OUR LADY OF THE MIRACULOUS MEDAL
Genesis, Chapter 20, Verse 8
Early the next morning Abimelech called all his servants and informed them of everything that had happened, and the men were filled with fear.
I would like to share something of why Sarah was one of the most beautiful women of all times.
The apparent implication is that Sarah was beautiful inside and out—and what’s more, that the inside and outside were interdependent. Her face was a transparent canvas from which emanated her inner radiance. Chassidic philosophy demonstrates three ways in which the body and soul can interact:
· The soul can try and mitigate the urges of the body. Things that look good, taste good and feel good are stimulating and addictive. Most of us live life with our body in the driver’s seat. The soul just can’t compete. And so, the soul tries to negotiate reasonably, and encourages moderation.
· Or, the soul can choose to reject the body and abhor anything associated with materialism. The soul-driven person would then rebel against society’s shallow and false veneers. Simplicity and ascetism become the ultimate goals of the soul.
· The third scenario is not a compromise between the first two. It is an entirely new approach, where the body and soul learn to work together. The soul neither leans towards the body nor rejects it. It does not react; it pro-acts. In a proactive position, the soul directs and channels the body’s inclination in a constructive way.
In this last approach, instead of repressing the body’s needs, the soul views them as an opportunity to serve God in a whole new way. 
Now is the time to plan to attain a religious retreat or conference before Easter. This book was conceived after attending a Marian conference.
This Christmas when you make out your gift list try to give a gift to those you love that truly helps them to prosper!
Let us pray for the conversion of Jerusalem and the fullness of Christ to all mankind. Let us reflect on the catechism of the Holy Catholic Church which states:
GOD COMES TO MEET MAN
50 Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of loving goodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fully revealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
51 "It pleased God, in his goodness and wisdom, to reveal himself and to make known the mystery of his will. His will was that men should have access to the Father, through Christ, the Word made flesh, in the Holy Spirit, and thus become sharers in the divine nature."
52 God, who "dwells in unapproachable light", wants to communicate his own divine life to the men he freely created, in order to adopt them as his sons in his only-begotten Son.3 By revealing himself God wishes to make them capable of responding to him, and of knowing him and of loving him far beyond their own natural capacity.
64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts. The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations. Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.
There will be no further Revelation
66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."
67 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
68 By love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. He has thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life.
69 God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.
70 Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf. Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.
71 God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and with all living beings (cf. Gen 9:16). It will remain in force as long as the world lasts.
72 God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. Through the prophets, he prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity.
73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant forever. The Son is his Father's definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
In the year 1830, Our Lady appeared to St. Catherine Laboure, a Daughter of Charity in Paris, and told her that God had a mission for her. Standing upon a globe, the Virgin Mary held a golden ball which she seemed to offer to God, and on her fingers were rings with gems that emitted rays of light. She told St. Catherine, "These rays symbolize the graces I shed upon those who ask for them. The gems from which rays do not fall are the graces for which souls forget to ask. The Blessed Virgin instructed St. Catherine to have a medal made of these images, and she promised many graces to all who wear it.
Meaning of the Medal
Here, we see a woman, the Mother of God, encircled by a short and famous prayer: "O Mary conceived without sin. . . . " Being conceived without sin—the mystery of her Immaculate Conception—means that from the beginning this woman was full of grace. Mary stands on a globe, the world. Around her feet a twisted serpent, the devil, struggles for mastery. It is a conflict between good and evil. Satan's is a world of darkness and disgrace; Mary's is a world of light and grace. But hers is the victory won by Christ—the light of the world. So we see the light and grace of Christ flowing from her hands; and those who choose grace rather than darkness turn to her for help: "pray for us who have recourse to thee."
On the back of the medal we see a large letter M with a cross above it. M is for Mary and Mother because she is indeed the Mother of God's people—a people founded on the twelve Apostles, signified by the twelve stars arranged around the rim. The two hearts are those of Jesus and Mary. God's message for Mary was one of suffering "a sword will pierce your heart too"—just as the heart of her Son would be pierced by a soldier's lance. The showing of the two hearts in one grand alliance is a reminder of God's love for us. Mother and Son are united in the work of redemption as Christ offers himself on the cross and Mary stands compassionately at his feet, assenting in faith so that the world might be saved. The medal, then, is a summary in itself of the Church's teaching on Our Lady—a mini-catechism of the faith for everyone.
The MI Movement
One of the most celebrated cases of a conversion, through the use of the Miraculous Medal, was that of the agnostic, Alphonse Ratisbonne. In January 1917, while still a seminarian at the Conventual Franciscan Friars' Seraphicum in Rome, St. Maximilian Kolbe heard the Miraculous Medal conversion story of Ratisbonne. This wonderful account inspired St. Maximilian to recognize the powerful role that God had given Mary in the work of leading people to conversion and growth in holiness. He understood that the Miraculous Medal symbolized her active presence in the Church as Mediatrix of All Graces. For the next nine months St. Maximilian meditated upon the Miraculous Medal, the apparition of Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure, and the marvel of Ratisbonne's conversion.
