Monday, May 31, 2010

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Today we celebrate both Memorial Day and the feast of The Visitation, the Second Joyful Mystery of the Holy Rosary. They are beautifully tied together through the fruit, or virtue, of this mystery which is Love of neighbor.

The Blessed Mother embodies love of neighbor in her perfect charity. She is God's masterpiece of human creation, and her soul magnifies His presence through her perfect humility and charity.

"My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me, and holy is His name" (Lk. 1:46).

The story of the Visitation teaches us an important lesson: when Christ is growing inside of us, we will be led to people, places and situations that we never dreamed of. We will bear words of consolation and hope that are not our own. In the very act of consoling others, we will be consoled. We will be at peace, recollected, because we know that however insignificant our life and issues seem to be, from them Christ is forming himself. The women of today’s Gospel show us that it is possible to move beyond our own little personal agendas and engage in authentic ministry.

Ministry is not simply doing things for others, loving difficult people, serving the poor, teaching others. Authentic ministers allow themselves to serve and be served, taught, cared for, consoled and loved. Such moments liberate us and enable us to sing Magnificat along the journey, and celebrate the great things that God does for us and our people.

Consider the words of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997) on this feast:

In the mystery of the Annunciation and the Visitation, Mary is the very model of the life we should lead. First of all, she welcomed Jesus in her existence; then, she shared what she had received. Every time we receive Holy Communion, Jesus the Word becomes flesh in our life – gift of God who is at one and the same time beautiful, kind, unique. Thus, the first Eucharist was such: Mary’s offering of her Son in her, in whom he had set up the first altar. Mary, the only one who could affirm with absolute confidence, “this is my body”, from that first moment offered her own body, her strength, all her being, to form the Body of Christ.

Blessed Feast of Visitation for every faithful , God bless you all !

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Hail, most gracious Mother of Mercy, Hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight. Amen

A hymn a day for our Heavenly Mother Mary

Ave Maria dear, garden of roses fair, Thornless white lily of Jesse's race.
At Angelus I greet with Gabriel's words so sweet:
Ave Maria, full of all grace.

Thou hast the Father's Son, Maria, Purest one,
In thy chaste womb given protection, Jesus the Holy Child,
Who sinners all defiled Himself has saved from their destruction

Therefore, O Mother mild, pray for us to thy Child,
Ask that our sins may be forgiven:
After this life of tears, Maria, through thy prayers,
gain us eternal joys of heaven. Amen

Monday, May 24, 2010

Solemnity Mary Help of Christians

Holy Mary , Mother of God , we invoke you as the Help of Christians
because you afford help to Christians even in all temporal needs.
If, without being asked, you do so much, what will you do if we invoke your aid?
Though you are now enthroned in Heaven,
you still take an interest in our misery and relieve our wants.
You are still the Mother of God in Heaven as you were on earth;
Jesus, Who is Omnipotence Itself, remains your Son for all eternity.
Your love for us is now even more intense and more compassionate,
because you know our misery better in Heaven than you did in this mortal life.
You obtain sweet rest for all who are laden with trouble and pain;
you give comfort to the afflicted and healing to the sick.
Help of Christians, give me an unbounded confidence in you.
You can help me, for your prayer is all-powerful with God,
and you will help me, for you are my Mother and you love me as your child.
Let me pray to you with a pure and penitent heart, for I cannot expect help from you if I continue to offend your dear Son and even crucify Him again by my sins.
I wish to beg your help with perseverance,
even though for some time I may receive no help.
I know you will grant my petition at the right time.
Teach me to pray with resignation to the will of God,
Who knows what is best for me.
Obtain for me at least the grace of bearing my cross with patience.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.Amen

About this day Solemnity :

Holy Mary , blessed Mother of God , brings us help especially in our spiritual needs. She is a most merciful Mother who rejects no sinner, no matter how far he may have strayed. She lovingly assists on his behalf and tries to reconcile him to her Son. She assists us in temptations. She is continually crushing the serpent's head by breaking evil's plans to capture souls by sin.

God Himself has said to the proud evil one :
"I will put enmities between thee and the woman—she shall crush thy head" (Gen. 3,15).

Instead of capturing others, evil is himself made a captive by Mary; like a chained slave he must obey her commands.
Mary is the Protectress of the Universal Catholic Church , through her intercession calamities have been averted from Christendom, fierce persecutions have ceased to rage, and enemies have been humbled to the dust.
Many feasts are expressions of gratitude toward her for the frequent and wonderful deliverance of Christian nations from the invasions of enemies, from schisms and wars, and from other sufferings.
She confirms us in good and obtains for us the grace of making progress in the path of virtue, for she desires nothing more ardently than that we all become partakers of the fruits of redemption, won for us by her Son. In our efforts to reach holiness, she supports us and obtains for us the grace of perseverance.
We can ask nothing of her that will give her greater pleasure or that she will grant more willingly than the grace to do good. Above all, Mary assists us in the hour of death, which is the most important moment in our life because upon that moment our eternity depends.
As the exalted Queen of heaven she takes the souls of her faithful servants under her protecting mantle, accompanies them to the judgment seat of her Son, and there she becomes their intercessor.

In 1863, a vision of Our Lady appeared to Don Bosco asking him to build a Church to honor her as Mary Help of Christians. Mother Mary's request: "This is my house, from here My Glory shall shine forth."

Don Bosco built the church under miraculous circumstances with financial help coming from practically unknown devotees.
In 1868, Don Bosco completed the grand Basilica of Mary Help of Christians in Turin Italy. It has become the center of devotions and Mother Church of over 150 shrines dedicated to Mary Help of Christians around the world .
Don Bosco asked the artist Thomas Lorenzone to paint the picture of Mary Help of Christians. After three (3) years of work, the painting was finished and put in its place over the main altar of the Basilica.

Don Bosco's description of the painting was: Our Lady stands out in the center bathed in light and majesty. She is surrounded by ranks of Angels, who are doing her honor as their Queen. In her right hand she holds a scepter, the symbol of her power, and on her left arm she carries the Child with his arms outstretched as a sign of the graces and mercy he offers to all who have recourse to his royal Mother. At each side and underneath are the Holy Apostles and Evangelists, exalted in ecstasy as though exclaiming: "Queen of Apostles, pray for us" while gazing in wonder at the Holy Virgin. At the lower part of the painting is shown a portion of the City of Turin, with the Sanctuary of Valdocco in the foreground and the Sanctuary of Superga in the rear.

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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