Thought for the Day – 15 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary’s Only Treasure
“Jesus had only one consolation in the midst of His terrible sufferings. His Mother, Mary was beside the Cross along with His beloved Apostle and the holy women who had always followed Him. Mary loved her Son with a love greater than that of any mother, which is the greatest love possible on earth. She loved Jesus with the heart of a Mother and of a Virgin – He was her only treasure. Moreover, she loved Him, not only as her Son but, also as her God. Precisely because she loved Him as her God, her love was in perfect harmony with the divine will.
She understood the mystery which led Jesus to accept death on the Cross – the mystery of the Redemption. “He was offered because it was his own will” (Isa 53:7). He was offered on our behalf, as a voluntary victim to His heavenly Father.”
Quote/s of the Day – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother
“Let my heart languish and my soul melt away and be consumed with love of You, my beloved Saviour Jesus and my dear Mother Mary! But because I cannot love You unless You give me grace, then give me grace, O Jesus and Mary — by Your merits, not mine — to love You as You deserve to be loved. O God, lover of humankind, You loved sinful human beings to the point of death. Will You deny Your love and Your Mother’s to anyone who begs for it?”
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
“During the entire course of her life, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, never deviated in the slightest from the precepts and examples of her Divine Son. This was true both in the most sweet joys Mary experienced and in the cruel sufferings she underwent, which made the the Queen of Martyrs.”
Venerable Pope Pius XII (1876-1958)
When Mary Weeps By Father Frederick M Lynk (1881-unknown)
When Mary weeps, her mother’s heart Is full to overflowing. When Mary weeps, pain’s piercing dart Stabs Him beyond all knowing, Who is by sinners Crucified, Blasphemed, forsaken and denied.
When Mary weeps, God’s holy wrath Is kindling cruel fires. When Mary weeps, poor mankind’s path Leads through war’s blood-soaked mires And makes all human mothers moan In love and pity for their own.
When Mary weeps, it’s time to pray To have our sins forgiven. When Mary weeps, each night and day By sorrow must be riven, Until His and her children will Once more seek peace on Calvary’s hill. When Mary weeps, we all must try To dry her tears of sorrow. When Mary weeps, we too must cry To glimpse a brighter morrow, When her Son’s name is recognised And all, in love adore the Christ. Amen
One Minute Reflection – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother – Readings: First Timothy 3: 14-16; Psalm 111: 1-6; John 19: 25-27 or Luke 2: 33-35
“Behold, your mother” – John 19:27
REFLECTION – “Woman, this is your son. This is your mother.” By what right is the disciple whom Jesus loved, the son of the Lord’s mother? By what right is she his mother? By the fact that, without pain, she brought into the world the salvation of us all, when she gave birth in the flesh to the God-man. But now she is in labour with great pain as she stands at the foot of the Cross.
At the hour of His Passion, the Lord Himself rightly compared the Apostles to a woman in childbirth, when He said: “When a woman is in labour she is in anguish because a child is born into the world” (cf. Jn 16:21). How much more, then, might such a Son compare such a Mother, the Mother standing at the foot of His Cross, to a woman in labour? What am I saying? “Compare?” She is indeed truly a woman and truly a mother and, at this hour, she is truly experiencing the pains of childbirth. When her Son was born she did not experience the anguish of giving birth in pain as other women do; it is now that she is suffering, that she is crucified, that she experiences sorrow like a woman in labour because her hour has come ( Jn 16:21; cf.13:1; 17:1). …
When this hour has passed, when the sword of sorrow has completely pierced her soul in labour (Lk 2:35), then, no more shall she “remember the pain because a child has been born into the world” – the new Man who renews the entire human race and reigns forever over the whole world, truly born, beyond all suffering, immortal, the firstborn from the dead. If the Virgin has thus brought the salvation of us all into the world, in her Son’s Passion, then she is indeed the Mother of us all!” – Rupert of Deutz (c 1075-1130) Benedictine Monk, Theologian, Exegete and Writer – Commentary on Saint Johns Gospel, 13 ; PL 169, 789.
PRAYER – Our Father, when Jesus Your Son, was raised up on the Cross, it was Your will that Mary, His Mother, should stand there and suffer with Him in her heart. Grant that in union with her, the Church may share in the passion of Christ and so be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Be our intercessor and our consolation, Our Lady of Sorrows, amen.
