Friday, 25 April 2014

Pope Francis' Favourite Way to Pray


This excerpt from the interview with Pope Francis, titled: 'A Big Heart Open to God', teaches us much about the man himself and about who we are and what we are called to do.

Many exclaim: "where did this Pope come from?" and "where did he get such fiery charisma?" The answer is that he, the man whom the 'Time' magazine named person of the year, developed his charisma, identity and freedom to love, from the source of Life and Love Itself: Jesus, who is truly and really present in the Blessed Sacrament. What Pope Francis reveals about himself in sharing his preferred way to pray, is that he shares what is at the heart of his daily life and is thus the greatest love of his life: Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Our present Pope, in continuity with his recent predecessors, shares that his most preferred way to pray is in Eucharistic Adoration. Is this not a profound reminder to us to engage in constant and regular prayer, especially in Adoration before the exposed Blessed Sacrament? "O, but he's the Pope!" exclaim many Catholics, as if the Pope is beyond imitation and is only to be revered with awe at a distance. Yet has not our Pope showed himself to be a common man in touch with his fellow men? Does he not wear the cheapest watch available on the market in Italy? Has he not washed the feet of prisoners and brought healing to those with illnesses and disfigurements? Yes, he has done all these things, and perhaps one may comment: "I cannot do these great things." 

Yet there is something that we can do, something that we can all do, just as Pope Francis himself does. We like Pope Francis can commit ourselves to a daily Holy Hour, or if this proves to be impossible, to at least commit to a few hours of Adoration a week or to a weekly Holy Hour in our local Catholic Church or chapel of Adoration. If the Pope thinks that he needs this daily hour of intimacy with God through a relationship with Jesus in the Eucharist, then it is certainly not far fetched to think that perhaps we also need this daily hour of intimacy with God.

Here is a few quotes on the significance of the Eucharist and the Holy Hour:
"The holy hour in our modern rat race is necessary for authentic prayer. Our world is one of speed in which intensity of movement is a substitute for lack of purpose; where noise is invoked to drown out the whisperings of conscience; where talk, talk, talk gives the impression that we are doing something when really we are not; where activity kills self-knowledge won by contemplation…" Archbishop Fulton Sheen 
 "The Eucharist, behold the Christian's treasure, his delight on earth. Since Jesus is in the Eucharist for him personally, his whole life ought to be drawn to it like a magnet to its center." St. Peter Julian Eymard 
"A thousand years of enjoying human glory is not worth even an hour spent sweetly communing with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament." St. Padre Pio
The gentleness, love and joy that Pope Francis has brought to the world stage, and has drawn to the attention of many, is but a mere reflection of the Eternal Gentleness, Love and Joy of Jesus Christ Himself who is present in the Blessed Sacrament. Pope Francis is a living testimony of the power and love of Jesus, a power and love that did, still has, and will forever be available to transform all who enter into a relationship with He who is waiting for us in the Holy Eucharist.

Behold o world, this man of whom you gaze upon in wonder; and look to the One whom he is bearing, the One prophesied of old, the One who became man 2000 years ago in order to sacrifice Himself to pay the debt of our sins on our behalf. The One who was crucified, died and was buried, yet rose again from the dead so as to win for us the delight of Eternal Life.

Let us not just gape in awe at the brilliance of the ring, but approach the Diamond of Christ Jesus whom is firmly set in this great but simple man of God. We too can be bearers of this Diamond, if only we spend time in Eucharistic Adoration whereby this Great Diamond will be set firmly within us. Yet first of all we must go to the Diamond of the Holy Eucharist and encounter through faith the hidden yet universally accessible Brilliance of Christ Jesus. A brilliance the world has beheld through and in Pope Francis, yet a brilliance to which we are all called to possess in our hearts.

This is the secret of Pope Francis' magnetic allure and joy. He tells us himself: "What I really prefer" says Pope Francis, "is Adoration".

Sunday, 20 April 2014

He Has Awoken!


