Hello Everyone -
We are almost done with the 100 year anniversary of Fatima - 1917-2017. I am truly shocked that some big Chastisement did not happen during this year - although we were not deprived of catastrophic events. What will 2018 bring? Will I live to see 2019? Will any of us? Are we pleasing God with our lives, our decisions, our families, our Faith? Have we been obedient to Our Queen and Mother? Have we listened to the Fatima message and put it into practice? As long as we are still breathing - there is still time!
As I get older and see death coming to my family and friends around me, it becomes evident that time is fleeting and that we should be diligent about our duties and obligations to God and family. We will all soon have to stand before God and answer for what we did and didn't do --- AND --- we will stand alone! Or will we?
If we have studied what is made available to us from the saints and from what Catholic Tradition has handed down to us, we can see that having a devotion to Mary is not only necessary for us on earth but also at our death. Wouldn't you like to stand before God as a child of Mary with Her at your side - pleading for a good judgement? I DO!!
If you have not made a Consecration to Jesus through Mary - now is the time. If you have already made your consecration, then a deep and committed renewal is needed. If we knew how much God loves us and wants our love in return, we would strive to make ourselves more pleasing to Him. We would be willing to cast away all that is displeasing to God. It is not that simple. In the beginning of this Consecration, we try to see that the ways of the world are not the ways of God. We try to examine also ourselves – our shortcomings, faults and weaknesses that keep us from God. We need to understand what our shortcomings are and work on them little by little with prayer and mortifications. The soul needs to properly prepare itself to receive this fire of Divine Love. If it is damp with self-love it cannot receive the Divine Fire. We pray “Thy Kingdom come” each day in the Our Father but we must truly strive for this end.
If we are to be truly united to Jesus – we must seek to receive the gift of His own Mother. Jesus’ Mother is our Mother. Jesus, Who in His sweet compassion, tenderness, and love, has made us, that we may be happy with Him both here and hereafter, wants us to have the same Mother! His Sacred Heart desires our happiness; He has made us that we might be so; He has given us every means. Let us strive to be as pleasing to Him as we can. Let us be simple, loving children of an infinitely loving Father. Let us be loving children of our fair Immaculate Mother Mary. Let us always look up to Her as Our Mother. Let us so entirely give ourselves to Her that She may use Her Mother’s influence over us. Let Her feel that we trust Her. Let us strive to always love Her with a Jesus love. Let it be the one great aim of our lives; then we will truly be living in imitation of Jesus whose Heart was in constant union with the Heart of His Mother -His Mother and our Mother. Our minds are amazed by the thought that God could trust His only Son to Her; that Jesus could submit to be influenced by Her, and that Her thoughts, Her ideas, were all, not only so pure, so beautiful, but in perfect harmony with the Will of the Eternal Father for the sacred humanity of His Eternal Word. Mary has never failed God! Think of it – NEVER! It is well to think of Mary’s greatness but it is better to draw near to Her and as a little child feel secure in Her possession! She is the Mother of Mercy. She will come to our aid and guide us to God. Her maternal Heart wants all of God’s children to choose Heaven. Let us take Mary as our very own and know that the gentle eyes of Jesus will be turned upon us with exceeding love as He sees us love His own Immaculate Mother.
And finally when we make our Consecration - we are committed to Jesus because He is our final end! Mary would not want it any other way. Her goal is to lead all of God’s children to Her Son. To make this Consecration we are saying - You have given me All – now I humble myself to the lowest point of declaring myself your slave – and I give you my All! Those who try to comprehend the immense love of God want to “give” – but what can we “give”? Many are perplexed at the concept of "slave" since it is written in Scripture that we are made heirs of the Kingdom. For a soul to desire to become His slave is the total giving of self – it is ALL – God is not outdone in generosity. We can never give Him anything – it already belongs to Him – we are unprofitable servants! This Consecration is a total giving of self – but given to God through the hands of Mary where the offering will be purified and covered with Her love. It is a TOTAL act of love to One Who is Love.
May Our Queen and Mother take our offering of self and give us in return Her Son! May She watch over us and lead us closer to Him. May She reprimand us when needed and drag us back if She must when we humanly fall into our past weaknesses and faults. We give Her this right over us when we become slaves to Jesus through Mary. Don't you want her to drag you back or to reprimand you! I DO! She can not do this on Her own without our surrender, our Consecration and our pleading through prayer! Listening to Our Lady of Fatima, may we Consecrate ourselves to Her Immaculate Heart in order for Jesus to be more known, loved and served. May we never be without our Brown Scapular which is a sign of this Consecration! This coming New Year is a time to renew and a time to Consecrate all that is dear to us - to Her Immaculate Heart! If we have neglected our Rosary, our wearing of the Brown Scapular or the prayers of Reparation taught at Fatima - NOW is the time to turn back to these. WHY? --to bring graces to ourselves, to our family and to the world - and to ask Her to be at our side at the time of our death.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us and protect us – guide us to the Divine Fire of Love – Your Son – Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Thank you, Eternal Father, for the gift of Our Lord Jesus Christ and Our Loving Mother who wants all of us to be Yours! You are an amazing Father Who knows we need a Mother to care for us! We humble ourselves before Her! We love You for these great Gifts!
