CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – FIFTH DAY

Corpus Domini -

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI

MEDITATION

It is sweet to every one to be in the society of a dearly loved friend, and can it be otherwise to us, in this vale of tears, to remain with our best Friend, Who can give us all that we need, and Who loves us so especially as to remain always with us? Here, in the most holy Sacrament, we may speak to Jesus as much as we please; we may open to Him our hearts, lay all our wants before Him, and implore His graces: in short, we may speak to the King of Heaven in this Sacrament with the utmost confidence, and without restraint. Joseph was only too happy when, as the scripture tells us, God came down into his prison to comfort him by His grace: but we are yet more happy, for we have with us in this wretched world, our God made Man, Who, by His real Presence, helps us every day of our lives with the greatest love and compassion. What a comfort to a poor prisoner to have an affectionate friend who will converse with him, comfort him, give him hope and assistance, and try to deliver him from his misery: we have here Jesus Christ, our best Friend, Who encourages us in this ever-blessed Sacrament, saying to us : “Behold I am with you all days:  I am here,” He says, “entirely yours; I have come from Heaven, to this your prison, on purpose to comfort, and help, and free you; receive Me; remain with Me; cling to Me; and thus you shall not feel your miseries, but shall come, at length, to My Kingdom, where I will make you completely happy.”

St Alphonsus Blessed Sacrament

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.

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.

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MARY LEADS HER SERVANTS TO HEAVEN

saints in heaven

MARY LEADS HER SERVANTS TO HEAVEN

0, what an evident mark of predestination have the servants of Mary! The holy Church, for the consolation of her clients, puts into her mouth the words of Ecclesiasticus, ‘ In all these I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord.’ Cardinal Hugo explains these words, and says, ‘Blessed is he in whose house the most Holy Virgin finds repose.’ Mary, out of the love she bears to all, endeavours to excite in all devotion to wards herself; many either do not admit it into their souls, or do not preserve it. But blessed is he that receives, and preserves it. 0, how many blessed souls are there now in heaven, who would never have been there had not Mary, by her powerful intercession, led them thither. St. Bonaventure says, ‘that the gates of heaven will open to all who confide in the protection of Mary.’ Hence St. Ephrem calls devotion to the Divine Mother, ‘ the unlocking of the gates of the heavenly Jerusalem.’ The devout Blosius also, addressing our Blessed Lady, says, ‘To thee, 0 Lady, are committed the keys and the treasures of the kingdom of heaven.’ And therefore we ought constantly to pray to her, in the words of St. Ambrose,” ‘ Open to us, 0 Mary, the gates of paradise, since thou hast its keys.’ Nay, more, the Church says, ‘ that thou art its gate.’ For the same reason, finally, is she called, by St. Peter Damian, ‘the heavenly ladder.’ ‘For,’ says the Saint, ‘ by Mary God descended from heaven into the world, that by her men might ascend from earth to heaven.’ St. Antoninus tells us ‘ that this Divine Mother has already, by her assistance and prayers, obtained heaven for us, provided we put no obstacle in the way.’ Hence says the Abbot Guarric, ‘ He who serves Mary, and for whom she intercedes, is as certain of heaven as if he was already there.’ St. John Damascene also says, ‘ that to serve Mary and be her courtier is the greatest honor we can possibly possess ; for to serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern. ‘On the other hand, he adds, ‘that those who do not serve Mary will not be saved; for those who are deprived of the help of this great Mother are also deprived of that of her Son and of the whole court of heaven.’ ‘May the infinite goodness of our Lord be ever praised,’ says St. Bernard, ‘ for having been pleased to give us Mary as our advocate in heaven, that she being at the same time the Mother of our Judge and a Mother of Mercy, may be able, by her intercession, to conduct to a prosperous issue the great affair of our eternal salvation.’ St. James, a doctor of the Greek Church, says, ‘ that God destined Mary as a bridge of salvation, by using which we might with safety pass over the stormy sea of this world, and reach the happy haven of paradise.’ Therefore St. Bonaventure exclaims, ‘ Give ear, ye nations, and all you who desire heaven, serve, honor Mary, and certainly you will find eternal life.’ Nor should those even who have deserved hell, be in the least doubtful as to obtaining heaven, provided they are faithful in serving this Queen. ‘0, how many sinners,’ says St. Germanus, ‘have found God and have been saved by thy means, 0 Mary!’ It is true -that in this world no one can be certain of his salvation: ‘ Man knoweth not whether he be worthy of love or hatred,’ says the Ecclesiastes. But St. Bonaventure, on the words of King David, ‘ Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle? and on the preceding quotation, answers, ‘ Sinners, let us follow Mary closely, and casting ourselves at her feet, let us not leave them until she has blessed us; for her blessing will insure our salvation.’ ‘It suffices, 0 Lady,’ says St. Anselm, ‘that thou willest it, and our salvation is certain.’ And St. Antoninus says, ‘that souls protected by Mary, and on which she casts her eyes, are necessarily justified and saved.’ St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi saw a vessel in the midst of the sea: in it were all the clients of Mary, and this Blessed Mother herself steered it safely into the port. By this the Saint understood, that those who live under the protection of Mary, are secure in the midst of the dangers of this life from the shipwreck of sin, and from eternal damnation; for she guides them safely into the haven of salvation. Let us then enter this blessed ship of the mantle of Mary, and there we can be certain of the kingdom of heaven, for the Church says, ‘ 0 holy Mother of God, all those who will be partakers of eternal happiness dwell in thee, living under thy protection.’

