Dear God, open a door for my message, so that I may proclaim the mystery of Christ. I pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Colossians 4:3-4

R4C

R4C
Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You. ~ Reconciliation and Forgiveness ~ I am Sorry * Please Forgive Me * Thank You * I Love You.
Psalm 19:14, May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Prayer to Saint Peter Julian Eymard, the Apostle of the Eucharist

O St. Peter Julian, who didst receive the great privilege of so perfectly knowing what treasures are ours in the Most Blessed Sacrament, of being all afire with seraphic love for It, and of consecrating unto It thy untiring zeal, that It might be perpetually adored and glorified by all mankind, we beg of thee to obtain for us the spiritual and temporal favors of which we stand in need

Obtain for us particularly to become, in imitation of thee, faithful adorers in spirit and in truth of the Most Blessed Sacrament, while tending ever more towards the acquiring of Christian virtue; above all, of sincere humility. Thus, we hope to live that life of union with Our Lord which was the aim of thy constant zeal, as it is the principal effect of Holy Communion in our souls.

Finally, O Blessed Peter Julian, obtain for us thy own filial devotion towards Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament that we may learn from that dear Divine Mother how to serve and adore on earth Our Saviour hidden in His Sacrament, and thus come to adore and glorify Him unveiled in heaven, Amen.

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Crown of Roses ~ St. Louis Marie De Montfort, Secret of the Rosary

Ever since Blessed Alan de la Roche reestablished this devotion the voice of the people, which is the voice of God, called it the Rosary. The word Rosary means "Crown of Roses," that is to say that ever time people say the Rosary devoutly they place a crown of one hundred and fifty ---three red roses and sixteen white roses upon the heads of Jesus and Mary. Being heavenly flowers these roses will never fade or lose their exquisite beauty.

Our Lady has shown her thorough approval of the name Rosary; she had revealed to several people that each time they say a Hail Mary they are giving her a beautiful rose and that each complete Rosary makes her a crown of roses.

The well-known Jesuit, Brother Alphonsus Rodriguez, used to say his Rosary with such fervor that he often saw a red rose come out of his mouth at each Our Father and a white rose at each Hail Mary. The red and white roses were equal in beauty and fragrance, the only difference being in their color.

The chronicles of Saint Francis tell of a young friar who had the praiseworthy habit of saying the Crown of Our Lady (the Rosary) every day before dinner. One day for some reason or other he did not manage to say it. The refectory bell had already been rung when he asked the Superior to allow him to say it before coming to the table, and having obtained the permission he withdrew to his cell to pray.

After he had been gone a long time the Superior sent another Friar to fetch him, and he found him in his room bathed in a heavenly light facing Our Lady who had two angels with her. Beautiful roses kept issuing from his mouth at each Hail Mary; the angels took them one by one, placing them on Our Lady's head, and she smilingly accepted them.

Finally two other friars who had been sent to find out what happened to the first two saw the same lovely scene, and Our Lady did not go away until the whole Rosary had been said.

So the complete Rosary is a large crown of roses and the Rosary of five decades is a little wreath of flowers or a small crown of heavenly roses which we place on the heads of Jesus and Mary. The rose is the queen of flowers, and so the Rosary is the rose of all devotions and it is therefore the most important one.


St. Louis Marie De Montfort, Secret of the Rosary

What God's kingdom is like


What can mustard seeds and leaven teach us about the kingdom of God?

The tiny mustard seed literally grew to be a tree which attracted numerous birds because they loved the little black mustard seed it produced. God's kingdom works in a similar fashion. It starts from the smallest beginnings in the hearts of men and women who are receptive to God's word. And it works unseen and causes a transformation from within. 

The transforming power of the Holy Spirit within us
Leaven is another powerful agent of change. A lump of dough left to itself remains just what it is, a lump of dough. But when the leaven is added to it a transformation takes place which produces rich and wholesome bread when heated - the staple of life for humans. The kingdom of God produces a transformation in those who receive the new life which Jesus Christ offers. When we yield to Jesus Christ, our lives are transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us. Paul the Apostle says, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us" (2 Corinthians 4:7). Do you believe in the transforming power of the Holy Spirit?

