CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – SECOND DAY

holy sacrifice my body given

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – SECOND DAY

Meditation

I repeat it, that indeed you will be blessed, not only in eternity, but even in this life. Believe me, all is folly: feasts, theaters, parties of pleasure, amusements, these are the goods of the world, but goods which are filled with the bitterness of gall and with sharp thorns. Believe me, who have experienced this and now weep over it. Be also assured that Jesus Christ finds means to console a soul that remains with a recollected spirit before the Most Blessed Sacrament, far beyond what the world can do with all its feasts and pastimes. Oh, how sweet a joy it is to remain with faith and tender devotion before an altar, and converse familiarly with Jesus Christ, who is there for the express purpose of listening to and graciously hearing those who pray to him; to ask his pardon for the displeasures which we have caused him; to represent our wants to him, as a friend does to a friend in whom he places all his confidence; to ask him for his graces, for his love, and for his kingdom; but above all, oh, what a heaven is it there to remain making acts of love towards that Lord who is on the very altar praying to the Eternal Father for us, and is there burning with love for us.

I thank Thee, Jesus, my Divine Redeemer, for coming upon this earth for our salvation, and for instituting the august Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist in order to remain with us until the end of the world.

I thank Thee for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species Thy infinite majesty and beauty, which Thy Angels delight to behold, so that I might have courage to approach the throne of Thy Mercy.

I thank Thee, most loving Jesus, for having made Thyself my food, and for uniting me to Thyself with so much love in this wonderful Sacrament that I may live in Thee.

I thank Thee, my Jesus, for giving Thyself to me in this Most Blessed Sacrament, and so enriching it with the treasures of Thy love that Thou hast no greater gift to give me.

I thank Thee not only for becoming my food but also for offering Thyself as a continual sacrifice to Thy Eternal Father for my salvation.  I thank Thee, Divine Priest, for offering Thyself as a Sacrifice daily upon our altars in adoration and homage to the Most Blessed Trinity, and for making amends for our poor and miserable adorations.

I thank Thee for renewing in this daily Sacrifice the actual propitiatory Sacrifice of the Cross offered on Calvary, in which Thou satisfiest Divine justice for us poor sinners.

I thank Thee, dear Jesus, for having become the priceless Victim to merit for me the fullness of Heavenly favors. Awaken in me such confidence in Thee that their fullness may descend ever more fruitfully upon my soul and let me always be worthy of Thee.

I thank Thee for offering Thyself in thanksgiving to God for all His benefits, spiritual and temporal, which He hath bestowed upon me. In union with Thine offering of Thyself to Thy Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I ask for this special favor:

    (Mention your petition here)

If it be Thy holy Will, grant my request. Through Thee I also hope to receive the grace of perseverance in Thy love and faithful service, a holy death, and a happy eternity with Thee in Heaven. Amen.

O Lord, Thou hast given us this Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us who are worthy of Thee. Thou hast given them bread from Heaven. Having all sweetness within.

holy sacrifice of the mass in the octave of all saints

Prayer

God our Father, for Thy glory and our salvation Thou appointed Jesus Christ eternal High Priest. May the souls He gained for  Thee by His Blood come to share in the power of His Cross and Resurrection by celebrating His Memorial in this Most Blessed Sacrament, for He liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever. Amen.

O Jesus, since Thou hast left us a remembrance of Thy Passion beneath the veils of this Sacrament, grant us, we pray, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may always enjoy the fruits of Thy Redemption through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 

 

