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Ave Maria Meditations

Thoughts on the Visitation

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

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. (more…)

Spouse of the Holy Spirit

Sunday, May 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Through Her [Mary] the Holy Ghost Produces the Elect

As the Holy Ghost has espoused Mary, and has produced in her, by her and from her, His masterpiece, Jesus Christ, the Word Incarnate, and has never repudiated His spouse, so He now continues to produce the elect, in her and by her, in a mysterious but real manner.

ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE HOLY SPIRIT,        MAY 9, 1897.

 

 

Hail Mary, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father!
Hail Mary, admirable Mother of the Son!
Hail Mary, faithful spouse of the Holy Ghost!
Hail Mary, my dear Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign!
Hail my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul!
Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am all thine by justice.
But I am not yet sufficiently thine.
I now give myself wholly to thee Without keeping anything back for myself or others.

St. Louis Marie de Montfort

Redemptoris Mater

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

 Ave Maria Meditations

From the Introduction to the Encyclical Letter of St. John Paul II: Mother of the Redeemer

The Mother of the Redeemer has a precise place in the plan of salvation, for “when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, ‘Abba! Father!'” (Gal. 4:4-6)

With these words of the Apostle Paul, which the Second Vatican Council takes up at the beginning of its treatment of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I too wish to begin my reflection on the role of Mary in the mystery of Christ and on her active and exemplary presence in the life of the Church. For they are words which celebrate together the love of the Father, the mission of the Son, the gift of the Spirit, the role of the woman from whom the Redeemer was born, and our own divine filiation, in the mystery of the “fullness of time.”

This “fullness” indicates the moment fixed from all eternity when the Father sent his Son “that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). It denotes the blessed moment when the Word that “was with God…became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn. 1:1, 14), and made himself our brother. It marks the moment when the Holy Spirit, who had already infused the fullness of grace into Mary of Nazareth, formed in her virginal womb the human nature of Christ. This “fullness” marks the moment when, with the entrance of the eternal into time, time itself is redeemed, and being filled with the mystery of Christ becomes definitively “salvation time.” (more…)

Meditation on Our Lady from St. Bernardine of Siena

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

 

Ave Maria Meditations

“From the fact of there being no mention made in the Gospel of the visit wherewith Christ consoled His Mother after His Resurrection, we are not to conclude that this most merciful Jesus, the source of all grace and consolation, Who was so anxious to gladden His disciples by His presence, forgot His Mother, Who He knew had drunk so deeply of the bitterness of His Passion. But it has pleased Divine Providence that the Gospel should be silent on this subject; and this for three reasons.

“In the first place, because of the firmness of Mary’s faith. The confidence which the Virgin-Mother had of Her Son’s rising again had never faltered, not even by the slightest doubt. This we can readily believe, if we reflect on the special grace wherewith She was filled, She the Mother of the Man-God, the Queen of the Angels, and the Mistress of the world. To a truly enlightened mind, the silence of Scripture on this subject says more than any affirmation could have done.

We have learned to know something of Mary by the visit She received from the Angel, when the Holy Ghost overshadowed Her. We met Her again at the foot of the Cross, where She, the Mother of Sorrows, stood nigh Her dying Son. If then the Apostle could say: As ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation (2 Cor. 1: 7), what share must not the Virgin-Mother have had in the joys of the Resurrection? We should hold it as a certain truth that Her most sweet Jesus, after His Resurrection, consoled Her first of all. (more…)

Mary Immaculate, Our Mother and Advocate

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Mary’s look is God’s look on each one of us. She looks at us with the very love of the Father and blesses us. She behaves as our “advocate” — and we invoke her thus in the Salve, Regina: “our advocate.” Even if everyone spoke evil of us, she, the Mother, would say the good, because her immaculate heart is attuned to God’s mercy.

Thus she sees the city:  not as an anonymous agglomeration, but as a constellation where God knows everyone personally by name, one by one, and calls us to shine with his light. And those that in the eyes of the world are the first, for God they are the last; those who are little, are great for God. He recognizes in each one the likeness with his Son Jesus, even if we are so different! But who more than she knows the power of Divine Grace? Who better than she knows that nothing is impossible for God, capable in fact of drawing good from evil?
 
Dear brothers and sisters, the message we receive here, at the feet of Mary Immaculate, is a message of trust for every person of this city and of the whole world. A message of hope not made of words, but of her own history: she is one of us, who gave birth to the Son of God and has shared all her own existence with him! And today she says to us: this is also your destiny, yours, the destiny of all: to be saints as our Father, to be immaculate as our Brother Jesus Christ, to be loved children, all adopted to form a great family, without limits of nationality, color, language, because God is one, Father of every man.
 
