Bound by Love

 

What is the meaning of the swaddling clothes with which Our Lord was bound by His Mother?

From St. Alphonsus Liguori:

“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped Him up in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2, 7)

JESUS IN SWADDLING-CLOTHES

Look! We see Mary, having now brought forth her Son, taking Him with reverence in her arms, adoring Him as her God, and then wrapping Him up in swaddling-clothes:  The Holy Church says the same: “His limbs, wrapped in swaddling-clothes, the Virgin Mother binds.”

Behold the Infant Jesus, who obediently offers His little hands and feet, and allows Himself to be swaddled. Consider that every time the Holy Infant allowed Himself to be swathed He thought of the cords with which He should one day be bound and led captive in the garden, and of those also with which He should be tied to the column, and of the nails which should fasten Him to the cross; and thinking of these things, He willingly allowed Himself to be bound, in order to deliver our souls from the chains of hell.

Bound, then, in these swaddling-clothes, and turning towards us, Jesus invites us to unite ourselves to Him with the holy bonds of love. And turning to His eternal Father, He says:

“My Father, men have abused their liberty, and by rebelling against Thee have made themselves the slaves of sin; but I will make satisfaction for their disobedience, and will be bound and confined in these swaddling-clothes. Bound with these, I offer Thee my liberty, in order that man may be delivered from the slavery of the devil.  I accept these swaddling-clothes; they are dear to Me, because they are the symbols of the cords with which, from this moment forth, I offer Myself to be one day bound and led to death for the salvation of men.”

His bands are a healthful binding. The bands of Jesus were the healthful binding, to heal the wounds of our souls. Therefore, O my Jesus, Thou wouldst be bound in swaddling-clothes for the love of me.

“O Love, how great is thy bond, which could bind a God!”

O divine Love, Thou alone couldst make my God Thy prisoner. And shall I then, O Lord, refuse to allow myself to be bound by Thy holy love? Shall I for the future have the courage to detach myself from Thy sweet and amiable chains? And for what? To make myself a slave of hell? O my Lord, Thou remainest bound up in this manger for the love of me; I desire always to remain bound to Thee.

St. Mary Magdalene of Pazzi said that the bands that we ought to take should be a firm resolution of uniting ourselves to God by means of love; detaching ourselves at the same time from all affection for anything that is not God. For this reason, also, it seems that our loving Jesus has allowed Himself to be, as it were, bound and made a prisoner in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar, under the sacramental species, in order that He might behold His beloved souls made also prisoners of His love.

AFFECTIONS AND PRAYERS
And what fear can I have of Thy chastisement, O my beloved Infant, now that I see Thee bound in the swaddling-clothes, depriving Thyself, as it were, of the power of raising Thy hands to punish me? Thou dost give me to understand by these bands that Thou wilt not chastise me, if I will detach myself from the chains of my vices and bind myself to Thee.
Yes, my Jesus, I will bind myself.

I repent with all my heart of having separated myself from Thee, by abusing that liberty which Thou hast given me. Thou dost offer me a more desirable liberty; a liberty which delivers me from the chains of the devil, and places me among the children of God. Thou hast given Thyself up to be imprisoned in these swaddling-clothes for the love of me; I will be in future a prisoner of Thy infinite love. O blessed chains, O beautiful emblems of salvation, which bind souls to God, bind also my poor heart; but bind it so fast that it may never in future be able to disengage itself from the love of this sovereign Good.

My Jesus, I love Thee; I bind myself to Thee; I give Thee my whole heart, my whole will. No, I never leave Thee again, my beloved Lord. O my Saviour, who, to pay my debts, would not only be wrapped by Mary in swaddling-clothes, but even be bound as a criminal by the executioners, and thus bound wouldst go along the streets of Jerusalem, led to death as an innocent lamb to the slaughter-house; O Thou who wouldst be nailed to the cross, and didst not leave it until Thou hadst given up Thy life upon it,— I beseech Thee permit me not to be ever separated again from Thee, so that I should again find myself deprived of Thy favor and of Thy love.

O Mary, who didst one day bind in swaddling-clothes this thy innocent Son, I pray thee, do thou bind me also, a miserable sinner; bind me to Jesus, so that I may never again separate myself from His feet, that I may always live and die bound to Him, so that one day I may have the happiness to enter into that blessed country where I shall never be able and shall never be afraid of detaching myself from His holy love.

The above meditation is from Saint Alphonsus de Liguori. “The Saint Alphonsus de Liguori Collection” [30 Books] by Catholic Way Publishing. Kindle Edition.

 

Novena to the Holy Ghost, Christmas 2018

For our readers who prefer our classic Novena to the Holy Ghost, we offer it again this year.

Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits … that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.
Come, Holy Ghost!



Come, Holy Ghost!

Our Lord’s command to His Apostles that they not depart from Jerusalem, but should wait for the Holy Ghost might profitably apply to us in these times as well. What better way to prepare for the joyous coming of our beloved Christ Child!

NOVENA TO THE HOLY GHOST

Day 1:
O Holy Spirit! Lord of light!
From Thy clear celestial height,
Thy pure and beaming radiance give!

Colloquy: The Holy Ghost
Only one thing is important – eternal salvation. Only one thing, therefore, is to be feared – sin. Sin is the result of ignorance, weakness, and especially indifference. The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of Light, of Strength, and of Love. With His sevenfold gifts He enlightens the mind, strengthens the will, and inflames the heart with love of God. To ensure our salvation we ought to invoke the Divine Spirit daily, for “The Spirit helpeth our infirmity. We know not what we should pray for as we ought. But the Spirit Himself asketh for us.”
Prayer
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from Heaven upon us Thy sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself body and soul to Thee, eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice and the might of Thy love. Thou art the strength and light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and have my being. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Make me faithful in every thought, and grant that I may always listen to Thy voice, watch for Thy light, and follow Thy gracious inspirations.

I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee, and I ask Thee by Thy compassion to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus, beholding His five wounds, trusting in His Precious Blood and adoring His opened side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. 

Grant to me the grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak, Lord, for Thy servant hears.” Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
Lord Jesus Christ, Who before ascending into Heaven didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thine Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Ghost to me, that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me:

  • the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal;
  • the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy Divine truth;
  • the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining Heaven;
  • the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation;
  • the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints;
  • the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable;
  • the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark me, Dear Lord, with the sign of Thy true disciples, and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.

Day 2
Come, Thou Father of the poor!
Come, with treasures which endure!
Come, Thou light of all that live!

Colloquy: The Gift of Fear
The gift of Fear fills us with a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread nothing so much as to offend Him by sin. It is a fear that arises, not from the thought of Hell, but from sentiments of reverence and filial submission to our heavenly Father. It is the fear that is the beginning of wisdom, detaching us from worldly pleasures that could in any way separate us from God. “They that fear the Lord will prepare their hearts, and in His sight will sanctify their souls.”

Prayer
Come, O blessed Spirit of Holy Fear, penetrate my inmost heart, that I may set Thee, my Lord and God, before my face forever; help me to shun all things that can offend Thee, and make me worthy to appear before the pure eyes of Thy Divine Majesty in Heaven, where Thou livest and reignest in the unity of the ever Blessed Trinity, one God, world without end. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation (as above)
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost (as above)

Day 3
Thou of all Consolers best,
Visiting the troubled breast,
Dost refreshing peace bestow.