The post preceding this one, talks about the antiphons used in the Divine Office. We are now on the third Antiphon for the last week of Advent. Here is more information regarding these antiphons.
The O Antiphons refer to the seven antiphons that are prayed immediately before the Magnificat during Vespers of the Liturgy of the Hours (or the Divine Office). Each antiphon begins with the exclamation “O”, thus earning their popular name of the “O Antiphons.” They cover the special period of Advent preparation known as the Octave before Christmas, from Dec. 18-23, with Dec. 24 being Vespers of the Christmas Vigil.
The O Antiphons are special because each one emphasizes a different prophetic title of the soon-to-be-born King of Kings as foreshadowed in the Old Testament by the prophet Isaiah: Wisdom, Lord of Israel, Root of Jesse, Key of David, Radiant Dawn, King of All Nations, and Emmanuel.
Additionally, the ancient monks who first assembled the O Antiphons arranged them in the order in which they are prayed to give us a message. If one takes the first letter of each antiphon (in the Latin) starting from the last to the first, the word ERO CRAS is formed which translates, “Tomorrow I will come.”
This is the last week of Advent and the Church uses special antiphons to help us prepare with Our Lady for the birth of Our Savior Jesus Christ. Below is an article explaining this. Here are the specific antiphons called the "O Antiphons".
These antiphons, called the "Greater Antiphons" or the "O Antiphons," are the following:
(Dec. 18th) Antiphon 1: O Wisdom! Thou came forth from the mouth of the Most High and, reaching from beginning to end, Thou ordered all things mightily and sweetly. Come, and teach us the way of prudence.
(Dec. 19th) Antiphon 2: O Adonai, Ruler of the House of Israel! Thou appeared to Moses in the fire of the burning bush and on Mount Sinai gave him Thy law. Come to redeem us with the strength of Thy arm.
(Dec. 20th) Antiphon 3: O Root of Jesse! Thou stand as a sign for all peoples; before Thee kings shall keep silence and to Thee all nations shall have recourse. Come, save us, and do not delay.
(Dec. 21st) Antiphon 4: O Key of David, Scepter of the House of Israel! Thou doth open and no man closes; Thou doth close and no man opens. Come, and deliver from the chains of prison those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
(Dec. 22nd) Antiphon 5: O Rising Dawn, Radiance of the Light eternal and Sun of Justice! Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.
(Dec. 23rd) Antiphon 6: O King of the Gentile, the Awaited One of all! Thou are the cornerstone that binds two into one. Come, and save man whom Thou fashioned out of clay.
(Dec. 24th) Antiphon 7: O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver, the Hope and Salvation of the nations! Come and save us, O Lord our God.
Since my talk this week is on the Mass, I am including this information on Our Lady and her reverence for Our Lord Jesus Christ - truly present in the Blessed Sacrament. Never has a saint thirsted for Holy Communion as Mary has. Her adoration was profound, interior and intimate. It was the gift of Her entire self. She offered Her whole self to the service of love of the Eucharistic God. For love lays down no conditions, makes no reservations; it thinks no longer of self, lives no longer for self; it is a stranger to itself and lives only for the God which it loves. Everything in Mary was directed to the Blessed Sacrament as Its center and end. A current of grace and love established itself between the Heart of Jesus and the Heart of Mary. These Hearts were like two flames blended into one. No creature ever appreciated or understood this wonderful Sacrament as Mary has. No one’s preparation for Communion ever came so near to being what it should be as Mary’s. Why? Mary in Her profound humility understood Her unworthiness to receive Her God in this marvelous mystery of His love. It was because of this true knowledge of Her own nothingness before God that allowed Mary to become the delight of His Heart. This is the secret of Mary.
As children of Mary, let us ask Her to teach us how to receive Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Let us first ask for profound humility. Let us ask for the virtues of profound faith, hope and love and for the grace to turn our thoughts more to God in the course of our day -- especially at Mass and during the reception of Holy Communion. If we approach this Sacrament of Love with Mary, we will experience His Presence among us at all times, Jesus will restore to us the joys of Paradise. He desires to speak familiarly with us and desires our constant love.
Why do we not please Jesus more when we go to Holy Communion? It is because we do not go as Mary did. We are bent on putting ourselves first; we think too much of ourselves. Unlike Mary, we go as prideful people not remembering our humble position before Him. We should go to Communion like Mary, losing the thought of ourselves in Jesus. If we wish to make the most perfect Communion with our Lord and Savior, then let us go with Mary. Let us be humble and forgetful of self. If we trust ourselves to our Mother, She will make our Communions glorious to God, pleasing and fruitful. It is the thought of the joy of God, when Jesus is with us at that time, when our Father in Heaven looks down upon us and sees not us but Jesus in us. This is achieved when Jesus sees His Mother, through the power of the Holy Spirit, present in a soul that belongs to Her. He comes and gives it His choicest favors. Jesus in the Host makes up for the coldness of our prayers by the fervor of His. In our name He adores His Father, He thanks Him and offers His expiations and merits to supply what is wanting in ours.
