I should have posted this early today instead of the end of the day. Happy Feast of the Queenship of Mary!! There will be no reign of Christ in our hearts if there is no reign of Mary first.
It must be evident to anyone who reflects upon the sad state of things that what the world needs more than anything else is spiritual regeneration. The fatherhood of God, the brotherhood of mankind, love and charity, peace and happiness, holiness in the family, all the good things which Christ brought down from Heaven have practically disappeared all because Our Redeemer has been banished from His Kingdom. He has been driven from government, from education, from the home, from the lives of men and women and from all human relations. The social body is no longer vitalized by the life of the spirit of Christ. It is because Our Savior has been dethroned that the Dove of peace no longer rests upon the world.
Since there is no name under Heaven in which there is salvation for man except the Name of Jesus, the world must be reborn in Him and Mary must be the Mother of its regeneration! When the world sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, it was She who gave it its Redeemer; and to the end of time, She will remain our Life, our Sweetness and our Hope. Her divine motherhood has made Her the Spiritual Mother of all men and never has it been known that anyone who fled to Her for help was left unaided. If men and nations would return to Her love, they would be as safe as the Infant Jesus was when He rested in Her arms. The Lord is with Her; and if we want Him to be with us; we must love Her whom He has made the Mother of our salvation.
This insistence on Mary’s role in the Church for the salvation of all mankind brings us back to the Magnificat, the song of Mary expressing her gratitude: for “the Almighty has done great things for me” (Lk 1:49) In this song, St. Luke expressed, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the interior life of Mary, her love for God, her dedication to His Holy Will. We could say that he became the first interpreter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
The Fatima prayer said at the end of each decade: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell; lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Your mercy,” is said to Jesus through Mary in the Rosary. Mary has an essential role in God’s plan in the achieving of both individual salvation and global salvation of the human race. It is to this Queen of Heaven that the Church should have recourse in all of its difficulties. It should entrusts all its plans to Her because in praying to Her and loving Her, it can respond to the wish expressed by the Savior on the Cross, and it is certain it will not be disappointed in its prayers.
St. John Bosco taught his boys the advice of St. Bernard which was the following: “When the storms of temptation burst upon you, when you see yourself driven upon the rocks of tribulation, look up at the star, call upon Mary. When buffeted by the billows of pride, ambition, or hatred, or jealousy, look up at the star, call upon Mary. Should anger, or avarice, or carnal desires violently assail the little vessel of your soul, look up at the star, call upon Mary. If troubled on account of the heinousness of your sins, confounded at the filthy state of your conscience, and terrified at the thought of the awful judgment to come, you begin to sink into the bottomless gulf of sadness and to be absorbed in the abyss of despair, oh, then think of Mary! In danger, in doubts, in difficulties, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Let not Her name depart from your lips. Never suffer it to leave your heart that you may more surely obtain the assistance of Her prayers, neglect not to walk in Her footsteps. With Her for your guide, you will never go astray. While invoking Her, you will never lose heart so long as She is in your mind, you are safe from deception. While She holds you in Her hand, you cannot fall. Under Her protection, you have nothing to fear. If She walks before you, you will not grow weary. If She shows you favor, you will reach your goal – Heaven!”She is Queen of all the empire of which He is King; all that He possesses as Son of God, She possesses as the Mother of Jesus.
May we pray daily: May His Kingdom come through Mary!
We love you O Queen of Heaven and Earth and we thank the Father for the great gift of Your love for us!
MOTHER OF DIVINE GRACE
Mary was conceived in God’s grace; there was no trace of sin in Her and no inclination to sin. Mary was immaculately conceived in order to be the first tabernacle of our Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, the saints tell us that she spent Her entire life continuously making efforts to grow in virtue so as to bear much fruit and to be an example to us. Her soul was so cultivated in grace that even the smallest seed bore fruit a hundred fold. She kept constant watch over Her heart. She watched over Her every word as though She could not trust Her tongue. She lived Her life here on this earth as a true penitent constantly living and striving to give God constant glory in Her prayers, actions and words. She lived a life of prayer and sacrifice completely imbued in God’s love and grace. Her life is for us to imitate.
