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Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December – Mary visits Elizabeth – You also are blessed!

Thought for the Day – Saturday of Advent 21 December

Mary visits Elizabeth

Saint Ambrose of Milan (340-397)
Great Latin Father and Doctor of the Church

An excerpt from A Commentary on Luke, Book 2

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, laborious 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, it’s 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.you also are blessed becauxe you have believed - st ambrose - 21 dec 2019 the vistation.jpg

Posted in ADVENT, ADVENT PRAYERS, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DOCTORS of the Church, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The CHRIST CHILD, The INCARNATION, The WORD

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori – 21 December

Advent and Christmas Wisdom with St Alphonsus Liguori (1696-1787))

21 December

Jesus is a prisoner in the womb of Mary

“Consider the painful life that Jesus Christ led in the womb of His mother and the long-confined and dark imprisonment that He suffered there for nine months.   He had His senses but He could not use them.   A tongue but He could not speak.   Eyes but he could not see.   Hands but He could not stretch them out.   Feet but He could not walk.   For nine months, He had to remain the womb of Mary, a voluntary prison but also a prison of love. He was innocent but He had offered Himself to make payment for our debts and our crimes.

What gratitude and love we should demonstrate for our Lord in return for the love and goodness that He has given us.   He has put Himself into chains, in order to deliver us from the chains of evil.

O my Jesus, You are the innocent one. I implore You to bind my poor soul to Your feet by Your holy love, so that it may never again be separated from You.”

Scripture

“Blessed are you among women
and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”

Luke 1:42luke 1 42 blessed are you among woman - o raidant dawn 21dec2018

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.o-radiant-dawn-21-dec-2017

Advent Action
Dawn never happens quickly.   Long before dawn, while it is quite dark, the birds start their sounds of joy.   Slowly the night changes from dark, to charcoal, to haze, to light. Today’s Scripture presents to us the image of waiting.   In the Gospel, Mary and Elizabeth, wait and wonder together and the Lord waits, St John the Baptist waits.   Oftentimes, we are called to wait.   We must believe that in our waiting, the dawning also exists. We know that the Lord will always draw us from darkness into His cleansing light. Patience is a virture – displayed so wonderfully and painfully by the Lord.   How can we give into our impatience?   Rest in Me, remember me in the womb of My mother Mary and learn patience!

Posted in BREVIARY Prayers, CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, CATHOLIC-PRAYERS OF THE CHURCH, DEVOTIO, DOCTORS of the Church, FATHERS of the Church, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MORNING Prayers, PRACTISING CATHOLIC, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, QUOTES of the SAINTS, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, The WORD

Thought for the Day – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from St Bede the Venerable

Thought for the Day – 31 May – The Last Day of Mary’s Month and the Feast of the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary from St Bede the Venerable

Writing in the early 8th century, St Bede explains why the Magnificat, Mary’s prayer on the occasion of her Visitation of Elizabeth, is used daily in the liturgy of the hours (a.k.a the divine office) for Vespers or evening prayer.   With Mary’s soul, our souls magnify the Lord and rejoice in God our Saviour.

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.
With these words Mary first acknowledges the special gifts she has been given.   Then she recalls God’s universal favours, bestowed unceasingly on the human race.

REJOICE IN GOD’S GREATNESS
When a man devotes all his thoughts to the praise and service of the Lord, he proclaims God’s greatness.   His observance of God’s commands, moreover, shows that he has God’s power and greatness always at heart.   His spirit rejoices in God his saviour and delights in the mere recollection of his creator who gives him hope for eternal salvation.

These words are offered for all God’s creations but especially for the Mother of God.   She alone was chosen and she burned with spiritual love for the son she so joyously conceived.   Above all other saints, she alone could truly rejoice in Jesus, her saviour, for she knew that He, who was the source of eternal salvation, would be born in time in her body, in one person both her own son and her Lord.

HOLY IS HIS NAME
For the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.
Mary attributes nothing to her own merits.   She refers all her greatness to the gift of the one whose essence is power and whose nature is greatness, for He fills with greatness and strength the small and the weak who believe in Him.

