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Header-May: The Month of Mary

 

During the month of May—the month of Mary—we feel a special protection of Our Lady that extends to all the faithful; we feel a special joy that shines and illuminates our hearts expressing the universal certainty of Catholics that the indispensable patronage of our heavenly mother becomes even more tender, more loving and more full of visible mercy and exorable condescendence during her month of May.

Even after the month of May passes, a remnant of this remains if we have profited from those thirty-one days especially consecrated to Our Lady. We are left with an increased devotion, a keener confidence and, so to speak, such an increased intimacy with Our Lady that in all the vicissitudes of life we will know how to petition her with respectful insistence, hope in her with invincible confidence and thank her with humble tenderness for all the good she does us.

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Our Lady is the Queen of Heaven and Earth and, at the same time, our mother. We enter the month of May with this conviction, and it becomes more deeply rooted in us when we leave it, strengthening our faith and increasing our fortitude. May teaches us to love Mary Most Holy for the glory she rightly possesses and for all that she represents in the plans of Divine Providence. It also teaches us to be more constant in our filial union with Mary.

Children are never more sure of the loving vigilance of their mothers than when they suffer. All of mankind suffers today; all peoples suffer. They suffer in every conceivable way.

Our Lady of Fatima imageWindstorms of impiety and skepticism sweep through minds, and crazy whirlwinds of all types of messianism devastate them. Nebulous, confused and rash ideas filter into every milieu and mislead not only the wretched and the lukewarm, but sometimes even those of whom greater constancy in the Faith is expected.

Those who are tenaciously faithful to the fulfillment of duty suffer from all the adversity they meet by their fidelity to the Law of Christ. Yet those who transgress the Law also suffer, for without Christ every pleasure is nothing but bitterness, and every joy is a lie.

Hearts suffer, torn by the revolutionary psychological war, which is so intense in our days. Bodies suffer, impoverished by work, undermined by malady, overwhelmed by necessities of every kind.

The contemporary world could be likened to the time when Our Lord was born in Bethlehem: Its tortured mouth opens with a loud and agonizing groan, the groan of the evildoers who live far removed from God and the groan of the just who live tormented by the evildoers.

The more somber circumstances become and the more excruciating sundry pains grow, the more we should ask Our Lady to put an end to so much suffering not merely for our own relief, but for the greater benefit of our souls. Sacred theology says that Our Lady's prayers anticipated the moment of the world's redemption by the Messias. At this anguished moment in history then, let us turn our eyes to Our Lady with confidence, asking her to hasten the great moment we all await, when a new Pentecost will kindle beacons of light and hope in this darkness and restore the kingdom of Our Lord Jesus Christ on earth.

We should be like Daniel, whom Holy Scripture describes as the "desideriorum vir," that is, a man full of great desires. Let us desire many great things for the glory of God. Let us always ask Our Lady for everything. And let us, above all, ask her for that which the Sacred Liturgy beseeches of God: "Emitte Spiritum tuum et creabuntur, et renovabis faciem terrae" (Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created; and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth). We should ask, through the mediation of Our Lady, that God once again send us the Holy Ghost with the plenitude of His gifts so that His kingdom may be created anew and be purified by a renewal of the face of the earth. In the Divine Comedy, Dante wrote that praying without the patronage of Our Lady is like wanting to fly without wings. Let us then confide to Our Lady this heartfelt yearning and desire. The hands of Mary will be for our prayer a pair of pure wings that will carry it with certainty to the throne of God.

 

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Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for April 8, 2020

Every virtue in your soul is a precious ornament which makes...

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April 8

Every virtue in your soul
is a precious ornament
which makes you dear to God and to man.
But holy purity, the queen of virtues, the angelic virtue,
is a jewel so precious
that those who possess it become like the angels of God in Heaven,
even though clothed in mortal flesh.

St. John Bosco

 
My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

 

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Julie Billiart

She was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on...

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St. Julie Billiart

Born on July 12, 1751 in Cuvilly, France, Marie Rose Julie Billiard was the daughter of fairly well-to-do peasant farmers who also owned a small shop. From early childhood Julie had a keen interest in spiritual things and by seven years of age she had memorized the catechism and attained an understanding of it beyond her years.

