Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, VATICAN II - Documents

Marian Thoughts – 10 May – Lumen Gentium #61-62

Marian Thoughts – 10 May – “Mary’s Month” and Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C

From the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council
(Lumen Gentium #61-62)

The Motherhood of Our Lady in God’s Plan of Salvation

From all eternity, together with the Incarnation of the divine Word, the Blessed Virgin was predestined to be the Mother of God.   By the will of divine Providence, she was the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, here on earth and, above all others, in a unique way she was the willing partner and the humble handmaid of the Lord.   She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ.   She presented Him to the Father in the temple and shared the suffering of His Son as He died on the cross.   In an utterly singular way, she co-operated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Saviour’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls.   For this reason, she is a mother to us in the order of grace.

This motherhood of Mary, in the order of grace, began with the consent which she gave in faith, at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, it will last without interruption, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.   Once assumed into heaven, she did not set aside this saving role but, with her numerous prayers of intercession, continues to win for us, the gifts of eternal salvation.

By her maternal charity, Mary cares for the brethren of her Son who still wander through this world, in the midst of dangers and difficulties, until they are led to the happiness of their heavenly home.

For this reason the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjustrix and Mediatrix – but they are titles which must be understood, in a way, that neither detracts from, nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.

For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways, both by sacred ministers and by the faithful and, as the one goodness of God, is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, in the same way, the unique mediation of the Redeemer, does not exclude but, rather gives rise among creatures, to a manifold co-operation, which is but a sharing in this one source.

The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary.   She knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that, encouraged by this maternal help, they may follow the Mediator and Redeemer more clearly.

Sancta Mater Maria, Mother of God and our Mother, Pray for us!sancta mater maria ora pro nobis pray for us 10 may 2019.jpg

Posted in QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, St Pope JOHN PAUL

Thought for the Day – 10 May – “.. desire always to be one with Him”

Thought for the Day – 10 May – Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C and the Memorial of Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928)

Excerpt from the Beatification Homily
St John Paul II (1920-2005)
Sunday, 22 June 2003

Dear brothers and sisters, the just man, surrounded by divine light, becomes in turn a lamp which radiates light and gives warmth.   This is what we learn today from the figure of Ivan Merz.

A gifted young man, he made a good return on his rich natural talents and obtained great human success – it can be said that he had a very successful life.   But that is not the reason why he is today declared Blessed.   What makes him one of the choir of the Beati is his success in God’s eyes.  The great aspiration of his whole life was “never to forget God, to desire always to be one with Him”.   In all his activities Ivan Merz sought “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus” and he allowed Christ to make him his own (cf. Phil 3:8,12).

At the school of the liturgy, the source and summit of the Church’s life (cf. Sacrosanctum Concilium, 10), Ivan Merz grew to the fullness of Christian maturity and became one of the principal promoters of the liturgical renewal in his country.

Taking part in Mass and drawing nourishment from the Body of Christ and the Word of God, he drew the inspiration to become an apostle of young people.   It was not by chance that he chose as his motto “Sacrifice – Eucharist – Apostolate”.   Conscious of the vocation he had received in Baptism, he made his whole life a “race” towards holiness, the “high standard” of Christian life (cf. Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31).   For this reason, as the First Reading says, “his memory will not disappear and his name will live through all generations” (Sir 39:9).

The name of Ivan Merz, has meant in the past, a programme of life and of activity, for an entire generation of young Catholics.   Today too, it must do the same!

…Do not seek a more comfortable life elsewhere, do not flee from your responsibilities and expect others to resolve problems but resolutely counter evil with the power of good.

Like Blessed Ivan, strive for a personal encounter with Christ which sheds new light on life.   May the Gospel be the great ideal guiding your approaches and your decisions! Thus you will become missionaries in word and deed, signs of God’s love and credible witnesses of the merciful presence of Christ.   Never forget: “one does not light a lamp and put it under a bushel” (cf. Mt 5:15).

Dear brothers and sisters, who take part with such fervour in this celebration, may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, keep your heart and your spirit in the knowledge and love of God and of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Blessed Ivan Merz, Pray for Us!bl ivan merz pray for us 10 may 2019 no 2.jpg

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MORNING Prayers, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 10 May – “He is there and He is also here..”

