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Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary – day 10

Readings from : Imitation of Christ, by Thomas á Kempis: Book 3, Chapter 10
That it is sweet to despise the world and to serve God

Now, will I speak again, O Lord, and will not be silent, I will say in the hearing of my God and my King Who is on high: Oh, how great is the abundance of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for those that fear Thee! But what art Thou, for those who love Thee? What, to those who serve Thee with their whole heart? Unspeakable indeed is the sweetness of Thy contemplation, which Thou bestowest on those who love Thee. In this most of all hast Thou showed me the sweetness of Thy love, that when I had no being, Thou didst make me; and when I was straying far from Thee, Thou brought me back again, that I might serve Thee: and Thou hast commanded me to serve Thee. O Fountain of everlasting love, what shall I say of Thee? How can I forget Thee, Who hast vouchsafed to remember me even after I was corrupted and lost? Beyond all hope Thou showest mercy to Thy servant; and beyond all desert, hast Thou manifested Thy grace and friendship. What return shall I make to Thee for this favor? For it is granted to all who forsake these things, to renounce the world, and to assume the monastic life. Is it much that I should serve Thee, Whom the whole creation is bound to serve? It ought not to seem much to me to serve Thee; but this does rather appear great and wonderful to me, that Thou vouchsafest to receive one so wretched and unworthy as Thy servant. It is a great honor, a great glory, to serve Thee, and to despise all things for Thee, for they who willingly subject themselves to Thy holy service, shall have great grace. They shall experience the most sweet consolation of the Holy Spirit, Who for the love of Thee, have cast aside all carnal delight.

See prayers from day 1

Reflection: As we continue to focus on casting off the spirit of the world and offering ourselves in prayer to Jesus through Mary we can pray the most perfect prayer of the rosary on this lovely pearl Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary.

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Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

(according to St. Louis Marie de Montfort)

Consecration to Jesus Through Mary

Part 1 – 12 Day Preparation

 Theme: Spirt of the World

 Reading  Matthew 5:1-19

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him. And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying: Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you. You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men. You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house. So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled. He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

Daily Reflection:

Examine your conscience, pray, practice renouncement of your own will; mortification, purity of heart. This purity is the indispensable condition for contemplating God in heaven, to see Him on earth and to know Him by the light of faith. The first part of the preparation should be employed in casting off the spirit of the world which is contrary to that of Jesus Christ. The spirit of the world consists essentially in the denial of the supreme dominion of God; a denial which is manifested in practice by sin and disobedience; thus it is principally opposed to the spirit of Christ, which is also that of Mary.

It manifests itself by the concupiscence of the flesh, by the concupiscence of the eyes and by the pride of life. By disobedience to God’s laws and the abuse of created things. Its works are: sin in all forms, then all else by which the devil leads to sin; works which bring error and darkness to the mind, and seduction and corruption to the will. Its pomps are the splendor and the charms employed by the devil to render sin alluring in persons, places and things.

As we devote this time in prayer to Mary we may pray the rosary on this beautiful rose petal rosary.

Prayers:

Veni Creator

Come, Holy Spirit, Creator blest,
and in our souls take up Thy rest;
come with Thy grace and heavenly aid
to fill the hearts which Thou hast made.

O comforter, to Thee we cry,
O heavenly gift of God Most High,
O fount of life and fire of love,
and sweet anointing from above.

Thou in Thy sevenfold gifts are known;
Thou, finger of God’s hand we own;
Thou, promise of the Father,
Thou Who dost the tongue with power imbue.

Kindle our sense from above,
and make our hearts overflow with love;
with patience firm and virtue high
the weakness of our flesh supply.

Far from us drive the foe we dread,
and grant us Thy peace instead;
so shall we not, with Thee for guide,
turn from the path of life aside.

Oh, may Thy grace on us bestow
the Father and the Son to know;
and Thee, through endless times confessed,
of both the eternal Spirit blest.

Now to the Father and the Son,
Who rose from death, be glory given,
with Thou, O Holy Comforter,
henceforth by all in earth and heaven. Amen.

Ave Maris Stella

Hail, O Star of the ocean,
God’s own Mother blest,
ever sinless Virgin,
gate of heav’nly rest.

Taking that sweet Ave,
which from Gabriel came,
peace confirm within us,
changing Eve’s name.

Break the sinners’ fetters,
make our blindness day,
Chase all evils from us,
for all blessings pray.

Show thyself a Mother,
may the Word divine
born for us thine Infant
hear our prayers through thine.

Virgin all excelling,
mildest of the mild,
free from guilt preserve us
meek and undefiled.

Keep our life all spotless,
make our way secure
till we find in Jesus,
joy for evermore.

Praise to God the Father,
honor to the Son,
in the Holy Spirit,
be the glory one. Amen.

