V. Praised be the Most Blessed Sacrament. R. At Every Moment.: Christmas Eve, Saturday, December 24, 2016 (The Centenary of Fatima)

J.M.J. Our Lady is the Ever-Virgin Mother of God who has shared Christ with us.

During this last day before Christmas, our hearts turn more than ever to the same Jesus Christ and His Coming among us.

He is still present among His brothers and sisters two thousand years after His initial appearance. We know that Christ is with us in several ways: through His Word proclaimed, by the ministry of His priests, whenever two or more gather in His Sacred Name and in a most unique and exalted fashion in the Most Holy Eucharist.

Christmas Eve affords us an excellent opportunity to reflect well on the Most Blessed Sacrament and to ask ourselves how we reverence the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the God-Man, Jesus Christ.

Jesuit Father Segundo Llorente (1906-1989) was an outstanding missionary to the faithful of Alaska. A brilliant and humble priest, Father Llorente spent himself in the service of the indigenous of Alaska for decades.

Years ago, in a meditation entitled "Strange Things Happen on the Night of Christmas," this Spanish religious offered his thoughts on the adoration due the Most Holy Eucharist. This powerful essay, which was published in the February 1998 newsletter of the Catholic Society of Evangelists, seems more pertinent now than when it first was penned.

---   ---   ---   ---

"Strange Things Happen on the Night of Christmas"

"A priest told me what happened to him once in his first parish. 

"After the Midnight Mass on Christmas Day he personally locked the church. With the keys in his pocket he went to his room and had a good sleep. 

"At 7:30 in the morning he got up and went back to the church intending to have one hour of prayer all to himself. He opened the side door leading to the sacristy, turned on a light and then turned on the lights for the church. As he opened the sacristy door and walked into the church, he literally froze. Strange people clad in the poorest of clothes occupied most of the pews and all were in total silence. No one so much as wiggled and nobody cared to look at him. A small group was standing by the Nativity Scene contemplating the manger in total silence.

"The priest recovered quickly and in a loud voice asked them how they got in. Nobody answered. He walked closer to them and asked again. 'Who let you in?' A woman answered totally unconcerned: 'Strange things happen on the night of Christmas.' And back to total silence.

"The priest went to check the main door and found it locked just as he had left it. He was now determined to get the facts and turned his face to the pews; but they were empty. The people had vanished.

"He kept this puzzle to himself for some time. Unable to hold it in any longer, he told me just what I have told you. Could I help with any plausible explanation? Let me hurry to say that the priest in question is a model of sanity and is as well educated academically as most of the priests I know, if not better.

"My explanation was and still is as follows. Those were dead people who were doing their purgatory, or part of it, in the church. 

"It is safe to assume that we atone for our sins where we committed them. Those people were immersed in total silence. Why? Consider the irreverences committed before the Blessed Sacrament; how many people act out in church: chatting, giggling, and looking around. After Mass some people gather in small groups around the pews and turn the church into a market place with no regard for Christ's Real Presence in the tabernacle. Why did they vanish? They did not vanish. They simply became invisible; but they remained tied to their pews unable to utter one single word to atone for their disrespectful chatter while living.

"The Blessed Sacrament is no laughing matter. There is a price tag to all we do or say. In the end it is God Who gets the last laugh--so to speak. Those people had to give the Blessed Sacrament the adoration and respect that Christ deserves. For how long? Only God can answer that. Why did the priest see them? So he could pray for them and for all other Poor Souls detained in other churches. Why other priests do not see these people? Well, perhaps they already know in theory that souls can be detained in churches as well as anywhere else, so they do not need a miracle.

"Why were they clad in such poor clothes? To atone for their vanity while living. People often use clothes not so much to cover their nakedness but as a status symbol to impress others. But God is not impressed by, say, mink coats. Also people walk into church with hardly any clothes. In the summer months it is not unusual for people--mostly women--to go to receive Holy Communion in the most indecent clothing. The pastor may or may not put up with it; but God will have His day in court about this. Rags could be an appropriate punishment for these excesses."

---   ---   ---   ---

Absent an official declaration from the Church that the above episode recounted by Father Llorente is true, one may dismiss it. But the deeper meaning cannot be summarily rejected, namely, that the Sacred Heart of Emmanuel, Who comes to us, is really, truly and substantially present in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar and is to be "praised, adored and loved with grateful affection at every moment in all the tabernacles of the world, even until the end of time. Amen." 