Lord Jesus, fill me with your Holy Spirit and transform me into the Christ-like holiness you desire. Increase my zeal for your kingdom and instill in me a holy desire to live for your greater glory.

source: From the desk of Don Schwager, 
hosted by Kairos Europe and the Middle East

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Prayer to St. Rita of Cascia, the Saint of the Impossible


O excellent St. Rita, worker of miracles, from thy sanctuary in Cascia, where in all thy beauty thou sleepest in peace, where thy relics exhale breaths of paradise, turn thy merciful eyes on me who suffer and weep! Thou seest my poor bleeding heart surrounded by thorns Thou seest, O dear Saint, that my eyes have no more tears to shed, so much have I wept! Weary and discouraged as I am, I feel the very prayers dying on my lips. Must I thus despair in this crisis of my life? O come, St. Rita, come to my aid and help me. Art thou not called the Saint of the Impossible, Advocate to those in despair? Then honor thy name, procuring for me from God the favor that I ask. (Here ask the favor you wish to obtain.) Everyone praises thy glories, everyone tells of the most amazing miracles performed through thee, must I alone be disappointed because thou hast not heard me? Ah no! Pray then pray for me to thy sweet Lord Jesus that He be moved to pity by my troubles and that, through thee, O good St. Rita, I may obtain what my heart so fervently desires.

(Pray the Our Father, Hail Mary
Glory be to the Father, three times.)

Those wishing to offer a novena should repeat this prayer for nine days.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Prayer to Saint Benedict for Protection


Dear Saint Benedict, I thank God for showering you with His grace to love Him above all else and to establish a monastic rule that has helped so many of His children live full and holy lives. Through the cross of Jesus Christ, I ask you to please intercede that God might protect me, my loved ones, my home, property, possessions, and workplace today and always by your holy blessing, that we may never be separated from Jesus, Mary, and the company of all the blessed. Through your intercession may we be delivered from temptation, spiritual oppression, physical ills, and disease. Protect us from drug and alcohol abuse, impurity and immorality, objectionable companions, and negative attitudes. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Following Jesus' Steps

Many of us are familiar with the story of Jesus walking on the water. It is an awesome reminder of Jesus’ power. It is also a very convicting story when we stop and think about Peter’s response.


Like the other eleven apostles, Peter could have chosen to remain in the boat. Even though the wind and the waves were against the boat, the boat was still the safest place to be. And yet, Jesus stood outside the boat, on the waves. Peter’s heart yearned to be near to the Lord as he asked Jesus, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” After receiving Jesus’ invitation, Peter stepped out and became the only other man recorded in the Bible to walk on water.

“And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” (Matthew 14:28)

There are many times in our lives when we feel like things are against us. We do not feel like we are moving forward; in fact, we’re fighting just to stand our ground. We feel distant from God, knowing God hasn’t forsaken us, but feeling that God is not as near as we’d like. 

In those times, it is an encouragement to remember Peter. He was willing to step out alone in faith to be closer to Jesus. He was willing to leave the limited protection of the boat to step out further into the storm since that is where God was standing. And, what is more, he stepped out alone, leaving the rest of the disciples in the boat.

“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:” (1 Peter 2:21)

We are also reminded to seek God in prayer. Just as Peter asked Jesus to call him before he stepped out, so I am reminded to ask for God’s guidance before I step out. Walking by faith is not walking aimlessly, hoping God will catch up, but rather waiting for His voice and following His lead.

Give and it will given to you

Give, and it will be given to you. 
A good measure, pressed down, 
shaken together, running over, 
will be put into your lap; 
for the measure you give 
will be the measure you get back. 
(Luke 6:38)

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Prayer in times of sickness

Lord Jesus, 
You suffered and died for us. 
You understand suffering. 
Teach me to understand my suffering as You do; 
to bear it in union with You; 
to offer it with You 
to atone for my sins 
and to bring your grace to souls in need. 
Calm my fears; increase my trust. 
May I gladly accept your holy will 
and become more like You in trial. 
If it be your will, restore me to health 
so that I may work for your honor and glory 
and the salvation of all. 
Amen.

