"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)

A Few Memories of Mother Teresa, Who Was Totally Consecrated to Mary: Thursday, July 7, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. I met Mother Teresa several times when I was studying Canon Law in Rome from 1992 until 1994, having been assigned by the Most Reverend Paul V. Dudley, D.D.

I was asked to celebrate Mass, hear Confessions and teach classes to the Missionaries of Charity in several of their Convents throughout Rome (San Gregorio; Primavalle; Via Casilina; Dono di Maria).

Many of the American priests studying in Rome were asked to do the same.

Mother Teresa came to Rome to see her Sisters, be present for their Temporary and Perpetual Professions and have audiences with Pope John Paul II.

I remember that once she went to the Pontifical Gregorian University where I was a student and spoke to the students in the Hall there.

She spoke English as did all the Missionaries of Charity.

I celebrated Mass in her presence and distributed Holy Communion to her. She knelt and sat on the floor just as the other Sisters. She sought no privileges.

When the Laity heard that she would be present at the 6:30 a.m. Mass at the Convent at San Gregorio, they packed the small Chapel before 6:00 a.m. After Mass, Mother Teresa would hand each person a Miraculous Medal. She smiled but said little.

One day, I was asked to hear the Confessions of the Novices in the Convent at San Gregorio. When I was leaving, I noticed that Mother Teresa was in the hallway. No one else was around. She walked towards me and said, "Father, thank you for coming to hear the Confessions of our Sisters." Then, she took my hand and touched each finger as she said,: "Father, remember this: I will . . . I want . . . with God's help . . . be . . . holy. Father, never forget that."

Monsignor John J. McEneaney and Father Donald J. Kettler, in December of 1993, came to Rome after their sabbatical in the Holy Land. We met Mother Teresa one evening before Christmas. Monsignor Aloysius R. Callaghan, the current Rector of St. Paul Seminary, was also present.

I was present at her Beatification Mass on October 19, 2003 (Mission Sunday), celebrated by Pope John Paul II in Saint Peter's Square. She was beatified as "Mother Mary Teresa of Calcutta."

After her death, one of the Missionaries of Charity gave to me a Crucifix and Rosary that Mother Teresa had touched.

Wisdom from Mother Teresa, a True Daughter of Mary: Wednesday, July 6, 2016 (The Holy Year of Mercy)

J.M.J. I love Saint Maria Goretti, Virgin and Martyr, whose Feast is today. A true follower of Our Lady.

Another follower of Mary, who was a virgin and certainly a "white" martyr if not a "red" one, is Blessed Mary Teresa of Kolkata, whom Pope Francis will canonize on Sunday, September 4th in Rome.

A few welcome spiritual gems from this great servant of Jesus Christ.


“My prayer for each one of you is that you be only all for Jesus through Mary.”

“Mary, give me your Heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, your Heart so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor.”

“Mary, Mother of Jesus, be a Mother to me now. Mary, Mother of Jesus, help me to be pure and humble like you, because I want to be holy and pleasing to the Blessed Trinity as you were and are.” 

“Let us ask Our Lady to give us her Heart, so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate to love Jesus, that we may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and to love Him in the distressing disguise of the poor.” 

First Exhortation

“We must not be afraid to proclaim Christ’s love and love as He loved. In the work we have to do, it does not matter how small and humble it may be, make it Christ’s love in action. Rejoice that once more Christ is working through the world in you and through you going about doing good.”

“We read in the Scripture that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son. Our Lady received Him in her womb with a humble Heart, with a pure Heart, when she went in haste to give Jesus to others. She went into the house of Elizabeth just to be the Handmaid. She put her love for Jesus into action for others. This is what Jesus came to do, to love others as His Father loves. Mary taught us to serve, to love one another. Where does this love begin? At home! The family that prays together will stay together. Then if you stay together you will love each other as God loves each one of us. It is not necessary to do great things but instead little things with love. Mary went to Elizabeth’s house to do little things. We know how she went, and when she went the little one jumped with joy. John was chosen to recognize Jesus.”

Second Exhortation

“Try to be Jesus’ love, Jesus’ compassion, Jesus’ presence to each other and the Poor you serve. All this will be possible if you keep close to Mary the Mother of Jesus and our Mother. She will guide and protect you and keep you only all for Jesus.”

“Who is Jesus to me?”

Jesus is the Word made Flesh.

Jesus is the Bread of Life.

Jesus is the Victim offered for our sins on the Cross.

Jesus is the Sacrifice offered at the Holy Mass for the sins of the world and mine.

Jesus is the Word to be spoken.

Jesus is the Truth to be told.

Jesus is the Way to be walked.

Jesus is the Light to be lit.

Jesus is the Life to be lived.

Jesus is the Love to be loved.

Jesus is the Joy to be shared.

Jesus is the Sacrifice to be offered.

Jesus is the Peace to be given.

Jesus is the Bread of Life to be eaten.

Jesus is the Hungry to be fed.

Jesus is the Thirsty to be satiated.

Jesus is the Naked to be clothed.

Jesus is the Homeless to be taken in.

Jesus is the Sick to be healed.

Jesus is the Lonely to be loved.

Keep your eyes pure so that Jesus may look through them.

Keep your tongue pure so that Jesus may speak with your tongue.

Keep your hands pure so that Jesus may work with your hands.

Keep your mind pure so that Jesus may think His thoughts in your mind.

Keep your heart pure so that He may love with your heart.

Ask Jesus to live His own life in you because:

He is the Truth of humility,

He is the Light of Charity,

He is the Life of Sanctity.