Thursday, March 24, 2011

Feast of the Annuciation of the Lord (Goffine's Devout Instructions)





March 25

This feast is so called from the announcement to the Blessed Virgin, by the archangel Gabriel, that she was to be the mother of the Messias. In the Introit of the Mass the Church refers to this high dignity of Mary's: "All the rich shall entreat thy countenance; after her shall virgins be brought to the King; her neighbors shall be brought to thee in gladness and rejoicing. My heart hath uttered a good word, I speak my works to the King."

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

O God, Who didst please that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant to Thy suppliants that we, who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be blessed by her intercession with Thee. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Epistle: Isaias 7:10-15

In those days the Lord spoke to Achaz, saying: Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God, either unto the depth of hell, or unto the height above. And Achaz said: I will not ask, and I will not tempt the Lord. And he said: Hear ye therefore, O house of David: Is it a small thing for you to be grievous to men, that you are grievous to my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign. Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His name shall be called Emmanuel. He shall eat butter and honey, that He may know to refuse the evil and to choose the good.

Instruction on the "Angelic Salutation" or "Hail Mary"
Why is this prayer called the "Hail Mary" or "Angelic Salutation"?
Because it begins with the words which the archangel Gabriel addressed to the Blessed Virgin when he announced to her that she should be the Mother of God.
Of what does the Angelic Salutation consist?
1. Of the words of the archangel Gabriel. 2. Of the words of Saint Elizabeth. 3. Of words which have been added thereto by the Catholic Church.
Which are the words of the archangel Gabriel?
"Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women."
What is the meaning of these words?
The words "Hail Mary" indicate that profound veneration for the Blessed Virgin which was felt by the archangel Gabriel, and which we, in imitation of his example, ought also to cherish. The words "full of grace" remind us that God bestowed upon the Blessed Virgin greater graces than upon all men and angels together, and that not for herself alone, but for us also; they therefore encourage us to pray to Mary with fervor and confidence, that by her powerful intercession she will obtain for us the graces necessary for our salvation. "The Lord is with thee" - these words express the peculiar complacency with which God has regarded her, on account of which He wrought in her special miracles of wisdom, omnipotence, and benignity. Let us rejoice with Mary over these prerogatives, and implore her to intercede for us, that God may be with us also, to sustain us by His almightiness, to govern us by His wisdom, to incite us to all that is good by the fire of His infinite love. Finally, the words "Blessed art thou among women" are as much as to say: Thou art the happiest of all women, since thou alone of them all hast no stain of sin on thee; thou art chosen to be the Mother of God; thou shalt conceive Him by the Holy Ghost, and shalt bring Him forth without losing thy virginity. Thus it was that the angel saluted the most blessed Virgin, and yet there are men who are ashamed thus to salute Mary, and to give praise for the graces which God conferred upon her.
Which are the words of Elizabeth, and what do they mean?
"And blessed is the fruit of thy womb" - the word blessed is equivalent to praised. In saying these words, therefore, we desire that the fruit of Mary's womb, Jesus, may be worshipped and praised by all men.
Which are the words which the Catholic Church has added?
To the words "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb" she has added "Jesus," in order thereby to explain them, and to indicate that this prayer is to be offered in the name of Jesus. Thereupon follow the words, "Holy Mary, Mother of G6d" pray for us sinners, now, and at the hour of our death. Amen."
What do these words mean?
With the words, "Holy Mary," we apply to her who is full of grace as our intercessor, and thereby are reminded to strive to imitate her holiness, if we would be sure of her intercession, and of being heard before God. We call her" Mother of God," because she brought forth Jesus, the Son-of God. Thereby we at the same time remind her that she is our mother also, and pray her to care for us as a mother j not as though we believed she could of herself help us, but with the design that she should offer to God her all-prevailing prayers for us j hence we sa.y, " Pray for us,;' adding, "sinners." By these words we remind Mary of our misery, al!d ourselves of our powerlessness for good, and of our guilti~ess in the sight of God, praying her to procure for us the grace of God to do true penance, to acquire virtues, and to gain true peace, and that" now," inasmuch as at every moment, and throughout our whole life, we have so many dangers to meet, so many virtues to gain; "and at the hour of our death," that we may overcome the temptations of the last de cisive hour, and stand complete victors before the throne of th~ etewal Judge. "Amen," so may it be, is, as it were, to repeat and make stronger the whole prayer.
Gospel: Luke 1:26-38

At that time the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel being come in, said unto her: Hail, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. Who having heard, was troubled at his saying, and thought with herself what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said to her: Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of David His father; and He shall reign in the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end. And Mary said to the angel: How shall this be done, because I know not man? And the angel answering, said to her: The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee. And therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold thy cousin Elizabeth, she also hath conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month with her that is called barren; because no word shall be impossible with God. And Mary said: Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word.

Salutation to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

Hail, Mary, full of grace! I rejoice, and give joy to thee, that thou hast been chosen the Mother of the Most High, and the queen of heaven and earth. With thee is the Father Who begot, from all eternity, Him Whom thou didst bring forth as God-man in time; with thee is the Son, Whom thou didst bear, in thy virginal womb; with thee is the Holy Ghost, overshadowed by Whose power thou didst become the Mother of the Redeemer of the world. Praised, therefore, be thou, thou blessed among women; thou daughter of the Most High; thou bride of the Holy Ghost; thou joy of heaven; thou ornament of the Church of God; thou honor of Christians. Oh, pray God for us, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.


