Finding True Happiness Pope St. John Paul II said that we don't find ourselves until we lose ourselves in Christ. In other words, true happiness onl
Finding True Happiness
Pope St. John Paul II said that we don't find ourselves until we lose ourselves in Christ. In other words, true happiness only comes from commitment and self-sacrifice. Throughout the Bible, we see what is a contradiction by the world's standard spelled out over and over again. When we lose our life for love's sake, we gain it back tenfold. That's the heart of the Christian message, and it's the only way we will reach our true destination: heaven.
–from the book Beyond Me, My Selfie, and I
✞"Where there is no love, put love and you will find love."
— St. John of the Cross
✞ MEDITATION OF THE DAY
"What words, can, alas, express the deep grief of the Blessed Virgin? Her eyes closed, a death-like tint overspread her countenance; unable to stand, she fell to the ground, but was soon lifted up, and supported by John, Magdalen, and the others. She looked once more upon her beloved Son—that Son whom she had conceived by the Holy Ghost, the flesh of her flesh, the bone of her bone, the heart of her heart—hanging on a cross between two thieves; crucified, dishonored, condemned by those whom He came on earth to save; and well might she at this moment be termed 'the Queen of Martyrs.'"
— Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, p. 294
AN EXCERPT FROM
The Dolorous Passion
TODAY'S FEAST DAY
✞FEAST OF THE VISITATION✞
The Feast of the Visitation celebrates the biblical account of the providential meeting of Mary and Elizabeth, when two of the Church's greatest prayers were first uttered. After being told by the Archangel Gabriel that she would bear the Son of God, the pregnant Virgin Mary went to visit her cousin, Elizabeth, who was then pregnant with John the Baptist. In the presence of Jesus in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, Elizabeth exclaimed through the Holy Spirit, "Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb!" Mary, overflowing with joy, responded with her Magnificat.
✞ VERSE OF THE DAY
"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God—not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life."
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Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Saint of the Day for May 31
The Story of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This is a fairly late feast, going back only to the 13th or 14th century. It was established widely throughout the Church to pray for unity. The present date of celebration was set in 1969, in order to follow the Annunciation of the Lord and precede the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
Like most feasts of Mary, it is closely connected with Jesus and his saving work. The more visible actors in the visitation drama (see Luke 1:39-45) are Mary and Elizabeth. However, Jesus and John the Baptist steal the scene in a hidden way. Jesus makes John leap with joy—the joy of messianic salvation. Elizabeth, in turn, is filled with the Holy Spirit and addresses words of praise to Mary—words that echo down through the ages.
It is helpful to recall that we do not have a journalist's account of this meeting. Rather Luke, speaking for the Church, gives a prayerful poet's rendition of the scene. Elizabeth's praise of Mary as "the mother of my Lord" can be viewed as the earliest Church's devotion to Mary. As with all authentic devotion to Mary, Elizabeth's (the Church's) words first praise God for what God has done to Mary. Only secondly does she praise Mary for trusting God's words.
Then comes the Magnificat (Luke 1:46-55). Here, Mary herself–like the Church–traces all her greatness to God.
One of the invocations in Mary's litany is "Ark of the Covenant." Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary brings God's presence into the lives of other people. As David danced before the Ark, John the Baptist leaps for joy. As the Ark helped to unite the 12 tribes of Israel by being placed in David's capital, so Mary has the power to unite all Christians in her son. At times, devotion to Mary may have occasioned some divisiveness, but we can hope that authentic devotion will lead all to Christ and therefore, to one another.
Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Reading 1 Zep 3:14-18a
Shout for joy, O daughter Zion!
Sing joyfully, O Israel!
Be glad and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has removed the judgment against you,
he has turned away your enemies;
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst,
you have no further misfortune to fear.
On that day, it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Fear not, O Zion, be not discouraged!
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a mighty savior;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
and renew you in his love,
He will sing joyfully because of you,
as one sings at festivals.
or Rom 12:9-16
Brothers and sisters:
Let love be sincere;
hate what is evil,
hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection;
anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal,
be fervent in spirit,
serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope,
endure in affliction,
persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones,
Bless those who persecute you,
bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice,
weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another;
do not be haughty but associate with the lowly;
do not be wise in your own estimation.
Responsorial Psalm Isaiah 12:2-3, 4bcd, 5-6
R. (6) Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
God indeed is my savior;
I am confident and unafraid.
My strength and my courage is the LORD,
and he has been my savior.
With joy you will draw water
at the fountain of salvation.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name;
among the nations make known his deeds,
proclaim how exalted is his name.
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Sing praise to the LORD for his glorious achievement;
let this be known throughout all the earth.
Shout with exultation, O city of Zion,
for great in your midst
is the Holy One of Israel!
R. Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.
