Thursday, December 06, 2012

Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)



December 8
On this and the following eight days the Church celebrates, with particular solemnity, the immaculate conception of the ever-blessed Virgin Mary, who, from all eternity, was chosen to be the daughter of the heavenly Father, the spouse of the Holy Ghost, the Mother of the divine Redeemer, and, by consequence, the queen of angels and of men. The consideration of these prerogatives convinced the most enlightened fathers and teachers of the Catholic Church that she was conceived immaculate, that is, without original sin. It is very remarkable that among the shining hosts of saints who have, in every century, adorned the Church no one wrote against this belief, while we find it confirmed by the decisions of the holy fathers from the earliest times. Pope Pius IX, forced, as it were, by the faith and devotion of the faithful throughout the world, finally, on 8 December 1854, sanctioned, as a dogma of faith falling within the infallible rule of Catholic traditions, this admirable prerogative of the Blessed Virgin. It is, therefore, now no longer, as fomerly, a pious belief, but an article of the faith, that Mary, like the purest morning light which precedes the rising of the most brilliant sun, was, from the first instant of her conception, free from original sin.
In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings: "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, and my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, and with the robe of justice He hath covered me, as a bride adorned with her jewels. I will extol thee, O Lord, for Thou hast upheld me: and hast not made my enemies to rejoice over me." Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and forever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Prayer
We beseech Thee, O Lord, to bestow on Thy servants the gift of heavenly grace, that, for those to whom the Blessed Virgin's maternity was the beginning of salvation, the votive solemnity of her immaculate conception may procure increase of peace. Through Christ our Lord, etc. Amen.
Epistle: Proverbs 8:22-35
The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths: when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him forming all things; and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times; playing in the world, and My delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear Me: Blessed are they that keep My ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, and that watcheth daily at My gates, and waiteth at the posts of My doors. He that shall find Me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.
Explanation
This lesson is, in the literal sense, a eulogy on the divine and uncreated wisdom, which before all things was in God; through which all things were made, disposed, and preserved; which rejoices in its works, and calls upon all its creatures, especially on men, to render to it love and obedience. Most of what is here said is also to be applied to Mary, of whom it may with truth be said that, as the holiest and most admirable of all creatures, she occupies the first place in the heart of God. Therefore the Church also refers to her those words of the wise man: "I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first born of all creatures."
Gospel: Luke 1:26-28
And in the sixth month 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.
--Goffine's Devout Instructions



Saturday, September 08, 2012

Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (From Goffine's Devout Instructions)


September 8

This feast is a commemoration of that happy and joyful day on whIch the ever-blessed vIrgin Mother of God first saw the light of day. The Church accordingly sings on this day,
"Thy nativity, virgin Mother of God, has brought joy to the whole world; for from thee has come forth the Sun of justice, Christ the Lord, Who putting away cursing bestowed blessing, and by overcoming death obtained for us life eternal."
In the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:
"Hail, holy parent, who as a happy mother brought forth the King Who rules heaven and earth from eternity to eternity. 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 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 nativity we may obtain an increase of peace. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Epistle: Proverbs 8:22-35

The Lord possessed Me in the beginning of His ways, before He made anything from the beginning. I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made. The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived, neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out: the mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established: before the hills I was brought forth: He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was present: when with a certain law and compass He enclosed the depths: when He established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters: when He compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits: when He balanced the foundations of the earth, I was with Him forming all things; and was delighted every day, playing before Him at all times; playing in the world, and My delights were to be with the children of men. Now, therefore, ye children, hear Me: Blessed are they that keep My ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth Me, and that watcheth daily at My gates, and waiteth at the posts of My doors. He that shall find Me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-18

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob, begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Nasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Unag. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abias. And Abias begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Let us honor Mary, especially by imitation of those virtues of hers which are to us, as Saint John Damascene says, an open book of instruction; let us rejoice in her prerogatives and glory; let us encourage others in the veneration of her; let us, in our need, have recourse to her, who, according to the name Star of the Sea with which the Church salutes her, shines for all who sail upon the dangerous sea of the world. For this reason Saint Bernard calls out to each one of us,
"Take not your eyes from the light of this star if you would not be overwhelmed by the waves; if the storms of temptation arise, if you are thrown upon the rocks of affliction, look to the star, invoke Mary. Are you confounded at the enormity of your sins, are you ashamed at the defilement of your conscience, are you terrified on account of the dreadful judgment, so that you begin to be overpowered by sadness, or even to sink into the abyss of despair, then turn your thoughts to Mary. In dangers, in distress, in doubt, call on Mary. She will not be far from your mouth, or your heart; and that you may obtain her intercession omit not to imitate her conduct. When you follow her, you will not go astray; when you invoke her, you will no longer be in doubt; when she supports yon, yon will not fall; when she leads you, you will surely come to eternal life, and will find by your own experience that she is justly called Maria - that is, Star of the Sea."
-- Goffine's Devout Instruction

