"Let us keep asking Mary continually until death for the grace of the present moment. This is the grace that we beg of her when we pray, 'Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now.' We plead for this most particular grace, which changes with each moment, makes us equal to the duties of the whole day, and opens our minds to the greatness of all those small things that bear a relationship to eternity. Let us ask for the grace to live to the full the richness of the passing moment, especially the time of prayer.
"Let us abandon to God's infinite mercy everything in our past and in our future and live practically and sublimely in the present moment, seeing in this fleeting now, whether it be dull or joyful or full of pain, a distant image of the unique instant of changeless eternity and, because of the actual grace which it contains, a living proof of God's fatherly goodness."
~ Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us now!
“The Rosary is the most powerful weapon to touch the Heart of Jesus,
Our Redeemer, who loves His Mother.” ~ St. Louis de Montfort
In praying our rosary, we follow the method of St. Louis de Montfort who assigned to each decade a fruit to be meditated on and asked for. These seemingly simple reflections add an additional layer to the beauty of this prayer. Thus, before praying the first Joyful mystery, for example, the Sister who is leading the rosary would pray:
"I unite with all the saints in Heaven, with all the just on earth, and with all the faithful here present. I unite with Thee, O my Jesus, in order to praise worthily Thy Holy Mother and to praise Thee in her and through her. I renounce all the distractions that I may have during this Rosary, which I wish to say with modesty, attention, and devotion, just as if it were to be the last of my life. We offer Thee, O Most Holy Trinity, this Creed in honor of all the mysteries of our Faith; this Our Father and these three Hail Marys in honor of the unity of Thy Essence and the Trinity of Thy Persons. We ask of Thee a lively faith, a firm hope and an ardent charity. Amen." ~ St. Louis de Montfort
"Thy Name, O Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing
some grace to him who does so devoutly!" ~ St. Bonaventure
Birth of the Virgin by Bertolome Murillo
The liturgy today commemorates the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast, very important to popular piety, leads us to admire in Mary the Child, the purest dawn of the Redemption. We are contemplating a little girl like every other, at the same time the only one who was "blessed among women" (Lk 1:42). Mary was the immaculate "Daughter of Zion", destined to become the Mother of the Messiah. ~ St. John Paul II
Maria Bambina by Pietro Favaro
Behold, this child is destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel,
and to be a sign of contradiction; and your own soul a sword will pierce. ~ Luke 2:34-35
O God, who willed
that, when your Son was lifted high on the Cross,
his Mother should stand close by and share his suffering,
grant that your Church,
participating with the Virgin Mary in the Passion of Christ,
may merit a share in his Resurrection.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Texts from the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows
Virgin of the Seven Sorrows
Immaculate Heart of Mary, be my salvation!
August 22, the octave day of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, marks the Extraordinary Form feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Speaking at Fatima in 1982, St. John Paul II makes these profound remarks concerning the love of Mary's Immaculate Heart:
"When Jesus on the Cross said: "Woman, behold, your son" (Jn 19: 26), in a new way he opened his Mother's Heart, the Immaculate Heart, and revealed to it the new dimensions and extent of the love to which she was called in the Holy Spirit by the power of the sacrifice of the Cross.
"In the words of Fátima we seem to find this dimension of motherly love, whose range covers the whole of man's path towards God; the path that leads through this world and that goes, through Purgatory, beyond this world. The solicitude of the Mother of the Saviour is solicitude for the work of salvation: the work of her Son. It is solicitude for the salvation, the eternal salvation, of all. Now that sixty-five years have passed since that 13 May 1917, it is difficult to fail to notice how the range of this salvific love of the Mother embraces, in a particular way, our century.
"In the light of a mother's love we understand the whole message of the Lady of Fátima. The greatest obstacle to man's journey towards God is sin, perseverance in sin, and, finally, denial of God. The deliberate blotting out of God from the world of human thought. The detachment from him of the whole of man's earthly activity. The rejection of God by man....
In the Ordinary Form, the Queenship of Our Lady is celebrated on this day. Of this privilege of Mary, Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange writes,
"Mary is the mother of Him Who from the instant of His conception is King of the universe by His hypostatic union and His fullness of grace.... Mary has a radical right to universal queenship by the fact of her Divine motherhood, but the Divine plan was that she should merit it also by her union with her suffering Son, and that she should not exercise it fully before being crowned queen of all creation in Heaven. Her royalty is spiritual and supernatural rather than temporal and natural, though it extends in a secondary way to temporal affairs considered in their relation to salvation and sanctification.... Thus Mary's queenship is truly universal. There is no region to which it does not extend in some way."
Le Couronnement de la Vierge by Enguerrand Quarton
O Mary, Queen of all hearts, we trust in you.
O Mary, Queen of all hearts, we hope in you.
O Mary, Queen of all hearts, we love you and we honor you!
O Jesus,it is for love of Thee and in reparation for the offenses committed
against the Immaculate Heart of Mary and for the conversion of poor sinners!
Through obedience they [consecrated religious] find their deepest configuration to Christ
in the most fundamental expression of His union with the Father in fulfilling His Father's will:
"I always do what pleases Him" (Jn. 8:29). It is especially through obedience that Christ Himself offers to religious the experience of full Christian freedom.
~ Essential Elements
It is in obedience to God that we discover our most profound personal freedom. Each summer presents a unique opportunity for the Sisters to rediscover this profound truth as they are sent out in obedience to fulfill a variety of apostolic missions that are unique to the summer season. The first two weeks of July included excursions to Washington and Oregon as well as well as several events within our diocese, all opportunities to bear witness to Christ and bring those we encounter closer to Him through His Mother.
At the same time, several other Sisters were sent to participate in the Ignite Your Torch Youth Conference in Lacey, WA, an excellent Catholic conference for high school youth that engages enthusiastic religious men and women from all over the country to share the faith with the conference attendees through a variety of talks, small groups, communal prayer, meals and recreation. The conference generally invites one religious brother or sister or diocesan priest for every 10 attendees so that the young people have plenty of opportunities to ask questions and become familiar with the different vocations. The conference is always centered on the Eucharist and the Sacraments with a strong Marian dimension, but this year the theme of the conference specifically highlighted the message of Our Lady at Fatima and our Sisters' presentations were able to include aspects of the message. One Sister spoke on the value of redemptive suffering while another team of Sisters was able to share about sacramentals and the valuable place they hold in our spiritual lives. The Sisters utilized their experience with sacred music to join with other religious and staff to assist in making the conference prayers and liturgies beautiful and reverent for the glory of God.
Photos by Ignite Your Torch Staff
Perhaps the most exciting adventure for the younger Sisters was Magnificat Days, a series of catechetical days for the youth of Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Fort Bragg. The Sisters were again privileged to share the story and message of Fatima with their students through catechetical presentations, music, activities, and prayer.
Full picture gallery of Magnificat days here
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Mary, Queen of Religious, pray for us!
Mary, Model of Catechists, pray for us!
"The kingdom of this world and all its pomps have I despised for the love of Jesus Christ my Lord: whom I have see, whom I have loved; in whom I have believed; to whom I have given my love."
May 31, a joyful and grace-filled day, the feast of the Visitation and the feast of the Queenship of Mary, marked the clothing of four new novices and the First Profession of Vows of Sr. Margaret Mary of Our Lady of the Sacred Heart. Sr. Margaret Mary is the first daughter of the Diocese of Santa Rosa to make profession in the community, making this a significant profession for the Diocese as well as for the community. The Profession Mass was celebrated by His Excellency, Robert Vasa, Bishop of Santa Rosa, assisted by the priests who have played a significant role in Sr. Margaret Mary's life and spiritual formation: our Chaplain, Fr. Jeffery Keyes; the Rector of the Cathedral, Fr. Frank Epperson; Fr. David Anderson, the Pastor of the Eastern Rite Catholic Church; and Fr. Raul Lemus, a dear family friend and former Pastor.
Mother pins on the blue veil
"...It is Jesus whom I love; I am become the spouse of Him whose Mother was a virgin,
and who was begotten spiritually of His Father, of Him whose sweetest music already sounds in mine ears: If I love Him, I am chaste: when I touch Him, I am pure; when I possess Him, I am a virgin....
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass
"...O ye holy virgins, obtain for me that chaste, tender affection,
which may give me the right to make my nest, as a turtledove,
in the would of love which is in the Heart of Jesus, my Spouse."
Text from the unrevised Pontificale Romanum
Please join us in praying for Sister Margaret Mary,
for her growth in holiness and perseverance in her holy vocation.
Mary, our Queen and Mother, pray for us!
Text from a poem by Sr. Mary Karis of the Holy Spirit, Poor Clare
Sr. Marie de Lourdes, Sr. Mary Emmanuel, Sr. Mary Catherine, Sr. Maria Magdelena,
Sr. Michelle Marie, Mother Teresa Christe
Please join us in praying for our new novices:
Sr. Michelle Marie of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels,
Sr. Maria Magdelena of Our Lady of Fatima,
Sr. Mary Catherine of Mary, Mother of the Church,
and Sr. Mary Emmanuel of Mary, Cause of our Joy.
Mary, Queen and Mother of Religious, pray for us!
Our Lady in thy Visitation,intercede for us!