Longinus, Soldier Saint

Longinus,
You, who beheld Life,
As your Savior
Hung between Heaven and Earth,
Dying on His Cross,
Your heart came alive
At the sight of the Mother’s agony.

The thrust of your spear
Lanced the heart of the Christ
And pierced your own
To let Him enter,
He, who would henceforth,
Possess you in contemplation.

His blood, falling upon weak and worldly eyes,,
Touched in you, the pagan,
Opening eyes blind to the things of God,
With the sight of the Holy.

Your life became a contemplation
Of the Dying and the Rising,
Did you fall into a sleep,
As the angels descended to roll away the stone?
Did premonitions of sacred mystery stir you,
Wakening the soldier witness soul,
To serve not merely an emperor,
But True God?

The Cassius of the Crucifixion
Died, only to open his eyes in faith,
And live, henceforth a new man,
With a story of Blood and Water,
And New Life,

copyright 2014 Joann Nelander

Joann Nelander
lionessblog.com

The Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary–Mary the Dawn–Video

Mary painting

Bless This House

Bless this house,
This simple abode,
Where You,Jesus,
Take Your rest.

Blessed Mary, Mistress,
Of the little house,
Now at Loretto,
You labored in love,
With Love at your side,
And always in your heart.

Your labor hallowed the walls
Of your domain,
The domicile of Peace.
Now, purify, all under my roof,
That my house may rest
In solidarity.

Bless my every labor.
Make this earthly tent
Strong against the foe,
And a sanctuary
For Your Son.

 

©2012 Joann Nelander All rights reserved

The Assumption of Mary

From the apostolic constitution Munificentissimus Deus by Pope Pius XII
Your body is holy and excelling in splendor

In their homilies and sermons on this feast the holy fathers and great doctors spoke of the assumption of the Mother of God as something already familiar and accepted by the faithful. They gave it greater clarity in their preaching and used more profound arguments in setting out its nature and meaning. Above all, they brought out more clearly the fact that what is commemorated in this feast is not simply the total absence of corruption from the dead body of the Blessed Virgin Mary but also her triumph over death and her glorification in heaven, after the pattern set by her only Son, Jesus Christ.

Thus Saint John Damascene, preeminent as the great preacher of this truth of tradition, speaks with powerful eloquence when he relates the bodily assumption of the loving Mother of God to her other gifts and privileges: “It was necessary that she who had preserved her virginity inviolate in childbirth should also have her body kept free from all corruption after death. It was necessary that she who had carried the Creator as a child on her breast should dwell in the tabernacles of God. It was necessary that the bride espoused by the Father should make her home in the bridal chambers of heaven. It was necessary that she, who had gazed on her crucified Son and been pierced in the heart by the sword of sorrow which she had escaped in giving him birth, should contemplate him seated with the Father. It was necessary that the Mother of God should share the possessions of her Son, and be venerated by every creature as the Mother and handmaid of God.”

Saint Germanus of Constantinople considered that it was in keeping not only with her divine motherhood but also with the unique sanctity of her virginal body that it was incorrupt and carried up to heaven: “In the words of Scripture, you appear in beauty. Your virginal body is entirely holy, entirely chaste, entirely the house of God, so that for this reason also it is henceforth a stranger to decay: a body changed, because a human body, to a preeminent life of incorruptibility, but still a living body, excelling in splendor, a body inviolate and sharing in the perfection of life.”

Another early author declares: “Therefore, as the most glorious Mother of Christ, our God and Savior, giver of life and immortality, she is enlivened by him to share an eternal incorruptibility of body with him who raised her from the tomb and took her up to himself in a way he alone can tell.”

All these reasonings and considerations of the holy Fathers rest on Scripture as their ultimate foundation. Scripture portrays the loving Mother of God, almost before our very eyes, as most intimately united with her divine Son and always sharing in his destiny.

Above all, it must be noted that from the second century the holy Fathers present the Virgin Mary as the new Eve, most closely associated with the new Adam, though subject to him in the struggle against the enemy from the nether world. This struggle, as the first promise of a redeemer implies, was to end in perfect victory over sin and death, always linked together in the writings of the Apostle of the Gentiles. Therefore, just as the glorious resurrection of Christ was an essential part of this victory and its final trophy, so the struggle shared by the Blessed Virgin and her Son was to end in glorification of her virginal body. As the same Apostle says: When this mortal body has clothed itself in immortality, then will be fulfilled the word of Scripture: Death is swallowed up in victory.