During her youth, her father’s shop was robbed and her father attacked. This so traumatized his daughter that she became ill and gradually a physical paralysis took hold of her. Deprived of the use of her legs, she eventually had great difficulty in even speaking. Julie's paralysis lasted for twenty-two years, and throughout this whole trial she continued to teach her beloved catechism to children and to trust unwaveringly in the everlasting goodness of “le bon Dieu”. Her infirmities drove her to an even deeper life of prayer and union with God.

During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution when the pastor of Cuvilly was superseded by a constitutional priest sworn to the new atheistic government, Julie influenced her friends and neighbors to boycott the intruder. Though an invalid herself, she worked to hide and assist fugitive priests who remained loyal to the Catholic Church, and for this charitable work she was herself persecuted and obliged to escape from place to place – on one occasion, hiding all night under a haystack.

While taking refuge with the aristocratic family of Gézaincourt, Julie met Françoise Blin de Bourdon, a noblewoman who had barely escaped the guillotine by the fall of Robespierre before her execution. The two became close friends and collaborators.

After the Terror, they both dedicated themselves to the spiritual care of poor children, and the Christian education of girls in a generation sorely neglected by the ravages of the Revolution.

In 1804, after a novena to Him, Julie Billiart was miraculously healed of the paralysis of her legs on the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus. Now physically free to pursue a full range of activity, her educational work increased rapidly.

At odds with the bishop of Amiens through the meddling influence of a misguided young priest, Julie and Françoise were obliged to move to Namur, in present-day Belgium, where with the full support of the local bishop, they proceeded with their work, eventually founding the Institute of Notre Dame de Namur, today in sixteen countries around the world.

Julie Billiart died on April 8, 1816 while praying the Magnificat. She was canonized in 1969.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort...

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And He Stole Heaven

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.
 
On his left hung another man, covered in the matted blood of his wounds. Yet, with the exception of a few intermittent words, there was no sound from him.

As time passed, the thief became more and more engrossed in the silent crucified beside him, and less and less in his own plight.St Dismas Picture

Indeed life is ironic, mused Dismas, this man who had lived in the open, and was acclaimed as a healer and even as a king, now hung beside him who had spent his life lurking and hiding.

And now they were lifted up, both on a high parallel. He could see the roof tops of the city, he could see the highways he had stalked, and he could see the way they had walked. Now he looked down on those gathered around this place of execution, the Roman soldiers, the Pharisees, the curious, the friends of the man beside him…and a young man supporting a lady directly beneath them...

And then he knew her; that upturned face, that maidenly majesty now wracked by sorrow, her tear-filled eyes fastened on the man on his left–Yes, he knew that face.

As the wheels of time rolled back in his mind,  his heart gave a jolt as he remembered that blessed day in the desert, decades ago, when a young family making its way to Egypt, sought refuge for the night in his family’s hovel. The man was strong and kind, the woman was the fairest his child’s eyes had seen, and she carried a golden haired babe, as if nothing in the universe was more precious.

He remembered the lady’s gaze on him, her beautiful eyes full of concern for the leprous sores on his young body. Then she and his mother talked. And next, he was being bathed in the same water the lady had just washed her infant son.

And then the sores were gone.  His mother wept for joy, and kissed the lady’s hands, and the baby’s feet. And even his robber-father was moved, and offered the strong man and his family the best in the house.

Now, in one revealing flash, he knew the identity of the wounded man on his left.  He looked again at the lady, and her eyes, those same sweet eyes of old, were on him once more.  
He felt his heart quiver, as the power of gratitude filled his being and softened his criminal soul.  And then came tears, rivers of tears.  When he could speak, he turned to the left,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

And the Lord turned his face to him, His divine eyes on him, and he heard the most beautiful voice he had ever heard, a voice at once full of pain and full of strength, full of sweetness and full of majesty, a judge’s voice, and a father’s voice,

“Amen, amen I say to you, today you shall be with me in paradise.”

 

By Andrea F. Phillips
Based on: A Legend of St. Dismas and Other Poems,
Copyright by P. J. Kenedy and Sons. 1927, p. 18.

 

Free Meditation Booklet - Be Still and Know That I AM GOD

He hung on a cross that day, writhing in pain and discomfort, the infamous highwayman.

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