Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Nine – 9 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Nine – 9 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 9:  The Immaculata’s Fullness of Love

day nine - imm conception novena 9 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
The Immaculata never knew the slightest stain, in other words, her love was always full, without flaw.   She loved God with all her being and from the first instant of her existence her love united her with God so perfectly, that on the day of the Annunciation the angel could say to her, “Full of grace! the Lord is with you!” (cf. Lk 1:28).   She is, then, God’s creature, God’s image, God’s child and in all these respects, she is all this in the most perfect manner possible, among the ranks of mere creatures (“Sketches for a book,” 1940).   Intelligent creatures love God in a conscious manner, through this love, they unite themselves more and more closely with Him and so find their way back to Him. The creature most completely filled with this love, filled with God Himself, was the Immaculata. . . .   In the Holy Spirit’s union with Mary, we observe more than the love of two beings, in one, there is all the love of the Blessed Trinity, in the other, all of creation’s love.   So it is, that in this union, heaven and earth are joined, all of heaven with all the earth, the totality of eternal love with the totality of created love.   It is truly the summit of love (“Sketches for a book,” 17 February 1941).

Meditation:
To channel all our spiritual, physical and psychological energies into their fullest human expression, means simply to love God, as totally as possible.   May the Immaculata’s flawless love of God, inspire each of u,s to channel our love, in that same ultimate direction.

Closing prayers

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Eight – 8 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Eight – 8 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 8:   The Immaculata’s Fruitfulnessday 8 - the immaculate conception novena 8 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
God sends to us the one who personifies His love – Mary, the spouse of the Spirit—a spirit of maternal love—immaculate, all beautiful, spotless, even though she is our sister, a true daughter of the human race.   God confides to her the communication of His mercy to souls.   He makes of her the Mediatrix of the graces merited for us by her divine Son, for she is full of grace, the mother of all souls born of grace, reborn and always being reborn, becoming ever more godlike (Commentary on MI “Act of Consecration,” 1940).

Meditation:
Productivity is one of the chief “virtues” upheld by modern society as a measure of worldly success.   May the Immaculata give witness to each of us that her (and our) ongoing spiritual fruitfulness, in bearing Christ to others, is a far greater achievement than material productivity.

Closing prayers

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Seven – 7 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Seven – 7 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 7:  The Immaculata’s Discipleshipday seven imm conception novena 7 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
The Immaculata is God’s instrument.   With full consciousness and total willingness she allows God to govern her, she consents to His will, desires only what He desires and acts according to His will in the most perfect manner, without failing, without ever turning aside from His will.   She makes perfect use of the powers and privileges God has given her, so as to fulfil, always and in everything, whatever God wants of her, purely for love of God, One and Three.   This love of God reaches such a peak that it bears the divine fruits proper to God’s own love.   Her love for God brings her to such a level of union with Him that she becomes the Mother of God.   The Father confides to her His Son, the Son descends into her womb and the Holy Spirit fashions out of her perfectly pure body, the very body of Jesus!  (“Sketches for a book,” 1940).

Meditation:
The only way to guarantee that we are on the “right track” in our everyday activities is to listen to God’s Word and live it out.   That’s discipleship!   May the Immaculata’s discipleship of total conformity to God’s Word inspire us to be similar instruments of his will.

Closing prayers

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Six – 6 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Six – 6 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 6:   The Immaculata’s Sinlessnessday six imm conception novena - 6 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
Who then are you, 0 Immaculate Conception? Not God, of course, because He has no beginning.   Not an angel, created directly out of nothing.   Not Adam, formed out of the dust of the earth (Gn 2:7).   Not Eve, moulded from Adam’s rib (Gn 2:21).   Not the Incarnate Word, who exists before all ages and of Whom we should use the word “conceived” rather than “conception.”   Humans do not exist before their conception, so we might call them created “conceptions.”   But you, 0 Mary, are different from all other children of Eve.   They are conceptions stained by original sin, whereas you, are the unique, Immaculate Conception (“Sketches for a book,” 17 February 1941).

Meditation:
Confronting the reality of sin is one of the fundamental struggles that we face in daily life.   May the Immaculata, the sinless New Eve, confirm our hope in the victorious liberation from sin which Christ, the New Adam, won for each of us.