The Pardon Prayer ~ Angel of Peace to the three Fatima visionaries

In the spring of 1916, “When three little Fatima shepherds (Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francesco Marto ) were on the slope of the hill known as the Cabeco, beneath a rock called the Loca, they saw, some way off, a young man approaching them who seemed to be made of light. When he reached them, he said, Do not be afraid. I am the Angel of Peace. Pray with me. Then kneeling down on the ground, he bowed low until his forehead touched the earth and said the following words three times,

My God
I believe, I adore,
I hope and I love You!
I ask Your pardon for those
who do not believe
do not adore,
do not hope
and do not love You.

(recite 3 times in a row daily)

He then straightened himself up and said, Pray thus; the Hearts of Jesus and Mary are attentive to the voice of your supplications. (Sr. Lucia, Calls from the Message of Fatima, p 64).

Prayer in times of financial difficulties


Dear Lord,
In this time of uncertainty,
Be my rock in a world built on sand;
Be my oasis of grace and peace in a world of tension and turmoil;
Help me to carry my cross gracefully, as you did in Your Passion;
Help me to follow Your beam of light in the midst of this darkness;
Help me to see Your will in all things
And show others Your comfort and strength.

Keep me calm when tempers flare up;
Keep me sane in a crazy world;
Keep me focused on the houses in Heaven
rather than the houses of cards collapsing around me;
Keep my eyes focused on the prize of Heaven
and not lose hope in You in this world or in the world to come;
Make me compassionate in dealing with others;
Let me see my travails as carrying my cross and sharing in Your Passion, for the love of You and for the salvation of souls, including mine.
And may all my difficulties be ultimately for my good and Your glory.
Amen.

Rosary ~ The Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)


Short meditations to go along with each Hail Mary that you pray in each decade of the mysteries. 

The First Luminous Mystery
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
  1. John is baptizing in the Jordan proclaiming a baptism of repentance.
  2. "I am the voice of one crying in the desert, make straight the way of the Lord."
  3. "One mightier than I is coming after me."
  4. "I have baptized you with water, He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
  5. Seeing Jesus, John exclaims: "Behold the Lamb of God."
  6. After Jesus' baptism a voice from Heaven: "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."
  7. The Spirit descends upon Jesus in the form of a dove.
  8. In this heavenly manifestation is instituted the sacrament of baptism.
  9. The divine Trinity is manifested: the voice of the Father is heard as the Spirit descends upon the Son.
  10. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert for 40 days.


The Second Luminous Mystery
THE WEDDING OF CANA
  1. Jesus, His Mother and disciples were invited to a wedding in Cana.
  2. During the wedding feast the wine ran short.
  3. Mary turned to Jesus: "They have no wine."
  4. Jesus replied: "What would you have me do? My hour has not yet come."
  5. Mary said to the waiters: "Do whatever he tells you."
  6. There were six stone water jars, each holding fifteen to twenty gallons.
  7. Jesus bids the waiters to fill the jars with water, and then draw some out and take it to the chief steward.
  8. The chief steward said to the groom: "Every man serves the good wine first... but you have saved the good wine until now."
  9. At Mary's request, Jesus worked His first miracle.
  10. By His presence, Christian marriage was raised to the dignity of a Sacrament.


The Third Luminous Mystery
PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM
  1. "Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand."
  2. "My kingdom is not of this world."
  3. "Unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of heaven."
  4. "Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God as a little child will not enter into it."
  5. "I have come to call sinners, not the just."
  6. "Love your enemies, pray for those who persecute you."
  7. "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  8. "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied."
  9. "Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
  10. "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church... I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven."


