Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Virgin Mary gets a bad rap, sometimes

On this first day of the new calendar year, the Novus Ordo Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. It is, in fact, the 8th day since the Incarnation and traditionally the Church recalls the Lord’s adherence to the Divine Law with his circumcision.

I’d like to highlight something we tend to overlook in our daily journey of faith. That is, the role of Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of us all, in this walk of faith. What does Mary teach us? Why is she so very critical to our catholic life? Recall, the Church has some central themes in her theology that we need to attend to, namely, the Church is approached from the perspective of the Marian dimension in light of our discipleship.

Some friends wrote the following reflection on Mary that I think needs to be more widely seen and understood:

Sometimes in Christian spirituality, the Virgin Mary gets a bad rap because she is so routinely associated with a damaging and suffocating sentimentality, something sickeningly sweet. But this is really a fiction; the Gospel’s portrait of her reveals something entirely different. There we encounter a Mary who is so open to the Word of God that she actually gives birth to it. At the same time, I believe she knew what it meant to encounter the Lord in the darkness of faith. Can we imagine what it must have been like to learn that she was to give birth to the Messiah? Can we imagine her inner struggle, wondering if this could actually be? And yet, her simple “fiat” is what Jesus commands in this morning’s Gospel. “Blessed rather, are they who hear the word and keep it.” In Mary we discover one who not only heard the Word, she “digested” it; she expressed the whole message of the scriptures in her life. We’re told in several places that Mary “treasured these things, and pondered them in her heart.” That was her fundamental attitude. In a very real sense, she is the archetype of a disciple, of what it means to be a follower of Christ. (NS)

Blessings in 2018!!!!

Mother’s Day

“Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend (παραθώμεθα, предадим, place before God, hand over) ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.” (Great Litany, Byzantine Divine Liturgy) [VL]

I am always reminded the intimate connection and relationship that exists between and among the Blessed Mother and earthly mothers. Each has a strong hand in my doing the right, the good and the beautiful.

God bless Mom, may God care for our grandmothers: indeed all mothers! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Fatima at 100

On May 13, 1917, Mary, the Mother of God, known also by a title of “Our Lady of Fatima,” revealed herself to  three shepherd children in a small town in Portugal. 100 years later we firmly recognize and follow the lead Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia who gave us a renewed opportunity to enter into deeper communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through His Mother.

Saint John Paul II tells us that “the message of Fatima is, in its basic nucleus, a call to conversion and repentance as in the Gospel.”

At Fatima we were told to “Pray the Rosary, every day, in order to bring peace to the world.”

Hence, we pray for ourselves, indeed, all sinners, as we say the prayer Our Lady of Fatima asked to be added after each mystery of the Rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.” During the six monthly apparitions in 1917, Mary instructed Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco to pray the Rosary daily for peace, and to make sacrifices for sinners, saying that “many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

So, today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima with special solemnity, as we mark the 100th anniversary of her first apparition.

Nichols re-consecrated England and Wales to the Mother of God

Nichols crowns the Blessed Virgin Mary

His Eminence, Vincent Cardinal Nichols re-consecrated England and Wales to the Immaculate Heart of Mary at Westminster Cathedral. Today’s Marian consecration renews the original offering made by Cardinal Bernard Griffin on July 16, 1948.

The prayer, in part, read,

“We consecrate ourselves forever to you and to your Immaculate Heart, Our Mother and Queen: that your love and patronage may hasten the triumph of the Kingdom of God and that all nations, at peace with one another and with God, may proclaim you blessed and with you may raise their voices to sing the everlasting Magnificat of glory, love and gratitude to the Heart of Jesus, where alone they can find truth and peace.”

Sadly, across the country there was a Freemasons ceremony held in Canterbury Cathedral to commemorate the 300th anniversary of Freemasonry in the UK with the establishment of the first Grand Lodge in London. Permission was given by Archbishop Justin Welby. The ceremony was granted following the Freemasons gave Welby a $300k gift. The Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, the Very Rev. Robert Willis, presided at the Masonic service. Prince Edward, the Duke of Kent who is the Grand Master of the Freemasons was in attendance.

The truth of the matter is that freemasonry is irreconcilable with Catholicism, that is, Christians in general. The Church has consistently stated that a Catholic cannot belong to Masonry because membership in the organization because contradicts sacred Scripture and it worships man, not the Triune God. No counterfeit Christians are allowed. If the teaching Scripture and theology is true for Catholics it is true for all Christians. As one person said, “Our poor Church reeks of the stench of Satan brought into us by these evil lovers of Satan.” What Welby allowed is clearly wrong.

Why mention this heinous act in the context of such a beautiful gesture of oblation? The Canterbury Cathedral was the Mother-Church of All England from 597 until the death of Cardinal Reginald Pole, in 1558, the last Catholic Archbishop. Canterbury was known as the heart of the Catholic Church in England, a true shrine of Christianity because it housed the shrine of St Thomas Becket (+1170) and other saints, and the home of the now dissolved Abbey of St Augustine.

In a homily Nichols said:

“Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is a way for us to say ‘yes’ too, ‘yes’ to an attitude of heart that accords with Our Lady’s, and so opens up pathways, fresh and sure, towards Christ. This is why today we consecrate ourselves, our entire lives, our country to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, so we can always be saying ‘Yes’ to the Lord, with all our heart with all our will, from the centre of our being. Only Mary can teach us how to do this. 

To cultivate such an attitude of heart is, to put it mildly, the work of a lifetime. We need practical support along the way. And that is where another aspect of the message of Fatima can be so helpful. The recitation of the Rosary… I learned to pray the Rosary as a child at home. As a family we prayed the Rosary together. I can still see the pattern of the chairs at which we were kneeling. Concentrating on the prayer was not always easy but we were trying. That’s what counts. How much I wished that every family finds time to pray together. What a difference that would make! And this prayer is needed… ‘The heart open to God… is stronger than guns and weapons of every kind.’ So wrote the future Pope Benedict. They are words that we do well to make our own as, this year, a second century of the story of Fatima begins.

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us; Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.” Amen!

Mary, the Mother of God

madonna-with-child-granduccaIt is so fitting that today on the octave of Christmas, we honor in a special way the memory of God’s holy Mother, the Theotokos. The immense mystery of the Incarnation would have been impossible without her. Jesus’ father is God himself, but he needed a human mother to become man to be born among us.

Mary, the humble maiden from Nazareth, was assigned that role; she accepted it willing, in complete submission and cooperation with God’s plan. Therefore, from that moment on, all generations call her blessed.

She is our mother, our friend, our helper, our living example of true Gospel living, our refuge in time of danger, a solace in time of affliction. She is also a luminous guide when we find ourselves submerged under the shadows of darkness and despair. On our pilgrimage toward God’s kingdom, her maternal presence dispels our doubts, our loneliness. She provides the strength and encouragement needed for the remainder of the journey.

Br. Victor-Antoine D’Avila-Latourrette
A Monastery Journey To Christmas

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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