Closing prayers

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Five – 5 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Five – 5 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 5:  The Immaculata’s Dignity as a Human Personday 5 imm conception novena 5 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
The Mother of God is a creature.   It follows that all she is, she has from God.   But she is God’s most perfect creature.   For this reason, the homage paid to her is, by the very nature of the case, paid to God Himself.   If we admire a statue, we honour the artist who created this masterpiece.   If we honour Mary most holy we honour God.   The more we pay homage to the divine perfections found in Mary, the more perfect is our homage to God, this is perfectly in order, since God created her in the highest state of perfection (Conference, 9 April 1938).

Meditation:
The greatness of every work of art is directly proportionate to the mastery of the artist who forms it.   Accordingly, the dignity of every human person derives from God who has created each of us in His image.   May the Immaculata teach us always, to mirror, as she did, the dignity and perfection of our God.

Closing prayers

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Four – 4 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Four – 4 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.DAY FOUR IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA 4 DEC 2019 ST MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE.jpg

Day 4: The Immaculata’s Self-Understanding

Reading:
When our Blessed Mother was asked by Bernadette to tell her name, she answered, “I am the Immaculate Conception,” this is the Immaculata’s definition of herself (Conference, 26 July 1931).   By these luminous words (at Lourdes) she tells us not only that she was immaculate in her conception but beyond this that she is the Immaculate Conception as such.   Something white is one thing;  the whiteness of a thing is some-thing else. Something perfect is one thing;  the perfection of a thing is something else.   When God said to Moses, “I am the one who is,” God was telling him:  “What is proper to my essence is that I should always be, by my very nature, of myself, with no other principle of being.”   The Immaculate Virgin, of course, was created by God;  she is a creature;  she is a conception;  still, she is the Immaculate Conception!   What depths of mystery lie hidden in those words! (Miles Immaculatae, I, 1938, p. 294).

Meditation:
In our contemporary world, great emphasis is placed on the importance of getting to “know one-self.”   May the Immaculata’s example of authentic self-understanding lead each of us to find our own true meaning as participants in the very being of God.

Closing prayers:

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Three – 3 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Three – 3 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 3:  The Immaculata’s Place in God’s Plan of Creation and Salvationday 3 imm conception novena 3 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
The Immaculata appears in this world, without the least stain of sin, the masterpiece of God’s hands, full of grace.   God, the most Holy Trinity, beholds the lowliness (i.e., the humility, the root of all her other virtues) of His handmaid and “does great things” for her (cf. Lk 1:49).   God the Father gives her, His own Son to be her Son, God the Son descends into her womb and God the Holy Spirit forms the Body of Christ in the womb of this most pure virgin.   “And the Word was made flesh” (Jn 1:14).   The Immaculata becomes the Mother of God.

The fruit of the love of God in His Trinitarian life and of Mary the Immaculata, is Christ, the God-man.   Henceforth, all the other sons of God must be modelled after this first Son of God, the God-man, the infinite One.   They must reproduce His traits, by imitating Christ, souls reach sanctity. . . .   This is the union brought about by the spousal love of the soul for Christ, through its resemblance to Him and by God’s action.

But if anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother. . . . Since the firstborn Son, the God-man was conceived only with the specific consent of the most Blessed Virgin, the same must hold true for all men, who must be conformed to their first model in all things (“Sketches for a book,” 1940).

Meditation:
From all eternity, God has designed a unique plan for each one of us, no two being identical.   His ultimate aim, is that we all be fully united to the Lord.   May the Immaculata, from her unique position in God’s plan, foster our growing conformity to Christ.

Closing prayers:

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, FRANCISCAN OFM, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY SPIRIT, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day Two – 2 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day Two – 2 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.

Day 2:   The Immaculata as Spouse of the Holy Spiritday 2 imm conception novena 2 dec 2019.jpg

Reading:
United to the Holy Spirit as His Spouse, the Immaculata is one with God in an incomparably more perfect way than can be predicated of any other creature.  What sort of union is this?   It is above all an interior union, a union of her essence with the “essence” of the Holy Spirit.   The Holy Spirit dwells in her, lives in her.   This was true from the first instant of her existence.   It was always true, it will always be true.

In what does this life of the Spirit in Mary consist?   He himself is uncreated Love in her, the Love of the Father and of the Son, the Love by which God loves Himself, the very love of the most Holy Trinity.   He is a fruitful love, a “Conception.”   Among creatures made in God’s image the union brought about by married love is the most intimate of all (cf. Mt 19:6).   In a much more precise, more interior, more essential manner, the Holy Spirit lives in the soul of the Immaculata, in the depths of her very being.   He makes her fruitful, from the very first instant of her existence, all during her life and for all eternity (“Sketches for a book,” 17 February 1941).

