The Birth of Mary, Dawn of Our Redemption

 

“The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption.”

“The Mother proclaims the Son, making it known that He is about to come, that the divine promises, made so many centuries before, are to be fulfilled. The birth of Mary is the dawn of our redemption. Her appearance projects a new light over all the human race: a light of innocence, of purity, of grace, a resplendent presage of the great light which will inundate the world when Christ, “Lux mundi”, the Light of the World”  appears. Mary, preserved from sin in anticipation of Christ’s merits, not only announces that the Redemption is at hand, but she bears the first fruits of it within herself; she is the first one redeemed by her divine Son. (Divine Intimacy)

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

“From the beginning and before all ages God selected and prepared for His only Son the Mother from whom, having taken flesh, He would be born in the blessed fullness of time; He loved her by herself more than all creatures, and with such a love as to find His delight in a singular way in her.” (“Ineffabilis Deus”, Pope Pius IX)

In the dialogues of Venerable Maria de Agreda,  we learn a bit more about the nativity and naming of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

I saw a great and mysterious sign in heaven; I saw a Woman, a most beautiful Lady and Queen, crowned with the stars, clothed with the sun, and the moon was at her feet (Apoc. 12, 1). The holy angels spoke to me: ‘This is that blessed Woman, whom Saint John saw in the Apocalypse, and in whom are enclosed, deposited and sealed up the wonderful mysteries of the Redemption. So much has the most high and powerful God favored this Creature, that we, His angelic spirits, are full of astonishment.’

After describing briefly the birth of Our Lady, she tells us that “The guardian angels of the sweet Child with others in great multitudes showed their veneration and worship to Mary as She rested in the arms of her mother: they joined in heavenly music.”

Mother Maria de Agreda then describes how the Eternal Father sent His angels to bear the holy infant Mary up to heaven: The holy princes, … receiving the child Mary from the arms of her holy mother Anne, bore the true Ark of the Covenant heavenward with incomparable songs of great joy. … At this time, His Majesty wished to give a name to the Child Queen and impose it first in Heaven. He thereby made known to the angels that the Three Divine persons had decreed and formed the sweet names of Jesus and Mary for the Son and Mother from the beginning, before all ages and that Their delight was in these precious names.

The   angels heard a voice from the throne speaking in the person of the Father: “Our chosen One shall be called MARY, and this name is to be powerful and magnificent. Those that shall invoke it with devout affection shall receive most abundant graces; those that shall honor it and pronounce it with reverence shall be consoled and vivified, and will find in it the remedy of their evils, the treasures for their enrichment, the light which shall guide them to heaven. It shall be terrible against the power of hell, it shall crush the head of the serpent and it shall win glorious victories over the princes of hell.”

The Lord commanded the angelic spirits to announce this glorious name to saint Anne, so that what was decreed in heaven might be executed on earth. … The holy angels honored and acknowledged most holy Mary as the future Mother of the Word and as their Queen and Mistress enthroned at the right hand of her Son; they showed their veneration of her holy name, prostrating themselves as it proceeded from the throne in the voice of the eternal Father, especially those, who had it written on the devises over their breast. All of them gave forth canticles of praise for these great and hidden mysteries. …

On the eighth day after the birth of the great Queen multitudes of most beautiful angels in splendid array descended from on high bearing an escutcheon on which the name of MARY was engraved and shone forth in great brilliancy. Appearing to the blessed mother Anne, they told her that the name of her daughter was to be MARY, which name they had brought from heaven, and which divine Providence had selected and now ordained to be given to their child by Joachim and herself. … The more than happy father accepted the name with joy and devout affection… Thus was the divine Princess named by the holy Trinity: in heaven, on the day of her nativity, and on earth, after eight days.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ”

If we could only look on the scene, see Mary as she must have looked!

When we think on  this, the thought that  comes to mind is that expressed by Dante in Canto 32, 85-87, Paradiso, St. Bernard says of Mary,

“Riguarda omai ne la faccia che a Cristo
piu si somiglia, che la sua chiarezza
sola ti puo disporre a veder Cristo.

