Feast of the Visitation
of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Monday, May 31, 2010
Posted by Unstoppable Spirit
Labels: Devotion to Mother Mary ·
Sunday, May 23, 2010
Posted by Unstoppable Spirit
A feast of the universal Church which commemorates the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles, fifty days after theResurrection of Christ, on the ancient Jewish festival called the "feast of weeks" or Pentecost (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). Whitsunday is so called from the white garments which were worn by those who were baptised during the vigil;Pentecost ("Pfingsten" in German), is the Greek for "the fiftieth" (day after Easter).
Whitsunday, as a Christian feast, dates back to the first century, although there is no evidence that it was observed, as there is in the case of Easter; the passage in 1 Corinthians 16:8 probably refers to the Jewish feast. This is not surprising, for the feast, originally of only one day's duration, fell on a Sunday; besides it was so closely bound up with Easter that it appears to be not much more than the termination of Paschal tide.
That Whitsunday belongs to the Apostolic times is stated in the seventh of the (interpolated) fragments attributed to St. Irenæus. In Tertullian (On Baptism 19) the festival appears as already well established. The Gallic pilgrim gives a detailed account of the solemn manner in which it was observed at Jerusalem ("Peregrin. Silviæ", ed. Geyer, iv). The Apostolic Constitutions (Book V, Part 20) say that Pentecost lasts one week, but in the West it was not kept with an octave until at quite a late date. It appears from Berno of Reichenau (d. 1048) that it was a debatable point in his time whether Whitsunday ought to have an octave. At present it is of equal rank with Easter Sunday. During the vigil formerly the catechumens who remained from Easter were baptized, consequently the ceremonies on Saturday are similar to those on Holy Saturday.
The office of Pentecost has only one Nocturn during the entire week. At Terce the "Veni Creator" is sung instead of the usualhymn, because at the third hour the Holy Ghost descended. The Mass has a Sequence, "Veni Sancte Spiritus" the authorship of which by some is ascribed to King Robert of France. The colour of the vestments is red, symbolic of the love of the Holy Ghostor of the tongues of fire. Formerly the law courts did not sit during the entire week, and servile work was forbidden. A Council of Constance (1094) limited this prohibition to the first three days of the week. The Sabbath rest of Tuesday was abolished in 1771, and in many missionary territories also that of Monday; the latter was abrogated for the entire Church by Pius X in 1911. Still, as at Easter, the liturgical rank of Monday and Tuesday of Pentecost week is a Double of the First Class.
In Italy it was customary to scatter rose leaves from the ceiling of the churches to recall the miracle of the fiery tongues; hence in Sicily and elsewhere in Italy Whitsunday is called Pascha rosatum. The Italian name Pascha rossa comes from the red colours of the vestments used on Whitsunday. In France it was customary to blow trumpets during Divine service, to recall the sound of the mighty wind which accompanied the Descent of the Holy Ghost. In England the gentry amused themselves with horse races. The Whitsun Ales or merrymakings are almost wholly obsolete in England. At these ales the Whitsun plays were performed. At Vespers of Pentecost in the Oriental Churches the extraordinary service of genuflexion, accompanied by long poetical prayers and psalms, takes place. (Cf. Maltzew, "Fasten-und Blumen Triodion", p. 898 where the entire Greco-Russianservice is given; cf. also Baumstark, "Jacobit. Fest brevier", p. 255.) On Pentecost the Russians carry flowers and green branches in their hands.
Labels: Holy Spirit ·
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Posted by Unstoppable Spirit
77 Fruits of Holy Mass
Father M. von Cochem
To omit hearing Mass merely from carelessness or indolence would be proof that we were either ignorant of, or indifferent to, the divine treasures it contains. God grant that those who read this may in future appreciate more fully this pearl of great price, value it more highly, seek it more diligently. Ponder this.
- For thy salvation God the Father sends his beloved Son down from heaven.
- For thy salvation the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
- For thy sake the Son of God comes down from heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred host.
- He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the Sacred Host.
- For thy salvation He renews the saving mystery of the Incarnation.
- For thy salvation He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
- For thy salvation he performs on the altar the same act of worship He performed when on earth.
- For thy salvation He renews His bitter passion in order that thou mayest participate in it.
- For thy salvation He mystically renews His death, and sacrifices for Thee His precious life.
- For thy salvation He sheds His blood in a mystic manner, and offers it up for thee to the Divine Majesty.