Hence, the august Mother of God, mysteriously united from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination, immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her divine motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences, gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges—to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son, the immortal King of the ages.

Consecrate Your Heart in Troubled Times

An invitation to make this prayer of consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary your own:

Act Of Consecration To The Immaculate Heart Of Mary

O Immaculate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven and Earth, and tender Mother of men, in accordance with Thy ardent wish made known at Fatima, I consecrate to Thy Immaculate Heart myself, my brethren, my country and the whole human race.

Reign over us, Most Holy Mother of God, and teach us how to make the Heart of Thy Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ reign and triumph in us even as It has reigned and triumphed in Thee.

Reign over us, Most Blessed Virgin, that we may be Thine in prosperity and in adversity, in joy and in sorrow, in health and in sickness, in life and in death.

O most compassionate Heart of Mary, Queen of Heaven, watch over our minds and hearts and preserve them from the impurity which Thou didst lament so sorrowfully at Fatima.

Assist us in imitating You in all things, especially purity.

Help us to call down upon our country and upon the whole world the peace of God in justice and charity.

Therefore, Most Gracious Virgin and Mother, I hereby promise to imitate Thy virtues by the practice of a true Christian life without regard to human respect.

I resolve to receive Holy Communion regularly and to offer to Thee five decades of the Rosary each day, together with my sacrifices, in the spirit of reparation and penance. Amen.

TotusTuus – St. Louis De Montfort

Explanation of Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary:

Prayer to Mary — From iPieta

When Mary is done perfecting her Son in us, we will be among her merits, shining before the throne of God.

Prayer to Mary, by St. Louis-Marie de Montfort

Hail MARY, beloved Daughter of the Eternal Father. Hail MARY, admirable Mother of the Son. Hail MARY, faithful Spouse of the Holy Ghost. Hail MARY, my Mother, my loving Mistress, my powerful sovereign. Hail, my joy, my glory, my heart and my soul. Thou art all mine by mercy, and I am Thine by justice. But I am not yet sufficiently Thine. I now give myself wholly to Thee without keeping anything back for myself or others. If Thou seest anything in me which does not belong to Thee, I beseech Thee to take it and make Thyself the absolute Mistress of all that is mine.

Destroy in me all that may displease GOD; root it up and bring it to nought. Place and cultivate in me everything that is pleasing to Thee. May the light of Thy faith dispel the darkness of my mind. May Thy profound humility take the place of my pride; may Thy sublime contemplation check the distractions of my wandering imagination. May Thy continuous sight of GOD fill my memory with His presence; may the burning love of Thy heart inflame the lukewarmness of mine. May Thy virtues take the place of my sins; may Thy merits be my only adornment in the sight of GOD and make up for all that is wanting in me. Finally, dearly beloved Mother, grant, if it be possible, that I may have no other spirit but Thine to know JESUS and His Divine Will; that I may have no other soul but Thine to praise and glorify GOD; that I may have no other heart but Thine to love GOD with a love as pure and ardent as Thine.

I do not ask Thee for visions, revelations, sensible devotions, or spiritual pleasures. It is Thy privilege to see GOD clearly; it is Thy privilege to enjoy heavenly bliss; it is Thy privilege to triumph gloriously in Heaven at the right hand of Thy Son and to hold absolute sway over angels, men and demons. It is Thy privilege to dispose of all the gifts of GOD, just as Thou willest. Such, O heavenly MARY, is the ʻbest partʼ, which the Lord has given Thee, and which shall never be taken away from Thee, and this thought fills my heart with joy. As for my part here below, I wish for no other than that which was Thine, to believe sincerely without spiritual pleasures, to suffer joyfully without human consolation, to die continually to myself without respite, and to work zealously and unselfishly for Thee until death, as the humblest of Thy servants. The only grace I beg Thee, for me, is that every moment of the day, and every moment of my life, I may say, “Amen, so be it, to all that Thou art doing in Heaven. Amen, so be it, to all Thou didst do while on earth. Amen, so be it, to all Thou art doing in my soul,” so that Thou alone mayest fully glorify JESUS in me for time and eternity. Amen.

