Prayer: Immaculate Heart of Mary

Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, in this time of trial we turn to you.  As our Mother, you love us and know us: no concern of our hearts is hidden from you.  Mother of mercy, how often we have experienced your watchful care and your peaceful presence!  You never cease to guide us to Jesus, the Prince of Peace.

Yet we have strayed from that path of peace.  We have forgotten the lesson learned from the tragedies of the last century, the sacrifice of the millions who fell in two world wars.  We have disregarded the commitments we made as a community of nations.  We have betrayed peoples’ dreams of peace and the hopes of the young.  We grew sick with greed, we thought only of our own nations and their interests, we grew indifferent and caught up in our selfish needs and concerns.  We chose to ignore God, to be satisfied with our illusions, to grow arrogant and aggressive, to suppress innocent lives and to stockpile weapons.  We stopped being our neighbour’s keepers and stewards of our common home.  We have ravaged the garden of the earth with war and by our sins we have broken the heart of our heavenly Father, who desires us to be brothers and sisters.  We grew indifferent to everyone and everything except ourselves.  Now with shame we cry out: Forgive us, Lord!

Holy Mother, amid the misery of our sinfulness, amid our struggles and weaknesses, amid the mystery of iniquity that is evil and war, you remind us that God never abandons us, but continues to look upon us with love, ever ready to forgive us and raise us up to new life.  He has given you to us and made your Immaculate Heart a refuge for the Church and for all humanity.  By God’s gracious will, you are ever with us; even in the most troubled moments of our history, you are there to guide us with tender love.

We now turn to you and knock at the door of your heart.  We are your beloved children.  In every age you make yourself known to us, calling us to conversion.  At this dark hour, help us and grant us your comfort.  Say to us once more: “Am I not here, I who am your Mother?”  You are able to untie the knots of our hearts and of our times.  In you we place our trust.  We are confident that, especially in moments of trial, you will not be deaf to our supplication and will come to our aid.

That is what you did at Cana in Galilee, when you interceded with Jesus and he worked the first of his signs.  To preserve the joy of the wedding feast, you said to him: “They have no wine” (Jn 2:3).  Now, O Mother, repeat those words and that prayer, for in our own day we have run out of the wine of hope, joy has fled, fraternity has faded.  We have forgotten our humanity and squandered the gift of peace.  We opened our hearts to violence and destructiveness.  How greatly we need your maternal help!

Therefore, O Mother, hear our prayer.
Star of the Sea, do not let us be shipwrecked in the tempest of war.
Ark of the New Covenant, inspire projects and paths of reconciliation.
Queen of Heaven, restore God’s peace to the world.
Eliminate hatred and the thirst for revenge, and teach us forgiveness.
Free us from war, protect our world from the menace of nuclear weapons.
Queen of the Rosary, make us realize our need to pray and to love.
Queen of the Human Family, show people the path of fraternity.
Queen of Peace, obtain peace for our world.

O Mother, may your sorrowful plea stir our hardened hearts.  May the tears you shed for us make this valley parched by our hatred blossom anew.  Amid the thunder of weapons, may your prayer turn our thoughts to peace.  May your maternal touch soothe those who suffer and flee from the rain of bombs.  May your motherly embrace comfort those forced to leave their homes and their native land.  May your Sorrowful Heart move us to compassion and inspire us to open our doors and to care for our brothers and sisters who are injured and cast aside.

Holy Mother of God, as you stood beneath the cross, Jesus, seeing the disciple at your side, said: “Behold your son” (Jn 19:26).  In this way he entrusted each of us to you.  To the disciple, and to each of us, he said: “Behold, your Mother” (v. 27).  Mother Mary, we now desire to welcome you into our lives and our history.  At this hour, a weary and distraught humanity stands with you beneath the cross, needing to entrust itself to you and, through you, to consecrate itself to Christ.  The people of Ukraine and Russia, who venerate you with great love, now turn to you, even as your heart beats with compassion for them and for all those peoples decimated by war, hunger, injustice and poverty.

Therefore, Mother of God and our Mother, to your Immaculate Heart we solemnly entrust and consecrate ourselves, the Church and all humanity, especially Russia and Ukraine.  Accept this act that we carry out with confidence and love.  Grant that war may end and peace spread throughout the world.  The “Fiat” that arose from your heart opened the doors of history to the Prince of Peace.  We trust that, through your heart, peace will dawn once more.  To you we consecrate the future of the whole human family, the needs and expectations of every people, the anxieties and hopes of the world.

Through your intercession, may God’s mercy be poured out on the earth and the gentle rhythm of peace return to mark our days. Our Lady of the “Fiat”, on whom the Holy Spirit descended, restore among us the harmony that comes from God. May you, our “living fountain of hope”, water the dryness of our hearts. In your womb Jesus took flesh; help us to foster the growth of communion. You once trod the streets of our world; lead us now on the paths of peace. Amen.

that in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the Nazarene | A great sign appeared in the sky

God\’s temple in heaven was opened,
and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple
.

