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Marian Thoughts – 14 May – Pope Francis – The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

Marian Thoughts – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you.   It’s a spiritual medicine.   Don’t forget to take it.   “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (17 November 2013)pope francis' reflections on the joyful mysteries 1st mystery 14 may 2019.jpg

The First Joyful Mystery:   The Annunciation

“The annunciation to Mary can be read alongside the announcement to Zechariah of John the Baptist’s birth.   One annunciation happens to a priest in the Temple of God, during a liturgy, where everyone is waiting outside, while the other, happens to a young woman named Mary, in a small town that did not necessarily have a good reputation.   This contrast is not insignificant.   It serves as a sign that the new Temple of God, the new encounter of God with His people, will happen in places which we normally do not expect, on the margins, on the peripheries.   By now, it will no longer be in a place reserved for the few, while the majority wait outside. Nothing and no-one, will be indifferent, no situation will be deprived of His presence, the joy of salvation began in the daily life of the home of a youth in Nazareth.
Even today, God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming His invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard.
God continues to walk our neighbourhoods and our streets, He pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to His invitation and making it become flesh here and now.
In the end, the Lord continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions.
Just like He did with Mary, God also takes the initiative in our lives, inserting Himself into our daily struggles, anxieties and desires.
It is precisely in the daily routine of our lives, that we receive the most beautiful announcement we can hear – “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!”
(Pope Francis, 2017)

Holy Mary of the Annunciation of Emmanuel,

God with us,

Pray for us!mary's fiat - holy mary pray for us 14 may 2019 pope francis and the rosary from Fr Enrico no 1.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Marian Thoughts – 11 May – ‘Mary’s Month’

The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Replymary's fiat - luke 1 38 behold i am the handmaid of the lord - 11 may 2019.jpg

On the Annunciation and Mary’s “fiat”
Saint Bernard (1090-1153)
Mellifluous Doctor

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son, you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit.   The angel awaits an answer, it is time for him to return to God who sent him.   We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion, the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you.   We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be and behold, we die.   In your brief response we are to be remade, in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise.   Abraham begs it, David begs it.   All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death.   This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet.   It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin.   Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord.   Answer with a word, receive the Word of God.   Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word.   Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid?   Believe, give praise and receive.   Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident.   This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence.   In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary.   Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator.  See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter.   If He should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seekHhim afresh, the One whom your soul loves.   Arise, hasten, open.   Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving.   Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

This homily excerpt of St Bernard is in the Office of Readings for
20 December the fourth week of Advent.
Hom. 4, 8-9answer quickly o virgin - st bernard - 11 may 2019 homily on the annunciation.jpg

Posted in CATECHESIS, DOCTORS of the Church, EASTER, FATHERS of the Church, HOLY WEEK 2019, HOMILIES, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on DEATH, SAINT of the DAY, The INCARNATION, The PASSION, The RESURRECTION

Thought for the Day – 2 May – On the Incarnation of the Word

Thought for the Day – 2 May – Thursday of the Second week of Easter, Gospel: John 3:31–36 and the Memorial of St Athanasius (297-373)

On the Incarnation of the Word

Saint Athanasius (297-373)
Bishop, Great Eastern Father & Doctor of the Church
Known as “The Father of Orthodoxy”

An excerpt from On the Incarnation of the Word

The Word of God, incorporeal, incorruptible and immaterial, entered our world.   Yet it was not as if He had been remote from it up to that time.   For there is no part of the world that was ever without His Presence; together with His Father, He continually filled all things and places.

Out of His loving-kindness for us, He came to us and we see this in the way He revealed Himself openly to us.   Taking pity on mankind’s weakness and moved by our corruption, He could not stand aside and see death have the mastery over us, He did not want creation to perish and His Father’s work in fashioning man, to be in vain.   He, therefore, took to Himself a body, no different from our own, for He did not wish simply to be in a body or only to be seen.

If He had wanted simply to be seen, He could indeed have taken another and nobler, body.   Instead, He took our body in its reality.

