Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Mary’

Personal notes underscore John Paul II’s Marian devotion

Vatican City, Mar 12, 2014 / 06:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In private letters of JPII which have been published by former secretary Stanislaw Dziviwz, the pontiff reflects on the three theological virtues, emphasizing that Mary is the highest example of each.

“Nothing can be dangerous for us; neither Satan nor the world, nor sin – if there is in us the power of Christ in the Marian way,” Bl. John Paul II wrote in one of his personal notes.

Entitled “I am so much in God’s hands: Personal records 1962-2003,” the book containing the Pope’s letters was published by Krakow-based publisher Znak on Feb. 12, and contains 639 pages of meditations and some photos and scans of the pages from two of the late Pope’s notebooks, one beginning in 1962 and the other in 1985, which were both published in Italy by the Archdiocese of Milan.

Reflecting on the virtues of Faith, Hope and Love, the Blessed expressed his thoughts regarding their nature, observing how each is brought to full fruition in the life and example of the Mother of God.

On the virtue of Faith, the pontiff highlights three separate dimensions, referring to them as “the faith of Mary,” her “availability to receive the God’s Word and to fulfill it,” and that she is “a model of faith for all for the pastors of the Church.”

The faith of Mary is the “legacy of the faith of Israel, which in Mary has been ‘exceeded,’” he wrote, observing that in listening only to God’s word, “she conceived the Word – the Son, first spiritually, then physically.”

Her availability goes hand in hand “with being ‘poor in spirit’” noted the Blessed, adding that in her “persistent faith” she “never wavered,” and that she is truly a “Virgo fortis,” or “Brave Virgin.”

As a model for pastors, the pontiff expressed that “the point is that the faith would be a truly dominant characteristic in our lives, no matter how full it might be of human affairs and worldly tasks.”

Looking to the virtue of Hope, Bl. John Paul II spoke of how St. Paul is a strong model, but that he was still a citizen of Rome, and because Mary had “no human connections, no human points of reference,” her hope “is more wonderful.”

“At the cross and especially later: with her hope she was holding the initial Church. And Her hope is deposited in the holy Church.”

Questioning to what extend we actively participate in Mary’s hope, the Blessed asked in his letter “Do we base ourselves fundamentally and exclusively on the grace of God? How do people feel after meeting us?”

Drawing attention to Mary’s optimism, he prayed “’Give me, Mother, your hope, ply my heart to permeate with Your hope.’”

Reflecting on the virtue of love in a shorter meditation, Bl. John Paul II highlighted that “it must be universal,” and that “it cannot be particularistic and cannot create divisions…it must be serving.”

“A servant’s nature perhaps points to love in the strongest way,” he observed, adding that it must also “be forgiving,” and that “all of this should be learned in the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary.”

In another meditation the soon-to-be Saint spoke on holiness, stating that “In Christ the absolute holiness of God is hypostatically united with the holiness of Man” as love of God and hatred of evil, “but especially as love of goodness in everything, even in one who is bad.”

“Every kind of goodness (the total sum of values) other than God, has its prototype in God Himself. God loves one in another – herein lies His Holiness.”

“God restores the value of everything in Man, who is personally united with Him,” the pontiff continued, adding that “for Christ – Redemptor (Redeemer): the holiness of a Man consists of undertaking this Goodness which God loves,” and that “in this way Christ is a model of holiness.”

“In Him this holiness identifies in a way with Redemption (Redemptio). In us it should mean 1st a conversion to God, and 2nd a restoration of everything according to the value that everything has in God and which the Lord Jesus Christ pointed out.”

The meditations included in this piece were translated from the original Polish by Anna Artymiak, Polish correspondent to the Vatican, reporting from Rome.

[This article is the second in a two-part series providing excerpts of personal notes written by Bl. John Paul II dating between July 1962 when he was auxiliary bishop of Krakow, to March 2003, two years before his death and in the 25th year of his service as Roman Pontiff.]