“Look now on her who most resembles Christ,
for only the great glory of her shining
can purify your eyes to look on Christ.”

In these few words, there is much distilled and concentrated wisdom about Our Lady! Indeed, our Savior, having no human Father, took all His physical aspect from the Blessed Virgin.  Dante refers to “the glory of her shining”  which recalls to us both Our Lady’s appearance at Fatima and  the Woman Clothed with the Sun”  of the Apocalypse. Think on this, it is most profitable!

Prayer to Mary, Star of the Sea

“When I feel myself tossed about in the sea of this world amidst storms and tempests, I fix my eyes on thee, O Mary, shining star, lest I be swallowed up by the waves. When winds of temptation arise, when I dash against the reefs of tribulations, I raise my eyes to thee and call upon thee, O Mary, Star of the Sea. When I am agitated by the billows of pride, ambition, slander or jealousy, I look to thee and invoke thee, O Mary. When anger or avarice or the seductions of the flesh rock the fragile barque of my soul, may I always look to thee, O Mary. And if I am troubled in conscience by the enormity of my sins, and frightened at the severity of judgment, and if I should feel myself engulfed in sadness or drawn into the abyss of despair, again, I raise my eyes to thee, calling always to thee, O Mary, Mother of Mercy.

“In dangers, in difficulties and in doubts, may I always turn to thee, O Mary! May thy name, O Virgin Mary, be always on my lips and never leave my heart, that I may always obtain thy assistance. Following thee, O Mary, I shall not go astray; thinking of thee, I shall not err; with thy support, I shall not fail; with thy protection, I shall not fear; relying on thee, I shall not weary. Look upon me with mercy; with confidence in thee, I shall surely reach the port.” (after St. Bernard)

Purest, dearest heart of Mary, thou art the dawn of our redemption, bearing the true Sun, our Redeemer; be thou with us in the darkness and storms that beset us!

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!

Remember, Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

 

 

Novena for the Nativity of Mary, 2018

In order for us to give honor to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother, we post this Novena today to make certain that you have it in time to complete it by the eve of her feast on September 8.

Today, we prepare for the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin with this Novena which will begin tomorrow. We consider this Novena as part of our preparations for renewing our Consecrations  to the Immaculate Heart of Mary on her birthday, September 8.

 

Novena for the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth. Ave Maria!

 

Day One:

Come, Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love.
V. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created.
R. And Thou shalt renew the face of the earth.
Let us pray.
O God, who hast taught the hearts of Thy faithful people by the light of the Holy Ghost; grant us in the same Spirit to relish what is right, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Most holy Mary, Elect One, predestined from all eternity by the Most Holy Trinity to be Mother of the only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, foretold by the Prophets, expected by the Patriarchs, desired by all nations, Sanctuary and living Temple of the Holy Ghost, Sun without stain, conceived free from original sin, Mistress of Heaven and of Earth, Queen of angels:- humbly prostrate at thy feet we give thee our homage, rejoicing that the year has brought round again the memory of thy most happy Nativity; and we pray thee with all our hearts to vouchsafe in thy goodness now to come down again and be reborn spiritually in our souls, that, led captive by thy loveliness and sweetness, they may ever live united to thy most sweet and loving heart.

Daily Prayer:
So now whilst we say nine angelic salutations, we will direct our thoughts to the nine months which thou didst pass enclosed in thy mother’s womb; celebrating at the same time thy descent from the royal house of David, and how thou didst come forth to the light of heaven with high honor from the womb of holy Anna, thy most happy mother.
Ave Maria Nine Times.

