Skip to comments.Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings, 05-10-13, OM, St. Damien de Veuster, Priest
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From: Acts 20:17-27
Speech of farewell to the elders of Ephesus
18-35. Paul’s address to the elders of Ephesus is his third great discourse related
in Acts (the others being his address to Jews in Pisidian Antioch—13:16ff—and to
pagans at Athens—17:22ff). It is, as it were, an emotional farewell to the churches
which he had founded.
The address divides into two parts. The first (vv. 18-27) is a brief resume of Paul’s
life of dedication to the church of Ephesus, which he founded and directed, with
hints of the difficulties which he expects to meet in the immediate future. Two
parallel sections (vv. 18-21 and 26-27) frame the central passages of this section
In the second section the Apostle speaks movingly about the mission and role of
elders. Two series of recommendations (vv. 28-31 and 33-35) hinge on the central
verse (v. 32).
The pathos, vigor and spiritual depth of the discourse clearly show that it is Paul
who is speaking. Here we have the Paul of the letters addressing a community
which has already been evangelized, and inviting them to get to know their faith
better and practise it better.
18-20. Paul is not embarrassed to set himself as an example of how to serve
God and the disciples in the cause of the Gospel (cf. 1 Cor 11:1). He has worked
diligently, steadily, out of love for Jesus Christ and the brethren, doing his duty,
conscious that this kind of patient, persevering work is the way of perfection and
holiness that God expects him to follow.
The Apostle has learned to imitate Christ both in his public life and in the long
years of his hidden life, ever deepening in his love. In this connection, St Francis
de Sales writes: “Those are spiritually greedy who never have enough of exerci-
ses of devotion, so keen are they, they say, to attain perfection; as if perfection
consisted in the amount of things we do and not in the perfection with which we
do them. [...] God has not made perfection to lie in the number of acts we do to
please him, but in the way in which we do them: that way is to do the little we
have to do according to our calling, that is, to do it in love, through love and for
love” (”Sermon on the first Sunday of Lent”).
St Catherine of Siena understood our Lord to say to her something along the
same lines: “I reward every good which is done, great or small, according to the
measure of the love of him who receives the reward” (”Dialogue”, chap. 68).
As in his letters, Paul associates the idea of service with humility (cf. 2 Cor 10:1;
1 Thess 2:6), tears (cf. Rom 9:2; Phil 3:18) and fortitude to keep on working des-
pite persecution (cf. 2 Cor 11:24; 1 Thess 2:14-16). The Apostle’s true treasure is
humility, for it allows him to discover his shortcomings and at the same time tea-
ches him to rely on God’s strength. As St Teresa says, “The truly humble person
will have a genuine desire to be thought little of, and condemned unjustly, even in
serious matters. For, if she desires to imitate the Lord, how can she do so better
than in this? And no bodily strength is necessary here, nor the aid of anyone but
God “ (”Way of Perfection”, 15, 2).
21. This very brief summary of Paul’s preaching to Jews and pagans mentions re-
pentance and faith as inseparable elements in the new life Jesus confers on Chris-
tians. “It is good to know”, Origen writes, “that we will be judged at the divine judg-
ment seat not on our faith alone, as if we had not to answer for our conduct; nor
on our conduct alone, as if our faith were not to be scrutinized. What justifies is
our uprightness on both scores, and if we are short on either we shall deserve
punishment” (”Dialogue with Heraclides”, 8).
The presence of grace and faith in the soul equips it to fight the Christian fight,
which ultimately leads to rooting out sins and defects. “From the very day faith
enters your soul,” Origen also says, “battle must be joined between virtues and
vices. Prior to the onslaught of the Word, vices were at peace within you, but
from the moment the Word begins to judge them one by one, a great turmoil ari-
ses and a merciless war begins. ‘For what partnership have righteousness and
iniquity?’ (2 Cor 6:14)” (”In Ex Hom.”, III, 3).