Hailing Mary at the End of the Day: Tuesday, December 20, 2016 (The Centenary of Fatima)


The Marian Antiphon at the Conclusion of Night Prayer

Ever since we began praying Night Prayer from The Liturgy of the Hours, we have chanted or recited some Marian Antiphon at its conclusion. There is much latitude about which Marian Antiphon is chosen. Traditionally, the Alma Redemptoris Mater has been used from the First Sunday of Advent until the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd.

According to writings from Saints Irenaeus of Lyons, Epiphanius and Fulgentius, Herman the Cripple (1013–1054) authored this hymn, which is mentioned in The PrioresssTale by Geoffrey Chaucer.

Both the Latin and the English versions are given to us in the Breviary. Here is the English text provided by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy for The Liturgy of the Hours currently in use.

Loving mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again,
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before,
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

What a wealth of reflection as we turn our hearts to the Ever-Virgin at the end of the day!

Adoring Jesus and Venerating Mary through the Intercession of Saint Andrew: Wednesday, November 30, 2016 (The Centenary of Fatima)

J.M.J. "The Saint Andrew Christmas Novena" starts today on the Feast of Saint Andrew, Apostle.

Recite this prayer 15 times a day from November 30th, the Feast of Saint Andrew, until Christmas Day.

Hail and blessed be the hour and moment

In which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary at midnight,
in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold.
In that hour vouchsafe, I beseech Thee, O my God,
to hear my prayer and grant my desires, 

[here mention your request]

through the Merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.

 Imprimatur: +Michael Augustine 
Archbishop of New York
February 6, 1897.

Our Lady and December: First Sunday of Advent, November 27, 2016 (The Centenary of Fatima)

J.M.J. Advent, as is well known, has a special Marian character. The long-awaited Coming of the Messiah occurred through the Holy Spirit-inspired fiat of the Virgin of Nazareth.

In addition to Advent itself, the days of December are marked with many references to Our Lady. Here are only a few.

December 4th=The Memorial of Saint John Damascene, who defended the title Theotokos relative to Mary.

December 7th=The Memorial of Saint Ambrose, who proclaimed the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.

December 8th=The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, who is Mary herself (“I am the Immaculate Conception”) as she explained to Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes in 1858.

December 9th=The Memorial of Saint Juan Diego, who saw Mary and heeded her words on the Hill of Tepeyac in 1531.

December 10th=The local Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto, who is venerated in Italy and is remembered throughout the world for the Holy House and the Litany of the same name.

December 12th=The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, who influenced millions of Aztecs to drop their old ways and put on Christ.

The Mother of Mercy: Saturday, November 26, 2016 (The Centenary of Fatima)


Mater Misericordiae

Popes and Bishops often end their pastoral letters with a reference to Our Lady as our Spiritual Mother.

The Ever-Virgin is Mater Misericordiae—the Mother of Mercy.

Simply put, Mary brought forth Christ Who is mercy to our human race.

And we acknowledge Our Lady as the Mother of Mercy who spares no effort in being the conduit through which Christ’s precious mercy comes to our Church and our world.

The late Dominican theologian Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange identified four invocations from the Litany of Loreto that bespeak specifically of Our Lady’s role as the Mother of Mercy: Health of the sick; Refuge of sinners; Comforter of the afflicted; Help of Christians.

The realities represented by these titles, which are by no means exhaustive, help us to understand to whom Mary dispenses the priceless mercy of God.

We continue to be aware of His abundant mercy that He willingly grants to us and of our subsequent obligation and privilege to share that same mercy with our neighbors. The moto chosen by Pope Francis for the recently concluded Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, “Be merciful as the Father is merciful” (Saint Luke 6:36), will never grow stale; it will always challenge us.

Servant of the Father, Servant of the Mother: Friday, November 25, 2016

J.M.J. "In order to be a devoted servant of the Father, I faithfully desire to be the servant of the Mother." 

Saint Ildephonsus (circa 607-667)

"In Her in Whom He Fashioned Himself": Thursday, November 24, 2016

J.M.J. "Praise the Lord and His holy ones, says the Scriptures. If our Lord is to be praised in those holy ones through whom He brings to being deeds of power and miracles, how much more is He to be praised in her in whom He fashioned Himself; it was wonderful beyond all wonders." 