Colloquy: The Gift of Piety
The gift of Piety begets in our hearts a filial affection for God as our most loving Father. It inspires us to love and respect for His sake persons and things consecrated to Him, as well as those who are vested with His authority, His Blessed Mother and the Saints, the Church and its visible Head, our parents and superiors, our country and its rulers. He who is filled with the gift of Piety finds the practice of his religion not a burdensome duty, but a delightful service. Where there is love, there is no labor.

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Piety, possess my heart. Enkindle therein such a love for God, that I may find satisfaction only in His service, and for His sake lovingly submit to all legitimate authority. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 4
Thou in toil art Comfort sweet,
Pleasant coolness in the heat,
Solace in the midst of woe.

Colloquy: The Gift of Fortitude
By the gift of Fortitude the soul is strengthened against natural fear, and supported to the end in the performance of duty. Fortitude imparts to the will an impulse and energy which move it to undertake without hesitancy the most arduous tasks, to face dangers, to trample under foot human respect, and to endure without complaint the slow martyrdom of even lifelong tribulation. “He that shall persevere unto the end, he shall be saved.”

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Fortitude, uphold my soul in time of trouble and adversity, sustain my efforts after holiness, strengthen my weakness, give me courage against all the assaults of my enemies, that I may never be overcome and separated from Thee, my God and greatest Good. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 5
Light immortal! Light Divine!
Visit Thou these hearts of Thine,
And our inmost being fill.

Colloquy: The Gift of Knowledge
The gift of Knowledge enables the soul to evaluate created things at their true worth—–in their relation to God. Knowledge unmasks the pretense of creatures, reveals their emptiness, and points out their only true purpose as instruments in the service of God. It shows us the loving care of God even in adversity, and directs us to glorify Him in every circumstance of life. Guided by its light, we put first things first, and prize the friendship of God beyond all else. “Knowledge is a fountain of life to him that possesseth it.”

Prayer
Come, O Blessed Spirit of Knowledge, and grant that I may perceive the will of the Father; show me the nothingness of earthly things, that I may realize their vanity and use them only for Thy glory and my own salvation, looking ever beyond them to Thee, and Thy eternal rewards. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 6
If Thou take Thy grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to ill.

Colloquy: The Gift of Understanding
Understanding, as a gift of the Holy Ghost, helps us to grasp the meaning of the truths of our holy religion. By faith we know them, but by Understanding we learn to appreciate and relish them, It enables us to penetrate the inner meaning of revealed truths and,through them to be quickened to newness of life. Our faith ceases to be sterile and inactive, but inspires a mode of life that bears eloquent testimony to the faith that is in us; we begin to “walk worthy of God in all things pleasing, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Understanding, and enlighten our minds, that we may know and believe all the mysteries of salvation; and may merit at last to see the eternal light in Thy Light; and in the light of glory to have a clear vision of Thee and the Father and the Son, Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 7
Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness, pour Thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away.

Colloquy: The Gift of Counsel
The gift of Counsel endows the soul with supernatural prudence, enabling it to judge promptly and rightly what must be done, especially in difficult circumstances. Counsel applies the principles furnished by Knowledge and Understanding to the innumerable concrete cases that confront us in the course of our daily duty as parents, teachers, public servants, and Catholic citizens. Counsel is supernatural common sense, a priceless treasure in the quest of salvation. “Above all these things, pray to the Most High, that He may direct thy way in truth.”

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Counsel, help and guide me in all my ways, that I may always do Thy holy will. Incline my heart to that which is good; turn it away from all that is evil, and direct me by the straight path of Thy Commandments to that goal of eternal life for which I long. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 8
Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Colloquy: The Gift of Wisdom
Embodying all the other gifts, as charity embraces all the other virtues, Wisdom is the most perfect of the gifts. Of wisdom it is written “all good things came to me with her, and innumerable riches through her hands.” It is the gift of Wisdom that strengthens our faith, fortifies hope, perfects charity, and promotes the practice of virtue in the highest degree. Wisdom enlightens the mind to discern and relish things Divine, in the appreciation of which earthly joys lose their savor, whilst the Cross of Christ yields a Divine sweetness according to the words of the Savior: “Take up thy cross and follow Me, for My yoke is sweet and My burden light.”

Prayer
Come, O Spirit of Wisdom, and reveal to my soul the mysteries of heavenly things, their exceeding greatness, power and beauty. Teach me to love them above and beyond all the passing joys and satisfactions of earth. Help me to attain them and possess them for ever. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

Day 9
Thou, on those who evermore
Thee confess and Thee adore,
In Thy sevenfold Gifts descend.
Give them comfort when they die;
Give them life with Thee on high;
Give them joys which never end. Amen.

Colloquy: The Fruits of the Holy Ghost
The gifts of the Holy Ghost perfect the supernatural virtues by enabling us to practice them with greater docility to Divine inspiration. As we grow in the knowledge and love of God under the direction of the Holy Ghost, our service becomes more sincere and generous, the practice of virtue more perfect. Such acts of virtue leave the heart filled with joy and consolation and are known as Fruits of the Holy Ghost. These Fruits in turn render the practice of virtue more attractive and become a powerful incentive for still greater efforts in the service of God, to serve Whom is to reign.

Prayer
Come, O Divine Spirit, fill my heart with Thy heavenly fruits, Thy charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, faith, mildness, and temperance, that I may never weary in the service of God, but by continued faithful submission to Thy inspiration may merit to be united eternally with Thee in the love of the Father and the Son. Amen.

Our Father and Hail Mary once each.
Glory be to the Father seven times.

Act of Oblation
Prayer for Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

[This Novena is widely available on the net in slightly varied forms. It was originally composed and disseminated by the Holy Ghost Fathers. In this version, I have used basically the wording of the Novena available from Angelus Press, although the words of the Hymn which is quoted are from another version.]

We are all aware that satan redoubles his efforts most furiously at these times of special joy and grace in the liturgical year. But he is helpless before the Immaculate Mother of God. And as we look to her now, our Blessed Mother points us to her Spouse, the Holy Ghost to prepare us for the coming of our Infant Savior. 

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also, the Holy, which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God. (Luke 1, 35)

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, intercede for us and for the whole Church!

Remember, Pray the Rosary and confound the devil!

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.


~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.

Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Prepare for His Coming!

The holy season of Advent is the perfect time to renew our devotion to the Divine Infant Jesus. Today we focus on devotion to the Infant of Prague.