Magnificat

My soul doth magnify the Lord. And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. Because He hath regarded the humility of His handmaid; for behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. Because He that is mighty hath done great things to me; and holy is His name. And His mercy is from generation to generations, to them that fear Him. He hath showed might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.  He hath put down the mighty from their seat; and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath received Israel His servant, being mindful of His mercy. As He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed forever. Amen.

Glory Be

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. Ame

 

 

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Putting on The Heart of Christ Through Forgiveness

Gospel reading for the 3rd Tuesday in Lent, Matthew 18:21-35,

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22,

Then Jesus told his disciples the parable of the king who went to his servant and demanded repayment of his debt in the amount of 10,000 talents. The king ordered his children and wife to be sold to provide the payment. The servant begged for patience forgiveness to allow him time to repay it. The king not only gave him more time, but he forgave him all his debt.

This forgiven servant then went out and demanded repayment from one of his servants to repay the smaller amount that he owed him. This servant likewise begged him for patience to allow him time for repayment. But, the forgiven servant did not forgive the debt of his servant, and put him in jail. When this was reported to the king, he called his wicked servant, and said to him ´I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ (Matthew 18: 32-33.

Jesus then told his disciples “So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” Matthew 18:35

 Reflection: Our heavenly Father is very merciful. He has forgiven us our sins at our baptism and welcomes us as His children. However, He also commands us to give something in return. We will always be forgiven of any sins we confess to Him if we also forgive our neighbor. Thus, if we do not forgive, Our Father in heaven will not forgive us. We are given a wonderful gift in the sacrament of reconciliation. Through this sacrament we are reunited with God in His love. Lent is a time we focus on reconciliation seeking the mercy of Jesus. Putting on the Heart of Christ is a great book teaching the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius that will surely lead us to the understanding of love, mercy, and forgiveness.

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We Read the Resurrection Foretold by Jesus in The Gospel

From the Gospel Reading, 3rd Sunday in Lent:

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business.  And making a whip of cords, he drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”  The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”  But he spoke of the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken. John 2:13-15,19-25

Reflection: What a wonderful gift we were given as Catholics during this age. We have not only the promise of the resurrection of the body, but, the knowledge that The Son of God Himself was raised from the dead. We have The Word of God by the direction of The Holy Spirit. The Jews that lived prior to Christ hoped in the resurrection and coming of the Messiah. But, it was hope built on faith alone. They did not have the life and death of The Son of God as witness of God’s supreme love. The apostles were the first to share and witness The Word of God made flesh. We too may witness and share the Word of God today, in The Eucharist, and through Holy Scripture. It is our purpose on earth to know God. How can we do this if we have not read His Word. Lent is a time when we attempt to come closer to God in prayer and scripture as we read His Word and life in The Ignatius Bible.

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The Parable of Lazarus And The Rich Man

Today’s Gospel reading, Luke 16: 19-31

Lazarus and The Rich Man

In this parable Lazarus is a leper who suffers with his disease in poverty and pain, begging for scraps outside the door of a rich man. The rich man lived in luxury with all of the comforts that wealth can provide. When Lazarus died he went to heaven. However, when the rich man died he went to the fires of hell. The rich man saw Lazarus at the side of Abraham in heaven and asked him to send Lazarus to him to quench his thirst. Abraham responded, “’My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented”…. Then the rich man asked to have Lazarus sent from the dead to warn his brothers to repent so they wouldn’t also go to hell. But, Abraham told them that if they did not listen to Moses and the prophets in the Word of God, they would “not be persuaded if someone would rise from the dead.”

 Reflection: As we read this parable we would like to compare ourselves to the leper who would be rewarded in heaven. But, are we not more like the rich man who enjoyed all of the pleasures and comfort of wealth, possessions, and good health during our lifetime. For, as we hear this parable we are all very much aware of someone who warned us to repent, showed us how to live according to God’s will, and rose from the dead. We have the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for our example, and yet we fail to live according to God’s will. Let us begin today to read, study, and listen to The Word of God in The Jerusalem Bible Reader’s Edition.

 

 

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As We See The Transfiguration of Jesus We are Asked to Transform Our Lives During Lent

Today’s reading: Gospel Mk 9:2-10

Transfiguration of JesusJesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them.
Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, “Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them;
from the cloud came a voice, “This is my beloved Son. Listen to Him.” Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant.

Reflection: As Peter, James, and John saw Jesus transfigured on Mount Tabor in all His glory, they witnessed Jesus in His glorified body. It was a vision of what heaven will be for us as well. For Jesus has promised us the gift of everlasting life if we follow His example and those of Our Heavenly Father, as He commanded us, “This is my Beloved Son. Listen to Him.” During Lent Christians are asked to focus more intensely on transforming their lives and increasing the time they spend in prayer. Pray, Repent, and Serve Others. Thus, we transform our lives to be like Jesus. It is a great opportunity to read and study the Word of God with the Douay-Rheims Bible.

