Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Happy Feast of Annunciation of the Lord

Lent's austerity is interrupted as we solemnly keep a feast in honor of the Annunciation. The Annunciation is a mystery that belongs to the temporal rather than to the sanctoral cycle in the Church's calendar. For the feast commemorates the most sublime moment in the history of time, the moment when the Second Divine Person of the most Holy Trinity assumed human nature in the womb of the Virgin Mary. Thus it is a feast of our Lord, even as it is of Mary, although the liturgy centers wholly around the Mother of God. ( — The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch )
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Let us faithfully rejoice for the great gift of eternal life given to us through Jesus Christ , from the very moment of Annunciation till Nativity , Passion and sorrowful Death , till the luminous and life giving Resurection .
For this important Feast for mankind , we can pray following Saint Alphonsus Liguori meditations :

First Meditation : When God was pleased to send His Son on earth, that by becoming man He might redeem lost man, He chose Him a Virgin Mother, who, amongst all virgins, was the most pure, the most holy, and the most humble. Behold, whilst Mary was in her poor dwelling, beseeching God to send the promised Redeemer, an Angel stood before her and saluted her, saying , "Hail, full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women". And what was the conduct of this humble Virgin when she heard so honorable a salutation? She was not elated, but was silent and troubled, considering herself indeed unworthy of such praises: "she was troubled at his saying".

O Mary,
thou art so humble,
and I am so filled with pride;
obtain for me holy humility.Amen

Second Meditation : Think you that these praises caused Mary at least to suspect that she might be the destined Mother of the Redeemer? No; they only caused her to conceive a great fear of herself; so much so, indeed, that the Angel had to encourage her: "Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found grace with God". He then announced to her that she was the chosen Mother of the Redeemer of the world: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son, and thou shalt call His name Jesus".

Blessed art thou, O Mary,
how dear wast thou to God,
and how dear art thou still to Him!
Have pity on me.Amen

Third Meditation : "And now, O holy Virgin", says Saint Bernard, "why dost thou delay thy consent? The Eternal Word awaits it to clothe Himself with flesh and become thy Son. We also await it, who in misery are condemned to eternal death. If thou consentest, and acceptest to become His Mother, we shall be made free. Quickly, O Lady, answer. Delay not the salvation of the world, which depends on thy consent". But let us rejoice, for Mary already hears the Angel: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word". "Behold", she says, "the slave of the Lord, who is bound to do all that her Lord commands". If He chooses a slave for His Mother, it is not she who is to be praised, but the goodness of that Lord alone, Who is thus graciously pleased to honor her.

O most humble Mary, thou by this thy humility didst so enamor thy God that thou didst draw Him to thee, so as to become thy Son and our Redeemer. I know that thy Son refuses thee nothing that thou askest Him. Ask Him to forgive all the offenses which I have committed against Him; ask Him to grant me perseverance until death. In fine, recommend my soul to Him; for thy recommendations meet with no denial from a Son Who loves thee so much. O Mary, thou hast to save me; thou art my hope. Amen

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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