On the evening of October 16, 1917, St. Maximilian was ready to put these Marian insights into a concrete plan of action. He gathered six Franciscan companions in a room at their seminary on Rome's Via San Teodoro to establish what he called in Latin the Militia Immaculatae (MI), that is, the "Knights of the Immaculata." This movement, which now numbers millions of members worldwide would bind people together around one compelling and fruitful ideal: spiritual union with Mary the Immaculata. This ideal would attract various kinds and classes of people
(clergy, religious, and laity), stirring each to form a person-to-person relationship with Mary.
St. Maximilian made the Miraculous Medal the iy means of the "Act of Total Consecration," and entrustment of self to her.nsignia of the MI movement. He recommended that people wear it as an external sign of their Total Consecration to the Immaculata. Mindful of Mary's promise to St. Catherine that "all who wear it will receive great graces," St. Maximilian saw the medal as a means of safeguarding the consecration. It reminds MIs that by their consecration they are to belong to Mary, work for her, and become one with her, so that she might act through them as her instruments.
The Miraculous Medal helps MIs to love Jesus through Mary, so as to hasten the transformation of individuals, families, and society into a "civilization of love."
Purpose of the MI:
Pursue the conversion and growth in holiness of all people, under the sponsorship of the Blessed and Immaculate Virgin Mary.
May I join the MI?
All Catholics are welcome to join. One's "work" in the MI is simply to live the spirit of Total Consecration to Mary as taught by the saints and popes. MIs try to bring the presence of Mary into daily life, by offering up daily duties, prayers, sufferings, and good works for the conversion and sanctification of souls. MIs need not attend meetings, nor pay dues, nor follow complicated rules.
Miraculous Medal Invocation Prayer
O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us
who have recourse to you, and for all who do
not have recourse to you, especially the enemies
of the Church and those recommended to you.
who have recourse to you, and for all who do
not have recourse to you, especially the enemies
of the Church and those recommended to you.
Meditation Prayer with the Miraculous Medal
Mary, this medal is a sign and a guarantee of your presence. You are present because your power is present, your voice is present and your love is present. Therefore, O wonderful Sinless Woman and our Mystical Mother, we call on you now to fulfill your guarantee. Bring us the great graces you promised to those who carry this medal, especially to those who wear it around their neck. Make us perceive our presence now and always. Make us consciously experience your power, your love and your guidance, that in their strength we may begin to share in your perfect response to God and to each of his creatures, and join in your war with the ancient Serpent. Help us utterly abandon our self-centered feelings and preoccupations. Help us hear and understand you. Teach us to listen and learn. Help us respond to you today and always;, that made one with you we might more fully respond with the rest of the Church to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, participating in their life and unity.
Giving Tuesday aims to celebrate and promote charity and generosity. After two of the largest shopping days, and , Giving Tuesday aims to provide people with a day to give back to the world. Giving back can be through donations, volunteering time or any other form of action. Giving Tuesday was first celebrated in 2012. Since its inception, there has been a 470% increase in online donations for the cause. It is celebrated annually on the Tuesday after as a reminder of the importance of generosity over consumption.
Giving Tuesday Facts & Quotes
· Last year, Giving Tuesday saw a year over year increase of 300% on total donations and a 28% increase in new monthly donors.
· In 2015, there were a total of 1.3 million social media mentions of Giving Tuesday. It officially went viral.
· In 2015, the mean gift size (meaning the average between everybody who donated) on Giving Tuesday was $107.47.
· Over 71 countries around the world support and participate in Giving Tuesday.
· You may have heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. There's another day you might want to know about: Giving Tuesday. The idea is pretty straightforward. On the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, shoppers take a break from their gift-buying and donate what they can to charity. – Bill Gates, creator of Microsoft.
Giving Tuesday Top Events and Things to Do
· Watch a movie on the joys of gifts and giving. Some suggestions are: Pay it Forward (2000), It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), and Millions (2004).
· Spread awareness on social media by using the hashtag #GivingTuesday, #TuesdayGiveawayDay and #TuesdayMeansDonate.
· Volunteer your time at a local homeless shelter or volunteer organization. Giving can be much more than simply giving your money or things away. Giving your time is equally as valuable and, in some ways, more important.
· Read a book about the joys of sharing. Some suggestions are: The Giving Book, giving: How Each of Us Change the World and The Giving Tree.
· Donate to a charity of your choice. Charity Navigator can help you find a charity that suits you.
The Way Heart
"Read these counsels slowly. Pause to meditate on these thoughts. They are things that I whisper in your ear-confiding them-as a friend, as a brother, as a father. And they are being heard by God. I won't tell you anything new. I will only stir your memory, so that some thought will arise and strike you; and so you will better your life and set out along ways of prayer and of Love. And in the end you will be a more worthy soul."
Don't you feel that greater peace and closer union await you when you respond to that extraordinary grace which demands your total detachment? Struggle for him, to please him:
but strengthen your hope.