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The Annunciation, 2017

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.”

In this Gospel, God Himself is introducing to us the delightful creature He loves above all others, this Mary whom He chose from all time to be the most pure and holy Mother of His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. God used as His messenger the Angel Gabriel whose name means Power of God. By this name He emphasizes that all of this, the Annunciation, the Incarnation which began our salvation, all of this is by and through the power of God.

And what does God tell us about Mary? Gabriel salutes Mary most respectfully, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women”. You can search the Bible cover to cover and never find a more respectful message from any angelic messenger. This is because, as the Gospel tells us, Mary is truly filled with grace, exempt from even original sin, and full of God’s sanctifying grace.

Note that the very first words of Mary, recorded in this Gospel are, How shall this be done, because I know not man?”  Why these words? Could it be that God wishes to emphasize to us the importance of Mary’s generous sacrifice to live her life in the utmost chastity and purity, foregoing the honors and pleasures of children? At that time, Jewish women were honored to be mothers of many children and to forego children was a tremendous sacrifice. Unlike today, in those times to be a “barren woman” was a reproach. Thus we know that Mary’s generous and sacrificial heart was most pleasing to Our Father. Her words also exemplify her great prudence. Today, prudence is a virtue held in low esteem by most Catholic leaders, who feel compelled to burst forth with every banal thought that crosses their minds. This Blessed Virgin, in contrast, first assured that Gabriel understood that she was and always will be, a virgin consecrated to God alone.

Whereas Eve, the first “Woman”, withdrew herself from her Creator in order to seek what she perceived to be her own good, Mary, the “Woman” of the New Testament, yielded herself totally to God, allowing Him to fill her with His life, thus she is “full of grace”. The virtues shown by these simple verses illustrate Mary’s perfect love of God, her total consecration to Him, her purity and her perseverance in keeping her vow.

Mary’s prudent question brought forth Gabriel’s reply, “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which will be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.” Mary’s response was immediate, “Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to thy word.” With these words, the Most Blessed Virgin shows us humility and obedience, the two virtues so essential to combat the vices passed on to us of Eve’s pride and disobedience. In another post, I described these virtues as the “working virtues” because they are so necessary in our everyday struggle to live our lives in constant union with the Holy Family.

Sister Lucia of Fatima assures us that Jesus is the very best of Sons, and loves her and those who honor her. Today is an excellent time to renew our Total Consecration to Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By the way, do you know who made the first consecration to Mary? Was it St. Louis de Montfort? St. Dominic? No. Think harder.

Give up?

It was our Lord Jesus Christ Himself Who chose Mary for His Mother. From this humble virgin of Nazareth He took the flesh and blood of His mortal life, the very body and blood with which He wrought our salvation. The body of Christ scourged for our sins, pierced for our transgressions, the precious blood poured out for us on Calvary’s cross, He took from Mary. To her He entrusted His earthly life, living within her virginal womb, beneath her immaculate heart. Through her, He consecrated St. John the Baptist; through her He performed His first miracle.  And with His dying words, He entrusted us to her, commanding Her to be our Mother and us to be her children.

It is fitting that the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary begins with the beautiful Mystery of the Annunciation, for with it began our salvation. Mary’s generous “Yes!”, opened the portal through which Our Lord wrought our salvation. Thus, her obedience preceded His most perfect obedience. And so, the Annunciation and the Incarnation are inseparable, as are Jesus and Mary, those two hearts forever united!

We close with this lovely hymn:

Hymn at Matins
The Lord whom earth and sea and sky
With one adoring voice proclaim
Who rules them all in majesty
Enclosed Himself in Mary’s frame.

Lo! In a humble Virgin’s womb
O’ershadowed by almighty power
He whom the stars and sun and moon
Each serve in their appointed hour.

O Mother blest! To whom was given
Within your body to contain
The architect of earth and heaven
Whose hands the universe sustain.

To thee was sent an angel down,
In thee the Spirit was enshrined,
Of thee was born that mighty One,
The long desired of all mankind.

O Jesus! Born of Virgin bright
To Thee immortal glory be!
Praise to the Father Infinite,
And Holy Ghost eternally!
Amen.

Please, don’t forget your Consecration! See in sidebar.

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

 

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the most 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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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 is Bishop Fellay associating 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.

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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.

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A Novena for the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2017

On March 25 we will honor Our Lady’s 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, and for the intentions of the ongoing Rosary and Reparation Crusade to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  May our Most Merciful Mother hear our supplications and offer them to her Son in the chalice of her Immaculate Heart.

