“O sweet Jesus, may every good feeling that is fitted for Thy praise, love Thee, delight in Thee, admire Thee. God of my heart and my Portion, Christ Jesus, may my heart faint away in spirit and mayest Thou be my life within me! may the live coal of Thy love grow hot within my spirit, and break forth into a perfect fire; may it burn incessantly on the altar of my heart; may it glow in my innermost being; may it blaze in hidden recesses of my soul; and in the day of my consummation, may I be found consummated with Thee. Amen.” ~ St. Louis Marie de Montfort
My Jesus, Thou alone art sufficient for me!
Most Holy Name of Jesus, save us!
O Mary, draw me all to God!
O Clavis David... O Key of David, come and lead us out of darkness!
Our good Bishop presided over Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of St. Eugene on December 20, the fourth day of the O Antiphons in preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Chaplain, Father Keyes directed the Men's Scola in leading the congregation in chanting Vespers. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church, the very voice of the Bride speaking to the Bridegroom, and it was a honor to enter into this dialogue with such solemnity and beauty.
Bishop's Reflection on the O Antiphons
"And then we conclude, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, O Emmanuel, Come! Come be God in our midst. And then, the day after, we rejoice in the completion, a response by God on high, sending Him Whom we have called upon to come for the previous seven days. When we do that in this more formal, liturgical rite, we lend dignity, we lend a seriousness to the completion of our Advent preparation, and we lend ourselves to kindling in our hearts this eagerness for a response to our prayer "O come! Come! Come to Thy people, O come, Lord, come Emmanual!"
We See the Star
During this second week of Advent, we behold a Star arise in our hearts. It is our Mother Mary, who points the way to her Divine Son. The rays of light that issue from this bright Star are the virtues that shine forth with such resplendence from her Immaculate Heart. The golden rays of her humble obedience, the silver rays of her immaculate purity, and the azure rays of her self-effacement furnish us with abundant matter for meditation and imitation. As we go about our duties, however humble or great, we endeavor to keep our eyes faithfully fixed upon this celestial Star in order to reproduce her virtues in our daily lives; striving to think speak and act as Mary would. Finding ourselves in any difficulty, we pray that we may heed St. Bernard's advice: "If temptation storms, or you fall upon the rocks of tribulation, look to the Star and call upon Mary..."
Focus of the Second Week: Union with Our Lady
O Mary, do thou bring thy holy Child to me!
The Meaning of Advent
During this first week, we recall the longings of the Patriarchs and Prophets, the holy souls living years before the coming of the Messiah. With what intense yearning they desired but a glimpse of that blessed Light of the World Who now gives Himself daily, in the fullness of His Love, to all who will receive Him. On each Christmas Day, He comes with a special plenitude of grace to all hearts who have prepared for Him. Our time of preparation is short! Let us warm our cold hearts in the furnace of Love issuing from the Sacred Heart of the unborn Infant reposing in His Immaculate tabernacle! His Mother will assist us in being attentive to the whisperings of His grace, His little voice asking for this or that little sacrifice or act of fidelity to our daily duties.
Focus of the First Week: Silence and Recollection
Hail and blessed be the hour and moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in the piercing cold. In that hour, vouchsafe, O my God, to hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ and of His Blessed Mother. Amen.
Divine Infant King Jesus, come down into our souls!
Divine Infant King Jesus, come down into our souls!
As we leave the month of November, specially dedicated to praying for those who have gone before us, we remember that praying for our loved ones is not limited just to November. On the contrary, November is devoted to the Holy Souls to re-kindle our love and our prayers for all the souls in purgatory, our brothers and sisters in Christ. Moving into the remembrance of the Incarnation by which we, and all the Holy Souls, were redeemed, we present them in a special way to our Infant King, asking Him Who Is Love Incarnate to pour forth His loving compassion upon these souls who long to see His face and to bring them fully into the Kingdom of His Love this Christmas season. Eternal rest, grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace!
Through Thy Nativity, O Lord, deliver them!
"In profound adoration of the Most Holy Trinity, and under the patronage of Mary, Mother of the Church, and St. Louis Marie de Montfort..." ~ from the MSSR Vow Renewal Formula
At the end of a Sister's first year of profession, she renews her vows for three additional years. The ritual for the renewal of vows is simple, unadorned with the solemnity and symbols of first profession, yet this profession profoundly embraces the Sister in her totality, expressing the deepening of her spousal bond with Christ and her joyful intention to be His true mirror in all aspects of her life.
O Mary, Mother of Fairest Love, intercede for us, obtain for us all the graces we need to be pleasing to your Divine Son, to be fruitful in our apostolates for His glory, and for perseverance in grace and our vocation!
“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
"Only a God Who is love could ask you to love Him with all your heart.
Only He Who has given you everything could ask you for everything."