Closing Prayer
O most lovely Infant, who by thy holy birth hast comforted the world, made glad the heavens, struck terror into hell, brought help to the fallen, consolation to the sad, salvation to the weak, joy to all men living; we entreat thee, with the most fervent love and gratitude, to be spiritually reborn in our souls by means of thy most holy love; renew our spirits to thy service, rekindle in our hearts the fire of charity, bid all the virtues blossom there, that so we may find more and more favor in thy gracious eyes. Mary! be thou our Mary, and may we feel the saving power of thy sweetest name; may it ever be our comfort to call on that name in all our troubles; may it be our hope in dangers, our shield in temptation, and our last utterance in death.  Amen.
Let the name of Mary be honey in the mouth, melody in the ear, joy in the heart. Amen.
V. Thy Nativity, O Virgin Mother of God,
R. Hath brought joy to the whole world.
Let us pray.
Grant to us Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace; that to all those for whom the delivery of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of salvation, this her votive festival may give increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Day Two:

Prayers: Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, heavenly Babe, white Dove of purity; who in spite of the serpent wast conceived free from original sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Three:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, bright Morn; who, forerunner of the Heavenly Sun of Justice, didst bring the first light to earth.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Four:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, Elect; who, like the untarnished Sun, didst burst forth in the dark night of sin.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Five:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, beauteous Moon; who didst shed light upon a world wrapt in the darkness of idolatry.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Six:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dread Warrior-Queen; who, in thyself a host, didst put to flight all hell.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Seven:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, fair Soul of Mary; who from eternity wast possessed by God and God alone.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Eight:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, dear Child, and we humbly venerate thy most holy infant body, the sacred swaddling-clothes wherewith they bound thee, the sacred crib wherein they laid thee, and we bless the hour and the day when thou wast born.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Day Nine:

Come Holy Ghost and Most Holy Mary:
We hail thee, much-loved Infant, adorned with every virtue immeasurably above all saints, and therefore worthy Mother of the Savior of the world; who, having been made fruitful by the Holy Spirit, didst bring forth the Word Incarnate.
Ave Maria Nine Times.
Closing Prayer as above.

Pray the Rosary with confidence and joy!

  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!

The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

 

Today, we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation, in which Our Lord introduces to us His Mother, and shows us her loveliness, her excellent virtues and her unique stature before the Holy Trinity. Thus, He shows us the model for our lives; “Here is My Mother”, He says, “see, we shall have the same Mother. She will teach you the virtues necessary to advance toward union with Me, so that we may rejoice together in heaven.”

Nestled within the feast of the Annunciation is the feast of the Incarnation of our Savior. The Annunciation carries within it the humility and obedience of Jesus and Mary, Who are our models for perfect, loving obedience, even unto death. And this obedience begins with the humble obedience of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.

“Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to thy word.”

In the Gospel of St Luke, the Holy Spirit reveals the unique importance of the Blessed Virgin Mary in God’s plan of Salvation for us. Let’s see what He tells us:

Luke, Chapter 1, 26-35. “And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: “Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God.

Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a Son; and thou shalt call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob for ever. And of His kingdom there shall be no end.” And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man?” And the angel answering, said to her: “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.”

 

Continue reading “The Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Mary, Temple of the Trinity, 2018

Today, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation,  we conclude our Novena. And again we share the popular poem for the Annunciation by peregrine, a reader/contributor.

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

On March 25 we will honor Our Lady on her Feast of the Annunciation. To prepare, we offer this lovely Novena. If you start it tomorrow, March 16th, you will finish on March 24, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We post it today to give you time to diary it. We will be praying it for the repentance and re-conversion of those who have fallen from the faith and are in persistent sin, most especially for families.   May our Most Merciful Mother hear our supplications and offer them to her Son in the chalice of her Immaculate Heart.

Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God, Throne of Grace, miracle of Almighty Power! I greet you, Sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the Universe, Mother of Mercy and refuge of sinners!

Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, miserable as I am, and beg of you to obtain for me from your dear Son the favor I request in this novena:

(mention your request).

Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully, especially humility, purity and obedience. Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.

Do not reject my petitions, Mother of Mercy! Have pity on me, and do not abandon me during life or at the moment of my death. Amen.

A suggestion is to unite the prayers of this Novena with prayers for the Holy Father and the hierarchy that they repent, do penance and return to the faith. The Annunciation reminds us of the necessity of purity, humility and obedience, all those virtues which are mocked, despised or simply treated with scornful indifference by the church leaders today.

