MARY, OUR MOTHER

Thursday, November 30, 2006



THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY

continued

2. A Life of Sanctification.

The Temple is also the House of Sanctification. God led Mary there in order to prepare Her for Her high destiny: that of being the Mother of God. Later on, Jesus, before His public life, withdrew into the desert, left His house and went far away from the world in order the more intimately to contact God.

You can imagine the life of interior and external recollection which Our Lady led in the Temple. It is an image of the interior life of the soul. How fond we are of an external life! We like it and we believe that the more external works we perform, the more we move about, the more we do for God's glory. Yet a life of apostolate which is not grounded on the interior life is completely useless. God does not bless it. It yields no fruit. It is good to work for others but first, it is necessary that we work for ourselves. Ask Our Lady for a greater love of retirement, of solitude, of self-denial; pray for an increase of interior life.

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Wednesday, November 29, 2006



I don't agree with everything Maggie Gallagher has to say in her opinion page on Yahoo.com but today's column hit the 'nail on the head'! Here is an excerpt:

Bringing together "the two sister churches of Rome and Constantinople," the pope said, is a "very important moment in the search for Christian unity." It is, he acknowledged, a symbolic encounter, but one that "is not just empty, but is full of reality."

One of the realities the pope seeks to call to our attention is how utterly oppressed by the Turkish government this tiny flock of Orthodox Christians remains.

Too many powerful people, when they talk about the importance of defending civil liberties, really mean (as Kevin J. Hasson of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty puts it) "their favorite civil liberties." Which may be one reason why, although I was acutely aware that the government of Turkey faced sharp criticism from the West for putting novelists, historians, journalists -- and even, in one case, an archeologist with novel theories about the uses to which ancient Sumerians put headscarves -- on trial, I had not heard before of the disgraceful state of dhimmitude to which the patriarch of Constantinople and his church remain subject to this day.

George Weigel points out in Newsweek that the Turkish government closed the patriarchate's seminary in 1971 and refuses to permit it to reopen. The patriarchate is not permitted to own property, including the churches in its jurisdiction. "Turkish authorities have also confiscated houses, apartment buildings, schools, monasteries and lands that were once owned by the Ecumenical Patriarchate; the state seized the patriarchate's 36 cemeteries, which are now the property of various legal subdivisions of the city of Istanbul; and, earlier this year, the state confiscated the boys' orphanage run by the patriarchate (which is the oldest wooden building in Europe and of great historical value)," reports Weigel. The Turkish government also determines who may teach in Orthodox schools and what books they use. With considerable understatement, he adds: "No Christian community in the West would tolerate such conditions, which involve violations of basic human rights."

None of which has made news in Europe or America in the same way that oppressing academics, artists, editors or other symbolic analysts has. With Orthodox Christians amounting to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the population, it is hard to identify a more vulnerable minority, or one with fewer influential public defenders.

Let us hope one may be enough. Just before takeoff, Benedict told reporters on the plane he begins the trip with "great trust and hope," counting on the support and prayer of many persons -- including, he said, the Turkish people, "who want peace."

"Turkey has always been a bridge between cultures, a place of meeting and dialogue," the pope said.

Like I said: a brave man.

(Readers may reach Maggie Gallagher at MaggieBox2006@yahoo.com.)



MEDITATION 16

THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY
Continued

The life of Our Lady in the Temple is an excellent subject for meditation, since it is the continuation of Her offering to God. We can, therefore, find in it great lessons for our own behavior.

1. A Life of Prayer.
The Temple is called the House of Prayer. Certainly we can pray to God anywhere but the Temple is a chosen place for prayer. Thus Mary not satisfied with the communion with God She can observe at home, wishes to enter the Temple where she may lead a more prayerful life. See the tender maid so pure and innocent, prostrate in the Temple praying to, speaking with, God. What intimate communication between God and Her! What a model of fervor!

Test the qualities of your own prayer in the light of this example: humility, attention, trust, perseverance. Mary at prayer is the perfect model. Kneel by Her side and compare your prayer with Hers. Is there any resemblance? Are you aware that the Temple is a House of Prayer and that you go there only to speak with God and adore Him? Do you know how to pray in the company of Our Blessed Lady?

St. Bonaventure says that Mary used to pray seven times a day and that during those prayers She used to address the following supplications to God: 1, to love Him with the whole of Her heart; 2, to love Her neighbor in God and for God; 3, to have a implacable hatred for all sin, for every imperfection; 4, to beg profound humility, together with all other virtues, especially immaculate purity; 5, to ask the grace of knowing the promised Messiah; 6, to be very obedient to the priests of the Temple as the representatives of God, and to let Herself be led by them in order always to do the Holy Will of God; 7, that God should as soon as possible send a Redeemer for the salvation of the world.

Do you not think that you also should ask something similar? Consider all these petitions and you will soon see how in every one of them you can in imitation of Mary find something to implore from God.

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


Tuesday, November 28, 2006



The Naughty And Nice List - Which Companies are
Allowing a "Merry Christmas"

ORALANDO, FL, November 27, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) - As part of the Friend or Foe Christmas Campaign, Liberty Counsel has created a "Naughty and Nice" checklist (available online in pdf or MSWord) which catalogs retailers who either censor or recognize Christmas. The list was compiled from information gathered by Liberty Counsel supporters.