Our Morning Offering – 15 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary” and Memorial of the Seven Sorrows of our Mother
O Afflicted Virgin! By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
O afflicted Virgin! O soul, great in virtues and great also in sorrows! for both arise from that great fire of love thou hast for God; thou “whose heart can love nothing but God.” O Mother, have pity on me, for I have not loved God and I have so much offended Him. Thy sorrows give me great confidence to hope for pardon. But this is not enough; I wish to love my Lord and who can better obtain this for me than thou, thou who art the Mother of fair love? O Mary, thou dost console all, comfort me also. Amen
Saint of the Day – 15 September – Our Sorrowful Mother Mary –
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary Also known as: • Septem Dolorum. • Beata Maria Virgo Perdolens • Beata Vergine Addolorata • Dolorosa • Maria Santissima Addolorata • Mater Dolorosa • Mother of Sorrows • Our Lady of the Seven Dolours • Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows • Sorrowful Mother
The Seven Sorrows of Mary
The Prophecy of Simeon at the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple: Forty days after Christ’s birth, Mary presented Him in the temple. The aged Simeon, a just and devout servant of the Lord, took Jesus into his arms and inspired by the Holy Spirit, exclaimed:
“Behold, this child is destined for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel and for a sign that shall be contradicted. And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” Luke 2:34-35
The Flight Into Egypt: No sooner did the heartless Herod hear that Jesus, the Infant King of the Jews, had been born, than he sought His life. But an Angel of the Lord appeared to Saint Joseph in a dream and warned:
“Arise, take the Child and His mother and flee into Egypt and remain there until I tell thee.” – Matthew 2:13
The Loss of Child Jesus for 3 Days: The third sword that pierced Our Lady’s heart was the three-day loss in the temple. At the age of twelve, Jesus went with Mary and Joseph to Jerusalem. Only when Mary and Joseph were travelling home, realise that Jesus was not with them. They hurried back and for three days sought Him among friends and relatives in Jerusalem. Finally, they found Him in the temple, listening and discussing with the teachers there , who were amazed at his knowledge and wisdom.
The Meeting of Jesus on the Way of The Cross: Mary’s fourth great sorrow we remember in the fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary and also the fourth Station of the Cross. Mary meets Jesus carrying His Cross to Calvary. What a mournful meeting. Imagine the pain in Mary’s heart to see her Jesus groaning and staggering under the cruel Cross. What an anguish to see the One she loved so dearly, being tortured by the taunts of the crowd, as well as the weight of the wood. And there is nothing she is able to do to help Him.
The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus: But the sword will plunge still deeper. She must see Him shamefully stripped of His garments, rudely thrown upon the Cross and then hear the sickening strokes of the hammer. Helplessly and heartbroken, she must stand beneath His cross watching Him writhe in torture, listening to His parting words, listening for His parting breath.
The Pieta – Jesus Is Laid In The Arms Of His Mother: And now comes the moment when they take Him down from the Cross. As each nail and each thorn was pulled from His body, it was a new blow to the heart of His Mother. How she must have hugged Him to her heart!
Jesus is Laid in The Tomb: The seventh sword was to witness that broken body laid in the grave. It was a Mother putting her child to bed. What a grief-stricken good-night that was. Mary must have wished that she could bury her heavy heart with Him.
During Passiontide, on the Friday before Palm Sunday, a second feast of Mary’s Dolors is held, which emphasises particularly, the four last mentioned of the seven sorrows above.
Thus the Church reflects on the feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The prayers of the Mass and the Office are indicative of her sorrows.
The first trace of the feast, St Alphonsus Liguori tells us, is found in Germany towards the beginning of the fifteenth century. Archbishop Theodoric’s ordered the keeping of this day at an assembly convened at Cologne in 1413 to wage battle against heresies of the iconoclast “Hussites,” who were very active in destroying images and pictures of Our Lady of Sorrows.
Before the sixteenth century the feast was observed only in the Diocese of North Germany, Scandinavia and Scotland but by the end of the sixteenth century, it extended over the south of Europe. In 1506 the celebration was granted the Friday before Passion Sunday as the feast of the Sorrows of Mary. To the whole German Church this last date was later assigned. On 22 April 1727, Pope Benedict XIII, extended it to the entire Latin Church under the title “Septem dolorum.”
