The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2022

Today, we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary on the feast day of her Presentation in the Temple, when her parents, Joachim and Anne, who had consecrated her to the Lord God, brought her to the Temple of Jerusalem.

“Hearken O Daughter and consider, and incline thine ear, forget also thine own people, and thy father’s house. And so shall the King desire thy beauty, for He is the Lord thy God.”
† . † . †

We don’t expect that Pope Francis will honor Our Lady on her feast day today, so it is up to us, her children to honor our Mother today.  Although modernists disparage this feast for what they perceive as a “lack of historicity”, for those who are consecrated to her Immaculate Heart, this beautiful feast teaches volumes about Mary’s devotion to the most Holy Trinity. According to Venerable Maria de Agreda,  this beautiful mystery is a lesson of the importance of humility. Thus, it is a worthwhile meditation for our preparation for our Total Consecration soon.

The Hebrew Ark of the Covenant was but a foreshadowing of the true Ark which is the most Blessed Virgin Mary herself; she who was foreordained to bear our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior. As our Little Office proclaims, “Thou wast the Mother of Him Who made thee, and thou remainest a Virgin forever”. And so, Joachim and Anne brought the true Royal Ark of the Covenant to the Temple, but to all appearances they were merely ordinary pious Jews of their time  bringing yet another consecrated child to the Temple.

Continue reading “The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2022”

For Saint Gertrude, with love

previously posted on : november 16, 2019 by : evensong 
And updated with additional material Nov. 17, 2022 by evensong

We’ve not desired to allow Saint Gertrudes’ feast day to go unhonored. And so with apologies for the poverty of our offering, we have the following quotes from the archives. Unfortunately, there has not been time or energy to properly edit them. The original sources for today’s offering are listed below the essay.

Prayer to Saint Gertrude on her Feast Day

I venerate and greet thee, O most blessed Saint Gertrude. in the sweetest Heart of Jesus Christ, and I congratulate thee with all my heart on that honour wherewith thou wast honoured by God and by all the court of Heaven on this the day of thine entrance to heaven. And for the increase of thy joy and thy glory I offer thee that same transcendently precious and worthy Heart of Jesus Christ, beseeching thee that thou wouldst deign to pray to God for me, and to assist me in the hour of my death. Amen.

 

Saint Gertrude and the Mother of God

The first great saint of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is St. Gertrude, the only female saint honored by the Church with the title, “Great”. In her writings and in her actions, Saint Gertrude provides us with the certainty that devotion to His Immaculate Mother is the devotion which pleases Him most of all. Indeed, as we shall see, Our Lord Himself states clearly what is most pleasing to Him:

Once, when conversing with Our Lord,  Gertrude inquired. “What dost Thou desire of me?” His answer: “Place thyself before My Mother, who reigns at My side, and endeavor to praise her.”

Gertrude then greeted the Heavenly Mother as the paradise of delights, the most beautiful habitation of God. She besought Mary to give her a heart so replete with virtues that God would take pleasure in dwelling therein. This good Mother adorned Gertrude with the rose of love, the lily of chastity, the violet of humility, and the heliotrope of obedience.

Our Lord Jesus, at the very beginning of His conversations with Gertrude told her, “I give thee My own Mother as thy protectress. I confide thee to her care.” Once, when Gertrude was being subjected to severe trials and suffering greatly, she cried out to Jesus to help her. In response she heard,

“I have given thee My own most merciful Mother for thine, and it is through her I will dispense My graces to thee. Have recourse to her in all thy necessities and thou wilt surely find strength and consolation.”

Our Lord assured Saint Gertrude that He wished her to write down all that He revealed to her:

“It is the love of My Heart which has inspired your writings; I wish them to be for later ages the evidence of My love, to draw souls to My Heart.”