Also, let’s use this Novena to help prepare for the renewal of our Consecrations on the Feast of the Annunciation.

  Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, crush satan’s head and drive him from the Church!

  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.

  St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

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

~ posted by evensong for love of the Sorrowful and 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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2018 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

Mary, Temple of the Trinity

From our archives.  we offer for this Advent a poem composed originally for the Feast of the Annunciation, but also apt for this season in which we anticipate the coming of the Savior of the world, born of the Virgin Mary in abject poverty, ignored by the powerful, disdained even by His own, who were unable to find room for Him in their busy, self- important lives.

But the shepherds came and adored Him. After two millennia, what shepherds will come? Who will adore?

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.
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.

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004


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

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2017

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 our Total Consecration soon.

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!

© All Content Copyright 2013-2017 ReturntoFatima.org. All Rights Reserved.

With Mary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

Some time ago, several readers asked for an article or two about the Mass. Today, we offer a few excerpts from an  essay that appeared in 1935, written by a little known Jesuit, Father John Sexton Kennedy.

At Mass With Mary

A glory of new stars, downward flung
And forged into seven swords, has stung
The heart of the Woman whom I pass
On my way to the altar for morning Mass.
There is no shrill crowd, there are no hoarse cries,
But I meet One bearing a cross in her eyes.

Those people who twenty centuries ago were present on Calvary because they hated Jesus Christ paid more attention to the sacrifice of the cross than do most of us who are Sunday after Sunday present at Mass because we love Jesus Christ. This is a fact at once startling and sobering. …

What is most difficult is to keep well focused the basic truth that the Sacrifice of the Mass is really the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. In the absence of glittering spears, strained and distorted faces, hideous cries, a grim cross we utterly forget that we attend the crucifixion of Christ.

Could we but sufficiently appreciate the fact, our problem of keeping attentive, devout at Mass would be solved. As a means to this end, a means not indeed perfect but if earnestly tried quite effective, we are suggesting the effort to hear Mass with Mary. The lessons which we can learn from Our Blessed Lady are quite beyond numbering; none of them is simpler or of greater value than that of worthy assistance at holy Mass. Herein we shall consider first the thorough excellence of Mary’s following of the first Mass, and then the value to us of her exceptional example.

Union Of Intentions

No one of us countless Christians who have come after her has ever heard Mass as well as Mary did on Calvary. No one of us has ever heard Mass under precisely the same circumstances as she. True the sacrifice of our altars is the same as that of the great, gaunt cross; but the rending of the body she had borne, delivered, nursed at her breast, the spilling of the Precious Blood which had had its fountain source in the quiet places of her heart were not screened from Mary’s eyes, as they are from ours, by the appearances of bread and wine. They were present to her in brutal, unescapable reality. However this fact contributed least to the perfection of Our Blessed Lady’s participation in the holy sacrifice. Contributing infinitely more were acts of her mind and of her will.

She realized that the exquisite fruit of her womb, utterly crushed by slow suffering, was God, only Son of the unsired Father. She realized that He was dying to undo the sins of the ages. She recognized here the culmination of the conflict between divine love and sin.Sin had been man’s answer to God’s love; love, abandoned to sacrifice, was now God’s answer to man’s sin. Penetrating the meaning, the worth of this sacrifice,

Mary bowed her will to that of God the Father, united her breaking heart with that of the dying Christ, and heroically prayed that the unimaginable agony of the cross might not be in vain. These acts of Our Blessed Lady we can profitably and without difficulty imitate in our assistance at holy Mass. We know that what takes place at the hands of the priests at our altars is what took place at the hands of the soldiers on the desolate hill outside Jerusalem twenty centuries ago.

We know that He who suffers so is God of very God. We know that He goes down silent to an appalling death to save us from sin. And so as we kneel in the presence of this great oblation of God to God, we shall be with Mary. Wherever, whenever the cross is set up, she stands beneath it. She will help us to attend well and profit by its surpassing mystery.

