Saturday, March 20, 2010

Fifth Dolarof Mary: Jesus Dies on the Cross


+JMJ+
Our Father...
Prayer: I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the martyrdom which your generous heart endured in standing near Jesus in his agony. Dear Mother, by your afflicted heart, obtain for me the virtue of temperance and the gift of counsel.
Hail Mary...Luke 23:33
Hail Mary...Luke 23:35
Hail Mary...John 19:25
Hail Mary...John 19:26,27
Hail Mary...Mark 15:34
Hail Mary...Luke 23:44
Hail Mary...Luke 23:45,46

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Fourth Dolar of Mary

+JMJ+

Fourth Septet: Mary Meets Jesus on the Way of the Cross
Our Father...
Prayer: I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the consternation of your heart at meeting Jesus as he carried his cross. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of patience, and the gift of fortitude.
Hail Mary...Luke 23:25
Hail Mary...Luke 23:26
Hail Mary...Luke 23:27
Hail Mary...Luke 23:28
Hail Mary...Luke 23:29
Hail Mary...Luke 23:30,31
Hail Mary...Luke 23:32

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Second and Third Dolars of Mary

+JMJ+
Second Septet: The Flight into Egypt.
Our Father...
Prayer: I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the anguish of your most affectionate heart during the flight into Egypt and your sojourn there. Dear Mother, by your heart so troubled, obtain for me the virtue of generosity, especially toward the poor, and the gift of piety.
Hail Mary...Matthew 2:13 After they had left, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him."
Hail Mary...Matthew 2:14 So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, he left that night for Egypt...
Hail Mary...Matthew 2:15 ...where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken through the prophet: "I called my son out of Egypt."
Hail Mary...Matthew 2:16 Herod was furious when he realized he had been outwitted by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or under, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men.
Hail Mary...Matthew 2:18 "A voice was heard in Ramah, sobbing and loudly lamenting: it was Rachel weeping for her children, refusing to be comforted because they were no more."
Hail Mary...Matthew 219,20 After Herod's death, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead."
Hail Mary...Matthew 2: 21-23 So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel. But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judea,he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he left for the region of Gallile. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled: "He will be called a Nazarene."

Third Septet: The Missing of Jesus
Our Father...
Prayer: I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in those anxieties which tried your troubled heart at the loss of your dear Jesus. Dear Mother, by your heart so full of anguish, obtain for me the virtue of chastity and the gift of knowledge.
Hail Mary...Luke 2: 41
Hail Mary...Luke 2:42
Hail Mary...Luke 2:43
Hail Mary...Luke 2:44,45
Hail Mary...Luke 2:46,47
Hail Mary...Luke 2: 48
Hail Mary...Luke 2: 49,50

Saturday, February 20, 2010

+JMJ+
I have decided to post the Seven Dolores of Mary (one each saturday) during lent this year.

THE CHAPLET OF SEVEN SORROWS

Bead 1: O God, come to my assistance;
O Lord, make haste to help me.

Bead 2: Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of
the living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.

Bead 3: Sorrowful and Immaculate
Heart of Mary, pray for me.

Bead 4: Glory be to the Father...
As it was in the beginning...

First Septet: The Prophecy of Simeon.
Our Father...
Prayer: I grieve for you, O Mary most sorrowful, in the affliction of your tender heart at the prophecy of the holy and aged Simeon. Dear Mother, by your heart so afflicted, obtain for me the virtue of humility and the gift of the holy fear of God.
Hail Mary...Luke 2:22 And when the day came for them to be purified as laid down by the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord...
Hail Mary...Luke 2:25 Now in Jerusalem was a man named Simeon. He was an upright and devout man; he looked forward to Israel's comforting and the Holy Spirit rested on him..
Hail Mary...Luke 2:26 It had been bevealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death until he had set eyes on the Christ of the Lord.
He took him into his arms and blessed God;
Hail Mary...Luke 2:29-32 "Now, Master, you can let your servant go in peace, just as you promised; because my eyes have seen the salvation which you have prepared for all the nations to see, a light to enlighten the pagans and the glory of your poeple Israel."
Hail Mary...Luke 2:33 The child's father and mother stood there wondering about the things that were being said about him...
Hail Mary...Luke 2:34,35 ...Simeon blessed them and said to his Mary his mother, "You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected- and a sword will pierce your own soul too- so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare."

