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Tag Archives: Jesus Christ

WHY, IMPIOUS HEROD (EPIPHANY HYMN)

WHY, IMPIOUS HEROD (EPIPHANY HYMN)

Why, impious Herod, vainly fear

That Christ the Saviour cometh here?

He takes no earthly realms away

Who gives the crown that lasts for aye.

 

To greet his birth the Wise Men went,

Led by the star before them sent;

Called on by light, towards light they pressed,

And by their gifts their God confessed.

 

In Holy Jordan’s purest wave

The heavenly Lamb vouchsafed to lave;

That he, to whom was sin unknown,

Might cleanse his people from their own.

 

New miracle of power divine!

The water reddens into wine:

He spake the word: and poured the wave

In other streams than nature gave.

 

All glory, Lord, to thee we pay

For thine Epiphany today;

All glory, as is ever meet,

To Father and the Paraclete.

Amen.

 

V.  The Kings of Tharsis and the Isles shall offer presents. R. The Kings of the Arabians and of Saba shall bring gifts.

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

 

 

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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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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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THEE, LORD OF EVERY AGE, WE SING (HYMN)

THEE, LORD OF EVERY AGE, WE SING (HYMN)

Thee, Lord of every age, we sing:

Thee, Christ, we hail the nations’ King;

Confess thy right thy realm to find

Within the hearts of all mankind.

 

The hate-swayed mob cries, pride-enticed,

They will not have thy kingdom, Christ;

But we exultant round thy throne

Thy reign o’er all creation own.

 

O Christ, our Prince, that bringest peace,

Let every rebel impulse cease,

And gather into thy one fold

The wanderers whom thy love doth hold.

 

For this thine arms wide-stretched in plea

Hung bleeding on the atoning Tree;

For this the spear’s revealing dart

Laid bare thy love-emflamed Heart.

 

For this thou dost thy glory hide,

Outpouring from thy pierced side

The riches of thy love divine

Beneath the veils of bread and wine.

 

May realms and they that rule them vie

With solemn rites to raise thee high;

May laws and arts thy servants be,

All life be sanctified in thee.

 

Their kingly gear and royal state

Kings to their King shall consecrate;

Subjects their all before thee lay

In service of thy gentle sway.

 

Jesu, to thee, beneath whose sway

All earth shall bow, all praise we pay;

With Father and with Spirit be

All glory thine eternally.

Amen.

 

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

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2019 in Devotions

 

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YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU HAVE HERE NO LASTING HOME

YOU ARE A STRANGER AND A PILGRIM WHEREVER YOU MAY BE

You have here no lasting home. You are a stranger and a pilgrim wherever you may be, and you shall have no rest until you are wholly united with Christ.

Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Dwell rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entrapped and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.

GIVE BUT A PASSING GLANCE TO EARTHLY THINGS

If you do not know how to meditate on heavenly things, direct your thoughts to Christ’s passion and willingly behold His sacred wounds. If you turn devoutly to the wounds and precious stigmata of Christ, you will find great comfort in suffering, you will mind but little the scorn of men, and you will easily bear their slanderous talk.

CHRIST WAS LEFT BY FRIENDS, HE HAD ENEMIES AND DEFAMERS 

When Christ was in the world, He was despised by men; in the hour of need He was forsaken by acquaintances and left by friends in the depths of scorn. He was willing to suffer and to be despised; do you dare to complain of anything? He had enemies and defamers; do you want everyone to be your friend, your benefactor? How can your patience be rewarded if no adversity test it? How can you be a friend of Christ if you are not willing to suffer any hardship? Suffer with Christ and for Christ if you wish to reign with Him.

SPIRITUAL PEACE

Had you but once entered into perfect communion with Jesus or tasted a little of His ardent love, you would care nothing at all for your own comfort or discomfort but would rejoice in the reproach you suffer; for love of Him makes a man despise himself.

A man who is a lover of Jesus and of truth, a truly interior man who is free from uncontrolled affections, can turn to God at will and rise above himself to enjoy spiritual peace.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ (15th century)

 

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TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 13:1-9)

TODAY’S GOSPEL READING (LUKE 13:1-9)

Some people arrived and told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with that of their sacrifices. At this he said to them, “Do you suppose these Galileans who suffered like that were greater sinners than any other Galileans? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will perish as they did. Or those eighteen on whom the tower at Siloam fell and killed them? Do you suppose that they were more guilty than all the other people living in Jerusalem? They were not, I tell you. No; but unless you repent you will all perish as they did.”

He told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came looking for fruit on it but found none. He said to the man who looked after the vineyard, ‘Look here, for three years now I have been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and finding none. Cut it down: why should it be taking up the ground?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘leave it one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it: it may bear fruit next year; if not, then you can cut it down.’”