Partial "Naughty List"

Lowe's - Employees cannot say "Merry Christmas" to customers. Lowe's corporate advised that only when customers initiate a "Merry Christmas" greeting can employees respond in kind.
Toys 'R' Us - "Holidays" are in, "Merry Christmas" is out.
Banana Republic - Web site has "Holiday Gift Guide" with no mention of Christmas.
Bed Bath & Beyond - No mention of any holidays.
Barnes & Noble - Web site says "Gift Guide," "Holiday gift baskets," "Holiday sled," "Holiday delivery," but no Christmas. Stores not allowed to put up Christmas trees, and employees are not allowed to say "Merry Christmas."
Best Buy - Web site says "Unique gifts for the season," "Holiday gift ideas." Spokesperson said the use of "Merry Christmas" is disrespectful.
Dick's Sporting Goods - Web site says "gifts" and has images, but no mention of Christmas.
Eddie Bauer - Customer service would not recognize Christmas, they "don't want to offend Jews, those who celebrate Kwanza and those who have no religious preference."
Gap - "Holiday Survival Guide" with no mention of Christmas.
Home Depot - Web site says "Holiday Store" and "Holiday Lighting" and only at bottom of site says "Make your Christmas decorations complete." Stores have "Holiday Home Accents."
K-Mart - Selling "Holiday trees" and "Holiday wreaths."

Partial "Nice List"

Dillard's - Advertises "Christmas Catalog."
JC Penney - Web site has "Christmas Shipping Countdown."
Joann Fabrics - Offers Christmas and Holiday fabrics.
Kohl's - Christmas is all over TV, print and radio ads.
L.L. Bean - Advertises and distributes "Christmas Catalog."
Linens 'N Things - Has a "Christmas Shop" and "Christmas Checklist."
Macy's - "Merry Christmas!" on its home page.
Michaels - Web site has a Christmas section.
M&M-Mars Candies - Will have red and green candies with pictures of Christmas trees and angels among other images.
Target - Web site says "Christmas Decor," although the physical store has "Holiday entertaining." TV ad says "Merry Christmas."
Wal-Mart - Has a "Christmas Shop," plays Christmas carols, and employees can say "Merry Christmas."

Mathew Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel, commented: "Every consumer should make a list and check it twice, stop patronizing retailers which are naughty and shop at those which are nice. Retailers which seek to profit from Christmas while pretending it does not exist should realize they have offended the vast majority of Americans who enjoy Christmas. Customers have a choice and they will not patronize corporate Scrooges."

Naughty and Nice List in PDF format
http://lc.org/helpsavechristmas/naughty_nice2006.pdf

Naughty and Nice List in MSWord format
http://lc.org/helpsavechristmas/naughty_nice2006.doc



THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY

3. A Life of Fervor.
Hence you will deduce that the Lord wants us to serve Him, not anyhow but just as Our Lady did, with fervor (as opposed to tepidity which is the state into which we blindly fall if we make no effort in our spiritual life). When routine prevails, when there is no spirit of self-denial or self-control, when we are overcome by laziness and spiritual indifference, we immediately fall into tepidity. But God is nauseated by tepidity. The Lord says that He will cast away the tepid as we reject food which stomach cannot retain.

To cause nausea to Our Lord!, to provoke repugnance in God! This is a thought to fill us with holy fear. Are you anywhere near this state? Do you keep a watch over yourself so that you steer as far as possible from tepidity? Then the example of Mary will encourage you. Work with energy, with decision, with promptitude, with fervor just like Mary. No time for complacency. No more wasting the graces of God; and wasted they are when this accursed tepidity enters into a soul. Fight lukewarmness and routine. Follow your Mother so that your soul may be really and entirely God's.


[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


Monday, November 27, 2006



THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY

2. The Consecration of Our Lady.
She enters the Temple and delivers Herself up to God in order to be His, entirely and for ever. How fervently would Our Lady accomplish this consecration and how pleasing it would be to God. remember how many times you have said something similar to God, how often you consecrated yourself to Him, how you also told Him that you wanted your soul to be always and entirely His. But what a difference between your word and Mary's! Yours will have sometimes caused sorrow to God when He foresaw how badly you would fulfill your promise. Instead, what an amount of glory was given to God by this most perfect surrendering of Our
Heavenly Mother, a surrender so entire and so enduring.


The thought of pleasing God is ever present to Mary. She was His from the very first moment of Her conception. She never ceased being God's property. And since She was aware of the graces She had received from God She well knew it. And She wishes that Her union with God should if possible be more intimate and perfect. What a shining example! And you, who on account of your misery, need this union much more urgently, how little you care for it, how little you try to achieve to belong to God! And yet this should be your ruling thought, your greatest longing. Ask Mary for that grace.


[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple
Vecellio Tiziano
1539
Gallerie dell'Accademia, Venice

MEDITATION 15

THE PRESENTATION OF OUR LADY

This mystery of the life of Our Heavenly Mother so highly practical for the great lessons we can derive from it, is so tender and delicate.


1. Readiness to Follow the Divine Vocation.

This is one of the most admirable lessons of this mystery. See Our lady, a tender maid of three years, saying goodbye to Her parents, quickly climbing the steps of the Temple without turning back, and delivering Herself to the service of God in the sanctuary. What sublime details at the age of three! How Our Lady hastens to give Herself up to the service of God!
By an exceptional miracle, Mary had already at that age the use of reason. So deliberately and quite aware of what She was doing She ran to the Temple. There was no danger whatsoever at home for Her, for Hers was a home of saints. She does not consider Her tender age, at which She needs so much the care of a father and, far more, that of a mother. She does not stop at the thought of the sorrow which is going to be inflicted on Her parents. She is not preoccupied about the new kind of life She is going to undertake. All those considerations remain for human prudence. But She has heard the voice of God and immediately runs to answer it. The sooner the better. All delay is too great for Her. She climbs rapidly the flight of steps which leads to the Temple. What a fine lesson of fervor is given to us by that incomparable maid. Do you try to serve God in the same manner? What do you do with God's inspirations? Do you follow them with the same promptitude? Do you, like Mary, throw yourself into the arms of God, equally blindly and confidently without any preoccupation, leaving to Him the care of the rest? When shall we reach that absolute detachment from all, even from ourselves, from our way of looking at things, from our judgment, so that we do only what God wants, and as He wants?