Please see below for the full text of the meditations provided in this article:

4th STEP FAITH
Medit (III) The Dimension of the Faith of Mary
“Blessed are you who believed.” Perseverant faith – never wavered, a true “Virgo fortis” (Brave Virgin).

a) The Faith of Mary: the legacy of the faith of Israel, which in Mary has been “exceeded.” Listening only to God’s Word, she conceived the Word – the Son, first spiritually, then physically. Speak Lord, Your Servant is listening.
b) Availability to receive God’s Word and to fulfill It: This availability goes together with being “poor in spirit.” It goes together with Her virginity. Persistent faith – she never wavered, a truly “Virgo fortis” (mulier fortis [brave Virgin]).
c) A model of faith for the pastors of the Church: the point is that the faith would be a truly dominant characteristic in our lives, no matter how full it might be of human affairs and worldly tasks. Faith as readiness to accept the Magisterium of the Church /exp: mgr Fitzgerald: infallibility/

5TH STEP HOPE
The Conference
St. Paul as a model of Christian hope, but he was still a Roman citizen. Differently, “Ancilla” (handmaid) (Virgo Marya [the Virgin Mary]), [had] no human connections, no human points of reference. This is why Her hope is more wonderful. In every step of Her life. At the cross and especially later: with her hope she was holding the initial Church. And Her hope is deposited in the holy Church. In what measure do we participate in the Hope of Mary? The Church in Poland is in the situation of “ancilla,” that is, of a slave. The Lord God allows this to enhance our hope.
Stabat Mater – stabat episcopus sub Cruce Christi [Standing Mother – a bishop standing under the Cross of Christ]. Do we live this hope?

Do we base ourselves fundamentally and exclusively on the grace of God? How do people feel after meeting us? If they remain standing, infected with the Bishops’ optimism, we have fulfilled the service of hope. – “Give me, Mother, your hope, ply my heart to permeate with Your hope” (nostra conversatio in coelis est [our being is in the heaven]). Nothing can be dangerous for us; neither Satan nor the world, nor sin – if there is in us the power of Christ in the Marian way. – And God’s love, the Holy Spirit itself, spreads in our hearts through these sciences, according to Mary’s model.

6th STEP LOVE
On the subject of love: it must be universal, it cannot be particularistic and cannot create divisions. Furthermore: it must be serving; a servant’s nature perhaps points to love in the strongest way. Finally: it must be forgiving. – All of this should be learned in the Heart of Jesus through the Heart of Mary.  

7th STEP HOLINESS
“copiosa apud Eum Redemptio” (“abundant Redemption in Him):” holiness is the source. In Christ the absolute holiness of God is hypostatically united with the holiness of Man. The holiness of God (as love of goodness and hatred of evil), but especially as love of goodness in everything, even in one who is bad (per accidens [accidentally]). Every kind of goodness (the total sum of values) other than God, has its prototype in God Himself. God loves one in another – herein lies His Holiness. That holiness is a basis of Redemption – understood also as a “restoration” of everything: God restores the value of everything in Man, who is personally united with Him. For Christ – Redemptor [Redeemer]: the holiness of a Man consists of undertaking this Goodness which God loves – in this way Christ is a model of holiness. In Him this holiness identifies in a way with Redemption (Redemptio). In us it should mean 1st a conversion to God, and 2nd a restoration of everything according to the value that everything has in God and which the Lord Jesus Christ pointed out.

Mar 08 - Homily: Accept Your Cross With Mary

Mar 08 - Homily: Accept Your Cross With Mary

Father Matthias takes this first Saturday of Lent to reflect on the suffering the Virgin Mary endured in Her cooperation with Jesus in our salvation. Let us …
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We share in Mary’s ‘journey of faith,’ says Pope

Vatican City, Jan 1, 2014 / 05:12 am (CNA).- Pope Francis’ homily for the solemnity of Mary, Mother of God emphasized Mary’s path of faith and hope as an example for all Christians.

“The message of hope contained in this (God’s) blessing was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature,” he said on Jan. 1 to the congregation gathered for mass in St. Peter’s Basilica.

“Our journey of faith is the same as that of Mary, and so we feel that she is particularly close to us.”

After the mass, Pope Francis led the traditional Angelus prayer, pausing to give a brief message for the World Day of Peace which also falls on January 1.

“On this first day of the year, the Lord helps us to journey with more decisiveness on the way of justice and of peace…peace, in fact, requires the strength of gentleness, the nonviolent strength of truth and love,” he explained.