Thank you, O Mary Immaculate, for always being with us! Always watch over our city: comfort the sick, encourage young people, sustain families. Infuse the strength to reject evil, in every form, and to choose the good, even when it costs and entails going against the current. Give us the joy of feeling loved by God, blessed by Him, predestined to be his children.
 
Immaculate Virgin, our sweetest Mother, pray for us!

Pope Benedict XVI (December 8, 2010 audience)

Mother of the Eucharist

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

In addition to May 13th being the anniversary of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima, it is also the Feast of Our Lady of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Mother of the Holy Eucharist: The Blessed Virgin is called Our Lady of the Most Blessed-Sacra­ment because she is associated in a special way with the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. She gave us the sacred humanity of Jesus, which is the essence of this sacrament.  

As St. Augustine says: “Him whom the heavens cannot contain, the womb of one woman bore. She ruled our Ruler; she carried Him in whom we are; she gave milk to our Bread.” 

for Jesus is the blessed fruit of her womb. It was from her that He assumed the flesh and blood with which He nourishes us. When you see Mary in Bethlehem lovingly pressing to her heart her Child, her God, it is the future Eucharistic Christ. When you see Mary offering Him to the heavenly Father in the temple for our salvation, it is the same Jesus you look upon as a Victim for our altars, whom you receive into your soul as your Guest in Holy Communion, whom you adore as your Friend in the Tabernacle. He is all yours because Mary gave her consent to become His Mother.  

(more…)

Our Lady’s Simplicity

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The whole of Mary’s life is permeated with a deep simplicity. She always carries out her vocation as Mother of the Redeemer naturally. She (goes to) her cousin Elizabeth’s house to help and look after her…She prepares the swaddling clothes and everything for her Son.

She lives for 30 years with Jesus, never tiring of looking at Him, treating Him with great love with complete simplicity. When she obtained her first miracle from her Son in Cana she does it so naturally that not even the bride and groom realize what a wonderful event is taking place. She never makes a show of her special privileges. Mary, the most holy mother of God, passes unnoticed as just one more among the women of her town. Learn from her how to live with naturalness. 

Our Lady is simplicity and naturalness; her humanity is very specially welcoming and attractive.  Jesus, her Son, during the 30 years of His hidden life is always the model of perfect simplicity. When He began to preach the good news, He does not carry out a noisy spectacular activity. Jesus is simplicity itself in his birth, in the presentation in the temple, or when He manifest His divinity through the miracles which God alone can work. Our Savior shuns all show and vain glory. He makes himself accessible who come to Him trustingly…to the apostles who ask the meaning of the parables and to the little children who embrace Him confidently. 

Simplicity is a sign of humility. It is radically opposed to anything false, artificial or deceitful. It is also a very necessary virtue for our dealings with God, for spiritual guidance, and for our daily life with those around us. Simplicity is a consequence and characteristic of the spiritual childhood to which our Lord calls us. Simplicity and naturalness are extremely attractive. We need to know that these are difficult virtues because pride gives us an exaggerated idea of ourselves. However the simplicity our Lord teaches is not naivety. Remember, he said, I am sending you out to be like sheep among wolves: you must then be prudent as serpents and yet innocent as doves.

 We Christians have to go through the world with these two virtues, simplicity and prudence, which mutually perfect each other. To be simple we have to be careful to have a right intention in our actions which should be directed to God. To learn how to be simple we contemplate Jesus, Mary and Joseph, asking them to make us like children before God, that we may talk to Him personally without anonymity and without fear .

Fr. Francis Fernandez

Our Lady’s Humility

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

True humility is justice to God and to ourselves. It is a deep sense of God’s greatness and of our own nothingness. Hence St. Bernard and speaking of Mary’s cardinal virtues, could find no more triumphant demonstration of her justice than that which is afforded by her humility. The signal token of Mary’s justice is her declaring herself to be the handmade of the Lord. Mary feels that she is nothing before God, who is all in all, and because she is the most humble, she becomes the most highly exalted of all creatures, for the last must be first and the lowly must be raised to high degree.

But the perfection of humility does not consist in merely acknowledging one’s own nothingness and vileness in comparison with God. It is more, it is to rejoice in one’s own loneliness that all glory may be rendered to Him who alone is great and worthy of honor.  

Now in the Magnificat we find the most humble Virgin taking an ineffable complacency and her natural weakness and littleness. “He has regarded the humility of his handmade,”she said. The Greek word here, rendered humility, really means loneliness. Mary’s exultation is due to the fact that God has looked with favor upon her loneliness, that He has cast on her that glance of love and almighty power which raises the miserable from the dust and the poor out of the mire to set them among the princes of the people. “He has regarded the humility of his handmade. Behold henceforth all generations should call me blessed.”  (more…)

Depending on St. Joseph

Friday, May 1st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

I took for my advocate and lord the glorious St. Joseph and earnestly recommended myself to him. I saw clearly that as in this need so in other greater ones concerning honor and loss of soul, this father and lord of mine came to my rescue in better ways then I knew how to ask for. I don’t recall up to this day ever having petitioned him for anything that he failed to grant. It is an amazing thing, the great many favors God has granted me through the mediation of this blessed saint; The dangers I was freed from both of body and soul.

For with other saints it seems the Lord has given them grace to be of help in one need, whereas with this glorious seat I have experienced that he helps in all our needs and that the Lord wants us to understand that just as he was subject to St. Joseph on earth–for since bearing the title of father, being the Lord’s tutor, Joseph could give the child command–so in heaven God does whatever he commands.

 This has been observed by other persons, also through experience, whom I have told to recommend themselves to him. And so there are many who in experiencing this truth renew their devotion to him.

St. Teresa of Avila

St. Louis Marie de Montfort and Our Lady

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“The greatest saints, those richest in grace and virtue will be the most assiduous in praying to the most Blessed Virgin, looking up to her as the perfect model to imitate and as a powerful helper to assist them.”

“We never give more honor to Jesus than when we honor his Mother, and we honor her simply and solely to honor him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek Jesus, her Son.”

PRAYER OF CONSECRATION:

N. [Name], a faithless sinner-I renew and ratify to-day in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce for ever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee as Thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past present and future; leaving to you the entire and full right of disposing of me, and of all that belongs to me, without exception, according to Thy good pleasure to the greatest glory of God, in time and in eternity. (more…)

St. Fidelis (Feast day is April 24th)

Friday, April 24th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Prayer for the Feast of Saint Fidelis of Sigmaringen

O God, Who didst vouchsafe to inflame the heart of blessed Fidelis with seraphic ardor and to adorn him with the palm of martyrdom and with glorious miracles in spreading the true Faith: we beseech Thee, by his merits and intercession, so to strengthen us by the might of Thy grace in faith and in charity, that we may deserve to be found faithful in Thy service even unto death. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.

For more information on the Saint see: http://www.ewtn.com/library/MARY/FIDELIS.htm

Faith and Courage

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. (Jn 15:20)

The more a soul loves God, the more courageous it will be in undertaking any work, no matter how laborious, for love of Him. Fear of fatigue, of suffering, and of danger, is the greatest enemy of fortitude; it paralyses the soul and makes it recoil before duty. Courage, on the contrary, is invigorating; it enables us to confront anything in order to be faithful to God. Courage, therefore, incites us to embrace death itself, if necessary, rather than be unfaithful to duty.

Martyrdom is the supreme act of Christian fortitude, an act which is not asked of all, yet one which it is well not to ignore as a possibility. Every Christian is, so to speak, a potential martyr, in the sense that the virtue of fortitude, infused into him at Baptism and Confirmation, makes him capable, if necessity requires it, of sacrificing even his life for the love of God. And if all Christians are not actually called upon to render to the Lord this supreme testimony of love, all should, nevertheless, live like courageous soldiers, accustoming themselves never to desert any duty, little or great, through fear of sacrifice. (more…)

Winning the Eternal Crown

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From a great spiritual director:

You say that you are convinced that God intends you to be a great saint and that you wish it ardently. He certainly has great graces prepared for you. But you must win your crown, my dear child, and draw down the eyes of His tender love by your generous persevering efforts. You have a long way to go yet. The latter of perfection is reached but not mounted; and there is just a danger of sitting contentedly at the at the foot, measuring the distance to be climbed later on and us putting off the day of sacrifice which Jesus asks. His heart is open to receive you; He points to it as your home and resting place; but the crown of forms like a thick head bars the way. Are you afraid of pressing against those thorns which will wound and tear you as your force your way through? Have courage! The love of Jesus will sweeten it all, and His strong arm will support you if you are brave.
 
Recognize God’s graces to you, and instead of thinking of yourself and your faults, try to do all you can for God, and love Him more.
 
+Fr. William Doyle

Happy Birthday, Pope Emeritus!

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Birthdate of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI:  April 16, 1927

And only where God is seen does life truly begin. Only when we meet the living God in Christ do we know what life is. We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. There is nothing more beautiful than to be surprised by the Gospel, by the encounter with Christ. There is nothing more beautiful than to know Him and to speak to others of our friendship with Him.

from “Benedictus” by Pope Benedict XVI

Divine Mercy

Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From the Diary of Saint Faustina:

Speak to the world about My mercy…It is a sign for the end times. After it will come the Day of Justice. (848). Tell souls about this great mercy of Mine, because the awful day, the day of My justice is near. (965) Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (1588) I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of sinners. But woe to them if they do not recognize this time of My visitation. (1160)

While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fountain of My mercy. (848)…He who refuses to pass through the door of My mercy must pass through the door of My justice. (1146)

O Blood and Water which gushed forth from the Heart of Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, I trust in You. (73)