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]



Here is Mother Mary's latest Message from Medjugorje:

Message from Our Lady of Medjugorje - November 25, 2006

"Dear children! Also today I call you to pray, pray, pray. Little children, when you pray you are close to God and He gives you the desire for eternity. This is a time when you can speak more about God and do more for God. Therefore, little children, do not resist but permit Him to lead you, to change you and to enter into your life. Do not forget that you are travellers on the way toward eternity. Therefore, little children, permit God to lead you as a shepherd leads his flock. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Friday, November 24, 2006



THE NAME OF MARY
Continued

3. The Sea and the Star of the Sea.
The sea is a gathering together of the waters of the earth and of the rain from the skies. Genesis says that when God created the earth, He gathered all the waters in one place and called it the sea. So with Our Lady. God gathered in Mary all the graces which He had distributed amongst His creatures, whether angels or men. And therefore She is a
Sea of graces where we can find whatever we want.
From the sea rise the clouds which later on come down upon the earth bringing with them rain which gives fertility to the fields. In the same manner Our Blessed Lady from the immense ocean of Her graces pours all the gifts that bear sanctity and virtue into the souls of men.

The waters of the sea are bitter, as were also the sorrows of the Heart of Mary, that veritable ocean of bitterness, since She suffered during the passion of Her Son more than all other human hearts together. On account of that She is called the Queen of Martyrs, because She suffered more than them all.
Finally,
She is the Star of the Sea, because She is the light which guides those who are sailing across the ocean of this earthly life, across the sea of our passions where shipwreck is always possible, across the sea of darkness where we are groping for our bearings, where self-love, blindness and the violence of our passions carry us away.
She is the Star which shines from high so that no matter where we are we can find Her. God placed Her so high, that She might be seen from everywhere. But for that same reason unless we lift our eyes we cannot see Her. The more we lower them towards the things of the earth, the less we see Her rays. Hence how fitting is the name of Mary in each and every one of its connotations! Try to imitate Mary, try to keep Her always in view by ceaselessly repeating Her most sweet Name, just as the lover never grows tired of repeating the name of the person he loves.

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


THE NAME OF MARY

Continued

2. Lady and Mistress.
How certain it is that She really is Queen and Mistress. She was never a slave to sin, to the devil, or to the passions. She was, it is true, the Handmaid of the Lord; but just on account of that She is Queen and Mistress. And Christians have always thus understood it. Therefore they called Her Our Lady. She is the Queen of the Angels, of those angels who take a pride in serving Her. The angels were very often Her servants. In the Annunciation, in the Flight to Egypt, in the grotto of Bethlehem, in Calvary itself, where the angels of sorrow went to comfort and to weep with Her. She is Lady and Mistress over the devils who fear Her and are put to flight at the mere mention of Her name. On hearing Her holy Name, heavens and earth bend the knee. And God has willed that the devil fears Our Lady even more than he does Jesus; thus his humiliation is the greater and the triumph of Our Lady the more admirable.
Lastly, She is Lady and Mistress of all men, but She is Lady and Queen of Mercy. Jesus wanted Her to share His kingdom and sceptre, thus while He took justice upon Himself as the Judge of the living and the dead, to Mary He entrusted the power and administration of mercy. Her majesty and grandeur do not hurt, do not frighten, but rather lovingly urge us through sweet force. See whether you also feel these sentiments when you are at the feet of this great Lady. She is Queen and Lady of our hearts. She alone has the right to command our hearts. Is She truly the absolute Queen of your heart?

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Thursday, November 23, 2006



Meditation 14

THE NAME OF MARY
Continued

That this holy Name may not be indifferent to us but rather induce us to a deeper knowledge and to a more fervent invocation of it, it is imperative that we should meditate on its meaning.
As about 300 different interpretations have been given it is rather difficult to ascertain its true meaning. But it is providential that God should have left it open to so many interpretations, all of them so good and so meaningful, and thus make us understand that all excellences and perfections are contained in Our Blessed Lady.
The most probable of all these interpretations are the following:

1. Beautiful, or rather, the beautiful par excellence, as though to mean that She is Beauty itself. And there is no other way to see Her. As beautiful as the moon, sings the Church. Indeed, just as in the darkness of night, when everything is deprived of beauty, the placid and serene light of the moon suddenly shines, greater than the stars, so does Mary with Her shining beauty dispel darkness and share Her light with all who would partake of it.
She is also called Tota Pultra, [All Beautiful]. All, Tota. In Mary there is nothing that is not extremely beautiful; body, soul, eyes, senses, heart, everything. In Her there is nothing unsightly, nothing stained, nothing to mar Her beauty. Give a thought to the things that the world calls beautiful and you will be convinced that the world has no idea of what real beauty is. The world gives the name of beauty only to corporeal beauty, which oftener than not, is artificial and merely outward, external. The world is satisfied with that beauty because it knows no other. Instead, Mary is always and at every moment most beautiful, Tota Pulchra. How aptly then the name of Mary applies to Her as thus interpreted.