Ecce merces vestra multa est in caelo. Behold, your reward is very great in heaven.

Ecce merces vestra multa est in caelo. Behold, your reward is very great in heaven.

EXAMPLE

A Cistercian nun, in Toledo, named Mary, being at the point of death, the Divine Mother appeared to her. The nun then said: ‘0 Lady, the favor thou dost me in visiting me, emboldens me to ask thee another favor; it is, that I may die at the same hour in which thou didst expire and enter heaven.’ ‘Yes,’ Mary replied; ‘ I will satisfy thee, thou shalt die at that hour, and thou shalt also hear the songs and praises, with which the blessed accompanied my entrance into heaven: prepare thyself;’ and then disappeared. The nuns, hearing her speaking to herself, thought that she was in delirium; but she related the vision which she had had to them, and the promised favor. She awaited the desired hour; and when she knew, by the striking of the clock, that it had arrived (the writer does not say what hour it was), she said, ‘ Behold the hour announced to me: I already hear the music of the angels: this is the hour in which my Queen ascended to heaven; peace be with you, for I now go to see her.’ With these words she expired. In the same moment her eyes became bright as two stars, and her face became of a beautiful color.

Queen of Heaven - angelico  the coronation of the virgin

PRAYER

0 Queen of heaven, Mother of holy love since thou art the most amiable of creatures, the most beloved of God, and His greatest lover, be pleased to allow the most miserable sinner living in this world, who, having by thy means been delivered from hell, and without any merit on his part been so benefited by thee, and who is filled with love for thee, to love thee. I would desire, were it in my power, to let all men who know thee not, know how worthy thou art of love, that all might love and honor thee. I would desire to die for the love of thee, in defense of thy virginity, of thy dignity of Mother of God, of thy Immaculate Conception, should this be necessary to uphold these thy great privileges. Ah! my most beloved Mother, accept this my ardent desire, and never allow a servant of thine, who loves thee, to become the enemy of thy God, whom thou lovest so much. Alas! poor me, I was so for a time, when I offended my Lord. But then, 0 Mary, I loved thee but little, and strove but little to be beloved by thee. But now there is nothing that I so much desire after the grace of God as to love, and be beloved by thee. I am not discouraged on account of my past sins, for I know that thou, 0 most benign and gracious Lady, dost not disdain to love even the most wretched sinners who love thee; nay, more, that thou never allowest thyself to be surpassed by any in love. Ah! Queen, most worthy of love, I desire to love thee in heaven. There, at thy feet, I shall better know how worthy thou art of love, how much thou hast done to save me, and thus I shall love thee with greater love, and love thee eternally, without fear of ever ceasing to love thee. 0 Mary, I hope, most certainly, to be saved by thy means. Pray to Jesus for me. Nothing eke is needed; thou hast to save me; thou art my hope. I will therefore always sing, 0 Mary, my hope, thou hast to save me.