THE SWEETNESS OF THE NAME OF MARY AT THE HOUR OF DEATH

Madonna and Child Jesus

THE SWEETNESS OF THE NAME OF MARY AT THE HOUR OF DEATH

‘He that is a friend, loveth at all times; and a brother is proved in distress,’ says the Book of Proverbs. We can never know our friends and relations in the time of prosperity; it is only in the time of adversity that we see them in their true colors. People of the world never abandon a friend as long as he is in prosperity; but should misfortunes overtake him, and more particularly should he be at the point of death, they immediately forsake him. Mary does not act thus with her clients. In their afflictions, and more particularly in the sorrows of death — the greatest that can be endured in this world — this good Lady and Mother not only does not abandon her faithful servants, but as, during our exile, she is our life, so also is she, at our last hour, our sweetness, by obtaining us a calm and happy death. For from the day on which Mary had the privilege and sorrow of being present at the death of Jesus her Son, who was the head of all the predestined, it became her privilege to assist also at their deaths. And for this reason the holy Church teaches us to beg this most Blessed Virgin to assist us, especially at the moment of death: ‘Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death!’ The most holy name of Mary is sweet in deed to her clients during life, on account of the very great graces she obtains for them. But sweeter still will it be to them in death, on account of the tranquil and holy end that it will insure them. Father Sertorius Caputo exhorted all who assist the dying, frequently to pronounce the name of Mary; for this name of life and hope, when repeated at the hour of death, suffices to put the devils to flight, and to comfort such persons in their sufferings. St. Camillus of Lellis also recommended his religious, in the strongest terms, to remind the dying frequently to invoke the names of Jesus and Mary. This was his own custom when attending others; but 0, how sweetly did he practice it himself on his death-bed, for then he pronounced the beloved names of Jesus and Mary with such tenderness, that he inflamed even those who heard him with love. 0 how great are the sufferings of the dying! They suffer from remorse of conscience on account of past sins, from fear of the approaching judgment, and from the uncertainty of their eternal salvation. Then it is that hell arms itself, and spares no efforts to gain the soul which is on the point of entering eternity; for it knows that only a short time remains in which to gain it, and that if it then loses it, it has lost it forever. ‘The devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time.’ And for this reason the enemy of our salvation, whose charge it was to tempt the soul during life, does not choose at death to be alone, but calls others to his assistance, according to the prophet Isaias : ‘ Their houses shall be filled with serpents.’ But how quickly do the rebellious spirits fly from the presence of the Queen of Heaven! If at the hour of death we have only the protection of Mary, what need we fear from the whole of our infernal enemies? David, fearing the horrors of death, encouraged himself by placing his reliance in the death of the coming Redeemer, and in the intercession of the Virgin Mother. Thomas a Kempis affirms, ‘ that the devils fear the Queen of Heaven to such a degree, that on only hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire.’ Our Blessed Lady also told St. Bridget, ‘ that in the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke the name of Mary,’ so also do ‘ the good angels approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name with devotion.’ ‘Yes, truly blessed is he who loves thy sweet name, 0 Mother of God!’ exclaims St. Bonaventure, for ‘thy name is so glorious and admirable, that no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death.’ Such is its power, that none of those who invoke it at the hour of death fear the assaults of their enemies. 0, that we may end our lives as did the Capuchin father, Fulgentius of Ascoli, who expired singing, ‘ 0 Mary, 0 Mary, the most beautiful of creatures! let us depart together;’ or like blessed Henry the Cistercian, who expired in the very moment that he was pronouncing the most sweet name of Mary. Let us then, 0 devout reader, beg God to grant us, that at death the name of Mary may be the last word on our lips. This was the prayer of St. Germanus: ‘ May the last movement of my tongue be to pronounce the name of the Mother of God!’ 0 sweet, O safe is that death which is accompanied and protected by such a saving name; for God only grants the grace of invoking it to those whom He is about to save.

Blessed Mother Necessary for Salvation

EXAMPLE

In Germany, there was a criminal who had been condemned to death, but he was obstinate, and refused to make his confession. A Jesuit Father did all that he could to convert him; this good Father entreated him, wept, cast himself at his feet; but seeing that all was time lost, he at length said: ‘Now, let us recite a ” Hail Mary” together.’ The criminal did so, and in an instant began to weep bitterly, confessed his sins with great compunction, and desired to die clasping an image of Mary in his arms.

Ave Maria ora pro nobis-

PRAYER

0 my sweet Lady and Mother, I love thee much, and because I love thee I also love thy holy name. I purpose and hope, with thy assistance, always to invoke it during life and at death. And to conclude with the tender prayer of St. Bernard: ‘ I ask thee, 0 Mary, for the glory of thy name, to come and meet my soul when it is departing from this world, and to take it in thine arms.’ ‘Disdain not, 0 Mary,’ the Saint continues, ‘to come then and comfort me with thy presence. Be thyself my soul’s ladder and way to heaven. Do thou thyself obtain for it the grace of forgiveness and eternal repose.’ My own dear Mary, 0 my beloved Jesus, may your most sweet names reign in my heart, and in all hearts. Grant that I may forget all others, to remember, and always invoke, your adorable names alone. Ah! Jesus my Redeemer, and my Mother Mary, when the moment of death comes, in which I must breathe forth my soul and leave this world, deign, through your merits, to grant that I may then pronounce my last words, and that they may be, ‘ Hove Thee, 0 Jesus, I love thee, 0 Mary; to you do I give my heart and my soul.’

 

 

 

 

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – FIRST DAY

 holy sacrifice of the mass july        

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI – May 27- June 4, 2015   

I thank Thee, Jesus, my Divine Redeemer, for coming upon this earth for our salvation, and for instituting the august Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist in order to remain with us until the end of the world.

I thank Thee for hiding beneath the Eucharistic species Thy infinite majesty and beauty, which Thy Angels delight to behold, so that I might have courage to approach the throne of Thy Mercy.

I thank Thee, most loving Jesus, for having made Thyself my food, and for uniting me to Thyself with so much love in this wonderful Sacrament that I may live in Thee.

I thank Thee, my Jesus, for giving Thyself to me in this Most Blessed Sacrament, and so enriching it with the treasures of Thy love that Thou hast no greater gift to give me.

I thank Thee not only for becoming my food but also for offering Thyself as a continual sacrifice to Thy Eternal Father for my salvation.  I thank Thee, Divine Priest, for offering Thyself as a Sacrifice daily upon our altars in adoration and homage to the Most Blessed Trinity, and for making amends for our poor and miserable adorations.

I thank Thee for renewing in this daily Sacrifice the actual propitiatory Sacrifice of the Cross offered on Calvary, in which Thou satisfiest Divine justice for us poor sinners.