We, on the contrary, are born in original sin. Even with the great gift of Baptism which gives us back sanctifying grace; we do not take great care in keeping this Baptismal gown of grace beautiful and unstained. Are we watchful as Our Blessed Mother? Despite the fact that we are aware of being surrounded by flattering, deceitful enemies whose sole aim is to use our natural weakness to bring about our fall; we have no fear and are not watchful at all!
Even though we admit and know that we are weak creatures with a fallen nature; we frequently expose ourselves to temptations that would bring down even the strongest soul. It is not enough to assure ourselves that our sentiments are heartfelt and our resolutions fervent. A single inopportune occasion is enough to destroy us.
“But we carry this treasure in vessels of clay, to show that the abundance of the power is God’s and not ours.” (2Cor. 4, 7) The power is God’s grace – not ours! It is hard to live in continual watchfulness over our inclinations so that we may overcome them; but no one has ever become a saint without vigilance and struggle. If we turn to Our Blessed Mother, She will teach us to fully appreciate and understand how God’s grace is the only good that deserves our deep concern, the only good whose loss should cause us sorrow. If we esteem God’s grace, we will be spared many anxieties during this life and will have piled up riches for the life to come.
If we understand and guard this treasure of God’s grace and seek it first in our sacramental life of Penance and Holy Communion, we will come to understand it as a great treasure! Many Christians will be surprised on the day of judgment to see themselves heavily in debt to God’s justice because they did not make use of the means given them to become a great saint! When we are on the path to virtue, not to advance is to go backwards; not to gain is to lose. The more generous we are toward Him, the more generous and liberal He will be toward us, even in this life! “Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect”. Mary, Our Mother, help us to be perfect and to seek God’s grace in all that we do so we can give God glory with our lives.
Holy Mother of Divine Grace - pray for us sinners!
All the gifts that we possess come from God; by ourselves we are nothing. This is humility and the first great lesson that Mary teaches us. St. Augustine states that never did he meet a pagan who possessed the virtue of humility. The reason is that this virtue is only possible by a supernatural grace.
When Mary received the message that God had chosen Her as the tabernacle for His Son, She expressed surprise. She felt unworthy. Upon receiving the assurance that the Holy Spirit would come upon Her, She humbly declared Herself to be the “handmaid of the Lord”. She saw nothing in Herself except the presence of God’s grace, and the wondrous blessings He had lavished upon Her, and thanked Him for it continuously. She saw Herself as His creature and handmaid. She could not see Herself apart from Him, for She never had been apart from Him during one single instant of Her existence, as we unfortunately have been.
St. Teresa of Avila states, “humility is truth”. What is this truth? The truth is found in Mary’s disposition of knowing that She is the creature and that God is the Creator. She knew that all the greatness within Her came from His Hand and that of Herself She is nothing. We can learn from this disposition of heart. Do we give God all the glory for the accomplishments, talents, virtues and gifts that He has given to us? And when He shares His passion with us, do we offer the pains and inconveniences to His Heart in reparation for all that saddens Him? We can learn from Mary to give God all the glory and to depend on God for all things.
Do we find ourselves seeking man’s approval and praise? Mary’s life teaches us to do all for God alone. She wished to be hidden for God’s eyes alone. We are what we are only in the eyes of God – not in the eyes of men. Whether men give us praise or persecute us, humility teaches us that it only matters what God thinks. We are only the instruments of God and if our intentions are pure and full of love for Him, there is nothing to fear. This gives the saints great confidence to do His Will knowing that they will act only with His grace and only for His glory!
Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to teach us this humility of knowing who we truly are. This truth will set us free by taking away all our anxieties and giving us great confidence in God’s power – His grace! May She give us the grace to understand and be thankful for God’s graces. May we always come to Her and ask Her to send us these graces from God to be His instruments of love in this world. May we live in imitation of Her by living for God alone and in selflessly seeking the salvation of souls for His Kingdom!
Jesus, meek and humble of Heart - make our hearts like unto Thine!
Following Mary ALWAYS leads to happiness. Why? She leads us to Christ. Where is Christ? Look to the Cross.