Thursday, September 06, 2012

700th anniversary of Italian Marian shrine : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The following excerpts are from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s secretary of state, has traveled to the Marian shrine of Montevergine to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the veneration of an image of the Black Madonna there.
Read more by clicking the link below:
700th anniversary of Italian Marian shrine : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (From Goffine's Devout Instruction)

 August 15


 This feast is so-called because on this day, according to a very old and pious belief, the Blessed Virgin was, in body and soul, taken up into heaven. This feast is of very great antiquity; it was fixed on the 15th of August at the request of the Emperor Maurice, and afterwards, by Pope Leo IV, was extended to the whole Church.
In the Introit of the Mass the Church invites us to universal joy by singing,
“Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating this festival in honor of the most blessed Virgin Mary, on whose assumption into heaven the angels rejoice and give praise to the Son of God. 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 Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

Pardon, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the sins of Thy servants, that we, who are not able to please Thee by our deeds, may be saved by the intercession of the Mother of Thy Son. Who livest, and reignest, for ever and ever. Amen.

Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 24:11-20

In all things I sought rest, and I shall abide in the inheritance of the Lord. Then the Creator of all things commanded, and said to me: and He that made me rested in my tabernacle. And He said to me: Let thy dwelling be in Jacob, and thy inheritance in Israel, and take root in My elect. From the beginning, and before the world, was I created, and unto the world to come I shall not cease to be, and in the holy dwelling-place I have ministered before Him. And so was I established in Sion, and in the holy city likewise I rested, and my power was in Jerusalem. And I took root in an honorable people, and in the portion of my God His inheritance, and my abode is in the full assembly of saints. I was exalted like a cedar in Libanus, and as a cypress-tree on Mount Sion. I was exalted like a palm-tree in Cades, and as a rose-plant in Jericho; as a fair olive tree in the plains, and as a plane-tree by the water in the streets, was I exalted. I gave a sweet smell like cinnamon, and aromatical balm; I yielded a sweet odor like the best myrrh.

Gospel: Luke 10:38-42

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At that time Jesus entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sitting also at the Lord’s feet, heard His word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast Thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful, and art troubled about many things. But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Why does the Church read this gospel to-day?

Because it readily admits of being applied to Mary, the Mother of God, since she, far more worthily and lovingly than Martha, chose the best part, and thereby obtained the most glorious reward, which no one shall ever take from her.

What is the one thing necessary?

The glory of God and the salvation of the soul. Let a man, therefore, fulfil the duties which are binding upon him; but in so doing let him look only to God, avoid all uneasiness and distraction, all extravagance and excess, all that is unjust, and sooner sacrifice everything than suffer injury to his soul.

--Goffine's Devout Instructions


Monday, August 06, 2012

Tens of thousands honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in Los Angeles : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

The excerpt below is from Catholic Culture's Catholic World News:
  • The Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Knights of Columbus sponsored a Guadalupe Celebration at the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 5. Media estimates of attendance at the event, which included prayer, speakers, and music, ranged from 45,000 to 100,000.

Click below to read more:

Tens of thousands honor Our Lady of Guadalupe in Los Angeles : News Headlines - Catholic Culture

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Feast of Saints Joachim and Anne

Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary
July 26

JOACHIM also called Heli, the happy father of Mary, came of the royal line of David, and was from his youth brought up in piety and the fear of God. His married life with the pious aud chaste Ann was childless until they had reached a great age. His continual prayer and other good works were theu rewarded by God with that blessed child whose birth was the beginning of our salvation. He reared her in the fear of the Lord, offered her in her tenderest years to God in the temple at Jerusalem, and soon after gave up his spirit into the hands of his Creator. Oh, that all Christian parents might learn from the parents of Mary to train up their children, not for the world, but for God, from Whom they have received them, and Who will one day require them again from their hands!

Prayer

O God, Who wast pleased that, before all Thy saints, blessed Joachim should be the father of her who bore Thy Son, grant, we beseech Thee, that we may ever experience his patronage whose festival we celebrate. Through the same Jesus Christ, Amen.

Epistle: Ecclesiasticus 31:8-11

Blessed is the man that is found without blemish, and that hath not gone after gold, nor put his trust in money nor in treasures. Who is he and we will praise him, for he hath done wonderful things in his life. Who hath been tried thereby, and made perfect, he shall have glory everlasting. He that could have transgressed, and hath not transgressed, could do evil things, and hath not done them; therefore are his goods established in the Lord.

