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Thoughts of Mary – 31 May – Look to Mary

Thoughts of Mary – 31 May – “Mary’s Month”

In the last General Audience, held by St Pope John in the Vatican Basilica (15 May 1963) before his death. He exhorted us to:

Look to Mary
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

“Is it possible for a Christian not to love the holy Mother of Jesus, whom He has regarded with affection since His childhood, to whom He prayed with the first words He ever uttered and to whom He has trustfully turned for help in the difficult moments of His life?
All find in her and for her, a tender expression of confidence and gentleness – this is a great comfort to us, a great comfort at all times.

In this month of May, good Christians, increase a hundredfold, their tributes of profound veneration for Mary ….

We must cherish in our hearts, a fervour that will strengthen us and enable us, to look to Jesus and to Our Lady with great confidence, so that we may not only await but, hasten the triumph of the Lord’s charity and grace, by our enthusiasm and virtuous living and through our apostolate.
This fervour, must promote brotherly love and induce us to reject all motives for division among us.
We must be impelled, in short, to love all that unites us, because the Lord came to redeem the whole world and He is always continuing His work of salvation, mercy and peace.”

look to mary - st john XXIII 31 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 31 May – Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death

Thought for the Day – 31 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death

“We have come to the end of this month, which we have dedicated to Mary.
Let us remember, however, that apart from this month of May we should dedicate our whole lives to her, up to final moment of death.
We are always in need of Mary’s patronage and intercession with God.
Let us always have recourse to her, therefore, especially in danger and in suffering but, most especially, at the decisive moment of death, for this is the moment on which eternity depends.
This day will arrive sooner or later but, it will certainly come, “at an hour that you do not expect” (Lk 12:40).

In the second part of the Hail Mary, the Church places on our lips, these words of supplication: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, Amen.”
How many times we have recited this prayer!
But do we ever think of death?
Let us remember that a mediation on death is the most valuable lesson in life.
One day, we shall find ourselves face-to-face with God, drawing our last breath on earth.
It may be on a sick bed, it may be in the middle of a street – we do not know.
It may be after a long illness at the end of which we are comforted by the Holy Sacraments and blessed by a priest, or it may be quite unexpected.
But, it is certain that death will come.
Let us aim, therefore, at being always prepared, so that it may not come when we have no good works to offer and when our hearts are full of ourselves and of worldly interests.
Like Mary, let us lead lives of holiness and we shall be sure to die holy deaths.
Let us beseech our heavenly Mother to be by our side at that final moment to sustain us in the conflict and to consign our souls to her divine Son, Jesus. Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

pray for us at the hour of our death - bacci 31 may 2020

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Thoughts of Mary – 30 May – The Bible of the Poor

Thoughts of Mary – 30 May – “Mary’s Month”

The Bible of the Poor
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

“When our forefathers built their churches, they adorned them with sacred imagery, paintings or stained glass illustrating the mysteries of the life of Jesus and Mary.
It was like having a Gospel open for everyone to read, easily understood by all and rightly called, “the Bible of the Poor.”

This is just what the Rosary of Mary has been to us for seven hundred years, a joy to our eyes and hearts in the contemplation, in so many images, of the chief episodes in the life and mission of Jesus and of Mary – of Jesus, the Son of God, our Redeemer, of Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother too.
It is a prayer that rises from our lips and our innermost hearts, begging for the divine gifts that may satisfy the needs of individuals and of the whole Church.

What a great and mysterious thing is human life too, Christian life! a sequence and interwoven pattern of it’s own joys, sorrows and triumphs.
Is this not so, my brothers?
And so, in the Rosary, we combine the little bibles of our lives with the Great and True Mysteries of the bible of the lives of our souls! Amen.”

the rosary the bible of the poor - st john XXIII 30 may 2020

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Thought for the Day – 30 May – The Ascension of Jesus

Thought for the Day – 30 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Ascension of Jesus

“When we meditate on the Ascension, we should humbly ask God, to give us the grace, to strip ourselves of our sins and defects.
Then we shall be able to fly towards Him with love and hope in this life and, when our soul has been set free from the body which imprisons it on earth, we shall be able to set out on our last joyful flight into His presence.
These are the reflections which should be in our minds around the feast of the Ascension.
These are the desires which we should foster and the resolutions which we should form.
Let us ask Our Lord, to bless them.