Friday, February 19, 2010

Benedict XVI's Ash Wednesday Homily

"Lent Lengthens Our Horizon, It Orients Us to Eternal Life"


ROME, FEB. 18, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily delivered Wednesday by Benedict XVI during the celebration of the Mass of Imposition of Ashes in the Basilica of St. Sabina on the Aventine Hill.

* * *

"You love all creatures, Lord,
And do not loath anything you have made;
You forget the sins of those who convert and forgive them,
Because you are the Lord our God" (Entrance Antiphon)

Venerated Brothers in the Episcopate,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

With this moving invocation, taken from the Book of Wisdom (cf 11:23-26), the liturgy introduces the Eucharistic celebration of Ash Wednesday. They are words that, in some way, open the whole Lenten journey, placing as their foundation the omnipotence of the love of God, his absolute lordship over every creature, which is translated in infinite indulgence, animated by a constant and universal will to live. In fact, to forgive someone is equivalent to saying: I do not want you to die, but that you live; I always and only want your good.

This absolute certainty sustained Jesus during the 40 days transpired in the desert of Judea, after the baptism received from John in the Jordan. This long time of silence and fasting was for him a complete abandonment to the Father and to his plan of love; it was a "baptism," that is, an "immersion" in his will, and in this sense, an anticipation of the Passion and the Cross. To go into the desert and to stay there a long time, alone, meant to be willingly exposed to the assaults of the enemy, the tempter who made Adam fall and through whose envy death entered the world (cf Wisdom 2:24); it meant engaging in open battle with him, defying him with no other weapons than limitless confidence in the omnipotent love of the Father. Your love suffices me, my food is to do your will (cf John 4:34): This conviction dwelt in the mind and heart of Jesus during that "Lent" of his. It was not an act of pride, a titanic enterprise, but a decision of humility, consistent with the Incarnation and the Baptism in the Jordan, in the same line of obedience to the merciful love of the Father, who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son" (John 3:16).

The Lord did all this for us. He did it to save us and, at the same time, to show us the way to follow him. Salvation, in fact, is a gift, it is God's grace, but to have effect in my existence it requires my consent, an acceptance demonstrated in deeds, that is, in the will to live like Jesus, to walk after him. To follow Jesus in the Lenten desert is, hence, the condition necessary to participate in his Easter, in his "exodus." Adam was expelled from the earthly Paradise, symbol of communion with God; now, to return to that communion and, therefore, to true life, it is necessary to traverse the desert, the test of faith. Not alone, but with Jesus! He -- as always -- has preceded us and has already conquered in the battle against the spirit of evil. This is the meaning of Lent, liturgical time that every year invites us to renew the choice to follow Christ on the path of humility to participate in his victory over sin and death.

Understood in this perspective also is the penitential sign of the ashes, which are imposed on the head of those who begin with good will the Lenten journey. It is essentially a gesture of humility, which means: I recognize myself for what I am, a frail creature, made of earth and destined to the earth, but also made in the image of God and destined to him. Dust, yes, but loved, molded by love, animated by his vital breath, capable of recognizing his voice and of responding to him; free and, because of this, also capable of disobeying him, yielding to the temptation of pride and self-sufficiency. This is sin, the mortal sickness that soon entered to contaminate the blessed earth that is the human being. Created in the image of the Holy and Righteous One, man lost his own innocence and he can now return to be righteous only thanks to the righteousness of God, the righteousness of love that -- as St. Paul writes -- was manifested "through faith in Jesus Christ" (Romans 3:22). From these words of the Apostle I took my inspiration for my Message, addressed to all the faithful on the occasion of this Lent: a reflection on the theme of righteousness in the light of the Sacred Scriptures and of its fulfillment in Christ.

