Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, QUOTES on the DEVIL/EVIL, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 11 February – The Power of Mary

Thought for the Day – 11 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Power of Mary

“We should turn confidently to Mary, especially when we are tempted.
She cannot allow us to offend her Jesus and to fall into the foils of the devil, as long as we pray to her with faith in her intercession.
“The devil, as a roaring lion,” says St Peter, “goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
But, our Mother Mary is always by our side seeking to protect us.
Let us entrust ourselves to her maternal care.
Not only does Mary wish to help us, declares St Bonaventure but, those who do not pray to her, commit almost as great an offence, as those who openly insult her (In Spec Virg)!

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One Here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/05/15/thought-for-the-day-15-may-the-power-of-mary/

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION

Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February

Feast of the Purification of Our Lady, the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple – Candlemas Day – 2 February

Master of Saint Severin c 1490

Besides commemorating the Presentation of Christ in the Temple, this day has another meaning, for it is called Candlemas Day. The candle is one of the most widely used sacramentals in the Church; one blessed in a special Mass.

We use candles at Baptism, at Mass and other church devotions, at the Ordination of a Priest, the Consecration of a Bishop, at Easter, at Christmas to signify the coming of Christ. Two blessed candles should be in every home, to use in times of sickness, death, storms and calamities.

In the blessing of candles, the Church reminds us, that the candles signify light; they are blessed for the service of mankind, for health of body and soul, for those who desire to carry them in their hands with honour. Christ, the true Light and Fire of Charity, is asked to bless these candle,; to dispel the darkness of night, to free us from the blindness of vice and to discern what is pleasing to Him and profitable for our salvation.

On the Feast of Mary’s Purification, we greet her with lighted candles – shining with faith and understanding, burning with love and zeal, as Sion welcomed Christ the King; today we go to Christ through Mary, to Christ, the new Light that gives Faith, Hope and Charity to us all.

The two-fold Jewish rites, to which the Holy Family submitted on this occasion, were the legal purifying of the mother after childbirth and the offering of the first-born male child to the Lord. They showed reverence for the Father’s Law, by fulfilling its obligations and so, the Mother submitted to the Purification in all humility.

Angels beheld in wondering awe, what was the greatest event the Temple had ever witnessed. It was nothing less than the second coming of the Lord to His Temple, which the prophets had foretold. At the Presentation, God the Son made Man, took possession of the Temple built for His Father’s glory and so, ratified the worship which is offered to God in sacred courts, churches.

This simple ceremony is the link between the mystery of the Incarnation and the Redemption; here the Saviour renews the oblation of Himself; “Sacrifice and oblation Thou wouldst not but a body Thou hast fitted to me. Then, I said: “Behold, I come: in the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do Thy will, O God.”

Jesus really begins His Passion in this mystery of the Presentation and so, too, Mary begins her dolors. It is by Mary’s hands, that Jesus makes the oblation, which is the prelude to His Sacrifice. We honour the Presentation among the Joyful Mysteries but it is also, first in place among Mary’s Sorrows.

Simeon enlightened by the Holy Spirit, understood the mystery and so, too, did Mary. After his first transports of joy at seeing the Messiah, he blessed them and said to His Mother, “Behold this Child is set for the fall and the resurrection of many in Israel and for a sign which shall be contradicted and thy own soul, a sword shall pierce, that out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.”

This prophecy reminds us, that Mary is always to be associated with the destiny of Jesus, the one solitary partner of His lot, singled out to suffer with Him. Heresies that pierced the Son have trans-pierced the Mother. The early Church guarded the doctrines of Jesus by defining Mary’s titles; today, those who repudiate the honour of Mary, turn from the Son also; in the mind of satan as in the mind of the Church, the honour of Son and Mother go together.

The Church of Jerusalem was the first to celebrate this Feast. On this day, also, a procession was held to the Constantinian basilica. The Armenians still keep the day on 14 February and call it “The Coming of the Son of God into the Temple.” The Greeks called it “Hypapante” the meeting of the Child Jesus and His Mother with Simeon and Anna in to Temple.

This Feast reminds us how intimately Mary is associated with her Son in the work of Redemption. We welcome Her Child to our hearts with love and faith, we bless the Mother, too, for she had “not spared her life by reason of the distress and tribulation of her people but has prevented our ruin, in the presence of our God.”

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, FEBRUARY-The HOLY FAMILY, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES on OBEDIENCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on the FAMILY, QUOTES/PRAYERS on THE FAMILY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THE HOLY FAMILY - FAMILIAE SANCTAE, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 1 February – The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

Thought for the Day – 1 February – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Holy Family – The Blessed Virgin Mary

“The Blessed Vigin Mary is the second model proposed for our imitation in the Holy Family.
She is the purest and most beautiful creature ever fashioned by the Hand of God.
As Mother of the Word Incarnate, her dignity touches the divine.
Peserved from all stain of sin from the moment of her conception, she is full of grace.
Except in God Himself, no greater beauty and holiness can be found elsewhere, than in Mary.

We do not read that Mary worked miracles, had ecstasies, or possessed any extraordinary external gifts.
Her sanctity was completely internal.
She trod the ordinary way of perfection, therefore, the way most easily imitated by us and, nevertheless, reached the highest peak of holiness.
Since we are her devoted and affectionate children, let us ask her for the grace to follow her in the way of perfection and of complete resignation to the Will of God.
Although, we may have to follow her from afar, let us follow with enthusiasm.
As parents, let us imitate her holy, loving and obedient hand in the growth of our Saviour.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Part One – Jesus – here:
https://anastpaul.com/2020/12/24/thought-for-the-day-24-december-the-holy-family-jesus/

Posted in MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Mary, Mother of God

Thought for the Day – 1 January – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

Mary, Mother of God

“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God.
The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us.
He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary.
He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man.
For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.