One day, as St. Gertrude affectionately held and kissed her crucifix, Our Lord said to her: “Each time that a man does so, or merely looks upon a crucifix with devotion, the mercy of God looks down upon his soul. He ought then to think in his heart that these tender words are addressed to him:

‘Behold how for thy love I have willed to be attached to a cross, naked, disfigured, covered with wounds, and with all My members violently distended. My heart is so passionately enamoured of thee that, were it necessary in order to save thee, I would again willingly endure, for thee alone, all that I have suffered for the salvation of the whole world.’ ”

In view of this, how then can we ever sin again? How can we be so thick-headed as to continue on in our selfish way, ignoring this tremendous Love? May God have mercy on us all!

The Prayers of Saint Gertrude

Nearly every prayer of St. Gertrude contains salutation, adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, and at the end a short, humble petition. The predominant tone of all her prayers is to offer the sacrificial life of Jesus Christ, from His crib, where He weeps, bedded on the straw, to that hour when on the Cross He surrenders His Spirit into the hands of His Father. The immeasurable love of the Sacred Heart in the Holy Eucharist ravished Gertrude’s soul.

From this inexhaustible treasury, the holy virgin drew the excellence, power and unction of her prayers. Before the Sacrament of Love, her loving heart burst forth into songs of praise and joy, surpassing the understanding of men weighed down by earthly affections. The charm, love, and affection with which the blessed Gertrude knew how to unite herself with our Savior, with His prayers, His sufferings, His Death and merits, is beyond expression.

On one of Our Lady’s festivals, St. Gertrude chanted the office of this glorious Queen, in uniting herself to the Heart of Jesus. As she did so, she saw Him draw to that Divine Heart, the praises expressed in the psalms, and thence they flowed, like an impetuous current, towards the Blessed Virgin, His Mother. At the antiphon, “Thou art all fair,” Gertrude endeavored to sing these sweet words by the very Heart of Jesus, in memory of the loving appellations and childlike praises He must have bestowed upon her in similar terms, during His mortal life.

At this, stars of great brilliancy, symbolizing these praises, issued from the Heart of Jesus, and shed their luster on Our Lady. Some fell here and there upon the ground, and were collected by the citizens of Heaven, who presented them to Jesus with signs of inexpressible joy and admiration. Gertrude understood from this that the praises given to Our Lady by the Heart of Jesus are a source of unutterable glory and happiness to the Saints.

Meanwhile the Angels, uniting their voices to those of Gertrude’s Sisters, asked: “Quæ est ista”—Who is she?—and Jesus, with a powerful voice, answered: “The most beautiful of the daughters of Jerusalem.” This voice, issued from the Divine harp of His Sacred Heart, whose chords seemed touched by the Holy Spirit, and thus enabled to celebrate worthily the eminent glories of the Virgin Mother. Enraptured, as it were, with delight, Mary bent over the Heart of her most loving Son, and appeared to find therein the quiet of a peaceful sleep; but as the strophe, “O Gloriosa Domina,” was sung, she raised herself, as if about to respond to her daughters’ call, and extended her hand over them in token of motherly protection, and as if to assure them that, having all power over her Son’s Heart, she would efficaciously guard them from their enemies.

Once, St Gertrude said to Our Lord, “Teach me, my Lord, how I may show my devotion and love to Thy most blessed Mother.” Then, Our Lord taught her the following prayers and when she recited them, it seemed to her that she saw Our Lord offering His Sacred Heart, in the likeness of a gold vessel to His Mother. As our Most Blessed Lady drank from the golden vessel, St Gertrude understood that Our Lady delights in rewarding those who recite the prayers.

The following prayers are from the website, Archive.org.

St. Gertrude was taught the following prayer, containing three petitions by the Blessed Virgin Mary and she recalled that it seemed to her as though she were so clothed and adorned with her surpassing merits, that the Lord of Majesty took ineffable delight in her.