Meditation:
To grow in daily awareness of the Holy Spirit’s presence within us is a constant challenge that God gives to each and all of us.   May the Immaculata’s perfect life in the Holy Spirit, cause a sharpening, of our own attentiveness, to His presence at the core of our inner selves.

Closing prayers:

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practised so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask, through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, QUOTES of the SAINTS, The HOLY TRINITY, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception Day One – 1 December

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
Day One – 1 December

By St Maximillian Kolbe OFM (1894-1941) Martyr

OPENING PRAYER

How fair you are, 0 Mary!
The original stain is not in you.
You are the boast of Jerusalem,
You are the joy of Israel.
You are the pride of our people.
You are the advocate of sinners.
0 Mary!
You are the wisest of virgins.
You are the kindest of mothers.
Pray for us.
Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.
Holy Virgin, you were spotless
from the very moment of your conception.
Because you bore His Son, pray to the Father for us.
Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God,
You made ready a dwelling place worthy of Your Son.
In anticipation of Your Son’s death,
You preserved her from every stain.
Please purify us by her intercession,
so that we might find our way to You.
We ask this through Christ our lord.
Amen

Daily Readings and Meditations for each day of the Novena are given here, followed by two closing Novena Prayers for each day.DAY ONE IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - ST MAXIMILLIAN KOLBE - TRINITY 1 DEC 2019

Day 1: The Immaculata’s Relationship to the Trinity

Reading:
From all eternity the Father begets the Son and the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and Son.   This life of the most Holy Trinity is re-echoed in numberless and various ways, by the creatures that issue from God’s hands. . . .   Every act of love in God comes forth from the Father through the Son and the Holy Spirit.
God creates, maintains in existence, gives life and growth in the natural as well as in the supernatural order.   In His love, God supports in existence all His innumerable limited created resemblances and the love-reaction that is provoked in the creature, can return to the Father only through the Holy Spirit and the Son.. .
Among creatures, the summit of this love that goes back to God is the Immaculata, the one being totally without any stain of sin, all beautiful, all divine.   At no time did her will ever deviate from God’s will.   With all its strength, her will was always at one with His. In her there came about the marvellous union of God with creation.
(Kolbe’s “Sketches for a Book,” 1940).

Meditation:
Cultivating a personal relationship with each member of the Holy Trinity is an obligation for every individual.   May the Immaculata’s love-response to each of the Three Divine Persons, serve as a model and stimulus for each of us.

Closing prayers:

Novena Prayer to the Immaculata

I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin,
Mother of God throne of grace,
miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity
and Queen of the universe,
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners!
Most loving Mother,
attracted by your beauty and sweetness
and by your tender compassion,
I confidently turn to you
and beg of you, to obtain for me of your dear Son
the favour I request in this novena
………………………… (here mention you request).
Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven,
the most lively contrition for my many sins
and the grace to imitate closely,
those virtues which you practiced so faithfully,
especially humility, purity and obedience.
Above all I beg you to be my mother
and protectress,
to receive me into the number of your devoted children
and to guide me from your high throne of glory.
Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy!
Have pity on me and do not abandon me
during life or at the moment of my death.

Daughter of the Eternal Father,
Mother of the Eternal Son,
Spouse of the Holy Spirit,
Temple of the adorable Trinity,
pray for me.
Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary,
refuge of the needy and hope of sinners,
filled with the most lively respect, love and gratitude,
I devote myself forever to your service
and I offer you my heart,
with all that I am and all that belongs to me.
Accept this offering,
sweet Queen of Heaven and earth
and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ,
the favours I ask through your intercession in this novena.
Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God,
perfect submission to His adorable will,
the true spirit of a Christian
and the grace of final perseverance.
Amen

Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata

O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother,
live in me, act in me, speak in and through me.
Think your thoughts in my mind,
love through my heart.
Give me your own dispositions and feelings.
Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus.
Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life.
Replace me with yourself.
Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving,
pray in and through me.
Let me live in you
and keep me in this union always.
Amen

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, DOGMA, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, NOTES to Followers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Announcing a Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception – Begins 1 December

Announcing a Novena in honour of the Immaculate Conception
Begins 1 December

As the Feast of the Immaculate Conception is moved forward by one day this year, from 8 to 9 December, due to the 8th being the 2nd Sunday of Advent, we will start the Novena a day later than usual.