- With this Precious Blood He sprinkles thy soul and purifies it from every stain.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as a true burnt-offering, and renders to the Godhead the supreme honor which it is due.
- By offering this act of worship to God, thou dost make reparation for the glory which thou hast failed to give Him.
- For thee Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for thy omissions in praising His Holy Name.
- By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers, thou givest Him greater praise than do the Holy Angels.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on thy part to render thanks.
- By offering to God Christ’s act of thanksgiving, thou dost make ample acknowledgment of all the benefits He had bestowed on thee.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as the all powerful victim, reconciling thee to the God Whom thou hast offended.
- He pardons thee for all thy venial sins, provided thou art firmly resolved to forsake them.
- He also makes repartition for many of thy sins of omission, when thou didst leave undone the good thou mightest have done.
- He removes many of the imperfections attaching to thy good deeds.
- He forgives thee the sins, unknown or forgotten, which thou hast never mentioned in confession.
- He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part at least of thy debts and transgressions.
- Each time thou hearest Mass thou canst do more to pay the penalty due to thy sins than by the severest work of penance.
- Christ places to thy credit a portion of His merits, which thou mayest offer to God the Father in expiation of thy offences.
- For thee Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceding for thee as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
- His Precious Blood pleads for thee in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
- Each of the adorable wounds His sacred body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for thee.
- For the sake of this propitiatory victim, the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
- Never canst thou pray so well as whilst present at Mass.
- This is so because Christ unites His prayers to thine, and offers them to His heavenly Father.
- He acquaints Him with thy needs and dangers to which thou art exposed, and makes thy eternal salvation His particular concern.
- The angels also, who are present, plead for thee, and present thy poor prayers before the throne of God.
- On thy behalf the priest says Mass, by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach thee.
- For thee and for thy everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that holy sacrifice to God Almighty.
- When thou hearest Mass, thou art thyself in spirit a priest, enpowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for thyself and others.
- By offering this Holy Sacrifice, thou dost present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
- Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in heaven and earth.
- Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God himself.
- By this sacrifice thou does honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
- By this sacrifice thou dost give infinite satisfaction to the Most Holy Trinity.
- Thou mayest present this glorious oblation as thine own gift, for Christ Himself gave it unto thee.
- When thou hearest Mass aright, thou dost perform an act of highest worship.
- By hearing Mass thou dost pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
- It is best means whereby to venerate the Passion of Christ, and obtain a share in its fruits.
- It is also the best means of venerating the blessed Mother of God, and increasing her joy.
- By hearing Mass, thou canst also enrich thy soul more than aught else in the world.
- By hearing Mass devoutly, thou canst give greater honor to the angels and the saints than by reciting many prayers.
- For this in act thou dost perform a good work of the highest value.
- It is a signal exercise of pure faith, which will receive a great reward.
- When thou dost bow down before the Sacred Host and the Sacred Chalice, thou doest perform a supreme act of adoration.
- For each time thou doest gaze reverently upon the Sacred Host thou wilt receive a recompense in heaven.
- Each time thou dost smite thy breast with compunction, some of thy sins are remitted to thee.
- If thou hearest Mass in a state of mortal sin, God offers thee grace of conversion.
- If thou hearest Mass in a state of grace, God gives augmentation of grace.
- In Holy Mass thou doest spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood.
- Thou art privileged to behold with thine eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
- Thou dost receive the priest’s benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in heaven.
- Through thy diligence in hearing Mass, thou wilt also obtain corporal and temporal blessings.
- Furthermore, thou wilt be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise have vanquished thee.
- Thou wilt also be strengthened against temptations which would have otherwise have vanquished thee.
- Holy Mass will also be to thee a means of obtaining grace of a holy death.
- The love thou hast shown for Holy Mass wilt secure for thee the special succor of angels and saints in thy last moments.
- The remembrance of the Masses heard in thy lifetime will be a sweet solace to thee in the hour of death, and inspire thee with confidence in the divine mercy.
- They will not be forgotten when thou dost stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show thee favor.
- Thou needest not a fear a long and terrible Purgatory if thou hast already to a great extent atoned for thy sins by frequently assisting atHoly Mass.
One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of Purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
- One Mass in thy lifetime will be of greater service to thee than many said for thee after death.
- Thou wilt attain a high place in heaven, which will be thine to all eternity.
- Thy felicity in heaven will, moreover be increased by every Mass thou hearest on earth.
- No prayers offered for thy friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
- Thou canst amply recompense all thy benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
- The best help, the greatest consolation, thou canst afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying is to hear Mass for them.
- By this same means thou canst even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
- Thou canst also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
- For the suffering souls in Purgatory thou canst procure abundant refreshment.
- And if it is not within thy power to have Mass said for thy departed friends, thou canst by devout assistance at the Holy Sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.
What dost now think of the Holy Mass, O Christian? Can it be supposed that in the whole world there is any other good work whereby so many graces and fruits are placed within our reach? It is no longer possible to question the truth of the words of Father Sanchez:
If Christians only knew how to profit by Holy Mass, they might acquire greater riches than are to be found in all things God has created.
We have indeed a precious storehouse in the Mass: happy he who can earn treasures so great at the cost of so little labor! Who would willingly miss Mass? Who would not delight in hearing it? Let us resolve never to lose an opportunity of hearing Mass, provided the duties of our state of life do not prevent us from doing so.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Posted by Unstoppable Spirit
The elevation of Christ into heaven by His own power in presence of His disciples the fortieth day after His Resurrection. It is narrated in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and in the first chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
Although the place of the Ascension is not distinctly stated, it would appear from the Acts that it was Mount Olivet. Since after the Ascension the disciples are described as returning to Jerusalem from the mount that is called Olivet, which is nearJerusalem, within a Sabbath day's journey. Tradition has consecrated this site as the Mount of Ascension and Christian piety has memorialized the event by erecting over the site a basilica. St. Helena built the first memorial, which was destroyed by thePersians in 614, rebuilt in the eighth century, to be destroyed again, but rebuilt a second time by the crusaders. This theMoslems also destroyed, leaving only the octagonal structure which encloses the stone said to bear the imprint of the feet ofChrist, that is now used as an oratory.
Not only is the fact of the Ascension related in the passages of Scripture cited above, but it is also elsewhere predicted and spoken of as an established fact. Thus, in John 6:63, Christ asks the Jews: "If then you shall see the son of Man ascend up where He was before?" and 20:17, He says to Mary Magdalen: "Do not touch Me, for I am not yet ascended to My Father, but go to My brethren, and say to them: I ascend to My Father and to your Father, to My God and to your God." Again, in Ephesians 4:8-10, and in Timothy 3:16, the Ascension of Christ is spoken of as an accepted fact.
The language used by the Evangelists to describe the Ascension must be interpreted according to usage. To say that He was taken up or that He ascended, does not necessarily imply that they locate heaven directly above the earth; no more than the words "sitteth on the right hand of God" mean that this is His actual posture. In disappearing from their view "He was raised up and a cloud received Him out of their sight" (Acts 1:9), and entering into glory He dwells with the Father in the honour and power denoted by the scripture phrase.
Labels: Rosary- Second Glorious Mystery ·
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Posted by Unstoppable Spirit
When Jesus saw his mother,
and the disciple whom he loved standing near,
he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!"
And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
Gospel of John 19:26-27
And so, in that moment, Mary becomes Mother of all disciples of Jesus, including those in our own time who follow Jesus. To quote Pope John Paul II in his 1987 encyclical Redemptoris Mater, "This is true not only of John, who at that hour stood at the foot of the Cross together with the Mother (of Jesus), but it is also true of every disciple of Christ, of every Christian (45.3)."
Jesus Christ is the heart of Catholic Tradition and Christian life.
Catholics celebrate the Mass, read the Bible, and receive the Seven Sacraments. In the Mass we share in the one Sacrifice on the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, as we await his Second Coming. In the Eucharist the Church is as it were at the foot of the Cross with Mary. Receiving Holy Communion with others during the Sacrifice of the Mass brings unity of the Church, the Body of Christ.
Three of our favorite prayers are the Lord's prayer, the Our Father, the Hail Mary (or Ave Maria), and the Rosary. The Our Father is the prayer of hope given to us by Jesus himself in the Sermon on the Mount, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew (6:9-13). The Scriptural basis for the Hail Mary is from the Gospel of Luke (1:26-42). The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Mark 1:1, Acts 9:20, Romans 1:4). As Jesus is both God and man, Mary is the Mother of God (Luke 1:43). Her intercessory role in the second part of the prayer is based on her mediation at the wedding feast of Cana, recorded in the Gospel of John (2:1-12). The Rosary is a Biblical account of the life of Jesus.
The Blessed Virgin Mary is our model of Love and Mercy,
who intercedes with her Son Jesus for us, her children on earth.
Mary serves as the perfect example of motherhood for our modern world.