Saint Gertrude’s Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary

O most blessed Virgin Mary, I beseech thee, by the most spotless purity wherewith thou didst prepare in thy womb a still and glad abode for the Son of God, that by thy intercessions I may be cleansed from every stain. O most blessed Virgin Mary, I beseech thee by that thy most gentle, deep humility whereby thou didst merit to be raised high above all Angels and Saints, that by thy intercessions all my negligences may be forgiven and satisfied for.
O most blessed Virgin Mary, I implore thee by that unutterable love which united thee inseparably to God, that by thy intercessions I may receive an abundance of all merit. Amen.

And the prayer which is called:

The Golden Ave

Hail, Mary, in union with that sweet unction of the Holy Ghost, wherewith He so pervaded thee and made thee so full of grace, that everyone who through thee seeketh grace doth find it. Call to mind now that unspeakable operation wherewith the whole most Blessed Trinity wrought in thee, when human flesh taken from thy substance was so united to the Divine Nature that God was made man and man became God, and thy whole soul was suffused with a sweetness and a gladness which the heart of man cannot conceive. And therefore every creature with rapturous admiration doth acknowledge and confess that thou art blessed and incomparably exalted above all creatures in Heaven or on earth, and blessed the Fruit of thy womb, even Jesus, who quickens, sanctifies, and blesses all things for ever. Amen.

That prayer is reported to have been dictated to Saint Gertrude by Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself. It is especially helpful as an aid in our meditations on Our Lady and her Mysteries of the Rosary.

Prayer to Saint Gertrude on her Feast Day

I venerate and greet thee, O most blessed Saint Gertrude. in the sweetest Heart of Jesus Christ, and I congratulate thee with all my heart on that honour wherewith thou wast honoured by God and by all the court of Heaven on this the day of thine entrance to heaven. And for the increase of thy joy and thy glory I offer thee that same transcendently precious and worthy Heart of Jesus Christ, beseeching thee that thou wouldst deign to pray to God for me, and to assist me in the hour of my death. Amen.

Added Thursday, November 17, 2022:

In St. Gertrude’s Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary above, you may have noticed that she asked for “an abundance of merit”. Perhaps the following anecdote will explain why:

“St. Gertrude, having made a donation of all her merits and good works to the souls in Purgatory, the demon appeared to her at the moment of her death and mocked her, saying: ‘How vain thou art! and how cruel thou hast been to thyself! For what greater pride can there be than to wish to pay the debts of others without paying one’s own? Now—now we will see the result; when thou art dead thou wilt pay for thyself in the fires of Purgatory, and I will laugh at thy folly whilst thou weepest for thy pride.’ Then she beheld her Divine Spouse approaching her, who consoled her with these words: ‘In order that you may know how agreeable your charity for the souls of the departed has been to Me, I remit to you now all the pains of Purgatory which you might have suffered; and as I have promised to return you a hundred for one, I will further increase your celestial glory abundantly, giving you a special recompense for the charity which you have exercised toward My beloved souls in Purgatory, by renouncing in their favor your works of satisfaction.’”

While I’m at it,  and since there are so many good quotes available regarding St. Gertrude and purgatory, let’s add another:

“Once Gertrude prayed with particular fervor for the faithful departed. On asking Our Lord how many souls His mercy would deliver, she received this reply: “My love urges Me to release the poor souls. If a beneficent king leaves his guilty friend in prison for justice’s sake, he awaits with longing for one of his nobles to plead for the prisoner and to offer something for his release. Then the king joyfully, sets him free. Similarly, I accept with highest pleasure what is offered to Me for the poor souls, for I long inexpressibly to have near Me those for whom I paid so great a price. By the prayers of thy loving soul, I am induced to free a prisoner from purgatory as often as thou dost move thy tongue to utter a word of prayer!”

And so we see how generous Our Lord is to respond to our loving prayers for the poor souls – and now I ask you, what do you think – will He be any less generous to us who intercede for them?

Thank you for reading, I pray for you always – please pray for our priests!

 Sources

The Spirit of St. Gertrude or the Love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to His Creatures by an Anonymous Author, Burns, Lambert and Oates, 1866 from archive.org.