St Aichardus St Albinus of Lyon Bl Anton Maria Schwartz St Aprus of Toul St Bond of Sens
St Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510) Married laywoman, Mystic, Apostle of the sick, the poor and the needy, Writer. Her body is incorrupt and rests in a glass reliquary at the Capuchin Church in Genoa. Catherine’s writings were examined by the Holy Office and declared to contain doctrine that would alone be enough to prove her sanctity and she was accordingly Beatified in 1675 by Pope Clement X and Canonised in 1737 by Pope Clement XII. Her writings also, became sources of inspiration for other religious leaders such as Robert Bellarmine and Francis de Sales and Cardinal Henry Edward Manning. Pope Pius XII declared her Patroness of the hospitals in Italy. Her Life: https://anastpaul.com/2020/09/15/saint-of-the-day-15-september-st-catherine-of-genoa-1447-1510/
Bl Camillus Constanzo St Emilas of Cordoba St Eutropa of Auvergne St Hernan Bl Jacinto de Los Ángeles and Bl Juan Bautista St Jeremias of Cordoba St Joseph Abibos St Mamillian of Palermo St Melitina St Mirin of Bangor St Nicetas the Goth St Nicomedes of Rome
St Porphyrius the Martyr St Ribert St Ritbert of Varennes Bl Rolando de Medici Bl Tommasuccio of Foligno St Valerian of Châlon-sur-Saône St Valerian of Noviodunum St Vitus of Bergamo Bl Wladyslaw Miegon — Martyrs of Adrianopolis – 3 saints: Three Christian men martyred together in the persecutions of Maximian – Asclepiodotus, Maximus and Theodore. They were martyred in 310 at Adrianopolis (Adrianople), a location in modern Bulgaria.
Martyrs of Noviodunum – 4 saints: Three Christian men martyred together, date unknown – Gordian, Macrinus, Stratone and Valerian. They were martyred in Noviodunum, Lower Moesia (near modern Isaccea, Romania).
Mercedarian Martyrs of Morocco – 6 beati: A group of six Mercedarians who were captured by Moors near Valencia, Spain and taken to Morocco. Though enslaved, they refused to stop preaching Christianity. Martyrs. – Dionisio, Francis, Ildefonso, James, John and Sancho. They were crucified in 1437 in Morocco.
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War: Bl Antonio Sierra Leyva Bl Pascual Penades Jornet
Thought for the Day – 14 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“The Crucifix is a simple meditation manual, open and intelligible to all, even to the most illiterate. Anyone who turns to it, can study the sorrowful gaze of Jesus, His heart pierced with love for men. His head crowned with thorns, His hands and feet transfixed with nails which support His divine body, streaming blood and writhing in anguish. The Crucifix should be dear and sacred to every Catholic. It should stand at the head of his bed, hang around his neck and hold a prominent position in his place of work or study.
Above all, however, the Crucifix should have its place in the heart of every fervent Catholic. At every moment of his life, in time of sadness and of joy, he should remember, that God became man and suffered and died for him. He should remember also, that this implies an obligation on his part, to work, suffer and die, for the love of God alone!
Many people meditate on the Crucifix. They kiss it and claim to love it. But while they love the Crucifix, they have no love for their particular cross, which they try, by every means in their power, to fling far away from them. Now, it is very certain, that anyone who does not love his own cross, does not really love the Crucifix, for Jesus has told us that, “if anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24).”
Thought for the Day – 12 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Mary, the Source of Peace
“Mary is surrounded by an atmosphere of peace. The countenance of the Virgin Mother, reflects the serenity of her soul. She was conceived free from original sin and endowed with every grace ad with every supernatural gift. There was no struggle in her, between good and evil, for this conflict is the effect of concupiscence. She never experienced the rule of sin of which St Paul complains. “I see another law in my members,” says St Paul, “warning against the law of my mind and making me prisoner to the law of sin that is in my members. Unhappy man that I am! Who will deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:23-25). It was quite otherwise with Mary. Her lower inclinations were completely subject to her spiritual faculties, which were, in their turn, perfectly submissive to the commands and inspirations of God. Nevertheless, while she enjoyed complete interior harmony, Mary had to endure external conflict and suffering. Holy Simeon foretold, that the sword of sorrow would pierce her heart. In fact, her life was altogether interwoven with hardship, want and suffering until, eventually, she knelt at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus was dying for the love of mankind and offered the divine Victim for our salvation. At the last moment, however, torn with sorrow though she was, she did not depart in the slightest from her spirit of perfect acceptance of God’s will. Consequently, her peace of soul was never diminished or extinguished. Let us learn from her to accept everything from God’s hands, both the tiny pleasures which brighten our lives, from time to time and the humiliations, sufferings and death, which it pleases God to keep in store for us.”