--Saint Aelred (circa 1109-circa 1167)

Our Lady's Priests and Their Dress: Wednesday, November 23, 2016

J.M.J. With gratitude to Miss Vicky Leong of Macau

"What does the 'White Collar' inspire in you?"

by Vicky Leong

During the 60’s and the 70’s, Macau suffered from economic recession. With the absence of compulsory education and free education, high school education was not something people could take for granted. Thus, one of the dreams of parents was that their children could finish high school, got a “white collar” job and secured a comfortable life. Better still, they could stand out from the crowd and become famous. Indeed, it was popular among the Chinese community that the “white collar” implied knowledge, noble sentiments and noble characters. The simple white shirt and its collar was a dream of many parents and young people in the good old days. Today, the comfort living of the “white collar” was considered as the minimum living standard by many young people. Yet, the noble sentiments beyond the white collar were not well attended.

O Clarim has recently reprinted an article by Father Gerald E. Murray and Monsignor Charles Mangan, “23 Reasons Why a Priest Should Wear His Collar”.  As I reflected on the article, I wondered why though the priest’s “white collar” implied a higher demand on knowledge, noble sentiments and noble characters, few responded to the vocation of the priesthood in this City of the Holy Name of God.

The two “white collars”, though same in color, yet very different in their meaning, lifestyle and value. The center of the secular “white collar” is people. People focus their lives on people, follow the footsteps of people, and pledge loyalty to people. People work like workaholic and make themselves burnout for people. If they quest for better fame and wealth, wish to be outstanding and stand out from the crowd, or become leaders in the society, they may even have to sacrifice personal value and family life in order to climb up the social ladder. In contrast, the priest’s “white collar” is a reminder of a quest for a better use of their knowledge, noble sentiments and noble characters to be in service of God and become servant leaders. They focus on God, listen to God, pledge loyalty to God, and devote their lives and work to God. They live their lives in simplicity; witness publicly their special belonging to God. They live their vocation through services by touching the lives of people and making the invisible God visible. They render their services in the Church with the ultimate goal to serve God and glorify God.

Father Murray and Monsignor Mangan emphasize at the very beginning of their writing a very beautiful metaphor. The priest’s collar is a sign of priestly consecration to the Lord. The “white collar” is a wedding ring, symbolizes the priest’s union with God. Similar to a married man’s public expression of fidelity to his wife, so do the priests witness their faithfulness and fidelity through the priest’s “white collar”.  

The priest’s “white collar” does not only remind the priests of their fidelity to God, it also reminds the faithful to be respectful to the priests and their ministries, and that the priests entirely belong to God in a very special way. God is the priority and the core of the priests’ lives. Through their ministries and prayers, they serve God in good time and in bad time, in health and in sickness. The “white collar” also serves as a safeguard and protection of the priests’ mission especially when they serve in places with controversial issues. It also makes the priests’ identity available for people in need of spiritual guidance and/or for sacraments especially in crisis situations.

The priest’s “white collar” is a reminder of material poverty for religious life. The simple attire reminds the religious their consistency in lifestyles and standards of living. During the hot and humid summer, the collar and the simple attire also serves as a means of self-sacrifice, as well as sacrifice for obtaining graces for their parishioners.

Though the protagonist of the article focuses on the religious, there is so much treasure in this article we Christians can reflect on and make them part of our lives. For example, we are reminded that God is the center of our lives, and that we should live a good moral Christian life with God’s blessings. The Latin word for value is “virtus”, meaning the source of strength. It is indeed so true that a healthy and moral life is the standard of our Christian living. This moral value and standard is also our source of strength as we go against the trend in the secular world.

Living in a secular world of sensual pleasure, what does the “white collar” inspire us Christians? It reminds me of my fidelity to God. It also reminds me to be consistent in my moral standards and lifestyles as a Christian living in the secular world. As a follower of Christ, I need to be a witness of Christ’s love and live my life lovingly to touch the lives of others and kindle light in the world.

For you, what does the white collar inspire in you?

2016/9/17 下午6:50 於 "Vicky Leong"

Mary as Our Mother: Tuesday, October 4, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "The title of Mary as our mother is not merely symbolic. Mary is our mother in the most real and lofty sense, a sense which surpasses that of earthly maternity. She begot our life of grace for us because she offered up her entire being, body and soul, as the Mother of God."

--Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (1891-1942)

Our Lady's Immaculate Heart--Masterpiece of the Father's Hands: Tuesday, September 27, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "The eternal Father takes pleasure in looking upon the Heart of the most holy Virgin Mary as a masterpiece of His hands. The Son takes pleasure in it as the Heart of His Mother, the source from which He drew the Blood that ransomed us. The Holy Spirit dwells in Mary as in His Temple."