The Exercises of Saint Gertrude, Virgin and Abbess, author not cited, Burns and Lambert 1863 with introduction by Dom Prosper Gueranger, also from archive.org.

Preces Gertrudianae, Prayers of Saint Gertrude and Saint Mechtilde, Burns and Lambert, 1861, also archive.org.

Saint Gertrude the Great, Herald of Divine Love, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon

Love, Peace and Joy, Devotion to the Sacred Heart by Fr. Andre Prevot, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon

Life and Revelations of Saint Gertrude the Great, TAN Books, Kindle Edition, Amazon.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

“Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Grace in the Reign of Francis, 2022

The current crisis in the Church is part of God’s plan for us, and the Immaculata leads us safely through it.

Previously published in October, 2021

The Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary become even richer in meaning as we spend more time with them, and in this papacy all the more so! In the First Sorrowful Mystery, the Agony in the Garden we see Jesus confronting His persecutors who had been led to Him by Judas, the Patron for the current betrayers of Christ  who now occupy the visible Church. As Jesus restored the ear of Malchus, He spoke to those who had come to destroy Him, “Are ye come out, as it were against a thief, with swords and clubs? When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against Me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (Luke 22, 52-53)

We are now deep within this hour of darkness in the Passion of the Church, and so we shall find much to profit us in these Sorrowful Mysteries of Our Lady’s Rosary.

At the beginning of that first Passion, there was a terrible betrayal, and the Apostles fled, scandalized, into the darkness. Today, as the Pope and the whole corrupt edifice of the hierarchy  betray our Lord Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother, Catholics are scattered. Some are indifferent to the scandal, some fall into sedevacantism, some simply fall away. Some few, however, watch and pray in the darkness, trusting in His promise.
Continue reading “Grace in the Reign of Francis, 2022”

A Holocaust of Love, 2022

Mary’s most pure and loving heart was a holocaust of love, inseparably united with the Sacred Heart of our dying Savior.

For our post today, we have a very brief but remarkable essay by Saint Francis de Sales from his Treatise on the Love of God. It contains the lovely allegory of the mythical bird, the Phoenix and is a perennial favorite.

Speaking of the most Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint Francis de Sales tells us,
Continue reading “A Holocaust of Love, 2022”

Twelve Points of the Humility of Mary, 2022

In this precious month of the Holy Rosary, we offer this brief snippet from a very worthwhile book, “The Admirable Heart of Mary“, in the hope that thinking on these aspects of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart will aid your Rosary meditations. I am not able to write more as I would have preferred to do, but hope that by now, you readers will “fill in the blanks” possibly better than I could!

Abyss of Humility

Deep calleth upon deep,
Thy billows are passed o’er me.

In the abyss of my heart,
nothingness beckons to Thee, my love
Look upon my nothingness
And fill my darkness with Thy Light.

The following is from Part 8, Chapter 5

The Humility of the Immaculate Heart of Mary

Consider the words of the Holy Ghost: “Deep calleth on deep” (Ps. 41, 8). What do they mean? They mean that the Holy Ghost sets before us the image of a twofold or dual abyss.

The first is the humble heart immersed by profound humility in the realization of its own nothingness, an abyss that engulfs the humble man, preventing him from seeing in himself anything but nothingness and making him love the lowliness and abjection of such nothingness.

The second is the abyss of graces and celestial blessings that everywhere surround and accompany the truly humble heart. The first depth calls for the second: “Deep called on deep,” because the prayer of the humble heart has such power with God, that it is always heard. Divine Goodness can refuse it nothing.

It is the profundity that summons and attracts all the graces of Heaven; God showers them into the lowly soul with open hand and without reserve. Humility is the guardian of all other graces and virtues, and they are safe where it abides, according to the words of St. Basil: “Humility is the safe treasury of all virtues.”