Our Morning Offering – 4 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary and always Mary’s Saturday
Catholic Time,Saturday: Our Lady – There are a number of theological reasons Saturdays are dedicated to Our Lady, perhaps the most significant is that on Holy Saturday, when everyone else had abandoned Christ in the tomb, she was faithful to Him, confidently waiting for His Resurrection on the first day of the week On Saturdays, we make the “First Saturdays Devotion” which entails going to Mass and receiving Communion and going to Confession, for the first Saturday of the month for 5 consecutive months in reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Our Lady promises those who make the 5 First Saturdays to be with them at the hour of their death.
Mother of Love, of Sorrow and of Mercy By St Bridget of Sweden (1303-1373)
O Blessed Virgin Mary, Immaculate Mother of God, who endured a martyrdom of love and grief, beholding the sufferings and sorrows of Jesus! Thou didst co-operate in the benefit of my redemption by thy innumerable afflictions and by offering to the Eternal Father, His only-begotten Son, as a holocaust and victim of propitiation for my sins. I thank thee for the unspeakable love which led thee to deprive thyself of the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus, true God and true Man, to save me, a sinner. Oh! make use of the unfailing intercession of thy sorrows with the Father and the Son, that I may steadfastly amend my life and never again crucify my loving Redeemer by my sins and that, persevering till death in His grace, I may obtain eternal life through the merits of His Cross and Passion. Amen Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us!
Our Morning Offering – 10 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
On Fridays in Catholic Time, we honour the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour – Jesus was Scourged, Mocked and Crucified on a Friday. Because of this, the Church has always set aside Fridays as days of penance and sacrifice. While in South Africa, the Bishops have sadly removed abstinence from meat on Fridays, although many still continued the practice, penance is still required in one form or another. This day should always be a day of repentance and a day in which we recall Christ’s complete self-sacrifice to save us from our sins.
I Rise – An Old Morning Prayer – Excerpt From The Blossoms of the Cross — 1894 The Sisters of St Joseph
I rise In God’s strength, In God’s power, In the Agony of Christ, In the Cross of Christ, In Christ’s Precious Blood, These will sustain me against my enemies, visible and invisible. I rise in the blessing of Christ which my dearest Jesus left to the whole world. Protect me, All-Holy Trinity, God the Father, Who created me, God, the Son, Who redeemed me in His Precious Blood, God, the Holy Ghost, Who sanctified me in Holy Baptism. God, the Father, I give myself to Thee! God, the Son, I commend myself to Thee! God, the Holy Ghost, teach me! Mary, Mother of God, assist me! All you Saints of God, pray for me! All you Holy Angels, protect me! The Cross of Christ preserve me! Amen
Our Morning Offering – 9 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”
In Catholic Time, Thursday is the day of the Holy Eucharist – Our Lord instituted the most Holy Eucharist on a Thursday, so it is fitting that we remember this greatest of Sacraments on this day. The Eucharist is the greatest gift of God to mankind, as it is nothing less than Jesus Himself. What gift could be greater? Therefore, on Thursdays, many spend an hour in Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament as an aspect of devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament By The League of the Sacred Heart 1929 (Ireland)
O Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, overflowing with gentleness, tenderness and charity, I bury in the abyss of The Mercy, all my iniquities and all my negligence. I offer Thee my labours and my sufferings, my sorrows and my miseries, I recommend to Thee my life and my death. Solace my doubts Sweet Jesus, calm my fears and grant, that day by day, I may become more united to Thy Sacred Heart, learning Thy love and Thy holiness. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 8 September – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
“Mary, Mother of Grace, it becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you.”
St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
“Go to Mary and sing her praises and you will be enlightened. For it is through her, that the true Light shines on the sea of this life.”
St Ildephonsus (607-670)
“Mary seeks for those who approach her devoutly and with reverence, for such she loves, nourishes, and adopts as her children. ”
St Bonaventure (1221-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
“We may seek graces but shall never find them without the intercession of Mary.”
St Cajetan (1480-1547)
“If you put all the love, of all the mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”
St Louis de Montfort (1673-1716)
“Never do anything that your heart tells you, is displeasing to Mary and, in addition, never deny her anything that you know she would welcome and desire from you.”
