Saturday, September 23, 2006

Novena To the Sacred Heart

On this feast of Saint Pio, we wish to remember him by providing this novena to the Sacred Heart which he said every day for the many thousands of people who requested his prayers.

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of...... (here name your request)Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away."

Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you. O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours. Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

-- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Friday, September 15, 2006

Our Lady of Sorrows

Our Lady of Sorrows
by John O’Connell

We can trace devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows back to apostolic times. St. John the Evangelist, whom we can consider as one of the first devotees of the Mother of Sorrows, witnessed first-hand and then recorded in his Gospel that Mary stood by the Cross of her Son (Jn 19:25). There on Calvary the Blessed Mother suffered—overwhelmed with grief at seeing her Son, who is also her God, die an agonizing death by crucifixion.
At the Presentation of the Infant Jesus at the Temple, Simeon prophesied that Mary’s soul would be pierced by a sword so that the thoughts of many hearts would be revealed (Lk 2:35). Mary, as the first and greatest disciple of her Son, participated in a most deep and profound way in the redemptive work of Our Lord.
Devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows flowered during the Middle Ages. The well-known medieval hymn Stabat Mater beautifully expresses this devotion to the sorrowing Blessed Virgin Mary at Calvary: At the Cross her station keeping, Stood the mournful Mother weeping, Close to Jesus to the last. Our Lady of Sorrows is traditionally depicted in art dressed in black with seven swords piercing her heart. These seven swords symbolize the chief seven sorrows of Our Lady’s life. Devotion to the Sorrows of Mary gave rise to the figure in Christian art of the Pietà, the sorrowing Mother holding the dead Body of her Son who has been taken down from the Cross.
Different sorrows of Mary have been honored in the Church’s history, but since the 14th century these seven have come to be regarded as the
Seven dolors (sorrows) of the Blessed Virgin Mary:
1. The Prophecy of Simeon.
2. The Flight into Egypt.
3. The Loss of the Child Jesus for Three Days.
4. Meeting Jesus on the Way to Calvary.
5. The Crucifixion and Death of Jesus.
6. Jesus Taken Down from the Cross.
7. Jesus Laid in the Tomb.
Note the Christological and scriptural foundation of the devotion to the Seven Sorrows of Mary.

By commemorating Our Lady of Sorrows, we call to mind the sufferings that Mary endured as part of her vocation as the Mother of the Redeemer. No one is closer to Christ than Mary, consequently no one has participated more intimately in the redemptive suffering of Christ than His Mother Mary.
Mary suffered because of her intimate union with Christ, on account of our sins, and in behalf of her spiritual children. Devotion to the Mother of Sorrows and the Seven Sorrows of Mary encourages us to flee from sin and inflames our desire to do penance and make reparation so as to console the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Traditionally, many Catholics have said every day seven Hail Marys in honor of the Seven Sorrows of Our Lady. O Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Nativity of This Immaculate Heart

From even before she was born, This Immaculate Heart was joined to her Son. The Blessed Virgin Mary was being molded before she ever knew of her journey. This Heart was already spoken for, well before she was born. The plan was in the making for this unity. This is how Our God works. His plan is in effect even before we are aware of it. It is only through grace that we realize this and say "yes" to His plans as Mary did

"Thereafter he appeared to Anna his wife, saying: Fear not, Anna, nor think that it is a phantom which thou seest. For I am that angel who has presented your prayers and alms before God; and now have I been sent to you to announce to you that thou shalt bring forth a daughter, who shall be called Mary, and who shall be blessed above all women. She, full of the favour of the Lord even from her birth, shall remain three years in her father's house until she be weaned. Thereafter, being delivered to the service of the Lord, she shall not depart from the temple until she reach the years of discretion. There, in fine, serving God day and night in fastings and prayers, she shall abstain from every unclean thing; she shall never know man, but alone, without example, immaculate, uncorrupted, without intercourse with man, she, a virgin, shall bring forth a son; she, His handmaiden, shall bring forth the Lord -- both in grace, and in name, and in work, the Saviour of the world. So arise, and go up to Jerusalem; and when thou shalt come to the gate which, because it is plated with gold, is called Golden, there, for a sign, thou shalt meet thy husband, for whose safety thou hast been anxious. And when these things shall have so happened, know that what I announce shall without doubt be fulfilled. "