Full text of the Pope’s homily, below:

In the first reading we find the ancient prayer of blessing which God gave to Moses to hand on to Aaron and his sons: “The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace” (Num 6:24-26). There is no more meaningful time than the beginning of a new year to hear these words of blessing: they will accompany our journey through the year opening up before us. They are words of strength, courage and hope. Not an illusory hope, based on frail human promises, or a naïve hope which presumes that the future will be better simply because it is the future. Rather, it is a hope that has its foundation precisely in God’s blessing, a blessing which contains the greatest message of good wishes there can be; and this is the message which the Church brings to each of us, filled with the Lord’s loving care and providential help.

The message of hope contained in this blessing was fully realized in a woman, Mary, who was destined to become the Mother of God, and it was fulfilled in her before any other creature.

The Mother of God! This is the first and most important title of Our Lady. It refers to a quality, a role which the faith of the Christian people, in its tender and genuine devotion to our heavenly Mother, has understood from the beginning.

We recall that great moment in the history of the ancient Church, the Council of Ephesus, in which the divine motherhood of the Virgin Mary was authoritatively defined. The truth of her divine maternity found an echo in Rome where, a little later, the Basilica of Saint Mary Major was built, the first Marian shrine in Rome and in the entire West, in which the image of the Mother of God – the Theotokos – is venerated under the title of Salus Populi Romani. It is said that the residents of Ephesus used to gather at the gates of the basilica where the bishops were meeting and shout, “Mother of God!”. The faithful, by asking them to officially define this title of Our Lady, showed that they acknowledged her divine motherhood. Theirs was the spontaneous and sincere reaction of children who know their Mother well, for they love her with immense tenderness.

Mary has always been present in the hearts, the piety and above all the pilgrimage of faith of the Christian people. “The Church journeys through time… and on this journey she proceeds along the path already trodden by the Virgin Mary” (Redemptoris Mater, 2). Our journey of faith is the same as that of Mary, and so we feel that she is particularly close to us. As far as faith, the hinge of the Christian life, is concerned, the Mother of God shared our condition. She had to take the same path as ourselves, a path which is sometimes difficult and obscure. She had to advance in the “pilgrimage of faith” (Lumen Gentium, 58).

Our pilgrimage of faith has been inseparably linked to Mary ever since Jesus, dying on the Cross, gave her to us as our Mother, saying: “Behold your Mother!” (Jn 19:27). These words serve as a testament, bequeathing to the world a Mother. From that moment on, the Mother of God also became our Mother! When the faith of the disciples was most tested by difficulties and uncertainties, Jesus entrusted them to Mary, who was the first to believe, and whose faith would never fail. The “woman” became our Mother when she lost her divine Son. Her sorrowing heart was enlarged to make room for all men and women, whether good or bad, and she loves them as she loved Jesus. The woman who at the wedding at Cana in Galilee gave her faith-filled cooperation so that the wonders of God could be displayed in the world, at Calvary kept alive the flame of faith in the resurrection of her Son, and she communicates this with maternal affection to each and every person. Mary becomes in this way a source of hope and true joy!

The Mother of the Redeemer goes before us and continually strengthens us in faith, in our vocation and in our mission. By her example of humility and openness to God’s will she helps us to transmit our faith in a joyful proclamation of the Gospel to all, without reservation. In this way our mission will be fruitful, because it is modeled on the motherhood of Mary. To her let us entrust our journey of faith, the desires of our heart, our needs and the needs of the whole world, especially of those who hunger and thirst for justice and peace. Let us then together invoke her: Holy Mother of God!

Value silence, encourages Pope

Vatican City, Dec 20, 2013 / 04:56 am (CNA).- Pope Francis reflected on in the importance of silence in his daily homily, noting that God’s plan of salvation always includes moments of mystery and quiet.

“Silence is really the ‘clo…

Pope: Mary is united to Christ in the ‘martyrdom’ of her heart

Rome, Italy, Oct 23, 2013 / 04:09 am (CNA/EWTN News).- In his weekly general audience, the Pope continued his catechesis on the Church, reflecting today on the importance of Mary as an example of how to respond to God’s plan with fidelity.

&ldq…

Columbus and the Virgin Mary

The Virgin of the Navigators is an alterpiece painted in 1536 by Alejo Fernandez for the chapel at the House of Trade in Seville.  Under the protection of the Virgin are depicted King Ferdinand II of Aragon, Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, and, kneeling on the viewer’s right are Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci and one […]

Pope entrusts world to Immaculate Heart of Mary

Vatican City, Oct 13, 2013 / 11:23 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis on Sunday entrusted the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and to her maternal care before the image of Our Lady of Fatima, asking Mary’s help to “revive and grow faith…

Let God untie your knotted hearts, Pope says

Vatican City, Oct 12, 2013 / 01:29 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis led a Marian prayer vigil Saturday, stressing that the Virgin Mary leads Christians to the mercy of God who can untie “all knotted hearts.”