--Saint John Mary Vianney (1786-1859)

Our Lady and Three Words: Sunday, September 25, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Mary's life can be summed up in three words: Ecce, Fiat, Magnificat. Ecce: 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord' (Luke 1:38). Fiat: 'May it be done unto me according to your word' (Luke 1:38). Magnificat: 'My soul magnifies the Lord' (Luke 1:46)."

--Francis Xavier Cardinal Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002)

Dear Jesus, Repeat Those Words About Your Mother!: Sunday,September 18, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Let us hasten with confidence to Christ’s throne of grace, and with prayers and profound contrition, let us beg Him to repeat for every one of us the words He said to His mother, 'Behold your Son.' In the same way, as He looks at Mary, may He repeat to every one of us the wonderful invitation: 'Behold your Mother.'"

--Saint Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor (1542-1621)

Virgin Most Humble: Saturday, September 10, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. The life-changing encounter between the angel Gabriel and Our Lady, which is recorded in the Gospel according to Saint Luke (1:26-38) and is especially remembered on March 25—the Solemnity of the Annunciation, was the shortest job interview in history. When Mary was informed that her unexpected maternity would not alter what many scholars have understood to be her previous pledge to God that she would remain a virgin, she quickly consented to the divine proposition that she would become the Mother of the “Son of the Most High” (verse 32). Our Lady’s singular mission as the Mother of God had begun!
No matter how often this Lucan passage is read, one verse that troubles numerous readers is that which says that the Virgin, yes, was “troubled” (verse 29).
The Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (1966) offers: “But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be.
The Confraternity of Christian Doctrine Edition (1941) states: “When she had seen him she was troubled at his word, and kept pondering what manner of greeting this might be.”
The Douay-Rhiems (1899) American Edition declares: “Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be.”
It seems shocking that the Maiden of Nazareth, who only twelve or fourteen years before was conceived without Original Sin, would now fall prey to this inner lack of tranquility. After all, her Immaculate Conception and corresponding fullness of grace meant that she never was at enmity with the Creator. Not for a moment did she choose against Him. Her charity was perfect, her confidence in the Almighty unshakeable.
Regarding “troubled,” Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., in his classic Divine Intimacy: Meditations on the Interior Life for Every Day of the Liturgical Year (Rockford, Illinois: Tan Books and Publishers, Inc., 1996), provides us with some appreciated assistance: “we must not, however, take this phrase to mean real disturbance, which destroys the peace of the spirit; it means rather a profound astonishment at this unusual greeting, an astonishment so great as to cause a kind of fear. This is Mary’s first reaction to the angelical message, a reaction arising from her deep humility, which makes her think this extraordinary eulogy very strange” (page 1133).
Humilitas,; perturbatio, no.
Our Lady’s interior peace was not shattered when she heard Gabriel call her “full of grace” (verse 28).
Noting Mary’s unbreakable peace reminds us of the four “rules” for peace of soul advocated by Saint Leonard of Port Maurice (1676-1751), a Franciscan friar known for his preaching in defense of the Immaculate Conception.
1. To be attached only to God.
2. To surrender to Divine Providence.
3. To welcome suffering and hardship.
4. To undertake only that which our situation in life demands.
Mary’s soul was remarkable for its peace. She trusted that God would protect her and help her to do what was necessary.
Our Lady was “troubled,” given her incredible humility, but was not “troubled” due to sin and a lack of peace.
In this period of turmoil all over the globe, what a good example Mary is for us who flirt with sin and often give in, which always leads to inner unrest. Her fidelity to her Divine Son is the balm that every soul would well imitate.

Mary's Name as Precious Ointment: The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Thursday, September 8, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Your Name, O Mary, is a precious ointment, which breathes forth the odor of divine grace. Let this ointment of salvation enter the inmost recesses of our souls."

--Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor (circa 340-397)

Our Lady's Missionaries of Mercy: Sunday, August 28, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. The following was submitted and published by the Catholic Herald.

Last summer, I saw a notice in the Catholic press about the desire of Pope Francis to commission priests, possessing the approval of their bishop or superior, from dioceses and institutes as “Missionaries of Mercy” who would become visible signs and instruments of mercy during the Holy Year of Mercy.

When I asked my Bishop what he thought, he gave his endorsement to my application to Archbishop Rino Fisichella, the President of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, the Vatican dicastery assigned by the Holy Father to prepare for the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy.