There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man.
She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3).
In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race.
It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary.
She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united.
He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother.
All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood.
As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace.
Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity.
When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints.
When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her.
This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God.
In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PAPAL ENCYLICALS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on THE MYSTICAL BODY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – ‘… We are all children of Mary’

One Minute Reflection – 1 January – The Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God and the Octave Day of the Nativity of the Lord, Readings: Numbers 6:22-27Psalms 67:2-35,68Galatians 4:4-7Luke 2:16-21

But Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart. … Luke 2:19

REFLECTION – “Is not Mary the Mother of Christ? Then she is our Mother also. And we must in truth hold that Christ, the Word made Flesh, is also the Saviour of mankind. He had a physical body like that of any other man and again, as Saviour of the human family, He had a spiritual and mystical body, the society, namely, of those who believe in Christ. “We are many, but one sole body in Christ” (Rom. xii., 5). Now the Blessed Virgin did not conceive the Eternal Son of God, merely in order, that He might be made man taking His human nature from her but, also in order, that by means of the nature assumed from her, He might be the Redeemer of men. For which reason, the Angel said to the Shepherds: “To-day there is born to you a Saviour who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11).
Wherefore, in the same holy bosom of His most chaste Mother, Christ took to Himself flesh and united to Himself, the spiritual body formed by those who were to believe in Him. Hence Mary, carrying the Saviour within her, may be said to have also carried, all those whose life was contained in the life of the Saviour. Therefore, all we who are united to Christ and, as the Apostle says, are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones (Eph 5:30), have issued from the womb of Mary, like a body united to it’s head.
Hence, though in a spiritual and mystical fashion, we are all children of Mary and she is Mother of us all. … If then, the most Blessed Virgin is the Mother at once of God and men, who can doubt that she will work with all diligence to procure that Christ, Head of the Body of the Church (Col 1:18), may transfuse His gifts into us, His members and above all, that of knowing Him and living through Him (I John 4:9)? Saint Pius X (1835-1914) – Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum” §10-11

PRAYER – God, our Father, since You gave mankind a Saviour through the blessed Mary, virgin and mother and a heavenly mother through our Saviour, grant that we may feel the power of her intercession, when she pleads for us with Jesus Christ, Your Son, the author of life, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever, amen.

Posted in CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, CHRISTMASTIDE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MOTHER of GOD, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The NATIVITY of JESUS, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” ‘The Light that enlightens all things’

One Minute Reflection – 24 December – “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel” The Nativity of the Lord, Mass at Midnight – Readings:  Isaiah 62:1-5Psalms 89:4-516-172729Acts 13:16-1722-25Matthew 1:1-25

Know today that the Lord will come – in the morning you will see His glory.

“She will bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” … Matthew 1:21

REFLECTION – “The heavens were glad, earth exulted when Mary gave birth and hell was troubled and aghast. The heavens in their joy produced a shining star and a glorious army of angels, uttering praise and saying: “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to people of good will.” (Lk 2:14) The earth, exulting, brought shepherds giving glory and magi adoring and offering gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. …
Reflect how that night poured forth light in the darkness and instead of blackness, it offered radiance. It gave light before the sun arose and a brightness which, from its exceeding brilliance, obscured the splendour of the sun. Concerning this night the psalmist says: “Night is my light in my delights” and turning to the Lord he says: “The darkness will not be dark for you and the night will be as bright as the day, for the darkness is as light for him” (cf Ps 38[139]:11-12 LXX). …
Taking up the newborn Emmanuel, Mary beheld a Light incomparably fairer than the sun and saw a Fire that water cannot quench. She received, in the covering of flesh that she had borne, the Light that enlightens all things and she was worthy to carry in her arms, the Word that carries the universe.” – St Amadeus of Lausanne (1108-1159) Bishop, Cistercian Monk – Homilies in praise of the Blessed Virgin Mary, IV, SC 72

PRAYER –
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel!
May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The REDEMPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 22 December – The Humility of Mary

Thought for the Day – 22 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Humility of Mary

“The profound humility of Mary was commensurate with her high dignity.
As Dante put it, she was the humblest and noblest of creatures. “Umile ed altra piu che creatura” (Paradiso 33:2)
None of the saints was humbler than Mary, just as none of them was greater.
It was an Archangel who came down from Heaven and bowed before her as he praised her in the highest terms as “full of grace” and announced the unique dignity she was to receive as Mother of God.
She bowed her head in turn and declared herself to be the handmaid of the Lord, ready to do His will in all things.
Then she went to visit and congratulate her cousin, Elizabeth, because she had heard from the Angel that she was to be the mother of the Precursor.
When she arrived at the house, she was greeted by Elizabeth with the words: “How have I deserved that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”
Far from being flattered, however, Mary attributed all her glory to God and replied with the Magnificat, a hymn of praise and gratitude in God’s honour.
It was the same when Jesus was born in the manger at Bethlehem.
There was a sudden brightness in the sky and the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace among men of goodwill.”
But even though she held the Lord of Heaven and earth, in her arms, the Blessed Virgin asked for nothing for herself.
Her only desire was to do the will of God.
The love of Jesus was enough for her.
She did not seek her own glory but the glory of God.
Likewise, on the weary journey into Egypt, she was content because, she was with Jesus and in the obscure life of Nazareth, she desired no other treasure but Her divine Son.
During His public life, she followed Him in silence.
Once only she spoke in a submissive tone, in order to ask a favour for others but not for herself.
It was at the wedding celebrations in Cana, when she asked for the first miracle, in such a way, that it was not even apparent that it was she who had wrung the favour from the filial heart of Jesus.
It was always like that, up to the time of Calvary and the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
She remained humbly in the background all the time.
Now, after her departure from this earth, her humility has been gloriously crowned in the dogma of the Assumption and in her Coronation as Queen of Angels and of Saints.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, GOD ALONE!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARY'S MONTH, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on HOLY SCRIPTURE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The ANNUNCIATION

Quote/s of the Day – 22 December – My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord – Luke 1:46

Quote/s of the Day – 22 December – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-28, 1 Samuel 2:1, 4-5, 6-7, 8, Luke 1:46-56

“Mary said: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour.” – Luke 1:46-47

“The Lord has exalted me by a gift so great,
so unheard of, that language is useless to describe it
and the depths of love in my heart can scarcely grasp it.
I offer then all the powers of my soul
in praise and thanksgiving.
As I contemplate His greatness,
which knows no limits,
I joyfully surrender my whole life,
my senses, my judgment,
for my spirit rejoices in
the eternal Godhead of that Jesus,
that Saviour,
whom I have conceived in this world of time.”

“Those who refuse to be humble cannot be saved.
They cannot say with the prophet:
See, God comes to my aid;
the Lord is the helper of my soul.
But anyone who makes himself humble,
like a little child,
is greater in the kingdom of heaven.”

St Bede the Venerable (673-735)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, CHRIST the KING, CHRIST, the WAY,TRUTH,LIFE, FATHERS of the Church, HOMILIES, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES for CHRIST, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The REDEMPTION, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 22 December – O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations – ‘ … that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.”

Advent Reflection – 22 December – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent, O Rex Gentium/O King of all Nations, Readings: 1 Samuel 1:24-281 Samuel 2:14-56-78Luke 1:46-56

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

O KING OF ALL NATIONS
and keystone of the Church
come and save man,
whom You formed from the dust!