V. The Gospel of the Lord.
R. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

 
 

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WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

WHY DID THE VIRGIN MARY APPEAR AT KNOCK?

A meditation on Knock will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. (Rev. Patrick O’Carroll) 

Pilgrimages to Knock began soon after the apparition and have continued ever since. About 250.000 pilgrims go there every year. This is a remarkable number in view of the fact that Knock has no train or bus service and that the shrine has not been formally approved by the Holy See. During World War II, 10.000 Masses were offered in honour of Our Lady of Knock for the intention of keeping Ireland at peace. Many of the people credit Our Lady of Knock with keeping Ireland out of the war just as the Portuguese people give credit to Our Lady of Fatima for keeping their country at peace.

WHAT DID THE APPARITION MEAN? 

What did the apparition mean? At Paris, La Salette, Lourdes, and Fatima, our Lady spoke. We have her own words on record. At Knock, she said nothing. Yet we can be certain that she did not appear without an important purpose.

IN IRELAND, THE PEOPLE HAD CLUNG TO THE CATHOLIC FAITH DESPITE OF BITTER PERSECUTION

In most of Europe – in most of the [Western] world, for that matter – people had turned away from God. Even in such supposedly Catholic countries as Spain, France, Italy and Portugal, men were worshipping reason and science instead of God. But in Ireland, the people had clung to their faith despite three and a half centuries of bitter persecution. They had retained their love for the Mass during all the years that the Mass had been officially outlawed. They had never faltered in their devotion to the Blessed Mother, a devotion that had been brought to them by St Patrick himself. Every night, in thousands of miserable huts all over the island, families had knelt on the dirt floors to say the Rosary together.

SHE COMFORTED THEM IN THEIR AFFLICTIONS

It seems likely that Mary appeared in Ireland to reward the people for their devotion and to comfort them in their afflictions. Many authorities on Knock point out that Mary was wearing a crown. Thus, they say, she represented herself as Queen of Heaven, Queen of Ireland, Mediatrix of All Graces.

“The mission of Mary to Knock was not one of rebuke or complaint against our people, as was the case at La Salette and Lourdes, against the prevailing vices and abuses that were shaking the very foundations of the faith in France in those days,” says the Very Rev. Jarlath Royanne, O. Cist. “Neither was it a call to do penance on those occasions. No, Mary’s mission to her faithful Irish people that day was rather one of compassion and comfort, with an implied admonition, no doubt, of dangers ahead, and the imperative need of prayer.”

ON THE EVE OF THE OCTAVE OF THE FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION

Every early account of the apparition points out that it occurred on the eve of the octave of the feast of the Assumption. Did Mary intend to establish this connection between Knock and Fatima? At any rate, the coincidence is interesting. It reminds us that Mary, Our Queen, has an Immaculate Heart filled with an almost infinite love for us.

ST JOSEPH’S APPEARANCE 

The two saints who appeared with Mary were the two people – next to our Lord Himself – who were most closely associated with her while she was in this world. St Joseph cared for her before Jesus was born, and he watched over her and Jesus for some years after that. As head of the Holy Family, he is the model husband and father. He is also the Patron of the Universal Church. In the apparition he was looking at her in a reverential manner. It seems likely that he represented all families and also the Universal Church in paying homage to the Queen of Heaven.

ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST 

St John was Mary’s guardian after our Lord’s death. He stood with her beneath the cross while Jesus was giving His life for the world. It was to him that our Lord almost with His dying breath said, “Behold thy mother.” St John represented all of us that day.

So St John, by his presence, reminds us that Mary is our spiritual mother. But he does more than that. He was garbed as a bishop and was reading from a Mass book. He stood next to the altar on which was the sacrificial lamb. St John was our Lady’s priest. After the Resurrection he celebrated Mass for her, renewing the sacrifice of Calvary, bringing her Son down upon the altar. It is also interesting to note that in the Apocalypse, St John refers to our Lord as a lamb twenty-seven times.

A FULLER APPRECIATION OF THE HOLY MASS

“A meditation on Knock,” says Rev. Patrick O’Carroll, C.S.Sp., “will ultimately lead us to the Lamb of God, who for us was slain on Calvary, and by whose Precious Blood our souls that have been defiled by sin are washed white as snow. Our attention is above all turned to the same Lamb of God that is mystically immolated on every altar, when the Holy Mass is celebrated. Knock, then, calls for a fuller appreciation of the Mass.”

Virtually all authorities agree on this, that the Mass is the central feature of Knock. Our Lady herself seems to bear this out. Most of the cures there have occurred during Mass. At Lourdes, the Blessed Sacrament is emphasized; at Knock, the Mass.

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

 

 
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Posted by on October 26, 2019 in Devotions

 

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