DAY 25 - MARY, VESSEL OF HONOR, PRAY THAT WE RECEIVE THE FRUIT OF MODESTY!
PRAY A ROSARY
- Rosary of the Day: Sorrowful Mysteries
- Traditional 54 Day Rotation: Joyful Mysteries
NATIVITY OF MARY
When this became known to all the Jews and Greeks who lived in Ephesus, fear fell upon them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in great esteem.
In Paul’s time there were traveling Jewish’s exorcists that were not of the faith but attempted to remove demons in Jesus’ name and the demons said to the Jewish exorcist, “Jesus I recognize, Paul I know, but who are you?” and then attacked them.
Holy fear teaches us the necessity of being faithful to the end.
Three Signs of the end
Of the time of tribulation, the Catechism states, “Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers.
1. This time of trial will be marked by religious deception, apostasy from the true Faith, and the rise of the antichrist. (This time the end of history will reveal the fullness of antichrist, “a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh. . ..”) (CCC, 675).
History has witnessed much speculation about the antichrist, including writings by the Church Fathers about his background and methods of destruction. What is clearer is that when history draws to a close Satan and his followers—both demonic and human—will seek to destroy as many souls as possible, unleashing diabolic destruction and causing widespread apostasy. We also know the spirit of antichrist is already within the world, just as it has been for two thousand years: “Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have arisen; from this we know that it is the last hour” (1 Jn 2:18). There is deception and apostasy; there are many who mock Christ and even many self-described Christians who deny him.
2. In the Olivet Discourse, also known as “the little apocalypse, ‘Jesus told the disciples: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come” (Mt 24:14). Has this occurred?
Arguments can be made either way. As Ralph Martin, author of “Is Jesus Coming Soon?” (Ignatius Press, 1997), has noted, “It is difficult to know whether this universal proclamation has taken place. Certain nations have had the gospel preached to them in the past but not in the present.” The one certainty is the Gospel must be preached to as many people as possible; evangelization and missions are never optional, but always imperative.
3. Of the third event, the Church states Israel’s recognition of Jesus as the Messiah will take place prior to the Parousia. This is based on Romans 9-11 and Paul’s teaching that “hardening has come upon Israel in part, until the full number of Gentiles comes in” (Rom 11:25). Yet is far from evident how this “full inclusion” of ethnic Israel into the Church will come about. It would seem it has not yet taken place; perhaps it has already begun in ways not fully understood or recognized. What is certain is that Catholics, while always respecting the free will of every man, have an obligation to be spiritually prepared, to evangelize, and to advance the Kingdom. “…and after this comes judgment”
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
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.
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. Amen.
EPISTLE. Prov. viii. 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 there; 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 delight is 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. Matt, i.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 Naasson begot Salmon. And Salmon begot Booz of Kahab. 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 Urias. 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 Elind 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 St. 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 St. 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 you, you 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."
Things to Do
· Learn prayers to Mary, such as the Angelus, Litany of Loreto, Memorare, Hail Mary, and Hail Holy Queen. Learn and sing various hymns to Mary, such as the Salve Regina, Immaculate Mary, Hail Holy Queen.
· Start researching and planning a Mary Garden, or a special plant or flower for each feast day of Mary. This can be for next spring, but if some bulbs are to be included, this is the time to plant them! Decorate the house, family table or family altar with flowers or special Marian decor.
· Contemplate on how all the feasts of Mary point to the mysteries of Christ and our salvation history. Biblical readings: Proverbs 8:22-35 and Matthew 1:1-16 (this points to the appreciation of the heritage and family of Jesus).
· Have a birthday party for Mary, with a specially decorated birthday cake and birthday decorations. Blue is the traditional color of Mary's mantle, so incorporating blue into the decor and food is quite appropriate. Try making an all-white cake symbolizing Mary's purity, or cookies with white icing. White meringue cookies (or kisses) would also remind one of Mary's sinlessness. Birthday parties don't need special explanations for children. Have each child present a "gift" to their Mother Mary, such as spiritual bouquets, faults or virtues to work on, corporal works of mercy, etc. Learn to make string knot rosaries to give as "favors."
· Eat some form of blueberries on this day, particularly in the morning -- blueberry muffins or blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie or just fresh blueberries on your cereal. The blue is symbolic of Mary's blue mantle.
· Find out about the devotion to "Maria Bambina" or "Baby Mary."
· Women for Faith and Family have some wonderful ideas for this feast day.
“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”– Mahatma Gandhi
Forgiveness, the process by which an offended party chooses to change the way they feel about someone who has committed the offense against them. It bears a distinct difference from the idea of condoning (where one does not see the offense as wrong, and therefore not needing forgiveness), excusing the action (where you place the blame for the action on someone else entirely), giving pardon (cleared by a legal representative), forgetting (where the action no longer exists in memory in any real or present way), or the act of reconciliation (where the relationship is restored without the action strictly being forgiven).
On the 8th of September back in 1974, President Gerald Ford presented a rather controversial Presidential Proclamation. This proclamation pardoned Richard M. Nixon of all wrongdoing that was related to that most famous of American scandals, the Watergate affair. Richard made very clear that he felt he had committed grievous wrong doings against the people of the United States and the seat they had granted him. While you are unlikely to be in a position to grant a presidential pardon, what you can do is be more forgiving on International Pardon Day. If you are holding a grudge against those who have committed some offense against you, Pardon Day grants you a valid reason to examine your feelings and the time that has passed, and to let that resentment and anger go.
“The truth is, unless you let go, unless you forgive yourself, unless you forgive the situation, unless you realize that the situation is over, you cannot move forward.”– Steve Maraboli
What is known about forgiveness is that it is an act that brings happiness to those who give it, one can release the hold on the negative emotions they’re harboring in themselves, but they cannot release the associated guilt for the person who committed the act. As a result, forgiveness is for the one giving it, rather than the one who committed the transgression. Research has shown that those who have chosen to give up resentments live longer lives as a result to an improvement in their cardiovascular and nervous systems.
Ways to Celebrate
There are a number of good ways to celebrate International Pardon Day, the simplest being to make sure you use ‘Excuse Me’ and ‘Pardon Me’ whenever you feel it appropriate. You need to get by someone, a simple ‘pardon me’ will serve to politely ask them to clear the way. Did you pass gas, or bump into someone when trying to get past them? ‘Excuse me’ is a good step towards showing you’re truly contrite.
“Forgive your enemies, but never forget their names.”– John F. Kennedy
Another, perhaps more difficult way to celebrate is to take the time to examine the grudges you carry with you on a day to day basis. To think them over and determine if it’s truly worth carrying that anger and resentment forward. Take International Pardon Day to set them, and yourself, free from the toxic weight you’re carrying. You can do it via email, in person, over coffee, or you can write them a letter. If they’ve passed on, don’t let that stand in your way, write a letter with everything you’d like to say in it, and then burn it to set it free.
35 Promises of God cont.
“Those who listen to me will be secure and will live at ease, without dread of disaster.”-Proverbs 1:33
Tuesday: Litany of St. Michael the Archangel
Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.