…For he who is mighty has done great things for me and holy is his name. … Luke 1:49

REFLECTION – “Then Mary said: “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour … He has helped Israel his child (Lk 1:54 Gk), remembering his mercy and the covenant he made with Abraham and his descendants forever.”
Do you observe how the Virgin surpasses the perfection of the patriarch and seals the covenant God made with Abraham when He said to him: “This is to be the covenant between me and you”? (Gn 17:11) … It is the song of this prophecy that the holy Mother of God addressed to God when she said: “My soul magnifies the Lord …, for He who is Mighty has magnified me; holy is His name. In making me the mother of God He preserves my virginity. The full number of every generation is summed up within my womb, that they may be made holy in it. For He has blessed all ages, men and woman, young people, children, the old” (…)

“He has put down the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly” (…) The lowly, the gentile peoples hungry for righteousness (Mt 5:6), have been exalted. By making known their lowliness and hunger for God and by begging for God’s word, just as the Canaanite woman asked for crumbs (Mt 15:27), they have been satisfied with the riches concealed within the divine mysteries.
For Jesus Christ our God, son of the Virgin, has handed out to the gentiles the whole inheritance of divine favours.
He has raised up Israel his child: not just any Israel but His child, on whose exalted birth He bestows honour. This is why the Mother of God calls this people her child and her heir. God, who found this people worn out by the letter, wearied by the Law, calls it to His grace. By giving this name to Israel He raises him up, “remembering his mercy, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.”
These few words sum up the whole mystery of our salvation. Wanting to save humankind and seal the covenant established with our fathers, Jesus Christ then “inclined the heavens and came down” (Ps 18[17]:10).
Thus He manifested Himself to us, putting Himself within our reach so that we might see Him, touch Him and hear Him speak.” – A 4th century homily (Incorrectly attributed to Gregory of Neocaesarea, called “Thaumaturgos”, no. 2)

Prayer – The Magnificat
The Canticle of Mary
Luke 1:46-55

My soul glorifies the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God, my Saviour
He looks on His servant in her lowliness
Henceforth, all ages will call me blessed:
The Almighty works marvels for me,
holy is His Name!
His mercy is from age to age,
on those who fear Him.
He puts forth His arm in strength
and scatters the proud-hearted.
He casts the mighty from their thrones
and raises the lowly.
He fills the starving with good things,
sends the rich away empty.
He protects Israel, His servant,
remembering His mercy,
the mercy promised to our fathers,
to Abraham and his sons forever.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, ONE Minute REFLECTION, QUOTES for CHRIST, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, St JOHN the BAPTIST, The 2nd Joyful Mystery - the VISITATION, The CHRIST CHILD, The DIVINE INFANT, The INCARNATION, The O ANTIPHONS, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Being aware of the Lord’s Presence – Luke 1:41,44

Advent Reflection – 21 December – O Oriens/O Radiant Dawn – Weekdays of Advent, Readings: Songs 2:8-14 or Zephaniah 3:14-18, Psalms 33:2-3, 11-12, 20-21, Luke 1:39-45

The Lord is at hand, come let us adore Him.

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit … “For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” – Luke 1:41,44

REFLECTION – “When the angel revealed his message to the Virgin Mary he gave her a sign to win her trust. He told her of the motherhood of an old and barren woman to show that God is able to do all that he wills.
When she hears this Mary sets out for the hill country. She does not disbelieve God’s word; she feels no uncertainty over the message or doubt about the sign. She goes eager in purpose, dutiful in conscience, hastening for joy.
Filled with God, where would she hasten but to the heights? The Holy Spirit does not proceed by slow, labourious efforts. Quickly, too, the blessings of her coming and the Lord’s presence are made clear – as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting the child leapt in her womb and she was filled with the Holy Spirit.
Notice the contrast and the choice of words. Elizabeth is the first to hear Mary’s voice but John is the first to be aware of grace. She hears with the ears of the body but he leaps for joy at the meaning of the mystery. She is aware of Mary’s presence but he is aware of the Lord’s – a woman aware of a woman’s presence, the forerunner aware of the pledge of our salvation. The women speak of the grace they have received while the children are active in secret, unfolding the mystery of love with the help of their mothers, who prophesy by the spirit of their sons.
The child leaps in the womb; the mother is filled with the Holy Spirit, he fills his mother with the same Spirit. John leaps for you and the spirit of Mary rejoices in her turn. When John leaps for joy, Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit but we know, that though Mary’s spirit rejoices, she does not need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Her Son, who is beyond our understanding, is active in His mother in a way beyond our understanding. Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit after conceiving John, while Mary is filled with the Holy Spirit before conceiving the Lord. Elizabeth says – Blessed are you because you have believed.
You also are blessed because you have heard and believed. A soul that believes both conceives and brings forth the Word of God and acknowledges His works.
Let Mary’s soul be in each of you to proclaim the greatness of the Lord. Let her spirit be in each to rejoice in the Lord. Christ has only one mother in the flesh but, we all bring forth Christ in faith. Every soul receives the Word of God if only it keeps chaste, remaining pure and free from sin, its modesty undefiled. The soul that succeeds in this proclaims the greatness of the Lord, just as Mary’s soul magnified the Lord and her spirit rejoiced in God her Saviour.
In another place we read – Magnify the Lord with me. The Lord is magnified, not because the human voice can add anything to God but because he is magnified within us. Christ is the image of God and if the soul does what is right and holy, it magnifies that image of God, in whose likeness it was created and, in magnifying the image of God, the soul has a share in its greatness and is exalted.” – St Ambrose (340-397) Bishop, Father and Great Latin Doctor – An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

PRAYER –
O Radiant Dawn,
Splendour of Eternal Light,
Sun of Justice!
Come and shine on those
who dwell in darkness
and in the shadow of death.

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, GOOD FRIDAY, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MATER DOLOROSA - Mother of SORROWS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on the CROSS of CHRIST, The 5th Sorrowful Mystery - The CRUCIFIXION, The LAMB of GOD

Thought for the Day – 16 December – The Lamb of God

Thought for the Day – 16 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Lamb of God

“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.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on FAITH, QUOTES on HOPE, QUOTES on LOVE of GOD, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, THEOLOGICAL

Thought for the Day – 12 December – The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

