Take this holy medal; wear it with faith, and handle it with due devotion

Medal of Mary

Miraculous Medal of Our Lady (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today’s Feast which is commonly called ‘of the Miraculous Medal’, commemorates the manifestation of the Immaculate Virgin Mary to St Catherine Labouré DC. Our Blessed Lady showed St Catherine the pattern of a medal, that has worked many miracles since.

An English translation of the Collect at Mass is

O Lord Jesus Christ, who wast pleased that the most Blessed Virgin Mary Thy Mother, immaculate from her first conception, should shine resplendent with miracles beyond number: grant, that, ever imploring her patronage, we may attain the joys of everlasting life: Who livest and reignest….

As children of Mary, like St Catherine Labouré, we all should remember that Our Lady was given to us as our mother by Our Blessed Lord on the Cross. Jesus said to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour the disciple took her to his own. (John 19.27) His Mother became Mother of the Church.

A practice recommended by many confessors is to consecrate oneself to Our Lady. One prayer whereby we can do this is by saying the prayer below. Any priest will be able to bless the medal and invest you with it using the prayers from the Roman Ritual. After this you may wish to consecrate yourself to Our Lady.

Act of Consecration to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal

O virgin mother of God, Mary immaculate, we dedicate and consecrate ourselves to you under the title of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal.
May this medal be for each one of us a sure sign of your affection for us and a constant reminder of our duties towards you. Ever while wearing it, may we be blessed by your loving protection and preserved in the grace of your son.
O most powerful Virgin, mother of our saviour, keep us close to you every moment of our lives. Obtain for us, your children, the grace of a happy death; so that, in union with you, we may enjoy the bliss of heaven forever.
Amen.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you. (say this line three times)

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“more fraternal than authoritative”: an epistle to the Corinthians

When we hear of an Epistle to the Corinthians, most people will instinctively think of the St Paul the Apostle’s Epistles that are in the Canon of the New Testament, however epistles were being sent from many early Christian leaders to each other all over the known Christian world. This continues to this day, in each diocese all over the world, bishops can and do send pastoral letters to their flocks.

Today we celebrate the Feast of St Clement I, Bishop of Rome and Martyr. While many will regard a letter issued by him to be a letter with the authority of a Pope as the Roman Church understands that authority now, this may not be the case. It has been suggested by some scholars that St Clement’s epistle was “more fraternal than authoritative” – that is that he was not necessarily claiming that Rome was anything other than primus inter pares (first among equals). This is often the position that those of us who are independent Catholics find ourselves adopting or believing. We acknowledge the position of the Holy Father, Benedict ⅩⅥ, but we take his words as we would take the words of another bishop.  Continue reading

How could I say ‘No’, when Our Lady said ‘Yes’?

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, ...

Dove of the Holy Spirit (ca. 1660, alabaster, Throne of St. Peter, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As Fr Charles FSDM said in his meditation on yesterday’s readings at Mass, ‘we know not the hour, nor the day’ when the Lord will come. We must live everyday as though it is our last, and prepare to meet our Maker each night before we take our sleep. This is the reason that during Compline there is time for recollection of events from the day past and confession for those.

As was stated on our Fraternity’s website, on Friday evening, the Fraternity was inspired by the Holy Spirit to elect me as their first Ordinary for a term of three years. This is a new beginning. When elected, I was asked, ‘Do you accept election?’ I could have said ‘No.’, but would how would that have been saying ‘Yes’ to God? Our Fraternity is under the Protection of Our Blessed Lady, the Mother of God. If she, as a young woman could say ‘Yes’ to the message of the angel, then could I refuse the question raised by my confrères. I believed then, as now, that I could not. And so, somewhat surprisedly I said,

If that be the will of God and of this Fraternity, I accept election. I will be at the service of the Fraternity, I am not to be served, but to serve.

I ask that you pray for me as I begin my term of office that I may carry out my duties as our Ordinary with care, diligence, humility and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and Our Blessed Mother, the Queen of All Creation.

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I am the Resurrection and the Life… Believest thou this?

English: Jesus at the house of Mary and Martha

We all find it difficult when our friends and family pass from this life to the next. But Jesus understands this, as is illustrated by the Gospel in the Mass on the Day of Burial, when Martha complains to Our Lord that her brother, Lazarus, would have not died if Jesus had been there. Our Lord tells her,

I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in Me, although he be dead, shall live; and everyone that liveth, and believeth in Me, shall not die for ever. 

He then questions her (and, through this Gospel reading, us):

Believest thou this? 

Martha’s reply is surely our reply too.

Yea, Lord, I have believed that Thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.

And so, today, while I mourn for the passing of a great friend for whose soul I celebrated the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together with my confrère, Fr Charles FSDM, I know that my Redeemer liveth as he is the Resurrection and the Life and that we who believe in him will have eternal life. November is a month full of requiem Masses from the Commemoration of all the Faithful Departed on All Souls’ Day, to Remembrance Day, the daily Masses for the Holy Souls, and also any for the soul of those who pass during at present. However, tonight’s Mass was the first that I celebrated with the intention being the happy repose of the soul of a friend. The first ever. It was humbling but deeply moving.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.

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