- Tuesday, 09 July 2013 22:50
Today, is the feast of Our Lady of the Atonement. Under her patronage do the Franciscan Friars and Sisters of the Atonement live their vocation. I was happy to celebrate with a favorite Atonement Sister today!
The Founder of the Franciscans of the Atonement, the Servant of God Father Paul, said of Mary’s part in the Atonement:
“She is necessarily “of the Atonement” since it was the will of God that she play a necessary part in the atonement or redemption. This is not to say that without her man would have remained unredeemed but that God’s plan gave her a large share in the redemptive work…Mary, although her part is in no way similar in nature to that of her divine Son’s, cooperated with Jesus Christ, as no other creature did, in his work of reconciling man with God. Her claim to this high title rests most solidly on the fact that she consented to become, and became the mother of the Redeemer; that she suffered with Jesus during the passion; and that all graces merited for mankind by Christ have come to us through Mary.
When we, therefore, give to our Blessed Mother the title of Our Lady of the Atonement we mean: Our Lady of Unity. As she sits enthroned, as the great wonder of heaven, wearing a crown of twelve stars, clothed with the sun, the moon her footstool, she presents to the universe the highest possible approach of a creature to intimate and exalted union with God.
- Friday, 31 May 2013 08:18
The generosity of the young Virgin Mother of our Savior is honored today. As the prayer below says, Mary was moved by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, we also ought to make God’s greatness known, loved and imitated.
On this feast I want to pray for 4 things:
1. for Giovannimaria, 7, who died yesterday after a prolonged illness;
2. for my friend Fr Edward Oakes, SJ, who was recently diagnosed Type-4 pancreatic and liver cancer;
3. for the Order of the Visitation
4. for those who need visit from a person and who lives a lonely existence.
Mary tells us of God’s mercy given to all generations.
With the Church we pray,
Almighty ever-living God, who, while the Blessed Virgin Mary was carrying your Son in her womb, inspired her to visit Elizabeth, grant us, we pray, that, faithful to the promptings of the Spirit, we may magnify your greatness with the Virgin Mary at all times.
- Tuesday, 28 May 2013 10:18
Mother of the silence that preserves the mystery of God, deliver us from the idolatry of the present, to which those who forget are condemned. Purify the eyes of pastors with the balm of memory:that we might return to the freshness of the beginning, for a praying and penitent Church.
Mother of the beauty that blossoms from fidelity to daily work, remove us from the torpor of laziness, of pettiness, and defeatism. Cloak Pastors with that compassion that unifies and integrates: that we might discover the joy of a humble and fraternal servant Church.
Mother of the tenderness which enfolds in patience and mercy, help us burn away the sadness, impatience, and rigidity of those who have not known what it means to belong.
Intercede with your Son that our hands, our feet and our hearts may be swift: that we may build the Church with the truth in charity.
Mother, we will be the People of God, on pilgrimage towards the Kingdom. Amen.
23 May 2013
- Friday, 24 May 2013 06:16
Today is the day that Benedict XVI designated to be a World Day of Prayer for China, particularly our Chinese Christian brothers and sisters. The Catholics in China, indeed, all Christians in China have not been respected for the their belief in Jesus Christ and His sacrament, the Church. Pope Francis has reminded us of this act of charity.
At Wednesday’s General Audience in Rome, Francis recalled that under the patroness of Our Lady, Help of Christians, we go to God.
The Chinese Catholics venerate under the title of Our Lady of Sheshan, Shanghai.
Pope Francis said:
I urge all Catholics around the world to join in prayer with our brothers and sisters who are in China, to implore from God the grace to proclaim with humility and joy Christ, who died and rose again; to be faithful to His Church and the Successor of Peter and to live everyday life in service to their country and their fellow citizens in a way that is consistent with the faith they profess.
Making our own a few words of prayer to Our Lady of Sheshan, together with you I would like to invoke Mary: Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus.
Mary, Virgin most faithful, support Chinese Catholics, render their commitments, which are not easy, more and more precious in the eyes of the Lord, and nurture the affection and the participation of the Church in China in the journey of the Universal Church.”
Benedict XVIs prayer for today, inaugurated in 2008 for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians; Our Lady of Sheshan, states:
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- Thursday, 16 May 2013 06:37
Saint Simon was the English Carmelite Superior General of the Carmelite Order (†1265) who is most remembered for receiving from the Blessed Virgin the brown scapular with a promise that one is not lost at death if wearing the scapular. Stock was a hymn writer, a good leader and a man of sanctity, whom the Church recognized soon after his death. The liturgical offices were approved by the Church in the 15th century.
It is said that Simon heard the Mother of God say,
Hoc erit tibi et cunctis Carmelitis privilegium, in hoc habitu moriens salvabitur.
(This shall be the privilege for you and for all the Carmelites, that anyone dying in this habit shall be saved.)
The bestowal of the scapular was given to the Carmelite friars alone but now any priest can bless and enroll someone in the scapular. The brown scapular is associated with the Carmelite friars with the title of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. The brown scapular is one 18 approved scapulars worn in devotion.
There is a lot of pious legend about today’s saint, but there are some things that we are reasonably sure about. The Bollandists write the following of Saint Simon Stock:
Saint Simon Stock was born of one of the most illustrious Christian families of England, at the castle of Harford in 1164. Certain prodigies marked him, while an infant in the cradle, as a soul chosen by the Mother of God for Her own. Not yet one year old, he was heard to say the Angelic Salutation distinctly, before he had reached the age to learn it. As soon as he could read he began to recite the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, and he would never cease to do so daily. He read Holy Scripture on his knees at the age of six. He became the object of the jealous persecution of one of his brothers, and at the age of twelve determined to leave and go to live in a forest.
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