Devotion to the Holy Infant is complementary to that of Fatima. It has been rightly called the way of spiritual infancy. Since the revelations to Sister Josefa occurred right after those of Fatima, there is a strong connection, calling us to deepen our understanding of the essential unity between devotion to the Divine Infant, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Indeed, it is impossible to read the autobiography of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque and the writings of Sister Lucia and not see the similarities in the total, childlike devotion and trust in Our Lord and His Blessed Mother. This spiritual infancy was also clearly exemplified by St. Therese, the Little Flower and is notable in the life of Sister Josefa Menendez, for example:

It was Christmas Eve in the old Monastery of Les Feuillants and Sister Josefa Menendez was at Mass,

“I was in the middle of the Chapel, on my way to Communion, when I saw Our Lady coming towards me. In her arms she was holding the Child Jesus, covered with a white veil which she took off as soon as I had communicated. His little garment was white and His hands were crossed on His breast. Then I did not see Him any more … When I had reached my place in the chapel, Our Lady came again quite close to me. She lifted the Child slightly; He was lying in her arms. Little Jesus stretched out His hands and fondled His Mother. Then with His tiny right hand He seemed to be asking me for mine and I gave it to Him. He seized hold of my finger and held it tight, and all around both of them floated an unknown but delicious aroma. Our Lady was smiling, “My daughter”, she said to me, “Kiss the feet of your God, Who will be your inseparable companion if you wish. Have no fear, draw near to Him, He is all love.” I kissed His little feet; He looked at me and then He crossed His hands on His breast and Our Lady wrapped Him in her veil. I asked her to bless me which she did and then they vanished.”

On another day, Our Lady appeared to Sister Josefa Menendez and spoke of her sorrows.

“I asked her,’ wrote Josefa naively, ‘if the presence of the Child Jesus, so small and so lovely, had not been the best of consolations?’ Our Lady then asked her to imagine the anguish she felt when contemplating the Divine Infant,

‘I kissed those little hands, and felt my lips already stained with the Precious Blood that one day would gush from their wounds. I kissed His feet, and already saw them nailed to the Cross. And as I carefully tended His hair, I pictured it all clotted with blood and entangled in the cruel thorns. And when at Nazareth, He first ventured on a few steps, hastening with outstretched arms to meet me, my tears fell as I pictured them extended on the Cross on which He was to die. When He reached boyhood, He was so divinely beautiful that none could contemplate Him unmoved … yet in my heart, the heart of a mother, the sword was turned at the thought of the tortures that were to be inflicted on Him, of which I felt beforehand the savage recoil.” (“The Way of Divine Love”  Kindle Edition).

And now, as we approach Christmas, we offer the well beloved Novena to the Divine Infant of Prague. This Novena begins on November 16, that is, we will begin it this year on the Third Sunday of Advent, and the Novena concludes on Christmas Eve.

Each day, we pray:

Novena Prayer to the Infant of Prague

O Dearest Jesus, tenderly loving us! Thy greatest joy is dwell among us and bestow Thy blessings on us! Although I am not worthy that Thou should look upon me with love, I am drawn to Thee dear Jesus because of Thine infinite mercy and beg Thee to exercise Thine almighty power over me.

So many who turned with confidence to Thee have received graces and had their petitions granted. Look upon me with pity as I kneel before Thee and lay my heart open to Thee, with all its prayers, petitions and hopes. In particular, I entrust to Thy loving and merciful heart _____.

Govern me and do with me and mine according to Thy holy will, for I trust that in Thy Divine wisdom and love, Thou will ordain everything for the best. Almighty and gracious Infant Jesus, do not withdraw Thy hand from us, but protect us and bless us forever.

I pray Thee, sweetest Infant, in the name of Thy blessed Mother Mary, who cared for Thee with such tenderness, and by the great reverence with which Saint Joseph carried Thee in his arms: grant me and mine the graces necessary to serve Thee ever more faithfully, that I may bless and thank Thee forever with all my heart. Amen.

For my own Novena, I add the beautiful Prayer of Venerable Father Cyril of the Mother of God, OCD, to the Divine Infant of Prague daily:

JESUS, unto Thee I flee,
Through Thy mother praying Thee
in my need to succor me.

Truly, I believe of Thee
God Thou art with strength to shield me;
Full of trust, I hope of Thee
Thou Thy grace wilt give to me.

All my heart I give to Thee,
Therefore, do my sins repent me;
From them breaking, I beseech Thee,
Jesus, from their bonds to free me.

Firm my purpose is to mend me;
Never more will I offend Thee.

Wholly unto Thee I give me,
Patiently to suffer for Thee,
Thee to serve eternally.
And my neighbor like to me
I will love for love of Thee.

Little Jesus, I beseech Thee,
In my need to succor me,
That with Joseph and Mary
And the Angels, I may Thee
Once enjoy eternally. Amen.

We also offer this lovely Litany for the Infant of Prague:

LITANY OF THE INFANT OF PRAGUE
(For private devotion only)

Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy. Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
Deliver us, O Jesus.
We beseech Thee hear us.
God the Father of heaven. have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost. have mercy on us.
O miraculous Infant Jesus,have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, true God and Lord, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose omnipotence is manifested in a wonderful manner, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose wisdom searches our hearts and reins, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose goodness continually inclines to aid us, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose providence leads us to our last end and destiny, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose truth enlightens the darkness of our hearts, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose generosity enriches our poverty, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose friendship consoles the afflicted, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose mercy forgives our sins, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose strength invigorates us, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose power turns away all evils, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose justice deters us from sin, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose power conquers hell, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose lovely countenance attracts our hearts, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose greatness holds the universe in its hand, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose love-inflamed Heart kindles our cold hearts,  have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose miraculous hand raised in benediction fills us with all blessings,  have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose sweet and holy Name rejoices the hearts of the faithful, have mercy on us.
Infant Jesus, whose glory fills the whole world,  have mercy on us.
Be merciful, spare us, O Jesus.
Be merciful, Graciously hear us, O Jesus.
From all evil, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all sin, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all distrust of Thy infinite goodness, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all distrust of Thy infinite goodness and miracles, deliver us, O Jesus.
From all lukewarmness in Thy veneration, deliver us, O Jesus.
From trials and misfortunes, deliver us, O Jesus.
Through the mysteries of Thy holy childhood, deliver us, O Jesus.
We sinners, beseech Thee to hear us.
Through the intercession of Mary, Thy virgin Mother, and Joseph, Thy foster father, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst pardon us, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst bring us to true repentance, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst preserve and increase in us love and devotion to Thy sacred infancy, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst never withdraw Thy miraculous hand from us, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst keep us mindful of Thy numberless benefits, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst inflame us more and more with love for Thy Sacred Heart, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst graciously deign to hear all who call upon Thee with confidence, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst preserve our country in peace, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst free us from all impending evils, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst give eternal life to all who act generously toward Thee, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst pronounce a merciful sentence on us at the judgement, we beseech Thee to hear us.
That Thou wouldst in Thy miraculous image remain our consoling refuge, we beseech Thee to hear us.
Jesus, Son of God and of Mary, we beseech Thee to hear us.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Jesus.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us, O Jesus.
Jesus hear us.
Jesus graciously hear us.
Our Father, etc.

LET US PRAY

O miraculous Infant Jesus! prostrate before Thy sacred image, we beseech Thee to cast a merciful look on our troubled hearts. Let Thy tender Heart, so inclined to pity, be softened at our prayers, and grant us that grace for which we ardently implore Thee. Take from us all affliction and despair, all trials and misfortunes with which we are laden. For Thy sacred infancy’s sake hear our prayers and send us consolation and aid, that we may praise Thee, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, forever and ever. Amen.

Nihil Obstat: BERNARD O’CONNOR, Diocesan Censor. Imprimatur: DANIEL MANNIX, Archiepiscopus Melburnensis. Melbourne, 8/1/1963.

Thank you for reading! I pray for you always and trust that you will continue to pray for each other who read these pages. For, in addition to praying and reparation for sinners, it is good for us all to support each other in prayer.