22. The Apostle is convinced that God is guiding his steps and watching over him
like a father; but he is also unsure about what lies ahead: this uncertainty about
the future is part of the human condition. “Grace does not work on its own. It re-
spects men in the actions they take, it influences them, it awakens and does not
entirely dispel their restlessness” (Chrysostom, “Hom. on Acts”, 37).
“The true minister of Christ is conscious of his own weakness and labors in humi-
lity. He searches to see what is well-pleasing to God (cf. Eph 5:10) and, bound
as it were in the Spirit (cf. Acts 20:22), he is guided in all things by the will of him
who wishes all men to be saved He is able to discover and carry out that will in
the course of his daily routine” (Vatican II, “Presbyterorum Ordinis”, 15).
23. “No man, whether he be a Christian or not, has an easy life. To be sure, at
certain times it seems as though everything goes as we planned. But this gene-
rally lasts for only a short time. Life is a matter of facing up to difficulties and of
experiencing in our hearts both joy and sorrow. It is in this forge that a person
can acquire fortitude, patience, magnanimity and composure [...].
“Naturally, the difficulties we meet in our daily lives will not be as great or as nu-
merous as St Paul encountered. We will, however, discover our own meanness
and selfishness, the sting of sensuality, the useless, ridiculous smack of pride,
and many other failings besides: so very many weaknesses. But are we to give
in to discouragement? Not at all. Together with St Paul, let us tell our Lord, ‘For
the sake of Christ, I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions
and calamities; for when I am weak, then I am strong’ (2 Cor 12:10)” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Friends of God”, 17, 212).
24. Paul has come to love Jesus Christ so much that he gives himself no impor-
tance: he sees his life as having no meaning other than that of doing what God
wants him to do (cf. 2 Cor 4:7; Phil 1:19-26; Col 1:24). He sees holiness as a
constant, uninterrupted striving towards his encounter with the Lord; and all the
great Fathers of the Church have followed him in this: “On the subject of virtue,”
St Gregory of Nyssa, for example, writes, “we have learned from the Apostle him-
self that the only limit to perfection of virtue is that there is no limit. This fine, no-
ble man, this divine Apostle, never ceases, when running on the course of virtue,
to ‘strain forward to what lies ahead’ (Phil 3:13). He realizes it is dangerous to
stop. Why? Because all good, by its very nature, is unlimited: its only limit is
where it meets its opposite: thus, the limit of life is death, of light darkness, and
in general of every good its opposite. Just as the end of life is the beginning of
death, so too if one ceases to follow the path of virtue one is beginning to follow
the path of vice” (”On the Life of Moses”, I, 5).
26. “He considers himself innocent of the blood of the disciples because he has
not neglected to point out to them their defects” (St Bede, “Super Act Expositio,
ad loc.”). Paul not only preached the Gospel to them and educated them in the
faith: he also corrected their faults, putting into practice the advice he gave to the
Galatians: “if any man trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spi-
rit of gentleness. Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted” (Gal 6:1). “A disciple
of Christ will never treat anyone badly. Error he will call error, but the person in
error he will correct with kindness. Otherwise he will not be able to help him, to
sanctify him” (St. J. Escriva, “Friends of God”, 9).
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
From: John 17:1-11a
The Priestly Prayer of Jesus
 “I have manifested Thy name to the men who Thou gavest Me out of the world;
Thine they were, and Thou gavest them to Me, and they have kept Thy word. 
Now they know that everything Thou hast given Me is from Thee;  for I have gi-
ven them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them and
know in truth that I came from Thee; and they have believed that thou didst send
Me.  I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom
Thou hast given Me, for they are Thine;  all Mine are Thine, and Thine are
Mine, and I am glorified in them. [11a] And now I am no more in the world, but
they are in the world, and I am coming to Thee.”