From the labour of love on the Bed of the Cross, to the slumber of death of He on the Cross. From the slumber of death of He in the tomb, to the arising of He in Resurrected glory; for the sake of she, the soul His bride, His love.


Innocent yet condemned;
Truth yet held as lie.
Kind, yet mocked and hated;
Pure yet sorely scourged.


Nailed to Cross by hatred;
Held to Cross by love.
Cut off by the living,
Dying by embrace.


 Loving ‘till exhaustion,
Kissing ‘till breathless.
Speaking pains ‘till silent;
Selfless ‘till self-less.


Raising head now gestures;
That love now has won.
Head now falling sleepful,
Death now of God’s Son.


Pierced through with a spear.
Sleeping through He pours forth;
Water and blood through flesh;
God has spoken through death.


Whilst still in deep slumber,
Taken in quiet haste,
From sleep in bed of Cross,
To rest in dark tomb.



Widow mourns and weeps much,
Night after day and night.
With longing and loves call,
To wake and to love.


Darkness but then sunrise;
Tears but then laughter.
Night was but morning comes,
‘Sleep but now waking.


Awakes He from slumber,
Summer from winter.
To bring from fire bellow,
Proved gold ring from love.


 Now bride she does speaketh,
To groom she does sigh.
Melody she whispers,
As to He she clings:


“Rejoice o my soul;
For thy Beloved has awoken,
Thy Beloved has arose;
And for love of thee He has spoken.


Now cling to me I pray;
For Thou art my Beloved;
And since Thou hast conquered sleep,
Kiss me, so that what was dream in slumber
May be but shadow to what we wake to,
From rest of death to rest of life eternal.

 

So rejoice o my soul;
For thy Beloved has awoken,
Thy Beloved has arose;
And for love of thee He has spoken;


With words of loving water,
And words of loving blood.
For love of thee He has spoken!

For love of thee He has awoken!”


"Now cling not to me o bride!"
Exhorts the Beloved to His lover.
"For I must yet ascend to my Father high above.

Take here this golden ring, a sign and proof of my love,
wear it always and be faithful;
for I shall return, I will return.


Yet first tell all you know, that yes indeed I have awoken,
That sleep I did, but now I have awoken."


Then kissing her she did swoon and let go.
And passing her He whispered gently:


"For love of thee I have spoken.
For love of thee I have awoken."

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Meditations on the Joyful Mysteries


Beginning Prayer:



Let us unite with Jesus through our most Sweet Mother in the Joyful Mysteries; as we pray, unite and love our Joyful Lord and Mother on behalf of ourselves and all souls, from Adam to the last man.

1. The Annunciation


"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus." Luke 1:30-31

Drawn and attracted by the irresistible aroma of your lowliness, the Word of God descends, knocking on your heart through the message of Gabriel the Archangel. As Gabriel speaks to you, all creation and heaven remain still in the quiet of listening, awaiting for the words of your consent. And then pronouncing your “fiat”, your “yes”, you open the door of your being to your God; and it is then that the marvel of marvels takes place. You conceive by the Holy Spirit and the Eternal Word of God is made flesh in your womb! O Eternal God, I hide my fiat in the Fiat of Mary, and take her humility in order to make it my own; so that lathered in the irresistible scent of my Mother’s lowliness, You may be compelled to descend into my soul, so as to give it the sealing and eternal kiss of Your Divinity.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Let it be done unto me according to Thy Word."

2. The Visitation


"Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" Luke 1:42-43



Motivated by perfect love for neighbour, you make gleeful haste up the hill country of Judea; yearning to bring the presence of Jesus to your friends. As you arrive at the house of Elizabeth, you shout forth the sweetest of greetings; and making haste to come to you Elizabeth speaks, saying: “blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb…for when I heard your greeting the baby in my womb leaped for joy.” O dearest Mother, I take your womb and make it my own, so that together we may visit every soul throughout all the ages, so as to bring Jesus to everyone; so that like the babe, John the Baptist, all souls may leap in the joy of Salvation.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Come to us o Jesus, and visit Thy people."