{From 'Marian Meditations' Book}


Wednesday, November 22, 2006



THE NAME OF MARY

3. Its Usefulness.
From all this you can deduce how we should respect this holy name and how after the name of Jesus there is no other so holy, so useful for us as the name of Mary.
If the name of Jesus is sanctifying, so, provided we know how to utter it with the respect and love that it deserves, is the name of Mary. That is why after God and Jesus Mary is the most popular name of all. Mothers teach it to their children, the sick and those in sorrow invoke it, the dying have it on their lips. How many churches, how many chapels have been raised the world over in honor of the name of Mary! How many sinners have been converted through its invocation. There is nothing sweeter for holy souls and nothing more profitable for the sinner than to put those two blessed names, Jesus and Mary, together, to utter them often, so as to draw from them the great advantage that their utterance brings to our souls. Do you also do it? Have you ever meditated on the importance of this most holy name and on its divine greatness? Do you utter it with fervor and especially in the temptations, difficulties and sorrows of life? Is it especially engraved on your heart?

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Tuesday, November 21, 2006



THE NAME OF MARY

2. The Greatness of This Name.
In order to surmise its greatness it is enough to see that God is the Author of this name. God gave this name to Our Lady as a sign of what She was going to be. When the Lord chose anyone for some extraordinary mission, He would first of all change the name of the person so chosen and the new name would reflect the highest aim to which He was calling that person. So He changed the name of Abraham; He choose the name of Issac; through an angel He instructed Zacharias that the Precursor should be called John; and Christ Himself changed the name from Simon to Peter, when He founded His Church and appointed amongst His apostles the one who was going to be its head and foundation. Now, how compare the dignity and importance of the mission entrusted to Abraham, to Issac, to the Baptist and to Peter with the dignity and mission of Mary? Who then could but God Himself give Her a worthy name?


The name we bear was imposed at the choice of our parents, although, of course, a very different one could have been given to us. But with Our Lady it was not so. She was called Mary nor could She have any other name, because God Himself would find no better. How great and sublime is that most holy and sweet name. That is why the Gospel, which has so little about Our Lady, does not pass over this so important detail, but expressly states: And the name of the Virgin was Mary. ( St Luke 1:27)

So St. Peter Damian [1007-1072] says that the name of Mary was from eternity drawn from the divine Treasury when redemption through the incarnation of the Word was decreed in Heaven.
[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


Monday, November 20, 2006



Meditation 13
THE NAME OF MARY
1. The importance of This Name.
When a child is born, one of the first things we do, is to give him a name. All of us fondly commemorate our name feast. A name feast is a family feast when we manifest our filial devotion to our parents or to our children. We wish them many happy returns. We send them presents, we pay them visits. All this is part of the ritual of that happy day. Today, we are meditating on the feast of the Name of Mary, a feast which ought to be a great occasion for all Her devotees and Her loving children. The importance of a name depends on its fitness to the person to whom it is applied. The better the person is pictured by a name, the more appropiate that name is. In the world, oftener than not, names are given because of some particular liking for that name by the parents or on account of some family connection implied. We seldom pause to choose a name that suits the person concerned. But it was not so with Mary. It was not right and proper that just any name whatsoever should be given to Her. Her name must express all the graces and wonders and marvels with which God had endowed Her. Thus God and God alone could give Her a fitting and adequate name. And the name chosen was Mary.
[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Sunday, November 19, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY 12-3
Continued

3. Jesus is Always Preceded by Mary.
Lastly, this birth reminds us of the most sweet truth, that Mary goes always in front of Jesus. God wanted that in nature the sun should not rise all of a sudden but should be preceded by the clarity of the dawn. He has made the same arrangement in the order of grace. He disposed that the Word made flesh should appear in the world only after having been heralded by the splendid dawn of this Maiden, Queen of the angels, conceived without stain. God has so arranged that the Sun of Justice, Our Lord Jesus Christ, should not rise and shine in our souls without them having been previously visited by the Mother of All Grace. He has decided that His kingdom should not be established in this world unless there be first set in it the throne of Mary. Mary is, therefore, the dawn of Jesus. Study Mary deeply, love Her filially in order to know and love Jesus. Examine yourself on this most important point. See whether you do everything with Mary and through Mary in order to please Jesus. Imitate Mary, empty your soul of yourself and fill it with Her and thus be filled with that divine life which Jesus wishes to bring to your soul.

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Saturday, November 18, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY 12-2
(Continued)

2. Your own joy.
And who on realizing what has happened in the world does not share this joy? Does not the heart of every man rejoice? Do you not feel it also within yourself? Do you not see that the darkness of death and sin which once flooded your heart has gone away and that now there is a shining light which enlightens and guides you to your eternal destiny? That light which comes to you from Mary is Christ. She is the light of your life.
Imagine the arid desert without flowers, without plants, without life. But take to it water: very soon there will be palm trees bearing green branches and fruit.

A barren vine may yield no fruit; but graft a healthy branch on to it and it will produce rich sweet grapes. That is the picture of your soul: an arid desert, a barren vine. If your vine bears fruit, it is because Christ has, by means of Mary, been grafted into you. If your soul is not barren, it is because our Blessed Lady has planted in your heart the sweet oasis of Jesus.
Remember the little cloud of Elias, a symbol of Mary, that brought fertility to a dry land. In the same way Mary has rendered the earth fertile: through Her there has sprung up lilies of virginity, roses of love. The same will happen in your heart, but only with Her and through Her. Do not forget that: without Her, there is but barren land, dry desert, a withered branch. Why not rejoice at the Nativity of Our Lady, a Nativity so glorious and fruitful for your soul?

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]



Friday, November 17, 2006



MEDITATION 12
THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY
(CONTINUED)

If the joy of God and of the angels in the Nativity of Mary was great, ours shall be no less, because after all Our Blessed Lady was born especially for us. She has our own nature and it is we who are to enjoy the benefits of that happy birth.

1. Our Joy.

The birth of our Heavenly Mother is the end of a sad night; a night of centuries during which mankind was buried. Isaias says that men were submerged in the shadows of death, since sad indeed is the night of sin and nothing can be compared with it so well as the black and terrible darkness of death.
See mankind filing past without seeing a ray of light in the midst of that darkness. How sad is night. What, then, would be a night of many years, of many centuries? In the midst of this night there used to shine a few holy souls but in comparison with the surrounding darkness, their light was as nothing. The darkness could not be dispelled.