1-26. At the end of the discourse of the Last Supper (Chapters 13-16) begins
what is called the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, which takes up all of Chapter 17. It
is given that name because Jesus addresses His Father in a very moving dia-
logue in which, as Priest, He offers Him the imminent sacrifice of His passion
and death. It shows us the essential elements of His redemptive mission and
provides us with teaching and a model for our own prayer. “The Lord, the Only-
begotten and co-eternal with the Father, could have prayed in silence if neces-
sary, but He desired to show Himself to the Father in the attitude of a suppli-
cant because He is our Teacher. [...] Accordingly this prayer for His disciples
was useful not only to those who heard it, but to all who would read it” (St.
Augustine, “In Ioann. Evang.”, 104, 2).
The Priestly Prayer consists of three parts: in the first (verses 1-5) Jesus asks
for the glorification of His holy human nature and the acceptance, by His Father,
of His sacrifice on the cross. In the second part (verses 6-19) He prays for His
disciples, whom He is going to send out into the world to proclaim the redemp-
tion which He is now about to accomplish. And then (verses 20-26) He prays
for unity among all those who will believe in Him over the course of the centu-
ries until they achieve full union with Him in Heaven.
1-5. The word “glory” here refers to the splendor, power and honor which ‘belong
to God’. The Son is God equal to the Father, and from the time of His Incarnation
and birth and especially through His death and resurrection His divinity has been
made manifest. “We have beheld His glory, glory as the only Son from the Father”
(John 1:14). The glorification of Jesus has three dimensions to it. 1) It promotes
the glory of the Father, because Christ, in obedience to God’s redemptive decree
(cf. Philippians 2:6), makes the Father known and so brings God’s saving work to
completion. 2) Christ is glorified because His divinity, which He has voluntarily dis-
guised, will eventually be manifested through His human nature which will be seen
after the Resurrection invested with the very authority of God Himself over all crea-
tion (verses 2, 5). 3) Christ, through His glorification, gives man the opportunity to
attain eternal life, to know God the Father and Jesus Christ, His only Son: this in
turn redounds to the glorification of the Father and of Jesus Christ while also invol-
ving man’s participation in divine glory (verse 3).
“The Son glorifies You, making You known to all those You have given Him. Fur-
thermore, if the knowledge of God is life eternal, we the more tend to life, the
more we advance in this knowledge. [...] There shall the praise of God be without
end, where there shall be full knowledge of God; and because in Heaven this know-
ledge shall be full, there shall glorifying be of the highest” (St. Augustine, “In Ioann.
Evang.”, 105, 3).
6-8. Our Lord has prayed for Himself; now He prays for His Apostles, who will con-
tinue His redemptive work in the world. In praying for them, Jesus describes some
of the prerogatives of those who will form part of the Apostolic College.
First, there is the prerogative of being chosen by God: “Thine they were...”. God
the Father chose them from all eternity (cf. Ephesians 1:3-4) and in due course
Jesus revealed this to them: “The Lord Jesus, having prayed at length to the Fa-
ther, called to Himself those whom He willed and appointed twelve to be with Him,
whom He might send to preach the Kingdom of God (cf. Mark 3:13-19; Matthew
10:1-42). These apostles (cf. Luke 6:13) He constituted in the form of a college or
permanent assembly, at the head of which He placed Peter, chosen from among
them (cf. John 21:15-17)” (Vatican II, “Lumen Gentium”, 19). Also, the Apostles
enjoy the privilege of hearing God’s teaching direct from Jesus. From this teaching,
which they accept with docility, they learn that Jesus came from the Father and
that therefore He is God’s envoy (verse 8): that is, they are given to know the rela-
tionships that exist between the Father and the Son.
The Christian, who also is a disciple of Jesus, gradually acquires knowledge of
God and of divine things through living a life of faith and maintaining a personal
relationship with Jesus Christ.