NOTE: Our older Advent Novena to the Holy Ghost has been updated a bit and is available here.

† Infant Jesus, whose truth enlightens the darkness of our hearts, have mercy on us and on Pope Francis.

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Consecrating your Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

We’ve been asked for a prayer of Consecration of a Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. I updated our Family Consecration Page with it, as announced on our new Correspondence Page.

The following prayer comes from Angelus Press and is only $1.25 in a very nice, heirloom quality booklet.

Consecration of a Child to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Blessed Virgin Mary * Queen of Heaven and Earth, * to your Immaculate heart, * the channel of all graces, * we consecrate this child, * whom we have received from God’s goodness.

We offer him  to You * that you may present him to your Divine Son, * that you may take him under your loving maternal protection, * that you may preserve him from dangers, * that you amy keep him from all sin, * that you may lead him to grow in piety * and in all virtue * so that he may always be worthy * to call himself your child.

May he grow daily in wisdom and grace, * may he go through life having you always as his refuge and Mother. * May all virtues shine in him * and may he never offend your maternal Heart.

May the Eternal Father always look upon him with delight * and see in him * a ray and reflection of your Immaculate Beauty. And as today he gladdens our home, * so may he one day gladden the Eternal Home * which we pray will be his. Amen.

 

Note: It is suggested that the Consecration of a Child be carefully prepared, keeping in mind the example of the Holy Family. St. Joseph and the Blessed Mother offered a sacrifice of two turtledoves; perhaps you would like to do likewise: offering a Holy Mass and an alms as you sacrifice. The consecration of a child is a formal recognition that you are, by this act, begging the Immaculata to accept your child as her own property in the faith that Our Lady will enfold your child(ren) in her maternal protection through life and death.

Bear in mind as well your own grave obligation to raise your child with a strong and tender love for and trust in Our Lady, and devotion for her Holy Rosary. The daily family Rosary is essential to success, for your child will thereby learn day by day, as you demonstrate your own devotion. As you meet the invariable spiritual challenges together, the child gradually becomes comfortable with the concept of working through problems with Our Lady’s help, through her Rosary.

Another useful adjunct to consecrating your child is the use of sacramentals like the miraculous medal (the Medal of the Immaculate Conception), the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the use of ejaculations, especially the loving little prayer, “O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” and “Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, I implore that I may ever love thee, more and more!”

But the very best way to help your child grow in devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is for them to live their devotion with you; children watch their parents closely and the sincerity of your devotion, of the trust you have in Our Lady and your abiding love for her, this is what will mean the most to your child and bear the finest fruits.

One very good practice is to teach your child, preferably by your good example to live the follwoing prayer, which was recommended by Our Lady of Fatima:

“O my Jesus, it is for love of Thee, for the conversion of sinners and in reparation for sins committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer this sacrifice to Thee.”

For those readers who have experience with consecrating their children, we would welcome your suggestions.

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

Consecration Prayer to Immaculate Mother of God

Despite the fact that I was unable to post more in preparation for today’s great feast, many of you have made or renewed their consecrations. Since I neglected to post it earlier, here is the Consecration Prayer for those who may have forgotten to make theirs. I cannot stress enough the importance of making your Consecration! Do not let scruples be an obstacle. You will never be adequately prepared, none of us are! But we must make a start, in any event. And our Blessed Mother will do the rest!

 

Act of Consecration to Jesus through Mary

O ETERNAL and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.

I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.

Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.

I, ________________, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.

Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.

O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may also receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest, teachest, and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.

O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen. (St. Louis-Marie Grignon de Monfort, True Devotion to Mary, with Preparation for Total Consecration”, by Catholic Way, Kindle Edition).

† . † . †

To understand the importance of our Consecration, please consider: every ingrained sinful habit we have is actually a crack into our hearts which allows satan to slither in and break us down, little by little. Our Lady has no such flaw. She is the Immaculate Conception. As such, she is impervious to his deceits, and she is indeed powerful to protect her own.

If you knew you were going to have to be swimming in a sea of toxic ebola virus, HIV virus, and every other frightening biotoxin, you would grab any available protection. Yet the mortal sins being thrust at us from all directions today, especially those most seductive, the appeals to our pride, our self-love, envy, lust and greed – all these! They are fatal to our souls and threaten us with an eternity of damnation, and yet we blissfully ignore the generous gifts of of Our Lord to protect us!

And once you are consecrated, ask her frequently – at least several times a day, to help you live this consecration until you are able to live each day tucked closely into her Immaculate, loving, Mother’s heart!

Thank you for reading, I pray for you always.

† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

 

On the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Divine Word has for His Mother a love infinitely greater than that which He bears to all His other creatures. Mary’s honour is infinitely dear to Him, because she is His Mother.

Now, correlate that absolute truth with the reality of the past nearly 100 years. What honour has the institutional Church shown to the Mother of God, who came to show us the way to return to God? To repeat, what honour has the Church shown to Mary? What Pope has obeyed her?  We offer the following to prepare us for tomorrow’s feast. In this horrible chastisement which is building, the remedy is Mary Immaculate. If we spurn her, there is no other.

The post below is long, and contains much that you already know, and Dom Gueranger’s language is that of the “triumphalist” faithful so despised by our current humble Pope and his church leaders. Dom Gueranger belongs to the past. We have progressed so far beyond that now, haven’t we? The following is from Dom Prosper Gueranger, Vol. 1, The Liturgical Year, available from www.archive.org.

The Immaculate Conception - Because God hates sin!
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us now and at the hour of our death!

The Immaculate Conception of Mary

At length, on the distant horizon, rises, with a soft and radiant light, the aurora of the Sun which has been so long desired. The happy Mother of the Messias was to be born before the Messias Himself; and this is the day of the Conception of Mary. The earth already possesses a first pledge of the Divine mercy; the Son of Man is near at hand. Two true Israelites, Joachim and Anne, noble branches of the family of David, find their union, after a long barrenness, made fruitful by the Divine omnipotence. Glory be to God, Who has been mindful of His promises, and Who deigns to announce, from the high heavens, the end of the deluge of iniquity, by sending upon the earth the sweet white dove that bears the tidings of peace!

The Feast of the Blessed Virgin’s Immaculate Conception is the most solemn of all those which the Church celebrates during the holy time of Advent; and if the first part of the cycle had to offer us the commemoration of some one of the mysteries of Mary, there was none whose object could better harmonize with the spirit of the Church in this mystic season of expectation. Let us, then, celebrate this solemnity with joy; for the Conception of Mary tells us that the Birth of Jesus is not far off.

The intention of the Church in this Feast, is not only to celebrate the anniversary of the happy moment in which began, in the womb of the pious Anne, the life of the ever-glorious Virgin Mary; but also to honour the sublime privilege, by which Mary was preserved from the Original Stain, which, by a sovereign and universal decree, is contracted by all the children of Adam the very moment they are conceived in their mother’s womb.

The faith of the Catholic Church on the subject of the Conception of Mary is this: that at the very instant when God united the soul of Mary, which He had created, to the body which it was to animate, this ever-blessed soul did not only not contract the stain, which at that same instant defiles every human soul, but was filled with an immeasurable grace which rendered her, from that moment, the mirror of the sanctity of God Himself, as far as this is possible to a creature.