 

The Thirty-First Day – Month of Our Lady

MARY SUCCORS HER CLIENTS IN PURGATORY

MONTH OF MARY - DAY 30 - MARY SUCCORS HER CLIENTS IN PURGATORY

MARY SUCCORS HER CLIENTS IN PURGATORY

Fortunate, indeed, are the clients of this most compassionate Mother, for not only does she succor them in this world, but even in purgatory they are helped and comforted by her protection. And as in that prison poor souls are in the greatest need of assistance, since in their torments they cannot help themselves, our Mother of Mercy does proportionately more to relieve them. St. Bernardine of Sienna says, ‘ that in that prison, where souls which are spouses of Jesus Christ are detained, Mary has a certain dominion and plenitude of power, not only to relieve them, but even to deliver them from their pains.’ And, first, with respect to the relief she gives, the same Saint, in applying those words of Ecclesiasticus, ‘I have walked in the waves of the sea,’ adds, ‘that it is by visiting and relieving the necessities and torments of her clients, who are her children.’ He then says, ‘that the pains of purgatory are called waves, because they are transitory; unlike the pains of hell, which never end: and they are called waves of the sea, because they are so bitter. The clients of Mary, thus suffering, are often visited and relieved by her.’ ‘See, therefore,’ says Novarinus, ‘ of what consequence it is to be the servant of this good Lad’, for her servants she never forgets when they are suffering in those flames; for though Mary relieves all suffering souls in purgatory, yet she always obtains far greater indulgence and relief for her own clients.’ The Divine Mother once addressed these words to St. Bridget: ‘I am the Mother of all souls in purgatory; for all the pains that they have deserved for their sins are every hour, as long as they remain there, in some way mitigated by my prayers.’ The compassionate Mother even condescends to go herself occasionally into that holy prison to visit and com fort her suffering children. And what other consolation have they in their sufferings than Mary, and the relief they receive from this Mother of Mercy? St. Bridget once heard Jesus say to His holy Mother, ‘ Thou art My Mother, the Mother of Mercy, and the consolation of souls in purgatory.’ The Blessed Virgin herself told the Saint, ‘ that as a poor sick person, bedridden, suffering, and abandoned, is relieved by words of encouragement and consolation, so are the souls in purgatory consoled and relieved by only hearing her name.’ The mere name of Mary, that name of hope and salvation, and which is frequently invoked by her beloved children in their prison, is a great source of comfort to them; ‘for,’ says Novarinus, ‘ that loving Mother no sooner hears them call upon her, than she offers her prayers to God, and these prayers, as a heavenly dew, immediately refresh them in their burning pains.’ Mary not only consoles and relieves her clients in purgatory, but she delivers them by her prayers. Gerson says, ‘ that on the day of her assumption into heaven purgatory was entirely emptied.’ Novarinus confirms this, saying, ‘ that it is maintained by many grave authors, that when Mary was going to heaven, she asked, as a favour from her Son, to take all the souls then in purgatory with her.’ ‘And from that time forward,’ says Gerson, ‘ Mary had the privilege of delivering her servants.’ St. Bernardine of Sienna also positively asserts, ‘ that the Blessed Virgin has the power of delivering souls from purgatory, but particularly those of her clients: by her prayers, and by applying her merits for them.’ Novarinus says, ‘ that by the merits of Mary, not only are the pains of those souls lessened, but the time of their sufferings is shortened through her intercession.’ She has only to ask, and all is done. Why should we not hope for the same graces and favors, if we are devout clients of this good Mother? And if we serve her with more special love, why can we not hope to go to heaven immediately after death, without even going to purgatory? This really took place in the case of Blessed Godfrey, to whom Mary sent the following message, by Brother Abondo: ‘Tell Brother Godfrey to endeavor to advance rapidly in virtue, and thus he will belong to my Son and to me; and when his soul departs, I will not allow it to go to purgatory, but will take it and offer it to my Son.’ And if we wish to relieve the holy souls in purgatory, let us do so by imploring the aid of our Blessed Lady in all our prayers, and especially by offering the Rosary for them, as that relieves them greatly.