When the night is pitch dark, and the light of the stars cannot be seen we cannot take one safe step. We grope and labor under the fear of stumbling over something.
But if in the darkness we see the light of dawn, a light which spreads every minute increasing in clarity and light, then we feel joy; a joy completed when at length the sun fully shines.
So it was when Mary appeared in the darkness of death: She was the sweet twilight heralding the dawn of God, a promise of the divine Sun which will soon appear to cast its rays on the whole world.
As the light of dawn rises in the East, the animals of the forest hide themselves in their dens while the nocturnal birds of the air chirp and sing, the flowers open and give forth their perfume, while all things are clad in gorgeous colors. So it was when Mary was born. The devils flee, the angels sing, virtues flourish and the whole world is filled with light and joy. How beautiful and magnificent was the morning of our redemption!
[From 'Marian Mediations' Book]

Thursday, November 16, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY

Chapter 11 continued.

3. The Joy of the Saints in the bosom of Abraham.
In spite of their being just and holy the poor souls who were still in the bosom of Abraham could not yet enjoy the glory of Heaven. Among them we see the souls of the great patriarchs, prophets and other prominent figures of the Old Testament. Centuries and centuries have passed, and the day of freedom had still not dawned for them. How long were those hours of waiting. How eternal are days when we are longing for something and our expectations are not realized. What then must have been the longing of those souls! Now look at them again on the day when the Lord informs them that the predestined Woman has already reached the earth; that the Mother of the promised Messias has already been born; that the Mother of the One who is going to set them free is already alive. You can imagine the joy, the hymns of gratitude that they intone to the Lord, the praises with which they greeted our Blessed Lady. Now they count the hours, the time that still remains for them in prison, after which there will come eternal freedom, a freedom brought about by a charming maiden just newly born.

Share the joy and enthusiasm of the angels and of the just. Prostrate before the cradle of Mary. Join them in praise.
[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Wednesday, November 15, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY
[Chapter 11 Continued]

2. The Joy of the Angels.
After God, and together with God, the angels rejoiced. Their Queen and Mistress has just been born. She is the one who, after the divine essence, will be the most beautiful sight in Heaven. With this little maiden they try to compare all the beautiful things of the Heavenly court and they admit that after God nothing can be compared with Her.


Somebody has suggested that the revolt of the rebellious angels in Heaven was because God revealed to them that they must one day adore His Son made-man and that they must acknowledge the Mother of that Son as their Queen. It is thought that the proud Lucifer felt hurt and humiliated at the thought that he should abase himself before a Woman Whom he considered less perfect than himself. Consequently, refusing to obey he raised the cry of rebellion that swept so many angels to hell. If such was the case it is clear how the devil, full of wrath and despair, must today acknowledge that Mary is incomparably more beautiful than he was and that therefore there was no justification for his rebellion.

On the other hand, see how today the good angels rejoice now more than ever for having been faithful to God, since, far from being humiliated, it is an immense glory for them to have Mary as their Queen. See them, all joyful and eager, unable to restrain their enthusiasm, coming down in innumerable legions to the cradle of Mary, desirous to be the first to venerate Her and offer Her their homage. Hear instead the roaring of the infernal beast as the tiny foot commences to crush him. The devil will throughout all eternity feel the smashing defeat that so much humiliates him. For all eternity he will feel crushed under the delicate foot of that maiden. What shame for him, what humiliation!
[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]


Tuesday, November 14, 2006



MEDITATION 11


THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY


(CONTINUED)




The Nativity of Our Heavenly Mother is a motive of universal joy for Heaven and earth. At Her birth God rejoices, and with Him the angels, saints and the Church.




1. God's Joy.

Mary is the masterpiece of His hands. When, says the Book of Genesis, the Lord saw the things He had created, they looked good to Him and He rejoiced in them. How much more, then, would He rejoice at seeing Mary! Enter deeply into this consideration. Remember how man had sinned; how through his sin the whole creation and the plans of God were upset. God could no longer look at the earth with delight. There was no where for His eyes to alight. Everywhere the kingdom of sin was established. But then Mary appears and all changes. After thousands of years God looks again at creation, to find it beautiful and interesting. He looks at the earth and men and no longer takes His eyes from them in disgust. In Mary He again sees His perfect and pure reflection; and through Mary He again sees His image reflected in the rest of creation, restored to its original beauty. What joy to find Her so pure, so holy, so full of grace!


Contemplate the Eternal Father taking delight in the birth of His most beloved Daughter. See God the Son looking with ineffable love at the One Whom He will call by the most sweet name of Mother. See the Holy Spirit so interested in this little maiden Whom He wants gifted from the very first moment of Her life with more grace, beauty, sanctity and purity than all the saints together. With what immense love did the Holy Spirit place in Her soul one by one all the virtues that were to adorn the Heart of His Most Beloved Spouse!

[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Monday, November 13, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY


3. Mary's Birthday.
However, there is an exception to this general rule. The Church herself admits it. She who usually never cares for the earthly birthday of her sons, one day by an extraordinary exception puts on her garments of joy and gives signs of great joy and of inexpressible tenderness. She has established a special feast to celebrate the birthday of Our Heavenly Mother. The woman predestined to be the Mother of God appears on this earth with a soul holy and immaculate, with the same purity and sanctity that She had when She sprang from the hands of God. Her earthly life is a life of grace, a heavenly life, a divine life. That is why the Church in her liturgy rejoices and bids us all rejoice: Let us with great joy celebrate the Nativity of the most Holy Virgin Mary, because Her birth has filled with joy the whole universe.

