary beheld her Son in agony on the Cross; she saw that His sufferings were slowly depriving Him of life; she desired to relieve Him in that last extremity, but could not; but with all this she did not fly, she did not go to a distance, but drew nearer to the Cross on which her Son was dying.

She stood by the Cross. The Cross was the hard bed on which Jesus Christ had to die. Mary, who stood by its side, never turned her eyes from Him; she beheld Him all torn by the scourges, thorns, and nails; she saw that her poor Son, suspended by those three iron hooks, found no repose. She, as I have already said, would have desired to give Him some relief; she would have desired, at least, that He should have expired in her arms; but no, even this is forbidden her. "Ah, Cross!" she must
have said, "restore me my Son; you are a gibbet for malefactors, but my Son is innocent." But wait, O sorrowful Mother; God's will is that the Cross should only restore you your Son when He has expired.

Saint Bonaventure, considering the sorrow of Mary in the death of her Son, writes, that "no grief was more bitter than hers, because no son was as dear as her Son." Since, then, there never was a son more worthy than Jesus, nor any mother who ever loved as Mary loved, what sorrow can be compared with the sorrow of Mary? "Ah, there never has been in the world a more amiable Son than Jesus," says Richard of St. Lawrence, "nor was there ever so loving a Mother. Had there been less love between this Mother and Son, His death would have been less cruel, their griefs would have been diminished: but the more tender were their loves, the deeper were their wounds." Mary saw that death approached her Son; therefore, casting her compassionate eyes upon Him, she seemed to say, "Ah, Son, You already depart, already You leave me; and are You silent? Give me a last remembrance." Yes, He did so. Jesus Christ left her a remembrance; it was this: Woman, He said, behold your son, referring to Saint John, who stood near; and with these words He bade her farewell. He called her woman, that by the sweet name of mother He might not increase her grief: Woman, behold your son, he will take charge of you when I am dead.

There stood by the Cross of Jesus His Mother. Let us, finally observe Mary, who stood at the foot of the Cross and beheld her Son expire. But, a God, what Son was it that died? It was a Son Who from all eternity had chosen her for His Mother, and had preferred her in His love to all men and Angels: it was a Son so beautiful, so holy, so amiable; a Son Who had always obeyed her; a Son Who was her only love, for He was her Son and her God; and Mary had to see Him die before her eyes, of pure suffering. But behold, the hour of the death of Jesus has already come; the afflicted Mother saw her Son then enduring the last assaults of death; behold, again, His Body was already sinking, His head drooped down on His breast, His mouth opened, and He expired. The people cry out, "He is dead! He is dead!" And Mary also said, "Ah, my Jesus, my Son, You are now dead!"

When Jesus was dead, He was taken down from the Cross. Mary received Him with outstretched arms; she then pressed Him to her heart, and examined that head wounded by the thorns, those hands pierced with nails, and that body all lacerated and torn. "Ah, Son," she said, "to what has Your love for men reduced You!" But the disciples, fearing that with her Son clasped in her arms she would die of grief, out of compassion approached her, and with reverential determination, removed her Son from her arms, wrapped Him in the winding sheet, and carried Him away to bury Him. The other holy women accompanied Him, and with them the sorrowful Mother followed her Son to the tomb; where, having herself deposited Him with her own hands, she bade Him a last farewell and retired. Saint Bernard says, that ''as Mary passed along the way, her sorrow and grief were such, that all who met her were thereby moved to tears;" and he adds that "those who accompanied her were weeping rather for her than for Our Lord."

My readers, let us be devout to the sorrows of Mary. Saint Albert the Great writes, that ''as we are under great obligations to Jesus Christ for His death, so also are we under great obligations to Mary for the grief which she endured when she offered her Son to God by death for our salvation." This the Angel revealed to Saint Bridget: he said that the Blessed Virgin, to see us saved, herself offered the life of her Son to the Eternal Father: a sacrifice which, as we have already said, cost her greater suffering than all the torments of the Martyrs, or even death itself. But the Divine Mother complained to Saint Bridget that very few pitied her in her sorrows, and that the greater part of the world lived in entire forgetfulness of them. Therefore she exhorted the Saint, saying: "Though many forget me, don't you, my daughter, forget me." For this purpose the Blessed Virgin herself appeared in the year 1239 to the founder of the Order of the Servites, or Servants of Mary, to requested them to institute a religious order in remembrance of her sorrows; and this they did.