The Fourth Luminous Mystery
THE TRANSFIGURATION
  1. Jesus took Peter, James and John up a high mountain to pray.
  2. Jesus was transfigured before them.
  3. "His face became as dazzling as the sun, his clothes as radiant as light."
  4. This was to fortify their faith to withstand the coming tragedy of the Passion.
  5. Jesus foresaw the 'scandal of the cross,' and prepared them for it by this manifestation of His glory.
  6. Moses and Elias (representing the Law and the prophets of the Old Testament) were conversing with Jesus about His passion.
  7. "Do not think I have come to destroy the Law or the Prophets... but to fulfill them."
  8. From a cloud came a voice: "This is my beloved Son, listen to Him."
  9. Jesus admonishes them not to tell the vision to anyone until the Son of Man rises from the dead.
  10. We too will behold the transfigured Jesus on the Last Day.


The Fifth Luminous Mystery
THE INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST
  1. I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.
  2. Jesus took bread, blessed it: "Take and eat, this is My Body."
  3. Taking the wine: "This cup is the new covenant in my Blood, shed for you."
  4. At that Eucharistic meal, Jesus celebrated the first Mass.
  5. At every Mass the sacrifice of Calvary is made present.
  6. At the Last Supper Jesus instituted the sacrament of Holy Orders to perpetuate this sacrifice.
  7. "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him."
  8. The Eucharist is a sacrifice inasmuch as it is offered up, and a sacrament inasmuch as it is received.
  9. In the Mass we offer ourselves to God, and God gives himself to us.
  10. The Mass will be fruitful in the measure of our surrender to the Father.

Rosary ~ The Glorious Mysteries (Wednesday & Sunday)


Short meditations to go along with each Hail Mary that you pray in each decade of the mysteries. 

The First Glorious Mystery
THE RESURRECTION
  1. The body of Jesus is placed in the tomb on the evening of Good Friday.
  2. His soul descends into the realm of the dead to announce to the Just the tidings of their redemption.
  3. Fearing the body of Jesus will be taken, the chief priests place guards at the tomb.
  4. On the third day Jesus rises from the dead, glorious and immortal.
  5. The earth quakes as the angel rolls back the stone, the guards flee in terror.
  6. The holy women coming to anoint the body of Jesus are amazed and frightened to find the tomb open.
  7. An angel calms their fears: "He is not here. He has risen as He said."
  8. Jesus appears to Mary Magdalen and Peter and two disciples on the way to Emmaus.
  9. That evening He appears to the apostles behind locked doors: "Peace be unto you ... do not be afraid."
  10. Jesus breathes on them and gives them the power to forgive sin.


The Second Glorious Mystery
THE ASCENSION
  1. Jesus remains on earth forty days after His Resurrection to prove He has truly risen from the dead.
  2. He commissions the apostles to preach the gospel to every creature, and promises to be with them forever.
  3. He will not leave them orphans, but will send the Holy Spirit to enlighten and strengthen them.
  4. Jesus proceeds to Mt. Olivet accompanied by His Mother and the apostles and disciples.
  5. Extending His pierced hands over all in a last blessing, He ascends into heaven.
  6. As He ascends a cloud takes Him from their sight.
  7. Jesus ascends to take His place at the right hand of the Father.
  8. What jubilation there must be amid the angels of heaven at the triumphant entry of Jesus.
  9. The wounds in His glorified body are an endless plea before the Father on our behalf.
  10. The disciples leave Mt. Olivet and "return to Jerusalem with great joy."


The Third Glorious Mystery
THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
  1. The apostles are gathered in the upper room where Jesus had held the Last Supper.
  2. They are persevering in prayer with Mary the Mother of Jesus.
  3. A sound comes from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it fills the whole house.
  4. The Holy Spirit descends on each of them in the form of tongues of fire.
  5. Filled with the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, they are enlightened and strengthened to spread the gospel.
  6. Having lost all fear of the Jewish leaders, the apostles boldly preach Christ crucified.
  7. The multitudes are confounded because every man hears them speak in his own tongue.
  8. The Holy Spirit comes upon the Infant Church never to leave it.
  9. That first day Peter goes forth to preach and baptizes three thousand.
  10. The feast of Pentecost is the birthday of the Church, for on that day it begins to grow.


