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By FRANCIS P. LeBUFFE, S.J.
MARY'S RECEPTION INTO HEAVEN
Mary is taken up into Heaven. The angels rejoice, and with blended praise they bless the Lord.-Offertory of the Mass of the Assumption.
Mary'the simple maid of Galilee . . . .
the Virgin spouse of Joseph . . . .
the Blessed Mother of God . . . .
Is taken up into Heaven
first her soul sped its way home . . . .
and a short while later her unsullied body was taken aloft . . . .
the days of her pilgrimaging are over . . . .
the years of her separation from her Son are ended . . . .
body and soul united, she enjoys the unending vision of God . . . .
The angels rejoice
the Mother of their God is with them now . . . .
their Queen has come to her throne . . . .
Michael rejoices, because she, too, has conquered the enemy he had routed . . . .
Gabriel is glad, for the Lord is with her now eternally . . . .
Seraphim and Cherubim rejoice, because her burning love of God rivals theirs . . . .
And with blended praise
no petty jealousies there . . . .
no clash of .personalities . . . .
but a harmony that springs from the triune God . . . .
They bless the Lord
for her, the masterpiece of His universe . . . .
that she had been kept stainless . . . .
that she had hearkened to Gabriel's word . . . .
that she, the second Eve, had crushed the serpent's head . . . .
And Mary joins their praise''My soul doth magnify the Lord' . . .
'And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour . . . .
now. . . . and unendingly . . . .
in utter fulness of happiness . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, I am so happy that you are in Heaven. body as well as soul. You deserve that for all you did for your divine Son and for us your other children. I rejoice. with the angels and I mingle my praise with theirs. You are happy, Mother, now, unendingly happy. Just keep a watchful, helping eye on me so that I'll be happy with you when I die.
MARY'S POWER TO HELP
Be mindful, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou standest the sight of the Lord, to speak good things for us, and, to turn away His anger from us.-Offertory of the Mass of the Seven Dolours.
as our Mother she is always mindful . . . .
but, as every mother, so she, too, wants her children to come to her and ask . . . .
O Virgin Mother of God
Mother of God and our Mother, too . . . .
loving her infinitely perfect Son . . . .
loving ;her other, frail, weak children . . . .
for she is our 'Mother of Mercy ' . . . .
When thou standest in the sight of the Lord
and she is standing there now . . . .
and she is all powerful with her Son . . . .
for she is the ' Mediatrix of All Graces ' . . . .
To speak good things for us
tell Him that, though we have sinned, we have tried a bit . . . .
tell Him that a mother always loves her weakling child most . . . .
tell Him that a mother always yearns most for her wayward child . . . .
remind Him that He was born in a stable for us . . . .
remind Him that He willingly died on the Cross for us . . .
tell Him that we really want to be with Him in our home . . . .
To turn away His anger from us
for we are 'poor banished children of Eve ' . . . .
for we carry within us the taint of our First Parent's fall . . . .
for we ourselves have sinned again and again . . . .
and have forgotten His love . . . .
-and He will listen to your prayer . . . .
for you are'our Mother . . . .
and His Mother, too . . . .
Mary, my Mother, you gave Our Lord all the help He needed as a baby and a growing child. Actually He could have done without your help for He was omnipotent But I am not; and I am very much in need of your help at all times, and I need it most when I sin and because I have sinned. So, as my Mother, be mindful of me and speak good things for me as you stand for ever before the throne of God.
MARY'S SINLESSNESS Thou art all fair, O my love, and there is not a spot in thee.- Cant. 4:7.
Thou'Mary, the unobtrusive maid of Nazareth . . . .
Mary, the betrothed of the village carpenter . . . .
Mary, who thought of herself merely as ' the handmaid of
the Lord ' . . . .
Art all fair'before God in Heaven'God the Father, who has picked her out to be the Mother of the Redeemer. . . . God the Son, who reverences her as the sole human agent of His earthly existence. . . . God the Holy Ghost, who has espoused her unto virginal
motherhood . . . .
before the angels, whose Queen she is . . . .
before men, who revere and honour her as Mother and powerful helper . . . .
There is not a spot in thee'no spot of original sin, for she alone was preserved from the original taint . . . .
no stain of actual sin'for she loved God too much to offend Him in any least way . . . .
for she was 'full of grace and so was mightily helped to
practise virtue . . . .
for by a special gift from God she had perfect control over her lower nature at all times . . . .
and we pray to her now'for we find virtue difficult . . . .
and sin is attractive . . . .
and our lower nature rises in rebellion . . . .
and she will help us because she is our Mother . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, what a wonderful gift that was which you had. No slightest sin ever stained your soul. With me it has been so different. Yet you love me and you want me to stop offending your Son and to grow holier every day. I want to, too. So please pray for me and I will try to do my part.
