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MATER DEI, MATER MEI – GOD’S MOTHER IS MY MOTHER

MATER DEI, MATER MEI – GOD’S MOTHER IS MY MOTHER

DO WE REALLY BELIEVE IT? 

Mary is our Mother. – Most of us realise this fact in a vague sort of way. We have heard it since we were old enough to remember. We have been accustomed to referring to Mary as our Blessed Mother.

Yet, do we really believe it? We have a mother who brought us into the world. Perhaps she is still living. If not, we probably have vivid memories of her. We can’t have two mothers, can we? Mary is our mother in a figurative sense, she is called our mother because she has taken such an interest in us.

That is the way many of us would express our thoughts on the matter if we should ever stop to analyse them.

This attitude, however, is not correct. We do have two mothers, a mother in the natural order and a mother in the supernatural order.

Mary is our mother in the supernatural order. She is really and truly our mother, just as much so as is our mother in the natural order.

MARY MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO RECEIVE SUPERNATURAL LIFE

A mother is one who gives life. Our earthly mother gave us our life in this world, our natural life. Mary has given us the life that elevates our life in this world and flowers in the next, our supernatural life.

After the sin of Adam, our souls were deprived of supernatural life. This life was restored through the Redemption of Christ and Baptism. Mary made it possible for us to receive this life. She did this at Nazareth, on Calvary and at our Baptism.

At Nazareth the angel Gabriel brought to Mary the most wonderful news that has ever been given to any human being. He told her that she had been chosen to be the Mother of God. Mary’s consent was needed, before the Incarnation could take place. She thought of us at that moment. By answering “No” she could have left us in death. By answering “Yes”she could give us life. She gave her consent and the Word was made Flesh. Our Redemption had been made possible.

ABOUT 34 YEARS LATER… 

About 34 years later Mary stood on the hill of Calvary beneath the cross on which her divine Son was giving His life for us. He was dying that we might be delivered from sin and death. Mary united her sacrifice with His. She thought of us, her children, at that moment. She bravely and generously offered her Son to the Father for our salvation. Never did any creature make such a sacrifice. And she did it for us. Mary, ever Virgin, experienced only joy when she brought Jesus into the world. When she gave us our spiritual birth, she underwent the most agonising sorrow.

Again at Baptism Mary gave us spiritual life. It was by her intercession that we had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of Baptism fruitfully .

LIFE WITHOUT END

Because of Mary, then, we can hope to enjoy the eternal happiness of heaven. She has given us our life in the next world. This “is not a passing life like your terrestrial one, but a life without end,” says Father Emil Neubert, S. M., in My Ideal-Jesus, Son of Mary. “Not a life full of imperfections and anguish like our present existence, but a life incomparably happy; not a created life, human or angelical, but – and understand it well – a participation in uncreated life, in the very life of God, the life of the Most Blessed Trinity. And that is why this life will be endless and incomparably happy, because it is a sharing in the eternity and in the beatitude of God.”

So the life that Mary has given us is much greater than the life we are now living. She is truly our spiritual mother.

EACH OF US CAN REPEAT THIS TREMENDOUS TRUTH

St Stanislaus Kostka used to repeat with great happiness, “Mater Dei, Mater mei” – “God’s Mother is my Mother.” Each of us can repeat this tremendous truth.

Mary’s Immaculate Heart was fashioned by her Creator so that God made Man could receive the perfect love of the perfect mother. Mary loves us with the same Immaculate Heart.

Because she loves us so much, she watches over us always. She guards the supernatural life which she has given us. If we should lose our supernatural life by falling into mortal sin, she can obtain for us the grace to recover it…

“God’s Mother is my Mother.” What a world of meaning in those words! What a depth of consolation and hope! If we but heed her pleas, if we but join our prayers with hers, we need have no fears.

From: “The Woman Shall Conquer” by Don Sharkey, Prow Books/Franciscan Marytown Press, Libertyville, IL, 1954

 

 

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CHRISTMAS – PRAYER BEFORE THE CRIB

CHRISTMAS – PRAYER BEFORE THE CRIB

I adore thee, O Word Incarnate, true Son of God from all eternity, and true Son of Mary ever Virgin in the fulness of time.

