Please join us A.D. April 10 2017 C.LF. (Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima) as we begin our 33 Day Consecration to Jesus Through Mary. Our Consecration date will be on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Fatima!
Guest Post By: Julia-Anne Therese
Canadian Catechist has been telling me people have been asking him about how to go about doing this consecration. Well, here you go!
Step 1: Choose a Marian feast. Well, we already chose one for the sake of this blog series: Our Lady of Fatima. But if you feel like Mary is calling you to a different day, you can choose another Marian Feast. Some examples are the Annunciation (March 25), Visitation (May 31), Our Lady of Perpetual Help (June 27), Presentation of Mary (November 21), and Immaculate Conception (December 8).
Step 2: This step has multi parts to it.
A. Work 33 days back from that day. For example, for Our Lady of Fatima, your start date will be April 10. Which means you have to complete steps B-D before April 10.
B. Choose the resource you want to use to get the daily Consecration preparation readings from. Here are some examples:
33 Days to Morning Glory: This one, by Fr. Michael Gaitley, is another way people have done the consecration. It is divided into five parts and features different Saints. Personally, it is for those who need something easy for the first time to go through it (if you do not have a lot of time). It is very simplified and to the point. I am sure if you want to combine it with St. Louis de Montfort’s it would be fine. If you do this one, it is not that you will not receive as much graces as if you do one of the others, but you may find it “basic” in nature.
http://www.fisheaters.com/totalconsecrationmontfort.html they have the 33 Days listed and divided into a four week period. This is the St. Louis de Montfort text.
Marian Consecration Meditations: This one is in Ladaute (the app) and used as a companion to 33 Days to Morning Glory
C. Spend your Lent reading True Devotion of Mary by St. Louis de Montfort. I did not do this the first time I consecrated myself to Jesus through Mary, but I will this time.
D. The weekend before you begin the preparation, I strongly suggest going to the Sacrament of Confession. This will help you have graces to get through the preparation, because I will attest, it can be difficult, and you will face spiritual warfare.
Step 4: On April 10 (or whatever day you start), you go through the 33 days. Try to frequent Communion as much as possible during this time.
Step 5: On the 34th day, you go to Confession, go to Communion, give alms (if you want, in the form of a votive candle is fine) and then write out the Consecration prayer on a piece of paper, signing it and dating it. You can also find the Consecration prayer listed on the Fisheaters website I posted above. Hang it up in a place that you can always remember how you consecrated yourself to Jesus through Mary.
Why you Should do the Marian Consecration A.D. 2017 C.L.F….
A.D. 2017 C.L.F. is the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima
Why you should do the Marian Consecration ….
Guest Post By: Julia-Anne Therese
In life, when we want something, we more than likely ask our parents for it. When a guy wants to propose to his girlfriend, he should ask her dad. When we want to be able to gain permission to do something, we ask our parents. We are trying to gain something through it. Now, what if you could get closer to Jesus by asking His Mother to help you? That is something that for probably many of you seems second nature but in a lot of ways it does not at the same time. Mary is the one human in all of human history that is the closest to Jesus. No one will surpass her and not anyone will ever come close. She said “yes!” to the Angel Gabriel to have Jesus be conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mary’s body was made to have the son of God. With that said, in Mary’s humility, she always pointed towards to Jesus. She silently adored Him as He was in her womb. She pointed to him at the Wedding of Cana. It is no wonder that we Catholics turn to Mary so much.
One way that throughout the centuries, people have turned to Mary is by the fact they consecrated themselves to Jesus through Mary. It is a way to serve our Lord better and to help Him be there more in our lives. The formalized version of this Total Consecration dates back to St. Louis de Montfort in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries through his book True Devotion of Mary which led to Preparing for Total Consecration of Jesus through Mary. Throughout time, there have been other priests who have created books for the Total Consecration, but it is essentially the same thing: 33 days of preparation for giving yourself totally and completely to Jesus through Mary on a Marian feast. Once you do it, you should renew it every year on the same Marian feast hypothetically, but sometimes people do switch around Marian feasts.
There are many articles online that explain why you should do the Total Consecration. The Saints have done it and advocated it throughout the ages. If you love Mary and Jesus and grow closer to them, it is a great way to do so! People can have spiritual warfare as part of it, but persevere – Mary will also help you! After all, she did crush Satan’s head.
But why not regardless do it this year …. For Fatima
2017 marks the 100th anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. To this day, when Our Lady appeared to the shepherd children of Fatima is one of the best known Marian apparitions, and to think it is just within the past 100 years! There are so many reasons that even if you have already consecrated yourselves to Jesus through Mary for Our Lady of Fatima. The start date is April 10, which is the Monday of Holy Week. But why Our Lady of Fatima? Here is a few reasons ….
The 100th Anniversary is on a Saturday: As part of the Consecration, you should go to Confession and Mass as part of it. Unless we make a habit of it, it can be hard to go to Daily Mass during the week because of work. But because it is on a Saturday, you are able to do all of those things since you do not have any obligations of a job! Plus Saturday is typically reserved as Mary’s day.