A few months later, I heard from Archbishop Fisichella that I had been chosen.

The Holy Year of Mercy began on December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, and ends on November 20th, the Solemnity of Christ the King. Its inspiration is the imperative of Jesus, “Be merciful, even as Your Father is merciful” (St Luke 6:36).

On February 9th, the Missionaries of Mercy attended an audience with Pope Francis in the Sala Regia of the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City. He challenged me and over 720 priests present of the approximately 1,200 Missionaries of Mercy: “Being a Missionary of Mercy is a responsibility that is entrusted to you, because it calls you to testify firsthand to the closeness of God and to His way of loving. Not our way, which is always limited and sometimes contradictory, but His way of loving, His way of forgiving, which is truly mercy.”

The next day, Ash Wednesday, the Holy Father, who had commissioned us by decree, offered these words to us. “Dear brothers, may you help to open the doors of hearts, to overcome shame, not to avoid the light. May your hands bless and lift up brothers and sisters with paternity; through you may the gaze and the hands of God rest on His children and heal them of their wounds!”

Pope Francis asked us to make ourselves available to hear Confessions and preach on the theme of mercy throughout the Holy Year, especially during Lent.

He also granted to the Missionaries of Mercy the faculty to remit, for the duration of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, the penalty of automatic excommunication, reserved to the Holy See, attached to the following four canonical delicts: profaning the Most Blessed Sacrament by taking It or retaining It for a sacrilegious purpose; use of physical force against the Roman Pontiff; absolution of an accomplice in a sin against the Sixth Commandment; direct violation against the sacramental seal by a confessor. (For a useful discussion of the difference between a sin and a delict, see Ed Condon, “Before calling someone a ‘heretic’, you might want to check canon law” in Catholic Herald, posted on 6 May 2016.)

During the three months after I was commissioned, I have found great interest among practicing Catholics about my presence as a Missionary of Mercy and, above all, what it stands for: another opportunity to reflect on and be grateful for God’s incredible gift of mercy and our subsequent obligation to be merciful to our neighbours.

Since Ash Wednesday, I have traveled to parishes, a Marian shrine and a retreat centre, both within and outside of my diocese, to offer Holy Mass, preach, hear Confessions and present conferences and days of recollection. I have encouraged the fulfilling of the Corporal and the Spiritual Works of Mercy—veritable treasures in the life of the Church. And I have visited the sick and met with many people pining anew for the Lord’s unfailing mercy.

As a friend told me, I am to share the light that is Christ Jesus. And that realisation has positively coloured my appreciation for this unique privilege.

Isn’t this what all priests, deacons, consecrated persons and the laity are perpetually “commissioned” to do by virtue of the Sacrament of Baptism? Isn’t each of the baptized always to be a missionary of mercy?

Yes! Each of us is to proclaim boldly Jesus Christ as Lord. During this Holy Year, priests, who are appointed by Pope Francis as Missionaries of Mercy, forgive sins, even some normally reserved to the Holy See, and serve as “heralds of the joy of forgiveness” (Misericordiae Vultus, 18), inviting all to consider afresh within the context of the Jubilee the mercy of God and our sacred duty to dispense it freely.

The heavenly intercession of Mary, the Mother of Mercy, keeps me aware of her Son’s words: “You received without pay, give without pay” (Mt 10:8). Being a Missionary of Mercy is not a personal honour. Rather, by calling attention again to God’s mercy, it is another way to serve Christ and all peoples. 

Adoring God for Mary's Mission: Wednesday, August 17, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J."I adore You, our Father in heaven, for You gave Your only begotten Son to the pure womb of Mary. I adore You, Son of God, for You were born of the Immaculate; You really became her Son. I adore you, Holy Spirit, for in the womb of Mary You shaped the body of Your divine Son. I adore You, most holy Trinity, one in threefold God, since You honored the Immaculate one so divinely."

--Saint Maximilian Mary Kolbe (1895-1941)

Surpassing All But God: Saturday, August 13, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

"It was only fitting that the Virgin to whose care God the Father was pleased to confide His only Son should shine with a dazzling purity surpassing all but that of God Himself."

--Saint Anselm (+1109)

Being More Like Our Lady: First Friday, August 5, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Let us ask Our Lady to be with us. Let us ask her to give us her Heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate--her Heart so full of love and humility that we may be able to receive Jesus as the Bread of Life, that we may love Him as she loved Him and serve Him in the distressing disguise of the poor."

