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ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

ST JEROME, CONFESSOR AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH – MEMORIAL: SEPTEMBER 30

Jerome was born in Strido in Dalmatia. As a youth, he was baptised at Rome and was educated in the liberal arts by Donatus and other very learned men. From a religious motive he travelled through all of Palestine. Then he retired into the vast desert of Syria. There he spent four years reading the divinely inspired books and meditating upon the blessedness of heavenly things.

HE MEDITATED UPON THE BLESSEDNESS OF HEAVENLY THINGS

After being ordained a priest by Paulinus, Bishop of Antioch, he returned to Palestine, to Bethlehem, to be close by the Crib of Christ the Lord. Here he drew up for himself a holy rule and overcame the snares of the devil by pious works and constant reading and writing. From all over the world he was called upon as an inspired authority to settle questions about the interpretation of Sacred Scripture.

AN EXPERT IN THE INTERPRETATION OF SACRED SCRIPTURE 

Pope Damasus and St Augustine consulted him often about very difficult passages of Scripture because of his singular knowledge and understanding not only of the Latin and Greek languages, but also of Hebrew and Chaldaic. He translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew. At the command of Pope Damasus, he made a faithful translation of the New Testament from the Greek and also wrote commentaries on many parts of Scripture. In his extremely old age, he passed [A. D. 420]. He was buried in Bethlehem, and was later transferred to Rome and entombed in the basilica of St Mary Major.

PRAYER:

O God, who graciously gave your Church blessed Jerome, your Confessor and peerless teacher, to explain the Holy Scriptures, grant, we beseech you, that, with the help of his merits and by your assistance, we may be able to put into practice what he has taught us by his life and works. Through our Lord.

– From: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964 [bold headings added]

 

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NINE DAILY PRAYERS AND REFLECTIONS FOR A NOVENA TO THE ROSA MYSTICA

Maria Rosa Mystica, Mystical Rose, Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, you came down on earth to call upon us children of this earth to love each other, to unite; and live in peace. You request from us to be involved in charity, prayer, and penance. We thank God from the bottom of our hearts that He has given you to us as Our Mother and Mediatrix in all our needs. Mary, full of grace, please help me, I beseech you, and grant me my special intention (mention your request). You promised us your motherly protection, full of graces: “I want always to be very close to you for your motherly love.” Rosa Mystica, Immaculata, Mater Dolorosa, please show me that you are my Mother, Bride of the Holy Ghost, and Queen of Heaven and earth. Amen. (Hail, holy Queen…)

FIRST DAY:

Consider the extreme opposite to the Rosa Mystica: the worst and most gruesome thing going on in the world; the ugliness, the desecration of God by man in modern art, by the mass media, the press, on radio and television; the destruction of all values and order before and in marriage, in education and at school, shameless fashion taken to extreme excesses; all this being carried right into our churches and to the holiest places.
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, please protect us from shamelessness and degeneration, preserve in us the sense of good and evil; prepare us to do battle in defence for all that is pure. Maria, Rosa Mystica, graciously hear us and pray for us. (3 Hail Marys)

SECOND DAY:

It is not enough to observe how desolate the general situation is. One must oneself be prepared not only to refuse to go with shameless fashions, but as a penance, to put up with something that is not really required of you, and to go without something enjoyable to you even if it is not sin. You ought to consider that you could also be guilty of a sin committed by others, by setting a bad example to them or by not speaking up against it.
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, grant that you will give us the true spirit of atonement, to fight the current evil, to accept more often and voluntarily all the unpleasant things in life to atone for others that fail you. Maria, Rosa Mystica, graciously hear us and pray for us. (3 Hail Marys)

ST PAUL: “I make up in my own body what is still missing in the sufferings of Christ!”

THIRD DAY:

Pious people in particular should note: “The reason prayers often do not bring the expected answer is because too little penance is done with the prayer.” People complain about little daily inconveniences. What would Mary say to this?
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, grant that we do not forget true penance and reparation with all our prayers, at home and on journeys! Please grant us the right spirit when we come to you. Maria, Rosa Mystica, graciously hear us and pray for us. (3 Hail Marys)

FOURTH DAY:

How to achieve all the things that are needed of you:
Make an effort to take time off to think and pray, move away from too much television, celebrations, leisure; learn to do without things, exercise moderation in food, drink, and sleep. Meditate on the Sacraments on the Holy Rosary, the Holy Scriptures and the life of Saints. In addition, a truly religious and pious father confessor is needed as a spiritual director. This would be a way of one’s own effort, of “active cleansing”. God Himself will help us through His Grace and His Guidance even in sorrow when we are humiliated, disappointed and suffer setbacks. Become totally free for God; break away from all attachment to the world and be free for the incomprehensible Glory of God.
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, grant that you may help us and lead us in our efforts. Maria, Rosa Mystica, graciously hear us and pray for us. (3 Hail Marys)

FIFTH DAY:

When God takes everything away from man which blocks the path to God; when He helps you to leave everything; when He takes one’s close attachment to people and things, even one’s consolations; when He leads you into the very darkest “night of the spirit” without any consolation; when there is nothing but darkness and sorrow, and when one can still say like little St Therese or Padre Pio: “I believe”, then all natural things and created things are removed, and God is able to let flow the abundance of His Graces, knowledge and charism into one’s body and soul without hindrance…
PRAYER: Let us dare to say this prayer with its full weight and accept its possible consequences as Brother St Klaus, the patron saint of Switzerland, once prayed: “My Lord and My God, take everything from me, everything that may prevent me from coming to you. Give me everything that brings me close to you. Take me and do with me as you please!” (3 Hail Marys)

