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HOW, IN THE ROSARY, WE ARE FORMED INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS

HOW, IN THE ROSARY, WE ARE FORMED INTO THE IMAGE OF JESUS

(To learn how to pray the Holy Rosary, please click here: How to meditate on Our Lord Jesus’_life / the Gospels with the Rosary  )

To know, love and imitate Our Lord Jesus Christ – such is the principle of Christian life, the secret of perfection. True perfection consists formally in the love which unites us to Jesus, but as one cannot love without acquaintance, and affectionate acquaintance engenders imitation – one is anxious to resemble those whom one loves – it follows that the imitation, as well as the knowledge of Our Lord Jesus Christ, form, as it were, the integral parts of that perfection, the essence of which is love.

The Rosary is the school where Mary trains us daily in the Christian life. There, not only does this divine Mother fill our understanding with the knowledge of Jesus and our hearts with love of Him, but she completes her work by imprinting on us, by imitation, the image of Him who is the First-born of all the elect. To this last point I would particularly direct your attention.

Our Lord Jesus Christ is the First-born of all the elect.

Created as we are to the image of God, we feel the need of perfecting with us this divine image, of drawing out all its splendour, by imitating more and more closely our sovereign model. In the beginning, the angel and the man, intoxicated with foolish pride, wished to push the divine resemblance beyond all limits, even to the extent of absolute independence, which is the attribute of God alone. Avenging His slighted rights, God struck down Lucifer, and severely punished the first man. The punishment of the latter, however, was not untempered with mercy. God raised Adam and Eve anew, and once more showing Heaven to them, revealed to their eyes through the distance of ages One whose imperfect image they were henceforth to bear, till they at length resumed His glory.

Jesus Christ, the perfect image of God the Father, appears at the centre of the new creation as the finished model which we all must copy, which we must all resemble if we are to be counted among the children of God. To the Blessed Virgin, who formed this divine exemplar, is allotted the task of reproducing His likeness in each one of the elect. The Rosary is the mould into which she casts souls, to form them to the divine image; or let us say, rather, that with the Rosary, as with a chosen instrument, this admirable artist sculptures, paints, and imprints the image of her Son. She sculptures it in the neophytes, paints it in souls more advanced, and imprints it in hearts which are responsive to the lightest touch of grace.

The purgative, illuminative and unitive life 

Spiritual authors tell us that in the work of perfecting us, and forming us in the likeness of Jesus Christ, it is necessary, first, to take away, like the sculptors, then to add, like the painters, and finally to apply and unite closely, like the printers.

The purgative life

In the purgative life, in which the soul divests itself of its vices and bad habits, it is necessary above all to cut away. In the Rosary, therefore, Mary sculptures certain souls, refining them by the practice of poverty, of mortification, of ever increasing detachment. In the joyful mysteries, she takes from us the love of earthly treasures by showing us Jesus poor and shelterless; in the sorrowful, she destroys our love of ease, our desire for pleasure, by opposing to our sensuality the terrible sufferings of our Saviour; in the glorious mysteries, she severs the last ties which bind us to earth, elevating our hearts by the spectacle of Jesus ascending into heaven.

As the sculptor first rounds off a block of marble, then gradually outlines the statue, and finally completes it with little touches of the chisel, so the Blessed Virgin, after the sinful habits, removes the small defects, even to the last lingering imperfections of a soul which generously penitent abandons itself entirely to her.

The illuminative life

In the illuminative life, in which the soul devotes itself particularly to progress in virtue, Mary resembles the painter who adds colour to colour, mixing and blending them suitably, in order to produce an accurate and life-like portrait. When the soul, purified of its faults, presents, as it were, a spotless surface, the immaculate Virgin complacently deposits on this stainless background the colours of all the virtues, spreading perpetually a new layer of grace; and the Rosary is the rich palette from which she draws the tints which contribute to the perfection of the image, which she wishes to produce. Under the brush of this incomparable artist the dazzling whiteness of faith, the celestial radiations of hope, the soft crimson of charity, the shades and reflections of all the virtues mingle on the countenance of the soul, formerly gloomy and darkened, and stamp upon it the supernatural expression which distinguishes the children of God.