Also very present in the biblical readings of Ash Wednesday is the theme of righteousness. First of all, the page of the prophet Joel and the Responsorial Psalm -- the Miserere -- form a penitential diptych, which manifests how at the origin of all material and social injustice is what the Bible calls "iniquity," that is, sin, which consists essentially in a disobedience to God, namely, a lack of love. "For I know my transgressions, / and my sin is ever before me. / Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, / and done that which is evil in thy sight" (Psalm 51 (50): 3-4). The first act of righteousness, therefore, is to recognize one's own iniquity, it is to recognize that it is rooted in the "heart," in the very center of the human person. "Fasting," "weeping", "mourning" (cf. Joel 2:12) and every penitential expression has value in the eyes of God only if it is the sign of truly repentant hearts. Also the Gospel, taken from the "Sermon on the Mount," insists on the need to practice proper "righteousness" -- almsgiving, prayer and fasting -- not before men but only in the eyes of God, who "sees in secret" (cf Matthew 6:1-6.16-18). The true "recompense" is not others' admiration, but friendship with God and the grace that derives from it, a grace that gives strength to do good, to love also the one who does not deserve it, to forgive those who have offended us.

The second reading, Paul's appeal to allow ourselves to be reconciled with God (cf 2 Corinthians 5:20), contains one of the famous Pauline paradoxes, which redirects the whole reflection on righteousness to the mystery of Christ. St. Paul writes: "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21). In the heart of Christ, that is, in the center of his divine-human Person, the whole drama of liberty was at stake in decisive and definitive terms. God took to the extreme consequences his own plan of salvation, remaining faithful to his love even at the cost of giving his Only-begotten Son to death, and to death on a cross. As I wrote in the Lenten Message, "here divine righteousness is revealed, profoundly different from the human. [...] Thanks to Christ's action, we can enter the 'greatest' righteousness, which is that of love (cf Romans 13:8-10)."

Dear brothers and sisters, Lent lengthens our horizon, it orients us to eternal life. On this earth we are on pilgrimage, "[f]or here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come," says the Letter to the Hebrews (Hebrews 13:14). Lent makes us understand the relativity of the goods of this earth and thus makes us capable of the necessary self-denials, free to do good. Let us open the earth to the light of heaven, to the presence of God in our midst. Amen.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Feast of the Baptism of Our Lord

+JMJ+
CHESAPEAKE, Va. (Catholic Online) - In the Western Church we end the Christmas season with the Feast of the Lord’s “Baptism in the Jordan”. It marks the beginning of what is called his “public” ministry. He was thirty years old. He died His redemptive death at Golgotha when He was only thirty three. However, He also spent thirty redemptive years of life in what writers have sometimes called His “hidden years” in Nazareth’s school, “growing in wisdom and stature”. (Luke 2:52) They were not “hidden” in the sense of unimportant. It simply means that we do not find much about them in the Gospel accounts. However, they are rich with meaning, revealing the deeper truths of our faith and its invitation to each one of us who bear the name Christian.

Jesus, Perfect God and Perfect Man, the Incarnate Word, Son of God and Son of Mary, gave the same glory to the Father when he was working with wood in the workshop of Nazareth as he would years later when he raised a friend named Lazarus from the dead. From the moment of His conception, the Son of God recapitulated (to use a favored word of the great Bishop Irenaeus) the entire human experience, recreating and beginning humanity anew. During those years, in the hearth of a human family the Son of God sanctified and transformed every aspect of ordinary human life. His redemptive and transforming work began in the first home of the whole human race, His mothers womb. Jesus was a Redeemer in the Womb, beginning His Incarnation as an “Embryonic Person”, to use the phrase from the Instruction from the Holy See entitled “On the Dignity of every Human Person”. From within the Living tabernacle of the Womb of the All Holy Virgin, He began His redemptive mission.

This child of Mary's was born and heaven touched earth. We commemorated that Holy Nativity just days ago. Some of our brethren in the Eastern Church commemorated it this week. At the breast of his mother, He elevated the already holy wonder and dignity of the vocation of motherhood. In His sacred humanity he was nurtured, a sign of the beauty of the human experience of love, growth and maturation. He was raised by a human mother and father; and parenting and family life forever took on a deeper meaning in the domestic church of the family. At the bench of Joseph the carpenter; he learned the carpenter’s trade and sanctified all human work as a participation in the continuing work of both creation and redemption.