All the greatness of the Blessed Virgin was accomplished by the humility of her most holy Heart. From the first to the last moment of her life, her humility never ceased to invoke and draw upon her grace after grace, perfection after perfection, holiness upon holiness, until it brought her to the summit of the grace and holiness that next to that of Christ ever was or shall be greatest among men.

Humility is our Savior’s own spiritual virtue, which He constantly preached by His example and earnestly recommended with the words: “Learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart” (Matt. 11, 29), so can we say that humility is also the most beloved virtue of His dearest Mother. She urges us to practice it by her example.

On its twelve principal manifestations.

The first manifestation was the complete self-annihilation with which she adored God from the very beginning of her life as her Creator and Sovereign Lord.

The second manifestation … was the uneasiness she felt on hearing the salutation of the Angel Gabriel.

“She was troubled at his saying” (Luke 1, 29), because he greeted her as full of grace, as one having the Lord with her in a special manner, and as being blessed among all women. That salutation is what troubles her most humble Heart, which cannot listen to such exalted praises without trembling. (Here, St. John Eudes quotes St. Thomas Aquinas)

The third effect … was that, after hearing St. Gabriel’s proclamation, she answered: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” Instead of taking pride, she humbled herself, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord.”

St. Bonaventure exclaims: “How wonderfully deep is Mary’s humility! An archangel salutes her; she is called full of grace; she is told the Holy Ghost will overshadow her; she becomes the Mother of God Himself; she is raised above all creatures; she is appointed sovereign Lady of Heaven and earth; and yet instead of becoming filled with pride, she humbles herself most deeply, saying, ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord.’

The fourth manifestation of her humility: Her stupendous silence at the Incarnation of the Son of God within her immaculate womb. After she had conceived the Only-begotten Son of God in her blessed womb, she revealed to no one, not even to her spouse St. Joseph, the tremendous mystery which exalted her to the highest pinnacle.

Then, quoting St. Thomas of Villanova, St. John Eudes writes: “The greatest mystery, the most incomparable marvel, has been wrought in thee by the divine power, and thou dost tell no one. No human being knows the vital miracle, so jealously dost thou guard thy secret! Thou dost remain in profound silence, until, in the house of thy cousin Elizabeth, beholding that God Himself has revealed this miracle of miracles, then only dost thou breathe thy blessed silence, and raise to Heaven the sublime canticle of praise and adoration for the author of all these marvels: “My soul doth magnify the Lord.” (Luke 1, 46)

The fifth effect of Mary’s humility was accomplished during her visit to her cousin St. Elizabeth, concerning SL John the Baptist. (Note: This fifth effect seems to have been glossed over by St. John Eudes, but when we consider his words here, immediately following the fourth point, seems to indicate not the Magnificat, which was covered in point four, but the Holy Virgin’s excellent submission to the will of God as she brought Our Lord to St. John, each of them enclosed within their Mothers’ wombs, thus allowing Our Lord to baptize the baptizer himself!  In this action Mary demonstrates the action of the priest who allows himself to be the vehicle for Christ’s saving grace as he administers the sacraments.

The sixth effect was manifested in her relationship with St. Joseph, whom she regarded and honored as her husband, not disdaining to serve him, and be subject to his will. What exalts her humility above all admiration is that she prefers to endure an unspeakable humiliation rather than reveal to Joseph the admirable mystery wrought in her by God, and her newly received rank of Mother of the promised Messias.

The seventh effect of the humility of the royal Heart of Mary was revealed at the birth of Her Divine Son in a stable at Bethlehem. . . . being turned away from every house, was obliged to seek the lowly abode of animals. There she brought forth the only Son of God the Father, the King of Glory, the sovereign Lord of all things. And she sustained these humiliations without a complaint and with most perfect humility.

The eighth effect of the admirable humility of the Mother of God became apparent when she subjected herself to the Hebrew law of Purification. (Note: again, St. John Eudes is rather terse, which leaves space for us to turn to Our Lady herself to tell us the rest by means of her Holy Rosary. I also recommend the excellent writings available at The Rosary to the Interior; for the Purification of the Church. I also have written of the Mystery of the Purification in these pages.)