Ah! could we, by a life of piety and habitual recollection, by frequent meditation on the mysteries of the Rosary, keep our soul always ready, spread forth to its utmost limit, like a precious canvas, on which Mary might exercise her divine art by completing in us the image of her Son!

The unitive life

In all cases there is no better way to obtain a perfect resemblance in a short time than to reproduce the model itself by applying it to the surface on which it is to be represented. The image shows itself immediately, distinguished by an accuracy far greater than could be obtained by endless touches of the brush.

When a soul has arrived at the punitive life, that is, at such a degree of love for God as excludes all return to self, and justifies the words of the great apostle: “It is no longer I who live, but Jesus Christ who lives in me” – then Mary imprints Jesus in this soul, as on soft, pure wax. In a moment the celestial image appears, no longer merely in outline; it is reflected each day more faithfully in the affections, in the desires, in every act. Pone me ut signaculum super cor tuum, ut signaculum super brachium tuum. Jesus is set like a seal on the heart and on the arm, in the intention and in the deed.

The contemplative soul, closely united to God by love, receives, in passing through the mysteries of the Rosary, the impression of this divine seal. Mary herself applies it, and, according to the mystery, she reproduces Jesus humble, gentle, obedient, Jesus in His wisdom, power, goodness and infinite grace; or again, as in those modern portraits which light produces with such exactitude, Mary, admirable light emanating from the Sun of Justice, transmits in perfection the features of the divine model, imprinting them with the utmost fidelity to the depths of the heart.

An imperishable resemblance to the Father who is in heaven

Who then, faithful to this Rosary, would not allow himself to be worked upon by Her who knows so well how to mould a soul, how to paint and imprint Jesus on it? Let us dispose ourselves daily by a life of mortification, of recollection and intimate union with God, to aid Mary in her admirable work, unquestionably more admirable than all the works of nature, for the material creation even in its most beautiful manifestations, offers only a distant reflection of God, while the soul devoted to the Rosary, closely united to Christ, bears an imperishable resemblance to the Father who is in Heaven.

– Laverty & Sons, 1905

 

 

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FOR YOUR DIARY: ROSARY PROCESSION, LONDON

FOR YOUR DIARY: ROSARY PROCESSION, LONDON

ROSARY PROCESSION from St George’s Cathedral Southwark to Sacred Heart Church Camberwell

Please join us in procession to pray the Rosary in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday 7th May 2016 @ 2pm.

The procession will begin at St George’s Cathedral Lambeth Road, London, SE1 7HY – through Walworth Road and conclude at Sacred Heart Church Camberwell, London SE5 9QS.

  • 20 Decades of the Rosary with the Litany of the BVM
  • Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary
  • Solemn Benediction

Tea and coffee will be served in the church hall.

“The Rosary is a powerful armour against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresy” (Our Lady to St Dominic)

 

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2016 in For your diary

 

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“BLESSED INDEED IS MARY” – THOUGHTS ON THE ASSUMPTION

“Today we celebrate the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today’s Solemnity celebrates the truth that the Blessed Virgin Mary, when she had completed her life here on earth, was in body and soul assumed into heaven. This solemnity has been celebrated in the Church since the seventh century and this truth was defined as an article of faith in 1950.

St Bernard of Clairvaux wrote of today, ‘We in our exile have sent on ahead of us our advocate who, as mother of our Judge and mother of mercy, will humbly and effectively look after everything that concerns our salvation. Today earth has sent a priceless gift up to heaven, so that by giving and receiving within the blessed bond of friendship, the human is wedded to the divine, earth to heaven, the depths to the heights… Blessed indeed is Mary, blessed in many ways, both in receiving the Saviour, and in being received by the Saviour.’

A French mystic writer of the seventeenth century wrote, ‘There is nothing more wonderful than this life of Jesus and Mary; the holy life that he pours continuously into her, the divine life with which he animates her, loving and praising and adoring God his Father in her, giving a worthy supplement to her heart wherein he abounds with pleasure.’