3. The Birth of Jesus


"Mary gave birth to her first-born Son and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Luke 2:7



Without being able to find a place at an inn, you and St. Joseph take refuge in a cave that is being used as a stable. It is there in poverty that God the Father has willed you to give birth to the Saviour of the World. In your Immaculacy you give birth without any pangs; as Divine Love Itself emerges from your womb in the form and flesh of a newborn babe. Without wanting to be selfish you make the supreme sacrifice of placing Jesus in the manger, so that all might be able to adore the Sweet Infant Jesus. With you o Mother, with St. Joseph, the shepherds and the angels, I adore with delightful joy the little Lord Jesus on behalf of myself and all souls. O furthermore I ask you dearest Mother, would you make my heart a lowly manger, wherein our baby Jesus may take delight to dwell?

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Rest now in the manger of my heart little Jesus."



4. The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


"And when the days of her purification were fulfilled according to the Law of Moses, they took Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord." Luke 2:22-23



O Mary and Joseph I surrender myself into your hands, so that you might offer me to Christ your Son, the Great High Priest; so that I might be consecrated as a Living Host, raised high in the hands of the Son for the glory of God the Father and for the salvation of all souls.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Teach me to be obedient to the Law of Thy Will."

5. The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple


"And it came to pass after three days, that they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions" Luke 2:46



We unite with you o Mary and Joseph in the three days of darkness you suffered without the Lord Jesus. We ask that you would obtain for us and all souls, the grace of an unfailing faith and hope in times of privation and desolation. We unite also with you in encountering the joy of finding Jesus in the Temple, listening to and teaching the doctors of the Law; all of whom are enraptured by the wisdom of your Holy Child. We also ask for the grace that we might find evermore, again and again, the little Child Jesus in the depths of ourselves, our neighbours, in Creation and in the Most Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. And each time upon finding our Sweet Jesus, let us be filled with the joy of His childish cheek: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Guide us Holy Spirit and help us to find our Lord!"

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Meditations on the Glorious Mysteries


Prayer before the Rosary:

Let us unite with Jesus through our most Sweet Mother in the Glorious Mysteries; as we pray, repair and unite with our Glorious Lord and Mother, on behalf of ourselves and all souls, from Adam to the last man.


1.     The Resurrection of Christ

"‘Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He has risen, as He said.’" Mark 1:10


On the third day our Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead; conquering sin, death and the grave. Mistaking our Lord to be a gardener, Mary of Magdala distraughtly asked our Lord “"Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away”, since she supposed someone had stolen the body of Jesus. “Mary!” our Lord exclaimed, and recognising Him she shouted “Rabboni!” and embraced Him. Yet kindly rebuking her He said: “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” It is thus that You o Lord, teach us the urgency of the truth of the Resurrection; help us therefore to make haste in proclaiming the message of the Resurrection. And in order to proclaim this great truth, we ask that the Joy of the Resurrection would shine forth on our faces. Then allow us o Lord, to drown all the world’s darkness in the Light of Your Resurrection, so that all that is dark may be converted into Light.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: “Come o Risen Lord and visit Thy people.”


2. The Ascension of Christ into Heaven

"So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.” Mark 16:19


With the body of St. Joseph hidden in the cloud, our Lord Jesus ascended into heaven, to be seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty. And as our Lord ascended, the disciples with their gazed fixed on heaven remained looking upwards. We ask o Lord that our gaze would also remained fixed on You; so that through the sure confidence of our hope, we may possess now our true-life in Eternity with You. And as we hide ourselves with St. Joseph in the cloud of Your ascension; we wrap ourselves with the consoling dew of Your promise: “I am with you always, to the close of the age.” We now only wait with longing hope for Your glorious return.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Come o Lord, we await Thy triumphant return!”