The Fourth Glorious Mystery
THE ASSUMPTION
  1. After the apostles have dispersed, the Blessed Mother goes to live with John, the beloved disciple.
  2. Mary lives many years on earth after the death of Christ.
  3. She is a source of comfort, consolation and strength to the apostles.
  4. As she had nourished the infant Jesus, so she nourishes spiritually the infant Church.
  5. Mary dies, not of bodily infirmity, but is wholly ravished in a rapture of divine love.
  6. Her body as well as her soul is taken up into heaven.
  7. After her burial the apostles go to the tomb and find only fragrant lilies.
  8. Jesus does not permit the sinless body of His Mother to decay in the grave.
  9. Corruption of the body is an effect of original sin from which Mary is totally exempted.
  10. The bodies of all mankind, at the last judgment, will be brought back and united again to the soul.


The Fifth Glorious Mystery
THE CORONATION
  1. As Mary enters heaven, the entire court of heaven greets with joy this masterpiece of God's creation.
  2. Mary is crowned by her divine Son as Queen of heaven and earth.
  3. More than we can ever know the Hearts of Jesus and Mary overflow with joy at this reunion.
  4. Only in heaven will we know the great majesty of that coronation, and the joy it gave to the angels and saints.
  5. Even the angels, who by nature are greater than humans, hail Mary as their Queen.
  6. Mary shares so fully in the glory of Christ because she shared so fully in His suffering.
  7. Only in heaven will we see how central is the role of Mary in the divine plan of redemption.
  8. The angels and saints longed for the coming of her whose heel crushes the head of the serpent.
  9. Mary pleads our cause as a most powerful Queen and a most merciful and loving Mother.
  10. A great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Rosary ~ The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday & Friday)


Short meditations to go along with each Hail Mary that you pray in each decade of the mysteries. 

The First Sorrowful Mystery
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
  1. Jesus comes with his disciples to Gethsemane: "Stay here, while I go yonder and pray."
  2. Entering the garden with Peter, James, and John, Jesus prays, "My soul is sorrowful unto death."
  3. Jesus sees the sins of all mankind, whose guilt He has taken upon Himself.
  4. He sees the wrath of the Father which His sufferings must appease.
  5. So great is his anguish that His sweat becomes as drops of blood falling to the ground.
  6. An angel appears to Him from heaven to strengthen Him.
  7. "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet, not My will but Yours be done."
  8. Finding the disciples asleep: "Could you not watch one hour with me?"
  9. Jesus is betrayed by Judas, cruelly bound and led away.
  10. Father, by the merits of the agony of Jesus in the Garden, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


The Second Sorrowful Mystery
THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
  1. Jesus is taken before the High Priest where He is falsely accused, buffeted and insulted.
  2. The Jewish leaders take Jesus before Pilate, for only he can impose the death penalty.
  3. The robber, Barabbas, is preferred to Jesus.
  4. Pilate can "find no cause in Him", yet to appease the Jews, he orders Jesus to be scourged.
  5. The scourge is made of leather thongs to which are attached small sharp bones.
  6. Jesus is bound to a pillar and cruelly scourged until His whole body is covered with deep wounds.
  7. The Lamb of God offers His suffering for the sins of mankind.
  8. Jesus suffers so much in His sacred flesh to satisfy, especially, for sins of the flesh.
  9. The prophesy of Isaiah is fulfilled: "He was wounded for our iniquities, He was bruised for our sins."
  10. Father, by the merits of Jesus in this painful scourging, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