She did well to add:  and holy is his name, to warn those who heard and indeed all who would receive His words, that they must believe and call upon His name.   For they too could share in everlasting holiness and true salvation, according to the words of the prophet – and it will come to pass, that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.   This is the name she spoke of earlier – and my spirit rejoices in God my saviour.

VESPERS & THE MAGNIFICAT:  AN EVENING CANTICLE
Therefore it is an excellent and fruitful custom of holy Church that we should sing Mary’s hymn at the time of evening prayer.   By meditating upon the incarnation, our devotion is kindled and by remembering the example of God’s Mother, we are encouraged to lead a life of virtue.   Such virtues are best achieved in the evening.  We are weary after the day’s work and worn out by our distractions.   The time for rest is near and our minds are ready for contemplation.

The great canticle by the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Magnificat, proclaimed by Mary during her Visitation to St Elizabeth,  is celebrated and explained in this excerpt from a homily by Saint Bede the Venerable (Lib 1,4:CCL 122, 25-26, 30) which is used in the Roman Catholic Liturgy’s Divine Office of Readings for the Feast of the Visitation, 31 May, with the accompanying biblical reading being from Song of Songs 2:8-14 and 8:6-7.   With Mary’s soul, we proclaim the greatness of the Lord and rejoice in God, her Saviour and ours, each evening in Vespers prayer.

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

Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us!

St Elizabeth, Pray for us!mary mother of god, st elizabeth, pray for us - 31 may 2018 - the visitation

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, PRAYERS of the CHURCH, SAINT of the DAY, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Thought for the Day – 31 May

Thought for the Day – 31 May

Mary, Mother of God, your love is strikingly shown forth in this beautiful Feast of the Visitation.   When you learned from the angel that your cousin Elizabeth was with child and needed your help, you set out to care for her. Neither the long absence from home, nor the inconvenience of a difficult and dangerous journey to the mountain country, kept you from making this mission of love. You thought only of Elizabeth and the assistance you could bring to her. You hastened to be of service.   You lovingly served her until you saw her happily delivered of the child of promise with which God had blessed her.
Help me to strive to imitate your wonderful charity by aiding those who are in need, by sympathising with those who are afflicted, by opening my heart and applying my hands to relieve every form of distress.
Give me love like yours!
Teach me that the test of my following of your Divine Son is practical charity!
One of the invocations in Mary’s litany is “Ark of the Covenant.”
Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary brings God’s presence into the lives of other people.
As David danced before the Ark, John the Baptist leaps for joy.
As the Ark helped to unite the 12 tribes of Israel by being placed in David’s capital,
so Mary has the power to unite all Christians in her son.
Like you, teach me too acclaim and seek the glory of God and sing with you:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
for He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is His Name.

He has mercy on those who fear Him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich He has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of His servant Israel
for He remembered His promise of mercy,
the promise He made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.

(Lk 1:46-55)

the magnificat

mary lead us to your son

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, Pope BENEDICT XVI, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Quote of the Day – 31 May

Quote of the Day – 31 May

“(Mary) is a young maiden but she is not afraid
because God is with her, within her,…
In a certain sense, we can say that her trip was …..
the first Eucharistic procession in history.
Is not this also the joy of the Church,
which receives Christ incessantly in the holy Eucharist
and takes Him to the world with the testimony
of active charity, full of faith and hope?
“Yes, to receive Jesus and to take Him to others
is the true joy of the Christian!
Let us follow and imitate Mary,
the profoundly Eucharistic soul
and our whole life will become a Magnificat.”

Pope Benedict XVI 2005

the first eucharistic procession in history-pope benedict on the visitation

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, FEASTS and SOLEMNITIES, MORNING Prayers, PRAYERS of the SAINTS, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Our Morning Offering – 31 May

Our Morning Offering – 31 May

ARISE MARY, MOTHER OF GOD!
Blessed Cardinal JOHN HENRY NEWMAN (1801-1890)

It is the time for your Visitation.
Arise Mary, and go forth in your strength
into that north country,
which once was your own,
and take possession of a land
which knows you not.
Arise, Mother of God,
and with your thrilling voice,
speak to those who labour with child,
and are in pain,
till the babe of grace leaps within them!
Amen

arise mary, mother of god - bl john henry newman