Union with God

Intimate Union with God in the Eucharist
In “The Q&A Guide to Mental Prayer,” Connie Rossini writes, “Blessed Marie-Eugène, OCD, says that there are three ways to intimate union with God. The first (in hierarchical order) is the Eucharist, the second is contemplation, and the third is supernatural obedience (obeying authority with the motive of obeying Christ himself).
Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange describes this union with God when we receive the Blessed Sacrament:
“Communion is, therefore, the most perfect act of the interior life, and if we prepare ourselves for it with humility, zeal, and meekness, we shall find there the most efficacious means for union with God. While our body receives the body of Christ, our soul is united to His soul, our intelligence to His light, our heart to the everburning sun of His love. Our Lord unites Himself to us to assimilate us to Himself, to make of us other Christs. Every Communion that is not sacrilegious and sterile increases the degree of charity in us. Who then can measure the effects of daily Communion, above all of fervent daily Communion?”(From “Knowing the Love of God,” Chapter 18)
Fr Kieran Kavanaugh explains in his commentary on The Way of Perfection that, “On account of the presence, St. Teresa prizes the time after Communion as a privileged time for the prayer of recollection.”
If you are not yet receiving infused contemplation, take heart that with each Communion, you are experiencing the highest union with God available in this life. Don’t miss the great gift of prayer after receiving the Eucharist. Be recollected and converse lovingly with Him after Communion.
Daily mental prayer disposes you to have more fervent Communions, and each fervent Communion, in turn, helps to deepen your mental prayer.
Connie continues, “Jesus reserves nothing from you in the Blessed Sacrament. He gives himself fully. If you fully gave yourself to him in preparation for the reception of the Eucharist, you could theoretically become a saint through one Communion. However, very few people would be able to prepare themselves so perfectly without having a deep prayer life, usually one that includes contemplation. More frequently, your reception of the Eucharist becomes more efficacious as your prayer deepens.”

Shared from Facebook group: Authentic Contemplative Prayer

The Foot of the Cross

Although not reflective perhaps of the season, the following passage from Fr. Faber from one of his works that I have been reading speaks beautifully of the unity and alliance of the two Hearts, the Sacred Heart of our Lord and the Immaculate Heart of Mary; two hearts joined so completely in God the Father’s design and in our redemption.
“God vouchsafed to select the very things about Him which are most incommunicable, and in a most mysteriously real way communicate them to her. See how He had already mixed her up with the eternal designs of creation, making her almost a partial cause and partial model of it. Our Lady’s co-operation in the redemption of the world gives us a fresh view of her magnificence. Neither the Immaculate Conception nor the Assumption will give us a higher idea of Mary’s exaltation than the title of co-redemptress. Her sorrows were not necessary for the redemption of the world, but in the counsels of God they were inseparable from it. They belong to the integrity of the divine plan. Are not Mary’s mysteries Jesus’ mysteries, and His mysteries hers? The truth appears to be that all the mysteries of Jesus and Mary were in God’s design as one mystery. Jesus Himself was Mary’s sorrow, seven times repeated, aggravated sevenfold. During the hours of the Passion, the offering of Jesus and the offering of Mary were tied in one. They kept pace together; they were made of the same materials; they were perfumed with kindred fragrance; they were lighted with the same fire; they were offered with kindred dispositions. The two things were one simultaneous oblation, interwoven each moment through the thickly crowded mysteries of that dread time, unto the eternal Father, out of two sinless hearts, that were the hearts of Son and Mother, for the sins of a guilty world which fell on them contrary to their merits, but according to their own free will.”

— Fr. Frederick Faber, The Foot of the Cross.

Shared from Fr. David Abernathy, Pittsburgh Oratory on Facebook.

Uniting my Heart to the Will of the Father

“Teach me, my Lord, to be kind and gentle in all the events of my life; in disappointments, in the thoughtlessness of others, in the insincerity of those I trusted. Let me forget myself, so that I may enjoy the happiness of others. Let me always hide my little pains and heartaches so that I may be the only one to suffer from them. Teach me to allow suffering to make me patient, not irritable; that it may make me broad in my forgiveness, not narrow or proud or overbearing. May no one be less good for having come within my influence; no one less pure, less true, less kind, less noble, for having been a fellow traveler with me, on our journey towards Eternal Life..”

A letter to YOU, from the Poor Clare Colettine’s TMD

Dear readers, below is a copied email that we received today from the Poor Clare Colettine’s, Wales, UK.  They have been part of our group of religious intercessors since we have been online…   Please feel free to write them and get on their daily mailing list.  They have beautiful reflections each day that will build your courage as a Catholic Christian.  God bless!

 

The Casket of Saint Colette

J+M+A

 

Dear Little Hearts,

In response to the tears and pain of many mothers and those desiring to be mothers, we are inspired by the Holy Spirit to begin this new simple initiative.  This casket will be placed upon the altar every Saturday at St. Colette’s celebration and the praying of the (St. Colette) chaplet.  This casket is for the names of unborn life that was lost through miscarriage, and for children who died in their early years.  The names will not be read out in public, but will be placed in the casket for the community to pray over… the casket will be placed next to the relic veil of Saint Colette.   If you have any names that you would like to send us, please do so, we are here for you.

Lovingly all your sisters

 

Prayer after loss of a Child

My Darling child, you have gone to Heaven to be eternally happy, and are now in the company of the Holy Innocents there.  It was a thing hard for me to understand when you were taken from my arms, for parting with you has caused me grief that few can know.  Yet in all my grief I am happy very happy for you, because I know the joy that is yours.  Your joy is now my joy too, because I feel I had a part in bringing it to you.  Now that you are in Heaven, I realize that you are mine in a truer sense than you could ever be on earth.  I cannot lose you through sin.  While parting with you was hard, I would not wish you back, because I know that you are happier than I could ever make you here with me.  Help me, as you now can with your intercession, that I may be completely faithful to all my duties here on earth and merit to receive you again in eternal joys where there will be no more sorrow or parting from those we love.  Amen 

 

Prayers of a Mother

You are still my baby and will surely regard the prayers of your Mother who bore you.  So darling, with confidence I speak to you.  Intercede for me to obtain the favor that I here ask as a Mother through her child who stands before the throne of God.  But, if what I ask is not according to the wisdom and loving designs of Almighty God for me and others, then ask Him to grant what is best according to His good pleasure and to give me the wisdom and faith to conform my will to HIS.  AMEN

Poor Clare Colettines TMD

Email:  community@poorclarestmd.org

*Edited and corrected with humility..

Pope Francis Consecrates the WORLD to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The Pope celebrated mass in St Peter’s square this morning in honor of the Marian Day, an event organized as part of the Year of Faith on the anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima (13th of October 1917). He also consecrated the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Please find below the full text of Pope Francis’ homily in English translation.

In the Psalm we said: “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things” (Ps 98:1). Today we consider one of the marvelous things which the Lord has done: Mary! A lowly and weak creature like ourselves, she was chosen to be the Mother of God, the Mother of her Creator.

Considering Mary in the light of the readings we have just heard, I would like to reflect with you on three things: first, God surprises us, second, God asks us to be faithful, and third, God is our strength.

First: God surprises us. The story of Naaman, the commander of the army of the king of Aram, is remarkable. In order to be healed of leprosy, he turns to the prophet of God, Elisha, who does not perform magic or demand anything unusual of him, but asks him simply to trust in God and to wash in the waters of the river. Not, however, in one of the great rivers of Damascus, but in the little stream of the Jordan. Naaman is left surprised, even taken aback. What kind of God is this who asks for something so simple? He wants to turn back, but then he goes ahead, he immerses himself in the Jordan and is immediately healed (cf. 2 Kg 5:1-4). There it is: God surprises us. It is precisely in poverty, in weakness and in humility that he reveals himself and grants us his love, which saves us, heals us and gives us strength. He asks us only to obey his word and to trust in him.

This was the experience of the Virgin Mary. At the message of the angel, she does not hide her surprise. It is the astonishment of realizing that God, to become man, had chosen her, a simple maid of Nazareth. Not someone who lived in a palace amid power and riches, or one who had done extraordinary things, but simply someone who was open to God and put her trust in him, even without understanding everything: “Here I am, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word” (Lk 1:38). That was her answer. God constantly surprises us, he bursts our categories, he wreaks havoc with our plans. And he tells us: trust me, do not be afraid, let yourself be surprised, leave yourself behind and follow me!

Today let us all ask ourselves whether we are afraid of what God might ask, or of what he does ask. Do I let myself be surprised by God, as Mary was, or do I remain caught up in my own safety zone: in forms of material, intellectual or ideological security, taking refuge in my own projects and plans? Do I truly let God into my life? How do I answer him?

In the passage from Saint Paul which we have heard, the Apostle tells his disciple Timothy: remember Jesus Christ. If we persevere with him, we will also reign with him (cf. 2 Tim 2:8-13). This is the second thing: to remember Christ always – to be mindful of Jesus Christ – and thus to persevere in faith. God surprises us with his love, but he demands that we be faithful in following him. We can be unfaithful, but he cannot: he is “the faithful one” and he demands of us that same fidelity. Think of all the times when we were excited about something or other, some initiative, some task, but afterwards, at the first sign of difficulty, we threw in the towel. Sadly, this also happens in the case of fundamental decisions, such as marriage. It is the difficulty of remaining steadfast, faithful to decisions we have made and to commitments we have made. Often it is easy enough to say “yes”, but then we fail to repeat this “yes” each and every day. We fail to be faithful.

Mary said her “yes” to God: a “yes” which threw her simple life in Nazareth into turmoil, and not only once. Any number of times she had to utter a heartfelt “yes” at moments of joy and sorrow, culminating in the “yes” she spoke at the foot of the Cross. Here today there are many mothers present; think of the full extent of Mary’s faithfulness to God: seeing her only Son hanging on the Cross. The faithful woman, still standing, utterly heartbroken, yet faithful and strong.

And I ask myself: am I a Christian by fits and starts, or am I a Christian full-time? Our culture of the ephemeral, the relative, also takes its toll on the way we live our faith. God asks us to be faithful to him, daily, in our everyday life. He goes on to say that, even if we are sometimes unfaithful to him, he remains faithful. In his mercy, he never tires of stretching out his hand to lift us up, to encourage us to continue our journey, to come back and tell him of our weakness, so that he can grant us his strength. This is the real journey: to walk with the Lord always, even at moments of weakness, even in our sins. Never to prefer a makeshift path of our own. That kills us. Faith is ultimate fidelity, like that of Mary.

The last thing: God is our strength. I think of the ten lepers in the Gospel who were healed by Jesus. They approach him and, keeping their distance, they call out: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” (Lk 17:13). They are sick, they need love and strength, and they are looking for someone to heal them. Jesus responds by freeing them from their disease. Strikingly, however, only one of them comes back, praising God and thanking him in a loud voice. Jesus notes this: ten asked to be healed and only one returned to praise God in a loud voice and to acknowledge that he is our strength. Knowing how to give thanks, to give praise for everything that the Lord has done for us.

Take Mary. After the Annunciation, her first act is one of charity towards her elderly kinswoman Elizabeth. Her first words are: “My soul magnifies the Lord”, in other words, a song of praise and thanksgiving to God not only for what he did for her, but for what he had done throughout the history of salvation. Everything is his gift. If we can realize that everything is God’s gift, how happy will our hearts be! Everything is his gift. He is our strength! Saying “thank you” is such an easy thing, and yet so hard! How often do we say “thank you” to one another in our families? These are essential words for our life in common. “Excuse me”, “sorry”, “thank you”. If families can say these three things, they will be fine. “Excuse me”, “sorry”, “thank you”. How often do we say “thank you” in our families? How often do we say “thank you” to those who help us, those close to us, those at our side throughout life? All too often we take everything for granted! This happens with God too. It is easy to approach the Lord to ask for something, but to go and thank him: “Well, I don’t need to”.

As we continue our celebration of the Eucharist, let us invoke Mary’s intercession. May she help us to be open to God’s surprises, to be faithful to him each and every day, and to praise and thank him, for he is our strength. Amen.