Blessed Mary Teresa of Calcutta (1910-1997)

"The Motherhood of the Mother of God": Tuesday, July 19, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Motherhood has been introduced into the order of the covenant that God made with humanity in Jesus Christ. Each and every time that motherhood is repeated in human history, it is always related to the covenant which God established with the human race through the Motherhood of the Mother of God."

--Saint John Paul ll (1978-2005)

Jesus and Mary--The Models for Our Prayer: Friday, July 15, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. With so much to be thankful for and so much unrest in our world, our prayer has a rich texture of both gratitude and supplication. 

Faith, family, friends, health, . . . these and many more realities are often for what we thank God. Perhaps paradoxically, many times we petition Him for the same!

So, what we thank Jesus for is also what we need.

Take these gifts from the Lord and add a healthy number of intentions--peace, respect for human life, deeper love of Christ and His Church, those who are far from God, race relations, our Faithful Departed, sufficient food, clothing and shelter for all--and now we have a multilayered offering to God.

Jesus and Mary prayed. Their prayer reflected profound thanks to the Father and the concerns nearby and far.

May our prayer imitate that of the Son and His Mother.

"Mommy, Mommy!": Tuesday, July 12, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "The first reaction of a child in distress is to call out, 'Mommy, Mommy!' The word 'Mommy' means everything to a child. In the same way, you should frequently call on Mary: 'Mother, Mother! I love you. I put my trust in you. You are my all.'"

--Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan (1928-2002)

Blessed Mary and the Most Blessed Sacrament: Monday, July 11, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. O Virgin Immaculate, after having been present at the death of thy Divine Son on Calvary, where thou didst unite thy immense sorrow to the Redeemer's Sacrifice, thou didst frequently assist at the real, though mysterious, renewal of the adorable Sacrifice in the celebration of the Holy Mass.

Teach us to esteem the divine action performed at the Altar and to make Holy Communion the center of our life; obtain for us the grace to be able often, and even daily, to assist piously at the Holy Sacrifice.
O Virgin Immaculate, who, after the Ascension of thy Divine Son, didst console thy exile on earth by the Real Presence of Jesus in the Sacrament, and didst spend hours daily before the Tabernacle. With the most lively faith and the most profound respect thou didst adore Jesus hidden under the sacramental veils.

Make us comprehend the treasure we possess on the Altar and inspire us to visit often the God of Love in the Sacrament in which He abides.

"A Collection of Prayers" www.therealpresence.org

Devotion to Mary: Sunday, July 10, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "Devotion to Mary must be the prominent characteristic of our religion. Jesus is obscured because Mary is kept in the background. Thousands of souls perish because Mary is withheld from them. It is the miserable. unworthy shadow which we call our devotion to the Blessed Virgin that is the cause of all our wants and blights. It is at the root of our decline! If Mary were but known (and loved) (added) how much happier, how much  holier, how much less worldly we would be and how much more we would be living images of Our Lord and Savior, her dearest and most Blessed Son!" (Father F.W. Faber, November 21, 1862)

Two Great Prayers to Our Blessed Lady: Saturday, July 9, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)


Cardinal Newman's Prayer for a Priest to pray 
before offering Holy Mass

O Holy Mother, stand by me now at Mass time, when Christ comes to me,
as thou didst minister to Thy infant Lord –
as Thou didst hang upon His words when He grew up,
as Thou wast found under His cross.
Stand by me, Holy Mother,
that I may gain somewhat of thy purity, thy innocence, thy faith,
and He may be the one object of my love and my adoration,
as He was of thine.

Thanksgiving Prayer to Our Lady

by Saint Augustine of Hippo

O Blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily give you the just dues of praise and thanksgiving, you who by the wondrous assent of your will rescued a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in your honor, since it is by your intervention alone that it has found the way to restoration?

Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have to offer here, though they be unequal to your merit; and, receiving our vows, obtain by your prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience and bring forth the gift of our reconciliation.

Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for you are the sole hope of sinners. Holy Mary, help the miserable, strengthen the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for your people, plead for the Clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God.

Be ever ready to assist us when we pray and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it your continual care to pray for the People of God, you who, blessed by God, merited to bear the Redeemer of the world who lives and reigns, world without end. Amen.

"O Beautiful Flower of Carmel": Friday, July 8, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. "O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist me in my necessities. O Star of the Sea, help me and protect me. Show me that you are my Mother!"

--Saint Simon Stock (circa 1165-1265)