This year we will use Reflections and Meditations from St Maximillian Kolbe.

See you there!

 

announcing a novena imm conception begins 1 dec by st Maximillian Kolbe 30 Nov 2019.jpg

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY NINE – 8 December

Our Lady Queen of Apostles

If we have this filial contact with Mary, we won’t be able to think just about ourselves and our problems. Selfish personal problems will find no place in our mind. Mary brings us to Jesus and Jesus is “the firstborn among many brothers.” And so, if we know Jesus, we realise that we can live only by giving ourselves to the service of others. Christians can’t be caught up in personal problems;they must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other people, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realise more fully that all men and women are our brothers and sisters – because we are all children of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.  (Christ is Passing By, 145)

Be daring. Count on the help of Mary, Queen of Apostles. Without ceasing to be a mother, our Lady is able to get each of her children to face their own responsibilities.
Mary always does the immense favour of bringing to the Cross, of placing face to face with the example of the Son of God, those who come close to her and contemplate her life. It is in this confrontation that Christian life is decided. And here Mary intercedes for us so that our behaviour may lead to a reconciliation of the younger brother – you and me – with the firstborn Son of the Father.
Many conversions, many decisions to give oneself to the service of God have been preceded by an encounter with Mary. Our Lady has encouraged us to look for God, to desire to change, to lead a new life. And so her counsel “Do whatever he tells you” has turned into real self-giving, into a Christian vocation, which from then on enlightens all our personal life.  (Christ is Passing By, 149)

Let us Pray

Mary, who brought Jesus up and accompanied Him
through His life and is now beside Him in heaven,
will help us recognise Jesus as He crosses our path
and makes Himself present to us in the needs of our
fellow men.

Our mother, you
brought to earth Jesus,
who reveals the love of
our Father God.
Help us to recognise Him
in the midst of the cares of each day.
Stir up our mind and will,
so that we may listen to the voice of
God, to the calls of grace.”

Sancta Maria, spes nostra, ancilla Domini, sedes
sapientiæ, ora por nobis! Holy Mary, our hope,
handmaid of the Lord, seat of wisdom, pray for us!
Amen
(Christ is Passing By, 149)imm conception - unknown

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY EIGHT – 7 December

Mary, our teacher in everyday life

We must imitate her natural and supernatural refinement. She is a privileged creature in the history of salvation, for in Mary “the Word became flesh and dwelled among us.”
But she is a reserved, quiet witness. She never wished to be praised, for she never sought her own glory. Mary is present at the mysteries surrounding the infancy of her Son but these are “normal” mysteries, so to speak. When the great miracles take place and the crowds acclaim them in amazement, she is nowhere to be found. In Jerusalem when Christ, riding a little donkey, is proclaimed king, we don’t catch a glimpse of Mary. But after all have fled, she reappears next to the Cross. This way of acting bespeaks personal greatness and depth, the sanctity of her soul….(Christ is Passing By, 173)

To become God-like, to be divinised, we must begin by being very human, accepting from God our condition as ordinary men and women, and sanctifying its apparent worthlessness. That is how Mary lived. She who is full of grace, the object of God’s pleasure, exalted above all the angels and the saints, lived an ordinary life.
Mary is as much a creature as we are, with a heart like ours, made for joy and mirth as well as suffering and tears. Before Gabriel communicates God’s plan to her, our Lady does not know she has been chosen from all eternity to be the Mother of the Messiah. She sees herself as a humble creature. That is why she can acknowledge, with full humility, that “he who is mighty has done great things” in her. (Christ is Passing By, 172)

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live. (Christ is Passing By, 148)

Let us Pray

We turn to Our Lady for protection, because we
can be quite sure that each of us, in our own
state in life – priest or lay-person, single, married
or widowed – if we are faithful in the daily
fulfilment of our duties, will achieve victory on
this earth, the victory of being always loyal to
Our Lord. And afterwards we will reach Heaven
and rejoice for ever in the friendship and love of
God, with the Blessed Virgin Mary.
(Prayer before Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24 May 1970)

Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.
Amenhail mary full of grace, pray for us - 3 may 2018

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Again, all I can do is pray and beg of you all, your prayers too.   My country is in chaos, power is being ‘loadshedded’ on and off all day across the land.   Damage control is all we can do.   Much trauma to many systems and appliances.   The software I use to make my pics has also corrupted along with some other software.   I know others who have lost their telephone connections due to corrupted and burnt out telephone cables, etc etc.   Sorry!   Mary, our refuge and our strength!