St Joseph Cafasso (1811-1860)
Mary, Mother of Grace St Athanasius (297-373) Father & Doctor of the Church
It becomes you to be mindful of us, as you stand near Him who granted you all graces, for you are the Mother of God and our Queen. Help us for the sake of the King, the Lord God and Master, Who was born of you. For this reason, you are called full of grace. Remember us, most holy Virgin, and bestow on us gifts from the riches of your graces, Virgin full of graces. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 4 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” and Mary’s Saturday
To Our Lady of Sorrows By St Bonaventure (1217-1274) Seraphic Doctor of the Church
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ, by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the Martyrdom, the Crucifixion and the Death, of your Divine Son, look upon me, with eyes of compassion and awaken in my heart, a tender commiseration for those sufferings and a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem and that, henceforward, all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object, the honour, glory and love of our divine Lord Jesus, and to you, the Holy and Immaculate Mother of God. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 3 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary” – The Memorial of St Pope Pius X (1835-1914) (Pontiff 1903-1914)
O Divine Jesus! Lonely in So Many Tabernacles By St Pope Pius X (1835-1914) “Pope of the Blessed Sacrament”
O Divine Jesus! Lonely today in so many Tabernacles, without visitor or worshipper, I offer Thee my lonely heart. May it’s every beat be a prayer of love to Thee. Thou art ever watching under the Sacramental Veils, in Thou love, Thou never sleeps and Thou art never weary of Thy vigils for sinners. O Loving Jesus! O Lonely Jesus! may my heart be a lamp, the light of which shall burn and beam for Thee alone. Watch, Sacramental Sentinel! Watch for the weary world, for the erring soul and for Thy poor lonely child. O Jesus, my God, I adore Thee, here present in the Sacrament of Thy love. Amen
Indulgences: 100 days each time before the Tabernacle 300 days each time before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed (St Pope Pius X – 3 July 1908) Prayers to the Sacred Heart 15th Ed 1936
September – Month of The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
1, The prophecy of Simeon 2. The Flight to Egypt 3. Loss of Child Jesus for 3 days 4. Meeting Jesus carrying His Cross 5. The Crucifixion of Jesus 6. The Pieta – receiving Jesus’ Body The Burial of Jesus
During this month of September, we are drawn into the spiritual Martyrdom which the Blessed Mother experienced during the physical Martyrdom of Jesus. The evils of sin are manifest but conquered through intense suffering. The Blessed Mother’s tears of anguish reflect God’s washing away of sin.
We see this theme of joy followed by affliction mirrored in the liturgical calendar in two September Feasts – the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on 14 September and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows on 15 September. Happy the heart of the blessed Virgin Mary! She, without dying, earned the treasure of Martyrdom beneath the Cross of our Lord for her anguish.
The name of Our Lady of Sorrows centres on the extraordinary and bittersweet suffering the Blessed Mother experienced during Christ’s Passion. As seen in the artwork above, her agony is composed of “The Seven Dolors,” that pierced the Heart of Mary. Dürer’s portrayal of each event encompasses the central figure of Christ’s sorrowful Mother.
Our Morning Offering – 1 September – “Month of the Seven Sorrows of Mary”
As we enter the Month of our Sorrowful Mother, let us unite ourselves to her and offer her our meagre consolation.
What Can I Say? By St Anselm (1033-1109) Magnificent Doctor Marian Doctor
My most merciful Lady, what can I say about the fountains that flowed from your most pure eyes when you saw your only Son before you, bound, beaten and suffering? What do I know of the flood that drenched your matchless face, when you beheld your Son, your Lord and your God, stretched on the Cross without guilt, when the flesh of your flesh was cruelly butchered by wicked men? How can I judge, what sobs, troubled your most pure breast, when you heard, “Woman, behold your son,” and the disciple, “Behold, your Mother,” when you received as a son the disciple in place of the Master, the servant for the Lord? Amen
From “The Prayers and Meditations of Saint Anselm with the Proslogion,” Benedicta Ward, trans,1973, Penguin classics, Penguin Group (UK)
Thought for the Day – 31 August – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
Prayer and Our Lady
“He told them a parable – that they must always pray and not lose heart” (Lk 18:1). Nobody else on earth ever carried out this command of Our Lord as perfectly as Our Lady. St Albert the Great says that, after Jesus Christ, the spirit of prayer is to be found at it’s most perfect, in Our Lady (Sup Miss 80). It was because of her immense love for her divine Son that Mary was able to put into practice, throughout her life, that Gospel precept of unceasing prayer. Prayer in it’s fullest sense, is in fact, an act of love rather than supplication. It is defined as an elevation of soul to God, to adore and praise Him, to thank Him and to ask Him for His favours. It leads to lasting and intimate union with God, who should be regarded as our only good and as the final end of our lives. Since Mary was full of grace, she was always closest to God. Even before she became His Mother, she constantly enjoyed His intimacy. Despite the many sorrows of her life, this intimacy became still greater and more beautiful, when she became the Mother of Jesus. From that time, she was able to hold Him to her immaculate bosom and to live in close familiarity with Him. She was able, too, to follow Him on His apostolic journeys, until He reached Calvary and the Cross and, finally, to see Him gloriously risen from the dead. After Jesus had ascended into Heaven, her soul expanded with a nostalgic love for her divine Son, until her earthly journey was over and she was taken up into Heaven. There, she reigns supreme among the Saints and Angels and never ceases to pray for us, her exiled children, who need her help so much. Let us learn from Mary, how to pray with love and perseverance. Then, we shall be able to follow her along the difficult way of perfection, which leads towards Heaven.”
