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Tag Archives: Immaculate Virgin Mary

“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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WHETHER OUR TIMES BE THE LAST DAYS OR NOT, ST PAUL DESCRIBED THE TIMES WE LIVE IN (2 TIM. 3:1-7)

We live in times that, whether they be the last days or not, fulfil to a striking degree the words of St Paul:

“Know also this, that in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof…ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth.”
(2 Tim 3:1-7).

By Fr Nicholas A. Norman

“Lovers of themselves” – Let not the success of sundry charity drives blind us to the woeful spirit of selfishness that has gripped the world in its loveless embrace. “What is in it for me?” – this is the watchword of countless millions. Individuals are affected, and nations. So we have wars and the rumours of wars, the abominable housing situation, the grim, embattled strikes, ugly race prejudice, nervous impatience that explodes at the slightest delay in fulfilment of personal desires, spiralling prices, a widespread breakdown of marriage, birth control and needles shuffling of child care to others, while so many mothers spend their time in activities of little or no value, or unnecessary employment, and so many fathers act as though their only duty towards their children were to provide them with material necessities or goods. How many organisations, ostensibly high-minded and charitable in purpose, are impeded in their efforts by petty jealousies and cliques within their own ranks! Is the spirit still dominant among us all as much as it was among the first Christians, to unite for one purpose, and for one alone – the glory of God and the extension of His Kingdom? “Human frailty,” we say unctuously, and let it go at that. Once the pagans marvelled, saing: “See how those Christians love one another!” They will say it today, but now with sardonic amusement. “Covetous” – Greed and avarice have wrecked the modern world and prostrated civilisation. What else has caused wars, and so often lies beneath the high-flown words of diplomacy? “Haughty, proud, blasphemers” – For the first time in history, while the majority may agree in theory that there is a God, a vast proportion deny in practice the existence of a Deity, and are gods unto themselves. Colleges of learning use His Name, but define Him fantastically. His Name is not mentioned at the councils of the nations. “Nature” has usurped His place as the Author of Creation and the Arranger of its beautiful order. “Disobedient” – The revolt against the very idea of authority exists not only in children, but has become a real obsession in our age, an obsession which has reached even into the fields of art and music, and is responsible for the modern monstrosities, daubs and cacophonies. To a staggering number, freedom means license, whether they wish to admit it or not. “Without affection” – The world may have been as bad in pre-Christian times, but never since the Redeemer came and sanctified marriage has this exalted union been so abused, its promises so flouted. Never has personal desire counted for so much, and surrender for so little. Never has there been so little place in the world for children – birth control, abortion, neglect. “Without peace” – The world is aflame with war, rumours of war, and revolt. Men cry “Peace, peace!” – but there is no peace. “Slanderers” – “Propaganda” and “smearing” are common words now, and every child knows their meaning. “Incontinent” – The world has been sexy in many periods of its existence. Prominent men have paraded their mistresses. But when since the times of ancient Rome has divorce been so legalised and shameless with its attendant progressive polygamy? When was there such a widespread birth control? When has the human body been paraded in such nudity? What stigma is attached to adultery and infidelity? Is it not “love”? And must not “love” be satisfied at any cost, regardless of encumbering husband, wife or children? What unprinted horrors are discovered by scratching the veneer of modern respectability! How often we read of the flame of lust raging in the hearts even of children, leading them to murder. Obscene pinups are commonplace in the rooms of teenagers. When was the world so flooded with pornographic writings and pictures, so many of which find their way into the hands of children? What age has seen such filthy advertisements, promising to reveal secrets of perversion, sexy comics, provocative motion pictures, dirty jokes sent into clean homes via radio? The Romans adored Venus. Is she being adored again? But is not all this “broadminded” and “modern”? It is as broadminded and modern as Sodom and Gomorrah. “Unmerciful” – Wandering refugees, wild children, slave labour, concentration camps nauseating in their horror, sadistic tortures that have shamed this decade forever and are still going on – these outrival the cruelties of the Huns. And all this in a “civilised” world! “Traitors” – When ever has the solid structure of the State well nigh universally been so shot through with the rat burrows of traitors working for another country, for foreign ideas and interests, covering their treason with the noble sounding cry of “Freedom, free speech, free press!” How many times in recent years has the enemy swallowed up a country without so much as firing a shot? “Fifth columnists”, “infiltration” – these are common household words today. “Lovers of pleasures more than of God…” – no comment is needed. “Ever learning and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth…” Our institutions of learning are bursting today as never before in history and they present numerous courses in widely varied fields. How many have for their object the education of man for the material concerns of life? How much time is allotted for the intensive cultivation of man’s noble spirit? To attain the truth means to find and to hold forever the Truth, the Infinite, Ineffable Essence. It calls not merely for a theoretical knowledge of the Divinity, but for INTIMATE UNION with the All-Good, the All-Beautiful, the All-True. Because so many have been so far from attaining the Truth, the foregoing indictment holds true. But those who have attained it have found the peace that surpasses all understanding…herein lies the indictment of our times, that we have gone pell-mell down the road of [the senses], and are making but desultory attempts to ascend the way of spirit. At the end of the low road of sense lies death, corruption, and the stench of decay. At the heights of the high road of the spirit awaits peace, and a joy immeasurable, beyond that of all our wistful dreams…

THE IMMACULATE VIRGIN AS A SURE GUIDE ON THE SPIRITUAL PATH

There is only one under Our Lord among all the children of men who can fulfil perfectly the place of guide and beloved, only one with complete experience and complete love – the Immaculate Virgin. She has explored the way unto the Truth, and attained Him in a measure that no one else ever will or can. She has known all the darknesses that lead unto the light, the depths of suffering that has richly merited her the title Queen of Martyrs. She alone of all mankind knows the fullness of the glory and the inexpressible joy that awaits at the end of the road. And her beauty is so compelling, and her love so selfless and divine, that if we but lift our eyes unto her we shall love her ardently in return and never wish to be separated from her. And if we but give her our hand, in complete trust, she will guide us safely to the Goal of All Desire. So those whom she has guided and who have found Him, call to us with all possible loving urgency: “Go to Mary!”

 
 

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