The Church with her infallible authority, declared by the lips of Pius IX, that this article of her faith had been revealed by God Himself. The Definition was received with enthusiasm by the whole of Christendom, and the eighth of December of the year 1854 was thus made one of the most memorable days of the Church’s history.

…  The close ties which were to unite the Son of God with Mary, and which would elicit from Him the tenderest love and the most filial reverence for her, had been present to the Divine thought from all eternity: and the conclusion forces itself upon us that therefore the Divine Word had for this His future Mother a love infinitely greater than that which He bore to all His other creatures. Mary’s honour was infinitely dear to Him, because she was to be His Mother, chosen to be so by His eternal and merciful decrees.

The Son’s love protected the Mother. She, indeed, in her sublime humility willingly submitted to whatever the rest of God’s creatures had brought on themselves, and obeyed every tittle of those laws which were never meant for her; but that humiliating barrier, which confronts every child of Adam at the first moment of his existence, and keeps him from light and grace until he shall have been regenerated by a new birth. Oh! this could not be permitted to stand in Mary’s way, her Son forbade it.

The eternal Father would not do less for the second Eve than He had done for the first, who was created, as was also the first Adam, in the state of original justice, which she afterwards forfeited by sin. The Son of God would not permit that the woman, from whom He was to take the nature of Man, should be deprived of that gift which He had given even to her who was the mother of sin. The Holy Ghost, Who was to overshadow Mary and produce Jesus within her by His Divine operation, would not permit that foul stain, in which we are all conceived, to rest, even for an instant, on this His Bride. 

Was it not this grand exemption which God Himself foretold, when the guilty pair, whose children we all are, appeared before Him in the garden of Eden? In the anathema which fell upon the serpent, there was included a promise of mercy to us. ‘I will put enmities,’ said the Lord, ‘between thee and the Woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head.’ (Gen. 3, 15) Thus was salvation promised the human race under the form of a victory over Satan; and this victory is to be gained by the Woman, and she will gain it for us also. … The human race is one day to be avenged not only by God made Man, but also by the Woman miraculously exempted from every stain of sin, in whom the primeval creation, which was in justice and holiness, (Eph. iv. 24) will thus reappear, just as though the Original Sin had never been committed. …

The second Eve is created; and from her own blood (which, with the exception of the element of sin, is the same as that which makes you to be the children of Adam), she is shortly to give you the God-Man, Who proceeds from her according to the flesh, as He proceeds from the Father according to the eternal generation.

And how can we do less than admire and love the incomparable purity of Mary in her Immaculate Conception, when we hear even God, Who thus prepared her to become His Mother, saying to her, in the Divine Canticle, these words of love: ‘Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee! (Cant. 4, 7) It is the God of all holiness that here speaks; that eye, which sees all things, finds not a vestige, not a shadow of sin; therefore does He delight in her, and admire in her that gift of His Own condescending munificence. We cannot be surprised after this, that Gabriel, when he came down from Heaven to announce the Incarnation to her, should be full of admiration at the sight of that purity, whose beginning was so glorious and whose progress was immeasurable; and that this blessed spirit should bow down profoundly before this young Maid of Nazareth, and salute her with, ‘Hail, O full of grace!’ (Luke 1, 28) …

This truth of Mary’s Immaculate Conception, which was revealed to the Apostles by the Divine Son of Mary, inherited by the Church, taught by the holy fathers, believed by each generation of the Christian people with an ever increasing explicitness, was implied in the very notion of a Mother of God. To believe that Mary was Mother of God, was implicitly to believe that she, on whom this sublime dignity was conferred, had never been defiled with the slightest stain of sin, and that God had bestowed upon her an absolute exemption from sin. …

The Symbol of our faith has therefore received not a new truth, but a new light on a truth which was previously the object of the universal belief. On that great day of the definition, the infernal serpent was again crushed beneath the victorious foot of the Virgin Mother, and the Lord graciously gave us the strongest pledge of His mercy. He still loves this guilty earth, since He has deigned to enlighten it with one of the brightest rays of His Mother’s glory. How this earth of ours exulted! …”

Continue reading “On the Eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception”

Mary, Queen of our hearts

We continue with our project to post an article on devotion to our beloved Immaculata every day in preparation for her great feast day. Today, we honor Mary, Queen of our hearts.

In her Litany of Loreto, she is honored with the title of Queen 13 times, but following the disobedience of John XXIII, true devotion to Mary as Queen gradually ebbed away.

Dr. Roberto de Mattei’s, “The Second Vatican Council, an unwritten story” has many well documented examples of the expressed intentions of the Council Fathers to minimize the role of Mary in order to promote ecumenism. He references Congar, Rahner, Laurentin, Frings and others, but perhaps the most telling quote was the one from Pope John XXIII when he was Patriarch of Venice.

In a letter of 22 April, 1954, he wrote of Mary,

“Jesus dying said to John: Behold your Mother – this is sufficient for the faith and for the liturgy. The rest may be edifying (and it is mostly) and for many pious and devout souls, moving; but for many, many more, even if they are well-inclined towards the Catholic Church – it is irritating – and as we say these days – counter-productive”.

Amazing. Devotion to Mary is “irritating”? Really? And Pope Francis must agree with Roncalli, since he canonized him!

Father Dominic Bourmand’s One Hundred Years of Modernism explains that much of the downgrading of devotion to Mary was at the instigation of one theologian, Fr. Karl Rahner, who was the personal theologian of German Cardinal Konig. Rahner had already run afoul of the Holy Office by protesting the Assumption of Mary and even the Virginal Maternity! But poor Pope John XXIII, in the darkness of his disobedience, overrode all opposition and approved Rahner’s participation along with other questionable “experts” such as Congar. Schillebeeckz, Kung, Ratzinger and Chenu.

After the Council, Pope John Paul II who is always glorified in “conservative” Catholic circles as “The Marian Pope”, even had a hand in dethroning Mary. On May 29, 1996, Pope John Paul II, citing Genesis 3,15 said,

“We have already had the occasion to point out that this version does not correspond to the Hebrew text, according to which it is not the woman but rather her [seed], her descendant, who was to crush the head of the serpent. This text attributes the victory over Satan not to Mary but to her Son.” (Bourmand, “One Hundred Years of Modernism”)

Father Bourmand correctly points out that

“The Pope knew that his interpretation went against the unanimous tradition of the Fathers and very particularly against the dogmatic bull of Pius XII defining the Assumption.”

This dethroning of Mary has become even worse as we continue to plumb the depths of auto-demolition under this Humble Pope of Surprises®. We have covered them previously.

We know that we will not err if we hold firm to the faith of our Fathers, as it has always been proclaimed and practiced. And so we turn to some prophetic quotes about our Immaculate Queen that may help us in these challenging times.

From St. Louis Marie de Montfort:

“The power of Mary over all devils will be particularly outstanding in the last period of time. She will extend the Kingdom of Christ over the idolaters and Moslems, and there will come a glorious era in which Mary will be the ruler and queen of human hearts.”

In 1665, Venerable Maria de Agreda:

“it is through the intercession of the Mother of God that all heresies will disappear. This victory over heresies has been reserved by Christ for His Blessed Mother. … In the last times, the Lord will especially spread the renown of His Mother: Mary began salvation and by her intercession it will be concluded. Before the second coming of Christ Mary must, more than ever, shine in mercy, might and grace in order to bring unbelievers into the Catholic Faith. The powers of Mary in the last times over the demons will be very conspicuous.