Jesus Himself one day spoke to Blessed Veronica of Binasco, saying, "Daughter, tears shed over My Passion are dear to Me: but as I love My Mother Mary with an immense love, the meditation of the sorrows which she endured at My death is also very dear to Me." It is also well to know, as Pelbart relates it, that it was revealed to Saint Elizabeth of Hungary, that Our Lord had promised four special graces to those who are devout to the sorrows of Mary: 1st, that those who before death invoke the Divine Mother, in the name of her sorrows, should obtain true repentance of all their sins: 2nd, that He would protect all who have this devotion in their tribulations, and that He would protect them especially at the hour of death: 3rd, that He would impress upon their minds the remembrance of His Passion, and that they should have their reward for it in Heaven: 4th, that He would commit such devout clients to the hands of Mary, with the power to dispose of them in whatever manner she might please, and to obtain for them all the graces she might desire.

+ + + + + + + + + +

There are two kinds of Martyrs, one in open suffering, the other in the hidden virtue of the spirit. For many, enduring the snares of the enemy and resisting all carnal desires, because they have sacrificed themselves in their hearts to Almighty God, have also become martyrs in time of peace, and if they had lived in time of persecution, they could have been Martyrs in reality.

Our Lady of Sorrows ~~ daily meditation before the Feast ~~

Today is the first day of Novena for Our Lady of Sorrows Feast ( 15 September ). There are many meditation over the true martyrdom of Mary , beside the most sorrowful Passion of our Lord and Saviour , Jesus Christ - the only begotten Son of God ( and Holy Mother Mary ) . It's hard , almost impossible to describe in few words the endless suffering of Mary , to see her begotten child crucified and dying on the Cross , for the sake of salvation of a world of sinners . How we shall ever console her pierced Immaculate Heart , how many prayers and acts of contrition can be said ?
Anyway I feel in my heart that we are already forgiven , but even so we should express our thanksgiving for being saved through the most bitterful Passion of our Saviour Jesus Christ and through martyrdom of Holy Mother Mary . I invite you all to join in meditations , prayers and devotions for the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows , many God bless abundantely you all !

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Most Holy Mary is conceived without original sin

MARY, I believe the teaching of the Church concerning you that from the first moment of your conception you possessed sanctifying grace, even the fullness of grace, with the infused virtues and gifts of the Holy Ghost. Yet you remained subject to death and other pains and miseries of life that your Son Himself willed to undergo.
Photobucket I believe that you were, "in the first instant of your conception, by the singular grace and privilege of the Omnipotent God, in virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the Human race, preserved from all stain of original sin."

This article of faith is founded upon Scripture and upon the constant Tradition of the Church. If God Himself had announced from the beginning of the world that you were destined "to crush the head" of the infernal serpent, you could not have begun your life by being wounded yourself by his poisonous bite and subject to his power. The Archangel Gabriel called you "full of grace" because you never were deprived of sanctifying grace, and consequently you possessed this grace in the first moment of your conception.

The Fathers and writers of the Church compare you to the ark of Noe which alone escaped the universal deluge; to the thornbush which Moses saw burning, but was not consumed; to the enclosed garden; to the rod of Aaron which, when laid in the ark, budded and blossomed without having taken root; to the fleece of Gideon which remained dry while the ground all around it became moist with dew. They look upon you as the queen who came from the Most High, perfect, beautiful, and without original sin; as the paradise of innocence which God Himself planted and protected against all the attacks of the poisonous serpent.

PhotobucketMARY, reason, too, approves of your Immaculate Conception, for this privilege corresponds with your sublime vocation. You were the throne of God, the wonderful palace in which the Son of God chose to dwell for nine months. Your womb was the chosen place honored by the mysterious working of the Holy Spirit. If everything that comes in contact with God must be pure and immaculate, what purity was necessary for you, the vessel in which the Son of God formed His flesh and blood? Your Immaculate Conception is a brilliant witness to the sanctity of Jesus, your Son.

If Jesus, the Son of God, could choose for His Mother her who pleased Him most, He would surely choose one acceptable to the Blessed Trinity and worthy of the great honor for which she was destined. You were, therefore, not only free from all actual sin, but you also remained exempt from original sin, otherwise, you would not have been a Mother suitable for Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As Eve received natural life from Adam, you received spiritual life, the life of grace, through your Son. If Eve was originally immaculate, your conception as the second Eve could not be less immaculate. You who are superior to Eve in merits could not be inferior to her in dignity. Therefore, since Eve was immaculate in her formation, you must have been immaculate in your conception.