Confiteor

Mass begins with a solemn confession of guilt. In the Confiteor, said twice before the priest goes up to the spotless altar (once by him, once by the boy in the name of all of us present), the reason for the Mass is set forth; the tone, the chief quality of our participation is suggested.

The great sin of our day is the casual assumption that there is no sin.

But Mary, without sin though she was, appreciates its stinging reality. Sin it was which had torn the singing stars down from the Bethlehem night sky to beat them into seven swords and here to plunge the last of them into her wrung soul.

Sin it was, our sin, which alone separated sinless Son and Immaculate Mother, flinging Him on a cross to die, leaving her in tears at its foot. And as we kneel at the renewal of His staggering sacrifice, we know in our hearts that there is such a thing as sin. We know because we have been guilty of it. We have turned away from God Our Father.

The light has gone out of our lives, and we cannot find our way back to Him.

To light that way, a savage spear-thrust had to tear open the fierce furnace of love burning in the breast of a dying God. And only so was reconciliation made possible. That reconciliation is in the Mass about to be renewed in all its sufficiency, in all its fullness. While the priest mounts the altar steps, as Jesus did the arid hill, Mary reminds us of the treasures that are ours for the asking. Prompted by her, we acknowledge the sins which we so much regret; we heap them upon the back of the priest; we beg for forgiveness, for healing, for strength against future temptation.

Introit And Kyrie

The priest first reads the Introit. This varies from day to day. Generally it consists of a few words from the Old Testament; words rich in memories, often on the lips of God-fearing men during the long centuries before the coming of Christ; words which watered wilted hopes and fed those who looked with hungry eyes for the dawning of the day which would see the dominion of sin shattered and men reconciled with their Father; words familiar to Mary, lovingly repeated by her as she awaited the advent of the blessed Messias.

Moving to the centre of the altar, the priest gives utterance to an ancient prayer, simple but grave with significance: “Lord, have mercy on us!” It is the cry of the sin-oppressed, the cry of those who are lost in the night of human weakness and terrified by the realization, the voice of one saying:
Cry!
And I said: What shall I cry?
All flesh is grass, and the glory thereof as the flower of the field.
The grass is withered, and the flower fallen.
But the mercy of God endureth forever!

With Mary in her humble home we say,
“Lord, have mercy on us!”
And instant He is in mercy, instant and bountiful.
Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.
Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem and call to her;
For her evil is come to an end; her iniquity is forgiven.
To save men from their fallen selves, God, so loving the world, promises salvation.

Gloria

And in the pregnant quiet of Nazareth a Virgin’s womb comes thrillingly alive with incarnate love. Mary is miraculously with child. She moves unknown, unnoticed down through the land of promise, through the very midst of those who are groaning for deliverance. And between the night’s end and the day’s beginning, under a roof of rock, in a lonely hillside cave Mary brings forth the Son of God, flesh-bound, and lays Him in a bin where oxen feed. High in the shining night wondering angels sing, and it is their song which the priest next takes up: “Glory to God in the highest and, at long last, peace to men. We adore thee; we bless thee.”

God has given us His only Son. Can we adequately phrase our gratitude? “We give thee thanks, O God the Father, and thee, Lamb of God, come to bear away the sins of the world.”

Epistle And Gospel

How to live in and by the eternal Son made man, as Mary did in the cloistered peace of the Holy Family, we learn from the Epistle. And as the Gospel is read, we stand with Mary on the fringe of the dusty, eager-faced throng that the words of the eternal Word rouse like lightning flashes or the shouts of a lusty wind.

Credo

After the Gospel comes the Creed, that sweeping, majestic act of faith in Christ and the truths He proclaimed by the lakeside. The awed Elizabeth had said to Mary: “Blessed art thou who hast believed.” And we, as soon as we have heard the magnificent message of Him whom Mary bore, are at once reminded that however naturally attractive the message may seem,  proper acceptance of it, worthy and fruitful living by it require divine faith. Our Blessed Lord Himself says:

For God so loved the world that He sent His only-begotten Son, That whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life. He that believeth in me is not judged. He that believeth not is already judged: Because he hath not believed in the name of the only-begotten Son of God.