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.

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 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!

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The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima

The Feast of the Holy Family, 2017

Today, the first Sunday after Epiphany, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Holy Family, which is the last time in the liturgical year in which we honor the hidden life of Jesus.

Thus, it is fitting that in the Gospel today, we read of the event which comprises the Fifth Joyful Mystery, the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple. In this, we commemorate the first words of Jesus recorded in the Gospel, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

St. Luke then tells us that Jesus returned to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph “and was subject to them.” In this brief account, we have several important lessons: First, Jesus establishes His mission in His first recorded words,  “I must be about My Father’s business.” And second, Jesus was subject to Mary and Joseph. The Son of God first asserts the primacy of God, by stating that His mission is to serve the Father in all things, then Jesus affirms the importance of family, “He was subject to them.” On the firm bedrock of total obedience to God in all things, we can most perfectly live out our love of God within our families, whether they be our personal families or our religious communities. If love of God comes first, what follows cannot fail to serve Him.

 My Father's business
My Father’s business

As we open our minds and our hearts, lifting them to God in this, the Fifth Joyful Mystery, we consider Saint Joseph leading his Holy Family back home from the Temple. The blessed peace that surrounds them draws us in too, and we are nourished with the truths of this holy mystery. By His actions, Our Lord teaches us humility and obedience in His submission to His Father’s will and through that, because of that, His submission to Mary and Joseph. By our consecrations we submit to them too, and thus we learn humility and obedience. We also learn poverty; now, in the first beatitude,  Our Lord makes us a promise for this virtue:  “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” In later posts, we hope to show the application of this excellent virtue for these particular times of trial.

The Fatima Connection

On the fifth visit, September 13, 1917, Our Lady told the children, “In October … Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to give peace to  the world.” And in Sister Lucia’s accounts of the Sixth Visit, she related that this is precisely what occurred. You may ask, “Where then is this peace”? The answer, if you will hear it yet again, is, “Your peace is dependent upon your obedience!” As an infant receives the graces of baptism, we, the faithful have been given unimaginable graces in great profusion, awaiting only our cooperation. If we but seek them, turning to Jesus and Mary (and Joseph too!) and seeking them in humility and obedience, we shall see miracles as never before seen in this tired old world, making all things new, restoring the faith.

Continue reading “The Holy Family in the Year of Fatima”

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Evensong, 2016

“O Mother who came to smile on me in the morn of my life, come once again and smile, dear Mother, for now it is eventide!” (Prayer of St. Thérèse, the Little Flower)

Advent was a time of retreat and prayerful introspection and I took as my guide, St. Thérèse, the Little Flower. Her little way of spiritual childhood offers so much to us in the upheaval and uncertainty caused by this poor benighted pope. Today’s post is an old one, which I’ve updated – I hope you find it useful.

†  †  †

Time ill spent is lost forever and what degree of love we have achieved at the time of our death is what we shall have throughout eternity.

This tumultuous year draws to a close and it is natural for us to consider our gains and losses over this past year as we look towards the new year …

In this twilight of our Christian era, the darkness gathers. Eventually it will bring a purifying chastisement and a rebirth of the Faith. How long shall we endure the crass arrogance of the Humble Pope of Surprises? What will the long-awaited justice of God, when it appears, mean to us, to our loved ones?

“We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity.”
“We must give every moment its full amount of love, and make each passing moment eternal, by giving it value for eternity.”

Twilight is always a thoughtful, prayerful time for me, and so, “Evensong” is a hymn/prayer that accompanies me in this, the eventide of my life.

Sweet Savior, bless us ‘ere we go
Thy word into our hearts instill.
And make our lukewarm hearts to glow
With lowly love and fervent will.
Through life’s long day
And death’s dark night
O gentle Jesus, be our light.

My daily readings are from Divine Intimacy“, by Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. In his reading titled, ”Let Us Make Good Use of Time.” Father Gabriel reminds us that time ill spent is lost forever and that what degree of love we have achieved at the time of our death is what we shall have throughout eternity.

Continue reading “Evensong, 2016”

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The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary

I remain on retreat; we offer from our archives, for Our Lady on her holy day. Note: I have added the Consecration at the end of this post.:

Today, December 8, we honor the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of our Savior and by His infinite goodness and mercy, our Mother, too.

https://www.returntofatima.org
“The most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception … was preserved free from all stain of original sin.”

