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Marian Thoughts –20 May – Pope Francis – The First Luminous Mystery: The Baptism of the Lord

Marian Thoughts – 20 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Monday of the fifth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“Mary helps us to understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ.  Eternally chosen to be his Mother, she learned to become His disciple.   Her first act was to listen to God. She obeyed the message of the Angel and opened her heart to receive the mystery of divine motherhood.   She followed Jesus, listening to every word that issued from His lips (cf. Mk 3:31-35).   She kept all those things in her heart (cf. Lk 2:19) and became the living memory of the signs worked by God’s Son to awaken our faith.   But is not enough simply to listen.  That is certainly, the first step but listening, then, needs to be translated into concrete action.   The disciple truly puts his life at the service of the Gospel.”…Pope Francis (9 October 2016)

The First Luminous Mystery

The Baptism of the Lord

“We then understand the great humility of Jesus, the One who had not sinned, in lining up with the penitents, mingled among them to be baptised in the waters of the river.   In doing so, He manifested what we celebrated at Christmas – the availability of Jesus to immerse Himself in the river of humanity, to take upon Himself the shortcomings and weaknesses of humanity, to share our desire to be free and to overcome everything that separates us from God and makes us strangers to our brothers and sisters.  Just like in Bethlehem, along the banks of the River Jordan, God keeps His promise, to take charge of the fate of human beings and Jesus is the tangible and definitive sign.”

Pope Francis (Angelus – 7 January 2018)

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Marian Thoughts – 18 May – Pope Francis – The Fifth Joyful Mystery: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Marian Thoughts – 18 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Saturday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“Praying the rosary does not remove us from the problems of life. On the contrary, it demands that we immerse ourselves in the history of each day, so as to grasp the signs of Christ’s presence in our midst. Whenever we contemplate an event, a mystery of the life of Christ, we are asked to reflect on how God comes into our own lives, so as to be able to welcome Him and follow Him.”
Pope Francis

The Fifth Joyful Mystery:

The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

The Holy Family had gone to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover but on the return voyage, Mary and Joseph discovered that Jesus, who was only twelve years old, was not in the caravan.
They searched for Jesus for three days, finally finding Him in the Temple amid the doctors of the law.
When they found Jesus, the Gospel says, “they were astonished” and Mary expressed her concern to Jesus, saying, “Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
In the Holy Family, astonishment never failed!
To feel astonishment is the opposite of taking everything for granted… It means opening ourselves to others.
This attitude is important for mending compromised relationships and curing the open wounds within the family.
The anxiety felt by Mary and Joseph, shows the centrality of Jesus in the Holy Family. And so we see, why the family of Nazareth is holy – because it was centred on Jesus, all the attention and care of Joseph revolved around Him.
The anxiety felt by Mary and Joseph, when Jesus was lost for three days, should also be our anxiety, when we are far from Jesus, when we forget Jesus, going without prayer, without reading the Gospel for several days.
Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the Temple and we too, should seek Jesus in the house of God – and especially, in the Liturgy, where we have the living experience of Jesus, in His Word and in the Eucharist, from which we receive the strength to face the difficulties of each day….
Pope Francis 2018

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Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN PRAYERS, MARIAN QUOTES, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, Pope Francis - MEDITATIONS on the ROSARY, Pope Francis ROSARY MEDITATIONS, The 4th Joyful Mystery - THE PRESENTATION

Marian Thoughts – 17 May – Pope Francis – The Fourth Joyful Mystery: The Presentation

Marian Thoughts – 17 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“Praying the Rosary together as a family,
s very beautiful and it gives us strength.”
Pope Francis