Thought for the Day – 12 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

The Theological Virtues of Our Lady

“The three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, shone like constellations throughout the life of Mary.
“Blessed is she who has believed” (Lk 1:45), St Elizabeth said of her.
Mary’s life was one long act of faith and of love.
She lived continuously in the presence of God, being united to Him by lively sentiments of faith, hope and charity.
Her spirit of constant prayer was the result of her intense practice of these theological virtues.
When the Archangel Gabriel came down from Heaven, to bring her the tidings of her divine motherhood, he found her absorbed in prayer.
When St Elizabeth praised and called her the Mother of her Lord, Mary, from the depths of her faith, attributed everything to God and glorified Him in her Magnificat.
When the baby Jesus was born in the cave of Bethlehem, she adored Him with faith, hope and love, as her God and future Saviour.
When she realised that Herod was searching for her Son to put Him to death, she placed her confidence in Him.
She fled with Him into Egypt and brought Him back later, to their land, always with the same faith, hope and love.
Her faith and hope were not weakened by the loss of Jesus in Jerusalem, only her mother’s love was disturbed, on this occasion.
When it seemed in that hidden life of Nazareth, that Jesus was leading a life of pointless silence, her faith and hope in Him, did not fade, while her love grew greater from day to day.
In the triumphs and sorrows of His public life, she continued to practice, to an extraordinary degree, these three virtues – on the road to Calvary, at the foot of the Cross, at the removal of Our Lord’s body from the Cross, at the tomb, at the glorious Resurrection, Ascension and Pentecost.
At last, when she was alone in this world without Jesus, these three virtues seemed to burn more brightly in her soul.
She thought only of Jesus, hoped in Jesus alone and loved Jesus alone.
Then Jesus rewarded the lively faith, expectant hope and flaming charity of His Mother, for on her assumption into Heaven, these three virtues shared in her triumph and coronation.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in ADVENT QUOTES, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MOTHER of GOD, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The ANNUNCIATION, The WORD

Advent Reflection – 12 December – ‘… The mediator and the ladder … ‘

Advent Reflection – 12 December – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall name him Jes
us.” – Luke 1:30-31

REFLECTION “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb ” For all ages will call you blessed, as you said (Lk 1:48). The daughters of Jerusalem, that is to say, the Church, saw you and proclaimed your happiness … For you are the royal throne near which the angels stood contemplating their Master and Creator, who was seated on it (Dan 7:9). You have become the spiritual Eden, more sacred and more divine than the former one. The earthly Adam lived in the former; in you, lives the Lord who came from heaven (1 Cor 15:47). Noah’s ark was a prefiguration of you; it saved the seed of the second creation, for you gave birth to Christ, the world’s salvation, who submerged sin and pacified the floods.

It was you whom the burning bush described ahead of time, whom the tablets depicted, on which God wrote (Ex 31:18), which the ark of the covenant told about; it is you whom the golden urn, the candelabra … and Aaron’s staff that blossomed (Num 17:23) clearly prefigured. … I almost left out Jacob’s ladder. Just as Jacob saw heaven united with the earth by means of the two ends of the ladder and the angels descending and ascending on it and as the one who is really the strong and invincible one engaged in a symbolic struggle with him, thus you yourself became the mediator and ladder by which God came down to us and took upon Himself the weakness of our substance, embracing it and closely uniting it to Himself.” – St John Damascene (675-749) Monk, Theologian, Father and Doctor of the Church – 1st Sermon on the Dormition

PRAYER – Lord Jesus Christ my Lord, help me to become a devoted client of Your holy Mother Mary. Through Your grace, may I receive the spiritual strength she has promised to all her clients. May I, in simplicity, like St Juan Diego, become her vessel to share Your Light, throughout my world. Our Lady of Guadalupe Pray for us! Jesus Christ, our Lord, one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for all ages, amen.

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Our Morning Offering – 12 December – Mary Immaculate! By St John Damascene

Our Morning Offering – 12 December – “Month of the Immaculate Conception” – Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Readings: Zechariah 2:14-17, Judith 13:18, 19, Luke 1:26-38.

Mary Immaculate!
By St John Damascene (675-749)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Today, the root of Jesse has produced its shoot,
she will bring forth a Divine flower for the world.
Today, the Creator of all things,
God the Word,
composes a new book:
a book issuing from the heart of His Father
and written by the Holy Spirit,
who is the tongue to God.

O daughter of King David and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.

All your desires are centred
only on what merits to be sought
and is worthy of love.
You harbour anger only for sin and its author.
You will have a life superior to nature,
but not for your own sake.
For it has not been created for you
but has been entirely consecrated to God,
who has introduced you into the world
to help bring about our salvation
in fulfillment of His plan,
the Incarnation of His Son
and the Divinisation of the human race.

Your heart will find nourishment in the words of God,
like the tree planted near the living waters of the Spirit,
like the tree of life
that has yielded its fruit in due time,
the incarnate God who is the life of all things.

Your ears will be ever attentive to the Divine words
and the sounds of the harp of the Spirit,
through whom the Word has come to take on our flesh.
Your nostrils will inhale the fragrance of the Bridegroom,
the Divine fragrance with which He scented His humanity.

Your lips will savour the words of God
and will rejoice in their Divine sweetness.
Your most pure heart,
free from all stain,
will ever see the God of all purity
and will experience ardent desire for Him.

Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.

Your feet, led by the light of the Divine Law,
will follow Him along an undeviating course
and guide you to the possession of the Beloved.

You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!

Image Excerpt

O daughter of King David
and Mother of God,
the universal King.
O Divine and living object
whose beauty has charmed God the Creator;
your whole soul is completely open
to God’s action and attentive to God alone.
… Your womb will be the abode
of the one whom no place can contain.
Your milk will provide nourishment for God,
in the little Infant Jesus.
Your hands will carry God
and your knees will serve
as a throne for Him
that is more noble
than the throne of the Cherubim.
… You are the temple of the Holy Spirit,
the city of the living God,
made joyous by abundant flowers,
the sacred flowers of Divine grace.
You are all-beautiful
and very close to God,
above the Cherubim
and higher than the Seraphim,
right near God Himself!
Amen

Posted in ADVENT REFLECTIONS, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOGMA, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, ORIGINAL SIN, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on SIN, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, The WILL of GOD

Thought for the Day – 8 December – THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 8 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

“Let us read the first chapter of St Luke’s Gospel in order to try and understand, as far as possible, the Immaculate Conception and the sublime holiness of Mary.
“The angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David and the virgin’s name was Mary. And when the angel had come to her, he said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou among women’” (Lk 1:26-28).
The Blessed Virgin was troubled when she heard these words but the Angel reassured her.
He told her that she had found favour with God and added, that she would become the Mother of God, for the Word would become flesh in her womb through the power of the Holy Spirit, in such a manner that in her nature, the privileges of virginity and of the divine motherhood, would be miraculously united.
Mary then gave her assent to the will of God and, her ‘fiat’ placed her on a pedestal, high above all the generations of humanity and all the choirs of the angelic kingdom.

It is on this passage of the Gospel, that the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Our Lady, chiefly depends.
She was full of grace and the supremely beloved of God.
How then could she have been subject to the rule of sin which we inherited from Adam?
If her soul had been stained with sin at the first moment of her conception, she would not have enjoyed the special favour of God and the plenitude of grace.
She was, moreover, predestined to become the Mother of God.
Was it possible that the divine Word, Who was to become her Son, could have permitted her soul to have been sullied, even for a single instant, by sin, which deprives us of grace and makes us enemies of God?
It was on good grounds, therefore, that the Church defined, that from the first moment of her conception, Mary was free from all taint of sin, by a singular privilege conferred on her by God and through the merits of her divine Son, Jesus Christ.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

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Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Mary, our Hope!