When I adore thy Divine Person, and the Humanity united to thy Divinity, I venerate the poor manger which welcomed thee when an Infant, and which was truly the throne of thy love.

I prostrate myself before it with the simplicity of the shepherds, with the faith of Joseph, with the love of Mary; I bow down in reverence before this precious memorial of our salvation with the same spirit of mortification, poverty and humility with which thou, the Lord of heaven and earth, didst choose a manger wherein to lay thy tender Infant limbs, and thou, O Lord, Who in thine Infancy didst deign to lay thyself in this manger: vouchsafe also to pour into my heart a drop of that joy to which the sight of thy lovely Childhood and the miracles which accompanied thy Birth, gave rise. By that holy Birth, I now implore thee to grant to all the world peace and good-will, and in the name of the whole human race I render thanks and honour to God the Father and to God the Holy Spirit, Who with thee liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end.

[Indulgence of 100 days. Pius IX, October 1st, 1861]

– St Anthony’s Treasury, 1916

 

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BRIGHT BUILDER OF THE HEAVENLY POLES (ADVENT HYMN)

BRIGHT BUILDER OF THE HEAVENLY POLES (ADVENT HYMN)

Bright Builder of the heavenly poles,

Eternal light of faithful souls,

Jesus, Redeemer of mankind,

Our humble prayers vouchsafe to mind:

 

Who, lest the fraud of hell’s mean king

Should all men to destruction bring,

Didst, by an act of generous love,

The fainting world’s physician prove.

 

Thou, that thou mightst our ransom pay

And wash the stains of sin away,

Didst from a Virgin’s womb proceed

And on the Cross a Victim bleed.

 

Thy glorious power, thy saving name

No sooner any voice can frame,

but heaven and earth and hell agree

To honour them with trembling knee.

 

Thee, Christ, who at the latter day

Shalt be our Judge, we humbly pray

Such arms of heavenly grace to send

As may thy Church from foes defend.

 

Be glory given and honour done

To God the Father and the Son

And to the Holy Spirit on high,

From age to age eternally.

Amen.

 

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

GOD, OMNIPOTENT AND MERCIFUL (HOMILY BY ST LEO, POPE)

God, omnipotent and merciful, whose nature is goodness, whose will is power, whose work is mercy, foretold at the very beginning of the world, as soon as the devil’s malice had poisoned us with the venom of his envy, what were the remedies his compassion had foreordained for our healing. He bade the serpent know that there was to be a Child of the Woman, who should effectually crush the pride of his injurious head, signifying Christ to come in the flesh, that is, God and man, born of the Virgin, who should condemn by his undefiled birth the seducer of the human race.

CHRIST IN THE FLESH; GOD AND MAN, BORN OF THE VIRGIN 

The devil rejoiced that he had so deceived man by his artifices as to make him lose the gifts of God, that he had stripped him of the privilege of immortality, had brought him under the hard sentence of death, and that he himself had found some sort of solace in his unhappiness, in that he had found a comrade in guilt. He thought also to bring it to pass that God, by a justly earned severity, should change his feelings towards man whom he had created in such honour. There was need, beloved brethren, that God who is unchangeable, whose will and loving-kindness are inseparable, should fulfil his original purpose of goodness by a mysterious dispensation, so that man, driven into crime by the wicked craft of the devil, should not perish and frustrate the plan of God.

MAN, DRIVEN INTO CRIME BY THE DEVIL, SHOULD NOT PERISH

When, therefore, beloved brethren, the fulness of time appointed for man’s redemption was come, our Lord Jesus Christ entered this lower world. He came down from his throne in heaven without withdrawing from the glory which he has equal with the Father, and was born by a new order, by a new birth: a new order because he who is invisible in his own nature became visible in ours; he who is incomprehensible, willed to be comprehended; he who existed before all time, began to live in time; the Lord of the universe veiled the dignity of his majesty, and assumed the form of a servant; the impassible God did not disdain to become man capable of suffering, nor the immortal God to lay himself under the laws of death.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 