The ninth effect of the humility of the blessed Heart of Our Savior’s Mother was the virtue she practiced during the forty days’ penance of her Divine Son in the desert. Remember what we have said above; namely, that our Savior’s incomparable love for His Blessed Mother made Him desire her to resemble Him as closely as possible, and caused Him to engrave in her Heart a perfect image of all the states and mysteries of His most holy life.

The tenth effect of the humility of Mary’s all-pure Heart became manifest at the wedding of Cana in Galilee, where she obtained from her beloved Son the miracle whereby He changed water into wine. But how did she induce Him to perform that miracle? Was it by exerting her authority as His Mother? By no means. . .  she did not even presume to entreat Him, but merely made plain to Him, with the greatest modesty and humility, the need for additional wine. Mary left it entirely to His divine will to act as He thought best.

The eleventh effect of the humility of the admirable Heart of the Mother of Jesus was that she suffered with her beloved Son all the contempt and insults He endured during His public ministry from His enemies. . . She likewise endured with her Son all the indignities and ignominies of His passion when He was treated as a criminal, bound and throttled like a thief, torn with whips, crowned with thorns, reviled by the shocking preference of the mob for Barabbas, and nailed to a Cross between two bandits.

Yes, my Jesus, Thy most worthy Mother bore with Thee all this shame and humiliation! As Thy glory is now her glory, so were Thy ignominies her very own, which she bore with such humility that she never uttered a complaint to God or man. 0 prodigious humility! Most humble Mary, pray to thy dear Son that He may grant us the grace to learn from Himself and from thee how to suffer insults and humiliations patiently and with humility, and never to complain.

The twelfth effect of the humility of the Admirable Heart of Mary is recorded in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles where it is written that, after the Ascension of Christ into Heaven, St. Peter, St. John and the other disciples withdrew to the Cenacle of Jerusalem.

There they remained until the coming of the Holy Ghost, united in prayer with the holy women and Mary, Mother of Jesus, whom St. Luke the Evangelist mentions last, not only after the holy Apostles, but even after the sinner from whom our Savior had driven seven devils. How can it be that she who is the first in dignity, in merit, and in sanctity should be put in the last place?

It is that her most profound humility compelled her scribe, St. Luke, to name her thus in the last place, according to the lowliness of her self- estimation, considering and treating herself as the least and most unworthy of creatures. What peerless humility!  (. . . )

0 Queen of the humble, thou seest how remote we are from the practice of true and perfect humility. Obtain from thy beloved Son the pardon of all the sins we have committed against this great virtue; offer to Him thy very humble Heart in reparation and satisfaction for our misdeeds; and entreat Our Lord to grant us the graces we need to enable us to imitate carefully and faithfully the most holy humility of the amiable Heart of Jesus and Mary.

Eudes, St. John. The Admirable Heart of Mary. KIC. Kindle Edition.

Remember – Our Lady needs us to obey:  First Saturdays of Reparation, daily rosary, at least 5 mysteries, wear her brown scapular and live your Total Consecration to her Immaculate Heart, offering daily duties in reparation and for the conversion of poor sinners.

Open your hearts to the Lord and serve Him only: and He will free you from the hands of your enemies. With all your heart return to Him, and take away from your midst any strange gods” (I Kings 7:3)

†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of our hearts, Mother of the Church, do thou offer to the Eternal Father the Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the conversion of poor sinners, especially our Pontiff.
†  Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, Thy kingdom come! Viva Cristo Rey!
†  Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
†  St. Joseph, protect us, protect our families, protect our priests.
†  St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.

Please pray for the Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

~ by evensong for love of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, King.
Vouchsafe that I may praise thee, O Sacred Virgin! Give me strength against thine enemies!