Christ demands faith of us that we may carry Him into the sharp tests and crises of our every day, involving as they do temptation and sin. Christ demands faith of His Mother and His disciples that at the dramatic, humanly bewildering finish of His life they may stand firm and not fall miserably away.

Offertory

The finish of His life, the sacrifice that was to set the solemn seal on His mission of saving us from sin, is at once foreshadowed in the priest’s next action, the offering of the bread and the wine. Our thoughts seek out Gethsemani, the moon-swept garden where the Son of Mary, come to earth in a new and more humiliating sense, lies motionless under the crushing weight of human guilt there in the blood-wet grass. He is giving His all. God is yielding up His infinitude to the limits set by three nails and a thorny crown.

He is making to God the Father the surrender of His body to be broken, His blood to be poured out. This for us. Where Mary is during this endless night, we do not know. Wherever she is, her heart, ready now for the final thrust of that sword foreseen by Simeon as sunk deep into it, is upraised to the hidden face of God the Father; and she prays, as we must pray in all things trifling or tremendous:

“Thy will be done. That sin may be atoned for; that it may cease to stand as a barrier between us and Thee; that every sacrifice linked with that of Jesus Christ Thy Son may be availing unto life everlasting; Thy Will be done!”

Consecration

The accomplishment of that will is manifest as the Mass moves forward to the Consecration. With Mary we are silent, wrapped up in wordless prayer, as the body of Christ is breathed into the bread, His precious blood into the wine. * They are lifted up-the body and the blood of Jesus Christ, elements of sacrifice. The one is drained of the other, separated in the condition of redeeming death. We adore.

Pater Noster

Now that the Sacrifice has been outwardly realized, there pours from Mary’s lips, from our lips, the prayer taught us by Him slain for us, the perfect prayer to the offended Father placated by His obedient Son: “Our Father . . . Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done . . . forgive us our trespasses. . . .”

Agnus Dei

Under Mary’s brimming eyes, the spear is run through the Heart which has ceased to quiver with the agonizing urgency of its love, and the body of Christ is broken, the price of our peace. The priest says the Agnus Dei: “Lamb of God, who at such great cost dost bear away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; give us peace.”

Communion

As the disturbing dusk sets in, the body of Christ is taken down from the cross and laid in Mary’s arms. She looks into the wasted face with its mask of blood and sweat, spittle and dust and tears. She looks at the arms and legs, bloodless: and stiff and cold. The Victim is utterly destroyed. And Simeon’s sword is now thrust ruthlessly into her tender heart. She has nowhere to lay Him, this victim of sin, her first-born. From her aching arms He is hurried with scant ceremony into a stranger’s tomb. Mary has: recovered Him but briefly, and that only in death, only in her arms.

She who loves Him loses Him. And we, unworthy, receive Him in communion into our hearts, to live within us, to intensify the friendship of God so dearly bought by Him, to remain with us forever.

Thanksgiving

Communion finished, the priest reads prayers for our perseverance in the dispositions which attendance at Mass with Mary has fostered. Then with a blessing he bids us go-as the cross, bare but eloquent against the soft, spring twilight, bids Mary go – back to the everyday ways of life, with the remembrance of what we have shared driving us to Christian living. And the Mass will be with us through the monotonous days -as it was with Mary during the long years after the death of her Son-a source of strength, a principle of life.

It will be with us in the grey mornings when, perhaps ill, we go off to tiring occupation which may at any. time be taken from us; it will be with us in the moment of temptation, when we are seized and shaken and our whole being seems irresistibly drawn to ruinous evil; it will be with us in the time of misunderstanding and piercing disappointment, when our every act is misjudged and there is no one too lowly to cast at us a stone of rebuke or of ridicule; it will be with us in the hour of bottomless sorrow, when all that warms and colors life falls to dust and all that was wonderfully sweet becomes as gall to the taste.