One Minute Reflection – 10 May – and Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C, First Reading: Acts 9:1-20 and the Memorial of Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928)

“He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”…Acts 9:4

REFLECTION – “How can we show that He is there and that He is also here?   Let Paul answer for us, who was previously Saul.   First of all, the Lord’s own voice from heaven shows this: “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?”   Had Paul climbed up to heaven then?   Had Paul even thrown a stone at heaven?   It was Christians he was persecuting, them he was tying up, them he was dragging off to be put to death, them he was everywhere hunting out of their hiding places and never sparing when he found them. To him the Lord said, “Saul, Saul.”   Where is He crying out from? Heaven.   So He’s up above.   “Why are you persecuting me?” So He’s down below.”…St Augustine (354-430) Bishop of Hippo, Father & Doctor (Sermon 122)acts 9 4 - saul saul - he is there and he is also here - st augustine - 10 may 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Almighty God, You sent Your Son and we have now come to know the grace of His Resurrection.   Through Him we live and move and have our being.   As we follow Him, He walks with us and leads us to You.   Grant we pray, that His mother and ours, may guide our way to Him and may the prayers of Blessed Ivan Merz, who always followed closely behind the Lord, be a solace in our trials.   Through Christ our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.sancta-maria-mary-most-holy-pray-for-us-10-may-2018bl ivan merz pray for us 10 may 2019

 

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN PRAYERS, Our MORNING Offering, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 10 May – Hail, O Mary, Mother of God

Our Morning Offering – 10 May – “Mary’s Month” and Friday Third Week of Easter, C

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God
By St Cyril of Alexandria (376-444)
Father & Doctor of the Church

Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Virgin and Mother!
Morning Star, perfect vessel.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Holy Temple in which god Himself was conceived.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Chaste and pure dove.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Who enclosed the One who cannot be encompassed
in your sacred womb.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
From you flowed the true light, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you the Conqueror
and triumphant Vanquisher of hell came to us.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Through you, the glory of the Resurrection blossoms.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
You have saved every faithful Christian.
Hail, O Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners now
and at the hour of our death.
Amenhail o mary mother of god st cyril of alex 10 may 2019.jpg

Posted in SAINT of the DAY, VATICAN Resources

Saint of the Day – 10 May – Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928)

Saint of the Day – 10 May – Blessed Ivan Merz (1896-1928) aged 32 – Layman, Teacher, Professor, Apostle of the Blessed Sacrament and of prayer, Founder of Youth Movements in Croatia – Patronages – Croatian youth, youth as a whole, World Youth Day celebrations.bl Ivan

Ivan Merz was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia, on 16 December 1896 and was baptised on 2 February 1897.   He attended elementary and middle school in Banja Luka and, after a brief period of education at the military academy of Wiener Noustadt, he enrolled in 1915 at the University of Vienna, with the dream of teaching young people in Bosnia, thus, he would be following the example of his professor, Ljubomir Marakovic, who helped Ivan to discover the richness of the Catholic faith.ivan-merz-as a boy.jpeg

In March 1916, Ivan was enlisted in the army and shipped to the Italian battle front, where he spent the greater part of two years beginning in 1917.   The war experience and its horrors marked a turning point in Ivan’s young life and contributed greatly to his spiritual growth, prompting him to abandon his future into God’s hands and to strive with all his might towards the goal of Christian perfection.

On 5 February 1918, he wrote in his diary:  “Never forget God!   Always desire to be united with Him.   Begin each day in the first place with meditation and prayer, possibly close to the Blessed Sacrament or during Mass.   During this time, plans for the day are made, one’s defects are put under examination and grace is implored for the strength to overcome all weakness.   It would be something terrible if this war had no meaning for me!…   I must begin a life regenerated in the spirit of this new understanding of Catholicism.   The Lord alone can help me, as man can do nothing on his own”.   At this time, Ivan also made a private vow of perpetual chastity.bl ivan merz 3.jpg

After the war, he continued his studies at Vienna (1919-20) and then in Paris (1920-22).   In 1923 he obtained a degree in philosophy.   His thesis was entitled “The influence of the Liturgy on the French authors”.   He then became a professor of language and French literature and was exemplary in his dedication to the students and to his responsibilities as a teacher.

In his spare time he studied philosophy and theology and deepened his knowledge of the documents of the Magisterium of the Church.