Sweet Mother Mary, prepare us for Holy Communion, by obtaining for us the fitting dispositions. We will resolve that as often as we are allowed to do so, to go often to this Heavenly Banquet with Your assistance in order to please the Triune God.
“Jesus Veiled! Let us kneel down before Him in adoring awe, while our Mother teaches us His beauty, and His sweetness, and His goodness, and His nearness. God is so infinite that when we think we know Him - we shall not know the half, and when we speak of Him - we shall stammer as children do, and when our hearts are hot with love of Him, they will be cold in comparison of the love which is His due… but with Mary’s help we will hunger for more and draw closer to His Eucharistic Heart.” (From The Blessed Sacrament by Fr. Faber)
There is a beautiful little booklet available that is very helpful for your Communions. Here is a link to get your own.
The Feast of the Immaculate Conception is just two days away. This is a very important feast as there has been controversy regarding this fact for a long time in the Church. The Protestants believe that Our Lady was born with Original Sin like all of us. Today - you will find "Christians" who even dispute the reality of Original Sin - we are so confused today. But the fact is - Mary was conceived without Original Sin. This is a teaching of the Church. How was Mary exempt of sin? It was not in virtue of any right of Hers but through the pure liberality of God, and this “in view of the merits of Her Son,” as the Church expresses it.
Formerly, certain theologians rejected the Immaculate Conception on the pretext that, if Mary had been conceived without sin, She would have had no need of the Redemption merited by Jesus; but it is a dogma of faith that Jesus died for all men without exception. In reality, the Immaculate Conception in no way restricts the universality of the Redemption. Mary also was redeemed; she was redeemed even more completely than we were, and Her grace of redemption was more efficacious than ours. We were liberated from the slavery of the demon and of sin in the first way by holy Baptism; Mary was liberated from this slavery in the second way by Her Immaculate Conception (by singularly being kept from Original Sin).
Her Son was purity itself. Would He not have wanted His Mother to be like Himself? Can you imagine Jesus growing in the womb of a woman who was even for an instant the slave of the devil? In the story of Christ’s human origin, what is immediately made known is Mary’s virginal purity. This purity, willed by Her, was willed all the more by God Himself, Who, in order to safeguard it, worked an absolutely unique miracle. She was the immaculate tabernacle for Jesus!
Scripture allows us to presuppose a completely exceptional sanctity in Mary even before the Incarnation. At the Annunciation, the angel salutes Her as being full of grace, and therefore particularly full of that grace most necessary for drawing near to God, purity of soul; he declares that the Lord is with Her. Later, Her cousin Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Ghost, exalts Her as blessed among all women and therefore unique among them. Mary then praises God Who has done great things in Her – not one great thing, the divine maternity, but great things, the divine maternity and all its accompanying privileges.
In 1439, December 8th was extended to the Church as the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. The Council of Trent, in its decree on the universality of Original Sin, declared that “it did not intend that the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary be included in this decree”. In 1661, Pope Alexander VII determined the exact object of the Feast. In 1709, Pope Clement XI solemnly declared the moral certitude of this privilege. The last step in the process was its definition as a divinely revealed Truth, which was reserved to Pope Pius IX. He believed that the time providentially determined by God for proceeding to the solemn proclamation of the dogma of Mary’s Immaculate Conception had come. He actually consulted the bishops of the whole world and had the theologians carefully examine the questions related to this dogma in their meetings. Then, on December 8, 1854, he declared, pronounced and defined that “the doctrine which holds that the Blessed Virgin Mary had been preserved from every stain of Original Sin at the first instant of Her conception, by a grace and unique privilege of God Almighty, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of mankind, had been revealed by God and must, therefore, be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful”. She was to be Immaculate as Mother of God and not stained as daughter of Eve.
There must have been in those late 1800’s some skeptics. We can be sure of this since it was a time when Modernism was beginning to take hold in the Church and doubts were circling about many Church teachings. To protect the newly proclaimed dogma, the Eternal Father had allowed the Blessed Virgin, Herself, to come to us and claim to St. Bernadette at Lourdes, France in 1858 that She truly was – “The Immaculate Conception”. This happened just four years after the dogma was pronounced and She gave Her name by stating: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” Can we doubt that with the Church’s approval for this apparition and with all of its miracles that She truly is the Immaculate Conception? May we honor her daily in reparation of all the skeptics by saying daily and frequently:
“O Mary, conceived without sin, please pray for us who have recourse to Thee!”
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 41 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 5 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!