I thank Thee, dear Jesus, for having become the priceless Victim to merit for me the fullness of Heavenly favors. Awaken in me such confidence in Thee that their fullness may descend ever more fruitfully upon my soul and let me always be worthy of Thee.

I thank Thee for offering Thyself in thanksgiving to God for all His benefits, spiritual and temporal, which He hath bestowed upon me. In union with Thine offering of Thyself to Thy Father in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, I ask for this special favor:

              (Mention your petition here

If it be Thy holy Will, grant my request. Through Thee I also hope to receive the grace of perseverance in Thy love and faithful service, a holy death, and a happy eternity with Thee in Heaven. Amen.

Advent Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

O Lord, Thou hast given us this Sacred Banquet, in which Christ is received, the memory of His Passion is renewed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us who are worthy of Thee. Thou hast given them bread from Heaven. Having all sweetness within.

Prayer

God our Father, for Thy glory and our salvation Thou appointed Jesus Christ eternal High Priest. May the souls He gained for  Thee by His Blood come to share in the power of His Cross and Resurrection by celebrating His Memorial in this Most Blessed Sacrament, for He liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, forever. Amen.

O Jesus, since Thou hast left us a remembrance of Thy Passion beneath the veils of this Sacrament, grant us, we pray, so to venerate the sacred mysteries of Thy Body and Blood that we may always enjoy the fruits of Thy Redemption through Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE SWEETNESS OF THE NAME OF MARY

 most holy name of mary feast day

THE SWEETNESS OF THE NAME OF MARY DURING LIFE

The great name of Mary, which was given to the Divine Mother, did not come to her from her parents, nor was it given to her by the mind or will of man, as is the case with all other names that are imposed in this world; but it came from heaven, and was given her by a Divine ordinance. This is attested by St. Jerome, St. Epiphanius, St. Antoninus, and others. ‘The name of Mary came from the treasury of the Divinity,’ says St. Peter Damian. Ah! yes, 0 Mary, it was from that treasury that thy high and admirable name came forth ; for the most Blessed Trinity, says Richard of St. Lawrence, bestowed on thee a name above every other name after that of thy Son, and ennobled it with such majesty and power, that He willed that all heaven, earth, and hell, on only hearing it, should fall down and venerate it; but I will give the author’s own words: ‘ The whole Trinity, 0 Mary, gave thee a name, after that of thy Son, above every other name, that in thy name every knee should bow, of things in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.’ But amongst the other privileges of the name of Mary, and which were given to it by God, we will now examine that of the peculiar sweetness found in it by the servants of this most holy Lady. And in the first place, the holy anchoret Honorius used to say, that ‘this name of Mary is filled with every sweetness and Divine savor,’ so much so that the glorious St. Anthony of Padua found the same sweetness in the name of Mary that St. Bernard found in that of Jesus. ‘Name of Jesus!’ exclaimed the one.

St. Anthony of Padua with the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus

St. Anthony of Padua with the Virgin Mary and Infant Jesus

‘0 name of Mary!’ replied the other; ‘joy in the heart, honey in the mouth, melody to the ear of her devout clients.’ It is narrated in the life of the Ven. Father Juvenal Ancina, bishop of Saluzzo, that in pronouncing the name of Mary he tasted so great and sensible a sweetness, that, after doing so, he licked his lips. We read also, that a lady at Cologne told the Bishop Massilius, that as often as she uttered the name of Mary, she experienced a taste far sweeter than honey. The bishop imitated her, and experienced the same thing. But here I do not intend to speak of that sensible sweetness, for it is not granted to all; I speak of that salutary sweetness of consolation, of love, of joy, of confidence, of strength, which the name of Mary ordinarily brings to those who pronounce it with devotion. The Abbot Francone, speaking on this subject, says, ‘there is no other name, after that of the Son, in heaven or on earth, whence pious minds derive so much grace, hope, and sweetness.’ After the most sacred name of Jesus the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth, and in heaven, there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness. ‘For,’ he continues, ‘there is something so admirable, sweet, and divine in this name of Mary, that when it meets with friendly hearts it breathes into them an odor of delightful sweetness. ‘And he adds, in conclusion, ‘that the wonder of this great name is, that if heard by the lovers of Mary a thousand times, it is always heard again with renewed pleasure, for they always experience the same sweetness each time it is pronounced.’ The Blessed Henry Suso, also speaking of this sweetness, says, ‘that when he named Mary, he felt himself so excited to confidence, and inflamed with such love and joy, that between the tears and joy, with which he pronounced the beloved name, he desired that his heart might leave his breast; for he declared that this most sweet name was like a honeycomb, dissolving in the inmost recess of his soul: and then he would exclaim: ‘O most sweet name! 0 Mary, what must thou thyself be, since thy name alone is thus amiable and gracious!’ ‘And if riches comfort the poor, because they relieve them in their distress, 0 how much more does thy name, 0 Mary,’ says Richard of St. Lawrence, ‘comfort us than any earthly riches? It comforts us in the anguishes of this life.’ ‘Thy name, 0 Mary, is far better than riches, because it can better relieve poverty.’ In fine, ‘thy name, 0 Mother of God, is filled with Divine graces and blessings,’ as St. Methodius says. So much so, that St. Bonaventure declares, ‘that thy name, 0 Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly.’ Let us, therefore, always take advantage of the beautiful advice given us by St. Bernard in these words:

‘In dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, think of Mary, call on Mary; let her not leave thy lips; let her not depart from thy heart.’ In every danger of forfeiting Divine grace, we should think of Mary, and invoke her name, together with that of Jesus; for these two names always go together.