Advent Reflection on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – 8 December – Readings: Genesis 3:9-15, 20, Psalm 98:1-4, Ephesians 1:3-6, 11-12, Luke 1:26-38

And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word.” … Luke 1:38

REFLECTION – “If, as the Apostle declares, faith is nothing else than the substance of things to be hoped for” (Heb 11:1) everyone will easily allow, that our faith is confirmed and our hope aroused and strengthened, by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin. The Virgin was kept the more free from all stain of original sin because she was to be the Mother of Christ and she, was the Mother of Christ, that the hope of everlasting happiness, might be born again in our souls.

Leaving aside charity towards God, who can contemplate the Immaculate Virgin without feeling moved to fulfill that precept which Christ called peculiarly His own, namely that of loving one another as He loved us? “A great sign,” thus the Apostle St John describes a vision divinely sent him, appears in the heavens: “A woman clothed with the sun and with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars upon her head” (Rv 12:1). Everyone knows that this woman signified the Virgin Mary, the stainless one who brought forth our Head.

The Apostle continues: “And, being with child, she cried travailing in birth and was in pain to be delivered” (Rv 12:2). John, therefore, saw the Most Holy Mother of God already in eternal happiness, yet travailing in a mysterious childbirth. What birth was it? Surely it was the birth of us who, still in exile, are yet to be generated to the perfect charity of God and to eternal happiness. And the birth pains, show the love and desire, with which the Virgin from heaven above, watches over us and strives with unwearying prayer to bring about the fulfilment of the number of the elect.

This same charity we desire that all should earnestly endeavour to attain, taking special occasion from … feasts in honour of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” … Saint Pius X (1835-1914) Pope from 1903 to 1914 – Encyclical “Ad diem illum laetissimum”

PRAYER O Mary, My Hope! By St John Damascene (675-749)
I salute you, O Mary!
you are the hope of Christians.
Receive the prayer of a sinner,
who loves you tenderly,
honours you in a special manner
and places in you the whole hope
of his salvation.
From you I have my life.
You reinstate me in the grace of your Son:
you are the sure pledge of my salvation.
I beseech of you, therefore, to deliver me
from the burden of my sins,
dispel the darkness of my mind,
banish from my heart the love of the world,
repress the temptations of my enemies
and so rule my whole life, that by your means
and under your guidance,
I may obtain everlasting happiness in heaven.
Amen

Posted in ADVENT, CONSECRATION Prayers, DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOCTORS of the Church, DOGMA, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL APOSTOLIC LETTERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 December

The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 8 December – Patronages – barrel makers, coopers, cloth makers, cloth workers, soldiers of the United States, Spanish infantry, tapestry workers, upholsterers, Argentina, Brazil, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Guam, Nicaragua, Panama, Portugal, Tanzania, Tunisia, United States, 68 dioceses, 8 cities.

Celebrating Almighty God’s Preservation of the Blessed Virgin Mary From Original Sin

On 8 December 1854, Blessed Pope Pius IX officially declared the Immaculate Conception a Dogma of the Church, which means that all Christians are bound to accept it as true.

The Infallible Teaching of the Catholic Church, as the Holy Father wrote in the Apostolic Constitution Ineffabilis Deus, on the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary:

“Wherefore, in humility and fasting, we unceasingly offered our private prayers as well as the public prayers of the Church, to God the Father through His Son, that He would deign to direct and strengthen our mind by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In like manner did we implore the help of the entire heavenly host as we ardently invoked the Paraclete.

Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honour of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul and by our own:

We declare, pronounce and define, that the Doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her Conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a Doctrine revealed by God and, therefore, to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.
Hence, if anyone shall dare — which God forbid! — to think otherwise than as has been defined by us, let him know and understand that he is condemned by his own judgment, that he has suffered shipwreck in the faith, that he has separated from the unity of the Church and that, furthermore, by his own action, he incurs the penalties established by law if he should dare to express in words or writing, or by any other outward means, the errors he think in his heart.”

Blessed Pope Pius IX (1792-1878), Ineffabilis Deus, 8 December 1854

“That one woman is both Mother and Virgin, not in spirit only but even in body. In spirit she is mother, not of our Head, who is our Saviour Himself—of whom all, even she herself, are rightly called children of the bridegroom—but plainly she is the mother of us, who are His members, because by love, she has cooperated, so that the faithful, who are the members of that Head, might be born in the Church. In body, indeed, she is the Mother of that very Head”

Saint Augustine (354-430)
Father and Doctor of the Church

Act of Consecration
By St Maximillian Kolbe (1894-1941)

O Immaculate, Queen of heaven and earth,
Refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother,
God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to You,
I, an unworthy sinner, cast myself at Your feet,
humbly imploring You
to take me with all that I am and have,
wholly to Yourself as Your possession and property.
Please make of me,
of all my powers of soul and body,
of my whole life, death and eternity,
whatever pleases You.
If it pleases You,
use all that I am and have without reserve,
wholly to accomplish what has been said of You:
“She will crush your head”,
and “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the whole world.”
Let me be a fit instrument in Your immaculate
and most merciful hands for introducing and increasing Your glory
to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls
and thus help extend as far as possible,
the blessed Kingdom of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.
For, wherever You enter,
You obtain the grace of conversion and sanctification,
since it is through Your hands,
that all graces come to us.
from the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

V. Allow me to praise You, O most holy Virgin.

R. Give me strength against Your enemies.
Amen

Posted in DECEMBER - The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION, DOGMA, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, PAPAL PRAYERS, PRAYERS for SEASONS, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

December – the Month of the Immaculate Conception

December – the Month of the Immaculate Conception

In keeping the Blessed Virgin free from the stain of sin from the moment of her conception, God presents us with a glorious example of what mankind was meant to be.
Mary is truly the second Eve, because, like Eve, she entered the world without sin.
Unlike Eve, she remained sinless throughout her life—a life that she dedicated fully to the will of God.

The Immaculate Conception was not, as many people mistakenly believe, a precondition for Christ’s act of redemption but the result of it.
Standing outside of time, God knew that Mary would humbly submit herself to His will and in His love for this perfect servant, He applied to her at the moment of her conception the redemption, won by Christ, that all Christians receive at their Baptism.

It is appropriate, then, that the Church has long declared the month in which the Blessed Virgin not only was conceived but gave birth to the Saviour of the world as the Month of the Immaculate Conception.