The Virgin interceding for the souls in Purgatory - Luca Giordano

The Virgin interceding for the souls in Purgatory – Luca Giordano

EXAMPLE

We read, in the life of Sister Catherine of St. Augustine, that in the place where she resided there was a woman, of the name of Mary, who in her youth was a sinner, and in her old age continued so obstinate in wickedness, that she was driven out of the city, and reduced to live in a secluded cave; there she died, half consumed by disease, and without the sacraments, and was consequently interred in a field like a beast. Sister Catherine, who always recommended the souls of those who departed from this world, with great fervor, to God, on hearing the unfortunate end of this poor old woman, never thought of praying for her, and she looked upon her (as did everyone else) as irrevocably lost. One day, four years afterwards, a suffering soul appeared to her, and exclaimed: ‘How unfortunate is my lot, Sister Catherine; thou recommendest the souls of all those that die to God: on my soul alone thou hast not compassion!’ ‘And who art thou? asked the servant of God. ‘I am,’ she replied, ‘that poor Mary, who died in the cave.’ ‘And art thou saved? said Catherine. ‘Yes,’ she answered, ‘ by the mercy of the Blessed Virgin Mary.’ ‘And how?’ ‘When I saw myself at the point of death, loaded with sins, and abandoned by all, I had recourse to the Mother of God, saying, Lady, thou art the refuge of abandoned creatures: behold me, at this moment, abandoned by all; thou art my only hope; thou alone canst help me: have pity on me. The Blessed Virgin obtained me the grace to make an act of contrition. I died, and am saved; and besides this she, my Queen, obtained that my purgatory should be shortened, by enduring, in intensity, that which otherwise would have lasted for many years: I now only want a few masses to be entirely delivered; I beg thee to get them, said, and on my part, I promise always to pray for thee to God and to Mary.’ Sister Catherine immediately had the masses said; and after a few days that soul again appeared to her, shining like the sun, and said: ‘I thank thee, Catherine: behold, I go to Paradise, to sing the mercies of my God, and to pray for thee.’

Holy Mary Mother of God ora pro nobis.

PRAYER

O Queen of Heaven and earth! O Mother of the Lord of the world! O Mary, of all creatures the greatest, the most exalted, and the most amiable! It is true, that there are many in this world who neither know thee, nor love thee; but in heaven, there are many millions of angels and blessed spirits, who love and praise thee continually. Even in this world, how many happy souls are there not, who burn with thy love, and live enamored of thy goodness! O, that I also could love thee, O Lady, worthy of all love. 0 that I could always remember to serve thee, to praise thee, to honor thee, and engage all to love thee. Thou hast attracted the love of God, whom, by thy beauty, thou hast, so to say, torn from the bosom of His Eternal Father, and engaged to become man, and be thy Son. And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, not be enamored of thee! No, my most sweet Mother, I also will love thee much, and will do all that I can to make others love thee also. Accept then, 0 Mary, the desire that I have to love thee, and help me to execute it. I know how favorably thy lovers are looked upon by God. He, after His own glory, desires nothing more than thine, and to see thee honored and loved by all. From thee, 0 Lady, do I expect all; through thee the remission of my sins, through thee perseverance. Thou must assist me at death, and deliver me from purgatory; and finally, thou must lead me to heaven. All this thy lovers hope from thee, and are not deceived. I, who love thee with so much affection, and above all other things, after God, hope for the same favors.

