Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sixth Sunday of Lent / Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday

Day of Rest

Pick up palms today and display them in your home.  Show everyone you aren't ashamed to be a Christian.  This is a picture of what Father Viveiros does with the left over palms.  He is quite talented.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Day Thirty-Four Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century / A Lenten Journey

Day Thirty-Four Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                     Day Thirty-Four


Saturday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

Meditate upon the concept of the rosary.  The rosary, itself, is not a mandate.  It is not the Mass.  It is not the Divine Office.  It is a unique method of prayer.  Many religions have prayer beads, e.i., Buddhists, Muslims, etc..  So it is a form of prayer for many.  For Catholics, it is a prayer that uses Mary to bring us to Jesus.  Who better to introduce us to someone, anyone, but their own mother?  Mary does this.  The rosary gives us a picture of the gospels through the heart of a mother.  You can use the rosary in meditation, petition, praise, mantra, and even instruction.  You can pray it aloone or with others.  What a gift!  The rosary is such a great gift of grace that offers so many different methods of prayer to all tastes, that it must be divinely inspired.  Thank God for the gift of the rosary.

Second Meditation

Pray these intercessions.
Let us glorify Our Lord Jesus, who chose the Virgin Mary for His mother.  Let us ask Him:
 R> May your mother intercede for us, Lord.
Son of Justice, the immaculate Virgin was the white dawn announcing Your rising,
--grant that we may always live in the light of Your coming.
Lord, help us imitate Mary, Your mother, who chose the best part,
--may we seek the food that will sustain us for ever.
Savior of the world, by your redeeming might you preserved Your mother beforehand from all stain of sin,
--keep watch over us, lest we sin.
You are our redeemer, Who made the immaculate Virgin Mary Your purest home and the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit,
--make us temples of Your Spirit for ever.

Third Meditation

Read the lyrics to this hymn, Mary the Dawn.  Meditate how Mary shows the way to Jesus.

Mary the dawn,                                              Christ the Perfect Day;
Mary the gate,                                                Christ the Heavenly Way!
Mary the root,                                                 Christ the Mystic Vine;
Mary the grape,                                               Christ the Sacred Wine:
Mary the wheat,                                              Christ the Living Bread;
Mary the stem,                                                Christ the Rose blood-red!
Mary the font,                                                 Christ the Cleansing Flood;
Mary the cup,                                                 Christ the Saving Blood!
Mary the temple,                                             Christ the temple's Lord;
Mary the shrine,                                               Christ the God adored!
Mary the beacon,                                             Christ the Haven's Rest;
Mary the mirror,                                                Christ the Vision Blest!
Mary the mother, Christ the mother's Son
By all things blest while endless ages run.  Amen.

Now end the day with the prayer, "We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despice not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Amen"


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Day Thirty-Three Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century /A Lenten Journey


Day Thirty-Three Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                                                     Day Thirty-Three


Friday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

Let us pray a rosary today, asking Mary to pray that we always be secure in her Son's love.  Break up the decades and this rosary will be your Second and Third Meditation.

  1. Make the Sign of the Cross and say the"Apostles' Creed."
  2. Say the "Our Father."
  3. Say three "Hail Marys."
  4. Say the "Glory be to the Father."
  5. Announce the First Mystery; then say the "Our Father."
  6. Say ten "Hail Marys," while meditating on the Mystery.
  7. Say the "Glory be to the Father."
  8. Announce the Second Mystery; then say the "Our Father." Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.
  9. Pray the Salve Regina or Hail Holy Queen.
The mysteries to meditate upon today far the Sorrowful Mysteries:

Now end the day with the prayer, "We fly to thy patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despice not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Amen"


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Day Thirty-Two Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/ A Lenten Journey

Contemplare by MEK


Day Thirty-Two Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                                                     Day Thirty-Two


Thursday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

Let's meditate on the Lord's prayer.  In this first meditation let us realize the importance, the majesty of the prayer -- overall, not the prayer itself.  We will save that for the second meditation.
     Think of the great value of the prayer because of its Author -- Jesus Christ.  Who could possibly be a better teacher?  Does not the idea of Our God giving us this prayer, pay tribute to His very own wisdom?  It is not a long prayer, but it is well within the understanding of uneducated people, yet also a source of meditation for scholars.
     The Lord's prayer contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs.  It is the best way to praise God.

