“It is only natural that the Church rejoice as it contemplates the modest home of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. We read in the hymn from Matins on the feast of the holy Family: ‘It is pleasing to recall the humble house of Nazareth and its slender resources. It is pleasing to tell again in son Jesus’ hidden life. Jesus grows up in hidden seclusion, to be trained in Joseph’s unpretentious trade. The loving mother sits beside her dear Son, the good wife by her husband, content if her loving attention can ease and comfort them in their weariness.’”—St Josemaria Escriva, “Marriage: a Christian Vocation”, Christ is Passing By.
“Through the Incarnation of our Lord in her immaculate womb, Mary, the Daughter of God the Father, is also the Spouse of God the Holy Spirit and the Mother of God the Son.”—St Josemaria Escriva, “Mother of God and Our Mother”, Friends of God.
“She who is full of grace, the object of God’s pleasure, exalted above all the angels and the saints, lived an ordinary life.
“Mary is as much a creature as we are, with a heart like ours, made for joy and mirth as well as suffering and tears. Before Gabriel communicates to her God’s plan, our Lady does not know that she has been chosen from all eternity to be the mother of the Messiah. She sees herself as a lowly creature. That is why she can acknowledge, with full humility, that ‘he who is mighty has done great things’ for her.”—St Josemaria Escriva, “Cause of Our Joy”, Christ is Passing By.
The words of our Lady, ‘he who is mighty has done great things’ resound across the ages, He has done great things for many, and He continues to do so now. In my own life, I know how much He has done, how much He has been present when there have been doubts, worries, and dark periods. Throughout all of this ordinary life, He has sent messengers of His Love to me. We are told that the angel Gabriel came to our Lady: I believe that some of the people who have come to me during my Life although human, have nonetheless had the character of an angel: a messenger of God.
So today, celebrating our Lady’s ordinariness as well as her extraordinariness, let us praise God and this evening, when saying the Magnificat at Vespers, really thank God for all that He has done, is doing, and will do in our lives.
“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person: Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man; the only-begotten and eternal Son of the Father and from that moment on, as man, the true Son of Mary. This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second Person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to himself for ever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God‘.”—St Josemaria Escriva, Christ Passing By.
As we begin the month of May when our devotions turn to honouring our Lady, it is important to remember that by our Lady saying ‘Yes’, our salvation was set in motion. She willingly cooperated with God and we must willingly cooperate with God too to make our daily lives more holy, more in tune with His commandments. And while we remember our heavenly Mother, let us remember all earthly mothers who look after children both as children and as adults. Today, I particularly remember everyone whose own parents have left this world for the one hereafter.
Today in the church’s calendar we celebrate St Joseph the Worker or, as one friend has been known to put it, St Joseph the Small Businessman. How great it would be if we all decided to consecrate our daily work and tasks to God.
Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.
St Joseph, spouse of the BVM, pray for us.
From the Watts & Co. Facebook page:
It fled in fear after the tunicle told it it had been abrogated. Tunicles. Always winding up maniples.
Pueri Hebræorum vestimenta prosternebant in via et clamabant dicentes: Hosanna Filio David, benedictus qui venit in nomini Domini.
Well, I wonder how you are doing in your preparation for Easter? I know that I have kept to my Lenten penance thus far, no alcohol for me – not even on St Patrick’s Day – but as we all know, it is not just about keeping off something that we enjoy. That is the physical aspect, but the internal, the Spiritual aspect is much more important. Have we been keeping in touch with our heavenly Father, with Our Lady?
As we find ourselves in Passiontide, let us renew, again, our resolve to keep saying our prayers and, more importantly, listening to God.
Today, I found myself approving the booklets for our Fraternity’s celebration of the Easter Triduum next week. The Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Thursday evening, the Solemn Liturgy of the Passion of the Lord on Friday afternoon, and the Easter Vigil on Saturday night are three long services, but they are important. They remind us, of what our Lord did for us on each day. I know that I am looking forward to celebrating this major Festival with my brother priests in the FSDM. In a week’s time, we will be together, and will probably have said Compline before bed after travelling from our different residences. I pray that God will watch over all travellers in the next week.
We give thanks for the election of the new Bishop of Rome, Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina who has chosen the name Francis.
We will be praying for him in the hours, days, weeks, months and, God willing, years to come of his Pontificate.
Te Deum laudamus.
By Mgr Alban FSDM
Today, we find ourselves in a strange place in the life of the Church. First of all, the Roman Catholic Church is without a leader, while the previous one is still living. We await with anticipation the election by the Cardinals of the new Bishop of Rome. It seems likely, though not certain, that there will be a new Holy Father by this time next week.
The Bishop of Rome is traditionally known as the Holy Father, as he is a spiritual father to us all. Even, we who are not in full communion with him, recognise him as the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church. We pray for him in the Canon of the Mass – though not during the period of Sede Vacante – as we recognise that he has a…
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The Cardinals need our help; and a recent website has just been set up that allows users to log in and adopt a randomly-selected (one presumes!) Prince of the Church for the Conclave. It is a bit of fun, but has its serious side: we can be encouraged to focus prayer on one man as the Cardinals meet to choose the next Bishop of Rome.