Rejoice, you also, and congratulate your beloved Mother, the only One who with Her earthly life brings the seed of a life of grace for Herself and for the rest of mankind.

[From 'Marian Meditation' Book]

Sunday, November 12, 2006



THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY

2. The attitude of the Church.
The Church does not celebrate birthdays as does the world. Instead, She rejoice just when the world puts on garments of mourning. If you read the Martyrology, you will see how the Church commemorates the day of death and considers such a day as dies natalis, the birthday for heaven. The Church generally appoints the very day of the death of the saint as his feast day, ignoring the day on which he was born into this world. The principles, then, are diametrically opposed. the world looks at things with earthly eyes, rejoicing at the beginnings of earthly life. The Church looks forward to the heavenly life and cares not for the earthly birthday but only for birth to Heaven. Who is right? Naturally, the point of view of our holy Mother the Church is the true one. The day on which we are born marks the beginning of a trail of sorrow.

We are born with the sentence of death and suffering on our heads. The day of our death marks the beginning of the true life which will know neither death, nor end, nor pain, nor sorrow, but only a happy and hallowed eternity. This then is our real life; and only our birth to this eternal life if worthy of celebration.
[From 'Marian Meditation' Book]

Saturday, November 11, 2006



MEDITATION 10

THE NATIVITY OF OUR LADY

1. Our own nativity.
We celebrate our birthday as a day of rejoicing. It is customary to rejoice at the birth of a child, more especially if he is the first-born. What a joy, how many congratulations are given to the happy parents! And yet how many times we ought rather to weep. Some children are confronted with an unhappy future. Our hopes of baby's future happiness are doubtful and uncertain. We know for certain that the child will have to suffer. Nobody teaches him to cry and yet how quickly he learns to weep. And tears will never long be absent from his eyes, nor sorrow from his heart.

The same happens in the spiritual order. the newly born child is a slave of the devil. He is stained with sin. He, although he looks so innocent, is deprived of Heaven. As yet Heaven is not his inheritance. He will receive baptism and with it comes grace, but how long will that grace last? The age of reason is often the beginning of a story of sin. Alas, we are generally made aware that children have reached the age of reason because they have begun to show signs of malice. Sorrow, tears, uncertainty, sin, concupiscence surround every cradle.
[From 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Friday, November 10, 2006



MARY IMMACULATE

THE REDEMPTION


3. The Second Conflict.
But this victim had to be perfectly sinless for He had to rescue the world from sin and pay the price of ransom. But if that victim had to take flesh and blood from a woman, He must be a human victim like ourselves. And we all are born in sin. Would that victim also be born in sin like the rest of us? That cannot be. It is absurd. How then solve this difficulty? There is only one way out. And one that supposes an unheard of miracle. An extraordinary and unique privilege. But for God nothing is impossible. So it was done: Mary Immaculate, conceived without sin, is the solution. She gives God that pure flesh and clean blood which alone can be the holy victim required for the sacrifice of the Cross. It is by Christ that we are redeemed, but it is through Mary Immaculate that He redeemed us. Glory be to the Redemptor and to the co-Redemptrix!
Thus Mary, who took such a great part in the work of our redemption, could not be absent when it was consummated on the Cross. She, who had not been present with Her Son in His apostolic preachings, nor was She a witness of all His miracles, nor did She appear at His side in the hours of triumph and glory, was, however, present by the side of Her Son at the hour of His sacrifice.
And She was indeed so closely united with Her Son that the piercing of the thorns, the blows of the scourges, the whole agony of His death was shared by Her till the end. She with Jesus drank to the very dregs the chalice of the passion. She was bound with Him on the altar of the Cross as though they were two victims of the same sacrifice, as though they were two hosts offered on the same altar: hosts and victims pleasing to God since they were so pure and immaculate. Thank Our Blessed Lady on seeing Her thus cooperating so efficaciously in our salvation. Thank God that She with Her immaculate purity is the solution of all those thorny problems.

[From 'Marian Meditations']




Thursday, November 09, 2006



MARY IMMACULATE
THE REDEMPTION

2. The First Conflict.
The offense inflicted by man towards God had to some extent been infinite in malice, because the One offended was infinite and an offense is measured by the dignity of the person offended. As a consequence, only an atonement of infinite value could give due satisfaction for sin. But an action of infinite value can only be accomplished by God. Therefore, only God could redeem the world. But redemption had to be achieved through a sacrifice and a sacrifice means the destruction of something in honor of God. And since God could not suffer or die, God could not be the victim or host of the sacrifice.
On the one hand, the victim cannot but be God and on the other, God cannot be the victim. What is to be done? Where is the solution? All the power and the wisdom of God was necessary to solve this problem. All the sanctity and love of the Holy Spirit was required to carry out the divine solution: the Holy Spirit shaped in the most pure womb of Our Most Blessed Lady a most perfect body out of Her most pure flesh. Think slowly over the words of the Catechism and you will see how the solution to the conflict lay in Our Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mother of God, in whose womb the Word took flesh. So God has now a Mother who gave Him body and blood to be offered for the redemption of the world. Thanks to Mary He can now be a victim, He can now achieve our redemption.

[From "Marian Meditation' Book]

Wednesday, November 08, 2006



Father Pavone of "Priests for Life" sent out a Newsletter today in regards to the Democratic victory. The last two paragraphs are repeated here cause the have a lot of meaning for us "Pro-Lifers!"