0, then, never let us permit these two most sweet names to leave our hearts, or be off our lips; for they will give us strength not only not to yield, but to conquer all our temptations. Consoling indeed are the promises of help made by Jesus Christ, to those who have devotion to the name of Mary; for one day, in the hearing of St. Bridget, He promised His most holy Mother that He would grant three special graces to those who invoke that holy name with confidence: first, that He would grant them perfect sorrow for their sins; secondly, that their crimes should be atoned for; and, thirdly, strength to attain perfection, and at length the glory of paradise.

Sacrament of Penance

Sacrament of Penance

EXAMPLE

A woman came to a house of our little congregation in this kingdom to let one of the fathers know that her husband had not been to confession for many years, and the poor creature could no longer tell by what means to bring him to his duty; for if she named confession to him he beat her. The father told her to give him a picture of Mary Immaculate. In the evening the woman once more begged her husband to go to confession; but’ as he as usual turned a deaf ear to her entreaties, she gave him the picture. Behold! He had scarcely received it, when he said, ‘Well, when will you take me to confession, for I am willing to go? The wife, on seeing this instantaneous change, began to weep for joy. In the morning he really came to our church, and when the father asked him how long it was since he had been to confession, he answered twenty-eight years. The father again asked him what had induced him to come that morning? ‘Father,’ he replied, ‘I was obstinate, but last night my wife gave me a picture of our Blessed Lady, and in the same moment I felt my heart changed, so much so, that during the whole night every moment seemed a thousand years, so great was my desire to go to confession.’ He then confessed his sins with great contrition, changed his life, and continued for a long time to go frequently to confession to the same father.

Nativity of Mary

Nativity of Mary

PRAYER

O great Mother of God and my Mother Mary, it is true that I am unworthy to name thee; but thou, who lovest me and desirest my salvation, must, notwithstanding the impurity of my tongue, grant that I may always invoke thy most holy and powerful name in my aid, for thy name is the succor of the living, and the salvation of the dying. Ah, most pure Mary, most sweet Mary, grant that from henceforth thy name may be the breath of my life. 0 Lady, delay not to help me when I invoke thee, for in all the temptations which assail me, and in all my wants, I will never cease calling upon thee, and repeating again and again, Mary, Mary. Ah, Mary, most amiable Mary, with what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what tenderness, is my soul penetrated in only naming, in only thinking of thee. I thank my Lord and God, who, for my good, has given thee a name so sweet and deserving of love, and at the same time so powerful. But, my sovereign Lady, I am not satisfied with only naming thee, I wish to name thee with love: I desire that my love may every hour remind me to call on thee, so that I may be able to exclaim with St. Bonaventure, ‘0, name of the Mother of God, thou art my love.’

THE TWENTY-SIXTH DAY – MONTH OF OUR LADY

most holy name of mary 4

MARY IS ALSO OUR LIFE, BECAUSE SHE OBTAINS US PERSEVERANCE

Virgin and Child with Four Angels,  (1505) -  DAVID, Gerard

Virgin and Child with Four Angels, (1505) –
DAVID, Gerard

MARY IS ALSO OUR LIFE, BECAUSE SHE OBTAINS US PERSEVERANCE

Final perseverance is so great a gift of God, that, as it was declared by the Holy Council of Trent, it is quite gratuitous on His part, and we cannot merit it. Yet we are told by St. Augustine, that all who seek for it obtain it from God; and, according to Father Suarez, they obtain it infallibly, if only they are diligent in asking for it to the end of their lives ; for, as Bellarmine well remarks,’ That which is daily required must be asked for every day.’ Now, if it is true that all the graces that God dispenses to men pass by the hands of Mary, it will be equally true that it is only through Mary that we can hope for this greatest of all graces — perseverance. And we shall obtain it most certainly, if we always seek it with confidence through Mary. This grace she herself promises to all who serve her faith fully during life, in the following words of Ecclesiasticus, and which are applied to her by the Church, on the Feast of her Immaculate Conception: ‘They that work by me shall not sin. They that explain me shall have life everlasting.’ In order that we may be preserved in the life of grace, we require spiritual fortitude, to resist the many enemies of our salvation. Now this fortitude can be obtained only by the means of Mary, and we are assured of it in the book of Proverbs, for the Church applies the passage to this most Blessed Virgin: ‘ Strength is mine; by me kings reign’.  Meaning, by the words,’ strength is mine,’ that God has bestowed this precious gift on Mary, in order that she may dispense it to her faithful clients.