We are reminded so often that Jesus loves it when people give honour to His Mother. Today we continue our prayers to Mary and honour her in the great privilege that has been afforded her today. We can make our own the opening prayer of today’s Mass:

‘Almighty ever-living God,

who assumed the Immaculate Virgin Mary,

the Mother of your Son,

body and soul into heavenly glory,

grant we pray,

that, always attentive to the things that are above,

we may merit to be sharers of her glory.'”

– From: Spiritual Thought from Fr Chris/2015

 

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YE WHO OWN THE FAITH OF JESUS (HYMN)

Ye who own the faith of Jesus

Sing the wonders that were done,

When the love of God the Father

O’er our sin the victory won,

When he made the Virgin Mary

Mother of his only Son.

Hail Mary, full of grace.

 

Bless-ed were the chosen people

Out of whom the Lord did come,

Bless-ed was the land of promise

Fashioned for his earthly home;

But more bless-ed far the Mother

She who bare him in her womb.

 

Wherefore let all faithful people

Tell the honour of her name,

Let the Church in her foreshadowed

Part in her thanksgiving claim;

What Christ’s Mother sang in gladness

Let Christ’s people sing the same.

 

Let us weave our supplications,

She with us and we with her,

For the advancement of the faithful,

For each faithful worshipper,

for the doubting, for the sinful,

For each heedless wanderer.

 

May the Mother’s intercessions

On our homes a blessing win,

That the children all be prospered,

Strong and fair and pure within,

Following our Lord’s own footsteps,

Firm in faith and free from sin.

 

 

For the sick and for the ag-ed,

For our dear ones far away,

For the hearts that mourn in secret,

All who need our prayers to-day,

For the faithful gone before us,

May the holy Virgin pray.

 

Praise, O Mary, praise the Fat her,

Praise thy Saviour and thy Son,

Praise the everlasting Spirit,

Who hath made thee ark and throne;

O’er all creatures high exalted,

Lowly praise the Three in One. Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2015 in Prayers to Our Lady

 

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A PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN FOR HOLY COMMUNION

O most Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of gentleness and mercy, I, a miserable and unworthy sinner, fly to thy protection with every sentiment of humility and love; and I implore of thy loving-kindness that thou wouldst vouchsafe graciously to be near me, and all who throughout the whole Church are to receive the Body and Blood of thy Son this day, even as thou wert near thy sweetest Son as He hung bleeding on the Cross. That, aided by thy gracious help, we may worthily offer up a pure and acceptable sacrifice in the sight of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. Amen.

 

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HOW EASY IT IS TO PRAY!

“In truth, what is required in order to pray, and consequently to persevere in the grace of God during our whole lives, till the hour of death, and thus arrive at the blessed port of salvation?

Taking ourselves for what we really are

All that is required is to take ourselves for what we really are, that is, for poor beggars, and to conduct ourselves as such at God’s gates, our lips open in prayer, our hands stretched out towards His mercy, crying out unceasingly, imploring the aid of Heaven: ‘My Jesus, mercy! Do not permit that I should have the misfortune to separate myself from You.’ ‘Lord, assist me!’ ‘My God, help me!’ Here is the favourite prayer of the Fathers of the desert, which they recited constantly: ‘O God, come to my aid! Hasten, Lord, hasten to succour me! If You delay, I shall succumb, and shall be lost.’ We should do the same in our temptations. To act otherwise is our ruin.

O God, come to my assistance. Lord, make haste to help me.

But, while addressing ourselves to the Lord, we should remember to recommend ourselves also to the dispenser of graces, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Undoubtedly, it is God alone Who grants us graces, but it is through Mary’s hands that He gives them to us. ‘Let us seek for grace,’ says Saint Bernard, ‘and let us seek it through Mary,’ for her petitions to God are always successful; so that if the Blessed Virgin intercedes in our favour we may be satisfied that we shall be heard.”