MARY OUR MOTHER
He saith to His Mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, He saith to the disciple: Behold thy Mother.-John 19:26-27.
Woman'who harboured Me nine months within your womb. . . . who nurtured Me at Bethlehem and Nazareth. . . . whose love grew as the years passed on . . . .
who remains close to Me to the last . . . .
Behold thy son'not like Me, highest, holiest manhood, joined to God. . but John, My loving disciple . . . .
and also each human being throughout all time. . . . each one a mere creature'slow-footed toward virtue . . . .
wearying quickly of holiness . . . .
for whom I died and who caused My death. . . . but loved by Me to the end . . . .
After that, He saith to the disciple'first and foremost to John . . . .
thereafter to each one of us sanctified in Baptism. . . . strengthened in Confirmation . . . .
cleansed in Penance . . . .
nurtured in Holy Communion . . . .
called to be a saint . . . .
destined to unending happiness . . . .
Behold thy Mother'who loves you because I love you . . . .
who loves you as she loves Me . . . .
who watches over you always and everywhere. . . . who wants to help you to be like Me . . . .
will you let her? . . . .
Yes, dear Mother, I too accept you as my Mother. I should be very foolish if I did not, for you are so good and so kind and so interested in me and in all that I do. I can't be as good as John. But I do want to try to be at least not too unworthy a child of such a holy Mother.
MARY QUEEN OF THE ROSARY
Queen of the most holy Rosary,, pray for us.-Litany of Loreto.
Queen of the most holy Rosary'of the Joyful Mysteries'of the Annunciation, when you heard tremblingly that you were to be God's Mother . . . .
of the Visitation, when your lips broke forth exultingly into the Magnificat . . . .
of the Nativity, when you first looked rapturously into the eye of your Babe . . . .
of the Presentation, when you offered God to God . . . .
of the Finding, when the agony of days was changed into the joys of Nazareth's eighteen years. . . . of the Sorrowful Mysteries'of the Agony, when your Son fell prostrate in His own blood . . . .
of the Scourging, when every lash tore your own heart too . . . .
of the Crowning With Thorns, when men reviled your Son
as king . . . .
of the Carrying of the Cross, when you met and followed your doomed Son . . . .
of the Crucifixion, when you remained at His deathbed to the end . . . .
of the Glorious Mysteries'of the Resurrection, when He broke the bonds of death, and,
risen, paid you His first visit . . . .
of the Ascension, when He left you behind to tarry a while with His growing church . . . .
of the Descent of the Holy Ghost, who came upon you at prayer with the Apostles . . . .
of the Assumption, when He called you home from your exile . . . .
of the Coronation, when, to the joy of angels and of saints,
He crowned you Heaven's Queen . . . .
Pray for us'in our joys, that we may use them aright, and not let them blind us to the things. of God . . . .
in our sorrows, that we may sanctify ourselves by them as you did by yours . . . .
in moments of success and triumph, that our frail minds may not be turned to pride . . . .
pray for us, now-and, at the hour of our death . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, day after day in my Rosary, I think over the mysteries of Our Lord's life and of yours too. Sometimes I do it very carelessly and very unthinkingly, hardly paying any attention to God or to you or to what I am saying. Help me in each mystery to turn the pages of Our Lord's life attentively, and, as I say the beads, teach me a little of what you saw there.
MARY'S CHILD PLEADS O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
O Mary'' daughter of the mighty Father '. . . . Mother of the Eternal Son . . . . Spouse of the Holy Spirit . . . .
virgin wife of Joseph . . . .
Conceived without sin'original sin found no place in you. . . . nor did its baneful effects mar the peace of your soul . . . .
but your soul came from God's hands'enriched with sanctifying grace . . . .
filled to overflowing with that grace . . . .
' thou art all fair. . . . and there is not a spot in thee ' (Cant. 4:7) . . . .
Pray for us'we need your help 'mourning and weeping in this valleyof tears . . . . Our Lord loves you, and will heed your prayer. . . . we pray to Him, but He will listen to you, His Mother, more readily . . . .
Who have recourse to thee'we come, because we know our need . . . .
we come, because we are conscious of our sins . . . .
we come, because we fear our weakness . . . .
we come, because you are our Mother . . . .
to whom else could we go? . . . .
'O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions ' . . . .
'but in thy mercy, hear . . . .
'and answer me . . . .
Mother-your child calls. . . .
Mary, my Mother, you were so blessed by God that you never committed the slightest fault your whole life through. But you lived in this world and you know the temptations that surround me; and you know, too, how frail I am and how easy it is for me to fall. So I know you will pray for me to your Son for grace to avoid sin more and more and to grow daily more like Him and you.
MARY QUEEN OF HEAVEN Queen of Heaven, pray for us.-Litany of Loreto.
Queen of Heaven'for she reigns there, body and soul united forever . . . .
seated at the right hand of her Son . . . .
truly Queen of Heaven'for she is Mother of God . . . .
and Spouse of the Holy Spirit . . . .
Queen of Heaven by right, not merely by special favour . . . .
Queen of Heaven
Queen of the nine choirs of angels . . . .
Queen of the baptized infants . . . .
Queen of saintly young men and women who walked through life cleanly. . . . Queen of aged folk who had served God long . . . .
Queen of the saved in the Old Law . . . .
Queen of the saved in the New Law . . . .
Queen of those who had known and loved her while they were on earth. . . . Queen of those who had never heard of her until they saw her in Heaven. . . . Pray for us'who know you'that we may know you better . . . .
that we may love you more . . . .
that we may imitate you more closely . . . .
that we may make others know you better . . . .
that we may come to know your Mother's love . . . .
Pray for us'the young, that we may keep our souls strong and pure . . . .
the more mature, that we may fight the fight of life aright and set a good example . . . .
the older folk, that our feet may walk toward the grave
expectantly . . . .
all, that one day you may be our Queen, too, and for ever . . . .
Dear Queen of Heaven, I need no formal invitation to come to you nor must I wait long in line for the privilege of a brief moment with you. I can come to you at any time and can chat away as long as I please and you will never hurry me away. Let me always remember that, especially when I need you most. Even when I don't come to you, please keep on praying for me. And if ever I cease to walk with Our Lord because of sin, please come and find me, and bring me back to His side and to yours.
MARY WORTHY OF ALL PRAISE
Happy indeed art thou, O holy Virgin Mary, and most worthy of all praise, for out of thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ Our Lord.-Offertory of the Votive Mass of the B. V. M.
Happy indeed art thou, O holy Virgin Mary''blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:42) . . . .
'behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed (Luke 1:48) . . . .
happy she was on earth, despite her sorrows, because she was always so close to Him . . . .
happy she is in Heaven'as Queen of Heaven . . . .
as Mediatrix of All Graces for us who are yet to be finally redeemed . . . .
as the Mother of her devoted children here below . . . .
Most worthy of all praise'because God Himself praised her . . . .
because of all she has done for us . . . .
because, try as we may, our slight praises can never equal her worth . . . .
because it will be our joy throughout eternity to praise her . . . .
For out of thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ Our Lord'to Christ we owe everything, and we owe Christ to Mary . . . .
and the fact that she is His Mother makes her 'happy . . . .
And most worthy of all praise ' . . . .
for out of thee arose the Sun of Justice, Christ Our Lord'the world was in the darkness of inherited and personal sin until He came . . . .
for He was a light 'to enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death ' (Luke 1:79),. . . .the Sun of Justice, revealing to mankind again'their duty to God . . . .
their obligations to their fellow men . . . .
the worth of their immortal souls . . . .
the undying love of God for man . . . .
is Christ ' the Sun of Justice ' for me'flooding the innermost recesses of my mind with knowledge of His truths? . . . .
storing my memory with the recollections of all His favours? . . . .
expanding my will with His joyous love ' to run in the way of His Commandments? '
Dear Mother Mary, I am so glad that you are so happy and that men praise you so much. We ought to, because you gave us Christ Our Lord, who has brought life and light into our lives. I haven't shown my appreciation very much but I'll try to do better in the future, for you are my Mother and I want to prove myself your devoted child.
You who are more honourable than the Cherubim and incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim, . who have borne without stain God the Word; you, 0 Mother of God, we magnify.From the Dismissal of the Holy
Liturgy according to St. John Chrysostom.
You who are more honourable than the Cherubim'the Cherubim and Seraphim are closest of all the angels to the throne of God . . . .
yet Mary is higher than both, for of all mere creatures she is nearest to God in Heaven . . . .
more honourable than the Cherubim'who are renowned for their knowledge and understanding
of God . . . .
who therefore look so deep into the mysteries of God . . . .
for Mary was God's Mother'and so knew His eternal secrets . . . .
and gave Him His human nature
and caught His first smile . . . .
and taught Him to lisp His first words . . . .
and helped His first steps on the earth He had made . . . .
His confidante through thirty long silent years . . . .
And incomparably more glorious than the Seraphim'the Seraphim who love God more intensely than all the hosts of angels . . . .
the fires of whose love are lighted more brightly because they are so close to the innermost love of the Godhead. . . . yet Mary is incomparably more glorious than they because her soul had been filled full with love from the moment of her
Immaculate Conception . . . .
because her love drew God down from Heaven . . . .
because, it was a mother's love . . . .
Thou who hast borne without stain God the Word'' Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women (Luke 1:28) . . . .
'Hail, holy parent, who didst bring forth the king, who rules Heaven and earth forever ' (Introit of the Votive Mass for the B. V. M.) . . . .
'Thou art blessed and worthy of reverence, O Virgin Mary, who, without any violation of purity, became the Mother of Our Saviour (Gradual of the same Mass) . . . .
You, O Mother of God, we magnify'your hymn of joy was: 'My soul doth magnify the Lord (Luke 1:46) . . . .
but rightly were you praised in turn'by the angel: 'Blessed art thou among women . . . .
by Elizabeth : ' Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb ' (Luke 1:42). . . . by Joseph, who was told by an angel of your sinlessness . . . .
by saints and sinners down throughout the ages . . . .
by your Son, who made you His Mother . . . .
to that grand chorus we add our own weak voices . . . .
and we shall sing your praises'in our hearts . . . .
but above all by the manner of our lives . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, I love you and I want all men to know how great you are and what wonderful things God did for you and how high you are up in Heaven. But most of all, I want them to know your love for us as -Mother. I'm glad I know you are my Mother and I beg of you to help me to be every day a more devoted child, MARY AND SINNERS Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners.
Holy Mary'who once was an earthly wayfarer like myself . . . .
who once knew the hardships of life as I . . . .
who led a hidden life in an obscure village . . . .
who knew sorrow and misunderstanding just as I . . . .
yet through it all was so holy that she was 'full of grace . . . .
Mother of God'out of all the daughters of Eve she alone was chosen to bring God into the world as man . . . .
and because she is the Mother of God she is all powerful with Him . . . .
and she is the Mediatrix of All Graces . . . .
and yet she is our Mother too'because being the Mother of the physical Christ she is by that very fact the Mother of His Mystical Body, too. . . . because Christ freely gave her to us as our Mother when He was dying on the Cross . . . .
she loves us as she loved Him, and that means that she guards and protects us . . . .
that she continually intercedes with her almighty Son for us her other needy children . . . .
Pray for us, sinners'unlike her, sin has stained our souls'original sin from which she was preserved . . . .
actual sin from which she refrained by reason of her love of God . . . .
and sin has affected our souls and left its' mark thereon . . . .
and so we need her help'for we are frail by nature'and we are frailer by sin . . . .
we are inconstant, one day trying, another not even wanting to try . . . .
we are easily led away from holy living by pleasures that taint . . . .
we drop our eyes to earth too often . . . .
we frequently forget that we have not here a lasting home . . . .
Pray for us sinners'now . . . .
and at the hour of our death . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, you are safe in Heaven, but I must still get there. You lived here on earth and you know all the dangers that beset me; you know too how weak and fickle I am. So please pray hard for me, a sinner, who wants to do better and wants very much to get to Heaven and be with you. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death for the distance between 'now and that hour, grows daily and hourly shorter and shorter.
MARY MEDIATRIX OF ALL GRACES
In me is all grace of the way and of the truth, in me is all hope of life and of virtue.-Ecclus. 24:25. Used as the Gradual in the Mass of Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces.
In me'as Mother of God . . . .
as Seat of Wisdom . . . .
as Mediatrix of All Graces . . . .
All grace of the way'through Mary we know the way as single persons . . . .
as married persons . . . .
as parents . . . .
as persons vowed to God . . . .
the way of living'poorly, yet contentedly . . . .
among worldly people, yet always looking to Heaven . . . .
unassumingly, though honoured highly by God . . . .
holily, because we are always close to Him in the Blessed
Sacrament . . . .
and through Mary we receive the graces so to live . . . .
And of the truth'about God . . . .
about our Catholic faith . . . .
about ourselves . . . .
about our days of pilgrimaging here . . . .
about Heaven to which we hope to come . . . .
' for in her is the spirit of understanding : holy, one, manifold, subtle, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good ' (Wis. 7:22) . . . .
In me is all hope of life'of a holy, happy life now'with the love of God in our hearts . . . .
with our natural joys sanctified . . . .
with our sorrows eased . . . .
with our eyes kept always on Heaven . . . .
of an eternal life of happiness thereafter to which we shall come through her aid . . . .
And of virtue'with her as our model . . . .
with her obtaining grace for us'to pray well . . . .
to suffer well . . . .
to take our pleasures well . . . .
to act always and everywhere as her true children . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, I am so glad that I can be sure of your
help on the way home to Heaven. The way at times is rough
and narrow and I stumble as I go on. So since all help comes
through you, please get me much grace to lead a holy life
always and everywhere so that I may at last come home to you.
MAKING PRESENTS THROUGH MARY
They found the Child with Mary His Mother, and falling down they adored Him; and opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.-Matt. 2:11.
They found the Child with Mary His Mother'so it was when the Magi came . . . .
so it has always been, for Jesus and Mary are inseparable . . . . and it should be so in my life'in my thoughts . . . .
in my words . . .
in my prayers . . . .
in my devotions . . . .
Jesus and Mary must always be together . . . .
And falling down they adored Him'by revelation they knew Him as God and adored Him as God . . . .
by revelation we too know Him as God'and by faith we acknowledge Him as God . . . .
and by hope we expect to attain to Him as God . . . .
and by love we give our service to Him as God . . . .
' we praise Thee, we bless Thee, we adore Thee, we glorify
Thee . . . . .
'.we give Thee thanks for Thy great glory . . . .
and Mary told them much about Him . . . .
and she answered their questions . . . .
and she helped their holy desires . . . .
And opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh'they gave themselves, and they gave their gifts . . . .
they gave what they cared for most . . . .
and Mary took the gifts graciously in the name of her Child . . . .
and yet a short while back, they were strangers to Him, the true God . . . .
but I know God and I have known Him long . . . .
I have received many gifts from Him and know His love . . . .
so I, too, must open my treasures, and give Him'my body, in fulness of chaste living . . . .
my mind, in ready acceptance of the truths of faith . . . .
my will, in fullest obedience to His laws . . . .
and I must let all men know He is my God'by living the life He expects of me and that they know I believe He expects of me . . . .
by fullest external compliance with the Catholic way of living . . . .
by earnest fulfilment of the obligations of this present life . . . .
and yet by a manifest expectancy of a life to come . . . .
thus did Mary always act and her life was an inspiration to all . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, you were always giving your best to Jesus; and so I come to ask your help to give Him a present and the present that He wants. I know what that is : myself, my mind, my heart, my life. Help me give it to Him completely every day-as you did. He deserves it, and I really want to give it all to Him.
MARY QUEEN OF APOSTLES
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God. Receive us, our Mother, our Queen. Ask thy Son, the Lord of the harvest, that He send labourers into His haarvest: Tract in the Mass of Our Lady Queen of Apostles.
We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God'our frequent sins make us realize our own lack of virtue. . . . our inconstancy proves to us our inability to help ourselves. . . . so we look about for someone powerful to aid us . . . .
and to whom better can we turn than to God's and our Mother?. . . . Receive us, our Mother, our Queen'there is no stronger appeal than to a mother's love . . . .
there is no one more powerful than our Mother who is Queen of Heaven . . . .
Mother and Queen'whom her Son obeyed when on earth . . . .
to whom her Son still hearkens in Heaven . . . .
who with all her power and all her glory is still the loving
Mother of us, 'poor exiled children of Eve ' . . . .
Ask thy Son, the Lord of the harvest'He came down from Heaven to redeem our souls . . . .
He lived and died'to accomplish that redemption . . . .
to set us an example of how we might apply that redemption to our own souls . . . .
To send labourers into His harvest'into each home, that it may be another Nazareth . . . .
into each school, that all may learn more of Him . . . .
into each office and factory and workshop, that each may work as He worked . . . .
into each place of social amusement, that He may bless their
pleasures as He did at Cana . . . .
into civic meetings, that all may plan according to His law . . . .
into each hamlet and town and city and country, that His peace may reign over all . . . .
and I can be such a labourer, getting in His harvest if I pray . . . .
If I say the apt word at the apt time . . . .
if I so live that from my very life all may come to know and love God more . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, Queen of the Apostles, your one thought was and is to bring each one of us nearer to your Son. I want to do that too. I want to make my soul His and make every
one I deal with His. And so I shall try to show others that I live up to His law because I love Him. You will help me, won't you, to do this job which is so big for little me.
A PRAYER FOR SINLESSNESS
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty and Eternal God, that as we venerate with festive solemnity the untarnished virginity of the most pure Virgin Mary, so, by her intercession, may we attain to purity of mind and body.Collect for the Feast of the Purity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (October 16).
Grant, we beseech Thee, Almighty and Eternal God'daily and hourly our own inner weakness is brought home painfully to us . . . .
if we relied only on ourselves, the outlook would be rather hopeless . . . .
but God is almighty and eternal . . . .
and He really wants to help us . . . .
thus we turn to Him trustingly and hopefully . . . .
That as we venerate with festive solemnity''Honour thy father and thy mother is a commandment we lovingly fulfill towards Mary, who is our Mother. . . . truly she is 'the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope (Ecclus. 24:24). . . . and as her feasts return, we try to show our love for her in acts of special devotion, alone and together. . . . The untarnished virginity of the most pure Virgin Mary'by one of God's greatest miracles, she became the Virgin
Mother of the God-Man . . . .
her virginity was untarnished before, at and after the birth of Christ . . . .
Virgin most powerful . . . .
Virgin most merciful . . . .
Virgin most renowned . . . .
So by her intercession'no mother ever watched over her children more jealously than Mary watches us. . . . no mother was ever more anxious to help her children than
Mary is to help us . . . .
to each of us Mary says: 'As the mother loveth her only son, so did I love thee (2 Kings 1:26). . . . May we attain to purity of mind and body'that we may not do anything unworthy of the family traditions of our faith . . . .
that we may avoid each slightest fault . . . .
that we may think the things of God . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, no slightest fault ever stained your soul,
which was always most pleasing to God. The story of my life
is just the opposite. But I really want to do better. So plead
with your divine Son to give me much grace to avoid even the
slightest sin and to grow daily more holy and thus more like Him and you.
MARY GATE OF HEAVEN
Adorn thy bridal chamber, Sion, and receive Christ the King; embrace Mary, who is the Gate of Heaven; for she brings the glorious King of the new light.-Antiphon during the Procession on the Feast of the Purification.
Adorn thy bridal chamber, Sion, and receive Christ the King -these words are addressed to Sion of old, the chosen city of God's chosen people . . . .
but they are meant too for the Sion of today, theMystical Body of Christ . . . . .
and each of us should 'adorn the. 'bridal chamber of our souls
by the avoidance of sin . . . .
by holier living . . . .
by more prayer and nearness of mind to God . . . .
by exemplary conduct in public and in private . . . ,
then we shall 'receive Christ the King'who wants to be King over our souls . . . .
whom we too want to be our King . . . .
Embrace Mary, who is the Gate of Heaven'she is our Mother and loves us tenderly . . . .
and she wants to lead us home to Heaven by the way of her love . . . .
she is the 'Mediatrix of All Graces . . . .
and of her bounty we all receive . . . .
For she brings the glorious King of the new light'through her came the 'star of Jacob . . . .
through her came the 'Light of the Gentiles, among whom
we are numbered . . . .
through her came the Saviour, who was to 'enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death (Luke 1:79) . . . .
she brings Him to me-if I will let her . . . .
The glorious King of the new light'the new light of the 'Law of Love, under which we live . . . ,
the new light of the Sacrifice of the Cross . . . .
the new light of the Resurrection . . . .
the new light of the Mass . . . .
the new light of the seven Sacraments . . . .
the new light of the sacramentals . . . .
-and do I open my eyes to this new light'all the time? . . . .
as wide as I can? . . . .
and do I let it warm my heart to holier living? . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, I want to prepare my heart and soul and body for the coming of your divine Son. He wants to be my King; you want Him to be; and, I too, want Him to be. But my mind needs light and my will need strength. So please help me every day and every hour to prepare the bridal chamber of my soul for His coming. Enlighten my mind and move my will so that I may give Him a royal welcome when you bring to me the glorious King of the new light.
A PRAYER FOR WORTHINESS Pray for us, O holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Pray for us'she loves us and desires to help us . . . .
she is our Queen, and so wants to protect us . . . .
she is our Mother, and would have us come home finally to
her in Heaven . . . .
but we must go to her and ask her intercession . . . .
O holy Mother of God'Mother of the All-Holy, and full of grace herself . . . .
Mother of the Infinite, and yet a frail mortal like ourselves. . . . possessing all the influence of a Mother with her Son. . . . -and, all the while, our Mother too . . . .
That we may be made worthy'of ourselves, without God's graces, we are worth nothing . . . .
of ourselves, we have committed many sins . . . .
and we must have God's grace if,we are to be pleasing to Him . . . .
and we must keep His grace until death if we are to enter Heaven . . . .
Of the promises of Christ'of His actual graces, whereby our actions are made holy . . . .
of His sanctifying grace, whereby we ourselves are made holy . . . .
of His sacramental presence in Holy Communion . . . .
of union with Him in His Mystical Body . . . .
of that peace which He promised to His followers . . . .
of His companionship, as Viaticum, as we start the last journey to Him . . . .
of the face-to-face vision of Himself, and of God the Father,
and of God the Holy Ghost, for ever and ever . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, your Son and my Brother has made wonderful promises for all of us. All these promises came true for you in the fullest way. I want them to come true for me, too. But I am not worthy; far, far from worthy. So pray for me, dearest Mother, that every day and every hour I may become more and more worthy of the promises of Christ.
THE ANGELS GREET MARY
Mary is taken up into heaven; the angels rejoice, and praising bless God.-First Antiphon of the Assumption.
Mary is taken up-
her time of tarrying is done . . . .
the days of her handmaidenship are over . . . .
her exile from her Son is at an end . . . .
Into Heaven'Where she is to be seated at the right hand of her Son . . . .
where she is to be crowned Queen of heaven and earth . . . .
where she is to enjoy the face-to-face vision of God forever. .
where she prays always for us her children who are still on
our way home . . . .
The angels rejoice'because they are happy that her long years of waiting are ended . . . .
because they have long awaited her to be with them . . . .
because the Mother of their King is with them.
And praising bless God'bless Him for all she did'her 'fiat which made her God's Mother . . . .
her care of the Infant Saviour . . . .
her Seven Dolours that made her Queen of Martyrs . . . .
her generous guidance of the early Church . . . .
bless Him for all she is'her Immaculate Conception . . . .
her queenship over angels and men . . . .
her motherhood of all men . . . .
Mary, Mother, I too rejoice and praising bless God, for you
mean more to me than you do to the angels. You are my
mother more truly than you are theirs. And so, congratulations, Mother Mary, on your happiness and honour in Heaven. Just keep a watchful eye on me so that I may be with you one day, too for ever.
MARY AND HER ROSARY
O God, whose only-begotten Son by His life, death, and Resurrection hath purchased for us the reward of eternal life, grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. -Collect of the Feast of the Most Holy Rosary.
O God, whose only-begotten Son by his life, death, and Resurrection hath purchased for us the reward of eternal life'when Adam had sinned all hope of Heaven was lost for each
and every one of us . . . .
but then and there in the Garden of Eden God promised a
Redeemer . . . .
and Jesus Christ was that Redeemer'at Bethlehem and Nazareth in His years of preaching . . . .
above-all in His Passion . . . .
which was made perfect and complete by His Resurrection and Ascension . . . .
Grant, we beseech Thee, that meditating upon these mysteries in the most holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary'the Rosary is not a mere senseless repetition of Our Fathers and Hail Marys . . . .
it must be filled with thought . . . .
and it must be crowded with love . . . .
for as we pray, Mary Mother turns over the pictures in the book of the life of Christ'the joyful scenes when her heart was thrilled as she looked
deeper into the mysteries of God . . . .
the Via Dolorosa along which she walked bravely with her son . . . .
the glorious days of His and of her own triumphs . . . .
We may both imitate what they contain'that the joys of life are lawful and will make us saints, if used lawfully . . . .
that the sorrows of life are but chips from the Cross of Christ for our sanctification . . . .
that triumphs and happiness beyond the telling await us too, if we are faithful to the end . . . .
And obtain what they promise'the sanctifying of our joys . . . .
the sweetening of our sorrows . . . .
a greater knowledge of Christ . . . .
a closer union with Him . . . .
a more intimate indwelling of Him in our souls . . . .
-and finally companionship with Him and Mother Mary,
for ever . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, day in and day out during your life on earth you lived the Rosary. I merely say it. But I want to say it in some slight way as you lived it. So teach me, as a mother would, to say my beads reverently and devoutly and thinkingly; then, indeed I shall imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise.
The holy mother of God is lifted up above the choirs of the angels to the heavenly thrones.-Versicle and Response of the Office of the Assumption.
Holy'by her Immaculate Conception . . . .
by her constant concurrence with grace . . . .
by her self-immolating 'Be it done to me . . . .
by her nine months of intimacy with her unborn Child . . . .
by her thirty long years of daily familiarity with her Son . . . .
Mother of God'Mother in fullest sense, yet 'Virgin undefiled . . . . . .
Mother of the Eternal who became hers in time . . . .
Mother yet creature, too, and utterly dependent on Him . . . .
Is lifted up'that is Heaven's answer to her 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord . . . .
truly now 'He that is mighty hath done great things to me . . . .
and God 'hath exalted the humble maid of Galilee, beyond
all the women of the world . . . .
Above the choirs of the angels'above Gabriel, who gave her God's great message . . . .
above Michael, who conquered God's first foes . . . .
above Raphael, who had been God's ministering messenger . . . .
above Seraphim and Cherubim, who stand nearest to God . . . .
-for she is 'the Queen of Angels . . . .
To the Heavenly thrones'next to God the Father, who chose her to be the Mother of His Son . . . .
next to God the Son, who loves her as the sole human cause
of His existence as Man . . . .
next to God the Holly Ghost, who honours her as His Spouse . . . .
there she reigns as 'Queen of Heaven . . . . . .
but she is still our Mother . . . .
and still prays for us . . . .
and still watches over us . . . .
Mother Mary, because you are in Heaven I sometimes think of you as being far away. But I know that isn't, true. I know you watch over me and guide me more carefully than any earthly mother could; and I am very happy that you do. Please keep on watching over me until the danger of this life is over and I am safe at home with you.
MARY'S PEACE FOR THE WORLD Queen of Peace, pray for us.-Litany of Loreto,
Queen of Peace'Peace'the tranquillity of order, where there is a place for everything in its place . . . .
where there are no disturbance, no misunderstandings . . . .
Queen of Peace'in her own life when on earth'when there was perfect harmony at all times between all her powers of soul and body . . . .
where grace dominated and perfected nature . . . .
where God reigned supreme . . . .
now in Heaven'where she is Queen of Angels and of Saints . . .
where she is Daughter of the Father, Mother of the Son and Spouse of the Holy Spirit . . . .
where, as Queen, she is the dispenser of all the wealth of God . . . .
now on earth'in the hearts of all who really love her'for they have learned increasingly to hold in check their
lower natures . . . .
and have constantly attuned their minds to the mind of God . . . .
and have daily harmonized their wills with His . . . .
in the hearts of those who know her not'by reason of her motherly solicitude to have them become
docile children . . . .
by reason of the graces that she wins for them to gain self-conquest . . . .
Pray for us'if ever mankind needed the help of the Queen of Peace, it needs it now, that. we may learn'love in a world of hate . . . .
tranquillity in a world of turmoil . . . .
complete reliance on God in a world that has long forsaken Him . . . .
to keep the vision of God and His Heaven steadily before us . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, your soul was pierced by the sword but it was always at peace. Your life was crowded thick with trials and sorrows but they never disturbed the inner depths of your soul. Troubles come to me but unfortunately they frequently rasp me and irritate me much. That is not right and I ask you to. teach me to bring peace into my life. And Mother Mary-do bring peace soon into the lives of all men that our war-torn world may be restored to peace.
Daughters of Sion, go forth and see your Queen whom the morning star praises, at whose beauty the sun and moon marvel, and over whom all the sons of God rejoice.-Introit of the Mass for Our Lady Queen of All Saints and Mother of Fair Love.
Daughters of Sion, go forth'Holy Mother Church, the New Sion, insistently calls on all her children to praise and love Our Mother Mary. . . . to do this we must 'go forth ''from the narrow confines of our selfishness . . . .
from our constant attention to merely earthly things . . . .
from earth to Heaven itself . . . .
And see your Queen'Mary is our Queen by every right. but is she our Queen in fact'guiding our minds? . . . .
ruling our wills? . . . .
moulding our lives always on hers? . . . .
Whom the morning star praises, at whose .beauty the sun and moon marvel'they would if they had intelligence . . . .
and, in the language of love, we personify them, and have them praise and marvel . . . .
for she is worthy of all praise for all her holiness . . . .
and her beauty as God's Mother is ravishing . . . .
Over whom all the sons of God rejoice'down through the centuries, we hear the chant of Mary's praises . . . .
for devotion to her is the true mark of every Catholic . . . .
and where do I fit into the picture'Do I sing her praises worthily in my daily Angelus? . . . .
do I marvel at her beauty as I recall her in each mystery
of the Rosary? . . . .
do I rejoice over her as her many feast days come around? . . . .
am I an honour and a credit to her at home? . . . .
in school ? . . . .
at work? . . . .
at play? . . . .
Dear Mother Mary, the morning star and the sun and moon
can't really praise you or marvel at your beauty. But I can; and more than that, since 'imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I can reproduce, at least in part, your life in mine. I should do this and I want to-and with your help I am going to try harder than I have ever tried before to grow each day more like you.
RECCAREDUS FLEMING, Censor Theol. Deput.
@ loannes Carolus,
Dublini, die 9 Dec., anno 1944
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