MARY, it is an ancient belief and now an article of faith of the Catholic Church that after your death you were admitted body and soul into heaven. This privilege corresponds with your exalted dignity and great merits. But the principal reason of your bodily assumption into heaven was due to your Immaculate Conception. Because of original gin man was doomed to death and corruption; but being exempt from the stain of original sin, you were not subject to corruption and were assumed into heaven body and soul immediately after your death.

God Himself has testified to Your Immaculate Conception by miracles. Who can number the wonders which have been wrought at Lourdes, where you appeared eighteen times and declared to Bernadette and to the world: "I am the Immaculate Conception," just four years after this doctrine was defined as a dogma of faith, to declare to the whole world your approval of it and that you were not only immaculately conceived, but that you are the Immaculate Conception! How many miracles have been wrought also through the miraculous medal which bears your image!

Mary, conceived without sin, teach me to be grateful to God for the grace of baptism by which I was cleansed from original sin and spiritually regenerated and sanctified. Help me to guard against every sin, above all against every mortal sin, lest I lose the grace of God, infinitely greater than all the riches of the world. Since I could not imitate you by entering the world free from sin, let me at least leave it free from sin.

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary have prepared a worthy dwelling place for Your Son, we humbly beg of You, that as through the death of Your Son, which You foreknew, You have kept her free from all sin, so by her intercession enable us also to come to You with pure hearts. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, heralded joy to all the world

Thy birth, O Virgin Mother of God,
heralded joy to all the world.
For from thou hast risen the Sun of justice,
Christ our God.

Destroying the curse, He gave blessing;
and damning death, He bestowed on us
life everlasting.

Blessed art thou among women
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
For from thou hast risen of Sun of justice,
Christ our God

(from The Divine Office - Matins (Morning Prayer)

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The Feast of the Nativity of Our Most Holy Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary is celebrated on September 8 each year. The Feast commemorates the birth of the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

The birth and early life of the Virgin Mary is not recorded in the Gospels or other books of the New Testament, however this information can be found in a work dating from the second century known as the Book of James or Protevangelion.

According to the story found in this book, Mary's parents, Joachim and Anna, were childless for many years. They remained faithful to God, but their prayers for a child were unanswered. One day, when Joachim came to the temple to make an offering, he was turned away by the High Priest who chastised him for his lack of children. To hide his shame, Joachim retreated to the hill country to live among the shepherds and their flocks.

As Joachim was praying, his wife Anna was praying at the same time at their house in Jerusalem. An angel appeared to both of them and announced that Anna would have a child whose name would be known throughout the world. Anna promised to offer her child as a gift to the Lord. Joachim returned home, and in due time Anna bore a daughter, Mary.

Let us pray :

Lord God,
the day of our salvation dawned
when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to your Son.
As we celebrate her nativity
grant us your grace and your peace.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

For all who want to get close to the truth of Immaculate Conception of Mary , Holy Mother of God , I suggest to read The Gospel of the Birth of Mary

Eternal Father, I offer You the most Precious Blood of Thy Divine Son, Jesus Christ , in union with the Masses said throughout the world today, for all the Holy Souls in Purgatory, for sinners everywhere, for sinners in the Universal Church, for those in my own home and in my family. Amen

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O Mary, Queen and Mother of Carmel, I come today to consecrate myself to thee, for my whole life is but a small return for the many graces and blessings that have come from God to me through thy immaculate hands.

Since thou look with special kindness on those who wear thy Scapular, I implore thee to strengthen my weakness with thy power, to enlighten the darkness of my mind with thy wisdom, and to increase in me Faith, Hope and Charity that I may repay each day my debt of humble homage to thee.

May thy Holy Scapular bring me thy special protection in my daily struggle to be faithful to thy Divine Son and to thee. May it separate me from all that is sinful in life and remind me constantly of my duty to imitate thy virtues.

From now on, I shall strive to live in God's Presence, and offer all to Jesus through thee. Dearest Holy Mother, support me by thy never-failing love and lead me to paradise through the merits of Christ and thy own intercession. Amen.


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