Then will the Mass be with us, to soothe and solace, to save us from sin, to confirm us in the grace purchased by the quenching of the Light of the World.

Last Gospel

Finally there is the Last Gospel, a perfect resume of the purpose and meaning of the Mass just offered, set at the end to balance the Confiteor at its beginning. The Word was made flesh. The light shineth in darkness. . . . He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. . . . He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. . . .

Today He comes to us, His own, to us won back from perdition by His blood. May it never be said of us: “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.” Rather, as we go forth, grateful and thoughtful, let us remember that we are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, Nor of the will of man, But of God . . . In Him is life.

[* Ed. Note: Father knows his theology, This is a reflection on Our Lord’s words, “This is My body”, etc. and not a denial of the dogma that the true body, blood, soul and divinity is present in both the consecrated host and wine.]

~~~

The above essay, “At Mass with Mary” may be found in several places online, and is also available in “The Catholic Collection”,, by Catholic Way Publishing, in Kindle and in print. The publishers have made the entire collection of over 700 articles available for only $2.99, if I recall correctly. Please support them if you can. They make beautiful Catholic writing easily available.

Please, pray the Rosary!

  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!

 

To Mary, Temple of the Trinity, 2017

The time of this Novena has been an especially painful one for me as I have watched in increasing perplexity the unfolding drama of the “regularization” dialogue with apostate Rome. Our Heavenly Father, in His wisdom, in place of a brilliant mind, gave me instead a heart filled with love for Him. With my limitations, this situation presents itself to me in very simple, clear terms:

Does Pope Francis, in any way, show us his love of, reverence for, Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Church he founded? Does he show us, teach us his flock, love for, reverence for, Our Lord’s Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary?

If Pope Francis does not, then he is no friend, no follower of Jesus Christ, our Savior and the true Head of the One True Church founded by Him.  If therefore, Pope Francis is no friend of Our Lord Jesus Christ, why would any Catholic  associate  himself with him? We are not to associate ourselves with those who betray Christ, are we? 

In my pain, I tend to forget, and so I remind myself, and you too, that when we have prayed so profoundly to Our Most Blessed Mother, we must then let go of our burden and trust in her love for us, her children. For it would be an insult to her to continue to be in anguish once we have entrusted our cares to her. And so, let us end our Novena of the Annunciation with this meditative poem celebrating the grandeur of the Word made flesh, that dwells among us and comes to us daily through the consecrated hands of our beloved priests.

†  †  †

Today, the eve of the Feast of the Annunciation, we conclude our Novena. And again we offer the popular poem for the Annunciation shared with us by Peregrine, a reader/contributor.

“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.”

 

                 Annunciation

Hail Mary, Temple of the Trinity!

        Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

Art thou astonished at His deference?

Fear not, for thou hast found grace with God.
             Thou shalt conceive … and bring forth a Son
                               Thou shalt call His name Jesus.

How shall it be?
          (Mindful of thy chastity)

And yet . . . it is thy purity draws Him down
Captivated by thy pure and humble love
                Thy Creator awaits at the door of thy will,

The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee
          . . .  the most High shall overshadow thee . . .
                        the Holy born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

His will is clear
          . . . moved by His will alone . . .

Behold the handmaid of the Lord
Be it done unto me…

The Architect of earth and heaven
                    Thus closed Himself in thy pure frame.
At thy “fiat” the Almighty Word
               leapt down from heaven
                              The Sword of Truth wrought death to death,
Obedient, He vanquished disobedient pride.

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us,

peregrine, March 25, 2004

Let us hold fast to the truth: we are her children after all!

  Our Lady of Fatima, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, crush satan’s head and drive him from the Church!

  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.

  St. Joseph, protect our families, protect our priests!

  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle!

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

~ posted by evensong with love the Sorrowful and 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!

Please note: This post, and the poem, are property of peregrine, a friend of Fatima. Please respect her wishes and do not copy her work elsewhere without permission. Thank you.