Alleluia See Lk 1:45
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Gospel Lk 1:39-56
Mary set out
and traveled to the hill country in haste
to a town of Judah,
where she entered the house of Zechariah
and greeted Elizabeth.
When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,
the infant leaped in her womb,
and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,
cried out in a loud voice and said,
"Most blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb.
And how does this happen to me,
that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,
the infant in my womb leaped for joy.
Blessed are you who believed
that what was spoken to you by the Lord
would be fulfilled."
And Mary said:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children for ever."
Mary remained with her about three months
and then returned to her home.
Meditation: Luke 1:39-56
The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Feast)
My spirit rejoices in God my Savior. (Luke 1:47)
Today imagine you are Mary, taking the long journey to visit Elizabeth's home. You are filled with wonder and joy as you walk along, thinking of all that God has done for you:
"My spirit rejoices in God my Savior! To be blessed with a child is truly wondrous. But that I would become the mother of the Messiah is an honor beyond reckoning. As you allowed your servant Hannah to conceive the prophet Samuel even though she was barren, you have promised the same to me (1 Samuel 1, 2). But I have conceived through the power of the Holy Spirit. I cannot understand how this is so, but still I delight in doing your will, O Lord!
"My spirit rejoices in God my Savior! I praise you, Lord, that through me you will lift up all the lowly of the world—not only those without bread, but those without hope, without peace, and without love. I praise you that generations to come will look to me as the most blessed of all women, someone who will point the way to their Redeemer. Thank you for allowing me to become the ark of the new covenant, a covenant that will last forever.
"My spirit rejoices in God my Savior! As you used Jael and Judith to defeat Israel's enemies, you will use me to defeat our greatest enemy—sin (Judges 5:24; Judith 16:6). Through my son, you will bring freedom to countless souls who have been held captive by Satan's lies. I am amazed that a child of my own womb is destined to bring healing to the sick and justice to the oppressed!"
How will you rejoice in God your Savior today? Like Mary, you can say, "The Almighty has done great things for me" (Luke 1:49). He has given you the riches of his grace and eternal life in his Son. So fill your heart and mind with these truths, and then let new words of blessing flow from you to your heavenly Father.
"Thank you, Father, for rescuing me from sin and death. May I never fail to praise you for your salvation!"
(Psalm) Isaiah 12:2-6
We began today when hearing the Word of God "...love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor. Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope"
We prayed today "Among you is the great and Holy One of Israel" shout with joy, exclaim love, God's love!
And so does Saint Elizabeth, "blessed are you among women,
and blessed is the fruit of your womb." ahh, those beautiful words we pray in the Holy Rosary, over and over, just as Mary says "from now on, generations will call me blessed." And we do, my generation is showing the next generation to call her blessed. We have been praying the rosary daily this summer, and last night, I was gazing during the rosary at an image of our Blessed Mother gazing up into the light. I pondered "what are you gazing at Mother? Are you gazing at the Archangel Gabriel announcing the grandeur of God's light coming into the world? What are you gazing at Mother, in such heavenly union? Are you gazing at the Hope of our life? Is your gaze still upon the suffering Christ your only Son on the cross? What are you looking up Mother? Why are your hands clasped as if in hopeful prayer and a hidden joy that is not hiding inside of you with that look on your face...such love!" You know, we've been celebrating Easter, and now the Ascension going into Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit, God Himself. How will you receive the Lord?
Will you too exclaim like Saint Elizabeth this Sunday? Or will it be just another dull day?
Will you be filled as you approach empty? Or will you be sent away empty, because you thought you were filled?
I've been watching my calories, and I've learned which foods are empty calorie foods, like these great donuts given after our safety meeting this morning. So shiny, so sweet looking, so fluffy and mouth watering. They offered me one before writing to you, and I said "no thank you". I know what it costs to give into temptation. It costs a lot! I know what it will take to burn away that temptation. It is like this when sin comes in. So sweet and tempting, but once consumed...it will consume you.
So will the spirit within leap for joy and fill you, or will you be sent away empty, that emptiness that consumes you?
Come empty. Ready. Lowly. The tabernacle approaches. The cup of salvation is offered.
It is a fire that gives light. Get fired up!
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Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 7
Let us bow down in humility at the power and grandeur of the Holy Spirit. Let us worship the Holy Trinity and give glory today to the Paraclete, our Advocate.
Oh Holy Spirit, by Your power, Christ was raised from the dead to save us all. By Your grace, miracles are performed in Jesus' name. By Your love, we are protected from evil. And so, we ask with humility and a beggar's heart for Your gift of Gentleness within us.
Despite the gravity of our sins, oh Lord you treat us with Gentleness. Dear Holy Spirit, give us your power to treat all in our lives with the Gentleness of the Saints.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth.
O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, through Christ Our Lord,
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