Sent from my iPod

Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Las Mananitas- Tradionally sang to greet Our Lady of Guadalupe “Lupita” early in the morning on her feast day.:

Estas son las mañanitas, que cantaba el Rey David,
Hoy por ser día de tu santo, te las cantamos a ti,
Despierta, mi bien*, despierta, mira que ya amaneció,
Ya los pajarillos cantan, la luna ya se metió.

Que linda está la mañana en que vengo a saludarte,
Venimos todos con gusto y placer a felicitarte,
Ya viene amaneciendo, ya la luz del día nos dio,
Levántate de mañana, mira que ya amaneció.

Translation:

This is the morning song that King David sang
Because today is your saint’s day we’re singing it for you
Wake up, my dear*, wake up, look it is already dawn
The birds are already singing and the moon has set

How lovely is the morning in which I come to greet you
We all came with joy and pleasure to congratulate you
The morning is coming now, the sun is giving us its light
Get up in the morning, look it is already dawn

The story of Our Lady of Guadalupe here Don Antonio Valeriano

Scriptural Rosary Podcast – the Joyful Mysteries

A simple podcast presentation of the Joyful Mysteries with a Scripture reading before each Hail Mary:

The Rosary – The Joyful Mysteries with Holy Scripture

The Annunciation
The Visitation
The Nativity
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple
The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

Happier Than the Blessed Mother?

From Story of a Soul by St. Therese of Lisieux:

Speaking of that Blessed Mother, I must tell you of one of my
simple ways. Sometimes I find myself saying to her: “Dearest
Mother, it seems to me that I am happier than you. I have you for my Mother, and you have no Blessed Virgin to love. . . . It is
true, you are the Mother of Jesus, but you have given Him to me; and He, from the Cross, has given you to be our Mother–thus we are richer than you! Long ago, in your humility, you wished to become the little handmaid of the Mother of God; and I–poor little creature–am not your handmaid but your child! You are the Mother of Jesus, and you are also _mine!”_

Making the Ordinary Holy

From Story of a Soul by St.Therese of Lisieux:

Questioned as to her method of sanctifying meals, she answered:

"In the refectory we have but one thing to do: perform a lowly
action with lofty thoughts. I confess that the sweetest
aspirations of love often come to me in the refectory. Sometimes I
am brought to a standstill by the thought that were Our Lord in my
place He would certainly partake of those same dishes which are
served to me. It is quite probable that during His lifetime He
tasted of similar food--He must have eaten bread and fruit.

"Here are my little rubrics:

"I imagine myself at Nazareth, in the house of the Holy Family.
If, for instance, I am served with salad, cold fish, wine, or
anything pungent in taste, I offer it to St. Joseph. To our
Blessed Lady I offer hot foods and ripe fruit, and to the Infant
Jesus our feast-day fare, especially rice and preserves. Lastly,
when I am served a wretched dinner I say cheerfully: 'To-day, my
little one, it is all for you!'"


Our Lady of Kibeho – Continued

In a recent post, I wrote about the vengeance of Jesus.  He took Satan and Sin to task on the Cross with the shedding of His Blood, not the blood of others.  The God-Man suffered the punishment due our sins. All sin leads to lies, betrayal, murder, and war.  Sin percolates and then escalates. It is as though the force of our sins hides beneath the surface of our daily existence and when its ready to show its ugly face, it appears as a  slum, a dysfunctional society, a dysfunctional family or a war.  Sin with its pride, lust, sloth, greed,envy and the like, ultimately brings havoc in its wake. However, it can be stopped. We know and have the remedy.  Like the discovery of a vaccine or cure, it only has to be made known and available, applied and administered. There’s  the rub.  We are an  important part of the remedy.  The Good News of Jesus is here and at hand! Where are the penitents?

Monsignor recently gave a sermon in which he spoke of a conversation between a repentant prostitute and St. Francis De Sales.  The Saint heard the confession of the woman.  It was heartfelt and thorough, leaving out nothing of her past life.  Afterwards she asked the Saint, “Now that you have heard my confession, what do you call me?  Without hesitation, St. Francis de Sales said, “I call you a saint.” He went on to say that no matter how others saw her or what they called her, God saw her as she now was; as if her past sins never happened.  The woman told the story again and again throughout her life.  The Saint’s response of the mercy, love and pardon of God came back to her again and again, and strengthened her whenever she was tempted to return to her past way of life.

