“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.
“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.
We begin the second set of the Mysteries of the Rosary today in our series of intentions for Priests using the Rosary. Today we use the first of the Sorrowful Mysteries: The Agony in the Garden.
- We pray that all priests who are suffering and on the way to Calvary may be comforted by God’s presence; those who have betrayed or denied the Faith through weakness may repent and return to the warmth of God’s love.
- We pray that all priests may live only to do our Father’s will, as Jesus always did.
The fifth in the series of intentions for Priests is for the fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple.
- We pray that priests will always be found going about their Father’s business.
- We pray for all young priests that the love and dedication they experience in the first years of their priesthood may increase with time.
- We pray for all priests who teach the Faith to children and adults.
The fourth in the series of intentions for Priests begun yesterday is for the fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple.
- We thank God for all priests who, like Simeon, have given decades of faithful service. We pray that they may be rewarded for their generosity and self-sacrifice.
- We pray also for all priests whose hearts are pierced by loneliness, depression, and rejection.
The third in the series of intentions for Priests is for the third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity.
- We pray that all seminarians grow in knowledge and love of God to become holy priests.
- We pray especially for those who will be ordained soon, that they may remain faithful all their lives to the sublime privilege of being “other Christs” among us.
- We pray that everyone will come to value the Eucharistic Feast and the Priesthood as among God’s greatest gifts to us.
- We pray that every priest will consider himself a member of the Holy Family, a true son of Mary and Joseph, and a brother-priest of Jesus, the great High Priest.
The second in the series of intentions for Priests begun yesterday is for the second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation.
- We pray for especially for priests who bring Holy Communion to the sick, the shut-ins, and Viaticum to the dying.
- We pray for all the priests who minister to the sick in other ways, counselling, comforting, and consoling them
The Angel Gabriel announces to Mary, that she will become the Mother of God, Word made Flesh. For all centuries to come, Jesus will become flesh in the Holy Eucharist to nourish us in a most intimate union with Him.
The words above I found in a leaflet published by the Coalition in Support of Ecclesia Dei, inside the Roman Martyrology which I had re-found on my bookshelves. For those that don’t know, my library is just making it out of boxes and onto shelves, and so is all round the house, on the floor, on shelves, on the stairs, on my desk, beside my bed, wherever I can put it.
The leaflet encourages us to pray a Rosary for Priests, and I am sure that all of us who use this devotion pray it for all sorts of needs and intentions. For the next fifteen days, it is my intention to pray especially for the intentions in the leaflet. Today, we begin with those for the first Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation.
- We pray for all priests who daily, through the words of the consecration at Mass, and through Holy Communion, bring us the Body and Blood of Christ.
- We pray for all future priests now being formed in the wombs of their mothers, that they may be safe from physical and spiritual harm, and come to Ordination as God intends.
- We pray for all future generations of priests.
A few thoughts on Christmas Eve…
As we rush about today, as I am sure many will be, let’s really take the time to say to those that we love, that we love them. And remember the ‘reason for the season’ is that our God became a little baby born in Bethlehem so he could grow to be the man that paid for all our sins on the Cross at Calvary. Without the Incarnation, none of this would have been possible.
So remember, tonight, for those who don’t do it as a personal devotion (or attend Extraordinary Form Mass regularly) remember at Midnight Mass
Genuflect at the words of the Incarnation in the Nicene Creed.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,
and became man.
And I hope that we all have a very peaceful and blessed Christmas, and I will be remembering many friends at Midnight Mass this evening.