“Recalling this human refinement of Christ, who spent His life in the service of
others, we are doing much more than describing a pattern of human behavior; we
are discovering God. Everything Christ did has a transcendental value. It shows
us the nature of God and beckons us to believe in the love of God who created us
and wants us to share His intimate life” (St. J. Escriva, “Christ Is Passing By”,
11-19. Jesus now asks the Father to give His disciple four things—unity, perseve-
rance, joy and holiness. By praying Him to keep them in His name (verse 11) He
is asking for their perseverance in the teaching He has given them (cf. verse 6)
and in communion with Him. An immediate consequence of this perseverance is
unity: “that they may be one, even as We are one”; this unity which He asks for
His disciples is a reflection of the unity of the Three Divine Persons.
He also prays that none of them should be lost, that the Father should guard and
protect them, just as He Himself protected them while He was with them. Thirdly,
as a result of their union with God and perseverance they will share in the joy of
Christ (verse 13): in this life, the more we know God and the more closely we are
joined to Him, the happier will we be; in eternal life our joy will be complete, be-
cause our knowledge and love of God will have reached its climax.
Finally, He prays for those who, though living in the world, are not of the world,
that they may be truly holy and carry out the mission He has entrusted to them,
just as He did the work His Father gave Him to do.
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.
Liturgical Colour: White.
|First reading||Acts 20:17-27 ©|
|Psalm 67:10-11,20-21 ©|
|Gospel||John 17:1-11 ©|
Pray for Pope Francis.
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We thank you, God our Father, for those who have responded to your call to priestly ministry.
Accept this prayer we offer on their behalf: Fill your priests with the sure knowledge of your love.
Open their hearts to the power and consolation of the Holy Spirit.
Lead them to new depths of union with your Son.
Increase in them profound faith in the Sacraments they celebrate as they nourish, strengthen and heal us.
Lord Jesus Christ, grant that these, your priests, may inspire us to strive for holiness by the power of their example, as men of prayer who ponder your word and follow your will.
O Mary, Mother of Christ and our mother, guard with your maternal care these chosen ones, so dear to the Heart of your Son.
Intercede for our priests, that offering the Sacrifice of your Son, they may be conformed more each day to the image of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Saint John Vianney, universal patron of priests, pray for us and our priests
This icon shows Jesus Christ, our eternal high priest.
The gold pelican over His heart represents self-sacrifice.
The border contains an altar and grapevines, representing the Mass, and icons of Melchizedek and St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney.
Melchizedek: king of righteousness (left icon) was priest and king of Jerusalem. He blessed Abraham and has been considered an ideal priest-king.
St. Jean-Baptiste Vianney is the patron saint of parish priests.
Sharing God's Mercy with Our Children
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Jubilee of Mercy, But With the Confessionals Empty
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POPE FRANCIS FOR YEAR OF MERCY GRANTS THAT SSPX PRIESTS CAN VALIDLY ABSOLVE!
MISERICORDIAE VULTUS: BULL OF INDICTION OF THE EXTRAORDINARY JUBILEE OF MERCY
Pope: Church Must Be 'Oasis of Mercy,' Not Severe Fortress
1. Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
2. 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 rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there 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 the life everlasting. Amen.
3. 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.
4. (3) Hail Mary: HAIL Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now, and in the hour of our death. Amen. (Three times)
5. 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.
6. Fatima Prayer: Oh, my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of your mercy.
Announce each mystery, then say 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys, 1 Glory Be and 1 Fatima prayer. Repeat the process with each mystery.
End with the Hail Holy Queen:
Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, 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, thine 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! Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Final step -- The Sign of the Cross
The Mysteries of the Rosary By tradition, Catholics meditate on these Mysteries during prayers of the Rosary. The biblical references follow each of the Mysteries below.