May is Mary’s month. May is a month that we honor Mary. What more to show a way that you want to grow closer to her than growing closer to Jesus?
The final war will be between Satan and the family: Revealed to be the final secret at Fatima, the final war that Satan will engage in is the war of the family. We see that battle being alive and well through the fact that there are so many broken families in today’s society. What more to be a witness on earth by having your spouse and you (with your family) do the Total Consecration? That will give you the spiritual strength to get through any hardship that gets in the way.
It is a way to grow spiritually post-Lent: Since the first day of preparation just so happens to be during Holy Week, it is a great way to continue the graces you received during Lent of being more prayerful during the Easter season! Once you have consecrated yourselves, you are naturally going to be wanting to be more prayerful!
There you have it. Four reasons why you should do it during this 100th year of Fatima.
It is a breath of fresh air to hear this new Marian hymn written by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus! Pleas keep Monsignor Kolfhaus in your prayers, he is a true Shepherd of Christ and has the deepest love for our Most Blessed Mother. Have a blessed Christmas everyone! Please come Mary!
O Eternal and incarnate Wisdom! O sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father, and of Mary, always virgin! I adore Thee profoundly in the bosom and splendors of Thy Father during eternity; and I adore Thee also in the virginal bosom of Mary, Thy most worthy Mother, in the time of Thine incarnation.
I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast annihilated Thyself, taking the form of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil. I praise and glorify Thee for that Thou hast been pleased to submit Thyself to Mary, Thy holy Mother, in all things, in order to make me Thy faithful slave through her. But, alas! Ungrateful and faithless as I have been, I have not kept the promises which I made so solemnly to Thee in my Baptism; I have not fulfilled my obligations; I do not deserve to be called Thy child, nor yet Thy slave; and as there is nothing in me which does not merit Thine anger and Thy repulse, I dare not come by myself before Thy most holy and august Majesty. It is on this account that I have recourse to the intercession of Thy most holy Mother, whom Thou hast given me for a mediatrix with Thee. It is through her that I hope to obtain of Thee contrition, the pardon of my sins, and the acquisition and preservation of wisdom.
Hail, then, O immaculate Mary, living tabernacle of the Divinity, where the Eternal Wisdom willed to be hidden and to be adored by angels and by men! Hail, O Queen of Heaven and earth, to whose empire everything is subject which is under God. Hail, O sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one. Hear the desires which I have of the Divine Wisdom; and for that end receive the vows and offerings which in my lowliness I present to thee.
I, N_____, a faithless sinner, renew and ratify today in thy hands the vows of my Baptism; I renounce forever Satan, his pomps and works; and I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before. In the presence of all the heavenly court I choose thee this day for my Mother and Mistress. I deliver and consecrate to thee, as thy slave, my body and soul, my goods, both interior and exterior, and even the value of all my good actions, past, present and future; leaving to thee the entire and full right of disposing of me, and all that belongs to me, without exception, according to thy good pleasure, for the greater glory of God in time and in eternity.
Receive, O benignant Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of, and in union with, that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom deigned to have to thy maternity; in homage to the power which both of you have over this poor sinner, and in thanksgiving for the privileges with which the Holy Trinity has favored thee. I declare that I wish henceforth, as thy true slave, to seek thy honor and to obey thee in all things.
O admirable Mother, present me to thy dear Son as His eternal slave, so that as He has redeemed me by thee, by thee He may receive me! O Mother of mercy, grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God; and for that end receive me among those whom thou lovest and teachest, whom thou leadest, nourishest and protectest as thy children and thy slaves.
O faithful Virgin, make me in all things so perfect a disciple, imitator and slave of the Incarnate Wisdom, Jesus Christ thy Son, that I may attain, by thine intercession and by thine example, to the fullness of His age on earth and of His glory in Heaven. Amen.
“The School of Mary – Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary”
The Wedding Feast at Cana
Once again, Canadian Catechist is very pleased to have a post written by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus who works under the Secretariat of State as a diplomat of the Holy See to many international agencies such as the United Nations, NATO, WHO, OSCE, and many more. He has a PhD in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical “Gregorian” University and also has a Master’s degree in law. Believe me, we are in very good hands with the good Monsignor! He is one of the most faithful and loving priests I have ever had the privilege to communicate with, and I feel very blessed to be able to call him my father and friend. I hope that his words touch your heart and soul the way that they have touched mine.
I am pleased to be able to offer you a snippet from his latest book, soon to be released called “The School of Mary – Meditations on the Mysteries of the Rosary”.
Here it is:
Jesus, who revealed himself at the wedding in Cana
ʽWe pray to God for a lot of things and don’t receive them. We pray to Mary for a lot and receive it. Why is this so? Not because Mary is more powerful than God, but because this way God wants to honour this Motherʼ.
