Sanctification in Daily Work
  • Links

  • Suggested Links

  • Categories

  • Archives

The Month of the Rosary

October is the Month of the Holy Rosary. Bishop Finn had an excellent homily on the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Oct. 6.) The Mass was broadcast live on EWTN (video covers the procession through Bishop Finn’s homily):

Or read the homily online. And excerpt:

Hail Mary! We cry out again and again at her invitation. We persevere in trusting prayer – through the rhythms of the rosary – because she is Mother of God and our Mother. She who through the merciful plan of the Eternal Father gave the world its Redeemer wants us to know and love her Son. The mysteries of her life, of Jesus’ life, and of our lives are all intertwined. In the mystery of the Incarnation, Jesus Christ, God made man, unites Himself in some way to every man, and reveals to us who we are, and what is our high calling. (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)

Mary’s rosary is our picture book of faith, hope, and love. Here in the unfolding images of Christ life: In His joys, through His luminous love, in His sorrows, in His glories; he prepares us for everything that will take place. The will of God is being realized in each event of Christ’s life, in Mary’s life, and in our life. And Mary will help us say “Yes,” and give our free and full assent to His divine plan.

October is also Respect Life Month. Be sure to especially pray the rosary for life this month – and for the election of good pro-life politicians in two weeks!! From Bishop’s homily:

Every day human life is under attack. If it were not enough that our elected leaders and judges too often have failed to stand up for vulnerable pre-born babies, or the disabled or the dying, every election campaign seems to be a referendum on the dignity and value of human life. Candidates who would stand with us valiantly against abortion or assisted suicide are labeled “extreme” and fanatical. Mary, we will not abandon your dear children, but we know that the proponents of these evils will not give up without a fight. Our Lady of the Rosary, Our Lady of Life: Win among us the battle we cannot win without your help. Turn back the culture of death in our nation. Save us from the tyranny and deceit of Choice. Hail Mary, Hail Mary, Pray for us sinners.

Totus Tuus

nullLast Friday’s feast of the Assumption of Mary body and soul into Heaven is always an extra special feast day for me. On this day, roughly every year for the last 10 years I renew my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary. St. Louis De Montfort calls True Devotion to Mary an “easy, short, perfect and secure way of attaining union with our Lord.”

This is the devotion consists in making oneself a slave of Mary, doing all our actions by Mary, with Mary, in Mary and for Mary. We offer to the Blessed Mother every thought, word, deed and desire so that she might purify them and present them to our Lord to be distributed where they are most needed. It is a total abandonment to the Blessed Virgin Mary who will in turn lead us into a perfect union with Christ, her Son.

By Jesus Christ, with Jesus Christ, in Jesus Christ we can do all things; we can render all honor and glory to the Father in the unity of the Holy Ghost; we can make ourselves perfect and be for our neighbor a fragrance of eternal life.

If, then, we are establishing sound devotion to our Blessed Lady, it is only in order to establish devotion to our Lord more perfectly, by providing a smooth but certain way of reaching Jesus Christ. (True Devotion, n. 60-61)

What I love about this devotion is that it is nothing short of a perfect imitation of Christ who spent almost His entire life on earth completely subject to His Blessed Mother. I think of the finding in the temple, when Jesus, ready begin his public ministry at age 12, left His parents in Jerusalem to go preach to the elders in the temple. Seeing how this upset his Mother, Jesus returned home and was “obedient” to her, living hidden in Nazzareth with his mother for another 18 years. This devotion echoes not only Christ’s love for His Mother, but also His sublime humility.

If you have not yet read St. Louis de Montfort’s True Devotion, I highly recommend it! But don’t just take my word for it. JP II said:

“St. Louis de Montfort! I have long studied his doctrine and I like it. Besides, it’s from Montfort that I have taken my motto, “Totus Tuus” (I am all thine). Some day I’ll have to tell you Monfortians how I discovered de Montfort’s treatise on TRUE DEVOTION to Mary and how often I had to reread it to understand it.”

Indeed, rereading it has helped me to gain greater insight into the richness of this devotion and how to live it out in my daily life. The next (suggested) Total Consecration preparation begins on Nov. 5 and ends on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. Order the Total Consecration book, or use this website which offers a very thorough explanation of how to proceed and includes links to all readings and prayers so that ordering books is not necessary.

The Effects of True Devotion

Our LadyI am in the middle of renewing my Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary this year so I was pleased to find this passage in The Way recently:

The love of our Mother will be the breath that kindles into a living flame the embers of virtue that are hidden under the ashes of your indifference. ~St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way n. 492

When we give ourselves completely to Mary she gives herself completely to us in return, sharing with us her own glorious virtues. She purifies all of our good works and intentions offered to her in confidence, offering them in turn to Christ who never refuses what is given to him from the hands of His Holy and Immaculate Mother (True Devotion – book, online – nos. 144, 146, 149).

Wearing the Scapular

brown scapularAs you have probably noticed, much of the Mt. Carmel novena has focussed on the scapular – shown on the right. But what about the scapular? I’ve been wearing one for a few years now. Here is some information about the brown scapular that our own Carmelite sisters put together for the novena last year:

Ask someone about the “Scapular” and you will likely be told it is a religious object associated with the Blessed Virgin.
The Brown Scapular consists of two small panels of cloth joined by strings and worn over the shoulders. Generally, one panel bears a woven or printed image showing the vision of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to St. Simon Stock, while the other bears the image of Our Lady with the Child Jesus.
For centuries, the Scapular has been one of the most popular Marian devotions, second only to Our Lady’s Rosary. As a sacramental, it has been enriched by the Church with many spiritual blessings.
On July 16, 1261, at Aylesford in Kent England, according to tradition, Our Lady appeared to St. Simon Stock, a Carmelite, and made the Scapular a sign of her protection. With it came the promise that whoever wore her “habit” devoutly would be assured of eternal salvation. This is the Scapular promise of eternal perseverance.
Carmelites have always regarded themselves as “Brothers of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel,” and place their lives of Christ-centered prayer under her patronage.
~ Rev. Eamon R. Carroll, O. Carm.

Signs in Ordinary Human Life
The world in which we live is full of material things which have symbolic meaning to us, such as, light, fire and water.
There are also, in every day life, experiences of relationships between human beings. These experiences express and symbolize deeper meanings in our lives. Sharing a meal is a sign of friendship; joining together in a national celebration is a sign of our identity.
We need signs and symbols to help us understand what is happening at present, or what happened before, and to give us an awareness of who we are, as individuals and as groups.

Signs in Christian Life
Jesus is the great sign and the embodiment of the Father’s love. he founded the Church as a sign and instrument of His love.
Christian life also has its signs. Jesus used bread, wine and water to help us understand higher things…things which we can neither see nor touch.
All our Christian celebrations, particularly the sacraments, are signs with special meaning. At the Eucharist the sign is bread and wine; during baptism it is water; as hands are laid on the sick it is the anointing with oil; and in the marriage ceremony it is the giving and receiving of rings. Each of these signs brings us into communion with God, Who, in different ways, is present in each of them.

The Scapular is a Sign of Mary
It is a sign approved by the Church and endorsed by the Crmelite Order as an external sign of Mary’s love for us. It confirms our love and trust in her, and our commitment to live like her.
With the passage of time,l people began to give symbolic meaning to the Scapular as a sign of commitment to follow Jesus Christ, our Savior, in the spirit of Mary.

The Scapular is not:

  • A magical charm to protect you
    An automatic guarantee of salvation
    An excuse for not living up to the demands of the Christian life
  • However the Scapular:

  • points to a renewed hope of encountering God in eternal life with the help of Mary’s protection and intercession
    stands for thee decision to follow Jesus and imitate Mary, calling us to be…
    – open to God and to His Will
    – guided by faith, hope and love
    – close to the needs of people
    – prayerful, penitent and chaste
    – conscious of God present in all that happens around us
  • In the art of spiritual warfare, I have often heard it referred to as a sort of shield. I think of it as an extra little sign, a personal reminder of devotion and commitment to the Blessed Virgin, through whom we strive to know and love Jesus and work for the salvation of souls.