Gospel: Matthew 1:1-16

The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. Abraham begot Isaac. And Isaac begot Jacob. And Jacob, begot Judas and his brethren. And Judas begot Phares and Zara of Thamar. And Phares begot Esron. And Esron begot Aram. And Aram begot Aminadab. And Aminadab begot Naasson. And Nasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Rahab. And Booz begot Obed of Ruth. And Obed begot Jesse. And Jesse begot David the king. And David the king begot Solomon, of her that had been the wife of Unag. And Solomon begot Roboam. And Roboam begot Abias. And Abias begot Asa. And Asa begot Josaphat. And Josaphat begot Joram. And Joram begot Ozias. And Ozias begot Joatham. And Joatham begot Achaz. And Achaz begot Ezechias. And Ezechias begot Manasses. And Manasses begot Amon. And Amon begot Josias. And Josias begot Jechonias and his brethren in the transmigration of Babylon. And after the transmigration of Babylon, Jechonias begot Salathiel. And Salathiel begot Zorobabel. And Zorobabel begot Abiud. And Abiud begot Eliacim. And Eliacim begot Azor. And Azor begot Sadoc. And Sadoc begot Achim. And Achim begot Eliud. And Eliud begot Eleazar. And Eleazar begot Mathan. And Mathan begot Jacob. And Jacob begot Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.

Prayer

O blessed and happy pair, Joachim and Anne, to whom the Almighty gave for a daughter the immaculate Virgin, the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, a grace which is a speaking evidence of your purity, and of your lives being perfectly ordered according to the will of God - oh, obtain for me grace, that I may serve God chastely. Procure also for an Christian parents the help of the Almighty, that they may bring up their children in piety, and thereby become worthy to partake of your happiness. Amen.

All that we know of Saint Ann is that she was married to Saint Joachim of the tribe of David, and lived with him in all virtue and piety, but for a long time was childless. This she bore with all patience, till at last the Lord heard her supplications, and made her the mother of the most blessed Virgin. This distinction on the part of God is praise enough for her. On this account the faithful have always shown great veneration for her, and continually invoke her intercession.

At the Introit of the Mass the Church sings:
"Let us all rejoice in the Lord, keeping festival in honor of Saint Ann, on whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and with one voice praise the Son of God. 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 Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Prayer

O God, Who wast pleased to confer upon Saint Ann the grace whereby she became the mother of her who brought forth Thine only-begotten Son, mercifully grant that we, who keep her festival, may, through her intercession, find help with Thee. Through the same Our Lord Jesus Christ, etc. Amen.

Epistle: Proverbs 31:10-31

Who shall find a valiant woman? the price of her is as of things brought from afar off and from the uttermost coasts. The heart of her husband trusteth in her, and he shall have no need of spoils. She will render him good; and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands. She is like the merchant's ship, she bringeth her bread from afar. And she hath risen in the night, and given a prey to her household, and victuals to her maidens. She hath considered a field, and bought it with the fruit of her hands she hath planted a vineyard. She hath girded her loins with strength, and hath strengthened her arm. She hath tasted, and seen that her traffic is good; her lamp shall not be put out in the night. She hath put out her hand to strong things, and her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. She hath opened her hand to the needy, and stretched out her hand to the poor. She shall not fear for her house in the cold of snow; for all her domestics are clothed with double garments. She hath made for herself clothing of tapestry, fine linen, and purple is her covering. Her husband is honorable in the gates, when he sitteth among the senators of the land. She made fine linen, and sold it, and delivered a girdle to the Chananite. Strength and beauty are her clothing, and she shall laugh in the latter day. She hath opened her mouth to wisdom, and the law of clemency is on her tongue. She hath looked well to the paths of her house, and hath not eaten her bread idle, Her children rose up, and called her blessed; her husband, and he praised her. Many daughters have gathered together riches; thou hast surpassed them alL Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands: and let her works praise her in the gates.

Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52

At that time Jesus said to His disciples this parable: The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hideth and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a merchant seeking good pearls. Who when he had fouud one pearl of great price, went his way, and sold all that he had, and bought it. Again the kingdom of heaven is like to a net cast into the sea, and gathering together of all kind of fishes. Which, when it was filled, they drew out, and sitting by the shore, they chose out the good into vessels, but the bad they cast forth. So shall it be at the end of the world. The angels shall go out, and shall separate the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Have ye understood all these things? They say to Him: Yes. He said unto them: Therefore every scribe instructed in the kingdom of heaven is like to a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure new things and old.

Explanation

The hidden treasure is faith in the Crucified, Who remains concealed from the wise of this world by reason of their pride; the hiding of the treasure denotes that faith is to be preserved only by humility; the selling of all that he hath teaches that, for the sake of the faith, we must sacrifice all things, do all things, suffer all things. The parable of the merchant furnishes the same lesson. By the parable of the net the Lord teaches that the universal visible Church of Christ, the kingdom of God upon earth, contains not only the elect, but those also who shall be condemned - the bad as well as the good. At the end of the world there will be a separation, and the bad shall be cast into everlasting fire.

Aspiration to Saint Anne

Hail, O blessed mother Anne! Blessed art thou, who, for our consolation, didst bear the Mother of our Redeemer. With the greatest, veneration, therefore, and full of confidence, we approach thee, beseeching thee that thou wouldst supplicate our divine Saviour to bestow upon us the graces which we need to follow thy ardent devotion, thy fear of God, and to render us worthy one day to behold in heaven the blessed fruit of thy virgin daughter's womb, Jesus, and to rejoice forever in the contemplation of Him. 


-- Goffine's Devout Instructions

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (From Goffine's Devout Instruction)

May 31

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