Alphonsus Maria de’ Liguori, 1696-1787
Jesus performs his first miracle. He transforms water into wine. Three years later His last miracle will occur on earth when He transforms wine into blood. Both times it happens at a wedding. In Cana He is a guest, during the Last Supper He invites to sit at His table. Now He celebrates the marriage bond of a friend, then He marries His church. He is the Lamb, who holds the wedding and is unified with his bride, when she drinks from the cup that the Lord hands her. He is the New and Eternal Covenant that the Divine Groom wants to enter into with the drinking of His own blood. This is truly the best wine that the Lord saves until the end of His life (cf. Jn 2:10) before He distributes it to His disciples.
Mary is there with Jesus. She expresses her concern for the emergency situation of the bridal couple who run out of wine. She doesn’t need to make a request in order to bring help. In this moment the Mother becomes a bride, the woman who bore Jesus becomes his consort. Jesus names Mary ʽwomanʼ. In this way He gives her the old title of the primordial time of Creation, by that God predicted the enemy of the serpent (cf. Gen 3:15). Even before Jesus reveals Himself as the Messiah and Lord through the miracle of Cana, He reveals who His Mother is. This woman is the new Eve who accompanies the Saviour. Jesus knows that the secure and happy life in Nazareth is definitely over when He does what Mary asks Him without words. He knows that the first sign of the Messiah will lead him along a way that will end up on the Golgotha. There He will call Mary again ʽwomanʼ. He almost wants to delay this moment when He doesn’t say anymore to his mother but to the woman: ʽWoman, why do you involve meʼ ? (Jn 2:4). In this instant Jesus sees the cross, in front of which He shies away as Man exclaiming: ʽMother, why do you involve me with such suffering?ʼ. He doesn’t want to go yet: ʽMy hour has not yet comeʼ (Jn 2:4). However, Jesus transforms water in wine for her. He listens to her because He wants to honour His Mother this way. Christ’s first miracle saves the wedding feast. His last one will save the souls of those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb (cf. Rev 19:9). Mary’s request, that marks the beginning of this so blessed yet so terrible hour, doesn’t solve only the material need of the bridal couple, but heals the spiritual suffering of the sinners. The Mother pushes the Son without words to finally show himself as groom. Those, the lost at the roadside and the corner of houses, should be invited by Him to the wedding feast, that doesn’t have an end. Six enormous water jars are transformed by the Lord into sparkling wine so that the earthly celebration can still last for days. According to the Jewish custom, it should be for seven days. The last bowl will be his body, from which pours the real drink of life that never runs out and donates a heavenly celebration that never ends.
ʽDo whatever He tells youʼ (Jn 2:5). This is the last word that the Sacred Scriptures report of Mary. She says it to prepare Jesus’ first miracle. When His last one happens, He will repeat this word to instruct the apostles to transform again and again wine into His blood: ʽdo thisʼ (Lk 22:19). Mary’s mission goes far beyond the wedding of Cana. He, the one that transforms water into wine and bread into His body, can also transform my life and make it similar to his. Help me, ‘pleading Omnipotence’, in order that I do what He says so that this miracle could happen in me.
An Introduction to Totus Tuus by Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus
St Louis Marie de Monfort and Consecration to Jesus through Mary
Hi Everyone, I hope and pray that all are having a blessed and safe summer season. Our family has had many blessings and a few trials as of late, so I am not posting as much as I would like to ; I apologize for this, but I assure you that this site is here to stay. I appreciate all the feedback and comments from all over the Catholic World. Never could I have ever imagined that this little site from Canada would have so many visitors from so many places. All for the praise of God’s Glory! That’s my little adaptation to St Ignatius of Loyola and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. Oh ! By the way, Pope Francis can you please look at Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity’s cause for canonization! I doubt he will ever see this but who knows :-).
Once again I would like to welcome back our guest contributor Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus whoserves at the Secretariat of State’s Section for the Relation with Statesat the Holy See (Vatican). Monsignor Florian Kolfhaus is a diplomat of the Holy See and he has a Ph.D in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (my kind of teacher), and a Licentiate in Canon Law. We are in very good company here folks, I hope we are paying attention. Monsignor’s posts couldn’t have come at a better time ; Thank you Monsignor. God’s timing is unbelievable, He is never late. Please keep Monsignor Kolfhaus in your daily prayers. Now more than ever we need to pray for our priests ! Our Lady of Mount Carmel pray for priests !
“There is only one tragedy,” said the French poet Léon Bloy, “and that is to not be a saint.” Becoming a saint is indeed our life’s goal; we are created for this. God has called the universe into being so that man might exist. He has breathed His breath into Adam and Eve, making them the progenitors of His family. In order to fulfill His plan, He sent His own son, born of a woman (cf. Gal 4:4). He was crucified to free us from our sins, and He rose again that we might also live. Yes, the Father sent us the Son, who continues to be present in the Church throughout time, so as to give Him brothers and sisters. All that is, the whole cosmos, and all that God has done and continues to do, exists in order to make saints. Yes, only in them, the children of the heavenly Father, does the universe find meaning for its existence. As St. Paul states, “For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom 8:19).