Mary will extend the reign of Christ over the heathens and Mohammedans and it will be a time of great joy when Mary, as Mistress and Queen of Hearts, is enthroned.

St. John Bosco, In an earlier post, “And they realized they were no longer in Rome

The vision of the Pope leading the faithful away from Rome, amidst fearful storms and darkness. ” … two angels were seen carrying a banner, going they presented it to the Holy Father and said: ‘Receive the banner of He Who fights and scatters the strongest armies of the world. Your enemies are dispersed. Your children with tears and sighs beg you to return.’ “Looking at the banner one could see written on one side, ‘Queen conceived without sin,’ and on the other side, ‘Help of Christians.’

From Father Gerald Culleton’s “The Prophets and our Times”, we read the prophecy of a Bernadine Sister dated sometime just prior to 1938:

“”I was shown in spirit the vast devastation caused by the devil throughout the world,” and at the same time she heard the Blessed Virgin telling her that it was true, hell had been let loose upon the earth; and that the time had come to pray to her as the Queen of Angels and to ask of her the assistance of the heavenly legions to fight against these deadly foes of God and of men.

“But my good Mother,” she replied, “You who are so kind could you not send them without our asking?”

“No,” Our Lady answered, “because prayer is one of the conditions required by God Himself for obtaining favors.” Then the Blessed Virgin communicated the following prayer, bidding her to have it printed and distributed.

Prayer to Mary, Queen of Angels

“August Queen of Heaven! Sovereign Mistress of Angels! ‘Thou who from the beginning has received from God the power and mission to crush the head of Satan: we humbly beseech thee to send thy holy legions, that under thy command, and by thy power, they may pursue the evil spirits: encounter them on every side: resist their bold attacks and drive them hence into the abyss of eternal woe. Amen.’”

This prayer with a slight variation is also available from the website, Tradition in Action and they also have available a lovely Holy Card with the prayer.

As Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen reminds us in The World’s First Love,

Mary is not only Mother of those who are in a state of grace, but is also Queen of those who are not. … Mary asks pardon even for those who, who as agents of satan, would recrucify her Son. Pope Pius XII says that she, as the true Queen of Martyrs, more than any of the faithful, filled up for His Body the Church the sufferings that were wanting to the Passion of Christ!

St. Gemma Galgani, of modern times, one day was interceding with Our Lord for the soul of a certain sinner. As Gemma pleaded for mercy, the Saviour recounted one by one his frightful and abnormal sins. After the Saviour had refused three times, St. Gemma Galgani said: “Then I shall ask your Mother.” Our Lord answered: “In that case, I cannot refuse.” An hour later the sinner in question came to the confessor of the saint and made his full confession.

Pope Leo XIII affirms in an encyclical on the Rosary: “It can be said that by a divine disposition nothing can be communicated to us from the infinite treasure of grace except through Mary. Thus just as no one can draw near to the Father save by means of the Son, so too ordinarily no one can draw near to Christ except by means of His mother.”

If you would like to renew your Consecrations, here is St. Maximilian Kolbe’s:

Total Consecration to the Immaculate Queen of Heaven

O Immaculata, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, whom God has made the treasurer of His mercy, I, an unworthy sinner, beseech thee to accept me as thy property and possession.

To thee, O Mother, I offer all the faculties of my soul and body, and I place my life, my death and my eternity in thy hands, that thou may use my entire being according to thy will. Use me, O Immaculate Virgin, as thou will to fulfill that which was written of thee – “She shall crush thy head”, and “Thou hast destroyed all heresies in all the world”.

Deign that I may become in thy most pure and merciful hands a useful instrument to make thee known and loved and to increase those who love thee in order that the Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus may be established and spread throughout the world.

V. Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin,
R. Give me strength against thy enemies!

As St. Albert the Great reminded us, Our Lady’s title, Queen of Mercy, Mother of Mercy could never be applied to any other, and we do well to turn to her especially in these times, so clouded by false mercy.

Litany of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
(for private use only)

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most favored daughter of God the Father, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Most Pure Mother of God the Son, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Most Glorious Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, redeemed in a sublime manner by the merits of your Son, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mother and Model of the Church, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, excellent exemplar in faith and charity, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you conceived the Word of God in your heart before you conceived Him in your womb, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you gave precious blood to the Son of God in His human nature, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, conceived free of original sin, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you embraced God’s saving will with a pure and sinless heart, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, whose pure soul a sword did pierce beneath the Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Jesus gave you to be our Mother as He hung dying upon the Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, you accepted us as your children as you stood beneath your Son’s Cross, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, all pure and holy, filled with grace, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, exalted by Divine Grace above all angels and men, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Mediatrix of all grace, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, most pure and holy of all creatures before God, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, we consecrate our hearts, our lives, our families to you, preserve us from sin.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our family, protect us from evil.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us, O Lord.
V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, we trust in your love for us, your children on earth; pray for us who have recourse to you. Inspire our weak and sinful hearts with your Immaculate Heart and petition Almighty God on our behalf. Remind Him of your great love for us and beg His mercies on us now in our great need. We turn to you with complete trust in your generous love, O Mother of Mercy.

“By Thy pure and Immaculate Conception, O Mary, obtain for me the conversion of Russia, Spain, Portugal, Europe and the whole world.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Spouse of the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us and on all poor sinners, now and at the hour of our death.

Pray the Rosary and confound satan and those who serve him!

† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† . Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
† . Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
† . St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
† . St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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Rosary Novena for the Immaculate Conception

Looking forward to the great feastday of the Immaculata on December 8, we are mindful that the true victims in this scandalous predation of the faithful is Our Lord Jesus Christ, whose Church this is and His Mother, who is Mother of the Church. For Mary, in her Immaculate Heart, keeps all priests as her special children, and their betrayal of the faithful – also her dear children! – grieves her deeply. It is with this poignant realization that we go forward, preparing our souls for this feast day, the crown of the Marian year, when we will once again renew our Total Consecrations to her. Our Lord is suffering greatly now and so is Our Lady, let us renew our resolve to offer all for love of them! We must console them, offer reparation for this horrid flood of sins, beseech mercy for sinners. Each soul that is saved by our sacrifices and prayers is a defeat over satan and a victory for our Immaculate Queen and Mother!

Consider, if you will, beginning this Rosary Crusade Novena to be completed on the eve of the Immaculate Conception, that is to say, if we begin today, we shall complete the Novena on December 7. If at all possible, a full Rosary of all 15 decades each day would be the very best! And I will be praying with you, in fact, very many of our most loyal readers have already agreed to this!

Final, Resplendent Victory

Our Lady has already given us the keys to victory – her Rosary and devotion to her Immaculate Heart.  There has never been a better time to take up our Rosaries and join our Queen and Mother in her battle! Solange Hertz explained this best:

“Damaged perspective is quickly corrected by reference to the Mysteries of the Rosary, which contain the whole of human history in prophecy. For the Church there is no possibility of failure. Faithfully reproducing the life of her blessed Lord on earth as Mary did, she has left the Joyful Mysteries far behind and is already at grips with the Sorrowful ones. Approaching her own crucifixion, she is even now on the Way of the Cross which leads to the Resurrection. Like her divine Master, “who having joy set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame” (Heb.12:2), she keeps her gaze fixed on the Glorious Mysteries lying ahead.