"Keep politics in perspective. Ultimately, what are we seeking when we try to put pro-life public officials into office? We are not looking to them to do our work for us. We are looking to them to do their work and to let us do ours. Ultimately, the People of God have the responsibility for ending abortion, and will do so. The only question is how many obstacles public officials will put in their way, not whether public officials will stop them. The work of public officials is, first and foremost, to protect the public. Yet it is that same duty that falls to the People of God as they continue to expose the truth about abortion, promote alternatives, heal those wounded by abortion and help them speak out, close abortion facilities, and continue to work within the legislative and political arena to challenge government to fulfill the purpose for which it was established.

"Start working now for 2008. Pendulums swing, and elections are about people getting involved. The time to begin the effort to elect people in 2008, including a pro-life president, is now. Mobilize, educate, grow your lists, and be more vocal and confident than ever before. I look forward to working together with you to pick up the slack, awaken our fellow citizens and believers with the enduring message of truth and life, and restoring, in culture and in law, the protection of our most vulnerable brothers and sisters. Remember, we are not just working for victory; we are working from victory. Victory is our starting point, because Christ is Risen. The outcome of the battle for life has already been decided. It only remains for us to be sure to do our part to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, and bring its transforming power to every segment of our society!"
God bless you!
Fr. Frank Pavone
National Director, Priests for Life

While praying the Liturgy of the Hours this afternoon, the Third Psalm for Daytime Prayer stood out at me as relevant for today's voting mess:

PSALM 75:5-11


To the boastful I say: 'Do not boast,'

to the wicked: 'Do not flaunt your strength,
do not flaunt your strength on high.
Do not speak with insolent pride."

For neither from the east nor from the west,
nor from desert or mountain comes judgment,--

but God himself is the judge.
One He humbles, another He exalts.

The Lord holds a cup in His hand,
full of wine, foaming and spiced.
He pours it; They drink it to the dregs:
all the wicked on the earth must drain it.

As for me, I will rejoice for ever
and sing psalms to Jacob's God.
He shall break the power of the wicked,
while the strength of the just shall be exalted.

Yes, Almighty God is our Providence and we await His Divine Will to reign on the planet earth, but until then we must do all we can to help others obey His Commandments and to Respect Life! So from this day forward I plan to devote this Blog to the Unborn and help others to see the horrors of abortion. May God have mercy on us!

"There is a God in heaven. He will prevail." (St. Gerard Majella)
Deacon John


MEDITATION 9

MARY IMMACULATE

THE REDEMPTION

Let us today contemplate Our Blessed Lady playing Her part in the work of the redemption of mankind together with Christ Jesus and how She took part in that work precisely on account of Her being Immaculate.


1. The Work of Redemption.

Redemption was God's most important work, much more important than that of creation. One word sufficed for creation, whereas in order to redeem us He sent His Son personally to accomplish it. And that in a way that was the most humiliating for God and the most advantageous for us. Indeed God by humbling Himself in redemption not only redeemed us but also shortened the distance between man and God and became equal to us so that we should be similar to Him. What a great bounty, what an immense love. In this magnificent work of God, in this really divine accomplishment, God so intimately associated Our Lady in His work that, as St. Augustine puts it, She thereby gave the due solution to two divine conflicts: two conflicts, which appeared insoluble to human wisdom.

[From 'Marian Meditation' Book]

Monday, November 06, 2006

by Murillo

MARY IMMACULATE
HER SANCTITY

3. The Sanctity and the Beauty of Her Soul Consists in Love.
And that is why it is found in a perfect degree in Heaven. Love is unifying, is a sharing with God; and who ever shared with Him more than Mary? The angels, the cherubim and the seraphim are all burning with the fire of charity. How ardent must be their love for God! And consequently, how great must their beauty be! The saints tell us that if we could see an angel, we would believe him to be God and would adore him; that through excess of joy the mere sight of him would cause us to die; that we would be happy for time without end by merely gazing on him, that never would we tire of seeing him. Such is the beauty of an angel. However, in comparison with Mary all that is nothing. Mary Immaculate is nearer to God, has a greater fire love than all the angels together, because, while they after all are just servants of God, Mary is the Mother of God, the Queen of Heaven and of angels.

Contemplate Mary as Murillo painted Her, wrapped in clouds. Her hands upon Her breast; her gaze reaching towards Heaven, lost in God as though Her body was not of this world. The moon under Her feet; clad in the snow-white and blue Heavens; the stars pinned to Her mantle; surrounded by angels who rapt in joy, bearing palms and roses in their hands, regard their beauteous Queen. A wonderful portrait. Murillo painted Her so after much prayer and many Communions. However, this is just a portrait. The reality, instead, was executed by God the divine artist. And when God brings all His power and love to bear upon the soul of Mary, what a masterpiece must have sprung from His hands! What must be the beauty of our Immaculate Mother be? Tota pulchra es! Repeat this many times: Thou art most beautiful, Mother of mine; so much so that God Himself has fallen in love with Thy beauty. Oh! Give me a share in it. Let the shining purity of that soul enthrall me and compel me to imitate Thee as far I can. I give Thee my heart, my life, my soul. Never abandon me, Mother dear. And if Thou dost not abandon me, I shall one day in Heaven enjoy Thy immortal beauty and be happy with Thee for ever.
[From 'Marian Meditations']

Sunday, November 05, 2006



HI FRIENDS & FAMILY,
Here is a link showing a four part movie about one of Our Lady's statues crying tears & oil. This has been approved by the local bishop, so to looks like a real supernatural event!
Check it out!
"There is a God in heaven. He will prevail." (St. Gerard Majella)
Deacon John


MARY IMMACULATE
HER SANCTITY

2. The Sanctity of Mary.
The reason of this superiority of Mary above all the saints together is that they
all, as St. John says, had to wash their garments in the Blood of the Lamb. Then, if they had to wash them, it was because they were stained, at least, for some time, whereas the soul of Mary needed not washing because She had never in the least been stained. Go into a garden and pluck the most attractive delicately perfumed rose; examining its petals at close quarters you find dust, dirt, or stain, or sometimes even, deeply hidden in it a little insect, or a tiny worm. The same happens in the Garden of the Church. There are many flowers, lilies of purity, roses of love divine, violets of humility. However, all have a worm in their roots. All have been touched by the fang of the serpent. Mary, and Mary alone, is the flower without stain or thorn. She, the rose of the enclosed garden, is more pure than the sun which also has spots. That is why the Church sings that She is purer and brighter than light. How beautiful must the soul of Mary be!