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY SEVEN – 6 December

Mary, our refuge and our strength

When it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, ‘Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God’.”   Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to Him in His suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp-edged sword.
Jesus is comforted anew by the quiet, loving presence of His Mother. Mary does not shout; she does not run about frantically. Stabat: she is there, standing next to her Son. It is then that Jesus looks at her and then turning His gaze to John He exclaims, “Woman, this is thy son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is thy Mother.” In the person of John, Christ is entrusting all men to His Mother and especially His disciples: those who were to believe in Him.
Felix culpa the Church sings.   Happy fault, that has brought us so great and wonderful a Redeemer. Happy fault, we could add, which has merited that we should receive Mary as our Mother. Now we are safe. Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God. Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother. (Friends of God, 288)

Marvel at Mary’s courage: at the foot of the Cross, with the greatest of human sorrows – there is no sorrow like her sorrow – filled with fortitude. And ask her for that same strength, so that you too can remain beside the Cross. (The Way, 508)

Don’t let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven’t failed, just as Christ didn’t fail on the Cross. Take courage!… Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary’s Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength. Hold your peace. Be calm… God has very few friends on earth. Don’t yearn to leave this world. Don’t shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long. (The Way of the Cross, 13th Station, 3)

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live
(Christ is Passing By, 148)

Let us Pray

Say to her:

Mother, my Mother – yours,
because you are hers on many counts –
may your love bind me to your Son’s Cross,
may I not lack the Faith,
nor the courage,
nor the daring,
to carry out the will of our Jesus.
Amen
The Way, 497pieta carracci 1560-1609

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception – Apologies for the late arrival!

Sincere apologies for the late arrival of today’s Novena – I have been unable to post anything due to a national electricity crises!

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY SIX – 5 December

Holy Mary, our hope

Mary teaches us to hope.   She proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed.”  Humanly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing?   Who was she, in the eyes of  the men and women of her time? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people. Mary’s throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is  the Cross. During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence. St Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer. This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity.
What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.” (Friends of God, 286)

Let us be full of hope! This is the great thing about being a contemplative soul. We live by Faith, Hope and Love and Hope makes us powerful. Do you remember what St John says? “I am writing to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abides in you and you have conquered the evil one.”  God is urging us on, for the sake of the eternal youthfulness of the Church and of all mankind.   You have the power to  transform everything human into something divine, just as King Midas turned everything he touched into gold!
Do not ever forget that after death you will be welcomed by Love itself. And in the love of God you will find as well all the noble loves which you had on earth. Our Lord has arranged for us to spend this brief day of our earthly existence working and, like His only-begotten Son, “doing good.”   Meanwhile we have to be on our guard, alert to the call St Ignatius of Antioch felt within his soul as the hour of his martyrdom approached.
“Come to the Father,” come to your Father, who anxiously awaits you.   (Friends of God, 221)

Let us Pray

Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope,
to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all
come together to dwell in the house of the
Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up
our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing
for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us
there with His grace and He will send a good
wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of
our destination.   (Friends of God, 221)

Teach us Holy Mother Mary,
teach us your holy hope!
This virtue that comes from the grace of God.
Intercede on our behalf that we may
be always guided by hope
that the great love of our Father,
will be our strength and our stay.
Pray for us Holy Mother of Hope.
Grant us your guiding hand.
AmenDAY SIX - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - HOLY MARY SPES NOSTRA OUR HOPE

Posted in DOGMA, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY FOUR – 3 December

Mary, Woman of Faith

She teaches us to have faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing,” were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when Our Lady went up into the hill country to visit her.   Mary’s act of faith had been a wonderful one, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.”   When her Son was born she contemplated the greatness of God on earth:  a choir of angels was present and not only the shepherds but also important men of this world came to adore the Child.  Afterwards,however, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt, to escape Herod’s murderous intent.   Then, silence, thirty long years of simple, ordinary life, just like that of any other home in a small village in Galilee. (Friends of God, 284)

