- Wednesday, 22 August 2012 14:45
approach thee to-day, O Queen; and again, I say, O Queen, O Virgin Mother of
God, staying our souls with our trust in thee, as with a strong anchor. Lifting
up mind, soul and body, and all ourselves to thee, rejoicing in psalms and
hymns and spiritual canticles, we reach through thee One who is beyond our
reach on account of His Majesty. (Saint John of Damascus)
… devotion to Our Lady is an important element
in our spiritual lives. In our prayer, let us not neglect to turn trustfully to
her. Mary will not neglect to intercede for us next to her Son. In looking to
her, let us imitate her faith, her complete availability to God’s plan of love,
her generous welcoming of Jesus. Let us learn to live by Mary. Mary is the
Queen of heaven who is close to God, but she is also the Mother who is close to
each one of us, who loves us and who listens to our voice.
Pope Benedict XVI
Queenship of Mary, 2012
- Wednesday, 15 August 2012 08:28
“those He justified, He also glorified” (Rom
Almighty ever-living God, who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary, the Mother of your Son, body and soul into heavenly glory, grant we pray, that always attentive to the things that are above, we may merit to be sharers of her glory.
What was given to Mary, is offered to us: to share in the glory of the Most Holy Trinity. Unlike the Gaga song of “being on the edge of glory,” we Christians are offered the possibility of being in the center of glory. But do we believe it?
Eastern and Western Christians observe on the same day the glorious move
of Mary from this world to the next. The Eastern Christians call today’s feast
the “Dormition,” the falling asleep of the Theotokos and the assumption to
heaven. In the West, we refer to this feast as the Assumption. That Mary,
without decay of the human, was called to heaven body and soul, by God.
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- Thursday, 02 August 2012 06:47
The spiritual tradition of the Franciscans is connecting the with the good work of the sainted founder, Saint Francis, who as you know, fixed three chapels: the third was called the Portiuncula (the Little Portion), dedicated to Saint Mary of the Angels. As you can see, the chapel sits in a large basilica in Assisi. The friars have been at the Portiuncula since early thirteen century. Saint Clare made her vows following Palm Sunday in 1212 and where Francis died on 3 October 1226.
For centuries the Church, at the request of Francis, has attached a spiritual favor in the form of indulgence, a grant remission of sins to all who came there. It used to be given only at the Portiuncula but now the privilege extends beyond the Portiuncula especially those administered by Franciscans, throughout the world, to others churches as well.
The Church teaches that a plenary indulgence is a powerful tool for works of mercy and weapon in the living of the Christian life, that is, in our spiritual warfare. A plenary indulgence is the remission of the effects of sin, through the merits of Jesus Christ and the saints, through the Church, of all temporal punishment due to sin already forgiven through the reception of the sacrament of Confession.
To obtain the Portiuncula plenary indulgence, a person must visit the Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels at Assisi, or a Franciscan church or chapel, or even one’s parish church, with the intention of honoring Our Lady of the Angels. The recites the Creed and prays the Our Father for the Pope’s designated intentions (see the monthly papal prayer intentions). Key is going to Confession (“free of attachment to venial and mortal sin). One can make a confession and receive Holy Communion 8 days before or after.
- Saturday, 16 June 2012 08:36
My heart will rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, who has been bountiful with me.
With Mother Church we pray,
O God, who has prepared a fit dwelling place for the Holy Spirit in the Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary, graciously grant that through her intercession we may be a worthy temple of your glory.
The solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is directly followed by the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, the supreme human vessel of the Holy Spirit. In days following the feast of Pentecost the Church offers us an opportunity to dedicate our lives once again to the love and work of Divine Providence today. As we move through summer and then into the autumn we need a focus and the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are just the focus we need.
If you read the Litany to the Immaculate Heart of Mary you notice the characteristics the Church believes are part of Mary’s witness to Divine Providence, and which ought to be a part of our lives, too. The Litany keeps the recognition of the Mystery alive; it awakens within us our destiny in Christ. Therefore, what is said of Mary ought to be said of us (with God’s grace, of course). Let me note a few of the characteristcs that we ought to have: a heart like God’s, a heart united to Jesus’, an instrument of the Holy Spirit, a sanctuary of the Blessed Trinity, a tabernacle of the Incarnation, etc. Find the Litany of the Immaculate Heart and meditate on it today. It will be a invitation to conversion.
In August, the month dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, we’ll return to a way of living in the purity of intention and love found in Mary.
- Thursday, 31 May 2012 13:09
The Word of God is not a literary expression, but is the indication of an event, it is always a fact: the Word of God is Christ. His word starts from the promise of an event. The figure of the Virgin is completely filled with memory, the word of her people, stretching completely toward the meaning of these events (the Angel’s announcement, Elizabeth’s greeting). This is why Elizabeth used the highest form of address: ‘Blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.’
Monsignor Luigi Giussani