The Sorrowful Mysteries
(Tuesdays and Fridays)
1. The Agony in the Garden (Matthew 26:36-46, Luke 22:39-46) [Spiritual fruit - God's will be done]
2. The Scourging at the Pillar (Matthew 27:26, Mark 15:15, John 19:1) [Spiritual fruit - Mortification of the senses]
3. The Crowning with Thorns (Matthew 27:27-30, Mark 15:16-20, John 19:2) [Spiritual fruit - Reign of Christ in our heart]
4. The Carrying of the Cross (Matthew 27:31-32, Mark 15:21, Luke 23:26-32, John 19:17) [Spiritual fruit - Patient bearing of trials]
5. The Crucifixion (Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-39, Luke 23:33-49, John 19:17-37) [Spiritual fruit - Pardoning of Injuries]
St. Michael the Archangel
~ PRAYER ~
St. Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle
Be our protection against the wickedness
and snares of the devil;
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
Cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls.
PLEASE JOIN US - Evening Prayer
Someone has said that if people really understood the full extent of the power we have available through prayer, we might be speechless.
Did you know that during WWII there was an advisor to Churchill who organized a group of people who dropped what they were doing every day at a prescribed hour for one minute to collectively pray for the safety of England, its people and peace?
There is now a group of people organizing the same thing here in America. If you would like to participate: Every evening at 9:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Central) (7:00 PM Mountain) (6:00 PM Pacific), stop whatever you are doing and spend one minute praying for the safety of the United States, our troops, our citizens, and for a return to a Godly nation. If you know anyone else who would like to participate, please pass this along. Our prayers are the most powerful asset we have. Please forward this to your praying friends.
May Devotion: Blessed Virgin Mary
Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Toward the end of the eighteenth century a zealous Jesuit priest, Father Lalomia, started among the students of the Roman college of his Society the practice of dedicating May to Our Lady. The devotion, which others had promoted in a small way, soon spread to other Jesuit Colleges and to the entire Latin church and since that time it has been a regular feature of Catholic life.
Thou who wast a virgin before thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin in thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
Thou who wast a virgin after thy delivery, pray for us. Hail Mary, etc.
My Mother, deliver me from mortal sin.
Hail Mary (three times).
Mother of love, of sorrow and of mercy, pray for us.
Remember, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou shalt stand before the face of the Lord, that thou speak favorable things in our behalf and that He may turn away His indignation from us.
Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things.
FOR THE HELP OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
May we be assisted, we beseech Thee, 0 Lord, by the worshipful intercession of Thy glorious Mother, the ever-Virgin Mary; that we, who have been enriched by her perpetual blessings, may be delivered from all dangers, and through her loving kindness made to be of one heart and mind: who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
THE SALVE REGINA
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, thine 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!
PRAYER TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY
O blessed Virgin Mary, who can worthily repay thee thy just dues of praise and thanksgiving, thou who by the wondrous assent of thy will didst rescue a fallen world? What songs of praise can our weak human nature recite in thy honor, since it is by thy intervention alone that it has found
the way to restoration? Accept, then, such poor thanks as we have here to offer, though they be unequal to thy merits; and, receiving our vows, obtain by thy prayers the remission of our offenses. Carry thou our prayers within the sanctuary of the heavenly audience, and bring forth from it the antidote of our reconciliation. May the sins we bring before Almighty God through thee, become pardonable through thee; may what we ask for with sure confidence, through thee be granted. Take our offering, grant us our requests, obtain pardon for what we fear, for thou art the sole hope of sinners. Through thee we hope for the remission of our sins, and in thee, 0 blessed Lady, is our hope of reward. Holy Mary, succour the miserable, help the fainthearted, comfort the sorrowful, pray for thy people, plead for the clergy, intercede for all women consecrated to God; may all who keep thy holy commemoration feel now thy help and protection. Be thou ever ready to assist us when we pray, and bring back to us the answers to our prayers. Make it thy continual care to pray for the people of God, thou who, blessed by God, didst merit to bear the Redeemer of the world, who liveth and reigneth, world without end. Amen.