The word “Epiphany” means “manifestation”, a making present, a revealing. There is no doubt that even during those so called “hidden” years the plan, purpose and redemptive implications of the entire saving life, death, and resurrection of Jesus were being manifested and revealed. They reveal how the ordinary becomes “extraordinary” when lived in communion with the Father. The “Baptism of the Lord” is also called the “Theophany”, the manifestation of God Himself. Our Gospel at the Liturgy will recount the wondrous revealing of the Holy Trinity. As the Incarnate Word of the Father was immersed in the Waters, the voice of the Father is heard and the Spirit descends. (Mark 1:7-11)

The “Theophany” has inspired extraordinary reflection in the Tradition. Here is an excerpt from an early homily: “Therefore the Lord Jesus came to baptism, and willed to have his body washed with water. Perhaps some one will say: “He who is holy, why did he wish to be baptized?” Pay attention therefore! Christ is baptized, not that he may be sanctified in the waters, but that he himself may sanctify the waters, and by his own purification may purify those streams which he touches. For the consecration of Christ is the greater consecration of another element. For when the Savior is washed, then already for our baptism all water is cleansed and the fount purified, that the grace of the laver may be administered to the peoples that come after. Christ therefore takes the lead in baptism, so that Christian peoples may follow after him with confidence.” (St. Maximus of Turin, 423 AD)

Last week we reflected on the “wise men” from the East who followed the light to the fullness of Divinity who humbled Himself to share in our humanity. From antiquity, the Christian church has pointed to this “Manifestation” in the river of Jordan, this “Epiphany” in the waters, as the event wherein the full plan of God for His Church and the entirety of creation itself is made manifest. We are called to become a “manifestation”, an “epiphany” of God in a world stumbling along in the darkness of sin.

The Baptism of Jesus manifests the very life of the Holy Trinity to the whole world and opens the door, through Jesus Christ, into a “communion”, a participation in the life of the Trinity through Baptism into His Body, the Church. The waters of the Jordan are sanctified by the Son and now all water is sanctified. Just as the Spirit hovered over the waters of the original creation, the Spirit hovers over the waters where the Son is immersed by John. This is the reason why in the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, the clergy often lead the faithful to rivers and entire rivers are blessed!

One of the first elements of creation created by the Father through the Son, is now re-created through the Incarnate Son. The Word Incarnate stands in the waters of the earth which was created through Him. Into these waters, through which the people of Israel were once delivered, the entire human race is now invited to follow Jesus. What was once the means of God’s judgment and purification at the time of Noah, fills the Baptismal fount where men and women are delivered from sin and made new! The Church is given new waters for her saving and sanctifying mission. The Trinity, the Communion of Divine persons in perfect unity, is revealed. In the great liturgical prayer of the East the Church proclaims: “When Thou, O Lord was baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest... O Christ our God who has appeared and enlightened the world, Glory to Thee." In his baptism in the Jordan, Jesus is not sanctified for He is without sin, we are capacitated now in Him to become “sons (and daughters) in the Son”.

The Theophany also reminds us that all of creation will be redeemed! As Paul wrote to the Christians at Rome, creation itself “groans” for that full redemption (Romans 8:28). This belief in the full redemption of creation, of a new heaven and a new earth, is integral to the Christian faith. Christians are NOT anti-matter. We profess in our ancient creed that we will await the resurrection of our bodies and life in a “world to come.” The Feast of the “Theophany”, the Baptism in the Jordan celebrates the full salvation and sanctification of all matter as well. The Greek word for “Baptism” means to be immersed. Before it is all over, the entire world will be “immersed” in God and transformed. It will be freed from sin and made new!

Descending into the waters of the Jordan Jesus, who shares our humanity, makes that living water flow with healing mercy. His Divine Life is now mediated through the Sacraments in the life of the Church which is His Body. The Word descends and begins the re-creation of the universe. This is an ongoing work which will only be complete when He returns. We who are baptized into Him are called to participate in this ongoing redemptive mission. The public mission and ministry of Jesus began at the waters of Jordan. However, it continues through His Church, of which we are made members through Baptism.

We are invited on this great Feast to live our lives now in the “Theophany” of the God who is a Trinitarian communion of Perfect love. The Christian vocation is to reveal the Love of the Trinity to the entire human race in order to bring them to the Waters of Baptism into New Life in the new humanity of the Church which is Christ's Body. There joined in Him we continue His mission until He returns to make all things new.

Taken from www.catholic.org