Friday, May 26, 2017

Month of Mary - 26th Day

 

The Story:

Index to Older Stories

St. John, Gaulbert, following the profession of arms at a very troubled period, became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. On Good Friday he met his enemy at a place, where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain his enemy, who was unarmed; but he falling upon his knees implored John for the sake of our Lord's Passion to pardon Him. Grace triumphed in John who replied: "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin. John retired to a monastery, led a penitential and holy life, and died a Saint.

The Prayer:

O My God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain the pardon of my sins, the assistance of Thy grace, and life everlasting; through the merits of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Pray Your Rosary 
                                                   

26th Visit to Jesus & Mary

Dedication, Introduction & Index
Ask, ask and ask again,
Jesus loves to give.


THE CANTICLE OF LOVE


"City of Sion, be of great joy! Give voice to your songs of praise. Great is the One who is in your midst: He is the Holy One of Israel." (Is. 22). How great our joy should be; how great our hopes; and how great our love; when we know that here in our own city, in our own church, close to our own home, the Holy One, God Himself, dwells in the Blessed Sacrament―yes, God Himself, whose presence gives joy exceeding great to the Saints in Heaven: God who is Love Itself! 

St. Bernard tells us "He imparts love. But this is not all: He is Love
―Love Itself. "God is Love." 

But here in this Sacrament, my dear Jesus, I can hear you making your sad complaint: "I came as your guest and you refused to welcome me." To do good to us you came to earth to be our Guest, and we had no welcome for you. Ah! yes, my Master, you are right; and one of those ungrateful ones who left you forsaken was myself; I did not even come to visit you. O punish me in any other way you will, but please do not punish me by depriving me of your presence; this is the punishment I deserve, but I will correct the rudeness of my manners, and my want of courtesy towards you. From today forward I want to visit you often and I want to spend as much time as I can in your company. 


O my gentle Saviour, make me faithful to you now, and inspire others by my example to keep you company in the Most Holy Sacrament. 


The voice of Your Eternal Father speaks to me, "This is My Beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 17). In you the Great Almighty Father finds His boundless joy. And I, a poor thing of no worth dwelling in this valley of tears am to find my delight in you also! O Fire all-consuming, put an end to that love of created things that still lingers in me; because it is these, and these only, that can make me unfaithful to you and deprive me of your possession. You can do it. You wish to do it. You can make me clean. You have done much for me; do this one thing more: put out of my heart every particle of love that is not for you. Here and now I surrender myself completely to you; I dedicate all the rest of my life to the love of the Most Holy Sacrament. You, my Jesus in the Sacrament, will now be my comfort
―my love all my life long; and in the moment of my death. Then you will come to be my Viaticum; then you will bring me to the Kingdom of the Blessed.   


Amen. Amen.            

This is my hope; and so let it be.

Aspiration
―My Jesus, when shall I see your beautiful Face?


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  
 

A VISIT TO MARY 

THE BRIDGE OF GOD 



Mary, my Mother most holy, St. Germanus calls you "The power that supports our weakness." In you we will find the remedy for all our sickness; in you our weakness will find strength. 

St. Bonaventure calls you "The gate of Liberty"―In you we have the door through which we go forth from the slavery of sin. He also calls you "The safe resting place of men"―so in you too we find peace and security. St. Lawrence Justinian calls you "The comforter of our pilgrimage"―you bring relief to us in our sufferings. St Bonaventure calls you "The Throne of the Grace of God:" so to sum up all, in you we find God's grace and God Himself. St. Proclus tells us you are "The bridge by which God comes down to man"―our sins have separated us from God but happily for us, Mary is the bridge by which He passes when He comes to dwell in our souls by His grace.

Aspiration
―Mary, you are my strength, my liberty, my peace; and my salvation.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

13. The Second Hierarchy.


Praying for Pope Pius XII, Rome, 1958
Photo by Mark Kauffman


Index to Older Meditations

"Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land" (Matt. v. 4).  It is exhibited notably in the Church, which is always oppressed and always victorious;  which does not take the sword of the flesh for her defense, and therefore cannot perish by the sword; and which finds that the blood of her martyrs is the seed of abounding harvests. 

Quiet effort united with prayer is the most efficient and lasting force.

Continue this Two Page Meditation Below. 

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Month of Mary - The St. Helen Story


The Story:

Index to Older Stories

St. Helen was born and brought up by heathen parents. She became the wife of the Emperor Constantine, who rejected her after his throne ascension. Having respected the Christians at all time and being now rejected she sought consolation in the religion of the cross. She received holy baptism after her renowned son had gained, by the sign of the cross, a glorious victory. Though advanced in years she possessed a youthful, fiery zeal in the practice of devotion and good works. For a long time she entertained the desire of visiting the holy places; she sought and found the cross, upon which the blessed Saviour had died; she and her pious son had a beautiful church erected over the sepulchre of Christ; she had one built in memory of the Annunciation at Nazareth. For this love to Jesus and Mary and for her veneration of the holy cross and the holy places, she was rewarded by the queen of heaven with the greatest grace - a holy life and a holy death in the year 326.