O, what strength do the servants of this great Lady possess, to overcome all the assaults of hell! Mary is that tower spoken of in the sacred Canticles: ‘Thy neck is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks; a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armor of valiant men.’ She is as a well-defended fortress in defense of her lovers, who in their wars have recourse to her. In her do her clients find all shields and arms, to defend themselves against hell? Truly are those souls to be pitied who abandon this defense, in ceasing their devotion to Mary, and no longer recommending themselves to her in the time of danger! If the sun ceased to rise, says St. Bernard, how could the world become other than a chaos of darkness and horror Take away the sun, and where will be the day? Take away Mary, and what will be left but the darkest night! When a soul loses devotion to Mary it is immediately enveloped in darkness, and in that darkness of which the Holy Ghost speaks in the Psalms: ‘ Thou hast appointed darkness, and it is night; in it shall all the beasts of the woods go about.’ When the light of heaven ceases to shine in a soul, all is darkness, and it becomes the haunt of devils and of every sin. St. Anselm says, that ‘ if any one is disregarded and contemned by Mary, he is necessarily lost;’ and therefore we may with reason exclaim, Woe to those who are in opposition with this sun! Woe to those who despise its light! That is to say, all who despise devotion to Mary St. Francis Borgia always doubted the perseverance of those in whom he did not find particular devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

It was then not without reason that St. Germanus called the most Blessed Virgin the breath of Christians; for as the body cannot live without breathing, so the soul cannot live without having recourse to and recommending itself to Mary, by whose means we certainly ac quire and preserve the life of Divine grace within our souls.

Mary says in the following words of the Book of Proverbs, which are applied to her by the Church: ‘Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors,’ — as if she would say, Blessed is he that hears my voice, and is constantly attentive to apply at the door of my mercy, and seeks light and help from me. For clients who do this, Mary does her part, and obtains them the light and strength they require to abandon sin and walk in the paths of virtue. For this reason Innocent III. Beautifully calls her ‘the moon at night, the dawn at break of day, and the sun at mid-day.’ She is a moon to enlighten those who blindly wander in the night of sin, and makes them see and understand the miserable state of damnation in which they are; she is the dawn (that is, the forerunner of the sun) to those whom she has already enlightened, and makes them abandon sin and return to God, the true Sun of justice; finally, she is a sun to those who are in a state of grace, and prevents them from again falling into the precipice of sin. And therefore St. Philip Neri, in his exhortations to his penitents, used always to say: ‘My children, if you desire perseverance, be devout to our Blessed Lady.’ The Blessed John Berchmans, of the Society of Jesus, used also to say: ‘Whoever loves Mary will have perseverance,’ Truly beautiful is the reflection of the Abbot Rupert on this subject in his commentary on the parable of the prodigal son. He says, ‘ That if this dissolute youth had had a mother living, he would never have abandoned the paternal roof, or, at least, would have returned much sooner than he did;’ meaning, thereby, that a son of Mary either never abandons God, or, if he has this misfortune, by her help he soon returns. 0, did all men but love this most benign and loving Lady, had they but recourse to her always, and with out delay, in their temptations, who would fall? Who would ever be lost? He falls and is lost who has not recourse to Mary.

St Mary of Egypt (detail) 1582-87 TINTORETTO

St Mary of Egypt (detail) 1582-87 TINTORETTO

EXAMPLE

The history of St. Mary of Egypt, in the first book of the lives of the Fathers, is well known. At the age of twelve years she fled from the house of her parents, and went to Alexandria, and there led an infamous life, and was a scandal to the whole city. After living for sixteen years in sin, she took it into her head to go to Jerusalem. At the time the Feast of the Holy Cross was being celebrated, and, moved rather by curiosity than by devotion, she determined on entering the church; but when at the door, she felt herself repelled by an invisible force. She made a second attempt, and was again unable to enter; and the same thing was repeated a third and fourth time. Finding her efforts in vain, the unfortunate creature withdrew to a corner of the porch, and there, enlightened from above, understood that it was on account of her infamous life that God had repelled her even from the church. In that moment she fortunately raised her eyes and beheld a picture of Mary. No sooner did she perceive it, than, sobbing, she exclaimed, ‘0 Mother of God, pity a poor sinner! I know that on account of my sins I deserve not that thou shouldst cast thine eyes upon me. But thou art the refuge of sinners; for the love of thy Son Jesus, help me. Permit me to enter the church, and I promise to change my life, and to go and do penance in whatever place thou pointest out to me.’ She immediately heard an internal voice, as it were that of the Blessed Virgin, replying: ‘ Since thou hast recourse to me, and wishest to change thy life, go — enter the church, it is no longer closed against thee.’ The sinner entered, adored the Cross, and wept bitterly. She then returned to the picture, and said, ‘ Lady, behold I am ready, where wilt thou that I should go to do penance?’ ‘Go,’ the Blessed Virgin replied, ‘ cross the Jordan, and thou wilt find the place of thy repose.’ She went to confession and communion, and then passed the river, and finding herself in the desert, she understood that it was in that place she should do penance for her sinful life. During the first seventeen years the assaults of the devil, by which he endeavored to make the Saint again fall into sin, were terrible. And what were her means of defense? She constantly recommended her self to Mary, and this most Blessed Virgin obtained her strength to resist during the whole of the above time, after which her combats ceased. After fifty-seven years spent in the desert, and having attained the age of eighty-seven, she was, by a disposition of providence, met by the Abbot Zosimus; to him she related the history of her life, and entreated him to return the following year, and to bring her the Holy Communion. The saintly Abbot did so, and gave her the bread of angels.

