Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival

RAnn of This, That and the Other Thing graciously hosts Sunday Snippets — A Catholic Carnival giving Catholic bloggers a chance to share their favorites posts with one another. Join the fun, and leave a comment , won’t you?

Here’s my contribution for this week:

Mary, the Means by the Will of God

New Adam

Mary, the Means by the Will of God

O Mary, living for Christ,
From the beginning, Immaculata,
As the Father willed,
Bring forth Christ for all mankind.
Make me the fruit of your holy labor.
Mary, the means and not the end,
Carry me within your bosom blest.
O Mary, living in me,
May I receive your thoughts and inspirations.
Let your heart beat with my own.
May your soul inflame my own.
May the soul of Christ,
One with yours
By His Holy Spirit espoused,
Be seed, substance and fruition in me.
Christ, living in your soul,
Extend His victory in me
As your protectorate,
That the Conqueror now conquer me.
May the angels wonder at my change,
As your light and inspirations
Become my constant delight.
O, you who are all grace by the Word of God,
Supply the grace for good to me,
As your hands received their holy orders
From Him who held all sway over your being.
Be in me, the gracious gift of God,
As is all grace.
All is grace and gratitude
To His glory and your merit.
I am abandoned.
You are adorned.
I am conformed.
Christ is adored.

Our Lady of Lourdes – "I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION"

Narrated by Mariola Paini


In 1858 the virgin Mary Immaculate appeared to Bernadette Soubirous near Lourdes in France within the cave of Massabielle. Through this humble girl, Mary called sinners to conversion and enkindled within the Church a great zeal for prayer and charity, especially service to the sick and poor. From a letter by Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirous, virgin (Ep. ad P. Gondrand, a 1861: cf. A. Ravier, Les écrits de sainte Bernadette, Paris 1961, pp. 53-59) The lady spoke to me I had gone down one day with two other girls to the bank of the river Gave when suddenly I heard a kind of rustling sound. I turned my head toward the field by the side of the river but the trees seemed quite still and the noise was evidently not from them. Then I looked up and caught sight of the cave where I saw a lady wearing a lovely white dress with a bright belt. On top of each of her feet was a pale yellow rose, the same color as her rosary beads. At this I rubbed my eyes, thinking I was seeing things, and I put my hands into the fold of my dress where my rosary was. I wanted to make the sign of the cross but for the life of me I couldn’t manage it and my hand just fell down. Then the lady made the sign of the cross herself and at the second attempt I managed to do the same, though my hands were trembling. Then I began to say the rosary while the lady let her beads slip through her fingers, without moving her lips. When I stopped saying the Hail Mary, she immediately vanished. I asked my two companions if they had noticed anything, but they said no. Of course they wanted to know what I was doing and I told them that I had seen a lady wearing a nice white dress, though I didn’t know who she was. I told them not to say anything about it, and they said I was silly to have anything to do with it. I said they were wrong and I came back next Sunday, feeling myself drawn to the place…. The third time I went the lady spoke to me and asked me to come every day for fifteen days. I said I would and then she said that she wanted me to tell the priests to build a chapel there. She also told me to drink from the stream. I went to the Gave, the only stream I could see. Then she made me realize she was not speaking of the Gave and she indicated a little trickle of water close-by. When I got to it I could only find a few drops, mostly mud. I cupped my hands to catch some liquid without success and then I started to scrape the ground. I managed to find a few drops of water but only at the fourth attempt was there a sufficient amount for any kind of drink. The lady then vanished and I went back home. I went back each day for fifteen days and each time, except one Monday and one Friday, the lady appeared and told me to look for a stream and wash in it and to see that the priests build a chapel there. I must also pray, she said, for the conversion of sinners. I asked her many times what she meant by that, but she only smiled. Finally with outstretched arms and eyes looking up to heaven she told me she was the Immaculate Conception. During the fifteen days she told me three secrets but I was not to speak about them to anyone and so far I have not. This letter from St. Bernadette (linked above) is from the Office of Readings for this day. I put this letter here because the language in which she speaks of Mary’s apparitions is that of a child. Dear Bernadette was young and poor when The Blessed Mother appeared to her. She aspired only a simple life, was not overly bright, and it would seem that she was incapable of greatness by this world’s standards. Yet, the Blessed Mother appeared to her, and spoke to her kindly and gave her gentle instructions. When Bernadette first saw Our Lady, she did not immediately identify her. She saw, rather, a beautiful woman. In fact, she did not presume to admit that the lady was the Blessed Mother until she was told by the lady herself. Mary called herself the Immaculate Conception, a true expression of beauty. Mary’s message to Bernadette was simple and caring, like that of a Mother. Bernadette, although not great, was a saint of blessings and virtue. Mary chose to appear to her and laid upon her shoulders the charge of sharing Mary with others. Bernadette did not live a very long life… but it was one of patient suffering and hope for the world to come. “I cannot promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next” was the promise of the Blessed Mother to her daughter. Bernadette trusted in this promise, with that childlike faith and obedience that were so exemplary in her visits with Mary. This is an example of how Mary is a mother to us. Her apparitions to her gentle daughter Bernadette brings us a message of prayer and healing. Each time that Mary has visited us, she has come with the same tender love and caring. Let us always remember how deeply Mary loves us, how intimate she is with Jesus, and seek to follow her Motherly guidance and receive her consolation.