The Prayer:

Obtain by thy intercession, O afflicted mother Mary, for me the grace of following Jesus by carrying my cross, which God is pleased to send me, to the end of my life in a patient and penitential manner, that following my Saviour now I may dwell with Him hereafter in heaven. Amen.



Pray Your Rosary 
                                                      

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

25th Visit to Jesus & Mary

Dedication, Introduction & Index
Prepare Your Hearts
Here is The Lord and All His Paradise.



THE SCHOOL OF OBEDIENCE


St. Paul praises the obedience of Jesus to His Father, "He became obedient even to death." (Phil. 2). In this Sacrament Jesus goes further: not only to His Father is He obedient, but He becomes obedient to man; obedient not only to death, but obedient to the end of the world. 

In obedience to the voice of man the King of Heaven comes from Heaven to the altar. He remains upon the altar to continue to practise obedience to men. Isaias puts the words on His lips: "Ego autem non contradico, "Whatever is asked of me, I never refuse to obey." (Is. 10). He remains motionless: He may be exposed in the Monstrance, or He may be shut up in the tiny Pyx; He may be carried to our homes, and through the streets; He may be given in Communion to those who are holy, or to the sinner. 

St. Luke tells us Jesus obeyed Mary and Joseph while He was on earth; in the Blessed Sacrament He is obedient to every priest―"I never refuse to obey." 

Now, Most Loving Heart of Jesus, let me speak to you―It is from you that all the Sacraments have come, but especially this Sacrament of Love. I want to give you as much honor and glory as you have given to your Eternal Father in every church in which you dwell―I know that, while you are on this altar, you love me with the same burning love with which you loved me when your life went out in bitter grief on the Cross. O Heart of Jesus, give light to those who do not know you that they may learn to know how beautiful you are. Through your merits set free from Purgatory, or at least give some relief to the souls that suffer there; for they love you and will love you in eternity. 

For myself―united in this hour with all souls that love you on earth and in Heaven―I adore you, I love you, I thank you. O Heart that is without stain, purify my heart from all unruly clinging to creatures, and fill it with your holy love; O Most Sweet Heart, take possession of all my heart so that from today forward it may be all your own; so that forever I may say "Who shall separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 3). O heart Most Holy, on my heart engrave the bitter sorrows that you bore for so many years, and with such great love, for me. So that, at the sight of them, I may from this day forward have a deep longing to bear all the pains of this life for love of you―or at the very least I may suffer them in patience. O Heart of Jesus most humble, give me a share in our own humility; O heart most gentle, give me a share in your own meekness. Take from my heart everything that does not please you; turn it all to yourself: so that I will not want or wish for anything at all but what you yourself want. To sum up everything―Let me live only to obey you, only to love you, only to give you joy. I know well that I owe everything to you: that my debts to you are very great. Little indeed it will be if I can wear myself out and use up my life for you.

Aspiration―O Heart of Jesus, you are the God of my heart and you alone.

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  


A VISIT TO MARY  

THE HEAVENLY ARK



SHE IS MY REFUGE 

O, my Mother, receive me into your arms.


The Ark in which Noe escaped the universal Deluge is a figure of Mary. St. Bernardine calls her "The Ark in which we escape shipwreck." She is the heavenly ark in which we find shelter while on earth and so escape the shipwreck of everlasting loss. But Esecius says that Mary gives shelter which is superior to that of the Ark of Noe because it is more universal, has greater strength, and is more kindly. With Noe only a few men and beasts found shelter: Mary receives all who seek protection under her mantle and she saves them all. How unhappy our lot would be if we had not Mary! And yet, with all this many still are lost. Why is this? O Mother, it is because they do not go to you: nobody could be lost ever if he asked your help.


Aspiration―Most Holy Mary, may we all have recourse to you, and always!


Month of Mary - 24th Day


The Story:

Index to Older Stories

St. Catherine of Sienna was once very much dejected at a false report spread abroad about her, when the divine Saviour appeared to her, holding in his right hand a golden crown adorned with jewels, and in the left a crown of thorns and said "Beloved daughter! It is necessary that you be crowned at different times with both these crowns. Choose one of the two; but look to it, whether thou wilt be crowned in this present life with the crown of thorns, and in the next life with the golden crown." The holy virgin replied: "Lord, I have denied my will long ago, and therefore will only, what Thou wilt. . . . But yet, if Thou wilt that I answer I confess earnestly that in this life I always choose to be like and conformable to Thy sacred passion." Having said this she took the crown of thorns out of the hands of the Saviour, and pressed it with such force upon her head, that for a long time she felt the pains caused by the thorns.