I tell that story because Rwanda is a nation soaked in the blood of its own people.  Finding a way into a future full of hope rests on the Good News of Jesus Christ.  Mother Mary as Our Lady of Kibeho predicted the catastrophes that would befall their nation.  She also showed them the way back to unity and wholeness. In her numerous apparitions, she showed them that the Mother of God lived with them, cared for them and prayed for them. Her healing presence among them was  constant and intimate. Her message is always the same, “Jesus.”

Jesus have mercy on me a sinner.

Update: Our Lady of Kibeho

EWTN’s Sunday Night:Live with Fr. Groeschel featured  – Our Lady Appears in Rwanda.  Guest: Immaculee Illibagiza

Recently, I wrote about Immaculee , her book, Left to Tell and about the Apparitions of Our Lady of Kibeho that preceded and  predicted the Rwandan genocide nine years before it occurred. The images of the apparition were  graphic and terrorizing as was the genocide.

In Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza tells her story of her experience of the Rwandan genocide. In 1981, many years prior to the Rwandan events( to which the world turned a blind eye,) Our Lady made them known through a series of apparitions (approved by the Church) to seven children, Alphonse, Anathalie, Marie Claire, Agnes, Stephanie and Vestine and Emanuel, a young pagan, known as ‘Sagastasha’ at the time of the revelations.

The Shrine of Our  Lady of Kibeho has been given Church approval. Sean Bloomfield writes:

Although Rwanda was graced by a divine visitation during the eighties, the nineties brought quite the opposite: a gruesome genocide in which a million men, women and children were brutally killed, often by friends and neighbors, in only 100 days. The message of Kibeho, however, is intrinsically tied to this tragic event.

It was not until after the war that the Catholic Church made a definitive ruling about the apparitions. Only three of the seven alleged visionaries gained Church approval:

  • Alphonsine Murmureka
  • Nathalie Mukamazimpaka
  • Marie Claire MukangangoThese seers were the first three young people to report experiencing apparitions of the Virgin Mary, who called herself Nyina wa Jambo, which translates to Mother of the Word.
  • Glance of Heaven

    vladimir1

    Virgin of Vladimir copyright J.Nelander

    We are flesh and blood not angels.  We need to see, and touch and feel in-order to experience and learn.  The writers of Icons recognize that we need a bit of Heaven in the  here and now.

    St. James Pray For Me gives some insight and a bit of history and tradition.

    Our Lady of Kibeho and a Worthy Lenten Intention

    In Left to Tell, Immaculee Ilibagiza tells her story of the Rwandan genocide. In 1981, many years prior to the Rwandan events( to which the world turned a blind eye,) Our Lady made them known through a series of apparitions (approved by the Church) to seven children, Alphonse, Anathalie, Marie Claire, Agnes, Stephanie and Vestine and Emanuel, a young pagan, known as ‘Sagastasha’ at the time of the revelations.

    Approved apparition of Our Lady of Kibeho

    In this present day, many of the people who where imprisioned after the genocide are being released and returning home.  The time for healing is upon the village people of Rwanda. If  this suffering country is to go forward with one heart, a healed and merciful heart, much prayer and forgiveness is needed.  Only prayer can win this spiritual battle. A worthy Lenten prayer intention!

    Making the Connection – My Rosary, My Weapon

    The Anchoress had an encounter with Mystery.  Seems the little children of Fatima, Jacinta and Francisco,  now beatified by John Paul II, want to get the word out;  the Rosary is our weapon!

    Indeed, it is!  If you remember, the apparitions at Fatima occurred immediately before the Bolshevik Revolution.  Russia had little world power.  No one saw it as a menace when the Blessed Virgin Mary gave us her prophetic message,  that WW I would soon end but a far worse war would follow if our Lady’s warning was not heeded and Russia consecrated to her Immaculate Heart:

    You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. If what I say to you is done, many souls will be saved and there will be peace. The war is going to end: but if people do not cease offending God, a worse one will break out during the Pontificate of Pius XI. When you see a night illumined by an unknown light, know that this is the great sign given you by God that he is about to punish the world for its crimes, by means of war, famine, and persecutions of the Church and of the Holy Father. To prevent this, I shall come to ask for the consecration of Russia to my Immaculate Heart, and the Communion of reparation on the First Saturdays. If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, causing wars and persecutions of the Church. The good will be martyred; the Holy Father will have much to suffer; various nations will be annihilated. In the end, my Immaculate Heart will triumph. The Holy Father will consecrate Russia to me, and she shall be converted, and a period of peace will be granted to the world.