[From 'Marian Meditations']

Saturday, November 04, 2006



MARY IMMACULATE
HER SANCTITY


All that we have been contemplating in the previous meditation referred to the physical beauty of Our Lady, but with what can we compare the beauty of Her soul? Let us now pause and try to fathom its depths.

1. Sanctity on Earth Consists in Grace.
But who had greater grace than Mary who was said to have reached the plenitude of grace? A soul in the grace of God is the most beautiful sight that can be imagined upon earth. It is just a reflection of the beauty of God Himself. Think of the great sanctity attained by some saints of the Church of God. Think of the sanctity of St. Monica, who was able to produce a saint like Augustine; of St. Elizabeth who converted a whole kingdom to God; of St. Theresa of Jesus who was told by God that just for her He would have willingly created the world with all its wonders. Recall the names of St. Francis Xavier, St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Cecilia who daily used to converse with the angels, St. Agnes whose only stain was that of her own blood shed on the altar of her virginity. Think of the thousands upon thousands of saints who daily exhale the perfume of their sanctity in the Garden of the Church. Put together and compare it with that of Mary. She at the very first moment of Her Conception possesses more sanctity and grace than all those saints together. Where they end She begins:
Fundamenta eius in montibus sanctis.

What then will Mary be?

[Excerpted from 'Marian Meditations' Book]

Friday, November 03, 2006



MARY IMMACULATE

HER BEAUTY


5. Mary's Beauty.
Now to keep on questioning: "What do you think God, Who created such wonders for ungrateful men and ungrateful angels, would then do for Mary and for Jesus?" If He made Heaven in order to cheer man, what will he do in order to please Mary whom He loves much more than all other creation? If He created such wonders for His servants, what would He do for the dwelling, abode and palace of His Son Who wanted no other paradise than the womb of Mary? Think how willingly God quitted His Heavenly abode in order to take His abode in Mary. What purity would He have given to the blood that was to flow through the veins of His Son! What crimson would He give to those lips that so often were to kiss the cheeks of His Son! What hands would be those that were to bear the One Who in His own hands bears, the whole of creation! What heart so pure, so delicate, so tender! He gathered in it all the tenderness of the hearts of all mothers.

Continue contemplating the beauty of Mary Immaculate and you will realize that in her compare all earthly beauty hardly deserves the name!


[From 'Marian Meditation' Book]


Thursday, November 02, 2006



November 2, 2006 Message to Mirjana at Medjugorje.

The visionary Mirjana reports that Our Lady gave her the following message:

"Dear children,

My coming to you, my children, is God's love. God is sending me to warn you and to show you the right way. Do not shut your eyes before the truth, my children. Your time is a short time. Do not permit delusions to begin to rule over you. The way on which I desire to lead you is the way of peace and love. This is the way which leads to my Son, your God. Give me your hearts that I may put my Son in them and make my apostles of you - apostles of peace and love. Thank you!"

Afterwards, in conclusion, Our Lady said for us not to forget our shepherds in our prayers.

A powerful Message from Our Lady, with a lot of meaning . . .
Mother Mary is saying that She is here visiting us because of God's love for us! God loves us and is trying to inspire us and warn us to change our lives before it is too late. Time is short! Almighty God is going to intervene in this world and correct its conscience! And it will be awesome!
God wants us to live in peace and love, the Kingdom of the Divine Will, as it is in Heaven, so it will be on earth!
Our Lady is leading us to Jesus, so that He will reign in our hearts, then we will have peace and love and become His apostles to spread the "Good News" wherever we are.
And finally, the Blessed Virgin wants us to pray for our shepherds; our Pope; the Cardinals, Bishops, priests and deacons who serve us and bring us the Sacraments which we need so badly to get to Heaven!
May we live Our Lady's Message for the glory of God!



MARY IMMACULATE

HER BEAUTY


4. The King of Creation.
And now ask yourself: "And for whom was all this made? To whom did God subordinate the whole of creation?" The earth is for man; the earthly paradise is for the just and the innocent. All this is for a creature who is soon going to raise the banner of rebellion against God and disregard His commandments.

And for whom Heaven? For His angels, His courtiers and servants, amongst whom alas He is going to find traitors and ingrates who too, will rebel and disobey His divine Majesty, daring in the madness of their pride to attempt to overthrow God and try to install themselves in His place.

All on earth was for man! All in Heaven was for the angels!

[From 'Marian Meditation' Book]

Wednesday, November 01, 2006



MARY IMMACULATE
HER BEAUTY

3. The Realm Beyond the Senses.
All this lies in the limited field of sensible creation. But what do we see beyond? Try to imagine what Heaven will be like: those immortal dwellings besides which the earthly paradise is just a shadow. Remember what St. Paul says about it: Neither eye saw nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love Him. [1 Cor 2:9] Think also that everything on this earth is just temporal, whereas heavenly beauty and happiness is eternal. This is earthly and that is celestial. This is a prison and an exile, whereas the other is a homeland and the abode of joy and happiness. What will Heaven be like? What beautiful things will it contain even apart from the sight of God! So many delights that we cannot imagine nor even suspect!
(From 'Marian Meditation')