 

The Thirtieth Day – Month of Our Lady

 

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – FOURTH DAY

St Alphonsus - Most Blessed Sacrament

Novena in Preparation for the Feast of CORPUS CHRISTI

MEDITATION

The love of Jesus Christ was not satisfied with sacrificing for us His Divine Life in the midst of a sea of ignominies and torments, in order to prove to us the affection that He bore us; but besides all this, in order to oblige us to love Him more, on the night before His death He would leave us His whole Self as our food in the Holy Eucharist. God is omnipotent; but after He has given Himself to a soul in this Sacrament of love, He has nothing more to give her. The Council of Trent says, that Jesus, in giving Himself to us in the Holy Communion, pours forth, as it were, all the riches of His infinite love in this gift: ‘He has, as it were, poured forth the treasures of His love towards man. Jesus in the Holy Communion gives us for our food, not only a portion of His own meal and of His most Sacred Flesh, but all His Body.

crucifix mother of god

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.

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.

MARY DELIVERS HER CLIENTS FROM HELL

Virgin and Child with Souls in Purgatory, GIORDANO, Luca - (1650)

Virgin and Child with Souls in Purgatory, GIORDANO, Luca
– (1650)

MARY DELIVERS HER CLIENTS FROM HELL

It is impossible for a client of Mary, who is faithful in honoring and recommending himself to her, to be lost. When we say that it is impossible for a client of Mary to be lost, we must not be understood as speaking of those clients who take advantage of this devotion, that they may sin more freely. And, therefore, those who disapprove of the great praises bestowed on the clemency of this most Blessed Virgin, because it causes the wicked to take advantage of it, to sin with greater freedom, do so without foundation, for such presumptive people deserve chastisement, and not mercy, for their rash confidence. It is, therefore, to be understood of those clients who, with a sincere desire to amend, are faithful in honoring and recommending themselves to the Mother of God. It is, I say, morally impossible that such as these should be lost. St. Anselm says, ‘that as it is impossible for one who is not devout to Mary, and consequently not protected by her, to be saved, so is it impossible for one who recommends himself to her, and consequently is be loved by her, to be lost.’ Many others declare the same thing, such as blessed Albert, who says, that ‘All those who are not thy servants, O Mary, will perish’ And St. Bonaventure: ‘He who neglects the service of the Blessed Virgin will die in his sins.’ Again, ‘He who does not invoke thee, O Lady, will never get to Heaven.’ And, on the 99th psalm, the Saint even says, ‘that not only those from whom Mary turns her face will not be saved, but that there will be no hope of their salvation.’ Before him, St. Ignatius the martyr said, ‘that it was impossible for any sinner to be saved without the help and favor of the most Blessed Virgin; because those who are not saved by the justice of God are, with in finite mercy, saved by the intercession of Mary.’ Some doubt as to whether this passage is truly of St. Ignatius; but, at all events, as Father Crasset remarks, it was adopted by St. John Chrysostom. It is also repeated by the venerable Raymond Jordano. And in the same sense does the Church apply to Mary the words of Proverbs: ‘All that hate me, love death:’ that is, all who do not love me, love eternal death. For, as Richard of St. Lawrence says — on the words of the same book, ‘ She is like the merchant’s ship’ — ‘ All those who are out of this ship will be lost in the sea of the world.’ Even the heretical (Ecolampadius) looked upon little devotion to the Mother of God as a certain mark of reprobation: and therefore he said, ‘ Far be it from me ever to turn from Mary.’ But, on the other hand, Mary says in the words applied to her by the Church, ‘He that hearkeneth to me shall not be confounded;’ that is to say, he who listeneth to what I say shall not be lost. On which St. Bonaventure says, ‘ 0 Lady, he who honours thee will be far from damnation.’ And this will still be the case, St. Hilary observes, even should the person, during the past time, have greatly offended God. ‘However great a sinner he may have been,’ says the saint, ‘ if he shows himself devout to Mary he will never perish.’