Ivan was especially noted for his interest in young people and concern for their growth in faith and holiness.   He started the “League of Young Croatian Catholics” and the “Croatian League of Eagles” within the Croatian Catholic Action Movement.   Their motto was: “Sacrifice Eucharist Apostolate”.

For Ivan, the purpose of this organisation was to form a group of front-line apostles whose goal was holiness.   The scope of this goal also flowed over into liturgical renewal, of which Ivan was one of the first promoters in Croatia.

As a Catholic intellectual, Ivan was able to guide young people and adults to Christ and His Church, through his writings and organised gatherings.   He also sought to teach them love and obedience to the Vicar of Christ and the Church of Rome.bl ivan 4.jpg

In the face of any misunderstandings and difficulties, Ivan always had an admirable patience and calm, the fruit of his continual union with God in prayer.   Those who knew him well described him as a person who had his “mind and heart immersed in the supernatural”.   Convinced that the most effective way to save souls was through efficacious suffering, he offered to God all his physical and moral sufferings, particularly for the intention of the success of his apostolic endeavours.

Shortly before his death, he offered his life for the youth of Croatia.   In short, the young man believed that his vocation was very simply “the Catholic faith”.Bl_Ivan_Merz_u_Bazilici_Srca_Isusova_13_rujna_2008

Ivan Merz died on 10 May 1928 in Zagreb.   He was 32 years old….Vatican.va

Blessed Ivan left an example of how a man can live, fight and suffer for God’s cause. Merz tried hard to give his life the “full meaning”, heading for sanctity and all his pedagogical task was devoted to the formation of apostles of sanctity.   He died with a reputation of a saint.   His shrine is located in the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia.   The canonisation cause started in 1958.

He was Beatified by St Pope John Paul on Sunday, 22 June 2003 in Bosnia Herzegovina.

bl ivan merz 576px-Sacred_Heart_Basilica,_Zagreb_3
Blessed Ivan Merz’s tomb in the Basilica of the Heart of Jesus in Zagreb, Croatia

On 3 March 2018, His Excellency Francisco Mendoza De Leon, DD, bishop of the Diocese of Antipolo and local Ordinary of the Blessed Ivan Merz Centre and Reliquarium, formally opened and blessed the Blessed Ivan Merz Reliquarium.

The Blessed Ivan Merz Reliquarium (Home of the Sacred Relics) was established to house the sacred relics of Blessed Ivan Merz and of other sacred relics belonging to Our Lord, the Blessed Mother and beatified and canonised Servants of God.   It serves as spiritual oasis for pilgrims, devotees and disciples in faith of the Apostle of the Youth.

We pray that those who will visit Blessed Ivan Merz Reliquarium will experience the Lord’s kind assistance.

May those who venerate the remains of the Saints, especially of Blessed Ivan Merz, with their prayers and merits, obtain pardon for sin and protection from every adversity. blivan reliquariumbl ivan relics

Beautiful images on their website here:  https://ivanmerz.org/the-reliquarium-and-relics/

Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Memorials of the Saints – 10 May

St John of Avila (1499-1569) “Apostle of Andalusia”– Doctor of the Church
About St John:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/saint-of-the-day-10-may-st-john-of-avila-1499-1569-apostle-of-andalusia-known-as-father-master-avila-doctor-of-the-church/

St Joseph de Veuster (1840-1889) – St Damian of Molokai “The Martyr of Molokai”(Optional Memorial)
St Damian’s life:   https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/10-may-the-memorial-of-st-damian-de-veuster-de-molokai/

Robert Louis Stevenson and St Damian: https://anastpaul.wordpress.com/2017/05/10/blessed-memorial-of-s-damian-de-veuster-de-molokai/

St Alphius of Lentini
Bl Amalarius of Metz
Bl Antonio of Norcia
St Aurelian of Limoges
Bl Beatrix d’Este the Elder
St Blanda of Rome
St Calepodius of Rome
St Catald of Taranto
St Comgall of Bangor
St Cyrinus of Lentini
St Dioscorides of Smyrna
Bl Enrico Rebuschini
St Epimachus of Rome
St Felix of Rome
Bl Giusto Santgelp
St Gordian the Judge
Bl Ivan Merz (1896-1928)
Bl Nicholas Albergati
St Palmatius of Rome
St Philadelphus of Lentini
St Quartus of Capua
St Quintus of Capua
St Simplicius of Rome
St Solange of Bourges
St Thecla
Bl William of Pontnoise