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ADVENT REFLECTION

ADVENT REFLECTION

ADVENT – REFLECTING ON THE NEED I HAVE FOR CHRIST TO COMPLETE IN ME THE WORK BEGUN LONG AGO

“… The beauty of Christmas unlike, say, Thanksgiving, is not grounded in a celebration of human achievement successfully concluded. It does not stem from the beauty of human nature. It is, rather, a reminder that human beauty and virtues have their origins in the divinity of the Incarnate Christ. We are celebrating not simply the fact that Christ aspired to become a man like us; we are celebrating the fact that in becoming Man Christ wished to raise our humanity to his immortal nature. The perfection and beauty of the Christ Child is that of God-with-Us, not of some idealised version of what I was in childhood.

THE PREPARATION FOR A MORE INTENSE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST

To want to celebrate Christ’s birth then, for the Christian should theoretically be inseparable from a period of preparation in which I reflect on the need I have for Christ to come now, and to complete in me the work begun long ago – not just when he was born, but before time itself existed, when I was chosen in him, when his ‘Incarnate form’ became the possibility of my existence, the pattern of my humanity and the promise of my happiness. I need to become aware of the ever increasing urgency of the task of modelling my own life, my own sense of what makes for happiness on his own, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The preparation cannot be just for a season of mirth; it must be for a more intense encounter with Christ through the medium of his historical Incarnation, which is an outward, visible sign of a divine reality which is the real reason for celebration. Without an explicit awareness of this Christological heart, as suggested by the very name Christmas, the outward, visible signs of celebration are Pagan and hollow.

ACKNOWLEDGING HIS ETERNAL DESIRE TO BECOME GOD-WITH-US

It is the Church as the Bride of Christ, who shows us how to share in such intimacy with Christ that the Spirit will be able to act in the depths of our souls to reproduce the pattern of Christ’s humanity in us. This presence of Christ, she reminds us, is dynamic. We should be celebrating it not merely as the recollection of a past occurrence, but as the possibility of Christ being born in our own time and milieu, in our own heart through faith, in prayer and sacrament, as we acknowledge his eternal desire to become God-With-Us. To bring us into this intimacy of likeness to Christ, the Church has given us Advent, not an anticipated Christmas.

A MAJOR MYSTERY OF FAITH

Not until December 17 does the liturgy focus on the birthday of the Child. If we do so, we are neglecting a major mystery of our faith, the truth that Christ will come again, that Christ will return in majesty to take us fully to himself. He has told us in no uncertain terms that he expects to find us watching, not just keeping up appearances.”
– From “Diary of a City Priest” by Pstor Iuventus, available from Amazon. This excerpt was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue December 6 2013.

 

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A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE CHRISTMAS NOVENA

A SIMPLE AND EFFECTIVE CHRISTMAS NOVENA

Christmas Novena

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires (mention your request here).
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen.

 

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CHRISTMAS: PRAYER TO BEGIN A NEW LIFE

CHRISTMAS: PRAYER TO BEGIN A NEW LIFE

O Lord,

we desire to live the birth of Your Son

in all its truth and riches.

We want to welcome the God who comes

to pitch His tent among us.

We wish to give thanks for so great a gift

and to begin a new life –

the life that You bestow on us

for our true happiness.

 

Help us to throw off all fear,

all laziness,

and all infidelity.

Everything is possible for us now,

since Jesus is born with and for us.

Amen.

 

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ADVENT PRAYER OF THE GREAT “O” ANTIPHONS

ADVENT PRAYER OF THE GREAT “O” ANTIPHONS

O Wisdom,

holy Word of God,

You rule all creation with power and true concern.

Come to teach us the way of salvation.

 

O sacred Lord,

and Leader of ancient Israel,

You communicated with Moses at the burning bush

and gave him the law on Mount Sinai.

Come to set us free by Your mighty arm.

 

O Root of Jesse,

raised up as a sign of all peoples,

in Your presence kings become mute

and the nations worship before You.

Come to deliver us and do not delay.

 

O Key of David,

and Royal Power of Israel,

You open what no one can shut,

and You shut what no one can open.