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Finding Joy in the Season of Lent, Part 2

by Marianne Buzzelli, OFS

Jesus at Gethsemene

The second area of focus during lent is sacrifice in the form of fasting. And, fasting is not limited to reducing the amount of food we eat. But, rather it refers to getting rid of our attachments to earthly things and sinfulness. In action it means giving up something for myself so that I can offer it for someone else. The things we give up can be money, time, or activities.

The significance in this sacrifice or fasting is the motivation of giving to others and thinking of others first, rather than oneself. As we give up time spent with a play activity we can spend that time volunteering in service to the poor, homeless, sick, aged. As we give up the purchase of a meal or item for ourselves, we can donate the money to the poor or homeless. And, finally, as we give up time spent in worldly endeavors, like television, we can spend more time in prayer. In each action of giving up something or some time that we would usually focus on ourselves, we learn to focus time, attention, and goods in charity for others. In essence, we are thus, acting as Jesus taught. And, we become more like Jesus.

Reflection: Let us practice fasting during lent by performing some act of charity each day and spending more time in prayer. The rosary is one of the greatest prayers we have in which we pray the scriptures, the life of Christ. As we recite each of the mysteries of the rosary we are asked to focus on Jesus as he lived and suffered for us. Begin today in prayer to Jesus and Mary with this lovely Sacred Heart of Jesus Rosary.

 

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Finding Joy in the Season of Lent -Part 1

By Marianne Buzzelli

Prayer in LentWhen we think of lent we often look only at the challenge of the sacrifices we’re asked to make. For it is a time when we focus on increasing the time we spend in prayer and fasting. But, it is more appropriate to look not at what we give up during lent, but, to recognize what we gain, and see the joy in the season of lent. How then do we find the true joy that God intends for us to have during this time of prayer and fasting?

First, as we spend more time in prayer, we come closer to God on our journey to becoming one with God. As we spend more and more time with God in prayer, we lose the attachment to self and become more like Christ. In prayer and conversation with God we place our attention on God, rather than on self. Thus, our sacrifice of time, and refraining from other activities as we devote time to prayer, allows us to find greater joy in our relationship with God.

Reflection: Let us begin today to focus on God as we devote more time to our conversation with God in prayer. Conversing with God in Lent teaches the spiritual practice of praying the Sunday Mass Reading with lectio divina. It is surely the perfect resource for Lenten devotion to assist you in your spiritual development and your relationship with God.

 

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Ash Wednesday – Lenten Preparation

by Marianne Buzzelli

Ash Wednesday is the first day of Lent. The season of Lent is 46 days before Easter Sunday. In the Catholic Church the day is observed by fasting, abstinence from meat, and penance. It is on Ash Wednesday that we begin our preparation for the great celebration of the Resurrection on Easter Sunday. We recognize the significance of 40 days of fasting in preparation for Easter in imitation of the life of Jesus. We hear in the Gospels how Jesus prepared for each significant event in his ministry during his life by going away in private to fast and pray. He went into the desert to fast and pray before he began his public ministry. It was through this act of fasting and prayer that Jesus sought and received the understanding of God’s will for his life. Jesus gives us this example of the significance of solitude in our conversation with God, as well as the discipline of fasting in gaining control of our bodies as we allow ourselves to hear God’s will.

On Ash Wednesday Catholics and other Christians (Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and Presbyterians) receive the sign of the cross made with ashes on their foreheads. Ashes were used in ancient times as was noted in the books of the Old Testament as a sign of mourning and repentance.

Reflection: Let us begin our 40 days of preparation for the resurrection of Our Lord by offering Jesus our little sacrifices of time, service, fasting, alms, and prayer. And, offer up our sacrifices for the conversion of souls and our own holiness. The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Lent provides an excellent resource for spiritual growth and development during your lenten preparation for Christ.

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The Life and Ministry of St. John Bosco, part 2

By Marianne Buzzelli

One of the first duties of John Bosco after he was ordained a priest was to accompany another priest to visit young boys in a prison. Fr. John Bosco was appalled at the horrific living conditions for the young boys at the prison and began to work with city officials to improve them. At that time he also had a call by the Holy Spirit to care for young boys living on the streets. He began classes for them within the walls of the seminary and gave them food. Many young homeless boys came to hear Fr. John Bosco preach the Gospel and pray. His ministry grew as he sought assistance to provide shelter and food for the homeless young boys. The group of boys gathered together in the oratory increased from 20 to 400 within 5 years.

Reflection: God calls all of us to serve the poor and needy. And, it is in our every day duties as we follow the will of God, and know Him more through prayer that we become saints. You can learn more about the life of St. John Bosco and his service to the homeless boys in A Story of St. John Bosco.

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