Second Meditation

Slowly and with deliberate thought pray the Lord's prayer.  Pray it with the certitude that God the Father will hear it, because it is the prayer of His Son.  Third

Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done in earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
Amen

  Third Meditation


Contemplate what the word "Amen," means.  It is actually very consoling.  It's an approbation.  It is an assurance that God will grant our petitions.  "Amen!"  I have requested.  Hear me O Lord!"  Amen.

End the day with the prayer, "May the light Mary has kindled, never go out. Amen"  


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?



Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Day Thirty-One Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/ A Lenten Journey

Day Thirty-One Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                                                     Day Thirty-One


Wednesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

Meditate upon the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe on Juan Diego's tilma, that you learned about yesterday.  
Even in our time, the mystery of this miraculous Image remains. The tilma, a large apron woven by hand from cactus fibers, bears the holy Image, which is 1.43 meters tall. The Virgin's face is perfectly oval and is a gray color verging on pink. Her eyes have a profound expression of purity and gentleness. The mouth seems to smile. The very beautiful face, similar to that of a mestizo Indian, is framed by a black head of hair that, up close, is comprised of silky locks. She is clad in a full tunic, of a pinkish red hue that no one has ever been able to reproduce, and that goes to her feet. Her bluish-green mantle is edged with gold braid and studded with stars. A sun of various shades forms a magnificent background, with golden rays shining out.
The fact that the tilma has remained perfectly preserved from 1531 to this day is inexplicable. After more than four centuries, this fabric of mediocre quality retains the same freshness and the same lively color as when it was new. By comparison, a copy of the Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe painted in the 18th century with great care, and preserved under the same climatic conditions as Juan Diego's, had completely deteriorated in a few years.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a painful period of revolutions in Mexico, a load of dynamite was put by unbelievers at the foot of the Image, in a vase of flowers. The explosion destroyed the marble steps on the main altar, the candelabras, all the flower-holders. The marble altarpiece was broken into pieces, the brass Christ on the tabernacle was split in two. The windows in most of the houses near the basilica were broken, but the pane of glass that was protecting the Image was not even cracked. The Image remained intact.
The most moving experience of my life
In 1936, an examination conducted on two fibers from the tilma, one red and the other yellow, led to an astounding finding—the fibers contained no known coloring agent. Ophthalmology and optics confirm the inexplicable nature of the Image—it seems to be a slide projected onto the fabric. Closer analysis shows that there is no trace of drawing or sketching under the color, even though perfectly recognizable retouches were done on the original, retouches which moreover have deteriorated with time. In addition, the background never received any primer, which seems inexplicable if it is truly a painting, for even on the finest fabric, a coat is always applied, if only to prevent the fabric from absorbing the painting and the threads from breaking the surface. No brush strokes can be detected. After an infrared analysis conducted on May 7, 1979, a professor from NASA wrote, "There is no way to explain the quality of the pigments used for the pink dress, the blue veil, the face and the hands, or the permanence of the colors, or the vividness of the colors after several centuries, during which they ordinarily should have deteriorated... Studying this Image has been the most moving experience of my life."