Lord, I do believe!   I have been brought up to believe in You.   I have decided to follow You closely.   Repeatedly during my life I have implored Your mercy.   And repeatedly too  have thought it impossible that You could perform such marvels in the hearts of Your children.
Lord, I do believe but help me to believe more and better!
Let us address this same plea to Our Lady, Mother of God and our Mother and Teacher of faith:   “Blessed art thou for thy believing. the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.”  (Friends of God, 204)

The Virgin did not merely pronounce her fiat, in every moment she fulfilled that firm and irrevocable decision.   So should we.   When God’s love gets through to us and we come to know what He desires, we ought to commit ourselves to be faithful and loyal and then be so in fact.   Because “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.”   (Christ is Passing By, 173)

Don’t forget:  if God exalted His Mother, it is equally true that He did not spare her pain, exhaustion in her work or trials of her faith.   A village woman one day broke into praise for Jesus, exclaiming: “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you!”  Jesus said in reply:  “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep  it.”   It was a compliment to His Mother on her fiat, her “be it done.”   She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day.  (Christ is Passing By, 172)

Let us Pray

“Mother!” Call her again and again. She is
listening, she sees you in danger perhaps and
with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother
Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the
tenderness of her embrace.   Call her and you
will find yourself with added strength for the
new struggle.
The Way, 516

Hail Mary, Holy Mother!
I cry unto you,
help and assist me,
lead me mother,
teach me and guide me.
AmenDAY FOUR - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - MARY WOMAN OF FAITH

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY THREE – 2 December

Mary, Teacher of Prayer

The Lord will grant you the ability to discover many other aspects of the faithful response to grace of the blessed Virgin. And to know these facets of her life is to want to imitate them: her purity, her humility, her fortitude, her generosity, her fidelity… But now I want to speak to you of an aspect that in a way encompasses all the others because it is a condition for spiritual growth. I’m speaking of her life of prayer.
To take advantage of the grace which our Mother offers us today and to follow up at anytime the inspirations of the Holy Spirit, the shepherd of our souls, we ought to be seriously committed to talking with God. We cannot take refuge in the anonymous crowd. If interior life doesn’t involve a personal encounter with God, it doesn’t exist – it’s as simple as that.
There are few things more at odds with Christianity than superficiality. To settle down to routine in our Christian life is to dismiss the possibility of becoming a contemplative soul.
God seeks us out, one by one. And we ought to answer Him, one by one: “Here I am, Lord, because you have called me.”
We are ordinary Christians. We work at the most varied professions. All our activity takes place amid everyday circumstances. Everything follows a customary rhythm in our lives.
The days seem the same, even monotonous . But don’t forget that our condition which is apparently so common has a divine value. God is interested in everything we do, because Christ wishes to become incarnate in our things, to vivify from within even our most insignificant actions.

Review these thoughts in your prayer. Take occasion of them to tell Jesus that you adore Him.  And thus you have a formula to become contemplatives in the middle of the world, amid the noises of the street, at all times and in all places.  This is the first lesson we should learn in the school of intimacy with Christ. And in this school, Mary is the best teacher, because the Virgin always kept this attitude of faith, of supernatural vision, regardless of what happened around her: “And his mother kept all these words in her heart.” (Christ is Passing By, 174)

Our Mother had meditated deep and long on the words of the holy men and women of the Old Testament who awaited the Saviour and on the events that they had taken part in.   She must have marvelled at all the great things that God, in His boundless mercy, had done for His people, who were so often ungrateful. As she considers the tenderness shown time after time by God towards His people, Mary’s immaculate Heart breaks out in loving words, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Saviour, for he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid.” The early  Christians, children of this good Mother, learned from her; we can, and we ought to do likewise. (Friends of God, 241)

Let us Pray

Let us ask the blessed Virgin to make us
contemplatives, to teach us to recognise the
constant calls from God at the door of our
heart. Let us ask her now:

Our mother, you
brought to earth Jesus,
who reveals the love of
our Father God.
Help us to recognise Him
in the midst of the cares of each day.
Stir up our mind and will,
so that we may listen to the voice of
God, to the calls of grace.”
AmenDAY THREE - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - MARY TEACHER OF PRAYER