Antonio Cardinal Bacci
On this last day of the Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, let us call upon her in all our great needs.
Deign, O Immaculate Virgin By St Paschasius Radbertus (785–865)
Deign, O Immaculate Virgin, Mother most pure, to accept the loving cry of praise which we send up to you from the depths of our hearts. Though they can but add little to your glory, O Queen of Angels, you do not despise, in your love, the praises of the humble and the poor. Cast down upon us a glance of mercy, O most glorious Queen, graciously receive our petitions. Through your immaculate purity of body and mind, which rendered you so pleasing to God, inspire us with a love of innocence and purity. Teach us to guard carefully the gifts of grace, striving ever after sanctity, so that, being made like the image of your beauty, we may be worthy to become the sharers of your eternal happiness. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 31 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart”
Heal Us Lord God By St Albert of Trapani O.Carm. (c 1240-1307)
O my God, You have created the human race by Your wonderful power. It is an act of Your clemency that has called us to share Your glory and eternal life. When the first sin condemned us to suffer death, out of Your goodness, You wished to redeem us through the Blood of Your Son, To unite us to Yourself through our faith and Your great mercy. You have brought us back from the shame of our sin, You have veiled our dishonour in the brightness of Your glory. Look now and see that what You have created, giving it subtle limbs and joints and made beautiful through its immortal soul, is now subject to the attack of Satan. Be pleased Lord to reconstitute Your work and heal it. May Your power be glorified and may the malice of the enemy be stunned. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 14 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Joshua 24: 14-29; Psalm 16: 1-2a and 5-8, 11; Matthew 19: 13-15
God, Our Father
“Let the children come to me, do not prevent them”
“Whoever has seen me, has seen the Father.”
“So, my brothers, let us pray as God our master has taught us. To ask the Father in words His Son has given us, to let Him hear the prayer of Christ ringing in His ears, is to make our prayer one of friendship, a family prayer. Let the Father recognise the words of His Son. Let the Son who lives in our hearts, be also on our lips. We have Him as an Advocate for sinners, before the Father, when we ask for forgiveness for ours sins, let us use the words given by our Advocate. He tells us – Whatever you ask the Father in my name, He will give you. What more effective prayer could we then make, in the name of Christ, than in the words of His own prayer?”
St Cyprian of Carthage (c 200- c 258) Bishop, Father of the Church and Martyr
An excerpt from his “On the Lord’s Prayer”
“Immediately after rising and throughout the day, all make the Sign of the Cross and renew their trust in God: to be strengthened by the power of the Father, to be enlightened by the wisdom of the Son and to be sanctified by the love of the Holy Spirit. And as they bless themselves, they may say: Of myself I can do nothing, with God I can do everything, I want to do everything for love of God.”
From the Rule of the Pallottines
Our life is: “To breathe God in and out. To find God in everything. To reveal God to all. To radiate the presence of God.”
My God, In Your Infinite Love By St Vincent Pallotti (1795-1850)
“My God, in Your infinite love You created me according to Your image and likeness. You gave me a free will. Help me to use Your gifts and improve myself so as to become totally Your living image, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, an image of Your infinite qualities and perfections. Amen
Our Morning Offering – 14 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary”
O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heart of Love and Mercy
O Most Blessed Mother, heart of love, heart of mercy, ever listening, caring, consoling, hear our prayer. As your children, we implore your intercession with Jesus your Son. Receive with understanding and compassion the petitions we place before you today, especially those so deep in our heart. We are comforted in knowing your heart is ever open to those who ask for your prayer. We trust to your gentle care and intercession, those whom we love and those who are sick or lonely or hurting. Help all of us, Holy Mother, to bear our burdens in this life until we may share eternal life and peace with God forever. Amen
Quote./ of the Day – 7 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – The Memorial of St Cajetan (1480-1547)
“My desire is not my way but Your way.”
“May all praise and thanks be continually given to the Most Holy and Most August Sacrament.”
“We may seek graces but shall never find them without the intercession of Mary.”