3. The Descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost

“And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and begun to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Spirit gave them utterance." Acts 2:4


After nine days of prayer in the upper room, tongues of fire gushed forth from the Uncreated Womb of the Holy Spirit. Thus born anew in the confidence of God’s Love, the Apostles boldly went forth wielding the Sword of the Gospel; cutting hearts and winning souls for the Kingdom. We beseech You o God to pour forth the Fire of Divine Love into our hearts; so that consumed by the Desires of the Holy Spirit, we may be reduced to ash, so as to be recreated into New Adam’s; who with the Lips of the Holy Spirit shall adore You forever and ever.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Send forth Thy Spirit o Lord and we shall be created."



4. The Assumption of Mary into Heaven

"Since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep." 1 Thessalonians 4:14


Our Lord could not let His beloved come to know decay, for from You o Mother came our Lord’s most Holy Flesh. He therefore assumed You body and soul into heaven. And as You arrive in paradise o Mother, You behold Your Resurrected Son smiling with ineffable joy; and you smiling also, run playfully towards Him, embracing Him with an affection never before seen; causing the angles and saints to swoon with delight. In this mother of all embraces, is contained all the holy embraces of the people of Israel the Church. So taking Your arms most pure, we repeat this Holy Embrace by embracing Jesus present in each and every Host that has ever been and will be consecrated. We also ask o dearest Mother that You would kiss our every word, thought, prayer and action, with the irresistible perfume of Your Assumption; so that in everything we are and do the Holy Trinity may perpetually experience the delight and feast of Your Assumption.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Grant all souls o Lord, the grace of a happy death.”



5. The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

"A great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." Revelation 12:1


O hail Queen of Heaven and Earth, and Queen of all Hearts! We consecrate ourselves and all souls to Your Queenly and Motherly care; requesting that You give unto us Your very own true and unwavering fidelity to God, so that in all things we may be pleasing to Him. O petition our Beloved Jesus to extend His blessing upon all souls; be they in heaven, purgatory or on earth. We request also o dearest Queen, that we would come to reign together with You in the Kingdom of the Divine Will. And finally we ask in a special way that we would be truly devoted to o Queen, by living and dying for love of Jesus our dearest King!

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Conquer us o Lord, and fill us with Thy Trust"


Meditation on the Luminous Mysteries


Prayer before the Rosary:

Let us unite with Jesus through our most Sweet Mother in the Luminous Mysteries; as we pray, repair and unite with our Luminous Lord and Mother on behalf of ourselves and all souls, from Adam to the last man.

1.     The Baptism of Christ in the Jordan River

"The Spirit descended like a dove on Him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; and with You I am well pleased." Mark 1:10


O Glorious Saviour, in order to restore us to a rightful relationship with Your Father, You humbled Yourself to receive baptism from the hands of John the Baptist. “He must increase, but I must decrease” spoke John; for he knew who You were. I too know who You are o Lord; yet I ask that in all humility, ‘would You immerse Yourself in the river of my will, so that sanctified it may be one with the River of Your Will? For it is then that making Your ears my own, I too shall hear the Voice of the Father within: “‘You are my Son, the Beloved; and with You I am well pleased.”

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Open my heart to Your Spirit o Lord."


2. The Wedding at Cana

"Jesus changed water into wine, the first of His signs, and revealed His glory; and His disciples believed in Him." John 2:11


Our Lady the Virgin Mary, noticing that the hosts had begun to run out of wine, spoke to the servants in all discreetness and love: “Go, do whatever He tells you.” And You o Lord, despite your complaint that Your hour had not yet come, are swayed by the irresistible charm of Your Mother’s voice; and thus You say to the servants: “‘Fill the jars with water.’ And they filled them up to the brim”; and then instructing them You say: “‘now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast.” And by the time the steward tasted the water it had turned into wine. Then the steward calling the bridegroom said: “‘Every man serves the good wine first…then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.’” O we beg You o Lord, work this miracle in all souls, by transforming the water of our humanity into the finest wine of Your Divinity.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Make us drunk on the wine of Your Love o Lord."


3. The Proclamation of the Kingdom & the Call to Repentance

“‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel." Mark 1:15


Preaching the message of repentance, You call all people to enter into the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Peace, