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Ave Maria Meditations

Life in Abundance

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

As we end the month dedicated to the Precious Body and Blood of Christ, here is a Eucharistic Meditation from Ven. Conception Cabrera de Armida (Conchita):

Jesus speaks: “I am the Life”: supernatural, Divine, celestial life, the life of grace, true life as compared to earthly life that is but a shadow. I have remained in the Eucharist to give you this Life, that is, to give you Myself, Who am Life, because I want to live in you, in your facul­ties, your soul, the senses of your body, in each drop of your blood. 

Stroke by stroke I want to imprint in your being my humility, zeal, obedience, abnegation, simplicity, patience, and love of the cross. “I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.” And what better way to communicate it than through Holy Communion? Therefore, drink, fill yourself with him who is life.  (more…)

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Friday, June 26th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

An icon is not simply an artistic representation. Once it is blessed, it becomes a window to heaven, a point of contact, “so that in praying before it, one is in the spiritual presence of the person represented. Reverently kissing the icon, one kisses the personage; bowing before it, one bows before the personage”   June 27th is the Feast of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

 Our Lady’s Golden Crown was placed on the icon by order of the Vatican in 1867; it is a symbol of the many miracles performed by Our Lady while invoked under the title of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help”.  The child Jesus’ crown was also placed on the original icon by order of the Holy See in 1867. The star in the center of Mary’s Veil is indicative that she is the “Star of the Sea” who bore the light of Christ into our darkened world.  This star leads us to the safe port of Heaven.

The primary initials on either side of Our Lady’s Crown are the Greek initials for “Mother of God” The initials above the angel on the left are the Greek initials of St. Michael the Archangel The angel on the left, St. Michael, is depicted holding the lance and gall-sop, foreshadowing Christ’s Passion and death. Our Lady’s Blue Garment is the color worn by mother’s in Palestine, symbolic that Mary is both Virgin and Mother. Mary’s red tunic underneath is the color worn by Virgins during the time of Jesus.

Both Mary and Jesus’ Clothing are colors of royalty. Our Lady’s face is peaceful, serene, and contemplative of her son Jesus’ future sufferings. Our Lady’s mouth is tiny and silent for prayer, meditation and recollection. Mary’s eyes are large to see our troubles and needs; they are always turned toward us.  They also tenderly plead for us to avoid sin and remain faithful to and love her son, Jesus.  (more…)

St. Thomas More: Franciscan Martyr

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Sir Thomas More would not compromise on two tenets of the Catholic faith: the primacy of the papacy and the dignity of marriage.  When imprisoned before his martyrdom, he would write. The following are just a few quotes from these writings, particularly from a book called “A Dialogue of Comfort against Tribulation”:

Now those without patience can have no reward for their pain, but when pain is patiently taken for God’s sake, and the sufferer’s will is conformed to God’s pleasure, God regards the sufferer in proportion to the pain. But never have I found any place in Scripture where Our Lord promised a wealthy person, even if that person did thank God for his gifts, any reward in heaven for having taken his ease and pleasure here. (“We do not go to heaven in featherbeds”)…in Scripture much commends tribulation as a more profitable circumstance than wealth and prosperity.

We shall consider tribulation a gracious gift from God, a gift that He specially gives His special friends…if God does not send it, people need to seek out and put upon themselves by penance, a thing that helps purge our past sins; a think that preserves us from sins that we would otherwise commit; a thing that causes us to attach less importance to the world; a thin that incites us to draw closer to God; a thing that greatly diminishes our pains in purgatory; a thing that greatly increases our final reward in Heaven…if we reflect on these things and remember them well, we shall not murmur or complain in a time of tribulation. Instead we shall first of all take our pain patiently and see it as something of worth.  And then we shall realize that God has sent if for our own good and so be moved to thank God for it.  As a consequence, our grace shall increase and God shall give us the comfort of realizing that He is, in the midst of our trouble, always close. (more…)

Difficulties in Prayer

Saturday, June 20th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

From a Spiritual Director to his Directee:

You seemed to be troubled that you cannot love God when trials come and all is darkness. But that is just the moment when you love Him most and prove your love the best. If only, when you are in desolation and dryness, you force yourself to utter an act of love or an oblation of yourself without a particle a feeling, you make an offering which is of the surpassing value in His eyes and most pleasing to His Sacred Heart. A dry act of love is a real act of love, since it is all for Jesus and nothing for self. Therefore welcome the hard black days as a real harvest time.  

+Fr. Willie Doyle

A Prayer for Priests

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Divine Savior Jesus Christ, Who has entrusted the whole work of Your redemption and the welfare and salvation of the world to priests as your representatives and through the hands of Your most holy Mother: for the sanctification of your priests and candidates for the priesthood, I offer You this present day wholly and entirely with all its prayers, works, joys, sacrifices, and sorrows. Give us truly holy priests who, inflamed with the fire of Your divine love, seek nothing but Your greater glory and the salvation of our souls. 


And you, Mary, good Mother of priests, protect all priests in the danger of their holy vocation and, with the loving hand of a mother, also lead back to the Good Shepherd those poor priests who have become unfaithful to their exalted vocation and have gone astray. Amen.

Immaculate Heart of Mary: Pray for Us!

Saturday, June 13th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

(June 13: Feast of St. Anthony of Padua and also the Immaculate Heart of Mary this year)

And as the moon at its full she shines. The blessed Mary is said to be the full moon, because in every way perfect. The moon is imperfect when a half-moon, because it is stained or horned. But the glorious Virgin neither in Her birth had any stain, because sanctified in Her mother’s womb, guarded by angels, nor in Her days had She the horns of pride. Hence, She shone fully and perfectly. She is said to be light because She dispels the darkness.

We beseech You, our Lady, that You who are the morning star, cast out the cloud of diabolical suggestion shrouding the land of our minds; that You who are the full moon fill our emptiness, dispel the darkness of our sins, that we might merit to come to the fullness of eternal life, to the light of unending glory. May He grant this who made You our light… To Him be the glory and honor for ever. Amen.

St. Anthony of Padua

The Blessed Sacrament/ the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

“Most loving Jesus, kneeling before You in the Blessed Sacrament, I solemnly consecrate myself to Your Sacred Heart by vow. I vow always to be Your faithful lover and to strive every day to grow in Your love.

In imitation of the oblation which Blessed Margaret Mary made of herself, I now wish to give myself up absolutely and entirely, without any reserve whatever, to Your most Sacred Heart, that You may be free to do with me, to treat me, as You wish, to send me whatever suffering or humiliation You wish. I desire to put no obstacle to the action of grace upon my soul, to be a perfect instrument in Your divine hands, to be Your victim should You so desire.

I want to make this oblation and immolation of myself to Your Sacred Heart as completely as possible, and in the manner which You wish me to make it, O my Jesus. Therefore, again, by this vow, I make a complete surrender of myself and all I have to You. Do with me as You will, for from this hour I am wholly Yours”.  Amen.

 +Fr. Willie Doyle

O Sacrament Most Holy!

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Is it any wonder the Church calls the Eucharist, Myterium Fidei, the mystery of faith? Those who accept the Real Presence accept by implication all the cardinal mysteries of Christianity. They believe in the Trinity, in the Father who sent the Son and in the (proceeding) of the Holy Spirit. They believe in the incarnation, that the Son of God became man like one of us. They believe in Christ’s divinity since no one but God could change bread and wine into His own Body and Blood. They believe in the holy Catholic Church which Christ founded and in which through successive generations is communicated to bishops and priests the incredible power of making Christ continually present among us in the Blessed Sacrament.
+Fr. John Hardon SJ

LITANY OF REPARATION FOR SACRILEGES AGAINST JESUS IN THE MOST BLESSED SACRAMENT:

Lord, have mercy on us;
Christ, have mercy on us;
Lord, have mercy on us;
God the Father of Mercy, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Mediator between God and man,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, the Enlightener of hearts,
Have mercy on us.
Holy and undivided Trinity, Have mercy on us.

O Sacred Host! Victim of reparation for the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Annihilated on the altar for us and by us, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Despised and neglected, Have mercy on us.
O Sacred Host! Neglected and abandoned in Your temples, Have mercy on us.
Be merciful unto us: Spare us, O Lord.
Be merciful unto us: Hear us, O Lord. (more…)

On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part three

Saturday, June 6th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

consecration
The Holy Mass, center of the life of the Church and of every Christian.
As it is essentially identical with the Sacrifice of the Cross, the Sacrifice of the Mass has an infinite value. In each Mass there is offered to the Father an infinite act of adoration, thanksgiving and reparation, quite independent of the specific dispositions of the people attending, or of the celebrant. This is because Christ is at once the principal Offerer and the Victim who offers Himself.
 +
Thus there is no more perfect way of adoring God than by offering the Mass, in which his Son, Jesus Christ, is offered as the Victim, and at the same time acts as High Priest. There is no more perfect way of thanking God for everything that He is and for his continual mercy towards us: there is nothing on earth that is more pleasing to God than the Sacrifice of the altar.
 +
Each time Holy Mass is celebrated, reparation is made for all the sins of the world, because of the infinite dignity of the Priest and of the Victim. The Holy Mass is really the heart and center of the Christian world. We have here the only perfect and adequate reparation, to which we must unite our acts of sorrow.
 +
It is the only adequate sacrifice that we men can offer, and through it our daily occupations; our sorrows and our joys can take on in it an infinite value. It is in this way that man’s life becomes inserted, by means of the Eucharist, into the mystery of the living God. The fruits of each Mass are infinite, but in us they are conditioned by our personal dispositions, and thus limited. Our union with Christ at the moment of the Consecration will be the more complete the greater our identification with God’s will; the greater our dispositions of self-giving.
 +
In unity with the Son we offer the Holy Mass to the Father, and at the same time, we offer ourselves through Him, with Him, and in Him. This act of union must be so profound and true that it permeates the whole of our day and has a decisive influence on our work, on our relations with others, on our joys and failures: in fact, on everything we do.
+
From “In Conversation with God”
Lenten book by Fr. Francis Fernandez

On the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part two

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

The Holy Mass, a renewal of the sacrifice of the Cross.
 
To help us to meditate today on the unity that exists between the Sacrifice of the Cross and the Holy Mass, let us fix our attention on the interior oblation that Christ makes of himself, with a total self-surrender and loving submission to his Father.
+
The Holy Mass and the Sacrifice of the Cross are one and the same sacrifice, although they are separated in time. There is made present once again, not the sorrowful and bloody circumstances of Calvary, but the total loving submission of Our Lord to his Father’s will. This internal offering of himself is identical on Calvary and in the Mass: it is Christ’s oblation. It is the same Priest, the same Victim, the same oblation and submission to the Will of God the Father.
 +
The external manifestation of the Passion and Death of Jesus goes on in the Mass, through the sacramental separation, in an unbloody manner, of the Body and Blood of Christ through means of the transubstantiation of the bread and the wine. In the Mass, the priest is only the instrument of Christ, the Eternal and High priest. Christ offers himself in every Mass in the same way as he did on Calvary, although now he does so through a priest, who acts ‘in persona Christi’.
+
This is why every Mass even though celebrated privately by a priest, is not a private action, but the action of Christ and of the Church. In the sacrifice that she offers, the Church learns to offer herself as a universal sacrifice, and applies the unique and infinite redeeming virtue of the sacrifice of the Cross for the salvation of the whole world.
 +
Christ himself, in each Mass, offers himself up, thus manifesting his loving surrender to his heavenly Father. This is expressed now in the Consecration of the bread and, separately, in the Consecration of the wine. This is the culmination,the essence, the very nucleus, of the Holy Mass.
 +
Our prayer today is a good time to examine how we attend Mass and how we take part in it. Are you at Mass with the same dispositions that Our Lady had on Calvary? Do we realize that here it is present the same God and the consummation of the same sacrifice? Perfect Love, a total identification with God’s will, will demand an offering of oneself, a desire to co-redeem.
to be continued…
 