The Prayer:

How would we dare to complain, O Mother of sorrows, at the thorny path of sufferings in this life, since thy divine Son was so cruelly tortured by the crown of thorns! We have deserved it by our sins of thought and pride. Assist us to bear all patiently and in a penitential spirit. Amen.



Pray Your Rosary 
                                                      

24th Little Visit to Jesus & Mary

Dedication, Introduction & Index
That which I do not see, I believe.



THE MYSTERY OF FAITH


"Truly you are a hidden God." (Is. 15). 

The truth of these words is shown forth in the adorable mystery of the Most Holy Sacrament more than in any other work of Divine Love. For here our God is hidden indeed. The Eternal Word hid His Divinity when He took flesh and became Man on this earth. But He hid His Humanity also when He dwelt with us in this Sacrament. St. Bernard tells us that He comes under the form of bread to show how tenderly He loves us: "The Divinity lies hidden. The Humanity lies hidden: we can see nothing but the expression of His deepest love." 

My loving Redeemer, in the presence of your exceeding great love for men I am overwhelmed, and I do not know what to say to you. It has come to this, that you have hidden your Majesty, and you have veiled your Glory; your Divine Life itself seems to have been brought to nothing; and while you dwell on the altar you have no other object in view than to love men and to try to make known to them your exceeding great love for them. 

Great Son of God, what kind of recognition do they offer you in return? O Jesus, O Great Lover, let me say it―your love for men is altogether excessive. For you seem to put their welfare even before your own glory; and you knew all the time the contempt to which your loving efforts would expose you. It is clear―and well you knew it beforehand―that the majority of men do not adore you. They do not recognise you in this Sacrament for what you are. 

O I know too well that these very same men, whom you love, many times have even trampled on the Consecrated Host; they have cast it to the ground, thrown it into the water, and into the fire. But what is more extraordinary still is this―the manner of acting of the majority of those who believe in you: where we would expect them to make reparation by their loving reverence for such great insults; when they come into the Church they offend you still more by their want of reverence, or they leave you forsaken on the altar―sometimes even without the sanctuary lamp or the ornaments that should be there. 

My most sweet Saviour, how I wish that I could wash with my tears and even with my blood those unhappy places where the burning love of your heart in this Sacrament has been so dishonoured. If this is not given to me, at the very least I now make up my mind to visit you frequently, O my God, so that I may adore you as I adore you today. In this way I shall pay you back at least something to make reparation for the contempt which you receive from men in this Most Divine Mystery.       

Eternal Father, please accept from me this poor reverence offered to you today by me―the least of men. It is offered in reparation for the injuries done to your Son in this Sacrament. Please accept it in union with the infinite honour that Jesus pays you, nailed to the Cross―the honour that He still continues to pay you every day in this Sacrament. O Jesus, O Holy Sacrament! If only all men would burn with love for you in this the most holy of all the Sacraments!
     
Aspiration―O loving Jesus, make me know you, make me love you. 

 

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.   


A VISIT TO MARY 

THE SEA OF GRACE





I will sail in peace under the guard of Mary. 
  
 
My most gentle Lady, in the midst of the fears I sometimes experience about my eternal salvation, I feel a great sense of confidence when I appeal to you and when I think of you. On the one hand, my Mother, you have a wealth of graces at your disposal―"A sea of graces" is what St. John Damascene calls you. St. Ephram tells me you are 'The spring from which grace and consolation flow'." 

On the other hand, St. Bonaventure tells me that your eagerness to help me is so great that I cause you pain when I do not ask you for what I need. My Mother and my Queen, you are rich, you are wise, you are gentle; I understand that you know my soul's wants better than I know them myself; you love me better than I love myself. This is the grace I ask today―the grace you know my soul needs most. I will be happy if you ask this grace from God for me.

Aspiration
―My God, give me the graces which Mary asks of you for me.


Prayer After Visit




Tuesday, May 23, 2017

12. The First Hierarchy


Detroit Catholic Pre-Schools, 1964.
Photo by Robert W. Kelley 


Index to Older Meditations

God sums up all His perfections for us in His love; and He desires above all things our love in return.  Join yourself with the Seraphim, and ask them to bring a burning coal from the celestial altar to enkindle your frozen heart.

Continue this Two Page Meditation Below. 