Rv 11:19a; 12:1-6a, 10ab

A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun,
with the moon under her feet,
and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth.
Then another sign appeared in the sky;
it was a huge red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on its heads were seven diadems. Its tail swept away a third of the stars in the sky and hurled them down to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman about to give birth, to devour her child when she gave birth.

She gave birth to a son, a male child,
destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne. The woman herself fled into the desert where she had a place prepared by God.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
\”Now have salvation and power come,
and the Kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Anointed
.\”

Responsorial Psalm 

Judith 13:18bcde, 19

R.(15:9d) You are the highest honor of our race.
Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God,
above all the women on earth;
and blessed be the LORD God,
the creator of heaven and earth.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.
Your deed of hope will never be forgotten
by those who tell of the might of God.
R. You are the highest honor of our race.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Blessed are you, holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise; from you rose the sun of justice, Christ our God.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel 

Lk 1:26-38

The angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
And coming to her, he said
:


“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you.”
But she was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

Then the angel said to her,
“Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus.

He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father,
and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his Kingdom there will be no end.”

But Mary said to the angel,
“How can this be,
since I have no relations with a man?”
And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.


And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel departed from her.

Lk 1:39-47

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.”

Peter and John before the Sanhedrin
1But while they were speaking to the people, the priests and the magistrate of the temple and the Sadducees overwhelmed them, 2being grieved that they were teaching the people and announcing in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.

3And they laid hands on them, and they placed them under guard until the next day. For it was now evening. 4But many of those who had heard the word believed. And the number of men became five thousand.

5And it happened on the next day that their leaders and elders and scribes gathered together in Jerusalem, 6including Annas, the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John and Alexander, and as many as were of the priestly family. 7And stationing them in the middle, they questioned them: “By what power, or in whose name, have you done this?”

8Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Leaders of the people and elders, listen. 9If we today are judged by a good deed done to an infirm man, by which he has been made whole, 10let it be known to all of you and to all of the people of Israel:

that in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God has raised from the dead, by him, this man stands before you, healthy. 11He is the stone, which was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the head of the corner. 12And there is no salvation in any other. For there is no other name under heaven given to men, by which it is necessary for us to be saved.

The Name Forbidden
13Then, seeing the constancy of Peter and John, having verified that they were men without letters or learning, they wondered. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.

14Also, seeing the man who had been cured standing with them, they were unable to say anything to contradict them. 15But they ordered them to withdraw outside, away from the council, and they conferred among themselves, 16saying: “What shall we do to these men? For certainly a public sign has been done through them, before all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. It is manifest, and we cannot deny it. 17But lest it spread further among the people, let us threaten them not to speak anymore in this name to any man.” 18And calling them in, they warned them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19Yet truly, Peter and John said in response to them: “Judge whether it is just in the sight of God to listen to you, rather than to God. 20For we are unable to refrain from speaking the things that we have seen and heard.

21But they, threatening them, sent them away, having not found a way that they might punish them because of the people. For all were glorifying the things that had been done in these events. 22For the man in whom this sign of a cure had been accomplished was more than forty years old.

The Believers’ Prayer
(Psalm 2:1–12)
23Then, having been released, they went to their own, and they reported in full what the leaders of the priests and the elders had said to them. 24And when they had heard it, with one accord, they lifted up their voice to God, and they said: “Lord, you are the One who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them,
25who, by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said: ‘Why have the Gentiles been seething, and why have the people been pondering nonsense?
26The kings of the earth have stood up, and the leaders have joined together as one, against the Lord and against his Christ.’
27For truly Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, joined together in this city against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed 28to do what your hand and your counsel had decreed would be done. 29And now, O Lord, look upon their threats, and grant to your servants that they may speak your word with all confidence, 30by extending your hand in cures and signs and miracles, to be done through the name of your holy Son, Jesus.” 31And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered was moved. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. And they were speaking the Word of God with confidence.—acts 4

Sharing among Believers
(Acts 2:42–47)
32Then the multitude of believers were of one heart and one soul. Neither did anyone say that any of the things that he possessed were his own, but all things were common to them. 33And with great power, the Apostles were rendering testimony to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord. And great grace was in them all. 34And neither was anyone among them in need. For as many as were owners of fields or houses, selling these, were bringing the proceeds of the things that they were selling, 35and were placing it before the feet of the Apostles. Then it was divided to each one, just as he had need.