A Letter of Saint Marie Bernadette Soubirou

God of mercy,
we celebrate the feast of Mary,
the sinless mother of God.
May her prayers help us
to rise above our human weakness.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

– Amen.

Celebrating My Feastday!

My middle name is Concetta.  Growing up my mom translated it as “Constance” which I always liked because I felt called to be “constant” in my faith.  I think that helped me try harder.  This year I looked up “Concetta” and found:

CONCETTA

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Italian

Italian cognate of CONCEPCIÓN

CONCEPCIÓN

Gender: Feminine

Usage: Spanish

Pronounced: kawn-thep-THYON (Spanish), kawn-sep-SYON (Latin American Spanish)

Means “conception” in Spanish. This name is given in reference to the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary.

What a gift this late in life to find yet another call on my life.  I’ve worn the Miraculous Medal since childhood and now I feel a bit closer to the mystery of what God has in mind for me. So I celebrate this day in an even more personal way.

That brings me to the other side of celebration. As I was heading off to Mass for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and my Feastday, I was greeted by an icy driveway, and lots of slipping and sliding.  Treacherous as the roads and walks were,though, what a delight it was to make it through the church doors and have my heart lifted by the stalwart souls packing the pews. Sacrifice and celebration seem to go hand in hand.

The winds are still blowing outside and now the roads are littered with tumble weed.  What joy! Crazy as it my seems, when it costs me a bit,  I value the moment all the more.

Knight of the Immaculata

A wonderful and profound way to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception: consider the Prayer of Total Consecration to the Blessed Virgin Mary as a means of spiritual renewal.

Prayer of Total Consecration
By St. Maximilian Kolbe

Immaculata, Queen of heaven and earth, refuge of sinners and our most loving Mother, God has willed to entrust the entire order of mercy to you. I, N…, a repentant sinner, cast myself at your feet humbly imploring you to take me with all that I am and have, wholly to yourself as your possession and property. Please make of me, of all my powers of soul and body, of my whole life, death and eternity, whatever most pleases you.

If it pleases you, use all that I am and have without reserve, wholly to accomplish what was said of you: “She will crush your head,” and, “You alone have destroyed all heresies in the world.” Let me be a fit instrument in your immaculate and merciful hands for introducing and increasing your glory to the maximum in all the many strayed and indifferent souls, and thus help extend as far as possible the blessed kingdom of the most Sacred Heart of Jesus. For wherever you enter you obtain the grace of conversion and growth in holiness, since it is through your hands that all graces come to us from the most Sacred Heart of Jesus.


V. Allow me to praise you, O sacred Virgin.
R. Give me strength against your enemies.

Commentary on consecration prayer