Archive for the 'Liturgical Year' Category

Our Lady of Sorrows

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. Vatican approval for the celebration of a feast in honor of Our Lady of Sorrows was first granted to the Servites in 1667. Images of Our Lady of Sorrows are numerous, but two are special to me.

golgotha

First, in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, there is an image of Our Lady of Sorrows next to the actual rock of Calvary, a gift from the Queen of Portugal. Though it is a statue, Mary’s eyes seem filled with tears and a sword has pierced her breast. It is an image worthy of prolonged mediation.

 

olsalette

The other image is from the apparition of Our Blessed Mother at LaSalette in France. She appeared to two shepherd children as a woman weeping. At the shrine high up in the Alps, a statue commemorates this event. Here, she is weeping because of the people who take the Lord’s name in vain and do not honor the Sabbath. She is still weeping today.

ols2build

You can stay at the LaSalette Shrine in very comfortable accommodations, high above the tree line, at the site where the apparition took place. A miraculous spring still gushes forth. It is open even in the winter as I can personally attest to after making the drive up the icy mountain surrounded by 10 foot snow drifts! As you can see from the picture (above), you are clearly above the cloud line!

Our Lady of Sorrows,

your Son sent you from Heaven to warn us of the consequences of disobedience to the Father.

You call each of us to reform our lives. Help us to do so.

And at the end of our days, may we be united with Jesus forever in Heaven. Amen.

Tags: ,

The Dominican Rosary Honoring the Queen of Heaven

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

queenshipToday is the Feast of the Queenship of Mary. In 1954, Pope Pius XII decreed that this feast should be celebrated and, at the same time, the world should renew its consecration to our Heavenly Mother.

One of the best ways to honor the Blessed Mother on this day is to say the Rosary. Maybe the Dominican Way of saying the rosary. They do it a little differently and it is based on the idea that the Rosary is the layperson’s Divine Office. If you have ever attended evening or morning prayer in a monastery, you will notice that they alternate chanting the praises of God much like is done in the Dominican rosary.

The introductory prayers are the ones with which the Divine Office begins:

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

V. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
R. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

V. Lord, open my lips.
R. And my tongue shall announce your praise.

V. Incline to my aid, O God.
R. Lord, make haste to help me.

V. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
R. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Alleluia! (Or during Lent: Praise be to You, O Lord, King of eternal glory!)

After this the decades are begun immediately:

One Our Father,
Ten Hail Marys and
One Glory be to the Father, for each decade.

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, our hope. To you do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To you do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, O most gracious Advocate, your eyes of mercy toward us. And after this, our exile, show us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus, O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

Leader: Pray for us, Queen of the most holy Rosary.
People: That we might be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
All: Let us pray. O God, whose only begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech You, that meditating on the sacred mysteries of the most holy Rosary of the blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ, Our Lord. Amen.

When the Rosary is recited publicly, a Leader should be designated who will name the mystery before each decade and say the verses marked “V” above, as well as the ending prayers. The Our Fathers, Hail Marys and Glory be’s should be divided alternately between the Leader and congregation, or between one side of the congregation and the other. The leading of these prayers should likewise alternate, that is, the first decade should be led by the Leader and responded to by the congregation (or Side A and Side B), the second decade led by the congregation and responded to by the Leader (Side B and Side A), and so on.

For more information, visit the Third Order of St. Dominic, New England Region website for a history of the Rosary, how the Dominicans became the special promoters of the devotion and how Mary became Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary.

 

Tags: ,

“The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made”

Monday, April 21st, 2014

This headline (“The Greatest Easter Painting Ever Made“) piqued my curiosity so I went to the Crisis magazine website to see what the writer was talking about. When I saw the picture, I knew and believed because I have kept a copy of the exact same picture in my desk for years. The painting is by Eugène Burnand and is called “The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre on the Morning of the Resurrection.”

It depicts the moments after St. Mary Magdalene has proclaimed to St. Peter and St. John (John 20: 1-10) that the Lord was not in the tomb. They run with haste and urgency to see for themselves what Mary proclaimed to them: “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.”

Easter Monday

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in.Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

The author of the article, Elise Ehrhard, says: “Burnand created a sparse, simple painting capturing two of the most important players in the greatest story ever told. Meditate upon their faces as Burnand intended you to do and through them discover the empty tomb.”

Tags: ,

Oh Priest, Who Are You?

