- Sunday, 20 December 2009 11:26
We have all had the occasion by a moment to sense more
intensely the presence of Christ in the Eucharist during the celebration of the
Mass, during Eucharistic adoration, or even in the Tabernacle, when we walk
into a church. There is Christ. He is there whether we sense or experience His
presence. But precisely because this is the case, we are sometimes given
to experience that He is present. Such experience is not the source of faith,
but in some way it is its consequence.
But what about the experience of the
Blessed Virgin Mary during Advent? It is reasonable, like the Fathers of the
Church, to see Mary as the original tabernacle. The Word became flesh and
dwells among us. This being hidden but present among us is first of all
realized during the time of Advent in the home of Nazareth, in the womb of
Mary, under the protection of Saint Joseph. Mary meditated upon all these
things and kept them in her heart. We can reasonably speculate that she read
scripture during this time, in silence, most likely the words of Isaiah, his
prophesies, and found in them a sense of the meaning of what was happening to
St. Augustine says that she conceived the Word in her heart before she
conceived the Word in her flesh. So that her maternity was accompanied by an
intensification and growth in faith, in contemplation, in the intelligent
perception of mystery. The Second Vatican Council says that during the time of
her pregnancy the heart of the Incarnate Word beat gently below the heart of
Mary, her immaculate heart. Two immaculate hearts, beating silently and
prayerfully in the night of this world.
(Fr. Thomas J. White, OP, Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC)
- Saturday, 12 December 2009 06:15
Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mystical Rose, make intercession
for the holy Church, protect the Sovereign Pontiff, help all those who invoke thee in their necessities, and
since thou art the ever Virgin Mary and Mother of the true God, obtain for us from thy most holy Son the
grace of keeping our faith, sweet hope in the midst of the bitterness of life, burning
charity and the precious gift of
final perseverance. Amen.
Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, pray for us.
This prayer was approved and enriched with an
indulgence by Pope Pius X at all audience held on August, 1908, and was
included in the official edition of approved indulgenced prayers (1950).
“I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in me. Here I will hear the weeping and their sorrows, and will remedy and alleviate their sufferings, hardships and misfortunes…Do not be troubled or weighed down with grief. Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection? Am I not your fountain of life? Are you not in the folds of my mantle? In the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else you need?”
Words spoken by Our Lady of Guadalupe, December 12, 1531
- Tuesday, 08 December 2009 12:48
The privilege of Mary Immaculate does not consist solely in the absence of original sin, but much more in being “full of grace.” The Mother of Jesus gave to the world that very life which renews all things … and was enriched by God with gifts befitting such a role … She was adorned from the first instant of her conception with the splendors of an entirely unique holiness (Lumen Gentium 56).
Gabriel’s greeting, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” is the strongest testimony of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, who would not be “full of grace” in the complete sense of the word if she had been stained by sin for a single moment.
Thus the Blessed Virgin began life with a richness of grace which far surpasses that which the greatest saints acquire at the end of their lives. When we also consider her absolute fidelity and her total availability to God, we can faintly imagine to what heights of love and communion with God she attained far beyond all other creatures in heaven and on earth (Lumen Gentium 53).
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.
- Friday, 13 November 2009 16:31
The cardinal of Sarajevo, Vinko Puljic, said that the Holy See will make an official statement about the supposed apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Medjugorje. These sightings of Mary have been happening since 1981 to six people. The news story is seen here. This is a welcomed and necessary pastoral development.