Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary sustains our hearts

OL Perpetual Help.jpgIn danger, in distress, in uncertainty, think of Mary, call upon Mary. She never leaves your lips, she never departs from your heart; and so that you may obtain the help of her prayers, never forget the example of her life. If you follow her, you cannot falter; if you pray to her, you cannot despair; if you think of her, you cannot err. If she sustains you, you will not stumble; if she protects you, you have nothing to fear; if she guides you, you will flag; if she is favorable to you, you will attain your goal….


(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Hom. II super Missus est, 17: PL 183, 70-71.)

Medjugorje still garners attention

Until recently I really didn’t pay too much attention to
“new apparitions” of the Blessed Mother. I had all I can do to maintain what
knew or to explore what I wanted what I felt I needed to know about some of the
trends in Marian devotion. One more apparition of the BVM, even if current and seemingly
well-practiced, is not always interesting to me because of a perception that
yet another devotion to the Virgin Mary is creeping its way onto my plate
without ecclesial approval. Skepticism may be from the devil. I have raised the question about the truthfulness of this appearance of the BVM. But as Providence
would have, the apparitions of Mary from Medjugorje have found me. A few people
have written to me in the past suggesting that I have misread the situation
(perhaps I have) in a place like Medjugorje. Now I have a friend, a Franciscan
sister, keeping me informed on Marian visits. It’s all helpful, indeed and I
appreciate the feedback.

Reading the Catholic news services this morning I
noticed an article saying that the Bosnian cardinal, Vinko Puljic, thinks
someone at the Holy See (the pope?) is going issue a directive on Medjugorje’s claim
on the BVM making frequent visits there since the early 1980s. It is only speculation
at this point that the Holy See will say anything soon, but I do think he’s right in asking for such a directive to
appear for pastoral reasons. A little more guidance from the Holy See would be
extremely helpful. An evaluation of what has happened and what is happening
could set the record straight and help direct a reasonable pastoral response.
Throwing clichés and acidic words around on matters of doctrine, people
involved and spiritual practice is tantamount to spiritual malpractice. Plus,
fidelity to the teaching office of the Catholic Church is essential for true
Catholics. I just hope the Holy See takes Cardinal Puljic’s suggestion.

Our Lady of the Rosary

OL Rosary with Sts Dominic & Francis.jpgO God, Whose only-begotten Son by His life, death and resurrection hath purchased for us the rewards of eternal salvation, grant we beseech Thee, that meditating on these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may both imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.

I want to recommend Ruth Rees’s The Rosary in Space and Time which is an accessible and exceptional look into the most important devotional prayers we have: the Rosary. She explores the biblical, liturgical, and practical dimensions of the rosary. A convert from Judaism and a professional actress and writer, Rees brings us (me) to a deeper appreciation of this compendium of the Gospels.

Our Lady of Sorrows

OL Sorrows AIsenbrant.jpg

Stabat Mater dolorosa

iuxta crucem lacrimosa,
   dum pendebat Filius.

The grieving Mother stood

beside the cross weeping
   where her Son was hanging.

Cuius animam gementem

contristatam et dolentem
   pertransivit gladius.

Through her weeping soul,

compassionate and grieving,
   a sword passed.

O quam tristis et afflicta

fuit illa benedicta
   mater Unigeniti!

O how sad and afflicted

was that blessed
   Mother of the Only-begotten!

Quae maerebat et dolebat

pia mater cum videbat
   nati poenas incliti.

Who mourned and grieved,

the pious Mother, with seeing
   the torment of her glorious Son.

Quis est homo qui non fleret,

matrem Christi si videret
   in tanto supplicio?

Who is the man who would not weep

if seeing the Mother of Christ
   in such agony?

Quis non posset contristari,

piam matrem contemplari
   dolentum cum Filio?

Who would not be have compassion

on beholding the devout mother
   suffering with her Son?

Pro peccatis suae gentis

vidit Iesum in tormentis
   et flagellis subditum.

For the sins of His people

she saw Jesus in torment
   and subjected to the scourge.

Vidit suum dulcem Natum

morientem, desolatum,
cum emisit spiritum.

She saw her sweet Son

dying, forsaken,
   while He gave up His spirit.

Christe, cum sit hinc exire,

da per matrem me venire
   ad palmam victoriae. Amen.

Christ, when it is henceforth in need to pass away,

grant that through your Mother I may come
   to the palm of victory. Amen.

Holy Name of Mary

Thumbnail image for Humility of Mary ZStrozzi.jpgYou have been blessed, O Virgin Mary, above all other women on earth by the Lord, the Most High God, for God has so exalted your name that human lips will never cease to praise you.

Lord our God, when Your Son was dying on the altar of the cross, he gave us as our mother the one he had chosen to be His own mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary; grant that we who call upon the holy name of Mary, our mother, with confidence in her protection may receive strength and comfort in all our needs.
This feast was restored an optional memorial in our sacred Liturgy by the Servant of God Pope John Paul II when he published the 2002 Roman Missal (the translation is due out this century). The Preface of today’s Mass is worth adding to our examination of conscience today and I highly recommend using the liturgical texts to assist us here. In part the Preface reads:
“… But by Your loving providence the name of the Virgin Mary also should echo and re-echo on the lips of the faithful people who turn to her with confidence as their star of hope, call on her as their mother in time of danger, and seek her protection in their hour of need.”
The sentiments expressed by the Church’s Liturgy ought to call to mind the venerable prayer of the Memorare in which we ask Mary in confidence to be at our side at all times. Those who remain close to Mary, the Mother of God are always helped.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT, follows the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, and is an Oblate of Saint Benedict, works as a monastery farmer and a keeper of honey bees. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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