The Third Sorrowful Mystery
THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
  1. Pilate asks, "Are You a king?" Jesus answers: "I am a King, but My kingdom is not of this world."
  2. In the praetorium, the soldiers place an old purple robe on Jesus in mockery of His claim to be a king.
  3. They fashion a crown out of thorns, and forcefully press it down upon His head.
  4. In His bound hands they place a reed, as a sceptre, in mockery of His kingship.
  5. Kneeling before Him in derision, they spit on Him, and cry out: "Hail, King of the Jews!"
  6. Taking the reed from His hand they strike Him on the head, driving the thorns more deeply into His scalp.
  7. Pilate brings Jesus before the people, hoping His pitiful sight will soften them: "Behold the man!"
  8. Their response: "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!"
  9. Our Blessed Lord submitted to this terrible humiliation to make reparation for our pride.
  10. Father, by the merits of this painful humiliation, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
  1. One condemned to death by crucifixion is forced to carry the cross to the place of execution.
  2. The suffering of Jesus is intense as the cross is laid on His bruised and wounded back and shoulders.
  3. Weak and exhausted from loss of blood, lack of food and rest, Jesus falls three times under the cross.
  4. Jesus meets His afflicted Mother causing untold anguish in the Hearts of Son and Mother.
  5. The countenance of Jesus is disfigured with blood and sweat, with dust and spittle.
  6. Veronica wipes His face, leaving on her towel the image of His countenance.
  7. Fearing that Jesus might die on the way, the soldiers force Simeon of Cyrene to carry the cross behind Jesus.
  8. Jesus speaks to weeping women; "Weep not for Me, but for yourselves and your children."
  9. "If anyone is to be My disciple, let him take up his cross and follow Me."
  10. Father, by the merits of this painful journey to Calvary, have mercy on us and on the whole world.


The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery
THE CRUCIFIXION
  1. The hands and feet of Jesus are nailed to the cross in the presence of His afflicted Mother.
  2. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."
  3. "This day you will be with Me in paradise."
  4. "Woman, behold your Son. Son, behold your Mother."
  5. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"
  6. "I thirst."
  7. "It is finished."
  8. "Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit."
  9. The side of Jesus is pierced with a lance. His body is taken down and placed in the arms of His Mother.
  10. Father, by the merits of the crucifixion and death of Jesus, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Rosary ~ The Joyful Mysteries (Monday & Saturday)



Short meditations to go along with each Hail Mary that you pray in each decade of the mysteries. 


The First Joyful Mystery

THE ANNUNCIATION

  1. The time for the Incarnation is at hand.
  2. Of all women God prepared Mary from her conception to be the Mother of the Incarnate Word.
  3. The Angel Gabriel announces: "Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with thee."
  4. Mary wonders at this salutation.
  5. The Angel assures her: "Fear not . . . you shall conceive in your womb, and give birth to a Son."
  6. Mary is troubled for she has made a vow of virginity.
  7. The Angel answers that she will conceive by the power of the Holy Spirit, and her Son will be called the Son of God.
  8. The Incarnation awaits Mary's consent.
  9. Mary answers: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to your word."
  10. The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.



The Second Joyful Mystery
THE VISITATION

  1. Mary's cousin Elizabeth conceived a son in her old age . . . for nothing is impossible with God.
  2. Charity prompts Mary to hasten to visit Elizabeth in the hour of her need.
  3. The journey to Elizabeth's home is about eighty miles requiring four or five days.
  4. Though long and arduous, the journey is joyous, for Mary bears with her the Incarnate Word.
  5. At Mary's salutation, John the Baptist is sanctified in his mother's womb.
  6. Elizabeth exclaims: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb."
  7. "How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
  8. "Blessed is she who believed that the Lord's words to her would be fulfilled."
  9. Mary replies: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, and my spirit finds joy in God my Savior."
  10. Mary serves her cousin in all humility for three months until the birth of John the Baptist.



The Third Joyful Mystery
THE NATIVITY

  1. Joseph and Mary go to Bethlehem to comply with the decree of Caesar Augustus.
  2. The hour for Mary to give birth is near, but there is no room in the inn.
  3. In the stillness of the night, the Savior is born in a cave, Mary remaining a Virgin.
  4. She wraps Him in swaddling clothes and lays Him in a manger.
  5. In unspeakable joy Mary gathers to her bosom the Flower of her virginity.
  6. Jesus enters the world in poverty to teach the lesson of detachment from earthly things.
  7. The angel announces to the shepherds: "Today there is born to you in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ the Lord."
  8. The angelic chorus sing: "Glory to God in the highest, and peace to His people on earth."
  9. The shepherds come to the stable to pay homage to the Infant Jesus.
  10. The Magi come to adore the Holy Child and offer Him gifts.