The world needs saints. Without them, without men and women for whom it was made, it loses its most fundamental sense. Holiness, the life of God’s children in communion with Him, is the goal of our entire existence; it is the goal of the whole cosmos. Indeed, there is no greater sorrow than to not become a saint. The success of all Nobel Prize winners and politicians, the glamour of Hollywood celebrities, and the victories of Olympic athletes wane in the light of even a single saint, as unknown and hidden as he might be. That is why our world needs one thing above all else: holy men, women, and children who give God first place in their lives, and who give order and meaning not only to their own lives but to the whole of creation as well.
It is the tragedy of our time that the saints are often caricatured as bigots and pious actors, as people who do not know life and thus cannot enjoy it. The saint seems to be the moralizing ascetic, unworldly pariah, or naive dreamer. How wrong this is! Saint Teresa Benedicta a Cruce (Edith Stein) wrote to her sister, “By the way, it is my conviction that it is not necessary for a saint to renounce all wishes and hopes of the world. Quite the opposite: man is in this world to live, and he is supposed to accept all the beautiful things that are given to him with gratitude.” If holiness is the goal of our being, then the saints are indeed the ones who know this world and can rejoice in it because they have found the meaning for their existence and are aware of it. They are the ones who are truly happy in this world and in the next. The Latin word “beatus,” blessed or saint, indicates this: sanctity is a synonym of true and lasting happiness for which God has created us. In order not to lose sight of this goal, the world needs saints, men and women who have both of their feet on the ground but who have their gaze directed to heaven.
In essence, all men long for sanctity, for communion with God for whom they were created. A deep longing burns in all of us to understand the deepest roots of our being and to encounter the One who is Love. To love and to be loved – that is, in full offering, which is in God and possible for Him – is the deepest human longing; it is the fulfillment of that which we hope for as happiness and beatitude. The human heart is too large to be filled with anything less than God.
But what is a saint? There are many unfortunate misunderstandings that distort the image of true sanctity. Sanctity is not a question of moral over-achievement or, even less, philistine philanthropy. To be holy, is – even before we start with our laborious task – a gift from God. “In baptism the Lord, as it were, sets our life alight with what the Catechism calls sanctifying grace. Those who watch over this light, who live by grace, are holy” (Benedict XVI, September 24, 2011). This task of our lives consists in saving that grace and increasing it. Yes, Baptism makes us Christian and demands of us that we live like Christ, that is, that we be saints.
St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort understood this truth and did all he could to remind us of this glorious and great calling to sanctity. His “True Devotion to Mary,” which quickly became known as the “Golden Book,” is nothing other than a manual for becoming a saint. Louis-Marie Grignion is convinced that being a saint means living in the grace of Baptism, following Christ as a Christian. Who would be better suited to guide this journey than Mary, who – as a good mother – knows how she can help her children to live day by day as sons and daughters of Christ, and how to become ever more like her Son?
In this sense St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort writes that saints are formed in Mary. In her, the greatest miracle happened: God became man. In her, as in a living tabernacle, Christ can be found. Everyone who trustfully consecrates himself to her will be formed in the image of the God-Man. She is, St. Louis-Marie writes, the easiest, quickest, most secure, and most perfect way to become a saint. Consecration to the Mother of God as a conscious renewal of one’s baptismal vows was always highly recommended by the Church. St. Maximilian Kolbe declares, “Undoubtedly, all saints must be formed by the hands of the Virgin Mary. Why? Because all graces flow through the hands of this Most Holy Mother.” The Curé of Ars is firmly convinced that all the saints, without exception, “have a great veneration for the Virgin, since no grace comes down from heaven, except through her very hands.”
The Statue of Our Lady of Quito (Ecuador) depicts the Mother of God as if dancing on the devil in the form of a snake, while crushing its head, as foretold in the first book of the Bible (cf. Gen 3:15). It is indeed extraordinary to depict the Our Lady dancing. What does this image want to tell us? She who is “full of grace” defeats evil effortlessly and joyfully. It is God’s grace in Mary’s life, as in ours, which works great things, if we only declare our fiat with the Virgin of Nazareth. It is all about following Jesus by the hand of His Mother, Mary. Even if we are not spared the Cross, it is not a life of sadness and despair that awaits us, but a life of true joy and hope. Consecrating oneself to Mary means making reference to the image of Quito, that is, being led by this dance, which begins in this world, but already follows the melody of something that is not of this world. This is the core message of the “Golden Book”: whoever consecrates himself to Mary, as carefree as in dancing, will make quicker and easier progress in the spiritual life and in the struggle against one’s faults, as with any other form of piety. Consecration to Mary is, as it were, the prelude to a dance in a truly Christian life, in which three steps are repeated over and over again, and which the Mother teaches her children: to know Jesus, to love Jesus, and to serve Jesus. Veneration of Mary is not by any means secondary and, as some think, not even really necessary. No! “Being Catholic means being Marian” (Pope Benedict XVI, May 28, 2011).
Time and again voices are heard which criticize consecration to Mary as an exaggeration or see in it nothing other than sentimental piety. “De Maria numquam satis,” the Church replies. There can never be enough said about Mary; she can never be honored enough. To God belongs our worship. Mary is and always remains a creature, but she is the masterpiece of the Divine Artist, who mirrors His perfection as nothing and no one in the entire universe. Mary is that which no other creature can say about itself: daughter, mother, and spouse of God. She is the only one who can call God “my child”! Consecrating oneself to Mary means nothing other than entering this dynamic of love and following the logic of the Incarnation. The saints have never feared to exaggerate veneration of Mary. Those who have consecrated themselves to the Mother of God call themselves – as if competing with one another – children of Mary, her servants, her slaves, her own property. Saint John Eudes says, “If I were to know someone who loves Mary more than I do, then I would hasten to that person – even hundred miles I would hasten – to learn how the Mother of God can be loved even more.” Impressed by the Virgin Mary’s beauty, Padre Pio, too, did not hesitate to declare, “Ah, my beautiful mommy, my dear mommy,… Jesus was right… Yes, you are beautiful… without the faith, men would call you a goddess… your eyes are more radiant than the sun… you are beautiful, mommy, it is my honor to love you.” Consecration to Mary is not “Catholic kitsch” or a questionable form of piety, but the imitation of Christ through the hands of His mother, who safely guides anyone who entrusts himself to her. Therefore, the strong Catholic conviction is, “Servus Mariae numquam peribit,” that is, “a servant of Mary will never perish.”
St. Louis-Marie leads whomever wishes to consecrate himself to the Mother of God, and through her to her Divine Son, over thirty-three days toward the consecration. During this time, the faithful must decide to turn away from sin and strive to learn to love Jesus and Mary more. The fruit of this endeavor is supposed to be the conscious renewal of one’s Baptismal vows, a complete giving of self to Jesus through Mary. The present work hopes to trace the steps of St. Louis-Marie Grignion and help the reader prepare himself for the consecration to Mary. In a conscious effort, the thirty-three days of this consecration have been reduced to twelve: three should serve as an in-depth examination of conscience and a renewal of life, and nine should serve as a novena to directly prepare for the consecration and to present the most important stages of Mary’s life to the faithful.
At the end of the first three days a thorough confession is recommended, in which one tries to look deeper into his life than in a typical confession. Hence, it is suggested to answer the questions of the examinations of conscience in written form and to prepare an in-depth confession with these written notes, perhaps even of one’s entire past life. At the same time, one’s gaze must be directed toward the future along with the question of fighting one’s central flaw more effectively. The firm will to repent and concrete resolutions for the spiritual life are fruit of the first three days.
Each day of the Novena as a preparation for the consecration consists of two parts: one concerning prayer and one concerning reading. The part concerning prayer should serve as an opportunity to become closer to the Virgin Mother by meditating on her life and by entrusting oneself to her in prayer. To this end, the most common Marian prayers have been chosen in order for the faithful to acquire an array of prayers during this time. The principal part concerning prayer is one decade of the Rosary that should be prayed slowly and while meditating upon the images, which means meditating upon each mystery with one reason and heart. Obviously, it can be useful to pray the whole Rosary every day, but beginners in the spiritual life especially should avoid pushing themselves too hard. Someone who has never has done sports cannot run a marathon. However, one who trains regularly and proceeds with reasonable steps can perform excellently without risking bruises or sprains. The same is true of the spiritual life, in which it is not principally our own doing and working, but the effective grace of God.
Appended to the prayers and meditations for each day of the Novena is a reading with an excerpt taken from the “Golden Book” by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort. These readings contain a short introduction of the principal idea of the given meditation before the text. At the end of the text, there is a short biographical note of a saint and a prayer. The reading of these spiritual texts does not necessarily have to follow each meditation. It might be recommended to postpone this until another part of the day with time and inspiration. It is very reasonable to pause between the reading of these texts in order to consider and understand the thoughts of the different saints, and to make them one’s own in prayer. It is also recommended to take notes of one’s thoughts and comments in a “spiritual diary.”
This book has no other goal in mind than that of St. Marie-Louis Grignion de Montfort: that is, to be the quickest and most secure way to sanctity. Nevertheless, it simply lends a helping hand in order to deepen one’s spiritual life. The countless hidden treasures that are contained in the Biblical texts and the writings of the saints must be uncovered and appropriated for oneself. One who has already been consecrated to Mary can fruitfully use this novena to prepare for the annual renewal of the consecration and to deepen his spiritual life.
It is left to hope that through this preparation for the consecration many faithful might give themselves generously to the Mother of God, so that she in turn might give our era many saints. This book supports the main principle with which St. Louis-Marie Grignion began his book: “Through Mary Christ came into this world; through Mary He wants to reign in this world!”
May Almighty God Bless us all and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves !
 Padre A, Da San Marco in Lamis, Diario, p. 53: “Ah, Mammina bella, Mammina cara… Aveva ragione Gesù…Sì, sei bella…Se non ci fosse la fede, gli uomini ti direbbero Dea… Gli occhi tuoi sono più splendenti del sole… Sei bella Mammina, me ne glorio, ti amo…”.
In this post I am going to be not so much catechizing on What we believe, but more on how we put what we believe into practice. So, how we can practice and grow in our faith. It is of course an excellent practice to learn as much as one can about our beautiful Catholic Faith, but we must put this knowledge and faith into practice, to truly grow into a deeper more fruitful relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!All Catechesis, must be Christ-centered!!!
Being a member of the Marian Catechist Apostolate demands that we not just grow in our doctrinal and catechetical learning, but also spiritually. We need to have a balance of doctrinal and spiritual development, that balances ones complete make up as a Marian Catechist and as a member of the Church Militant on earth. I believe it can become a temptation at times to believe because we are learning about God, that we are getting to know God in a better way. I have to say that this is not always true. In fact, many of the so-called brightest theologians and scripture exegetes have turned out to be heretics, apostates and in some cases even atheists! One that immediately comes to mind is Martin Luther and John Calvin, their are many , many more. In fact, they are in our midst today ,and not just an anomaly of the distant past.
We can actually put into practice what we learn in the Articles of the Apostle’s Creed. How you say? Certainly, on Sundays and our Holy Days of obligation we attend Mass faithfully. Even more, if at all possible, we should be attending Holy Mass as often as possible, not just limited to the Holy Days of obligation. Their are other pious practices that will help us to grower closer to our Lord and His Holy Mother. The daily praying of the Holy Rosary is actually praying, and meditating on the Gospel itself! Another practice that Marian Catechists do is to pray the daily Angelus at least two times a day.
Traditionally, Wednesdays were a day to especially honour St Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus and the chaste spouse of the Blessed Virgin Mary. I can tell you from personal experience, that St Joseph’s intercessory ability is awesome! He has helped me in many tough situations. Please build a strong relationship with this most great Saint, second only to Mary the Mother of God (Theotokos) . Here is a link to an ancient prayer to St Joseph that I choose to say everyday, it can also be used as a 9 day Novena prayer. Once again, prayers to St Joseph are very powerful and always answered! This is what my patroness Saint, Teresa of Jesus says of St Joseph, “I know by experience,” says St. Teresa of Avila, “that the glorious St. Joseph assists us generally in all necessities. I never asked him for anything which he did not obtain for me.”
So on Fridays, in commemoration of Jesus’ Passion and Death on the Cross, we are obliged to perform some act of penance or mortification. Ouchhh!!! Did you say mortify? Yes, I did! This does not mean, nor do I suggest that you whip or flag yourself half to death. Some people still may do this, but any penance or mortification should also be discussed with one’s spiritual advisor! I am only touching on a couple suggestions. This can be as simple as abstaining from meat, or having a computer fast for that day. It is meant to help unite yourself with our Lord and His Passion and death. A small token to add to the Mystical Body in Heaven and Earth. It also helps us to aquire virtue, especially in temperance. Practicing penance and mortification helps by bringing our unruly passions into check through practice. Remember, we “practice our Faith”. I have to admit, I have a sweet tooth! It is a tough one for me, but its easier when I offer it up to our Blessed Lord ! It helps to bring that particular passion into check.
Of Course, we cannot forget the day dedicated to our Lady, Saturday. Saturday is the day that we honour the Blessed Virgin Mary. We honour our Lady, whose Faith remained unshaken on that Holy Saturday, and never faltered. She had Faith and Hope that Her most Holy Son, Jesus Christ would indeed rise from the dead, as He said He would. In honour of Her, we can light a votive candle for Our Lady’s intentions, or honour her by just spending a little more time meditating on the Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. For those who have a devotion to our Blessed Mother, I might suggest the book True Devotion to Mary by St Louis Marie de Monfort . This book is a masterpiece of Marian devotion and is a favourite of mine and was a favourite of St John Paul II. His papal motto “Totus Tuus”, meaning, all yours, was borrowed from St Louis de Monfort!
Til next time,
may Almighty God Bless us, and protect us from the World, the devil, and ourselves!!!
It is nice to be back, I was on a bit of a break for the last couple of weeks, between jobs and busy with the family. Happy Canada Day to my Canadian readers and happy Fourth of July to all my American friends, belated that is ! I hope all are having a blessed summer.
I will continue this post in the near future, I am compiling information and teachings from my different sources mostly through books, not the internet so much and their is a lot to dig through. Their is history of feasts dedicated to the Assumption ofMary actually dating back to the 6 th century in the east and the 8 th century in the west. The Dogma of Mary’s Assumptionis one that developed over time and became clearer and more defined in the dogmatic sense, even though it was always part of the ordinary teaching of the Church in the broad sense. The clearly defined teaching was made De Fidei in 1950 when Pope Pius XII solemnly declared the Church’s teaching on Mary’s Assumption. Here is an excerpt from APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTION OF POPE PIUS XII
40. Hence the revered Mother of God, from all eternity joined in a hidden way with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination,(47) immaculate in her conception, a most perfect virgin in her divine motherhood, the noble associate of the divine Redeemer who has won a complete triumph over sin and its consequences, finally obtained, as the supreme culmination of her privileges, that she should be preserved free from the corruption of the tomb and that, like her own Son, having overcome death, she might be taken up body and soul to the glory of heaven where, as Queen, she sits in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages.(48)
41. Since the universal Church, within which dwells the Spirit of Truth who infallibly directs it toward an ever more perfect knowledge of the revealed truths, has expressed its own belief many times over the course of the centuries, and since the bishops of the entire world are almost unanimously petitioning that the truth of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven should be defined as a dogma of divine and Catholic faith–this truth which is based on the Sacred Writings, which is thoroughly rooted in the minds of the faithful, which has been approved in ecclesiastical worship from the most remote times, which is completely in harmony with the other revealed truths, and which has been expounded and explained magnificently in the work, the science, and the wisdom of the theologians – we believe that the moment appointed in the plan of divine providence for the solemn proclamation of this outstanding privilege of the Virgin Mary has already arrived.
44. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.
45. Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith.
More will follow this post on Mary’s Assumption, I will try and do some justice to how this teaching developed and came to be solemnly defined in 1950. Our Popes for the most part, don’t just wake up one day and decide to make solemn declarations from the Chair of St Peter just for kicks or because they can. An enormous amount of historical teaching that is constant, also consensus along with the general ordinary teachings and Holy Scripture all have to support a definitive Dogmatic solemn definition from Peters Chair also known as an “ex cathedra” pronouncement. May God protect you from the world, the devil, and ourselves. In JMJ, Lee
YES YES YES , Mary and St Joseph were married before the conception of Our Lord Jesus Christ! Ok, deep breath now. It is so important in this day and age especially with so many attacks on the family itself to protect the TRUTH of the dignity of the Holy Family. So many people today, even some priests, are misinterpreting the Holy scriptures and teachings of the Church by trying to say that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock ; this is just FALSE . It is a direct attack on the sanctity of the Holy Family, and ultimately the family itself. As Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, it is ” pious fiction ” to try and even suggest that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, and to appeal to the sentimentality of the single mother. So called charity without truth is not charity at all, they must be coupled together at all times.
Now, to try and help clarify things we need to go back to the first century customs of the Jewish people. What we recognize as “betrothal,” and what a first century Jewish person sees as betrothal are two very different things to be sure. This taken from a Jewish website here:
Two Stages in Marriage
According to Torah law, marriage is a two-step process. The first stage is called “kiddushin,”and the second step is known as “nisu’in.” Kiddushin is commonly translated as betrothal or espousal, but actually renders the bride and groom full-fledged husband and wife. After this point, if, G‑d forbid, they decided to part ways, a “get” (Jewish divorce) would be required. However, the bride and groom are not permitted to live together as husband and wife until the second stage, the nisu’in, is completed. This taken from this site more info if you want http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/477321/jewish/Kiddushin-Betrothal.htm.
Here are some more references straight out of the Gospel of St Matthew, who is very specific on more than one occasion in the first chapter. Let us take a look what the Holy Scriptures say ; ” Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost.  Whereupon. Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately.” So, we have the term “espoused” in verse 18, and right after this we have St Joseph being called “her husband.” St Matthew writing under the inspiration of God also had this to say a few verses later, clearly identifying Mary and Joseph as being married ” And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife.” Well, that is very clear and plain to me, that St Joseph and Mary were indeed married. Eventhough it definitely appears that St Joseph and Mary were in the kiddushin stage , which is the first stage, it is still an absolutely valid marriage, and a divorce would be needed to get out of it. Even worse, if it was thought that a Jewish woman in the kiddushin stage had been with a man other than her husband, she would have violated Jewish Law and be guilty of adultery, a crime punishable by death. ( my emphasis added in the verses taken from Holy Scripture )
This is what St John Paul IIhad to say about the fact that Our Lady and St Joseph were absolutely married from St John Paul II’s General Audience of Wednesday, 21 August 1996.” 1. In presenting Mary as a “virgin”, the Gospel of Luke adds that she was “betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David”( 1:27). These two pieces of information at first sight seem contradictory. It should be noted that the Greek word used in this passage does not indicate the situation of a woman who has contracted marriage and therefore lives in the marital state, but that of betrothal. Unlike what occurs in modern cultures, however, the ancient Jewish custom of betrothal provided for a contract and normally had definitive value: it actually introduced the betrothed to the marital state, even if the marriage was brought to full completion only when the young man took the girl to his home. At the time of the Annunciation, Mary thus had the status of one betrothed.” Pretty convincing evidence coming from the Holy Scriptures and also newly canonized Saint John Paul II, and even from Jewish sources that all say the same thing about a Jewish marriage.
So, why do people teach this horrendous error than? I can only make an educated guess, but it could likely be from poor catechetical training, and in many instances even poorer priestly and religious formation. Way to much personal interpretation of Holy Scriptures can be added into the mix ; it is always best to follow “the constant and very firm teachings” of the Catholic Church. The Magisterium and Holy Tradition with the Church Fathers is where we turn to look for proper interpretations of Holy Scripture. Pope Benedict XVI said “dogma is simply the proper interpretation of scripture.” Please help in defending the Sanctity of The Holy Family at all times, and call people out on their errors if they fall into this one especially. Write your Bishop if need be, “Do Not Be Afraid!!!”
Third Article of Apostles Creed continued…..Mary’s Sinlessness
Mary had absolutely no inclination to sin, she was free of concupiscence. If we remember from an earlier post, concupiscence is the inclination to sin. We as fallen humans all have it even after being baptized, however, for Mary, God preserved her from all sin. Well, her and Jesus of course. How would it even be possible for Jesus to be born from a sinful human mother. Would that not mean, if that be the case, that the Second Person of the Divine Trinity would have actually been able to sin or even contracted original sin. This just could not be. We explained more of this in the post on the Immaculate Conception. We have to also remember what the Angel Gabriel stated when he saluted Her in Luke 1 “ And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.” Well, if you have been fully graced,like the greek translates it, their can be no room for sin. If something is full, that more than implies that nothing is lacking. I heard an excellent analogy and I cannot remember where from, but I care to share it with you because it makes tremendous sense when catechising on Mary’s sinlessness.It is possible that I actually read this analogy somewhere in St Alphonsus Liguori’s book ” Glories of Mary .” This book stays at my bedside and is a treasure in itself, everyone should own a copy of this book. Now, on to the analogy ; would it make any sense at all to build a house, but, before you actually moved in to your new house, that you would hand over the keys to the worst criminal known to the world, the devil himself? If Mary had original sin, which she did not, nor any inclination to sin ever, would that analogy not be fitting? God would never hand the keys to the greatest thief and murderer ever, especially before He, in all actuality, moved into His home for 9 months. Of course He wouldn’t do that.
The Council of Trent said of Mary’s sinlessness , “ No justified person can for his whole life avoid all sins, even venial sins, except on the ground of a special privilege fro God such as the Church holds was given to the Blessed Virgin” ( D 833 ). So therefore ,In consequence of a Special Privilege of Grace from God, Mary was free from every personal sin during her whole life.
Some of this teaching on Mary’s sinlessness may be hard for some to reconcile with our common idea of “free will”. I know at first, when I reverted back to the Church, I had to find a way of understanding free will in relationship to being sinless.Once again, I believe it was from reading books by Frank Sheed and also books by Reginald Garrigou Lagrange that it all started to make absolute perfect sense. True freedom and free will is not only to choose between what is right and wrong, or to obey or disobey. True freedom of will is to choose the greatest of goods. To choose even between good, better, and best. When it comes to Mary, she always chose absolute best. In this way, her free will was even freer than ours. She didn’t have that war of spirit and flesh to contend with like we do. She could always choose the greatest of goods. Is it not fittining that Jesus’ Mother had this great gift? Of course it is most fitting.
In more advanced catechetical teaching we will eventually study these topics more in depth and look at merit, grace and virtues in regards to Our Lady. As always feel free to comment, critique, or just say hello in the comment box at the top of the post. And I would like to thank http://topcatholicblogs.com/ for adding me to their blog list under New Addition . May God protect us always from the world, the devil, and ourselves. In JMJ, Lee
– FSSP Priests attacked in Phoenix, Arizona, 1 murdered, 1 critically wounded – Fr. Walker, rest in peace [UPDATED]
The Mater Misericordiae Mission, the Latin Mass community of the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona, run by the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter (FSSP), was the scene of a terrible tragedy on Wednesday night, following the breaking and entering of their church by armed burglars.
Father Kenneth Walker, FSSP, Associate Pastor, was murdered. Requiescat in pace. Please, pray also for the consolation of his family: his parents, brothers and sisters. Father Walker was 28.
Father Joseph Terra, FSSP, Pastor, was severely wounded by the criminals, and is (at least to our knowledge as of this moment) hospitalized in critical, but stable, condition. Please, pray for his health and his complete recovery, through the mercy of God Almighty.
Finally, let us also pray for their parishioners, the members of the Fraternity of Saint Peter, and all who are affected by this ordeal.Let us pray for the law enforcement officers, may they accomplish justice according to God’s will, with the help of Our Lady, Mirror of Justice.
Let us pray for the criminals, may they find conversion and salvation on this earth and avoid eternal damnation.