The Fourth Joyful Mystery:  The Presentation

Forty days after Christmas, we celebrate the Lord who enters the temple and comes to encounter His people.
In the Christian East, this feast is called the “Fest of Encounter” – it is the encounter between God, who became a child, to bring newness to the world and an expectant humanity, represented by the elderly man and woman in the Temple.
In the Temple, there is also an encounter between two couples – the young Mary and Joseph and the elderly Simeon and Anna.   The old receive from the young, while the young draw upon the old.   In the Temple, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their people. This is important, because God’s promise does not come to fulfilment, merely in individuals, once for all but within a community and throughout history.   There too, Mary and Joseph find the roots of their faith, for faith is not something learned from a book but the art of living with God, learned from the experience of those who have gone before us.   The two young people, in meeting the two older people, thus find themselves. And the two older people, nearing the end of their days, receive Jesus, the meaning of their lives.   This event, fulfils the prophecy of Joel: “Your old men shall dream dreams and your young men shall see visions” (2:28).
In this encounter, the young see their mission and the elderly realise their dreams.
All because, at the centre of the encounter, is Jesus … May we never look at the screen of our cell phone more than the eyes of our brothers or sisters or focus more on our software, than on the Lord….Pope Francis 2018pope francis meditations on the holy rosary - the fourth the Presentation - 17 may 2019 no 2.jpg

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Marian Thoughts – 16 May – Pope Francis – The Third Joyful Mystery: The Nativity

Marian Thoughts – 16 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Thursday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“The month of May is dedicated to Our Lady
and it is “fitting” to start the habit of a daily rosary now.”
Pope Francis

The Third Joyful Mystery – The Nativity

“Mary and Joseph had to leave their people, their home and their land and to undertake a journey in order to be registered in the census.
This was no comfortable or easy journey for a young couple about to have a child – they had to leave their land.
At heart, they were full of hope and expectation because of the child about to be born, yet their steps were weighed down by the uncertainties and dangers that attend those, who have to leave their home behind.
They they found themselves, having to face perhaps, the most difficult thing of all. They arrived in Bethlehem and experienced that, it was a land that was not expecting them. A land, whee there was no place for them.   And there, where everything was a challenge, May gave us Emmanuel.   The Son of God, had to be born in a stable because His own had no room for Him. “He came to what was his own and his own people did not accept him” (Jn 1:11).
That night, the One who had no place to be born, is proclaimed to those who had no place at the table or in the streets of the city.   The shepherds are the first to hear this Good News.   By reason of their work, they were men and women forced to live on the edges of society.   Their state of life and the places they had to stay, prevented them from observing all the ritual prescriptions of religious purification, as a result, they wee considered unclean.   Their skin, their clothing, their smell, their way of speaking, their origin, all betrayed them.   Everything about them generated mistrust. They were men and women to be kept at a distance, to be feared.   They were considered pagans among the believers, sinners among the just, foreigners among the citizens. Yet, to them – pagans, sinners and foreigners – the angel says:  “Do not be afraid – for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for the people, to you is born this day, in the city of David, a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Lk 2:10-11)”

Pope Francis

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Marian Thoughts – 14 May – Pope Francis – The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation

Marian Thoughts – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“Our Lady has never refused me a grace through the recitation of the rosary.”… Pope Francis

The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation

“Mary went to serve Elizabeth.
Servind others, is a Christian sign.
Whoever does not live to serve other people, does not serve to live.
Serving others and being full of joy, is the attitude that I would like to underline today. Mary was able to serve Elizabeth, because she reached out to her. Reaching out to others is another Christian sign. Persons who describe themselves as Christian and who are unable to reach out to others, to go and meet them, are not totally Christian.
Being of service and reach out to others, both require going out from themselves – going out to serve and meet others, to embrace another person.
Through Mary’s service towards others, through that encounter, our Lord’s promise is renewed and makes it happen now, just as it did then.