--Goffine's Devout Instructions

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Goffine's Devout Instructions: The First Sunday of Advent



This is the first day of the ecclesiastical year; on it the Church begins to contemplate the coming of Our Saviour, and, with the prophets, to long for Him ; she exhorts the faithful to true penance for their sins, which oppose Christ s entrance into their hearts; she sings, therefore, at the Introit of the Mass, in the words of the psalmist : “To Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul.”

Prayer.

Raise up Thy power, O Lord, we pray Thee, and come, that by Thy protection we may deserve to be rescued from the threatening dangers of our sins, and to be saved by Thy deliverance. Who livest and reignest, etc. Amen.

EPISTLE. Rom. Xiii. 11-14.

Brethren : Knowing the season, that it is now the hour for
us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when
we believed. The night is passed and the day is at hand. Let
us therefore cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor
of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day : not in rioting and
drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention
and envy ; but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ.

What is understood here by sleep ?

Sin, in which man, as if sunk in a torpor, no longer sees the light of the Gospel, no longer hears the warning of his conscience, neglects the means of salvation, and lives without care, until he awakes, alas ! too late, as from a dream.

What is understood by night and day ?

By night is to be understood ignorance, infidelity, and sin. The day represents faith, grace, and reconciliation with God.

What are the works of darkness ?

All sin, especially that which is unknown to men, but seen and known by God, of Whose grace it deprives us.

What is the armor of light ?

It consists in faith, hope, charity, and good works, the spiritual arms with which we have to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil.

What does it mean to put on the Lord Jesus Christ ?

It means that Christians should think, speak, and act like Jesus, adorning themselves by the imitation of Him as with precious garments.

Prayer.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Who became man for us, grant that we
may in all things comply with the admonitions of this epistle ;
that we may arise from the slumber of our sins, and walk in the
light of grace by the diligent performance of good works, and
adorn our souls by putting on Thee, through the imitation of
Thy virtues.

GOSPEL. Luke xxi. 25-33.

At that time Jesus said to His disciples: There shall be
signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the
earth distress of nations, by reason of the confusion of the roar
ing of the sea and of the waves : men withering away for fear,
and expectation of what shall come upon the whole world, for
the powers of heaven shall be moved ; and then they shall see
the Son of man coming in a cloud with great power and majesty.
But when these things begin to come to pass, look up and lift up
your heads, because your redemption is at hand. And He spoke
to them a similitude : See the fig-tree, and all the trees ; when
they now shoot forth their fruit, you know that summer is nigh.
So you also when you shall see these things come to pass, know
that the kingdom of God is at hand. Amen I say to you, this
generation shall not pass away till all things be fulfilled. Heaven
and earth shall pass away : but My words shall not pass away.

Why does the Church cause this Gospel concerning the Last Judgment to be read to-day?

To prepare our hearts by penance for the coming of Jesus as our judge.

What signs shall precede the Last Judgment?

The sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give light, the stars shall fall from heaven ; the heavens themselves shall pass away with a great noise, the elements shall melt with heat, and the earth with all that is in it shall be burned up. At the command of God the world shall be shaken to its centre ; fearful tempests shall arise ; the sea and wave? shall roar, and wild struggle and destruction take the place of quiet and order. Men shall wither away with fear, not knowing whither to fly. Then shall appear the holy cross, the sign of the Son of man a terror to sinners who have hated it, a consolation to- those who have loved it.

How will the Last Judgment begin?

At the command of God the angels, with the sound of the trumpet, shall summon all men to judgment (i. These, iv. 15).

The bodies and souls of the dead shall be again united, and the wicked shall be separated from the righteous, the just on the right, the wicked on the left (St. Matt. xxv. 33). The angels and the devils will be present, and Christ Himself will appear in a bright cloud with such power and majesty that the wicked, for fear, will not be able to look at Him, but will say to the mountains, “Fall on us,” and to the hills, “Cover us” (St. Luke xxiii. 30).

Why will God hold a general and public judgment?

1. That all may know how just He has been in the particular
judgment of each one.

      2. That justice may at last be rendered to the afflicted and
    persecuted, while the wicked who have oppressed the poor, the
    widow, the orphan, the religious, and yet have often passed for
    upright and devout persons, may be known in their real characters
    and be forever disgraced.
     3. That Jesus Christ may complete His redemption, and openly
    triumph over His enemies, who shall see the glory of the Crucified,
    and tremble at His power.

How will the Last Judgment proceed?

The books will be opened, and from them all men will be judged ; all their good and bad thoughts, words, and deeds, even the most secret, known only to God, will be revealed before the whole world, and according to their works men will be rewarded or be damned forever. The wicked shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting (St. Matt. Xxv. 46).

Exhortation.

The Church, during the season of Advent, reminds thee, O Christian, of the coming of Christ to judgment, that thou mayest with the more zeal apply thyself to profit by His first coming ; for they only will be justified and glorified who have acknowledged and received Him as their Redeemer. Examine thyself, therefore, to-day, and during this week, whether thou hast believed in Him, loved Him, admitted Him into thy heart, and kept His holy commands. Begin at once penance and good works, that thou mayest with confidence await the judgment-day of the Lord.

Aspiration.

Thou art just, O Lord! and just is Thy judgment. Oh, penetrate my soul with holy fear, that I may be kept from evil deeds, and incited to good works. Would that I could say, with St. Jerome, “Whether I eat or drink, or whatever I do, it is as if I heard the awful summons of the trumpet, 'Ye dead, arise, and come to judgment !' ”


Goffine's Devout Instructions