The Last Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

The Last Communion of Saint Mary of Egypt

She then requested that he would again return to see her. This also he did, but found her dead. Her body was encompassed by a bright light, and at her head these words were written, ‘ Bury my body here — it is that of a poor sinner, and intercede with God for me.’ A lion came and made a grave with his claws. St. Zosimus buried her, re turned to his monastery, and related the wonders of God’s mercy towards this happy sinner.

The Ascended Virgin with Ss. Gregory the Great and Benedict (1512) - PINTURICCHIO

The Ascended Virgin with Ss. Gregory the Great and Benedict
(1512) – PINTURICCHIO

PRAYER

O compassionate Mother, most Sacred Virgin, behold at thy feet the traitor, who, by paying with ingratitude the graces received from God through thy means, has betrayed both thee and Him. But I must tell thee, 0 most blessed Lady, that my misery, far from taking away my confidence, increases it; for I see that thy compassion is great, in proportion to the greatness of my misery. Show thyself, 0 Mary, full of liberality towards me; for thus thou art towards all who invoke thy aid. All that I ask is that thou shouldst cast thine eyes of compassion on me, and pity me. If thy heart is thus far moved, it cannot do otherwise than protect me; and if thou protectest me, what can I fear? No, I fear nothing. I do not fear my sins, for thou canst provide a remedy; I do not fear devils, for thou art more powerful than the whole of hell; I do not even fear thy Son, though justly irritated against me; for at a word of thine He will be appeased. I only fear lest, in my temptations, and by my own fault, I may cease to recommend myself to thee, and thus be lost. But I now promise thee that I will always have recourse to thee; O help me to fulfill my promise. Lose not the opportunity which now presents itself of gratifying thy ardent desire to succor such poor wretches as myself. In thee, 0 Mother of God, I have unbounded confidence. From thee I hope for grace to bewail my sins as I ought, and from thee I hope for strength never again to fall into them. If I am sick, thou, 0 heavenly physician, canst heal me. If my sins have weakened me, thy help will strengthen me. 0 Mary, I hope all from thee; for thou art all-powerful with God. Amen.

TWENTY-FIFTH DAY – MONTH OF OUR LADY

MARY IS OUR LIFE, BECAUSE SHE OBTAINS US THE PARDON OF OUR SINS

madonna and child and st john

MARY IS OUR LIFE, BECAUSE SHE OBTAINS US THE PARDON OF OUR SINS

If we have had the misfortune to lose the grace of God, we should seek to recover it, but we should do so by Mary, for though we may have lost it, she has found it; and hence St. Bernard calls her ‘the finder of grace.’ The angel Gabriel expressly declared this for our consolation, when he saluted the Blessed Virgin, saying, ‘Fear not, Mary; thou hast found grace.’ But if Mary had never been deprived of grace, how could the archangel say that she had then found it? A thing may be found by a person who did not previously possess it; but we are told by the same archangel, that the Blessed Virgin was always with God, always in grace, nay, full of grace: ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.’ Since Mary then did not find grace for herself, she being always full of it, for whom did she find it? Cardinal Hugo, in his commentary on the above text, replies that she found it for sinners who had lost it. Let sinners then,’ says this devout writer, ‘who by their crimes have lost grace, address themselves to the Blessed Virgin; for with her they will surely find it; let them humbly salute her, and say with confidence, Lady, that which has been found must be restored to him who has lost it; restore us, therefore, our property which thou hast found.’ 0n this subject, Richard of St. Lawrence concludes, ‘That if we hope to recover the grace of God, we must go to Mary, who has found it, and finds it always.’ And as she always was and always will be dear to God, if we have recourse to her, we shall certainly succeed.