36Now Joseph, who the Apostles surnamed Barnabas (which is translated as ‘son of consolation’), who was a Levite of Cyprian descent, 37since he had land, he sold it, and he brought the proceeds and placed these at the feet of the Apostles.—Acts 4

Meditations: Advent

Listen, Understand, Act Thursday of the First Week of Advent “Everyone who listens to these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and buffeted the house. But it did not collapse; it had been set solidly on rock.” Matthew 7:24-25 Perhaps one of the hardest things to do in life is to listen. Are you a good listener? Do you know how to listen? Most likely this is a struggle for you since it is a struggle for most people. Listening is more than hearing. Listening implies that one hears AND comprehends. Furthermore, in this Scripture passage, Jesus makes it clear that “listening” is not enough. Once we’ve listened (heard and understood), we must act. Acting on the Word of God involves a total embrace and sur- render to His Word and will. It means you allow the Word of God to dictate your actions and to set your feet “solidly on rock.” The imagery Jesus uses is quite descriptive. A house built on sand is very different than a house built on solid rock. One can only imagine the problems that await a house built on sand. Every storm that comes will cause great anxiety and worry. Fear will always be present as the sandy foundation slowly erodes away. But if the house is on solid rock, there is great confidence in the midst of a storm. Reflect, today, upon the foundation of your life. Advent is a time when we examine whether or not the foundation of our life is Jesus. He entered our world and took on flesh so that He could be that rock foundation. And the path to that rock foun- dation is to listen, comprehend and act. Set your “house” on Him in this way and no storm will erode the foundation of your life. Lord, may your human life become the foundation of my life. May my life be built upon You who are the Rock Foundation. Jesus, I trust in You.

Holy Spirit Chaplet

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit


Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended You. 
I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. 
But most of all because they offend You, my God, Who are all good and deserving my love. 
I firmly resolve, with the help of Your grace to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.


Prayer to the Holy SpiritCome, Holy Spirit, fill my heart with your holy gifts. 
Let my weakness be penetrated with your strength this very day that I may fulfill the duties of my state in life conscientiously, that I may do what is right and just. 
Let my charity be such as to offend no one and hurt no one\’s feelings; so generous as to pardon sincerely any 
wrong done to me. 
Assist me in all the trials of life, enlighten me in my ignorance, advise me in my doubts, strengthen my weakness, 
help me in all needs and embarrassment, protect me in temptations and console me in all afflictions. 
Graciously hear me, O Holy Spirit, and pour your light into my heart, my soul and my mind. 
Assist me to live a holy life and to grow in goodness and grace.
Amen 


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen. 
THE FIRST MYSTERY 

By the Holy Ghost is Jesus conceived of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Meditation: \”The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the Power of the Most High shall overshadow thee; and therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.\” [Lk. 1:35]

The Practice: Diligently implore the aid of the Divine Spirit, and Mary\’s intercession, to imitate the virtues of Jesus Christ, Who is the Model of virtues, so that you may be made comformable to the image of the Son of God.


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

THE SECOND MYSTERY

The Spirit of the Lord rested upon Jesus when he was baptized.

The Meditation: \”Jesus, being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and lo! the heavens were opened to Him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him.\” [Mt. 3:16] The Practice: Hold in the highest esteem the priceless gift of sanctifying grace, infused into your soul by the Holy Ghost in Baptism. Keep the promises to which you then pledged yourself. Increase, by constant practice, Faith, Hope, and Charity. Ever live as becometh children of God and members of God\’s true Church, so as to obtain, hereafter, the inheritance of heaven.


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

THE THIRD MYSTERY

By the Spirit is Jesus led into the desert to be tempted by the Devil.

The Meditation: \”Jesus, being full of the Holy ghost, returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the desert for the space of forty days; and was tempted by the devil.\” [Lk. 4:1-2]

The Practice: Be ever grateful for the sevenfold gift of the Holy Ghost bestowed upon you in Confirmation, for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, of counsel and fortitude, of knowledge and piety, and of the fear of the Lord. Faithfully yield to His Divine guidance, so that, in all the trials and temptations of life, you may act manfully, as becometh a perfect Christian and valiant soldier of Jesus Christ.


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen. 

THE FOURTH MYSTERY 

The Holy Ghost in the Church. 

The Meditation: \”Suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a mighty wind coming, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting… and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak… the wonderful works of God.\” [Acts, 2:2, 4, 11.] 

The Practice: Thank God for having made you a child of His Church which is ever animated and directed by the Divine Spirit, sent into this world for that purpose of the day of Pentecost. Hear and obey the Holy See, the infallible mouthpiece of the Holy Ghost, 


Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

THE FIFTH MYSTERY

The Holy Ghost in the soul of the just man and just woman.

The Meditation: \”Know you not that you members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, Who is in you?\” [1 Cor. 6:19] \”Extinguish not the Spirit.\” [1 Thess. 5:19] \”And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption.\” [Eph. 4:30]

The Practice: Be ever mindful of the Holy Ghost Who is within you, and carefully cultivate purity of soul and body. Faithfully obey His Divine Inspirations so that you may bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit – Charity, Joy, Peace, Patience, Dignity, Goodness, Long-suffering, Mildness, Faith, Modesty, Continency, Chastity.


Nicene Creed

I believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.

I believe 
in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
consubstantial with the Father;
through him all things were made.
For us men and for our salvation
he came down from heaven,
and by the Holy Spirit
was incarnate 
of the Virgin Mary, and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,
he suffered death and was buried,
and rose again on the third day
in accordance with the Scriptures.
He ascended into heaven 
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son,
who with the Father and the Son
is adored
and glorified,
who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy,
catholic and apostolic Church.
I confess one baptism
for the forgiveness of sins
and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.