Let us Pray, this theologically rich prayer written by Ven Servant of God Pope Pius XII (1876-1958) in 1954 in honour of the 100th anniversary of the promulgation of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Enraptured by the splendour of your heavenly beauty and impelled by the anxieties of the world, we cast ourselves into your arms, O Immaculate Mother of Jesus and our Mother, Mary, confident of finding in your most loving heart, appeasement of our ardent desires and a safe harbour from the tempests which beset us on every side.

Though degraded by our faults and overwhelmed by infinite misery, we admire and praise the peerless richness of sublime gifts with which God has filled you, above every other mere creature, from the first moment of your conception until the day on which, after your assumption into heaven, He crowned you Queen of the Universe.

O crystal fountain of faith, bathe our minds with the eternal truths!
O fragrant Lily of all holiness, captivate our hearts with your heavenly perfume!
O Conqueress of evil and death, inspire in us a deep horror of sin, which makes the soul detestable to God and a slave of hell!

O well-beloved of God, hear the ardent cry which rises up from every heart. Bend tenderly over our aching wounds.
Convert the wicked, dry the tears of the afflicted and oppressed, comfort the poor and humble, quench hatreds, sweeten harshness, safeguard the flower of purity in youth, protect the holy Church, make all men feel the attraction of Christian goodness.
In your name, resounding harmoniously in heaven, may they recognise that they are brothers and that the nations are members of one family, upon which, may there shine forth, the sun of a universal and sincere peace.

Receive, O most sweet Mother, our humble supplications and, above all, obtain for us that, one day, happy with you, we may repeat before your throne that hymn which today is sung on earth around your altars – You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
You are the glory, you are the joy, you are the honour of our people! Amen.

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on DEATH, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Thought for the Day – 31 October – “Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

Thought for the Day – 31 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Pray for Us … at the Hour of Our Death”

“We have come to the end of this month, which we have dedicated to Mary and her blessed Rosary.
Let us remember, however, that apart from this month of October, 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

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on GRACE, QUOTES on HUMILITY, The WORD

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God.- Luke 14:11

One Minute Reflection – 31 October – The last day of the Month of the Holy Rosary – Saturday of the Thirtieth week in Ordinary Time, Readings: Philippians 1:18-26Psalms 42:23,5Luke 14:1,7-11

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled but the one who humbles himself will be exalted. ”- Luke 14:11

REFLECTION – “Humility is not just about self-mistrust but about the entrusting of ourselves to God. Distrusting ourselves and our own strength produces trust in God and from that trust, generosity of soul is born.

The most holy Virgin, Our Lady, gave us an outstanding example of this when she spoke these words: “Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). When she said she was the handmaid of the Lord, she was performing the greatest act of humility it is possible to do and, all the more so, in that she was contradicting the praise given her by the angel – that she would be mother of God, that the child to be born from her womb would be called Son of the Most High, a greater dignity than any we might imagine – I say, she opposed her lowliness and unworthiness to all these praises and greatness, by saying that she was the handmaid of the Lord. Yet note how, no sooner had she rendered her duty to humility than she practised outstanding generosity by saying: “May it be to me according to your word.”
What she wanted to say was – It is true I am in no way capable of this grace if one is to consider what I am of myself but, insofar as what is good in me comes from God and what you say to me, is His own most holy will, I believe it may happen and will happen. And so, without the least hesitation, she said: “Let it be done to me according to your word.”St Francis de Sales (1567-1622) Doctor of the Church

PRAYER – Lord Jesus, help us to appreciate and live Your spiritual values and give them the first place in our hearts. Grant that we may always seek them first and remain forever united with You. Send Your Spirit with his gifts and blessings and may the Mother of all Virtue, assist us in our need. Help us to follow the path of humility the Blessed Virgin so splendidly taught us and may we always beseech Our Lady of the Holy Rosary for her intercession, that we may obtain from You, a place in Your Kingdom. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God now and for all times, amen.

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on PRAYER, QUOTES on SACRIFICE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SELF-DENIAL, QUOTES on SUFFERING, QUOTES on TEMPTATION, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 30 October – “Prayer to Mary, Our Mother”

Thought for the Day – 30 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Prayer to Mary, Our Mother”

“There is a story told of a devout man who was wavering before the onslaught of temptation and was accustomed to kneel before a statue of Our Lady and say this simple prayer: “Show yourself a mother to me.”
When the same man had fallen into sin and, although full of remorse, had not succeeded in reforming, he went one day to Mary’s Altar and pitifully repeated his usual prayer.
Immediately, he heard a gentle voice replying – “Show that you are my son.”

If we wish Our Lady to be a mother to us, we must also show her that we are her children.
Earthly mothers are delighted to think that their offspring take after them.
In the same way, Mary wishes to see, a reflection of her own sanctity in our thoughts, desires and actions.
All this demands sacrifice, of course.
It demands hard work, fervent prayer and constant watchfulness over ourselves.
If we do all that we can and never lose courage, God will not refuse us His help and our good Mother, will not, fail to intercede for us!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on HOPE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Mary, Our Hope – “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Mary, Our Hope”

“In the beautiful prayer, known as the Salve Regina or Hail, Holy Queen, the Church salutes Mary as “our life, our sweetness and our hope.”
Mary is our hope, because, she gave us our Saviour, Jesus and, because, she prays to Him continually for the graces which we need.
Following the example of Luther, modern Protestants raise the objection that Mary cannot be regarded as a source of hope, because, all our trust should be placed in God.
Anyone who places his trust in creatures, draws down God’s curse upon himself, they say and, they go on to quote from Jeremiah: “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man” (Jer 17:5).
But this is true only, when we trust in creatures independently of God, as if we can derive any good from them, without recourse to God.
We invoke Mary, however, as the Mother of God and our mediatrix with Him.
She is our hope, insofar as she obtains for us from God, the graces and favours which we require.
St Bernard assures us, that God has placed in Mary’s hands, all the riches which He wishes to bestow on us (Serm de aquaed).
“He will never experience eternal ruin,” says St Anselm, “for whom Mary has once prayed.”
St Bernard calls upon Mary as the foundation of all his hope (Ibid).
Let us remember, that Mary is our loving Mother who wishes us to pray to her, because, she knows that if she intercedes on our behalf, she will certainly be heard.
It should be most consoling to us to have such a good and powerful Mother in whom, we can safely trust in every peril and in every necessity.
Let us pray to her with love and faith, in the certainty that, we shall be answered in the way that is best for us.
Let us say along with St John Damascene: “O Mother of God, if I place my trust in you, I shall be saved. If I am under your protection, I have nothing to fear, because to be devoted to you, is to possess a weapon of salvation which God grants only to those, whom He desires to redeem” (Serm de Nat, cap 4).”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, MOTHER of GOD, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUEENSHIP of MARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, THE ASSUMPTION, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Thought for the Day – 25 October – “Mary, Mother of God”

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Mary, Mother of God”

“The near-infinite greatness of Mary, flows from the fact, that she is the Mother of God.
The Eternal Word of the Father, consubstantial with Him in nature and equal to Him in majesty, willed to become man in order to set us free from the slavery of sin and to regain Heaven for us.
He became man in the chaste womb of the Virgin Mary.
He took a human body and soul and was born of her, as the God-Man.
For this reason, there is attributed to His Divine Person, the title of Son of Mary and to Mary, the title of Mother of God.