(Pope Francis, 2016)

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Marian Thoughts – 14 May – Pope Francis – The First Joyful Mystery: The Annunciation

Marian Thoughts – 14 May – ‘Mary’s Month’ – Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter, C

Mini Series – Pope Francis and the Holy Rosary

“I want to recommend some medicine for all of you.   It’s a spiritual medicine.   Don’t forget to take it.   “It’s good for your heart, for your soul, for your whole life.” (17 November 2013)pope francis' reflections on the joyful mysteries 1st mystery 14 may 2019.jpg

The First Joyful Mystery:   The Annunciation

“The annunciation to Mary can be read alongside the announcement to Zechariah of John the Baptist’s birth.   One annunciation happens to a priest in the Temple of God, during a liturgy, where everyone is waiting outside, while the other, happens to a young woman named Mary, in a small town that did not necessarily have a good reputation.   This contrast is not insignificant.   It serves as a sign that the new Temple of God, the new encounter of God with His people, will happen in places which we normally do not expect, on the margins, on the peripheries.   By now, it will no longer be in a place reserved for the few, while the majority wait outside. Nothing and no-one, will be indifferent, no situation will be deprived of His presence, the joy of salvation began in the daily life of the home of a youth in Nazareth.
Even today, God is still searching for hearts like Mary’s that are open to welcoming His invitation and providing hope, even when it’s hard.
God continues to walk our neighbourhoods and our streets, He pushes in each place in search of hearts capable of listening to His invitation and making it become flesh here and now.
In the end, the Lord continues to seek hearts like that of Mary, disposed to believe even in very extraordinary conditions.
Just like He did with Mary, God also takes the initiative in our lives, inserting Himself into our daily struggles, anxieties and desires.
It is precisely in the daily routine of our lives, that we receive the most beautiful announcement we can hear – “Rejoice, the Lord is with you!”
(Pope Francis, 2017)

Holy Mary of the Annunciation of Emmanuel,

God with us,

Pray for us!mary's fiat - holy mary pray for us 14 may 2019 pope francis and the rosary from Fr Enrico no 1.jpg

Posted in CATHOLIC DEVOTIONS of the Month, MARIAN DEVOTIONS, MARIAN REFLECTIONS, MARIAN TITLES, The BLESSED VIRGIN MARY, VATICAN II - Documents

Marian Thoughts – 10 May – Lumen Gentium #61-62

Marian Thoughts – 10 May – “Mary’s Month” and Friday of the Third Week of Easter, C

From the Constitution on the Church of the Second Vatican Council
(Lumen Gentium #61-62)

The Motherhood of Our Lady in God’s Plan of Salvation

From all eternity, together with the Incarnation of the divine Word, the Blessed Virgin was predestined to be the Mother of God.   By the will of divine Providence, she was the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, here on earth and, above all others, in a unique way she was the willing partner and the humble handmaid of the Lord.   She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ.   She presented Him to the Father in the temple and shared the suffering of His Son as He died on the cross.   In an utterly singular way, she co-operated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the Saviour’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls.   For this reason, she is a mother to us in the order of grace.

This motherhood of Mary, in the order of grace, began with the consent which she gave in faith, at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, it will last without interruption, until the eternal fulfilment of all the elect.   Once assumed into heaven, she did not set aside this saving role but, with her numerous prayers of intercession, continues to win for us, the gifts of eternal salvation.

By her maternal charity, Mary cares for the brethren of her Son who still wander through this world, in the midst of dangers and difficulties, until they are led to the happiness of their heavenly home.

For this reason the Blessed Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjustrix and Mediatrix – but they are titles which must be understood, in a way, that neither detracts from, nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.

For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways, both by sacred ministers and by the faithful and, as the one goodness of God, is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, in the same way, the unique mediation of the Redeemer, does not exclude but, rather gives rise among creatures, to a manifold co-operation, which is but a sharing in this one source.

The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary.   She knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that, encouraged by this maternal help, they may follow the Mediator and Redeemer more clearly.

Sancta Mater Maria, Mother of God and our Mother, Pray for us!sancta mater maria ora pro nobis pray for us 10 may 2019.jpg