- Wednesday, 21 November 2012 13:52
The liturgical memorial celebrated today is an odd feast for some in the West: The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary; in the Byzantine East it’s sometimes referred to as the Entrance of the Virgin in the Temple. A slight difference with no real distinction.
Liturgical history tells us that the feast was observed in Jerusalem in the 6th century. A church was built to Mary’s honor. In the West the feast was introduced in the 11th century but it has disappeared for a time from the Church’s calendar and then in the 16th century it was given to the Church to be observed universally.
The tradition of the Church –that is, it is only spoken of in apocryphal literature– is that the parents of Mary, Saints Joachim and Anna, praying for the miracle of a child received from God a baby they longed to have: Mary. Their prayer and vow to God was dedicate the child to Him, and His service. One slight possible problem. Jews at this time in history only brought to the Temple their baby sons, not their baby daughters. At least that’s what some scholars of the Law taught. This unhistorical account of Mary’s presentation known to us from the Protoevangelium of James gives the churches a liturgical observance. Nevertheless, little did Mary’s parents realize what it meant to fulfill their promise of dedicating their daughter in the Temple to God’s service. Salvation history would never be the same.
Psalms connected with the Presentation in the Temple: with lighted candles: Ps. 44/45: 14-15; 119/120 to 133/134.
- Wednesday, 31 October 2012 11:34
Something you don’t see everyday: the Wall Street Journal published a photo of the statue of Our Lady
of the Miraculous Medal undamaged following Sandy’s destructive path of terror in NYC!
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, pray for us.
- Monday, 08 October 2012 09:34
The month of October is devoted to the theme of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. The Rosary is the official prayer for the Year of Faith. As Pope Benedict recently said, “I would like to suggest to everyone to renew the prayer of the Rosary in the upcoming Year of Faith. With the Rosary, we allow ourselves to be guided by Mary, model of faith, in meditating on the mysteries of Christ.”
The Portsmouth Abbey folks have finally produced a beautiful background video on the meaning of the Grotto for the monastic community, the school and the greater Catholic community. “The Grotto at Portsmouth Abbey” may be watched here
. The video is the fruit of Jamie Macguire with the assistance of several monks. It’s well done, and informative.
This is the first of many good things to come from Portsmouth Abbey and School in light of the Year of Faith.
May Our Lady of Lourdes, Mother of the Rosary, pray for Portsmouth Abbey and for us.
- Sunday, 07 October 2012 07:49
Pour forth, we beseech you, O Lord, your grace into our heart, that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ your Son was made known by the message of an Angel, may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Those who pray the Angelus will recognize this opening Collect for Mass for this feast. It keys us into the Mystery of the Word made flesh, of God entering into our history.
I once was working with a youth group for a summer and the leader told me that his colleagues in this particular diocese gave him grief that he prayed the rosary with his 60 teens at the weekly meeting. They couldn’t believe that anyone would do this, and they were more surprised that teenagers would agree to pray the Rosary. I was appalled that any Catholic youth minister would dismiss praying with sacred Scripture. The experience was golden: sitting in a circle, someone introduced the mystery of the Rosary, and everyone in the room announced the intention(s) that they needed Mary’s help on. Each teen took a Hail Mary. No gimmick, just prayer. Following the prayer, then there was “the program.” To me, the Rosary was enough.
It seems to me that if you want to experience the habit of prayer, to know the biblical narrative of Love, and be faithful in what the Mother of God asked us to do to decapitate sin, then praying the Rosary is the prayer form to do. Saints and sinners, popes and common people have all recommended the Holy Rosary taking up what the collect indicates, to the Incarnation of the Lord made known by the Angel.
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us.
- Thursday, 04 October 2012 19:15
Pope Benedict went to the Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto, his 30th trip in Italy, to commemorate the visit Blessed John XXIII made when he called the Second Vatican Council entrusting her with the needs the Church and the Council. The Pope’s homily follows.
On 4 October 1962,, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all
Blessed John XXIII came as a pilgrim to this Shrine to
entrust to the Virgin Mary the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, due to
begin a week later. On that occasion, with deep filial devotion to the Mother
of God, he addressed her in these words: “Again today, and in the name of the
entire episcopate, I ask you, sweetest Mother, as Help of Bishops
the bishops of the world, to obtain for us the grace to enter the Council Hall
of Saint Peter’s Basilica, as the Apostles and the first disciples of Jesus
entered the Upper Room: with one heart, one heartbeat of love for Christ and
for souls, with one purpose only, to live and to sacrifice ourselves for the
salvation of individuals and peoples. Thus, by your maternal intercession, in
the years and the centuries to come, may it be said that the grace of God
prepared, accompanied and crowned the twenty-first Ecumenical Council, filling
all the children of the holy Church with a new fervour, a new impulse to
generosity, and a renewed firmness of purpose” (AAS 54 , 727).
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