Look Down, O Lord By St Cajetan (1480-1547)
Look down, O Lord, from Your sanctuary and from the high habitation of heaven and behold this sacred oblation which our great High Priest, Your holy Servant, the Lord Jesus, immolates unto You for the sins of His brethren and be propitious to the multitude of our iniquities. Behold, the voice of the Blood of Jesus, our brother, cries to You from the Cross. Graciously hear, O Lord, be appeased, O Lord, hearken and do? Delay not for Your own sake, my God, because Your name is invoked upon this city and upon Your people and do with us according to Your mercy. Amen
Quote/s of the Day – 9 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” – Readings: Numbers 12: 1-13; Psalm 51: 3-7, 12-13; 14: 22-36
“Lord, save me.”
“Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”
May We Confess Your Name to the End By St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258) Bishop and Martyr Father of the Church
Good God, may we confess Your Name to the end. May we emerge unmarked and glorious from the traps and darkness of this world. As You have bound us together by charity and peace and as together we have persevered under persecution, so may we also rejoice together in Your heavenly kingdom. Amen
St Cyprian of Carthage (200-258)
“We implore You, O All-Holy, Long-Suffering Life and Restoration, Source of goodness, look down from heaven and visit all those who ever trust in You; rescue our life, Lord, from all constraint and affliction, and, in the faith of truth, guide us all. At the prayers of the Immaculate Mother of God and Virgin, Save your world and those in the world and spare us all, You who, for us, became man without change, only Lover of mankind.”
St Romanos the Melodios (c 490-c 556)
“Place all your trust in God, let Him be your fear and your love. He will answer for you, He will do what is best for you. You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be and you shall have no rest, until you are wholly united with Christ. Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose?”
Thomas à Kempis CRSA (1380-1471)
“Act as if everything depended on you; trust as if everything depended on God.”
St Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556)
“Throw yourself into God’s arms. He will carry you when the road is rough.”
Quote/s of the Day – 2 August – The Memorial of St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor of the Church
“If you wish to charm the loving Heart of your God, set yourself to talk to Him, as often as you can and, after a fashion, continually, together with the fullest and most confident liberty. He will not hold aloof from answering you and participating in the conversation on His part.”
“On the journey of this life to eternity, let me carry You in my heart, following Mary’s example, who bore You in her arms, during the flight to Egypt.”
“… It is Him you should love and no other. Of Him you could and should say “My Beloved is mine and I am his” (Sg 2:16); my God has given Himself without reserve and, without reserve, I give myself to Him; He has chosen me as the object of His tenderness and He, among thousands, He, the radiant and ruddy one (Sg 5:10), so loveable and so loving, He is the chosen of my heart, the only one I wish to love.”
“Were you to ask, ‘what are the mEans of overcoming temptations’, I would answer: the first means is prayer, the second is prayer, the third is prayer and should you ask me a thousand times, I would repeat the same.”
“Sacrilegious tongues blaspheme the God who preserves their existence! … you should be damned forever and, instead of thanking Him for His goodness, you, at the very time that He bestows His favours upon you, YOU blaspheme His Holy Name!”
“Of all devotions, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the greatest, after the sacraments, the one dearest to God and the one most helpful to us.”
Act of Spiritual Communion By St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
I desire, good Jesus, to receive Thee in Holy Communion and since I cannot now receive Thee in the Blessed Sacrament, I beseech Thee to come to me spiritually and to refresh my soul with Thy sweetness. Come, my Lord, my God and my All! Come to me and never let me ever again be separated from Thee by sin. Teach me Thy blessed ways, help me with Thy grace to imitate Thy example, to practise meekness, humility, charity and all the virtues of Thy Sacred Heart. My divine Master, my one desire is to do Thy will and to love Thee, more and more. Help me, that I may be faithful to the end, in Thy service. Bless me in life and in death, that I may praise Thee, forever in heaven, Amen
St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Thought for the Day – 1 August – “Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary” -Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Virginal Purity of Mary
O Mary, my Heavenly Mother, I am so weak, yet the danger in which I find myself, is so great. Turn your eyes of mercy upon me and come to my assistance. Most of all, do not allow the demon of impurity to seduce my soul. Grant that I may never yield to the temptations of the flesh. Protect for me, the flower of my chastity, until I can deliver it, unsullied, into the hands of Jesus in Heaven. Amen.
August – The Month of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
The Physical Heart, Symbol of the Spiritual Heart
The Fathers of the Church consider that when, from the Cross, Our Lord Jesus made the Blessed Lady, the mother of St John and thus He appointed her the mother of all men.
