Category Archives: Love for Our Lady

Dec. 8: THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. AV history and St. Anselm’s beautiful sermon!

December 8
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
AV history and St. Anselm’s beautiful sermon!

Pope Pius IX instituted this celebration when he proclaimed the dogma on December 8, 1854. In that definition, he expressed the exact meaning of the truth of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and affirmed the constant faith of the Church, that she was conceived free from stain of original sin. This feast has been celebrated in the East since the eighth century and later, in many places in the West. This privilege of Mary is the most beautiful fruit of her Son’s Redemption. Christ came to take away the sin of mankind; he did not allow sin to contaminate his Mother.

A sermon by St Anselm
O Virgin, by whose blessing all nature is blessed!

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendour by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

Responsory                                                                                           

℟. Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;* his love for me is great.

℣. From this day forward all generations will call me blessed;* his love for me is great.

Let us pray.

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord.

 

AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: “Ave Maria” (Morten Lauridsen) sung by the world famous, Philippine Madrigal Singers at Castelfranco, Emilia, Chiesa di San Giacomo on Sept. 10, 2012, video recorded video by Sergio Pigo.
Its choirmaster is Mark Anthony Carpio, a world-renowned choirmaster and personal friend as well. He gave me permission to use the track for this video. Thanks a lot, Mark! And more power to all of the Philippine Madrigal Singers!

 

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DEC. 7: MARY, OUR TEACHER IN EVERYDAY LIFE. 8th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 7:
MARY, OUR TEACHER IN EVERYDAY LIFE

8th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!

For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live.
-St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 48

PRAYER

We turn to Our Lady for protection, because we can be quite sure that each of us, in our own state in life – priest or lay-person, single, married or widowed – if we are faithful in the daily fulfilment of our duties, will achieve victory on this earth, the victory of being always loyal to Our Lord. And afterwards we will reach Heaven and rejoice forever in the friendship and love of God, with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer before Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24 May 1970

 

Dec. 6: MARY, OUR REFUGE AND OUR STRENGTH. 7th day of the Novena to the immaculate Conception.

Dec 6:
MARY, OUR REFUGE AND OUR STRENGTH
7th day of the Novena to the immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION:

When it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, ‘Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God’.” Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to him in his suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son, and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp-edged sword.

Jesus is comforted anew by the quiet, loving presence of his Mother. Mary does not shout; she does not run about frantically. Stabat: she is there, standing next to her Son. It is then that Jesus looks at her, and then turning his gaze to John he exclaims, “Woman, this is thy son.” Then he said to the disciple, “This is thy Mother.” In the person of John, Christ is entrusting all men to his Mother, and especially his disciples: those who were to believe in him.

Felix culpa the Church sings. Happy fault, that has brought us so great and wonderful a Redeemer. Happy fault, we could add, which has merited that we should receive Mary as our Mother. Now we are safe. Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God. Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother.
-St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 288-

PRAYER.
Say to her: Mother, my Mother – yours, because you are hers on many counts – may your love bind me to your Son’s Cross: may
I not lack the Faith, nor the courage, nor the daring, to carry out the will of our Jesus.
-St. Josemaria, The Way, 497

DEC. 5: HOLY MARY, OUR HOPE. 6th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 5
 HOLY MARY, OUR HOPE
6th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION

Mary teaches us to hope. She proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed.” Hu- manly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing? Who was she, in the eyes of the men and women of her time? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people. Mary’s throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is the Cross. During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence. St Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer. This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity.

What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.”
St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 286

PRAYER

Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope, to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all come together to dwell in the house of the Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us there with his grace, and he will send a good wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of our destination

St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 221

DEC. 4: MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE. 5th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 4
MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE
5th day of the Novena to the
Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION
“I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge and of holy hope.” These are the lessons which Mary reminds us of today. The lesson of fair love, of living a clean life, of having a sensitive and passionate heart, so that we may learn to be faithful in our service to the Church. This is no ordinary love. It is Love itself. There is no room here for betrayal, or calculation, or forgetfulness. It is a fair, a beautiful love, because its beginning and end is God, who is thrice Holy, who is all Beauty, all Goodness and all Greatness.