SIXTH DAY:

Together with Brother Klaus and the great Carmelites, St John of the Cross, Teresa the Great, and little Therese, we are now on the right path of our true devotion of Mary, the veneration of the Rosa Mystica, the Mystical Rose, and we may speak the words of St Louis de Montfort: “The quickest and easiest way to mysticism is Mary – the Rose of Mysticism”.
At the same time we must, however, prevent ourselves from falling under the widely-spread misunderstanding to believe that so-many. Rosaries together with so-many pilgrimages and devotions give us a secure way to Heaven, let us not deceive ourselves!
St Louis de Montfort knows very well how to differentiate between faked and genuine Marian devotion; not just any way leads to mysticism! A whole list of wrong ways of Marian devotions are mentioned by him: e.g. the anxious way, the impertinent way, the superficial way, the selfish way (how much selfishness there is in spiritual intentions!), etc.
Devotion to Mary must be genuine, needs inner preparation and cooperation; it needs devotion that is not just reciting many prayers and “devotions”, but taking in the real spirit of Mary; to pray “with Mary, in Mary, for Mary”; to ask oneself consciously and with your innermost heart: What does Mary need from me?
What would She do in my place? How can I please Her? What would She disagree with? – What changes would occur in the world, in the life of a person, in families, in societies, and in nations if one were really prepared to be led by Mary!
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, help us to get to know you more and more, lead us and guide us that we may be able to find the path to your mysticism. Amen. (3 Hail Marys)

SEVENTH DAY:

There is very little written in the Scriptures about mysticism in Mary’s life on earth, and in Her transformation. Some general remarks only: “Blessed, full of grace”. The conception in Her womb – judging by the text in the Bible She can only be surmised with deepest reverence; in any event something extremely great and mysteriously enchanting happened when the infinite, eternal love was unified with the most loving human heart that ever existed, and will ever exist; united in order to create a tiny yet infinitely great being. However, we do not only possess the Bible; the dogmas, the meditations and writings of the Church, the revelations to mystics, whether male or female – all of them open the seed for us which is already contained in the Holy Scriptures, full of meaning. With what deep amazement do we read Mary of Agreda’s book about the “Mystical City of God”, how fascinating the way in which she tells us about the Divine Powers and the ability of knowing, helping and loving, the ecstasies and raptures; glories that often remain hidden from many worldly “experts”. There are still the many different apparitions of Our Lady in the world, and Her revelations. There would be no end if we wanted to recount all the wonderful results and consequences which happened as a result of them: Her knowledge of the human heart, of a single person, of whole groups, nations and ideologies (e.g. Communism); Her insight into world politics; Her blinding beauty and overwhelming goodness; Her geniality and knowledge of languages…just incredible; high and exalted above all artists and Nobel prize winners… The results of mysticism are powerful.
PRAYER: Maria, Rosa Mystica, grant that mankind may find its way to the most beautiful things, to the glories of the supernatural that surpasses nature itself. Please give us the fervour to seek this wonderful Divinity and to lead others to it so that they may learn to recognise how poor the delights and desires of this world are compared with Mary, the Rosa Mystica. (3 Hail Marys)

EIGHTH DAY:

The effects of the Rosa Mystica in us:
The more we are prepared to walk the path with Mary, the path She walked Herself, with inner devotion, with merciless self-control, in renunciation of all superficial pleasures, the more we work apostolically in Her spirit; the more we imitate what is contained in the mysteries of the Holy Rosary and mentioned in the Church’s prayer for the Feast of the Holy Rosary, the more we shall then “receive what they promise”. This then is our request, our prayer:
PRAYER: O God, whose only begotten Son has prepared for us the treasures of eternal salvation through His Life, His Death and Resurrection, grant, we beseech You that when we meditate on the mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the most blessed Virgin Mary and imitate what they contain, we shall receive what they promise through Christ, Our Lord. Amen. (3 Hail Marys)

NINTH DAY:

The special intention of the Mother of God: vocations to priesthood and religious life. Even if every Christian is called to holiness and mysticism, it is of even greater meaning and importance for the priests and religious. They should venerate and imitate their ideal, Mary, the Rosa Mystica, in a special way; and this is something that is missing quite often. It ought, therefore, to be a special apostolate to spread the purpose and meaning of this devotion in all our seminaries, monasteries and convents, for nowhere more saints and mystics are needed than there. The task of the laity will be to replace what is missing, through their own apostolate and a more zealous imitation of the Rosa Mystica! (3 Our Father, 3 Hail Marys, 3 Glory be – for the sanctification of priests, bishops, and religious; for special guidance and strength for the Holy Father.)

FINAL PRAYER:

Lord Jesus Christ, You have sent us Your Mother as a wonderful example of holiness and mysticism and especially as an ideal and patroness for the priests and religious. We ask You, grant us Your help to imitate Your most holy Mother more and more, to become souls of expiation and victim souls for those priests and religious who fail You: You who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

 
 

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