Thus, Mary’s heart is the physical symbol of her boundless love for God and humankind. But Our Lady’s physical heart is also the symbol of her spiritual heart. Thus, in the Immaculate Heart of Mary we also honour her inner life, her virtues, her perfect purity, her boundless humility, her affections and her sorrow.
Poignant in Catholic tradition is the representation of Mary’s heart pierced by a sword, symbol of her immense sorrow at witnessing and willing her Son’s passion and death for the salvation of our souls.
“…Let us continue Immaculate Mary’s mission. All is included in it. May [we].. follow her example and be the handmaid of the Lord in everything, everywhere and always.”
Thought for the Day – 23 July – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The Divided Heart
“Even if your heart has not become the property of the devil and retains a horror of mortal sin, it is still possible, that you have not given it completely to God. Your heart is divided. Part of it belongs to God and part of it to the world. You are distracted by your own self-love and earthly desires. A heart which is divided in its affections between God and the world, is dazzled by everything around it and tends to forget God, more and more.
We protest that we belong entirely to God but, in practice, we are so absorbed by work, ambition and pleasure, that we neglect God.
A man who is torn between love of God and love of the world is like Cain who, unlike Abel, did not offer God, the best part of his flock but kept this for himself and offered God whatever he had rejected. God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice but had no regard for that of Cain, who finally became a murderer and was cursed by his Creator.
Do we offer God the leavings of life while we keep the best part of it for our selves? Do we think of ourselves nearly all the time and give very little thought to God? This is not the way in which God has dealt with us. Not only has He created us but, He loves us with an everlasting love. He came down to earth and lived as our fellow man. He redeemed us by His Precious Blood and gave Himself to us as our food!
Why are we not willing to give ourselves to Him forever in return? Gratitude demands that we should do so. God, moeover, is our supreme and only good.
Our Morning Offering – 19 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Prayer for Five Graces By St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787) Most Zealous Doctor
Eternal Father, Your Son has promised that You would grant, all the graces we ask of You in His name. Trusting in this promise and in the name of and through the merits of Jesus Christ, I ask of You five special graces: First, I ask pardon for all the offenses I have committed, for which I am sorry with all my heart because I have offended Your infinite goodness. Second, I ask for Your divine Light, which will enable me to see the vanity of all things of this earth and see also, Your infinite greatness and goodness. Third, I ask for a share in Your love, so that I may detach myself from all creatures, especially from myself and love only Your holy will. Fourth, grant me the grace to have confidence in the merits of Jesus Christ and in the intercession of Mary. Fifth, I ask for the grace of perseverance, knowing that, whenever I call on You for assistance, You will answer my call and come to my aid. I fear only, that I will neglect to turn to You in time of need and thus bring myself to ruin. Grant me the grace to pray always, O Eternal Father, in the name of Our Lord Jesus. Amen.
Our Morning Offering – 18 July – “Month of the Most Precious Blood”
Soul of Christ, sanctify me Body of Christ, save me Blood of Christ, inebriate me Water from the side of Christ, wash me Passion of Christ, strengthen me Good Jesus, hear me Within Your wounds, shelter me from turning away, keep me From the evil one, protect me At the hour of my death, call me Into Your presence lead me to praise You with all Your saints Forever and ever, Amen
For many years the Anima Christi was popularly believed to have been composed by Saint Ignatius Loyola (1491-1556) , as he puts it at the beginning of his Spiritual Exercises and often refers to it. In the first edition of the Spiritual Exercises Ignatius merely mentions it, evidently supposing that the reader would know it. In later editions, it was printed in full. It was by assuming that everything in the book was written by Ignatius that it came to be looked upon as his composition. On this account the prayer is sometimes referred to as the Aspirations of St. Ignatius Loyola and so my image shows St Ignatius at prayer.
However, the prayer actually dates to the early fourteenth century and was possibly written by Pope John XXII but its authorship remains uncertain. It has been found in a number of prayer books printed during the youth of Ignatius and is in manuscripts which were written a hundred years before his birth. The English hymnologist James Mearns found it in a manuscript of the British Museum which dates to about 1370. In the library of Avignon there is preserved a prayer book of Cardinal Pierre de Luxembourg (died 1387), which contains the prayer in practically the same form as we have it today. It has also been found inscribed on one of the gates of the Alcázar of Seville, which dates back to the time of Pedro the Cruel (1350–1369).
The invocations in the prayer have rich associations with Catholic concepts that relate to the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Christ), Baptism (water) and the Passion of Jesus (Precious Blood and Holy Wounds).