With Mary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, 2022

A priest reader of ours from Africa recently commented favorably on this article, which we posted in September 2017. When I posted it, it was largely ignored, but I hope that perhaps with this repost, more will see its. Some time ago, several readers asked for an article or two about the Mass. Today, we offer a few excerpts from an  essay that appeared in 1935, written by a little known Jesuit, Father John Sexton Kennedy.

AT MASS WITH MARY

A glory of new stars, downward flung
And forged into seven swords, has stung
The heart of the Woman whom I pass
On my way to the altar for morning Mass.
There is no shrill crowd,
there are no hoarse cries,
But I meet One
bearing a cross in her eyes.

Those people who twenty centuries ago were present on Calvary because they hated Jesus Christ paid more attention to the sacrifice of the cross than do most of us who are Sunday after Sunday present at Mass because we love Jesus Christ. This is a fact at once startling and sobering. …

What is most difficult is to keep well focused the basic truth that the Sacrifice of the Mass is really the same sacrifice as that of Calvary. In the absence of glittering spears, strained and distorted faces, hideous cries, a grim cross we utterly forget that we attend the crucifixion of Christ.

Could we but sufficiently appreciate the fact, our problem of keeping attentive, devout at Mass would be solved. As a means to this end, a means not indeed perfect but if earnestly tried quite effective, we are suggesting the effort to hear Mass with Mary. The lessons which we can learn from Our Blessed Lady are quite beyond numbering; none of them is simpler or of greater value than that of worthy assistance at holy Mass. Herein we shall consider first the thorough excellence of Mary’s following of the first Mass, and then the value to us of her exceptional example. Continue reading “With Mary at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, 2022”

The Merits of the Sorrows of Mary

Previously posted on : september 15, 2020  by : evensong

In Honor of the Sorrowful Heart of Mary

Something special for today, in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Mary, from the writings of Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., “The Mother of the Saviour: And Our Interior Life”.

The Cause of her Sorrows

What was the profound cause of Mary’s sorrows on Calvary? Every Christian soul for whom practice has made the Stations of the Cross familiar will answer: the cause of Mary’s sorrows, as of those of Jesus, was sin. Happy the souls for whom that answer is a vital truth, who experience true sorrow at the thought of their own sins—a sorrow that only grace can produce in them.

We understand but little of the sorrows of Mary, for little grieves us except what wounds our bodies, our self-love, our vanity, or our pride. We suffer too from men’s ingratitude, from the afflictions of our family or our native land. But sin grieves us but little. We have but little sorrow for our faults considered as offenses against God.

In theory, we admit that sin is the greatest of evils since it affects the soul itself and its faculties, and since it is the cause of the disorders which we deplore in society; it is only too evidently the cause of the enmity between classes and nations. But in spite of that we do not experience any great sorrow for the faults whereby we contribute more or less ourselves to the general disorder.
Continue reading “The Merits of the Sorrows of Mary”

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

last posted on : september 15, 2021  by : evensong

Thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts,
thoughts may be revealed.

Today, September 15, we Commemorate the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

Although Our Lord’s own chosen Apostles fled His Passion, no one could keep the Woman away. Unlike the sentimental pictures which sometimes show Mary fainting at the foot of the Cross, Mary stood there, intent on sharing every excruciating detail of the ignominy her beloved Son suffered. Just as she had freely chosen to become His Mother, she chose to behold Him tortured from head to foot and torn from her by the cruelest of deaths. She not only accepted this, she offered this; this sharing in His Passion, sharing even in His death, uniting Their hearts forever for the glory of the Most Holy Trinity and in loving reparation for the sins of men, for our sins, for my sins.

Mary’s heart, like Christ’s whole crushed and bruised being , was transformed with anguish by the sins of mankind … Mary became the Queen of martyrs because, after Jesus, she has endured the greatest martyrdom of heart … her sufferings are fruitful for us in a way that we can scarcely suspect…(from Father Garrigou-Lagrange, “Mary, the Model of Reparation”).
Continue reading “The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary”

Honor the Holy Name of Mary!