– Laverty & Sons (eds), 1905

 

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LEARN TO PRAY THE ROSARY

The devotion of the holy Rosary is a summary of Christian faith in language and prayers inspired by the Bible. While praying the prayers in the order outlined below (which quickly becomes ‘second nature’), we meditate on Bible passages and events (mysteries). The Rosary is therefore, among many other things, a Gospel you can ‘read’ everywhere, without having to carry books, and on travels or whilst you walk or have to wait somewhere, as well as in the dark or if you are unable to see or read well. Wherever the Rosary is prayed, it brings countless blessings on the place, and on everyone else around as well as on the people in Communion with the Church worldwide living on earth now and those who lived on earth in the past who have passed on and for the future.

HOW TO SAY THE ROSARY

You use Rosary beads, if you haven’t got any yet, one can count on one’s ten fingers. The following might seem complicated, but once you want to pray the Rosary for the glory of God and for your own sanctification you will get heavenly assistance to learn the sequence and all the prayers within a relatively short time.

• The sign of the cross is made with the crucifix (“In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”)
• Holding the crucifix, recite the Apostles’ Creed
• On the 1st bead, say 1 Our Father.
• On the next 3 beads, say one Hail Mary each (for faith, hope and charity)
• On the next bead say 1 Glory be.
• Before you reach the first decade (i.e. a set of a large Our Father bead plus 10 small Hail Mary beads) say the Fatima prayer.
• Now announce the first mystery and visualise it while you pray 1 Our Father on the large bead and 10 times the Hail Mary, one Hail Mary for each bead. You might start with visualising an image depicting the mystery, and with more practice the scripture passages will accompany it in your mind, and the icons will come ‘to life’, revealing truths regarding those Bible readings hitherto unknown to you to your heart, mind and soul, which will profoundly deepen your relationship with God and how you live the Gospel inwardly which only God and you know, and outwardly in dealing with situations and fellow people. Mother Mary helps us with that by her company, prayers and love, because she does want no credit for herself, but her one and only constant concern is that people love her Son Jesus.
• After the 10 Hail Mary pray 1 Glory be and 1 Fatima prayer.
• Proceed with the next mystery in the same order.
• After praying 5 mysteries, say the Hail Holy Queen.

THE PRAYERS OF THE ROSARY

• THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord; Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; on the third day He arose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

• THE OUR FATHER (THE LORD’S PRAYER)

Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

• THE HAIL MARY

Hail, Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at at the hour of our death. Amen.

• THE GLORY BE

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be. World without end. Amen.

• THE FATIMA PRAYER

O my Jesus, forgive us our sins; save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.

• THE HAIL, HOLY QUEEN

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope! To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve! To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this vale of tears! Turn then, most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us; and after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

THE MYSTERIES OF THE HOLY ROSARY

• THE JOYFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Mondays and Saturdays, and Sundays from Advent until Lent.)

1. THE ANNUNCIATION
(Lk 1:26-38; Isa 7:10-15) Mary, you received with deep humility the news of the Angel Gabriel that you were to be the Mother of God’s Son; obtain for me a similar HUMILITY.

2. THE VISITATION
(Lk 1:39-56) Mary, you showed true charity in visiting Elizabeth and remaining with her for three months before the birth of John the Baptist; obtain for me the grace to LOVE MY NEIGHBOUR.

3. THE BIRTH OF JESUS
(Lk 2:1-14; Mt 2:1-12; Gal 4:1-7) Jesus, You accepted poverty when You were placed in the manger although You were our God; grant that I may have the SPIRIT OF POVERTY (detachment from worldly goods).

4. THE PRESENTATION IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:22-40) Mary, you obeyed the law of God in presenting the Child Jesus in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of OBEDIENCE.

5. THE FINDING IN THE TEMPLE
(Lk 2:42-52) Mary, you were sad at the loss of Jesus and joyous on finding Him surrounded by teachers in the Temple; obtain for me the virtue of PIETY.