Within the Virgin, He built himself a temple, that is, a body, He made it His own instrument in which to dwell and to reveal Himself.   In this way, He received from mankind, a body like our own and, since all were subject to the corruption of death, He delivered this body over to death for all and with supreme love, offered it to the Father. He did so, to destroy the law of corruption, passed against all men, since all died in Him. The law, which had spent its force on the body of the Lord, could no longer have any power over His fellowmen.   Moreover, this was the way in which the Word was to restore mankind to immortality, after it had fallen into corruption and summon it back, from death to life.   He utterly destroyed the power death had against mankind—as fire consumes chaff—by means of the body He had taken and the grace of the Resurrection.

This is the reason why the Word assumed a body that could die, so that this body, sharing in the Word who is above all, might satisfy death’s requirement in place of all.  Because of the Word dwelling in that body, it would remain incorruptible and all would be freed forever from corruption, by the grace of the Resurrection.

In death, the Word made a spotless sacrifice and oblation of the body He had taken.   By dying for others, He immediately banished death for all mankind.in death the word made a spotless - st athanasius - 2 may 2019

In this way the Word of God, who is above all, dedicated and offered His temple, the instrument that was His body, for us all, as He said and so paid, by His own death the debt that was owed.   The immortal Son of God, united with all men by likeness of nature, thus fulfilled all justice, in restoring mankind to immortality, by the promise of the resurrection.

The corruption of death, no longer holds any power over mankind, thanks to the Word, who has come to dwell among them through His one body.

St Athanasius, Pray for Us!st athanasius pray for us no 2 - 2 may 2019 adapted.jpg

 

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Lenten Thoughts – 25 March – Here we are, the servants of the Lord

Lenten Thoughts – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Mary’s Fiat, must be our Fiat

Mary’s fiat– her faithful “Here am I,” which does not replace her perplexity at her conception of God made human but overcomes it– is an announcement in itself.   In fact, her announcement, is the most important one of today’s Gospel reading.   Let it be our announcement, too, then, for it is appropriate at all times and at any time.   And now, our brief, prayerful, announcement:  “Here [are we], the servant[s] of the Lord, let it be done to [us] according to your word.”

I delight to do thy will, O my God,
thy law is within my heart.
Psalm 40:8mary's fiat must be our fiat 25 march 2019 annunciation

“God Himself is the one Who takes the initiative and chooses to enter, as He did with Mary, into our homes, our daily struggles, filled with anxiety and with desires.   And it is within our cities, in our schools and universities, our squares and hospitals, that the most beautiful announcement we can hear is made:  “Rejoice, the Lord is with you”.    A joy that generates life, that generates hope, that is made flesh in the way we look to the future, in the attitude with which we look at others.   A joy that becomes solidarity, hospitality, mercy towards all.”

Pope Francis – Solemnity of the Annunciation of Our Lord, 25 March 2017

Three times daily, at 6 am, noon and 6 pm, we pray the Angelus.   It is still accompanied by the ringing of a bell (the Angelus bell) in some places such as Vatican City and parts of Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Ireland.   The Regina Coeli prayer (which may also be sung as a hymn) replaces the Angelus during the Easter season.

V. The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
R. And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen
V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
R. Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. And the Word was made Flesh.
R. And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary, etc.
V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.the angelus

Posted in FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Thought for the Day – 25 March – God’s shout to us

Thought for the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

Together with Jesus, the privileged and graced Mary is the link between heaven and earth.   She is the human being who best, after Jesus, exemplifies the possibilities of human existence.   She received into her lowliness the infinite love of God.   She shows how, an ordinary human being, can reflect God in the ordinary circumstances of life.  She exemplifies what the Church and every member of the Church is meant to become. She is the ultimate product of the creative and redemptive power of God.   She manifests what the Incarnation is meant to accomplish for all of us.