Conformed to Him in all things, the Church can expect her torment to end like His, abruptly and without warning, leaving the world to marvel as did Pilate, who “wondered that he should already be dead” (Mk. 15:44). Suffering is not natural to man, who was created to share God’s own eternal happiness and glory. The Sacred Heart has promised, “I shall reign in spite of Satan and all opposition!” Revealing her own participation in that promise, His Mother has declared, “In the end my Immaculate Heart will triumph.” In their one Heart is laid up one inevitable, final, resplendent victory.”  (Hertz, “The Thought of Their Heart”, Kindle Edition)

The evil within the heart of our Church can only be defeated by Our Lady of the Rosary, Victorious in Battle. Remember the prophetic  vision of St. John Bosco, in which the Pope returned to Rome, that is, repented, when the Angels brought him a banner of victory, saying,

‘Receive the banner of He Who fights and scatters the strongest armies of the world. Your enemies are dispersed. Your children with tears and sighs beg you to return.’ “Looking at the banner one could see written on one side, ‘Queen conceived without sin,’ and on the other side, ‘Help of Christians.’

In this, as in his prophecy of the Two Pillars, St. John Bosco affirms that Christ the King prefers to conquer through means of His Most Blessed Mother. The banner of Christ the King bears two of her titles: The first, “conceived without sin” is of course, the Immaculate Conception and the second title is also very informative, Mary Help of Christians, that is, Our Lady of Victory. That is her title for vanquishing the Muslims, which will be accomplished at her last (seventh) apparition at Fatima to end the Islamist war on Christians with the conversion of muslims to the true faith. It is obvious as well, that this Queen will also vanquish the heresies which have thrown the Church into such darkness and disarray. She has promised us, “In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

Rosary Novena Prayer

The following Novena prayer is for a Novena of Rosaries, that is, nine days of praying the 15 decade, complete Rosary. In numerous apparitions from Our Lady of Good Success, the Sacred Heart of Jesus and on up to Lourdes and Fatima, both Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother have asked for prayer and penance. One certain way to fulfill both requests (prayer and penance) is to make time in our busy day for the full rosary of fifteen decades. As St. Louis de Monfort tells us, “…nobody who perseveres in saying the Rosary will be damned, because (Mary) obtains for her servants the grace of true contrition for their sins and by means of this they obtain God’s forgiveness and mercy.” I would add that it is likely that no one will be lost for whom we earnestly pray our Rosaries. Our Lady will never fail her children!

Our Lady Of The Rosary Novena Prayer

Dearest Lady, Queen of the most Holy Rosary, from Calvary’s cross, thy dear Son entrusted us to thy care. Behold thy weak and sinful child in supplication at thy feet. I beg thee, accept this Holy Rosary, offered for the glory of God, in reparation for the offenses to thine Immaculate Heart and to the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, for the conversion of sinners and for the special intention: ____________.

Please, dear Mother, place these poor prayers of mine in the chalice of thine Immaculate Heart and offer them to Jesus. Conscious of my own unworthiness, I trust in thine Immaculate Heart, the fountain of infinite mercy. Amen.

Consider also adding the Angel’s Eucharistic Reparation Prayer to your Rosary:

“Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I adore Thee profoundly, and I offer Thee the Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the same Son Jesus Christ present in the Tabernacles of the world, in reparation for all the sacrileges, outrages, and indifferences by which He Himself is offended. Through the infinite merits of His Most Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I beg of Thee the conversion of poor sinners.”

 

Include Our Lady of Victory

To include Our Lady of Victory in our Novena

Litany of Our Lady of Victory

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer of the World, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Our Lady of Victory, Pray for us.
Triumphant Daughter of the Father, Pray for us.
Triumphant Mother of the Son, Pray for us.
Triumphant Spouse of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant Choice of the Most Holy Trinity, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Immaculate Conception, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Crushing the Head of the Serpent, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All the Children of Adam, Pray for us.
Triumphant Over All Our Enemies, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Embassy of the Angel Gabriel, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Espousal to St. Joseph, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Scene of Bethlehem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Flight Into Egypt, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Exile, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Humble Dwelling at Nazareth, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Finding Thy Divine Child in the Temple, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Earthly Life of Our Lord, Pray for us.
Triumphant in His Passion and Death, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Resurrection, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Ascension, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Descent of the Holy Ghost, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Sorrows, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Joys, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy Entrance into the Heavenly Jerusalem, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Angels Who Remained Faithful, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Felicity of the Blessed, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Graces of the Just, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Announcement of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Desires of the Patriarchs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Zeal of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Light of the Evangelists, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Wisdom of the Doctors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Crowns of the Confessors, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Purity of the Numerous Bands of Virgins, Pray for us.
Triumphant in the Triumph of the Martyrs, Pray for us.
Triumphant in Thy All-Powerful Intercession, Pray for us.
Triumphant under Thy Many Titles, Pray for us.
Triumphant at the Hour of Our Death, Pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who taketh away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us,  O Lord.

V. Pray for us, O Blessed Lady of Victory!
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray:

O Victorious Lady! Thou who hath ever such powerful influence with Thy Divine Son, in conquering the hardest of hearts, intercede for those for whom we pray, that their hearts being softened by the rays of Divine Grace, they may return to the unity of the true Faith, through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

V.  Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!
R.  Rejoice O Virgin Mary, for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world!

Remember,  it  has  been  given  to  Our  Lady  of  the  Rosary  to  crush  the  head  of  Satan, conquer  the  enemies  of  the  Church  and  destroy  all  heresies!

And so, take heart – The battle is far from over – Our Blessed Mother is always victorious!
Rejoice, O Virgin Mary for thou alone hast destroyed all heresies in all the world.

† Most Glorious Queen of Heaven, by thy holy Rosary, bind us to thee and lead us to victory!
† Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
† Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done.
† St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests.
† St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

The Presentation of Mary in the Temple

 

Today, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast day of her Presentation in the Temple, when her parents, Joachim and Anne, who had consecrated her to the Lord God, brought her to the Temple of Jerusalem.

"Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father's house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God."
“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.”

 

We don’t expect that Pope Francis will honor Our Lady on her feast day today, so it is up to us, her children to honor our Mother today.  Although modernists disparage this feast for what they perceive as a “lack of historicity”, for those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, this beautiful feast teaches volumes about Mary’s devotion to the most Holy Trinity. According to Venerable Maria de Agreda,  this beautiful mystery is a lesson of the importance of humility. Thus, it is a worthwhile meditation for our preparation for observing our Total Consecration December 8.

The Hebrew Ark of the Covenant was but a foreshadowing of the true Ark which is the most Blessed Virgin Mary herself; she who was foreordained to bear our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior. As our Little Office proclaims, “Thou wast the Mother of Him Who made thee, and thou remainest a Virgin forever”. And so, Joachim and Anne brought the true Royal Ark of the Covenant to the Temple, but to all appearances they were merely ordinary pious Jews of their time  bringing yet another consecrated child to the Temple.