The craving after happiness is one of the strongest instincts of human nature. All men long to possess her, they pursue after her, and in hope of attaining her, they run wherever they think she is to be found. Some imagine that happiness consists in gratifying their every sense. Some imagine that happiness is in wealth and money. They toil day and night sacrificing health and comfort – even their souls for a few acres of land or a few bags of gold. Others give themselves up to gambling, addictions and carnal gratifications. How many people sigh for the frivolous joys of earth and pursue them eagerly as if in them alone true happiness was to be found. How vain is all their labors!
Satan, who tempted Eve in Paradise to eat the forbidden fruit, now makes use of the same deceptions to tempt her descendants in the world. He puts before them the good things of this life – riches, honors, pleasures, surrounded by a fictitious glamour; he represents them under so seductive an aspect that thousands are captivated by it and they find themselves pursuing these false and fleeting phantoms of earth. Like Eve, they soon experience affliction, remorse and even death. They meet with disappointment, sorrow and pain.
God has made us for no other end but to know Him, love Him and to serve Him so as to be happy with Him in Heaven. However attractive creatures may be, we are not made for them but for God. Like Mary, the most perfect creature of God, our hearts are created for God and in Him alone can it find peace and happiness. The famous quote of St. Augustine should always be before us. He tasted the allurements the world could offer and finally realized, “Thou hast created us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart has no rest until it rests in Thee.” Mary always had this truth before Her eyes: God alone is able to satisfy the human heart.
It is only in this truth that we will see happiness and long for it. May we run to Our Blessed Mother in all temptations and seek graces to turn our eyes away from these things of this earth that can only enslave our hearts.
One of the great differences between Mary and the world is this- (and this is one of the secrets kept from us by Satan): Mary stood at the foot of the cross and the world runs from it. We are told in Scripture that we must take up our cross and follow Him. What is this cross and if it is painful, is it not the opposite of happiness? Could it be turning down a fleeting pleasure of going to a ball game in order to visit a sick relative and help him prepare for death? Could it be sacrificing a career so that homeschooling a large family for the Kingdom of Heaven could be achieved? Could it be giving up a vacation home so that my son can go to seminary and be a priest for the Church? Could it be being charitable to someone who has just ruined a good name? Could it be praying for your enemy? Could it be holding your tongue in argument even if you are right? Does not all of this bring pain and suffering? God’s ways are not our ways. The cross brings love and with love brings true happiness. Do we embrace our cross? Do we sacrifice our precious time to offer prayers of reparation for the sins which abound around us? Do we go to visit our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and beg Him for the graces we need and in the world – or do we spend our time on frivolous activities which will not last for all eternity? Do we invest in our eternity or in fleeting moments? We are called to love God above all things in order to sacrifice these fleeting moments ---- FOR WHAT? FOR ETERNITY! What is Eternity – Do we think about it in comparison to this life! A close friend of mine has just died. He was obstinate in agreeing that this life was meant to love God alone. He spent his life for himself. He abandoned his children and those who reached out to him. He chose to live life for himself. Where is he now? He lived to 91 years of age. God gave him many years to wake up and see that this life is meant to be lived in imitation of Jesus – SACRIFICED FOR OTHERS. Anyone who gives to others knows that it is in giving that we receive. One must reach out and taste this to know. Heaven can be found on earth but it is on the cross. God’s ways are not ours!
Let us ask Our Blessed Mother to show us Her Heart which beats only for God and is always at the foot of the cross. Let us ask Her to give us the love for God which He expects from all of His children. Let us ask Her to teach us to seek happiness in God alone and to understand that God cannot be separated from His cross – the love found in the cross is the happiness which lasts for all eternity. Let us ask Her to teach us that it is in giving of ourselves to God and neighbor that we will truly receive the happiness that we so desperately seek. May our Blessed Mother help us to look forward to Heaven with happiness in our hearts!
Bernadette Porter is a Traditional Catholic, a wife of 42 years with 6 adult home-schooled children and 6 grandchildren. A sincere devotion to Mary, the Mother of God leads me to want to share "The Church's best kept secret" - Mary!