Astronomers have observed that all the constellations present in the heavens at the moment Juan Diego opened his tilma before Bishop Zumárraga on December 12, 1531, are in their proper place on MARY's mantle. It has also been found that by imposing a topographical map of central Mexico on the Virgin's dress, the mountains, rivers and principal lakes coincide with the decoration on this dress.
Ophthalmological tests have found that MARY's eye is a human eye that appears to be living, and includes the retina, in which is reflected the image of a man with outstretched hands—Juan Diego. The image in the eye conforms to the known laws of optics, particularly to that which states that a well-lighted object can be reflected three times in an eye (Purkinje-Samson's law). A later study allowed researchers to discover in the eye, in addition to the seer, Bishop Zumárraga and several other people present when the image of Our Lady appeared on the tilma. And the normal microscopic network of veins in the eyelids and the cornea of the Virgin's eyes is completely recognizable. No human painter would have been able to reproduce such details.
Three months pregnant
Gynecological measurements have determined that the Virgin in the Image has the physical dimensions of a woman who is three months pregnant. Under the belt that holds the dress in place, at the very location of the embryo, a flower with four petals stands out—the Solar Flower, the most familiar of Aztec hieroglyphs, and which symbolized for them divinity, the center of the earth, heaven, time, and space. On the Virgin's neck hangs a brooch, the center of which is decorated with a little cross, recalling the death of Christ on the Cross for the salvation of all mankind. Many other details of the Image of MARY form an extraordinary document for our age, which is able to observe them thanks to modern technology. Thus science, which has often been a pretext for unbelief, helps us today to give prominence to signs that had remained unknown for centuries and that science is unable to explain.
The Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe bears a message of evangelization: the Basilica of Mexico is a center "from which flows a river of the light of the Gospel of Christ, spreading throughout the earth through the merciful Image of MARY" (John Paul II, December 12, 1981 ). In addition, through her intervention on behalf of the Aztec people, the Virgin played a role in saving innumerable human lives, and her pregnancy can be interpreted as a special appeal on behalf of unborn children and the defense of human life. This appeal has a burning relevance in our time, when threats against the lives of individuals and peoples, especially lives that are weak and defenseless, are widespread and becoming more serious. The Second Vatican Council forcefully deplored crimes against human life: "All offenses against life itself, such as murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia... all these and the like are criminal: they poison civilization ; and they debase the perpetrators more than the victims and militate against the honor of the Creator" ( Gaudium et Spes, 27). Faced with these plagues, which are expanding as a result of scientific progress and technology, and which benefit from wide social consensus as well as legal recognition, let us call upon MARY with confidence. She is an "incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for... Showing us her Son, she assures us that in Him the forces of death have already been defeated" (John Paul II, Evangelium vitae, March 25, 1995, nos. 102, 105). "Death and life are locked in an incredible battle; the Author of life, having died, lives and reigns" (Easter Sequence).
Let us ask Saint Juan Diego, canonized by Pope John Paul II on July 31, 2002, to inspire us with a true devotion to our Mother of Heaven, for "MARY's compassion extends to all those who appeal to her, even when this appeal is nothing more than a simple 'Hail, MARY'" (Saint Alphonsus de Liguori ). Especially if we have fallen into serious sin, she who is Mother of Mercy will obtain for us the Mercy of God.


Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsholy/saints/O/ourladyofguadalupe.asp#ixzz3VOfhvqJj

Second Meditation

How about Juan Diego, himself?  Read and think about his submission and how he was blessed.

In the sixteenth century, the Blessed Virgin, moved with pity for the Aztec people who, living in the darkness of idolatry, offered to their idols multitudes of human victims, deigned to take into her own hands the evangelization of these Indians of Central America who were also her children. One of the Aztec gods, originally considered the god of fertility, had transformed himself over time into a ferocious god. A symbol of the sun, this god was in continuous battle with the moon and the stars and was believed to need human blood to restore his strength; if he died, life would be extinguished. Ever new victims, to be offered to him in perpetual sacrifice, therefore seemed essential.
An eagle on a cactus
Aztec priests had prophesied that their nomadic people would settle in the place where an eagle would be seen perched on a cactus, devouring a serpent. This eagle appears on the Mexican flag today. Having arrived on a swampy island, in the middle of Lake Texcoco, the Aztecs saw the foretold sign: an eagle, perched on a cactus, was devouring a serpent. This was in 1369. There they founded their town Tenochtitlan, which would become Mexico City. The town expanded to become a city on pilings, with many gardens abounding in flowers, fruit, and vegetables. The organization of the Aztec kingdom was very structured and hierarchical. The knowledge of their mathematicians, astronomers, philosophers, architects, doctors, artists, and artisans was excellent for that time. But the laws of the physical world remained scarcely known. Tenochtitlan drew its power and wealth primarily from war. The conquered cities had to pay a tribute of various foodstuffs and men for war and sacrifices. The Aztecs' human sacrifices and cannibalism are almost unequaled throughout the course of history.
In 1474, a child was born who was given the name Cuauhtlatoazin ("speaking eagle"). After his father's death, the child was taken in by his uncle. From the age of three, he was taught, as were all young Aztecs, to join in domestic tasks and to behave in a dignified manner. At school, he learned singing, dancing, and especially the worship of many gods. The priests had a very strong influence over the population, whom they kept in a submission bordering on terror. Cuauhtlatoazin was thirteen years old when the great temple at Tenochtitlan was consecrated. Over the course of four days, the priests sacrificed 80,000 human victims to their god. After his military service, Cuauhtlatoazin married a young woman of his social status. Together they led a modest life as farmers.
In 1519, the Spaniard Cortez disembarked in Mexico, leading 500 soldiers. He conquered the country for Spain, yet was not lacking in zeal for the evangelization of the Aztecs. In 1524 he obtained the arrival of twelve Franciscans to Mexico. These missionaries quickly integrated into the population. Their goodness contrasted with the harshness of the Aztec priests, as well as that of some conquistadors. They began to build churches. However, the Indians were reluctant to accept Baptism, primarily because it would require them to abandon polygamy.
Cuauhtlatoazin and his wife were among the first to receive Baptism, under the respective names of Juan Diego and Maria Lucia. After his wife's death in 1529, Juan Diego withdrew to Tolpetlac, 14 km from Mexico City, to the home of his uncle, Juan Bernardino, who had become a Christian as well. On December 9, 1531, as was his custom every Saturday, he left very early in the morning to attend the Mass celebrated in honor of the Blessed Virgin, at the Franciscan fathers' church, close to Mexico City. He walked past Tepeyac Hill. Suddenly, he heard a gentle and resounding song that seemed to come from a great multitude of birds. Raising his eyes to the top of the hill, he saw a white and radiant cloud. He looked around him and wondered if he was dreaming. All of a sudden, the song stopped and a woman's voice, gentle and graceful, called him: "Juanito, Juan Dieguito!" He quickly climbed the hill and found himself in the presence of a very beautiful young woman whose garments shone like the sun.