Mary says, in the eighth chapter of the sacred Canticles, that God has placed her in the world to be our de fence: ‘I am a wall, and my breasts are as a tower.’ And she is truly made a mediatrix of peace between sinners and God, ‘ Since I am become in His presence as one finding peace.’ On these words St. Bernard encourages sinners, saying, ‘Go to this Mother of Mercy, and show her the wounds which thy sins have left on thy soul; then will she certainly entreat her Son, by the breasts that gave Him suck, to pardon thee all. And this Divine Son, who loves her so tenderly, will most certainly grant her petition.’ In this sense it is that the holy Church, in her almost daily prayer, calls upon us to beg our Lord to grant us the powerful help of the intercession of Mary to rise from our sins: ‘Grant thy help to our weakness, 0 most merciful God; and that we, who are mindful of the holy Mother of God, may by the help of her intercession rise from our iniquities.’ With reason then does St. Lawrence Justinian call her ‘ the hope of malefactors;’ since she alone is the one who obtains them pardon from God. With reason does St. Bernard call her ‘the sinners’ ladder;’ since she, the most com passionate Queen, extending her hand to them, draws them from an abyss of sin, and enables them to ascend to God. With reason does an ancient writer call her ‘the only hope of sinners; for by her help alone can we hope for the remission of our sins. St. John Chrysostom also says ‘that sinners receive pardon by the intercession of Mary alone.’ And therefore the Saint, in the name of all sinners, thus ad dresses her: ‘ Hail, Mother’ of God and of us all, ‘heaven,’ where God dwells, ‘ throne,’ from which our Lord dispenses all graces, ‘fair daughter, Virgin, honor, glory, and firmament of our Church, assiduously pray to Jesus that in the day of judgment we may find mercy through thee, and receive the reward prepared by God for those who love Him.’ No sinner having recourse to the compassion of Mary should fear being rejected; for she is the Mother of Mercy, and as such de sires to save the most miserable. ‘Mary is that happy ark,’ says St. Bernard, ‘ in which those who take refuge will never suffer the shipwreck of eternal perdition.’ At the time of the Deluge, even brutes were saved in Noah’s ark. Under the mantle of Mary even sinners obtain salvation. St. Gertrude once saw Mary with her mantle extended, and under it many wild beasts — lions, bears, and tigers — had taken refuge; and she remarked that Mary not only did not reject, but even welcomed and caressed them with the greatest tenderness. The Saint understood hereby that the most abandoned sinners who have recourse to Mary are not only not rejected, but that they are welcomed and saved by her from eternal death. Let us then enter this ark, let us take refuge under the mantle of Mary, and she most certainly will not reject us, but will secure our salvation.

St. Dominic receiving the Holy Rosary

St. Dominic receiving the Holy Rosary

EXAMPLE

Father Bovio relates that there was a wicked woman named Ellen, who entered a church, and by chance heard a sermon on the Rosary. On leaving the church she purchased a set of beads, but wore them concealed, as she did not wish it to be known that she had them. She began to recite them; and though she did so without devotion, our most Blessed Lady poured such sweetness and consolation into her soul during the whole time, that she could not cease repeating the ‘Hail Marys’. At length she was filled with such a horror for her wicked life, that she no longer could find repose, and was obliged to go to confession; and she accomplished this duty with such contrition, that the priest was filled with astonishment. After her confession, she went to the foot of an altar of the most Blessed Virgin, and there, as a thanksgiving to her advocate, said the Rosary. The Divine Mother then addressed her from the image in the following words: ‘Ellen, thou hast already offended God and me too much. From this moment change thy life, and I will be stow a large share of my graces upon thee.’ The poor sinner, in the deepest confusion, replied: ‘ Ah, most Holy Virgin, it is true that hitherto I have been a wicked sinner; but thou canst do all — help me. On my part, I abandon myself to thee, and will spend the whole remainder of my life in doing penance for my sins.’ With the assistance of Mary, she distributed all her goods to the poor, and began a life of rigorous mortification. She was tormented with dreadful temptations; but constantly recommended herself to the Mother of God, and thus was always victorious. She was favoured with many extraordinary graces, with visions, revelations, and even the gift of prophecy. Finally, before her death, which was announced to her by Mary some days before it took place, the most Blessed Virgin came herself, with her Divine Son, to visit her; and when she expired, her soul was seen flying towards Heaven in the form of a beautiful dove.

PRAYER

Behold, 0 Mother of my God, my only hope, Mary, behold at thy feet a miserable sinner, who asks thee for mercy. Thou art proclaimed and called by the whole Church, and by all the faithful, the refuge of sinners. Thou art consequently my refuge; thou hast to save me. Thou knowest, most sweet Mother of God, how much thy blessed Son de sires our salvation; thou knowest all that Jesus Christ endured for this end. I present thee, 0 my Mother, the sufferings of Jesus: the cold He endured in the stable, His journey into Egypt, His toils, His sweat, the blood He shed; the anguish which caused His death on the cross, and of which thou wast thyself a witness. 0, show that thou lovest thy beloved Son; and by this love I implore thee to assist me. Extend thy hand to a poor creature who has fallen, and asks thy help. Were I a Saint, I need not seek thy mercy; but because I am a sinner I fly to thee, who art the Mother of Mercies. I know that thy compassionate heart finds its consolation in assisting the miserable when thou canst do so, and dost not find them obstinate. Console, then, thy compassionate heart, and console me this day; for now thou hast the opportunity of saving a poor creature condemned to hell; and thou canst do so; for I will not be obstinate. I abandon myself into thy hands. Only tell me what thou wouldst have me to do, and obtain me strength to execute it; for I am resolved to do all that depends on me to recover the Divine grace. I take refuge under thy mantle. Jesus wills that I should have recourse to thee, in order not only that His blood may save me, but also that thy prayers may assist me in this great work, for thy glory and for His own, since thou art His Mother. He sends me to thee that thou mayest help me. 0 Mary, see, I have recourse to thee; in thee do I confide. Thou prayest for so many others, pray also for me; say only a word. Tell our Lord that thou willest my salvation, and God will certainly save me. Say that I am thine, and then I have obtained all that I ask — all that I desire.