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY TWO – 1 December

Mother of us all, Mother of each of us

The divine Motherhood of Mary is the source of all the perfections and privileges with
which she is endowed.   Because of it, she was conceived immaculate and is full of
grace, because of it, she is ever virgin, she was taken up body and soul to heaven and
has been crowned Queen of all creation, above the angels and saints.   Greater than she,
there is none but God. “The Blessed Virgin, from the fact that she is the Mother of God, has a certain infinite dignity which comes from the infinite good which is God.” There is no danger of exaggerating.   We can never hope to fathom this inexpressible mystery; nor will we ever be able to give sufficient thanks to our Mother for bringing us into such intimacy with the Blessed Trinity.   (Friends of God, 276)

There is no heart more human than that of a person overflowing with supernatural
sense.   Think of Holy Mary, who is full of grace, daughter of God the Father, Mother of
God the Son, spouse of God the Holy Spirit.   Her heart has room for all humanity and
makes no distinction or discrimination.   Every person is her son or her daughter. (Furrow, 801)

John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, brought Mary into his home, into his life.  Spiritual writers have seen these words of the Gospel as an invitation to all Christians to bring Mary into their lives.   Mary certainly wants us to invoke her, to approach her confidently, to appeal to her as our mother, asking her to “show that you are our mother.”
But she is a mother who anticipates our requests.   Knowing our needs, she comes quickly to our aid.   If we recall that God’s mercies come to us through the hands of our Lady, each of us can find many reasons for feeling that Mary is our mother in a very special way.   (Christ is Passing By, 140)

Because Mary is our mother, devotion to her teaches us to be authentic sons and daughters:  to love truly, without limit;   to be simple, without the complications which come from selfishly thinking only about ourselves;  to be happy, knowing that nothing can destroy our hope.   “The beginning of the way, at the end of which you will find yourself completely carried away by love for Jesus, is a trusting love for Mary.”   I wrote that many years ago, in the introduction to a short book on the rosary and since then I have often experienced the truth of those words.   I am not going to complete that thought here with all sorts of reasons.   I invite you to discover it for yourself, showing your love for Mary, opening your heart to her, confiding to her your joys and sorrows, asking her to help you recognise and follow Jesus.   (Christ is Passing By, 143)

Let us Pray

Mother, we thank you
for your intercession before Jesus.
Without you, we would not
have been able to reach Him.
How true it is
that one always goes to Jesus
and returns to Him
through Mary!
AmenDAY ONE - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - MOTHER OF ALL

Posted in MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN TITLES, MORNING Prayers, NOVENAS, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, St JOSEMARIA Escriva and Opus Dei, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The HOLY ROSARY/ROSARY CRUSADE

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)

DAY ONE – 30 November

MARY FULL OF GRACE

She is the one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections and she is also our
Mother. Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything we ask for and,
like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers.   Like any mother also, she knows and understands our weaknesses.   She encourages us and makes excuses for us.   She makes the way easy for us and, even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us.
Perhaps some of you might be thinking that the ordinary comings and goings, of your
working day, are not going to help you much to stay close to someone, as pure as Our
Lady.   But I would just ask you to reflect a little.   What are we looking for all the time
in things we do, even without thinking about it especially?   If we are motivated by the love of God and we work with a right intention, then we are seeking whatever is good and clean, whatever brings peace to our conscience and happiness to our soul.   Yes, you might say but don’t we still have our faults?   Indeed, but it is precisely by acknowledging our faults that we are able to see, more clearly than ever, just what our goal has to be.   What we are looking for is happiness, not a momentary happiness but one that is deep and lasting and both human and supernatural.
There is one creature who achieved such happiness here on earth, because she is God’s masterpiece, our most holy Mother Mary.   She lives now and is protecting us.   She is
there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Friends of God, 292)

Holy Rosary, 4th joyful mystery:
When the days of the Mother’s purification are accomplished, according to the Law of
Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke
2:24).   Just think: She – Mary Immaculate! – submits to the Law as if she were defiled.
Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and I surely do need purification! Atonement and more than atonement, Love.   Love as a searing iron to cauterise our souls’ uncleanness and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.

Let us turn to her, tota pulchra! – all beautiful! – taking to heart the advice I gave many years ago to those who felt uneasy in their daily struggle to be humble, pure, sincere, cheerful and generous.   “All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you.   Don’t give up hope!   On the contrary, call your holy Mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child.   She will bring peace to your soul.”  (Friends of God, 189)

Let us Pray!

Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.
AmenDAY ONE - IMM CONCEPTION NOVENA - HAIL MARY