Today, September 12,  we honor the Holy Name of Mary, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and by His infinite mercy, our Mother as well.  From His Cross, Our Lord gave us the One He holds dearest, His Immaculate Mother. For all of her children, reparation is a sacred duty to offset the swelling tide of blasphemy against our most beloved Mother and the indifference continually shown by our prelates, especially the pope.

The Feast of the Holy Name of Mary appears to have originated formally in Spain from which it gradually spread. The date of observance was changed several times over the centuries and Saint Pius X ( 1914) established the present date to commemorate the great victory over the Turks at the Battle of Vienna in 1683. An excellent account of this battle and others in relation to the most Holy Name of Mary can be found at Catholic Tradition. 
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St. Andrew of Crete on the Immaculate Conception of Mary

The following is a lovely article from SSPX News.

I offer it to enrich our devotions for Our Lady’s birthday and there is no need for me to comment on it, as it is a perfect gem most beautiful to adorn her day! May it be fruitful for your meditations as well!

Born in Damascus, the future Andrew of Crete remained mute for the first seven years of his life, gaining the power of speech at age seven after the reception of his first Holy Communion. At fifteen he entered the Monastery of Saint Sava. In 681, he was sent, still an archdeacon, to the Sixth Ecumenical Council of Constantinople, where he stood out for his zeal and his eloquence. He was later appointed Archbishop of Crete. He died around 740.

Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary

Now Adam offers from us and for us elements unto God, the most worthy fruit of mankind: Mary, in Whom the new Adam is rendered Bread for the restoration of the human race.

Now is opened the great bosom of virginity, and the Church, in the matrimonial manner, places upon it a pure, truly spotless pearl.

Now human worthiness accepts the gift of the first creation and returns to its former condition; the majesty darkened by formless sin, through the conjoining by His Mother by birth “of Him Beauteous by Goodness,” man receives beauty in a most excellent and God-seemly visage. And this creating is done truly by the creation, and recreation by theosis, and theosis by a return to the original perfection!

Now a barren one has become a mother beyond expectation, and the Theotokos has given birth without knowing man, and She sanctifies natural birth.

Now the majestic color of the Divine purple is readied and impoverished human nature is clothed in royal worthiness.

Now, according to prophecy, sprouts forth the Offshoot of David, Who, having eternally become the green-sprouting Staff of Aaron, has blossomed forth for us with the Staff of Power: Christ.

Now from Judah and David is descended a Virgin Maiden, rendering of Herself the royal and priestly worthiness of Him Who has taken on the priesthood of Aaron according to the order of Melchizedek (Heb 7:15).

Now, grace purifying the mystical principle of the divine priesthood, weaving symbolically the garment of the Levitical seed, and God dyed the royal purple with the blood of David.

Now the renewal of our nature is begun, and the world responding, assuming a God-seemly form, receives the principle of a second Divine creation. Amen.

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin

Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; Hail, O instrument of our joy, by whom the sentence of our condemnation has been revoked and changed into a judgment of blessing.

Hail, O temple of the glory of God, sacred abode of the King of heaven. You are the reconciliation of God with men.

Hail, O Mother of our joy: in truth you are blessed, since you alone, among all women, have been found worthy to be the Mother of our Creator. All nations call you blessed. O Mary, if I put my trust in you, I will be saved; if I am under your protection I have nothing to fear, because to be your servant is to have the invincible weapons of salvation that God grants only to those He wants to save.

O Mother of mercy, appease your Son: when you were on earth you occupied only a small part of it, but today that you are raised to the highest heavens, the whole world considers you as the common mercy seat of all nations.

We therefore beg you, O Blessed Virgin, to grant us the help of your prayers with God; prayers which have for us more value and worth than all the treasures of the earth; prayers which make God propitious to our sins, and obtain for us a great abundance of graces to receive the forgiveness of these same sins and to practice virtue; prayers which arrest our enemies, confuse their designs, and triumph over their efforts. Amen.