    The whole world is still at risk and in error.  Those who faced down the enemies of Faith have clung to their rosaries.  In Ukraine, blood and beads battled for the soul of that country. The Ukrainian Bishop of Lutsk, Markijam Trofimiak, wrote: A Monument to Heroism in Ukraine. He recounts:

    Once at a symposium, I was asked: “Should it ever be decided to erect a monument in the Ukraine  to the person who has made the greatest contribution to safeguarding the faith in this land, to whom would it be justly dedicated?”. I pondered awhile before answering. In a flash, the faces of well-known priests who survived the concentration camps, Soviet prisons and years of physical and moral terror passed before my eyes. The witness to faith of these priests surpasses what we are accustomed to call “heroism”. Although remembering their undeniable merits, I answered: The monument would have to be dedicated to an elderly woman with the Rosary in her hands“.


    Searching with Mary

    Paraphrased from The Holy Rosary Narrated, distributed by Keepthefaith.org and narrated by Fr. Hugh Thwaites:

    A reflection on the Fifth Joyful Mystery – The Finding of Jesus in the Temple

    “The whole human race are either Mary’s children or potentially her children because when we’re baptized,  we are baptized into Jesus and become her children.  For the rest,  her motherly heart searches,  and cannot rest until she sees her children safe in Heaven.”

    If you look closely at an icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, you will notice the small sandal hanging from the foot of the Infant Jesus, who is safe in His Mother’s arms.  This represents those who Mary also holds if only by a thread.

    olophbig4

    olophsm1

    Living in the Womb

    I should be in bed.  It’s too early for this, but if I don’t share it, I won’t be able to get back to bed as I still imagine I will do.  I was listening to a rosary reflection on the Visitation.  Here in essence is what was said:

    Our Lady, now expecting,  goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth.  We can be sure that during the journey and the months she was caring for Elizabeth, Mary never forgot the baby growing within her.  Jesus, being fashioned, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit; that’s an image of what happens to us in our life of grace. That intimate fashioning is what my whole life as a christian is to be.

    When we are in the state of grace, we have the Holy Trinity living in us.  We, however, can be so caught up in daily life and its demands,  that we don’t think of that at all.  If we did, we’d be aware of the movements of grace within, and so be motivated more by grace than by nature.  Jesus being fashioned by God in the womb of His Mother Mary; to be in touch with this mystery is not to leave Jesus alone, as it were, but to be with Him as Mary was.  The reality of our life of grace is that,  like Jesus, we are very dependent on Mary.  It is our Father’s plan: to be fashioned by God in intimate dependence on Mary into a perfect likeness of Jesus.  This is the essence of our whole life of  in the Spirit.  Our entire life is now wrapped up in loving God.  In Mary,  for the first time, God is adequately loved by a creature.

    Irked by the Mother of God?

    It amazes me that the Mother of Jesus has come to be such a contentious figure.  Some time ago, I painted Our Lady with the Child Jesus in her arms.  It showed at the Parker Gallery in CO.   A church met in the same building, so members of the congregation would stop by to see the artwork after services.  One Sunday only a young girl, about 9 years old, wondered  from painting to painting,  until she came to Mother and Child.  She stood before it a moment considering the painting and then to my astonishment made a disdainful sound, “Psst!” motherchild12 Then,  the child tossed her head and left abruptly.  The gesture seemed beyond her years.  Wouldn’t you expect an image of a mother and a child to touch a soft spot in a young and tender heart? Instead,  it struck like a rock bouncing off unyielding ground.   I remembered the lyrics of a song from South Pacific:

    You’ve to to be taught before it’s too late,

    Before you are six or seven or eight

    To hate all the people your relatives hate,

    You’ve got to be carefully taught!

    Prejudice can effect, or more accurately,  infect us at any age or stage.  It’s sad when it blinds us to goodness; saddest when it makes us immune to holiness, which, I guess,  it always does.