alphonsus when the devil wishes

For this reason the devil does his utmost with sinners, in order that after they have lost the grace of God, they may also lose devotion to Mary. The devil, also, is not satisfied with a soul turning out Jesus Christ unless it also turns out His Mother. Otherwise he fears that the Mother will again, by her intercession, bring back her Son. ‘And his fears are well grounded,’ says the learned Paciucchelli; ‘for he who is faithful in serving the Mother of God will soon receive God Himself by the means of Mary.’ St. Ephrem then was right in calling devotion to our Blessed Lady ‘a Divine charter,’ our safe guard from hell. The same saint also calls the Divine Mother ‘the only hope of those who are in despair.’ That which St. Bernard says is certainly true, ‘that neither the power nor the will to save us can be wanting to Mary:’ the power cannot be wanting, for it is impossible that her prayers should not be heard, as St. Antoninus says, ‘It is impossible that a Mother of God should pray in vain;’ and St. Bernard says the same thing; ‘that her requests can never be refused, but that she obtains whatever she wills:’ the will to save us cannot be wanting, for Mary is our Mother, and desires our salvation more than we can desire it ourselves. Since then this is the case, how can it be possible for a client of Mary to be lost? He may be a sinner, but if he recommends himself to this good Mother, with perseverance and purpose of amendment, she will undertake to obtain him light to abandon his wicked state, sorrow for his sins, perseverance in virtue, and, finally, a good death. And what mother would not deliver her son from death if it only depended on her asking the favour to obtain it from the judge? And can we think that Mary, who loves her clients with a Mother’s most tender love, will not deliver her child from eternal death when she can do it so easily? ‘O, how many would have remained obstinate in sin, and have been eternally lost,’ says Thomas a Kempis, ‘ if Mary had not interposed with her Son, that He might show them mercy!’ ‘What, then, will be our lot, 0 tender Mother,’ let us ask with St. Germanus, ‘ who are sinners, but desire to change, and have recourse to thee, who art the life of Christians?’ St. Anselm says, ‘that he will not be lost for whom thou once prayest.’ O, pray then for us, and we shall be preserved from hell.

HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE...

EXAMPLE

In the year 1604, in a city of Flanders, there were two young men, students; but who, instead of attending to their studies, gave themselves up to a life of debauchery. One night they were both in a house with an evil companion, when one of them, named Richard, returned home, leaving his companion there. After he got home, and had begun to undress, he remembered he had not that day said some ‘Hail Marys’ that he was in the habit of reciting. Feeling very sleepy he was loth to say them; he did himself violence, and repeated them, though without devotion, and half asleep. He then laid down, and had fallen into a sound slumber, when he was suddenly roused by a violent knocking at the door, and without its opening he saw his companion, deformed and hideous, standing before him. ‘Who art thou? he cried out. ‘What! dost thou not know me? ‘Ah! yes, but how thou art changed; thou seemest to me a devil.’ ‘Truly,’ he exclaimed, ‘poor unfortunate creature that I am, I am damned, and how! When I was leaving that wicked house a devil came and strangled me: my body is in the street, and my soul in hell; and thou must know,’ added he, ‘that the same fate awaited thee had not the Blessed Virgin, preserved thee in consideration of that little act of homage of the “Hail Mary.” Fortunate art thou if only thou knowest how to take advantage of this warning sent thee by the Mother of God!’ With these words he opened his mantle, and showing the flames and serpents by which he was tormented, he disappeared. Richard immediately burst into sobs and tears, and casting himself prostrate on the ground, he returned thanks to Mary, his protectress; and, whilst thinking how to change his life, he heard the bell of the Franciscan monastery ringing for matins. ‘Ah! It is there,’ says he, ‘that God calls me to do penance.’ He went straight off to the convent, and implored the fathers to admit him. But they were hardly willing to do so, knowing his wicked life; but he, sobbing bitterly, told all that had taken place; and two fathers being sent to the street, and having found the strangled body, which was as black as a coal, they admitted him. From that time forward Richard led a most exemplary life, and, at length, went to preach the gospel in the Indies; and thence to Japan, where he had the happiness of giving his life for Jesus Christ, being burnt alive for the Faith.