"A church where I will show my love"
Speaking to him in Nahuatl, his native language, she said to him, "Juanito, my son, where are you going?"—"Noble Lady, my Queen, I am going to the Mass in Mexico City to hear the divine things that the priest teaches us there."—"I want you to know for certain, my dear son, that I am the perfect and always Virgin MARY, Mother of the True God from Whom all life comes, the Lord of all things, Creator of Heaven and Earth. I greatly desire that a church be built in my honor, in which I will show my love, compassion, and protection. I am your Mother full of mercy and love for you and all those who love Me, trust in Me, and have recourse to Me. I will hear their complaints and I will comfort their affliction and their sufferings. So that I might show all My love, go now to the bishop in Mexico City and tell him that I am sending you to make known to him the great desire I have to see a church dedicated to me built here."
Juan Diego went straight to the bishop. Bishop Zumárraga, a Franciscan, the first bishop of Mexico, was a pious man and full of zeal, who had a heart overflowing with kindness towards the Indians. He heard the poor man attentively, but fearing an illusion, did not put much faith in his story. Towards evening, Juan Diego started on his way home. At the top of Tepeyac Hill, he had the pleasant surprise of meeting the Apparition again. He told her about his mission, then added, "I beg you to entrust your message to someone more known and respected so that he will believe it. I am only a simple Indian whom you have sent as a messenger to an important person. Therefore, he didn't believe me, and I do not want to greatly disappoint you."—"My dearest son, "replied the Lady, "you must understand that there are many more noble men to whom I could have entrusted my message and yet, it is because of you that my plan will succeed. Return to the bishop tomorrow... Tell him that it is I myself, the Blessed Virgin MARY, Mother of God, who am sending you."
On Sunday morning after the Mass, Juan Diego went to the bishop's house. The prelate asked him many questions, then asked for a tangible sign of the truth of the apparition. When Juan Diego went home, the bishop had him discreetly followed by two servants. At Tepeyac Bridge, Juan Diego disappeared from their sight, and despite all their searches on the hill and in the surrounding area, they could not find him again. Furious, they declared to the bishop that Juan Diego was an impostor who must absolutely not be believed. During this time, Juan Diego told the beautiful Lady, who was waiting for him on the hill, about his most recent meeting with the bishop. "Come back tomorrow morning to seek the sign he is asking for," replied the Apparition.
Roses, in the middle of winter!
Returning home, the Indian found his uncle ill, and the next day, he had to stay at his bedside to take care of him. As the illness got worse, the uncle asked his nephew to go look for a priest. At dawn on Tuesday, December 12, Juan Diego started on the road to the city. Approaching Tepeyac Hill, he thought it best to make a detour so as not to meet the Lady. But suddenly, he perceived her coming to meet him. Embarrassed, he explained his situation and promised to come back when he had found a priest to administer last rites to his uncle. "My dear little one," replied the Apparition, "do not be distressed about your uncle's illness, because he will not die from it. I assure you that he will get well... Go to the top of the hill, pick the flowers that you will see there, and bring them to me." When he had arrived at the top of the hill, the Indian was stunned to find a great number of flowers in bloom, Castillian roses that gave off a very sweet fragrance. Indeed, in the winter, the cold allows nothing to survive, and besides, the place was too dry for flowers to grow there. Juan Diego gathered the roses, enfolded them in his cloak, or tilma, then went back down the hill. "My dear son," said the Lady, "these flowers are the sign that you are to give the bishop... This will get him to build the church that I have asked of him."
Juan Diego ran to the bishop. When he arrived, the servants made him wait for hours. Amazed at his patience, and intrigued by what he was carrying in his tilma, they finally informed the bishop, who, although with several people, had him shown in immediately. The Indian related his adventure, unfolded his tilma, and let the flowers, which were still shining with dew, scatter to the floor. With tears in his eyes, Bishop Zumárraga fell to his knees, admiring the roses from his country. All of a sudden, he perceived, on the tilma, the portrait of Our Lady. MARY's image was there, as though printed on the cloak, very beautiful and full of gentleness. The bishop's doubts gave way to a sure faith and a hope filled with wonder. He took the tilma and the roses, and placed them respectfully in his private oratory. The next day he went with Juan Diego to the hill where the apparitions had taken place. After having examined the sites, he let the seer return to his uncle's house. Juan Bernardino had been completely cured. His cure had taken place at the very hour when Our Lady appeared to his nephew. He told him, "I have also seen her. She even came here and talked to me. She wants a church to be built on Tepeyac Hill and wants her portrait to be called 'Saint MARY of Guadalupe.' But she didn't explain to me why." The name "Guadalupe" is well known by the Spanish, because in their country there is a very old sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe.
The news of the miracle spread quickly. In a short time, Juan Diego became well-known. "I will spread your fame," MARY had told him, but the Indian remained as humble as ever. To make it easier to meditate on the Image, Bishop Zumárraga had the tilma transported to his cathedral. Then work was begun on the construction of a small church and a hermitage for Juan Diego on the hill of apparitions. The next December 25, the bishop consecrated his cathedral to the Most Blessed Virgin, to thank her for the remarkable favors with which she had blessed his diocese. Then, in a magnificent procession, the miraculous Image was carried to the sanctuary that had just been completed on Tepeyac Hill. To express their joy, the Indians shot arrows. One of them, shot carelessly, went through the throat of a participant in the procession, who fell to the ground, fatally wounded. A great silence fell and intense supplication rose to the Mother of God. Suddenly the wounded man, who had been placed at the foot of the miraculous Image, collected himself and got up, full of vigor. The crowd's enthusiasm was at its peak.

Millions of Indians become Christian
Juan Diego moved into his little hermitage, seeing to the maintenance and cleaning of the site. His life remained simple—he carefully farmed a field close to the sanctuary that had been placed at his disposal. He received pilgrims in ever larger numbers, and enjoyed talking about the Blessed Virgin and untiringly relating the details of the apparitions. He was entrusted with all kinds of prayer intentions. He listened, sympathized, and comforted. A good amount of his free time was spent in contemplation before the image of his Lady. He made rapid progress in the ways of holiness. Day after day, he fulfilled his duty as a witness up until his death on December 9, 1548, seventeen years after the first apparition.
When the Indians had learned the news of Our Lady's apparitions, an enthusiasm and joy such as had never been seen before spread among them. Renouncing their idols, superstitions, human sacrifices, and polygamy, many asked to be baptized. Nine years after the apparitions, nine million Indians had converted to the Christian faith—nearly 3,000 a day! The details of the Image of MARY moved the Indians deeply—this woman is greater than the sun-god since she appears standing before the sun. She surpasses the moon god since she keeps the moon under her feet. She is no longer of this world since she is surrounded by clouds and is held above the world by an angel. Her folded hands show her in prayer, which means that there is Someone greater than she...


Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsholy/saints/O/ourladyofguadalupe.asp#ixzz3VOgtPHFH
Our Lady -- Undoer of Knots
Third Meditation

Contemplate these images of apparitions of Mary.

Our Lady of La Salette

Our Lady of Fatima



Our Lady of Czestochowa




End the day with the prayer, "May the light Mary has kindled, never go out. Amen"  


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Day Thirty Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/ A Lenten Journey

Day Thirty Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                                                     Day Thirty


Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

The Mass is the principal way to coome to know and love Jesus.  The Mass says it all.  It is through the Mass that we find our duties to God fulfilled--adoration, propitiation, petition and thanksgiving.  In the Mass, through the readings that are read, we hear the spirit of Jesus.  Of course, it is in the Mass, during Holy Communion, that we can become One with Our Lord Jesus Christ.  You can't get more intimate than that!  Meditate upon the Mass and how this divine memorial of the Last Supper is a great gift Jesus has given us.

Second Meditation

Meditate upon this image.  Look at the faces.  Look at their postures.  What do you think is going on?

Third Meditation

Here is the story of the image, taken from The Catholic Spirit.
After the Spanish conquest of Mexico in the 16th century, Franciscan missionaries seeking to convert the Aztecs to Christianity destroyed their temples and idols. The missionaries claimed they were acting in the interest of the people’s spiritual wellbeing, but the death of their gods left them with a sense of hopelessness.
Other Spaniards enslaved the indigenous people, whom they considered less than human.
“If God does not provide a remedy from His hand, this land is about to be lost,” Mexico’s first bishop, Franciscan Friar Juan de Zumárraga, wrote in a letter to the king of Spain.
On Dec. 9, 1531, Juan Diego Cuauhtlatoatzin, an indigenous Catholic convert, was walking to the city of Tlaltelolco in central Mexico to attend Mass. As he approached a hill called Tepeyac, a rainbow appeared amidst shimmery white clouds and he heard a woman calling his name.
“Her dress shone as the sun, as if vibrating, and the stone where She stood, as if shooting rays,” according to the “Nican Mopohua,” one of the earliest written accounts of the Guadalupe apparitions. “Her splendor was like precious stones, like a jewel, everything that is most beautiful, She was. The ground dazzled with resplendence of the rainbow in the fog. The mesquites and the cacti and all the other plants that usually grow there looked like emeralds, the foliage like turquoises, and their stems and thorns shone like gold.”
Speaking in the local language, Nahuatl, the dark-complected woman identified herself as Mary, the Mother of God. She instructed Juan Diego to tell the bishop that she would like a “sacred house” to be built in her honor on the hilltop.
The skeptical bishop asked Juan Diego to return with proof that what he was saying was true.
Again Mary appeared to Juan Diego, asking him to gather some flowers growing on the normally barren hillside. She wrapped the flowers in Juan Diego’s “tilma,” or cloak.
When Juan Diego opened his tilma to present the flowers to the bishop, the men were astonished to find the Virgin’s image miraculously imprinted on the fabric.
As word of the miracle spread, people flocked to the site to venerate the image, which the Franciscans named after the dark-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe in Extremadura, Spain. Soon thousands of indigenous people sought to be baptized.
Powerful image
The very fact that the image has lasted nearly 500 years could itself be considered a miracle, according to some experts who have studied the tilma.
Over time, humidity and salt buildup eroded the stonework of the church where the tilma was first housed, but the tilma, made of a delicate plant fiber, remains remarkably well-preserved to this day.
For 116 years the unprotected image was exposed to the elements until 1647, when it was put behind glass. During that time, countless people touched the tilma and burned candles and incense near it.
Acid was once spilled on the tilma and a bomb detonated beneath it, but still it has survived.
Today it is displayed in Mexico City’s Basilica of St. Mary of Guadalupe, one of the world’s most visited Catholic shrines.
Pope John Paul II proclaimed Juan Diego a saint on July 31, 2002. He also declared Our Lady of Guadalupe “Queen of All America.” Her feast day is Dec. 12.
Information in this article is derived from “Our Lady of Guadalupe and Saint Juan Diego: The Historical Evidence” by Eduardo Chávez, postulator for the canonization cause of Juan Diego.
End the day with the prayer, "May the light Mary has kindled, never go out. Amen"


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Day Twenty-Nine Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey

Day Twenty-Nine Consecration to Mary for the 21st Century/A Lenten Journey     


                                                                     Day Twenty-Nine


Monday of the Fifth Week of Lent

Prayers for this week, Days 29-34 in Lent:

Begin each day with "Let us praise Our Almighty Father, who wished that Mary, His Son's Mother, be celebrated by each generation.  I ask, Mary full of grace, intercede for me."

First Meditation

Meditate upon the prayer, the Our Father.  Also, known as the Lord's Prayer, it has great value--because of its
author, Jesus Christ -- Our Lord and Savior.  This prayer could be prayed by anyone in most religions because it contains all we owe to God and the petitions we all need.  Jesus prayed as this prayer teaches us.  Since Jesus taught us this prayer, how could the Father refuse what we ask in the words of His Son?

Second Meditation

Now meditate upon the words of the Hail Mary.  This prayer, like the Lord's Prayer, comes from scripture.  "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee..." are the very words the angel Gabriel used to greet Mary.  She responded affirmatively to this salutation and became the Mother of God.  This is called the Incarnation--the
very moment God became Man.  The Hail Mary is divided into two parts, that of praise and petition.  Also, notice that this prayer glrifies both Jesus and Mary.  See!  Mary leads you to Jesus.

Third Meditation

God is made known to us through what we understand.  Nature is the language of God.  God is made known to us through what we see, hear, taste, touch, and smell.  In all His dealings with us, we find God making use of beautiful symbolism: He gave us the sacraments as visible signs of His grace.  The symbolism in the sacraments and also the sacramentals we choose lead us into learning what divine grace is doing in our souls.
  The seven sacraments: baptism, Eucharist, confirmation, penance, annointing of the sick, marriage, and Holy Orders.  Sacramentals are the objects we use to remind us of all that is divine, e.i., stautes, pictures, rosaries, crosses, crucifixes, and other holy objects that bring God to mind.  Do you now see why these things should be blessed by a priest?

End the day with the prayer, "May the light Mary has kindled, never go out. Amen"


End your day with an examination of conscience--even in bed.
What good did I do today?
Where did I fail?
How can I do better?

Pictures by MEK.