Mother Maria de Agreda tells us of Mary, that God  “ordained in her regard that she receive no honor or recognition at that time, so that she (would) be the shining example of humility, of retirement, of contempt and horror for the dreadful vanity of the world, of love for sufferings … and dishonors inflicted by creatures. All holiness is adverse and contrary to the applause, honors and estimation of the world.”

“In ascending the fifteen stairs the Child brought to fulfillment, that, which Jacob saw happening in sleep; for here too were angels ascending and descending: the ones accompanying, the others meeting their Queen as She hastened up; whereas at the top God was waiting in order to welcome Her as his Daughter and Spouse.” (Ven. Agreda, “The Mystical City of God”)

What a fruitful scene for our meditations!  Firstly, we note that the Temple is stated to have 15 steps – which leads us to consider the 15 decades of the  Rosary by which we approach the Living Temple of the Trinity, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Think now, of this – the bittersweet moment of leave-taking for Joachim and Anne, who had prayed for many years for God to send them a child, only to be called to surrender her at the tender age of three! Then think of the Blessed Virgin responding to Our Father’s call. Psalm 44 speaks to us of this moment of surrender,

“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.” (Psalm 44, 11,12) . 

Think too, that this is actually the first time that the Blessed Virgin meets Simeon and Anna, for it was Simeon who received her as she ascended the stairs and he brought her to Anna, who brought her up as her own. And so we see that this moment foreshadows the fateful moment when Our Lady brought her own Divine Son to the Temple, and handed Him to Simeon and Anna.

Tradition tells us that she danced on the steps, on her way to her life of consecration to the Lord. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen tells us that this total consecration is a matter of detaching the affections, of seclusion from the world. Not always a material seclusion but it is absolutely essential that it be a matter of being “in the world, but not of the world”. He continues,

Corresponding to complete separation is oblation, total consecration. Mary gave herself wholly to God, unreservedly, forever.

“Lord, in the simplicity of my heart I offer myself to Thee this day as Thy servant forevermore, for Thy homage and for a sacrifice of perpetual praise.” (Imitation of Christ, IV, 9,1).

Mary gave herself wholly to God, allowing Him to exercise over her all His rights as Sovereign, Lord, and Master. She made no objections nor did she marvel that her immolation should reach such proportions; had she not offered herself without reserve? And when her offering was consummated she did nothing but repeat: “Fiat! Ecce ancilla Domini!”

Let us ask Mary, presented in the Temple, to take our poor offering into her immaculate hands, to purify and complete it by her offering, so pure, so perfect; to include it and hide it in hers, and being thus purified and renewed, may it be agreeable to God.

St. Alphonsus Liguori’s Prayer for the Presentation:

“O dearly Beloved of God, most amiable Child Mary, would that today I could offer to you the first years of my life and consecrate myself to your service, my blessed and sweet Lady, as you presented and consecrated yourself in the Temple for the honor and glory of God … but time has slipped away and so many years have been spent in serving the world and my own caprice, forgetful of you and of God. Woe to the time when I did not love you! But better late than never. Behold, O Mary, I present myself to you this day, offering myself entirely to your service for the number of days, be they few or many, that are left to me on earth. I renounce all creatures as you did and vow myself entirely to the love of my Creator.

“I consecrate to you  my Queen, my intellect that it may always think upon the love that you deserve, my tongue that it may praise you, my heart that it may love you. Accept Most Holy Virgin, the offering which this wretched sinner presents to you; accept it, I beg, by the consolation your heart felt when you gave yourself to God in the Temple. And if I am late in putting myself at your service, it is but fitting that I redeem the time lost by redoubling my devotions and my love for thee.

“O Mother of Mercy, help my weakness by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your Son Jesus, the strength to be faithful to you until death. Grant that after having served you in this life I may go to praise you eternally in Paradise. Amen.”

We must always understand that our turning from creatures does not at all mean that we love them less, but that by loving them through God, that is for love of Him, we love them much more beneficently than when we loved them for our own satisfaction. Our Lord taught us, in His Beatitudes, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matt. 5,3) As always, Mary leads the way, making her first vows at the age of three, she left all to become poor in spirit. We are her children after all!

 

  O Immaculate Queen of our hearts, make our hearts like unto thine!

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.

 Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!

  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy Kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!

  St. Joseph, guardian of the Holy Family, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

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The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer

Some thoughts on prayer from Dom Eugene Boylan for today . . .

Jesus knows well our horror of penance; He understands perfectly our dislike of suffering; nay, more, He sympathizes with us in these difficulties. True, He wishes us to help Him to carry His cross, but He also wishes to help us to do so. So sweet is His aid, so enthralling His companionship, that St. Teresa found that it was only the first of her crosses that was really hard; once she had embraced the nettle of her cross she found herself in close union with Jesus.

There is no joy in this life to equal that of sharing the cross with Jesus. It needs courage, it needs grace, it needs perhaps a special call; but the truth is that this path of suffering and of penance – penance, be it well understood, undertaken or accepted according to God’s will and not our own – is the road of highest joy, and the sure path to the heights of prayer. The importance of mortification is not so much that it hurts us, but that it gives Jesus a new life in us; we only put ourselves to death – that is what “mortification” means – in order to clear the way for Christ. That is at once the motive of mortification and its measure. If it only serves to make us more self–satisfied and proud, then it is no longer mortification of self; it is rather the mortification of Jesus.

The true principle of mortification was laid down by St. John the Baptist when he said: “He must increase, I must decrease.” Perhaps a somewhat far–fetched comparison may help to put this process in its true light. The bread and wine that are changed into the Body and Blood of Our Lord at Mass once graced the earth in a glory of purple and gold; they were cut down, beaten and bruised, ground and pressed out of all recognition. Not until many changes had been made in them could the priest say over them the words that would make them the Flesh and Blood of Christ.

Now, in so far as the Mass is a changing of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus – it is, of course, much more than that; it might be said that Our Lord says Mass with us and our lives as the bread and wine, but it is a Mass in which the grinding of the wheat and the pressing of the grape, the baking of the bread and the maturing of the wine, the offering of the Host and the oblation of the Chalice, the consecration of both and their conversion into the living Body and Blood of Christ, are all going on at the same time.

Every time that we deny ourselves in any way and to that extent offer ourselves to Jesus, He comes and takes possession of us to that same extent, and says: “This is My Body.” More than that: He takes compassion on our cowardice, and sends us trials and humiliations that grind us and press us and make us into suitable bread and wine to become part of Himself. “My meat,” He said, “is to do the will of Him that sent Me. So it is that everything done in accordance with the Divine will gives new life to Jesus in our souls, for He feeds on the doing of His Father’s will.

Every action we do, every suffering we undergo, whatever it be, as long as it is according to the will of God, is an act of communion with Jesus, an act that is no mere desire, but a positive advance in our union with Him; it gives Him new matter over which He can pronounce the saving words: “This is My Body.”

The significance of such a concept for a life of prayer is obvious. Prayer is no longer a matter of some few minutes spent on our knees, struggling to find something to say. It becomes a more or less continual awareness of Jesus living in us, of Jesus growing in us, of Jesus molding us by His providence to His Heart’s desire; our co–operation, our companionship, our submission, our smile of surrender as we continually give up our own way in order to let Him have His way – all these are our prayer.

Continue reading “The Secret of St. Patrick’s Prayer”