- 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,
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, to intercede for me as Bishop of Rome and for all
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).
Read more ...
- Monday, 24 September 2012 09:35
September 24th is the feast of Our Lady of Walsingham. She has had greater recognition in the past few years by Catholics in the USA due to an increased interest in ecumenism and the establishment of the personal ordinariats that offer Anglicans to come into full communion with the Catholic Church. The prayer, though, is prayer not just for ecumenism but for Our Lady to be present to us in mercy. We pray…
O blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Walsingham, Mother
of God and our most gentle Queen and Mother, look down in mercy upon us, our
parish [our monastery], our country, our homes, and our families, and upon all
who greatly hope and trust in your prayers, (especially…). By you it was that
Jesus, our Savior and Hope, was given to the world; and He has given you to us
that we may hope still more. Plead for us your children, whom you did receive
and accept at the foot of the Cross, O sorrowful Mother. Intercede for our
separated brother and sisters, that with us in the one true fold they may be
united to the Chief Shepherd, the Vicar of your Son. Pray for us all, dear
Mother, that by faith fruitful in good works we may be made worthy to see and
praise God, together with you in our heavenly home. Amen.
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- Monday, 24 September 2012 07:20
Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To you do we cry
poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
in this valley of tears. Turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy
toward us and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your
O clement! O loving! O sweet Virgin Mary!
The narrative of this feast of Our Lady has its origin in the devotion of Saint Peter Nolasco in the late 12th century France. Father Paul Haffner tells us more here.
The feast of Our Lady of Mercy is close to the heart of the Sisters of Mercy of Alma, and those who have an awareness of the role of Mercy in life.
May Our Lady of Mercy be with us, pray for us.