The Fourth Joyful Mystery
THE PRESENTATION

  1. Observing the law of Moses they take Jesus to the temple to present Him to the Lord.
  2. According to the Law the firstborn male child of every family should be consecrated to the Lord.
  3. Mary offers her Son to the Father, then ransoms Him back at the price paid by the poor.
  4. Jesus is not subject to the law of Moses, yet to teach obedience, submits to it.
  5. Mary is not subject to the law of purification, yet in humility she submits to it.
  6. God had revealed to Simeon that he would not see death until he had seen the Messiah.
  7. Recognizing the Child, he prays: "Now you can dismiss your servant in peace. You have fulfilled your word."
  8. "This Child is destined to be the downfall and rise of many in Israel, a sign that will be opposed."
  9. And to Mary Simeon reveals: "And your own soul a sword shall pierce."
  10. After they fulfill all the Law requires they return to Nazareth.



The Fifth Joyful Mystery
THE FINDING OF JESUS IN THE TEMPLE

  1. When Jesus is twelve years old, He goes with His parents to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover.
  2. After the feast of the Passover, Joseph and Mary unknowingly set out for Nazareth without Jesus.
  3. At the end of the first day's journey they discover Jesus is missing.
  4. His parents return immediately looking for Him.
  5. This loss causes grief and anxiety beyond our understanding to the hearts of Mary and Joseph.
  6. On the third day they find Jesus in the Temple among the Doctors who were astonished at His wisdom.
  7. Mary: "Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been searching for you in sorrow."
  8. Jesus: "Why did you search for me? Did you not know that I must be about my Father's business?"
  9. Jesus goes down with them to Nazareth, and is subject to them.
  10. Mary keeps all these things in her heart.

If You Want

If you want, 
the Virgin will come walking down the road 
pregnant with the holy, and say, 
“I need shelter for the night, 
please take me inside your heart, 
my time is so close.” 
Then, under the roof of your soul, 
you will witness the sublime intimacy, 
the divine, the Christ, taking birth forever, 
as she grasps your hand for help, 
for each of us is the midwife of God, each of us. 
Yes there, under the dome of your being 
does creation come into existence eternally, 
through your womb, 
dear pilgrim, the sacred womb of your soul, 
as God grasps our arms for help, 
for each of us is his beloved servant, never far. 
If you want, 
the Virgin will come walking down the street 
pregnant with Light and sing.

~ * ~ St. John of the Cross ~ * ~


A Future Not Our Own

In memory of Oscar Romero (1917–1980) 

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water the seeds already planted knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realising this.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

~ * ~ Bishop Ken Untener (1937–2004) ~ * ~

Tuesday, 9 October 2018

The Gift of St. Jude's Hope


"Your good Spirit will lead me into the right land." ~ Psalm 143:10

The Holy Spirit extends to us the gift of hope that energizes us as devotees of St. Jude. We cultivate this hope as one of the three great theological virtues—the others being faith and charity—through devotion as we pray novenas, send petitions to the National Shrine, and look to St. Jude with endless gratitude for intercession on our behalf and on the behalf of those dear to us who are also in need.

At the heart of these prayers and practices is the spiritual gift of hope that continually draws us to this patron saint who is always ready to place our intentions before God. The more we practice our faith and this devotion, the better we can become at recognizing the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We are truly fortunate to be strengthened and uplifted by the gifts of the Spirit and of St. Jude, enabling us to try to carry out the best responses to our weaknesses and to our difficulties in life.

Each of the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit plays an important role in igniting our hope—our deep desire for something that is full with the grateful expectation of assistance in many forms.

source: Faith Reflection, National Shrine of St. Jude