MONTH OF MARY – THE TWENTY-FOURTH DAY

HOLY GHOST NOVENA – NINTH DAY

LOVE IS THE TREASURE - SACRED HEART OF JESUS

HOLY GHOST NOVENA – DAY 9 (FINAL DAY) 

Love Is a Treasure Containing Every Good

Love is that treasure of which the Gospel says that we must leave all to obtain it, because love makes us partakers of the friendship of God, “an infinite treasure to men! Which they that use, become the friends of God”. Oh man, says Saint Augustine, why, then, do you go about seeking for good things? Seek that one good alone in which all other good things are contained. But we cannot find God, who is this sovereign good, if we do not forsake the things of the earth. Saint Teresa writes, “Detach your heart from creatures, and you will find God.” He who finds God finds all that he can desire: “Delight in the Lord, and he will give you the requests of your heart” (Psalm 36:4 in the Vulgate or Psalm 37:4 in the Hebrew). The human heart is constantly seeking after good things that may make it happy; but if it seeks them from creatures, however much it may acquire, it will never be satisfied; if it seeks God alone, God will satisfy all its desires. Who are the happiest people in this world, if not the saints? And why? Because they desire and seek only God.

A tyrant offered gold and gems to Saint Clement, in order to persuade him to renounce Jesus Christ. The saint exclaimed with a sigh, “Is God to be put into competition with a little dirt? Blessed is he who knows this treasure of divine love, and strives to obtain it. He who obtains it will of his own accord divest himself of everything else, that he may have nothing else but God.” “When the house is on fire,” says Saint Francis de Sales, “all the goods are thrown out of the windows.” And Father Paul Segneri the Younger, a great servant of God, used to say that love is a thief which robs us of all earthly affections, so that we can say, “And what else do I desire but You alone, my Lord?”

Affections and prayers

I have not lived for You in the past, O my God, but rather for myself and my own gratifications. I have accordingly turned my back upon You, my supreme good. But I take heart at these words of Jeremiah: “The Lord is good to the soul that seeks him.” He says then that You are all goodness for him who seeks You. O my beloved Lord, I know well the evil I have done in going away from You and I am sorry for it with all my heart. I know the infinite treasure we find in You. I will profit by this light that You give me. I leave all things and choose You for my only love.

My God, my love, my all, I love You, I sigh after You, I desire You. Come, O Holy Spirit, come and consume in me by Your sacred fire every affection that is not for You. Make me all Yours and grant me the grace to overcome everything in order to please You. O Mary, my Advocate and Mother, help me by your prayers.

Act of Filial Submission

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do, give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your will. Amen.

Pater noster - Fridolin Leiber

Oratio Dominca – (Pater noster) – Fridolin Leiber

Our Father

Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost

O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Spirit to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit 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.

Descent of the Holy Spirit - TIZIANO Vecellio

Descent of the Holy Spirit – TIZIANO Vecellio

Novena Resolution

The more we love God, the more holy we become. Saint Francis Borgia says it is prayer that introduces divine love into the human heart and mortification that withdraws the heart from the world and renders it capable of receiving this holy fire. The more there is of the world in the heart, the less room there is for holy love: “Wisdom is not to be found in the land of them that live in delights”. Hence, the saints have always sought to mortify as much as possible their self-love and their senses. The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we will be saved with the few. Saint Bernard says, “That cannot be perfect which is not singular.” He who would lead a perfect life must lead a singular one.

But above all, in order to become saints, it is necessary to have the desire to be saints; we must have the desire and the resolution. Some are always desiring, but they never begin to put their hands to the work. “Of these irresolute souls,” says Saint Teresa, “the devil has no fear.” On the other hand, the saint said, “God is a friend of generous souls.”

The devil tries to make it appear to us as pride to think of doing great things for God. It would indeed be pride in us if we thought of doing them all by ourselves, trusting in our own strength; but it is not pride to resolve to become saints trusting in God and saying, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” We must therefore be of good courage, make strong resolutions, and begin. Prayer can do everything. What we cannot do by our own strength, we can do easily with the help of God, who has promised to give us whatever we ask of him: “You shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you.”

Apostles Creed - I Believe in the Holy Spirit...

Apostles Creed – I Believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the Communion of the Saints…

Affections and Prayers

Sweet Redeemer of my soul, You desire to be loved by me and You command me to love You with all my heart, and with all my heart I desire to love You, O my Jesus. I will even go so far as to say to You: O my God, such is the trust I have in Your mercy that my sins do not inspire me with fear, since I hate and detest them above every other evil.

I know besides, that You remember not the offenses of one who repents and who loves You. Nay more, since I have offended You more than others, I wish to love You more than others. O my Lord, You want me to be a saint and I wish to become one in order to please You. I love You, infinite Goodness. I give myself entirely to You. You are my one good, my only love. Do not turn me away, O my love. Make me all Yours. Do not permit me to displease You again. Grant that I may sacrifice myself entirely for You, as You have sacrificed Yourself entirely for me. Mary, most loving and beloved Spouse of the Holy Spirit, obtain for me love and faithfulness. Amen. Amen. Amen.

Nicene Creed We believe in the Holy Spirit... GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT