Thursday, July 27, 2006

Meditation With Saint Joseph



Meditation

Matthew chapter 1:18-24

"Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means "God is with us." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home."

Reflection

When we look at Joseph he seems to be a bit of an enigma, what do we make of this man who God found to be righteous?Just as with Mary, God did not simply pick Joseph from a pack he created Joseph to be true father to His Son Jesus, from the beginning Joseph was chosen to bear this honour for all time.

What we learn from Joseph is the lesson of listening. Joseph's ears were not attuned to what people would think of him, rather Joseph listened to the voice of God which floats through our heart as a gentle breeze ripples past a still pond disturbing but not enraging the quiet water.

This man not only listen to that still small voice of God, he then obeyed it without question. He did not question God's Wisdom but rather played his part in fulfilling the Will of God through humble servitude. Joseph accepted the responsibility that God entrusted to him, this righteous man above men put God first in his life and upon hearing the words of the Angel he then took Mary as his beloved and chaste spouse as they both perfected what living the Divine Will means to every family that embraces Catholic values.

At the heart of Joseph we see a man who bends to the Will of God in total and absolute self denial as he follows what God has requested of him, he who is a simple carpenter. There is no false humility, Joseph simply got on with what God had asked of him and from him we learn what true self giving is, and the quiet depths of a man totally in love with his Hidden God. A God who he would hold in his arms as Mary rested...This is Joseph a man after God's own Heart.


How much is your heart attuned to hear the still small voice of God?


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Meditation with Mary II


Meditation

Luke Chapter 1:46-55

And Mary said: "My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. For he has looked upon his handmaid's lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed. The Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name. His mercy is from age to age to those who fear him. He has shown might with his arm, dispersed the arrogant of mind and heart. He has thrown down the rulers from their thrones but lifted up the lowly. The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped Israel his servant, remembering his mercy, according to his promise to our fathers, to Abraham and to his descendants forever."
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Reflection

We have had many Saints who led immensely holy lives their total love and zealousness for God is truly an example to us all. What makes Mary different from these wonderful Saints of our Church? It is by looking at the Saints that we gain a glimpse of just how unique and glorious that Mary truly is.

Mary was without sin as her soul was filled with Grace, therefore there is no corruption within the heart and soul of Mary. Still Mary was an ordinary woman, filled with an extraordinary love of God which overwhelms her completely. It is this consummation that makes Mary beloved of God, as the Triune Spirit glories in their perfect creature.

Within the heart of Mary is the illumination of the Triune Spirit. It is through Mary we gain a glimpse of the Divine as Mary surrendered herself to the Triune Spirit. Through Mary we also see the perfect joy that the Triune Spirit enjoyed when gazing at their most perfect woman, who with her Fiat, Mary in perfect conformity to The Divine Will, undid the imperfect will of Eve.

Mary is the beloved of the Triune Spirit, there can be no-one who can replace or who can compare to this most perfect wonderment of womanhood. It is also through Mary that we also gain a glimpse as to what we can be when we transcend our limitations and surrender our hearts to the Will of the Divine.

Mary is essentially, beloved of the Trinity for all time. For those who question Mary's place should ponder this thought; if Mary found favour with the Trinity who are any of us to find disfavour?

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Meditation With Mary



Luke Chapter 1:26-36

In the sixth month, 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, favored one! 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.
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Reflection

Like many young girls born in Israel Mary also longed for the coming of the Messiah, and just like others her age she too prayed that the Messiah would soon enter the world and defeat evil forever.

Mary understood evil, even though no thoughts of evil ever entered her heart or mind, for God had blessed her from the beginning of time and filled her with Grace.

What a responsibility for such a young girl, but as we can see Mary's heart was open to receive the Truth though her heart was full of trepidation at the enormity of this Revelation, still Mary's love of God overcame her concerns. What joy must have filled her young heart, no-one can imagine the intensity of this inner joy and ecstasy that pierced Mary to her depths.

When we look at Mary let us also follow her example and keep our own hearts open to the Holy Spirit so that we may be made Holy through the work of the Spirit of God within our souls. Also like Mary help us to recognise God's Truth in order to be obedient to the Divine Will as was Mary, our most perfect example.

Peace of Christ to ALL

Copyright © 2006 Marie Smith. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


July 2

This day is called the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary because on it Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, whom, as the angel had told her, God had blessed with a son in her old age.

In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:
"Hail, holy parent, who didst bring trth the King Who rules heaven and earth forever. My heart hath uttered a good word; I speak of my works for the King."
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Vouchsafe, O Lord, we beseech Thee, unto us Thy servants the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that, as in the childbirth of the Blessed Virgin our salvation began, so from the votive solemnity of her visitation we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Canticle 2:8-14

Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart; behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices. Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come. For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have appeared in our land, the tune of pruning is come; the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; the fig-tree hath put forth her green figs; the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come; my dove in the clifts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, show me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears; for thy. voice is sweet, and thy face comely.

Gospel: Luke 1:39-47

At that time: Mary rising up went unto the hill-country with haste, into a city of Juda; and she entered into the house of Zachary, and saluted Elizabeth. And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed art thou that hast believed, because those things shall be accomplished that were spoken to thee by the Lord. And Mary saId: My soul doth magnify the Lord; and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
  1. As soon as Mary heard that Elizabeth was with child she hastened to her. The alacrity of the Blessed Virgin teaches us that we should take part with gladness in the happiness of our fellow-men, and quickly make ourselves ready to discharge our duties, sacrificing for that object, if necessary, even our own much-loved retirement, our devotions and other exercises of piety.
  2. Mary visited her cousin out of real love, not out of unmeaning ceremony. Would that her example were followed in our visits!
  3. By the visit of the Blessed Virgin John was sanctified in his mother's womb, and Elizabeth, enlightened by the Holy Ghost, knew, by the miraculous movements of her child, that Mary was the Mother of the Lord. Such effects did this visit produce. What would Jesus effect in us if we received Him with due preparation!
Explanation of the Canticle "Magnificat," Or "My Soul Doth Magnify The Lord"

In this hymn Mary with joy praises God, the Lord, that He has regarded her humility, aud made her to be the Mother of His only-begotten Son, wherefore she should be called blessed by all generations; and she declares the truths and mysteries which the incarnation brought to light. The mercy of God, namely, reaches from generation to generation to them that fear Him. He scatters the thoughts of the proud, and puts down from their seats the mighty; but He exalts the humble. He fills those who hunger for justice with good things, but those who think themselves rich He sends away empty. He receives all true Israelites, and performs in them the promises which He gave to the fathers. This hymn is repeated by the Church every day at Vespers, in praise of the work of redemption, begun by the incarnation of the Son of God in Mary. Would that every Christian, since he becomes one only by Christ being, as it were, born in him, might share those feelings which the Blessed Virgin and Mother has expressed in this hymn of praise, and, with the Church, daily praise God for the mystery of the incarnation!

Aspiration

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, Who didst descend from the highest heavens io the womb of the Virgin Mary, didst therein rest for rune months, and with her didst condescend to visit and sanctify Saint John, grant that we, by the practice of good works, particularly of humility, may become partakers of the fruits of Thy incarnation.
--Goffine's Devout Instructions