Come and deliver Your people

imprisoned by darkness and the shadows of death.

 

O Radiant Dawn,

You are the Brightness of eternal light

and the Sun of justice.

Come to enlighten those who sit in darkness

and in the shadow of death.

 

O King of the Gentiles

and the longed-for Ruler of the nations,

You are the cornerstone Who make all one.

Come and save those whom You have created.

 

O Emmanuel,

our King and our Lawgiver,

You are the Desired of the nations

and the Saviour of all people.

Come to save us, O Lord our God.

 

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A “CHRISTMAS” WHICH IS BEING CELEBRATED FROM NOVEMBER ONWARDS HAS CEASED TO BE CHRISTMAS

ADVENT – REFLECTING ON THE NEED I HAVE FOR CHRIST TO COMPLETE IN ME THE WORK BEGUN LONG AGO

A “CHRISTMAS” WHICH IS BEING CELEBRATED FROM NOVEMBER ONWARDS HAS CEASED TO BE CHRISTMAS

“… The beauty of Christmas unlike, say, Thanksgiving, is not grounded in a celebration of human achievement successfully concluded. It does not stem from the beauty of human nature. It is, rather, a reminder that human beauty and virtues have their origins in the divinity of the Incarnate Christ. We are celebrating not simply the fact that Christ aspired to become a man like us; we are celebrating the fact that in becoming Man Christ wished to raise our humanity to his immortal nature. The perfection and beauty of the Christ Child is that of God-with-Us, not of some idealised version of what I was in childhood.

 

THE PREPARATION FOR A MORE INTENSE ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST

 

To want to celebrate Christ’s birth then, for the Christian should theoretically be inseparable from a period of preparation in which I reflect on the need I have for Christ to come now, and to complete in me the work begun long ago – not just when he was born, but before time itself existed, when I was chosen in him, when his ‘Incarnate form’ became the possibility of my existence, the pattern of my humanity and the promise of my happiness. I need to become aware of the ever increasing urgency of the task of modelling my own life, my own sense of what makes for happiness on his own, through the grace of the Holy Spirit. The preparation cannot be just for a season of mirth; it must be for a more intense encounter with Christ through the medium of his historical Incarnation, which is an outward, visible sign of a divine reality which is the real reason for celebration. Without an explicit awareness of this Christological heart, as suggested by the very name Christmas, the outward, visible signs of celebration are Pagan and hollow.

 

ACKNOWLEDGING HIS ETERNAL DESIRE TO BECOME GOD-WITH-US

 

It is the Church as the Bride of Christ, who shows us how to share in such intimacy with Christ that the Spirit will be able to act in the depths of our souls to reproduce the pattern of Christ’s humanity in us. This presence of Christ, she reminds us, is dynamic. We should be celebrating it not merely as the recollection of a past occurrence, but as the possibility of Christ being born in our own time and milieu, in our own heart through faith, in prayer and sacrament, as we acknowledge his eternal desire to become God-With-Us. To bring us into this intimacy of likeness to Christ, the Church has given us Advent, not an anticipated Christmas.

 

A MAJOR MYSTERY OF FAITH

 

Not until December 17 does the liturgy focus on the birthday of the Child. If we do so, we are neglecting a major mystery of our faith, the truth that Christ will come again, that Christ will return in majesty to take us fully to himself. He has told us in no uncertain terms that he expects to find us watching, not just keeping up appearances.”

– From “Diary of a City Priest” by Pstor Iuventus, available from Amazon. This excerpt was published in “The Catholic Herald” issue December 6 2013.

 
 

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SIMPLE CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER

SIMPLE CHRISTMAS NOVENA PRAYER – 16th TO 24th DECEMBER
THIS PRAYER IS RECITED DAILY FROM 16th DECEMBER TO 24th DECEMBER

Hail, and blessed be the hour and moment at which the Son of God was born of a most pure Virgin at a stable at midnight in Bethlehem in the piercing cold. At that hour vouchsafe, I beseech thee, to hear my prayers and grant my desires (mention your request here).
Through Jesus Christ and His most Blessed Mother. Amen

 

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