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Month of Mary - 23rd Day


The Story:

Index to Older Stories

In her tenth year St. Bridget was once moved most intensely, whilst listening to a sermon upon the Passion of Christ In the following night she believed to see Jesus, His whole body lacerated by the scourges and entirely covered by wounds. At the same time she thought that she heard a voice saying to her: "Daughter! look upon my wounds!" The good child became frightened and asked: "Ah! who has ill-treated Thee in such a manner?" And the voice replied: "Not only the Jews have done this; all those do the same, who despise my love."- The impression left by this mysterious dream in her heart, could never be removed; and from that time forward the Passion had become the subject of her frequent and very earnest meditations, at which she could not refrain from tears. Of her devotion and love to Mary, the Mother of God, no description could be given. Not for a single moment of her life did she leave this devotion. Hence she was favored frequently by the blessed Mother of God with revelations. Thus she lived until her holy death.


The Prayer:

O holy Mother Mary! pray for me, thy unworthy child, that I may never act contrary to God's holy will, that I may practice only virtues and persevere unto my end, so that I may be glorified hereafter and obtain the crown of eternal life. Amen.



Pray Your Rosary 
                                                      

23rd Visit to Jesus & Mary

Dedication, Introduction & Index
Never forget the solemn moment when 
the Holy of Holies deigned to give Himself to you.





JESUS HIMSELF IS HERE
 


Great are the fatigues, many are the dangers that multitudes of Christians have faced to visit the places in the Holy Land―those places where Our Most Loving Saviour was born, where He suffered, and where He died. 

For us there is no need to make a long voyage―no need to face great dangers: this same Lord of Glory is our neighbor. He dwells in the church which is only a few steps away from our own house. St. Paulinus tells us that pilgrims who brought away a little dust from the Crib, or from the Holy Sepulchre in which Jesus was buried, thought that this was a very wonderful thing. With what burning love then should we visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament when we can do this without any fatigue and without any danger. There this same Jesus awaits us in person. 

A nun to whom God gave a special love of the Blessed Sacrament wrote a letter and among other thoughts expressed in it are the following: "I have come to see that all the good things that are mine have come to me from the Most Holy Sacrament; to Jesus in this Sacrament I have given and consecrated myself completely. I see numberless graces that were never given because this Divine Sacrament was not approached; I see that Our Savior in this Sacrament has an intense desire to distribute His graces. O Holy Mystery! O Sacred Victim! Where else does God give us such a deep knowledge of His power if it is not in this Host? Surely this Host contains in itself everything that God has ever done for us. There is no need for us to envy the Blessed who are in Heaven: on earth we have the very same Lord; but here the marvels of His love are greater. Do what you can to persuade others to devote themselves completely to the Most Holy Sacrament. I am overwhelmed at the thought of what this Sacrament means and that is why I speak in this way: of the Most Holy Sacrament I can never cease to speak―its claims on our love are so great. For the sake of Jesus in this Sacrament I know not what I can do." It is thus the letter ends. 

O Seraphim, you who burn with such sweet flames of love before that God who is both yours and mine―though it is not for your love but for mine that this King of Glory lingers here―O Angels of Love, let me burn too. Inflame me with your fiery darts so that, in His presence, the flames of your love and of mine may ascend together. 

O my Jesus, give me to understand what a tremendous thing is your love for men; so that in the presence of this great love, my longing to love you more and to give joy to you will always grow more ardent. O God of Boundless Love, I want to love you always; I want to please you only.

Aspiration
―My Jesus, I believe in you, I hope in you, I love you; I love you and I give myself to you.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION  

Jesus, I believe you are in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love you; I want you to come to me. Come into my heart; I embrace you; O never depart from me.  
 

A VISIT TO MARY 

THE MOTHER OF ORPHANS 


O, Mary, take our flowers and our hearts
offer them to Jesus your Divine Son.


O Virgin most loving, you are named by St. Bonaventure "The Mother of Orphans." St. Ephram proclaims you "The Receiver of Orphans," that is, the one who welcomes the orphan. Who are these unhappy orphans? They are non others than poor sinners who have lost God, their Father. Most holy Mother, I have lost my Father; you are my Mother. I come to you and you will welcome me. In my great misfortune I call on you for help and you will aid me. Will you leave me in my grief? No; for this is what Innocent III says to me about you, "Who has ever called on her and did not receive her kindly help?" And indeed who ever prayed to you without being both heard and helped? Was anybody ever lost after pleading with you? The only one that is lost is the one that does not go to you. My Queen, if you wish to save me, then help me to invoke you and to confide in you always.

Aspiration
―O most holy Mary, give me confidence in you.


Prayer After Each Visit



Monday, May 22, 2017

11. The Special Endowments of The Angels



Men's Jesuit Retreat, California woods, 1953.
Photo by Margaret Bourke-White


Index to Older Meditations

The angels are arranged in different orders and choirs, and this involves differences of dignity, activity and glory.  Be content with God's arrangements for you, and strive to do the best with such graces as you have.  

Continue this Two Page Meditation Below. 

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