There is a relationship between Mary and each of the three Divine Persons, for she is the daughter of God the Father, the spouse of the Holy Spirit by whose power the Word became incarnate in her and the mother of the Word made Man.
She is, moreover, in the words of Dante, the “termine fisso di eterno consiglio” (Paradiso 33:1-3).
In other words, she is the centre of the eternal plan which God established for the redemption of the human race.
It was God’s eternal design to reunite creation to the Uncreated, by means of Mary.
She became the mother of the Eternal Word, in whom the divine and human natures were indissolubly united.
He redeemed us by His infinite merits but, in this work of redemption, He employed the co-operation of His holy Mother.
All the graces, privileges and virtues of Mary, flow from this great mystery of her divine Motherhood.
As befitted the future Mother of God, she was conceived free from the stain of original sin and full of grace.
Her mortal life was a continuous ascent towards the highest peak of sanctity.
When she died, she was assumed body and soul into Heaven, where she was crowned in glory, as Queen of Angels and Queen of Saints.
When we consider the sublime nobility of Our Lady, we should be moved to love and venerate her.
This love and veneration does not subtract in the slightest from God’s glory, because, she is the Mother of God.
In fact, it is a great advantage to us, to imitate her and to call on her to intercede for us.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE

Thought for the Day – 25 October – “Holy Mary”

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Holy Mary”

“The Angel’s greeting was later completed by the salavation of St Elizabeth.
As soon as Elizabeth saw the Blessed Virgin coming to visit her, she cried out in humble veneratin: “Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!” (Lk 1:42).

In the first part of the Hail Mary, then, we pay her the words of the Gospel, the highest tributes ever accorded to any human creature, proclaiming her to be full of grace, blessed among women and Mother of the Redeemer.
The second part, which was later added by the Church, is a heartfelt supplication addressed to Mary as the Mother of God and our Mother.
“Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death, amen.”
It would be hard to find a more touching plea.
We ask our heavenly Mother to intercede for us now because we have such great need of her assistance in this vale of tears and temptations.
May she be always by our side, to shelter us beneath her mantle!”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in Hail MARY!, MARIAN Antiphons, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on VIRTUE, The ANNUNCIATION, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE, The INCARNATION, To JESUS through MARY

Thought for the Day – 25 October – “Hail Mary”

Thought for the Day – 25 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
“Hail Mary

“After the Lord’s Prayer, there is no more beautiful prayer than the Hail Mary, which we should recite with particular devotion in the decades of the Holy Rosary.
At the beginning of the Rosary, we can imgine that we are witnesses of the Annunciation to Mary, in her home at Nazareth.
An Angel descends from Heaven and bows before the Blessed Virgin as she kneels, absorbed in prayer.
“Hail, full of grace,” he says, “the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women” (Lk 1:26-28).
We should join with the Angel of God in repeating these words fervently and devoutly.

The constant repetition of this prayer is very pleasing to Mary, the Mother of God and our Mother.
When we greet her with the words of the Angel, we remid her of the great mystery of the Incarnation, which was the beginning of her lofty mission as co-redemptrix and the dawn of Christian civilisation.

Even when we say these words over and over again, they can never become monotonous.
When a son is speaking to his mother, every word possesses an unlimited warmth and meaning because, it is the expression of a boundless love.
When we recite the decades of the Rosary, we should think of the heavenly Mother who is watching over us and listening to us, eager to console and assist us.
She loves us with a maternal love but, she requires us to love her also and to prove that we are her children by imitating her virtues.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The 5th Glorious Mystery - The CROWNING of the BLESSED VIRGIN

Thought for the Day – 17 October – The Fifth Glorious Mystery – The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as Queen of Heaven and Earth

Thought for the Day – 17 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fifth Glorious Mystery
The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary
as Queen of Heaven and Earth

“When the Virgin Mary was borne into Heaven, soul and body, by the Angels, she was received with great rejoicing by the entire company of the blessed.
A halo of light surrounded her, as her Divine Son, Jesus Christ, placed her on His right hand and proclaimed her Queen of Heaven and Earth.
It was fitting that this supreme dignity should have been accorded her, for she was the beloved daughter of the Eternal Father, the Immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God, the Word made man and the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

Mary is Queen of the Angels because, even though she is inferior to them, by reason of her human nature, she is superior to them, by reason of her dignity as Mother of God.
What Angel could say to the Incarnate Word: “You are my son?”
What Angel could command Him, as she could, in her role of Mother?

Mary has yet another claim to her title which no Angel could ever have.
She participated in the Passion of her Son Jesus,offering herself along with Him, as a victim of expiation.
She made a contribution, in the supernatural order of the Redemption, which neither Angel nor Saint, could have made.
With Jesus, through Jesus and in Jesus, she is the co-redemptrix of the human race.
Let us bow low before such greatness and join with the choirs of the blessed, in paying homage to her.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in 7 GIFTS of the HOLY SPIRIT, EASTER, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, The 3rd Glorious Mystery - DESCENT of the HOLY SPIRIT, The HOLY SPIRIT

Thought for the Day – 15 October – The Third Glorious Mystery – The Descent of the Holy Spirit

Thought for the Day – 15 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Third Glorious Mystery
The Descent of the Holy Spirit

“Before He left this earth for the glory of Heaven, Jesus promised His Apostles that He would not leave them orphans but would send them the Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth, “whom the world cannot receive because, it neither sees him, nor knows him” (1 Jn 14:16-18).
This promise was repeated by our divine Redeemer on the day of His Ascension, when He told them not to depart from Jerusalem until the promise would have been fulfilled.
In fact, the Apostles were obedient to His instructions.
They gathered together in the Cenacle, where, they spent the time in constant prayer, along with Mary and a number of the faithful.
On the feast of Pentecost, the house was shaken by a sound from Heaven as of a violent wind blowing and tongues of fire appeared, which settled on each one of them.
Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit (Cf Act 1:2).