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception is an affirmation of just how much God hates sin. And so, it is an antidote for the heresy of modernism, the “faith” of Pope Francis. Last year, on Our Lady’s Feast, Pope Francis insulted her  as we reported in our post, “The Pope’s Gift to Mary on Her Feast Day”.

The previous year, in December, 2014, Pope Francis essentially rejected the dogma of the Immaculate Conception when he remarked in a homily (see here) that perhaps Our Lady may have doubted the promise made at the Annunciation that “He shall reign forever” as she witnessed Our Lord’s crucifixion. Francis said that Mary may have thought, “lies, I was deceived”. This means that the Vicar of Christ speculated that Mary may have sinned against the Holy Spirit, by doubting the truth of God. Now, for the pope to sin personally is one thing, but to preach sin in a homily is quite another. The pope’s remark brings to mind what Our Lord Jesus Christ told Sister Lucia about the need for reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

On May 29, 1930, during Sister Lucia’s weekly Eucharistic Holy Hour, Our Lord told her that the reason He demanded the First Saturdays of Reparation was because of the five types of offenses and blasphemies committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the first of these was “Blasphemies against the Immaculate Conception”.  (The True Story of Fatima, from Father Gruner’s Fatima Center.)

When I first read that revelation, it seemed that it referred to protestants who deny Mary’s Immaculate Conception; it never crossed my mind that our Holy Father, the Pope would blaspheme against Our Blessed Mother’s Immaculate Conception. But it helped me to understand why, so long ago, the Angel of Fatima was crying out, “Penance, penance, penance!”. Even though the pope’s blasphemy passed by unobserved by most mainstream commentators, true Catholics need to come to Our Lady’s defense. Pope Francis’s errors must be pointed out and reparation to Our Lady is of the utmost importance. Also, it helps us to defend Our Blessed Mother if we are well-informed and knowledgeable about basic Church doctrines such as the Immaculate Conception.
Continue reading “The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

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Consecration to St. Joseph

We offer the following in response to a reader’s request. Consider that taking a bit of time to seek the strength and protection of St. Joseph, is far from a burden; Our Lady told Sister Lucia that St. Joseph will give us peace. Let’s seek his peace as we prepare for the birth of Our Lord this holy season!

In times of trial, go to St. Joseph!

https://www.returntofatima.org
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Holy Family, bless our family, bless our Church!

Dear readers, we know that the Sacred Hearts of our Lord Jesus Christ and His most pure and Immaculate Mother are inseparable. And we know that this self-same Mother is also the most pure and perfect Spouse of the Holy Ghost, and the most beloved and treasured child of the Eternal Father. We know as well that this loving Father entrusted these two most beloved beings, Jesus and Mary, to St. Joseph to guard and protect them from the evil and hostile powers of the Lord of the World and his minions. And now, in these dark and calamitous times when our families and our very faith are under attack from those who should protect and nurture it, we turn again to St. Joseph, to the Holy Family, inseparably united to the Most Holy Trinity, to keep us safe in the faith of all times.

Readers, do not be surprised if soon the few small certainties and comforts of the faith are soon taken from us, for as Cardinal Manning said,

These are times of sifting. Our Divine Lord is standing in the Church: “His fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly cleanse His (own) and He will gather the grain into His barn, and will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” It is a time of trial, when ‘some of the learned shall fall’, and those only shall be saved who are steadfast to the end. … Saint Alphonsus says: ‘Hence St. Bonaventure says that in the Mass God manifests to us all the love that He has borne us, and includes in it, as in a compendium, all His benefits. On this account the Devil has always endeavored to abolish the Mass throughout the world by means of heretics, making them the precursors of Antichrist who, before all things, will endeavor to abolish, and in fact will, in punishment for the sins of men, succeed in abolishing the Holy Sacrifice of the Altar, according to the prediction of Daniel: ‘And strength was given him against the continual sacrifice because of sins.’

We must understand, and help others to understand, the importance of using the precious little time we have left to bond ourselves as securely as possible to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. To this end, I have posted often on Total Consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

And now, I hope that you will avail yourselves of an additional help to accomplish this, which is Consecration to St. Joseph, the faithful Guardian of Jesus and Mary, appointed by our loving Father Himself. At Fatima in 1917, Our Lady promised the little shepherds that in October, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus would come to bless us with peace. We need this peace! And while we struggle to live our Consecrations to Jesus through Mary, St. Joseph goes before us to lead us safely to our goal, so that we may be truly one holy family, now and always, in the glory of God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Continue reading “Consecration to St. Joseph”