PETITION TO MARY
Most holy Virgin Immaculate, my Mother Mary, to thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the queen of the universe, the advocate, the hope, the refuge of sinners, I who am the most miserable of all sinners, have recourse this day. I venerate thee, great queen, and I thank thee for the many graces thou hast bestowed upon me even unto this day; in particular for having delivered me from the hell which I have so often deserved by my sins. I love thee, most dear Lady; and for the love I bear thee, I promise to serve thee willingly for ever and to do what I can to make thee loved by others also. I place in thee all my hopes for salvation; accept me as thy servant and shelter me under thy mantle, thou who art the Mother of mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations, or at least obtain for me the strength to overcome them until death. From thee I implore a true love for Jesus Christ. Through thee I hope to die a holy death. My dear Mother, by the love thou bearest to Almighty God, I pray thee to assist me always, but most of all at the last moment of my life. Forsake me not then, until thou shalt see me safe in heaven, there to bless thee and sing of thy mercies through all eternity. Such is my hope. Amen.
Saint Alphonsus Liguori
My being proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit finds joy in God my savior,
For he has looked upon his servant in her lowliness; all ages to come shall call me blessed.
God who is mighty has done great things for me,
holy is his name; His mercy is from age to age on those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm; he has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts. He has deposed the mighty from their thrones and raised the lowly to high places. The hungry he has given every good thing, while the rich he has sent empty away. He has upheld Israel his servant, ever mindful of his mercy; Even as he promised our fathers, promised Abraham and his descendants forever.
TO MARY, REFUGE OF SINNERS
Hail, most gracious Mother of mercy, hail, Mary, for whom we fondly yearn, through whom we obtain forgiveness! Who would not love thee? Thou art our light in uncertainty, our comfort in sorrow, our solace in the time of trial, our refuge from every peril and temptation. Thou art our sure hope of salvation, second only to thy only-begotten Son; blessed are they who love thee, our Lady! Incline, I beseech thee, thy ears of pity to the entreaties of this thy servant, a miserable sinner; dissipate the darkness of my sins by the bright beams of thy holiness, in order that I may be acceptable in thy sight.
FOR THE GRACE OF LOVE
O Mary, my dear Mother, how much I love thee! And yet in reality how little! Thou dost teach me what I ought to know, for thou teachest me what Jesus is to me and what I ought to be for Jesus. Dearly beloved Mother, how close to God thou art, and how utterly filled with Him! In the measure that we know God, we remind ourselves of thee. Mother of God, obtain for me the grace of loving my Jesus; obtain for me the grace of loving thee!
Cardinal Merry del Val
TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY FOR MAY
O most august and blessed Virgin Mary! Holy Mother of God! glorious Queen of heaven and earth! powerful protectress of those who love thee, and unfailing advocate of all who invoke thee! look down, I beseech thee, from thy throne of glory on thy devoted child; accept the solemn offering I present thee of this month, specially dedicated to thee, and receive my ardent, humble desire, that by my love and fervor I could worthily honor thee, who, next to God, art deserving of all honor. Receive me, 0 Mother of Mercy, among thy best beloved children; extend to me thy maternal tenderness and solicitude; obtain for me a place in the Heart of Jesus, and a special share in the gifts of His grace. 0 deign, I beseech thee, to recognize my claims on thy protection, to watch over my spiritual and temporal interests, as well as those of all who are dear to me; to infuse into my soul the spirit of Christ, and to teach me thyself to become meek, humble, charitable, patient, and submissive to the will of God.
May my heart bum with the love of thy Divine Son, and of thee, His blessed Mother, not for a month alone, but for time and eternity; may I thirst for the promotion of His honor and thine, and contribute, as far as I can, to its extension. Receive me, 0 Mary, the refuge of sinners! Grant me a Mother's blessing and a Mother's care, now, and at the hour of my death. Amen.
TO OUR LADY
Saint John Vianney, better known as the Cure of Ars, when asked how long he had loved Mary, said: "I loved her almost before I could know her." In this prayer he expresses that love.
O thou most holy virgin Mary, who dost evermore stand before the most holy Trinity, and to whom it is granted at all times to pray for us to thy most beloved Son; pray for me in all my necessities; help me, combat for me, and obtain for me the pardon of all my sins. Help me especially at my last hour; and when I can no longer give any sign of the use of reason, then do thou encourage me, make the sign of the cross for me, and fight for me against the enemy. Make in my name a profession of faith; favor me with a testimony of my salvation, and never let me despair of the mercy of God. Help me to overthrow the wicked enemy. When I can no longer say: "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, I place my soul in your hands," do thou say it for me; when I can no longer hear human words of consolation, do thou comfort me. Leave me not before I have been judged; and if I have to expiate my sins in purgatory, oh! pray for me earnestly; and admonish my friends to procure for me a speedy enjoyment of the blessed sight of God. Lessen my sufferings, deliver me speedily, and lead my soul into heaven with thee: that, united with all the elect, I may there bless and praise my God and thee for all eternity. Amen.
Saint John Vianney
ACT OF REPARATION
O blessed Virgin, Mother of God, look down in mercy from heaven, where thou art enthroned as Queen, upon me, a miserable sinner, thine unworthy servant. Although I know full well my own unworthiness, yet in order to atone for the offenses that are done to thee by impious and blasphemous
tongues, from the depths of my heart I praise and extol thee as the purest, the fairest, the holiest creature of all God's handiwork. I bless thy holy name, I praise thine exalted privilege of being truly Mother of God, ever virgin, conceived without stain of sin, co-redemptrix of the human race. I bless the Eternal Father who chose thee in an especial way for His daughter; I bless the Word Incarnate who took upon Himself our nature in thy bosom and so made thee His Mother; I bless the Holy Spirit who took thee as His bride. All honor, praise and thanksgiving to the ever-blessed Trinity, who predestined thee and loved thee so exceedingly from all eternity as to exalt thee above all creatures to the most sublime heights. 0 Virgin, holy and merciful, obtain for all who offend thee the grace of repentance, and graciously accept this poor act of homage from me thy servant, obtaining likewise for me from thy divine Son the pardon and remission of all my sins. Amen.
Prayer Source: Prayer Book, The by Reverend John P. O'Connell, M.A., S.T.D. and Jex Martin, M.A., The Catholic Press, Inc., Chicago, Illinois, 1954
|Memorare of the Blessed Virgin Mary|
Remember O Most Gracious Virgin Mary!
That never was it known
That anyone who fled to thy protection,
Implored thy help or sought thy intercession
Was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto Thee!
O Virgin of virgins, My Mother!
To Thee I come before Thee I stand,
Sinful and Sorrowful,
Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate,
Despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy,
Hear and answer me.
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"When the hour came for Jesus to pass from this world to his Father..., he prayed thus"
This was the prayer on the lips of our Lord on the eve of his passion. But it is not unreasonable to accommodate it to the day of his Ascension, when he was about to depart from the little children (Jn 13:33) he was then commending to his Father. In heaven he has created a multitude of angels; there he rules over them, teaches them. On earth it was a puny little flock (Lk 12:32) of disciples he gathered about him. They were to be taught by his presence in the flesh until their understanding had increased sufficiently for them to be capable of receiving the direction of the Holy Spirit. Thus it was that the Master loved his little ones with a great love, for he had weaned them from the love of the world and saw them, putting all hopes of the world aside, place all their hope in him. For as long as he desired to be with them in the flesh he did not readily manifest his love for them; or if he did, he did not show it to any great extent. Rather than intimacy he had to show that reserve which became a Master and a Father.
But when the time was come for him to leave them, he seemed to be overcome by his tender love for them so that he was no longer able to dissimulate his wealth of affection That is why the Apostle writes: "Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end" (Jn 13:1). On that day he poured out on his friends almost the full power of his love before he himself was poured out like water for those same friends (Ps 21:15). He handed over to them the sacrament of his body and blood; instituted it for them to celebrate in their turn. Was it his marvelous power or his more marvelous love that enabled him to find this new way of remaining with them as a consolation for his departure?
St. Bernadette Soubirous
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