According to a pious tradition, the Holy Spirit descended first on the Blessed Virgin in the form of a ball of flame, from which emerged the tongues of fire, which alighted on the heads of all present.
There is a good deal of significance in this tradition.
As Mary took first place in sharing in the passion of Jesus, so, she ought to be first to share in the glory of the Redemption.
St Bernard compared the Blessed Virgin to an aquaduct, bearing the treasures of grace and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, to all the faithful (Sermo de Aquaeducru).
It is an apt comparison, for the Mother of the Redeemer occupies a position of supremacy in the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ.
Like the Apostles, we should persevere in prayer with Mary (Cf Acts 1:14).
We should ask for the light and the gifts of the Holy Spirit, for we need them very much, if we are to walk always, in the way of truth and goodness.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in "Follow Me", ABOUT Antonio Bacci, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES - J R R Tolkien and MORE, QUOTES on CHARITY, QUOTES on CONVERSION, QUOTES on DISCIPLESHIP, QUOTES on HEAVEN, QUOTES on REPENTANCE, QUOTES on SANCTITY, QUOTES on SIN, The 2nd Glorius Mystery - The ASCENSION, The ASCENSION of the LORD

Thought for the Day – 14 October – The Second Glorious Mystery – The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

Thought for the Day – 14 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Second Glorious Mystery
The Ascension of Jesus into Heaven

“Forty days after His glorious resurrection, Jesus came, with all His friends, among them His Mother, to the Mount of Olives.
This area had already witnessed the opening phase of His passion, which was all the more poignant, perhaps because in Gethsemane, it was not only His body which was lacerated by scourges and nails but, His soul, which experienced the agonising vision of the sins and ingratitude of the human race.
Now, however, He is here with a glorified body as the Conqueror of sin and of death.
He looks for the last time on His small band of followers, to whom He has entrusted His mission of transforming the entire universe by preaching and putting into practice, the Gospel message, throughout the world.
Now, He promises them the Holy Spirit, Who will give them the power to overcome evil.
Then He is lifted up toward Heaven, until a bright cloud hides Him from their sight.

Perhaps, the Blessed Mother, was the last to take her eyes off the disappearing cloud which had removed Jesus from view.
Her human eyes never saw again the beloved figure of her divine Son but, in her soul, she saw Him entering triumphantly into Heaven among choirs of Angels and sitting at the right hand of the Eternal Father.
She saw and thought with infinite yearnng of the not too distant day, when she would have passed from mortal exile, into the everlasting happiness of Heaven, where she would embrace her divine Son again in an ecstasy of love.

We have all been called to ascend to Heaven with Jesus and Mary.
Let us remember, however, that only the innocent and the repentant can be admitted into Paradise.
If we have been unfortunate enough to have lost our baptismal innocence, only the second way is left to us – the way of penance.
We must purify ourselves of our sins by means of good works.
We must ascend higher and highter, towards the summit of Christian perfection.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The 1st Glorious Mystery - THE RESURRECTION of OUR LORD, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 13 October – The First Glorious Mystery – The Resurrection of Our Lord

Thought for the Day – 13 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The First Glorious Mystery
The Resurrection of Our Lord”

“Jesus could not have remained lifeless in the sepulchre.
He is the Man-God, the conqueror of sin and of death.
He willed to be subject to all the conditions of human exiastence with the exception of sin, therefore, He suffered and died for love of us.

However, as He had foretold, He rose gloriously from the tomb on the third day.
This resurrection is proved historically in a most certin manner, by the behaviour of the Apostles, who, were at first downcast and incredulous and were transformed, into heroes and martyrs, by the glorious appearance of Jesus.
It is confirmed by the obstinacy and deceitfulness of the Jews, who went so far as to bribe the soldiers who were guarding the sepulchre, not to reveal the truth.
It is proved, moreover, by the fact, that the Apostle Thomas, refused to believe in the Resurrection until he had placed his fingers in the wounds of the Redeemer, Who afterwards appeared to him.

We read in the Gospels and in the Acts of the Apostles, that the risen Jesus appeared many times to the Apostles to confirm their faith, to speak with them of the Kingdom of God and to give them His final instructions and commands.
We read also, that He appeared to Mary Magdalen to reward her great love and to console her.
Nowhere, do we read that He appeared to His beloved Mother, Mary.
However, the heart tells us what the Gospels omit to mention.
Surely, it is impossible to suppose that the risen Jesus would not have hastened to embrace and to console her, who had borne Him in her chaste womb and had loved Him so much, that she followed Him to the foot of the Cross?

The apparitions of Jesus narrated in the Gospel, had a public purpose, being intended to confirm the faith of those who were fearful, discouraged or incredulous.
The apparitions to Mary, were intimate and affectionate meetings with His dear Mother, who had never doubted, for one moment, that He would rise again.
There may be another explanation, however.
It is possible, that Mary’s humility would have prevented her from discussing, with others, her happy moments of reunion with her risen Son.”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci

Posted in HOLY WEEK, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MEDITATIONS - ANTONIO CARD BACCI, OCTOBER - The HOLY ROSARY, The 4th Sorrowful Mystery- The ROAD to CALVARY, The PASSION

Thought for the Day – 11 October – The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – The Road to Calvary

Thought for the Day – 11 October – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)

“Month of the Holy Rosary”
The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery
The Road to Calvary

“Scourged, crowned with thorns and derided, Jesus is finally condemned to death.
Burdened with the Cross, He sets out for the place of execution in the midst of a crowd of enemies, blasphemers and idle speculators.
Among them , there is only a tiny group which sympathises with Jesus, namely, Mary His Mother, the devout women and the beloved Apostle, St John.

The divine Redeemer goes forward laboriously beneath the heavy weight of the Cross.
He has already lost a large quantity of blood in Gethsemane and during the scourging and crowning with thorns.
His strength seems to be failing but love sustains Him.
Looking feebly around Him, He sees the mocking Jews, the indifferent and disrespectful Roman soldiers and a throng of curious spectators looking for something to amuse them.
Is there nobody else?
Where are those whom He cured miraculously and those whom He comforted and forgave?
Has nobody any pity for Him?
Suddenly the crowd falls silent.
A woman, pale and tearful, is approaching Him, supported by her friends.
She defies the commands of soldiers and the scowls of the executions and comes close to Him.

Here and there, a murmur is heard – It must be His Mother, poor woman!
Jesus and Mary gaze at one another.
It would be impossible for us to guess at the immense depths of love contained in that loving exchange of glances.
Neither utters a word, for no words could express their anguish, nor manifest their love.
They look and understand one another, offering themselves as a holocaust for the redemption of wayward humanity.

Nevertheless, in this silent meeting, there was great consolation for the Heart of Jesus, for He had found someone who loved and understood Him, amongst those malicious throngs.
Why do we not sympathise with Him too and love Him with all our hearts?”

Antonio Cardinal Bacci