Each one of us has “kno…

Oct 07, Morning Prayer – Memorial for Our Lady of the Rosary

Ribbon Placement:
Liturgy of the Hours Vol. IV:
Ordinary: 618
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 652
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1644 (intercessions)
Proper of Saints: 1472 (antiphons, reading, responsory, concluding prayer)

Christian Prayer:
Ordinary: 689
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I, 707
Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary: 1374 (intercessions)
Proper of Saints: 1285 (antiphons, reading, responsory, concluding prayer)

Morning Prayer for the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary

God, come to my assistance.
Lord, make haste to help me.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

HYMN

Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root, Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape, Christ the Sacred Wine!
Mary the wheat sheaf, Christ the living Bread;
Mary the rose tree, Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font, Christ the Cleansing Flood’
Mary the chalice, Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple, Christ the temple’s Lord;
Mary the shrine, Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon, Christ the Haven’s Rest;
Mary the mirror, Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother’s Son.
Both ever blest while endless ages run.
Amen.

Mary the Dawn; Medieval English text; Gregorian Tone 4, setting by Paul Crosssung; performed by Kathleen Lundquist
Mary the Dawn by Kathleen Lundquist is available from Amazon.com

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Christ.

Psalm 63:2-9
A soul thirsting for God

Whoever has left the darkness of sin yearns for God.

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.

So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.
For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.

So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for your have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Christ.

Ant. 2 Holy Mother, on the cross Christ entrusted us to you as your children. Today we join with you in praising him.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56
Let all creatures praise the Lord

All you servants of the Lord, sing praise to him (Revelation 19:5).

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.

You sons of men, bless the Lord.
O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Holy Mother, on the cross Christ entrusted us to you as your children. Today we join with you in praising him.

Ant. 3 The Virgin Mary, crowned with a diadem of twelve stars, is exalted above the choirs of angels.

Psalm 149
The joy of God’s holy people

Let the sons of the Church, the children of the new people, rejoice in Christ, their King (Hesychius).

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.

Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.
For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.

Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The Virgin Mary, crowned with a diadem of twelve stars, is exalted above the choirs of angels.

READING See Isaiah 61:10

I rejoice heartily in the Lord,
in my God is the joy of my soul;
For he has clothed me with a robe of salvation,
and wrapped me in a mantle of justice,
like a bride bedecked with her jewels.

Sacred Silence (indicated by a bell)
A moment to reflect and receive in our hearts the full resonance of the voice of the Holy Spirit and to unite our personal prayer more closely with the word of God and public voice of the Church.

RESPONSORY

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
The Lord is with you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Holy and immaculate Virgin Mary, you are the glorious Queen of the world; may all who celebrate your feast day know the help of your prayers.

Luke 1:68-79
The Messiah and his forerunner

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
he has come to his people and set them free.

He has raised up for us a mighty savior,
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High;
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Holy and immaculate Virgin Mary, you are the glorious Queen of the world; may all who celebrate your feast day know the help of your prayers.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us glorify our Savior, who chose the Virgin Mary for his mother. Let us ask him:
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Sun of Justice, the immaculate Virgin was the white dawn announcing your rising,
grant that we may always live in the light of your coming.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Eternal Word, you chose Mary as the uncorrupted ark of your dwelling place,
free us from the corruption of sin.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Savior of mankind, your mother stood at the foot of your cross,
grant, through her intercession, that we may rejoice to share in your passion.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

With ultimate generosity and love, you gave Mary as a mother to your beloved disciple,
help us to live as worthy sons of so noble a mother.
May your mother intercede for us, Lord.

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Concluding Prayer

Pour forth,
we beseech you, O Lord,
your grace into our hearts,
that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ you Son
was made known by the message of an Angel,
may, through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
by his Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

DISMISSAL

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

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Forced conversion by imagery

Some 20,000 tribal people in Jharkhand state in eastern India have marched on a village church, accusing local Christians of trying to convert them by dressing up a Virgin Mary statue in tribal clothing. Members of the animist Sarna faith have been complaining since the statue was inaugurated in the Singpur village church in May. [...]

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