• THE LUMINOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Thursdays except during Lent)

1. CHRIST’S BAPTISM IN THE JORDAN
(Mt 3:13-17; Isa 42:1-2, 4-5) Jesus, at Your Baptism the Father called You His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit came upon You to invest You with Your mission; help me to KEEP MY BAPTISMAL PROMISES.

2. CHRIST’S SELF-MANIFESTATION AT CANA
(Jn 2:1-11) Mary, the first among believers in Christ, upon your intercession your Son changed water into wine and brought the disciples to faith; help me to DO WHATEVER JESUS SAYS.

3. CHRIST’S PROCLAMATION OF THE KINGDOM
(Mk 1:14-15; Mt 5:1-12) Jesus, You preached the Kingdom of God with its call to forgiveness, inaugurating the ministry of mercy; help me to SEEK FORGIVENESS FOR MY SINS.

4. THE TRANSFIGURATION OF OUR LORD
(Mt 17:1-8; Mk 9:2-8; Lk 9:28-36) Jesus, the glory of the Godhead shone forth from Your face as the Father commanded the Apostles to be transfigured by the Spirit; help me to BE A NEW PERSON IN YOU.

5. CHRIST’S INSTITUTION OF THE EUCHARIST (LAST SUPPER)
(Mt 26:26-30; 1 Cor 11:23-25) Jesus, at the Last Supper, You offered Your Body and Blood as food under the signs of bread and wine and testified Your love for humanity; help me to attain ACTIVE PARTICIPATION AT MASS.

• THE FIVE SORROWFUL MYSTERIES
(Said on Tuesdays and Fridays throughout the year, and daily from Ash Wednesday until Easter Sunday)

1. THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN
(Mt 26:36-40) Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, You suffered a bitter agony because of our sins; grant me TRUE CONTRITION (being really sorry for my sins for love of You, and being earnestly resolved not to commit those sins again).

2. THE SCOURGING AT THE PILLAR
(Mt 27:26) Jesus, You endured a cruel scourging and Your flesh was torn by heavy blows; help me to have the virtue of PURITY.

3. THE CROWNING WITH THORNS
(Mt 27:27-31) Jesus, You patiently endured the pain from the crown of sharp thorns that was forced upon Your head; grant me the strength to have MORAL COURAGE.

4. THE CARRYING OF THE CROSS
(Mt 27:32) Jesus, You willingly carried Your Cross for love of Your Father and all people; grant me the virtue of PATIENCE.

5. THE CRUCIFIXION
(Mt 27:33-35; Jn 19:31-37) Jesus, for love of me You endured three hours of torture on the Cross and gave up Your Spirit; grant me the grace of FINAL PERSEVERANCE (being faithful to You during life and at the hour of physical death.)

• THE FIVE GLORIOUS MYSTERIES
(Said on Wednesdays except during Lent, and on Sundays from Easter until Advent)

1. THE RESURRECTION
(Mk 16:1-7; Jn 20:19-31) Jesus, You rose from the dead in triumph and remained for forty days with Your disciples, instructing and encouraging them; increase my FAITH.

2. THE ASCENSION
(Mk 16:14-20; Acts 1:1-11) Jesus, in the presence of Mary and the disciples You ascended to heaven to sit at the Father’s right hand; increase in me the virtue of HOPE.

3. THE DESCENT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
(Jn 14:23-31; Acts 2:w-11) Jesus, as You promised, You sent the Holy Spirit upon Mary and the disciples under the form of tongues of fire; increase my LOVE FOR GOD AND HIS CHURCH.

4. THE ASSUMPTION
(Lk 1:41-50; Ps 45; Gen 3:15) Mary, by the power of God you were assumed into heaven and united with your Divine Son; help me to have TRUE DEVOTION to you.

5. THE CROWNING OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN
(Rev 12:1; Jud 13:18-20; 15:9-10) Mary, you were crowned Queen of heaven by your Divine Son to the great joy of all the Saints; obtain for me ETERNAL HAPPINESS.

• PRAYER AFTER THE ROSARY

O God, Whose only-begotten Son, by His Life, Death, and Resurrection, has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life: grant, we beseech You, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise, through the same Christ our Lord.

 
 

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