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

On this Holy Thursday when we thank God for the institution of the Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and the Holy Orders, it is good to recall this meditation on the priesthood by St. Norbert:

norbertO Priest, who are you?

You are not yourself, because you are God.
You are not of yourself because you are the servant and minister of Christ.

You are not your own because you are the spouse of the Church.
You are not yourself because you are the mediator between God and man.

You are not from yourself because you are nothing.
What then are you? Nothing and everything.

O Priest!

Take care lest what was said to Christ on the cross be said to you:
‘He saved others, himself he cannot save!’

Tags: ,

Prayer of Entrustment to St. Joseph

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

st joseph

Prayer of Entrustment to St Joseph
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Dearest St. Joseph,

I consecrate myself to your service. I give myself to you, that you may always be my father, my protector, and my guide in the way of salvation. Obtain for me a great purity of heart, a fervent love of the interior life, and the spirit of prayer.

After your example may I do all my actions for the greater glory of God, in union with the Divine Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And you, blessed St. Joseph, pray for me, that I may share in the peace and joy of your holy death.

Amen.

Tags:

Love of Jesus Crucified

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

lamb bloodFr. John Hardon, SJ, says that the spirit of Lent is the spirit of Jesus Crucified. Therefore, whatever spiritual practices enable us to better understand Christ’s Passion and Death, and deepen our responsive love for His great love should be encouraged.

Father offers the following suggestions:

  1. Meditate on the Gospel Passion narratives
  2. Read Goodier’s Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Edward Leen’s Why the Cross?, Fulton Sheen’s Seven Words on the Cross
  3. Recite Soul of Christ Sanctify Me
  4. Make the daily Way of the Cross and encourage others to do the same
  5. Having a crucifix within sight as a reminder of the Passion
  6. Say a few times a day: “Heart of Jesus, obedient unto death, have mercy on us”
  7. Occasionally recite the Litany of the Precious Blood
  8. Spend extra time before the Blessed Sacrament

O most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ,
Cleanse the sins of the world.

 

Tags:

How to Practice Penance and Reparation for Lent

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

fr hardonFr. John A. Hardon, SJ, suggests seven practices of penance and reparation for Lent. Penance, he says, is the repentance we must make to remove the guilt, or reinstate ourselves in God’s friendship. Reparation is the pain that we must endure to make up for the harm we brought about by our self-indulgence when we sinned.

I clearly remember Mother Angelica, PCPA, talking about this subject. Let’s say you broke your neighbor’s window with a baseball. You apologize sincerely (penitence) and the neighbor forgives you but the neighbor still has a broken window. You must repair (reparation) the damage by sacrificing hard-earned money or time to fix it.

Here are the 3 practices of penance:

Pray: more, more often, more attentively, more fervently, with others, try the rosary

Share: your time, knowledge, skill, money, Catholic faith

Forgive: by forgetting, ignoring, “forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us”

Here are the 4 practices of reparation:

Work: We do what we like, then what is useful, then what is necessary. Reverse the order!

Endure: accept, suffer without pitying, no bitterness

Deprive: a luxury, a delicacy, a comfort, a trinket, expiate self-indulgence

Sacrifice: do more, give up more, surrender more to show God we love Him

God in His mercy sends us the Cross in order to try our patience that we might save out souls and the souls of many others besides.Father Hardon

To read his entire meditation, visit the Real Presence Association website

 

 

Tags: ,

May All Who Seek Find Him

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

manger star

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. 

- Matthew 2:9-12

Tags:

Christmas Greetings

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

christmas giorgione

“Christmas is the celebration of the presence of God who came among us to save us.The birth of Jesus is not a fairytale! It is the story of a real event, which occurred in Bethlehem two thousand years ago.

Faith allows us to recognise in the Child born to the Virgin Mary the true Son of God, made man for our love. In the face of the child Jesus we contemplate the face of God, who did not show Himself to us in strength, in power, but in the weakness and fragility of a newborn.

This is our God, who comes so close to us, as a child. This Child shows the trust and tenderness of the boundless love with which God surrounds each one of us. This is why we celebrate Christmas, reliving the same experience of the shepherds of Bethlehem.”

-Pope Francis, December 20, 2013

Tags:

Behold, I Bring You Tidings of Great Joy!

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

angels xmas eve

And in that region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear. And the angel said to them, “Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people;for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!”

Tags: