BIRTHDAY OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

Did you know Friday, Sept 8, was Mary’s birthday?  Pope Benedict XVI said: “Her soul was the space from which God was able to gain access into humanity.” “Today God welcomes on earth the holy throne which he had prepared for himself. He who established the heavens in wisdom has fashioned a living heaven.” (Byzantine liturgy).

The Jews kept records of births, we know Mary was born on Sept. 8. The Catholic Church celebrates her birthday.   Isaiah 11:1-3-A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom. The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him: a spirit of wisdom and of understanding. A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.  Joseph was from the line of Jesse who was the father of David the king.

THE BIRTH OF IMMACULATE HUMILITY (MEDITATION OF THE DAY)

The devil really likes…pride…because it is the principle and source of all sin. On the other hand, it displeases God just as much as it pleases the devil. God is displeased by pride, and pleased by humility. God was so pleased with Mary’s humility that his goodness compelled him to give her the WORD, his Only Begotten Son–and she was the wonderful Mother who gave (that Word) to us. You know well that God’s Son did not take flesh within Mary until she had clearly expressed both her will and her humility by saying. Ecce ancilla Domini. Let it be done to me according to your Word. But as soon as she had said this, she conceived within her the dear spotless Lamb. By this, gentle First Truth was showing us how excellent this little virtue is, and how much those receive who in humility give their will as an offering to their Creator…………………….(Saint Catherine of Siena)

Prayer: Oh God, you gave life to the world through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Son of the Blessed Virgin for whose birth we give thanks this day. Grant us, we beseech you, the grace to honor with our lives the Savior whom she bore, Christ our Lord. Amen

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THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION

I meant to write this Sat. March 25, since that was the Feast of the Annunciation. This is the day we celebrate:  Luke 1:26-38

The Angel Gabriel was sent from God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.” But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” But Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” And the angel said to her in reply, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God. And behold, Elizabeth, your relative, has also conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren; for nothing will be impossible for God.: Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

CANTICLE OF MARY:  And Mary told Elizabeth  (Luke 1:46-55)

MY SOUL proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my Savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, he has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the might from their thrones, and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he has remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.

GLORY TO THE FATHER, AND TO THE SON, and to the HOLY SPIRIT, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen


The Glory Be to the Father is a prayer Catholics say often.  If only we would be as willing to do what God asks without question.   Here is a prayer for that:

Jesus, You became flesh in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Pray for me, that I may deny myself and choose God’s will for my life, for I know and believe that He is a good Father and will lead me to salvation. Amen

 

EASTER, 6TH MONDAY, 5/26 (MAY IS THE MONTH OF THE VIRGIN MARY)

IN MAY, WE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH AND MAYBE SOME OTHER CHURCHES CELEBRATE MARY.  WE HONOR HER FOR BEING THE MOTHER OF GOD AND OUR MOTHER IN HEAVEN.  IN A LOT OF CHURCHES THE CHILDREN BRING FLOWERS DOWN THE AND PUT THEM IN FRONT OF MARY. 

We teach our children to love Mary because she is Jesus mother and because she is our Mother in Heaven.  Remember, when Jesus was on the cross He said to John:  “Here is your Mother”.  He didn’t mean just John, he meant all of us. If we ask her, she will pray for us to her Son and join her prayers with ours.’  When my children were born, I asked Mary to pray for their safety and health all of their lives, and since they are now adults, have had some pretty close calls, and are still safe and healthy, I believe she has kept her eye on them and prayed for them when needed.  Do I know that for sure, of course not.  But, why not, she is Jesus mother and she was his first disciple along with being one of the first Saints.  Also, why wouldn’t a son who loves his mother as Jesus did, listen to her prayers and grant her wishes.  My sons would do what I asked of them, if they could.

OUR LADY OF FATIMA:  The Blessed Mother appeared for the first time to three Portuguese shepherd children on May 13th in 1917.  Europe was in the grip of the First World War, which would claim an astounding thirty-seven million lives.  Only eight days before the apparition, Pope Benedict XV had begged the Blessed Mother to intercede for the war’s end.  During her appearances, Mary predicted the devastation of World War II and the grave threat posed by Communist Russia.  Her message to the children and the world:  reform your lives and do penance for your sins.  Pray the rosary every day. (From Magnificat)

When Our Lady appeared to the three children of Fatima in 1917, she urged them to “pray,pray, and say the Rosary for the ending of the war.”  The message was for the whole world.

 (The last of the 3 children became a nun and actually died just a few years ago.  The children were questioned extensively and the appearances investigated before the Church believe the children.)  Remember this was during WW ! and she predicted WWII and Communist Russia.)   For more information on OUR LADY OF FATIMA, GO TO http://www.catholic.com.  There was also a Movie about Fatima which may still be available.

I went to Fatima when I was in Portugal many years ago.  the area where she appeared was beautiful and very impressive.

 

IMMACULATE CONCEPTION- WHY WE BELIEVE

I heard an explanation for why Catholics believe in the Immaculate Conception, meaning that we believe that Mary was conceived without Original Sin.  Mary actually told the children one time when she appeared in Lourdes or Fatima that she was the Immaculate Conception.  However, after many years of discussion in the early years of the Catholic Church, the Church Fathers came to the conclusion that there is no way that Jesus would have been born to a woman who had the original sin.  Simply because Jesus grew inside of her using her blood, etc. to develop as a normal little child.  It’s harder to explain then when I heard it, but this is basically it.  Jesus is God and man, as man he developed in Mary’s womb with Mary’s blood, etc and there is no way God would have allowed that to happen in a woman with Original Sin.  I am sure there are other reasons also, but that seems to me to make a lot of sense.

Happy, Holy, New Year