virgin and child 4

PRAYER

O Mary, my most dear Mother, in what an abyss of evils should I not now be, if thou hadst not so many times delivered me with thy compassionate hand! How many years ago should I not have been in hell, hadst thou not saved me by thy powerful prayers! My grievous sins already drove me there; Divine justice had already condemned me; the devils already longed to execute the sentence; and thou didst fly to my aid, and save me without being even called or asked. And what return can I make to thee, 0 my beloved protectress, for so many favors, and for such love! Thou also didst overcome the hardness of my heart, and didst draw me to thy love, and to confidence in thee. And into how many other evils should I not have fallen, if with thy compassionate hand thou hadst not so often helped me in the dangers into which I was on the point of falling! Continue, O my hope, to preserve me from hell, and from the sins into which I may still fall. Never allow me to have this misfortune — to curse thee in hell. My beloved Lady, I love thee. Can thy goodness ever endure to see a servant of thine that loves thee lost? Ah, then, obtain that I may never more be ungrateful to thee and to my God, who, for the love of thee, has granted me so many graces. 0 Mary, tell me, shall I be lost! Yes, if I abandon thee. But is this possible? Can I ever forget the love thou hast borne me? Thou, after God, art the love of my soul. I can no longer trust myself to live without loving thee. O most beautiful, most holy, most amiable, sweetest creature in the world, I rejoice in thy happiness, I love thee, and I hope always to love thee both in time and in eternity. Amen.

Twenty-Ninth Day –  Month of Our Lady

MARY RENDERS DEATH SWEET TO HER CLIENTS

Federico Barocci, Madonna del Popolo (Madonna of the people) 1579

MARY RENDERS DEATH SWEET TO HER CLIENTS

The prophet Isaias tells us that when a man is on the point of leaving the world, hell is opened and sends forth it’s most terrible demons, both to tempt the soul before it leaves the body, and also to accuse it when presented before the tribunal of Jesus Christ for judgment. The prophet says, ‘ Hell below was in an uproar to meet thee at thy coming, it stirred up the giants for thee.’ But Richard of St. Lawrence remarks, that when the soul is defended by Mary, the devils dare not even accuse it, knowing that the Judge never condemned, and never will condemn, a soul protected by His august Mother. He asks, ‘Who would dare accuse one who is patronized by the Mother of Him who is to judge! Mary not only assists her beloved servants at death and encourages them, but she herself accompanies them to the tribunal seat of God. As St. Jerome says, writing to the virgin Eustochia, ‘What a day of joy will that be for thee, when Mary, the Mother of our Lord, accompanied by choirs of virgins, will go to meet thee.’ The Blessed Virgin assured St. Bridget of this, for speaking of her devout clients at the point of death, she said, ‘Then will I, their dear Lady and Mother, fly to them, that they may have consolation and refreshment.’ St. Vincent Ferrer says, that not only does the most Blessed Virgin console and refresh them, but that she receives the souls of the dying. This loving Queen takes them under her mantle, and thus presents them to the Judge her Son, and most certainly obtains their salvation. Ecclesiasticus says, that ‘ her bands are a healthful binding,’ and that ‘ in the latter end thou shalt find rest in her.’ 0, you are indeed fortunate, my brother, if at death you are bound with the sweet chains of the love of the Mother of God! These chains are chains of salvation; they are chains that will insure your eternal salvation, and will make you enjoy in death that blessed peace which will be the beginning of your eternal peace and rest. Father Binetti, in his book on the perfections of our Blessed Lord, says, ‘that having attended the death-bed of a great lover of Mary, he heard him, before expiring, utter these words: 0 my father, would that you could know the happiness that I now enjoy from having served the most holy Mother of God; I cannot tell you the joy that I now experience.’ Father Suarez (in consequence of his devotion to Mary, which was such that he used to say, that he would willingly change all his learning for the merit of a single ‘ Hail Mary’) died with such peace and joy, that, in that moment, he said, ‘ I could not have thought that death was so sweet; meaning, that he could never have imagined that it was possible, if he had not then experienced it, that he could have found such sweetness in death. You, devout reader, will, without doubt, experience the same joy and contentment in death, if you can then remember that you have loved this good Mother, who cannot be otherwise than faithful to her children, who have been faithful in serving and honoring her, by their visits, rosaries, and fasts; and still more by frequently thanking and praising her, and often recommending themselves to her powerful protection. Nor will this consolation be withheld, even if you have been for a time a sinner, provided that, from this day, you are careful to live well, and to serve this most gracious and benign Lady. She, in your pains, and in the temptations to despair which the devil will send you, will console you, and even come herself to assist you in your last moments. And if, by chance, at that moment, you are greatly alarmed, and lose confidence at the sight of your sins, she will come and encourage you. Let us then be of good heart, though we be sinners, and feel certain that Mary will come and assist us at death, and comfort and console us with her presence, provided only that we serve her with love during the remainder of the time that we have to be in this world.