About the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, part 1

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

HOLY SACRIFICE
The Holy Mass and Personal Surrender
On Calvary, Our Lord, Priest and Victim, offered himself to his heavenly Father, shedding his Blood, which became separated from his Body. This is how he carried out his Father’s will to the very end. It was the Father’s will that the Redemption should be carried out in this way. Jesus accepts it lovingly and with perfect submission. This internal offering of himself is the essence of his Sacrifice. It is his loving submission, without limits, to his Father’s will.
+
In every true sacrifice there are four essential elements: and all of them are present in the sacrifice of the Cross: priest, victim, internal offering and external manifestation of the sacrifice. The external manifestation must be an expression of one’s interior attitude. Jesus dies on the Cross, externally manifesting (through his words and his deeds) his loving internal surrender. “Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit.” Jesus is both Priest and Victim. “Since, then, we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.”
+
The Sacrifice of the Cross is a single sacrifice. Priest and Victim are one and the same divine person: the Son of God made man. Jesus was not offered up to the Father by Pilate or by Caiphas, or by the crowds surging at his feet. He surrendered himself. At every moment of his life on earth Jesus lived a perfect identification with his Father’s will, but it is on Calvary that the Son’s self surrender reaches its supreme expression.
+
We, who want to imitate Jesus, who want only that our life should be a reflection of his, must ask ourselves to-day in our prayer: do we know how to unite ourselves to Jesus’ offering to the Father and accept God’s will at every moment? (We can ask Our Lady) : My Mother and Lady, teach me how to pronounce a yes which, like yours, will identify with the cry Jesus made before his Father: “Not, my will but God’s be done.”

To be continued…

 

 

 

Most Holy Trinity prayer

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Come, Holy Spirit, live in us

With God the Father and the Son,

And grant us Your abundant grace

To sanctify and make us one.

May mind and tongue made strong in love

Your praise throughout the world proclaim,

And may that love within our hearts

Set fire to others with its flame.

Most blessed Trinity of love,

For whom the heart of man was made,

To You be praise in timeless song,

And everlasting homage paid.

The Visitation

Saturday, May 30th, 2015

Ave Maria Meditations

Our Lady, pondering the words spoken unto her by the angel concerning her cousin Elizabeth, resolved to visit her, that she might congratulate with her and render her service.  She, therefore, together with Joseph her spouse, set out from Nazareth for the house of Elizabeth, which might perhaps be fourteen or fifteen miles distant from Jerusalem.  Neither the roughness nor the length of the journey discouraged her; but she walked with haste, forasmuch as she wished to be little seen in public.
+
She was not like other mothers, burthened by her Child, nor was it to be thought that the Lord Jesus would be a burthen to His Mother.  See, therefore, how the Queen of Heaven and earth takes this journey alone, with none but her spouse Joseph; not riding, but walking; neither is she escorted by troops of soldiers and barons, nor attended by handmaids and fine ladies. Her train is poverty, humility, modesty, and the beauty of all virtues.  The Lord Himself, too, is with her; and He verily hath a numerous and honorable suite, but it is not that of the world, vain and pompous.
 
Now, when she had entered the house of Elizabeth, she greeted her saying: “Hail! my sister Elizabeth!” But she, exulting, and full of joy, and inflamed by the Holy Spirit, rises and most tenderly embraces Mary, exclaiming for joy: “Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb! And whence is this to me, that there should come unto me the Mother of my Lord!”  

(more…)

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