Archive for the 'Liturgical Year' Category

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.

 

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“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.”

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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!’

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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.

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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.

 

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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

 

 

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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

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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

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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!”

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The Miraculous Medal is Miraculous!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013
Grave of Alphonse

Grave of Alphonse

Today is the Feast of the Miraculous Medal and tomorrow we celebrate the Feast Day of St. Catherine Laboure who propagated the devotion. It testifies to the power of the Miraculous Medal that an “inanimate” object gets its own feast day!

One of the most famous converts due to Our Lady’s intercession via the Miraculous Medal is Alphonse Ratisbonne (1814-1884). While I was living in Jerusalem at Ecce Homo Convent (run by the Sisters of Sion) on a sabbatical from my computer job, I visited the Sisters of Sion’s convent in Ein Karim. While wandering through their incredible garden of Eden of fruits and foliage, I stumbled across Alponses’ grave in a remote corner of the garden. How did his remains get there? I was so driven to find out that I ended up writing a book called “A Spiritual Pilgrimage to France.”

Anyway, Alphonse, a Jewish non-believer, was dared by a friend while visiting Rome to wear a Miraculous Medal and to pray the Memorarae twice a day. He did so and while in the Basilica of Sant’Andrea delle Fratte had a vision of the Blessed Mother and was instantly converted. His brother Theodore, a Catholic convert and priest, had the joy of announcing in the Basilica of Notre Dame des Victoires in Paris that his brother had become “a fully believing Catholic.” This is the same Church that filled St. Therese of Lisieux with delight as she made her journey to Rome before her entrance into Carmel. Sant’Andrea delle Fratte is also the Church where St. Maximilian Kolbe celebrated his first Mass, at the very altar where Alphonse experienced his vision. We at the IRL are privileged to be housed at Marytown, the National Shrine of St. Maximilian, a great proponent of the Miraculous Medal. Life is full of twists and turns and coincidences.

Ecce Homo Covent Chapel

Ecce Homo Covent Chapel

To wind things back up, Alphonse after his conversion became a Catholic priest and with his brother Theodore co-founded the Congregation of Our Lady of Sion and came to the Holy Land to bring the Good News to the Jewish people. He built Ecce Homo convent on the Via Dolorosa, run by the Sisters of Sion, which today is a pilgrim house and hosts a biblical studies program. I was there as a volunteer for three months, an experience I highly recommend.

Alphonse died in Ein Karim and was buried inside the walls of the Sisters of Sion’s convent. His room at Ecce Homo is left as it was when he was alive. Maybe if you ask the sisters, you can have a private viewing.

God bless all who wear the Miraculous Medal with faith. May the Blessed Mother be their protectress and intercessor for all their needs, all through their lives.

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