MOST HOLY ROSARY PRAY EVERYDAY

EXAMPLE

Father Crasset relates, that a military commander told him that once, after a battle, he found a soldier in the camp, who, holding a rosary and Mary’s scapular in his hand, asked for a confessor; his forehead was pierced by a musket ball, which had come out at the back of his head, so that the brain was visible and came out through each opening, so much so, indeed, that naturally he could not live: He raised himself up, made his confession to the chaplain with great compunction, and when he had received absolution, expired.

PRAYER

0 comfortress of the afflicted, console a poor creature who recommends himself to thee. The remorse of a conscience overburdened with sins fills me with affliction. I am in doubt as to whether I have sufficiently grieved for them. I see that all my actions are soiled and defective; hell awaits my death in order to accuse me; the outraged justice of God demands satisfaction. My Mother, what will become of me? If thou dost not help me, I am lost. What sayest thou, wilt thou assist me? 0 compassionate Virgin, console me; obtain me true sorrow for my sins; obtain me strength to amend, and to be faithful to God, during the rest of my life. And finally, when I am in the last agonies of death, 0 Mary, my hope, abandon me not; then more than ever help and encourage me, that I may not despair at the sight of my sins, which the Evil 0ne will then place before me. My Lady, forgive my temerity; come thyself to comfort me with thy presence in that last struggle. This favor thou hast granted to many, grant it also to me. If my boldness is great, thy goodness is greater; for it goes in search of the most miserable to console them. 0n this I rely. For thy eternal glory, let it be said that thou hast snatched a wretched creature from hell, to which he was already condemned, and that thou hast led him to thy kingdom. 0 yes, sweet Mother, I hope to have the consolation of remaining always at thy feet in heaven, thanking and blessing and loving thee eternally. 0 Mary, I shall expect thee at my last hour, deprive me not of this consolation. Fiat, fiat. Amen, amen.

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – THIRD DAY

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA - NOVENA

CORPUS CHRISTI NOVENA – THIRD DAY                      

Meditation

God’s very presence is a presence so bright that it hides all that comes under the law of its light; His Face is itself a secret. Thus David in an ecstasy sings the following inspired words, O how great is the multitude of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for them that fear Thee, which Thou hast wrought for them that hope in Thee, in the sight of the sons of men. Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy Face, from the disturbance of men. Thou shalt protect them in Thy tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues. Blessed be the Lord, for He hath shewn His wonderful mercy to me in a fortified city. Thou dwellest night and day for our sake: Thou art the Fountain of all good; the Healer of all ills; the Treasure of the poor: see, then, at Thy Feet the poorest and weakest of sinners. And what we do in Heaven in presence of the Divine Being, you should do on earth in presence of the most holy Sacrament.” Our Paradise on earth is the ever-blessed Sacrament. O spotless Lamb, sacrificed for us on the Cross!

Passion of Christ - Champaigne_La_Crucifixion

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.

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.