Sometimes spiritual writers are accused of putting Mary on a pedestal and thereby, discouraging ordinary humans from imitating her.   Perhaps, such an observation is misguided.   God did put Mary on a pedestal and has put all human beings on a pedestal. We have scarcely begun to realise the magnificence of divine grace, the wonder of God’s freely given love.   The marvel of Mary—even in the midst of her very ordinary life—is God’s shout to us, to wake up, to the marvellous creatures that we all are by divine design.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for Us!mary mother of god pray for us.jpg

Posted in DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, LENT 2019, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN QUOTES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, QUOTES of the SAINTS, QUOTES on SILENCE, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The INCARNATION

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – In her, God spun a garment with which to save us

Quote/s of the Day – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

“And so when God’s birth is proclaimed to you, keep silent.
Let Gabriel’s word be held in your mind 
for nothing is impossible to this glorious Majesty,
who humbled Himself for us
and was born of our humanity.”and so when god's birth is proclaimed to you - st ephrem - 25 march 2019 annunciation.jpg

“God assumed smallness in her –
yet without diminishing His nature –
to make us great!”god assumed smallness in her to make us great - st ephrem 25 march annunciation.jpg

“In her, God spun a garment with which to save us.”

Saint Ephrem (306-373) Father & Doctorin her god spun - st pehrem - annunciation 25 march 2019.jpg

“Him, whom the heavens cannot contain,
the womb of one woman bore.
She ruled our Ruler,
she carried Him, in whom we are,
she gave milk to our Bread.”

St Augustine (354-430)him, whom the heavens cannot contain - st augustine 25 march annunciation .jpg

“The scene of the Annunciation
merits consideration for another reason, too,
it is not only wholly Christological;,
it is wholly trinitarian as well…
The angel’s initial salutation…
brings her the greeting of the ‘Lord’, the Father…
she will give birth to the ‘Son of the Most High’…
the Holy Spirit will overshadow her…”

Cardinal Hans Urs Von Balthasar (1905-1988)the scene of the annunciation - hans urs von balthasar - 25 march 2019.jpg

“The Annunciation, recounted at the beginning
of St Luke’s Gospel, is a humble, hidden event –
no-one saw it, no one except Mary knew of it –
but, at the same time,
it was crucial to the history of humanity.
When the Virgin said her “yes”
to the Angel’s announcement,
Jesus was conceived and with Him began
the new era of history that was to be ratified
in Easter as the “new and eternal Covenant”.

Pope Benedict XVI

 Angelus
St Peter’s Square, Fifth Sunday of Lent, 25 March 2007the annunciation - pope benedict 25 march 2019.jpg

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One Minute Reflection – 25 March – Pope Benedict reflects

One Minute Reflection – 25 March – The Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord

And Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be to me according to your word.”...Luke 1:38luke 1 38 - let what you have said be done to me - 18dec2018 ourladyofexpectation

REFLECTION – “The icon of the Annunciation, more than any other, helps us to see clearly how everything in the Church goes back to that mystery of Mary’s acceptance of the divine Word, by which, through the action of the Holy Spirit, the Covenant between God and humanity was perfectly sealed. Everything in the Church, every institution and ministry, including that of Peter and his Successors, is “included” under the Virgin’s mantle, within the grace-filled horizon of her “yes” to God’s will. This link with Mary naturally evokes a strong affective resonance in all of us but first of all it has an objective value….
Everything in this world will pass away.   In eternity only Love will remain.   For this reason, … taking the opportunity offered by this favourable time of Lent, let us commit ourselves to ensure that everything in our personal lives and in the ecclesial activity in which we are engaged is inspired by charity and leads to charity.   In this respect too, we are enlightened by the mystery that we are celebrating today.
Indeed, the first thing that Mary did after receiving the Angel’s message was to go “in haste” to the house of her cousin Elizabeth in order to be of service to her (cf. Lk 1: 39). The Virgin’s initiative was one of genuine charity, it was humble and courageous, motivated by faith in God’s Word and the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit.   Those who love, forget about themselves and place themselves at the service of their neighbour.   Here we have the image and model of the Church!”…Pope Benedict XVI – Excerpt- Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord, Saint Peter’s Square, Saturday, 25 March 2006everything in this world will pass away - pope benedict XVI - 25 march 2019.jpg

PRAYER – Shape us in the likeness of the Divine nature of our Redeemer, whom we believe to be true God and true man, since it was Your will, Lord God, that He, Your Word, should take to Himself, our human nature in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for always and forever, amen.the-nicest-word-servant-of-god-guy-pierre-de-fontgalland-24-feb-2018-no-2.jpg