O Mary, my most holy Mother, implore your divine Son Jesus, now ascended into Heaven, that I may be more detached from the useless and passing goods of this earth.
Ask Him to purify my soul from every stain of sin and to strengthen my will, in it’s good resolutions.
Ask Him that my heart may rise nearer to God and to you, through it’s desire for perfection.
Amen.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

o mary most holy mother - the ascension of jesus - bacci 30 may 2020

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Our Morning Offering – 30 May – O Lady, I Call upon You By St Bernard

Our Morning Offering – 30 May – “Mary’s Month” – Saturday of the Seventh Week of Easter

O Lady, I Call upon You
By St Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) Mellifluous Doctor

Run, hasten, O Lady,
and in your mercy help your sinful servant,
who calls upon you,
and deliver him from the hands of the enemy.
Who will not sigh to you?
We sigh with love and grief,
for we are oppressed on every side.
How can we do otherwise than sigh to you,
O solace of the miserable,
refuge of outcasts,
ransom of captives?
We are certain that when you see our miseries,
your compassion will hasten to relieve us.
O our sovereign Lady and our Advocate,
commend us to your Son.
Grant, O blessed one,
by the grace which you have merited,
that He who through you
was graciously pleased to become a partaker
of our infirmity and misery,
may also, through your intercession,
make us partakers, of His happiness and glory.
Ameno lady i call upon you - st bernard, run hasten o lady - 30 may 2018

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Thoughts of Mary – 20 May – Mary’s Visit to Her Cousin, Elizabeth

Thoughts of Mary – 20 May – “Mary’s Month”

Mary’s Visit to Her Cousin, Elizabeth
Moments with Saint Pope John XXIII (1881-1963)

“What gentleness and charm in this three months’ visit made by Mary to her beloved cousin!
Each of them is about to bear a child but, for the Virgin Mother, this is the most sacred maternity that it is possible to imagine on earth.
Their two souls mingle and respond in a sweet harmony:  “Blessed are you among women” (Lk 1:42), on the one hand and, on the other, “God, my Saviour, has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed” (Lk 1:48).

What takes place here, at Ain-Karim on the hill of Hebron, sheds a light, both very human and divine, on the relations that bind Christian families, brought up in the ancient tradition of the Holy Rosary – the Rosary recited every evening at home, in the family circle, the Rosary recited not just in or or a hundred or a thousand families but by every family, by everyone, everywhere in the world, wherever the is one of us “Suffering, fighting and praying” (A Manzoni, La Pentecost v 6) someone who has answered a call to the Priesthood or to Missionary service or to a dream which will turn out to be an apostolate, or wherever men are constrained by those legitimate, if obligatory demands of labour or trade, military service, study, teaching or any other occupation.

There is a beautiful reunion, during the ten Hail Marys of the Mystery, of so many countless souls, linked together by blood or by domestic ties, in a relationship which hallows and, thereby strengthens, the love that binds our dearest ones together – parents and children, brothers and relations, people from the same locality, people of the same race.
All this, with the purpose and intention of sustaining, increasing and irradiating that universal charity, the exercise of which, is the most profound joy and supreme honour, of our lives.”

What gentleness and charm - st john XXIII mary's visit to Elizabeth

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Thought for the Day – 29 May – The Great Exile

Thought for the Day – 29 May – “Mary’s Month” – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Great Exile

“Let us turn away from this spectacle of a corrupt and corrupting world and raise our fearful gaze towards Mary.
What a contrast!
She was wholly pure and beautiful.
Her mind was always in contact with God.
Her heart was full of the love of God and of her neighbour, whose redemption from the slavery of sin, she ardently desired to achieve by co-operating with her divine Son.
All her desires and actions were in harmony with the will of God, so that she lived completely in God.
Let us think about ourselves.
What place has Jesus in our approach to life?
Let us try and think of Him more often.
Let us meditate on the eternal truths, on the commandments of God and on the precepts of the Church which He has founded.
Let us endeavour to make all our actions conform with these commandments.
Above all, let us seek to love God more and more and, let us pray constantly, for those countless souls who ignore and reject Him.
Then we shall be content in the midst of the trials of this world, for we shall have God in our hearts.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

all her desires and actions - bacci - the great exile 29 may 2020