But there is also a reference to fear. For myself, the only fear I can imagine is that of turning away from Love. God Our Lord certainly does not want us to be inhibited, timid or lukewarm about our dedication to him. He wants us to be daring, courageous and refined. When the sacred text speaks of fear here I am reminded of a complaint we find elsewhere in Scripture, “I searched for my heart’s love, but found him not.”

This can happen, if one has not yet fully understood what it means to love God. Then our hearts can be swayed by things which do not lead to Our Lord and so we lose sight of him. At other times it may be Our Lord who hides himself. He knows the reason why. In such cases, he will be encouraging us to seek him more earnestly and, when we find him, we shall be able to cry out with joy, “I took hold of him and I will never let him go.” St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 277

PRAYER
At this very moment, you should trustingly beg Our Lady, as you accompany her in the solitude of your heart, without saying anything out loud: “Mother, this poor heart of mine rebels
so foolishly! If you don’t protect me…” And she will help you to keep it pure and to follow the way to which God has called you.
St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 180

Dec. 3: MARY, WOMAN OF FAITH. 4th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

Dec. 3: MARY, WOMAN OF FAITH
4th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION
She teaches us to have faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing,” were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when Our Lady went up into the hill country to visit her. Mary’s act of faith had been a wonderful one, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” When her Son was born she contem- plated the greatness of God on earth: a choir of angels was present, and not only the shepherds, but also important men of this world came to adore the Child. Afterwards, however, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt, to escape Herod’s murderous intent. Then, silence; thirty long years of simple, ordinary life, just like that of any other home in a small village in Galilee.
-St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 284-

PRAYER
“Mother!” Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle.
The Way, 516

Dec. 2: MARY, TEACHER OF PRAYER.

Dec. 2: MARY, TEACHER OF PRAYER.
3rd day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

Review these thoughts in your prayer. Take occasion of them to tell Jesus that you adore him. And thus you have a formula to become contemplatives in the middle of the world, amid the noises of the street, at all times and in all places. This is the first lesson we should learn in the school of intimacy with Christ. And in this school, Mary is the best teacher, because the Virgin always kept this attitude of faith, of supernatural vision, re- gardless of what happened around her: “And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” Christ is Passing By, 174

PRAYER
Let us ask the blessed Virgin to make us contemplatives, to teach us to recognize the constant calls from God at the door of our heart. Let us ask her now: “Our mother, you brought to earth Jesus, who reveals the love of our Father God. Help us to recognize him in the midst of the cares of each day. Stir up our mind and will so that we may listen to the voice of God, to the calls of grace.”
Christ is Passing By, 174

DEC. 1: MARY, OUR MOTHER.

DEC. 1: MARY, OUR MOTHER.
Day 2 of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

“There is no heart more human than that of a person overflowing with supernatural sense. Think of Holy Mary, who is full of grace, daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son, spouse of God the Holy Spirit. Her heart has room for all humanity and makes no distinction or discrimination. Every person is her son or her daughter.” St. Josemaria, Furrow, n. 801.

PRAYER:
“Mother, we thank you for your intercession before Jesus. Without you we would not have been able to reach Him. How true it is that one always goes to Jesus and returns to Him through Mary!”
The Way, Critical-Historical edition, note on n. 514

Nov. 27: OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL. Short history and prayer

Nov. 27
OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL.
Short history and prayer

SHORT HISTORY

In 1830 in France, St. Catherine Laboure was visited by the Blessed Virgin Mary three times.  During the second apparition, St. Catherine saw our Lady standing on a globe with rays of light streaming from her hands and the words, “O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.” Our Lady told St. Catherine to have a medal made. The medals were called the Medal of the Immaculate Conception and, because many favors were given to the people wearing the medal, it became the Miraculous Medal.

PRAYER TO OUR IMMACULATE LADY
OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL.

O Virgin Mother of God, Mary Immaculate, We dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. May this Medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties toward you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your Son. O Most Powerful Virgin, Mother of Our Savior, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of Heaven forever.

Amen.

WEDNESDAYS OF OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP.

WEDNESDAYS OF
OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP.

Dear Mother, you have always been good to us,
We, your children, love you.
We ask you to intercede for us in all our needs,
especially for those who are suffering most,
and above all, to help us love God more with concrete deeds.

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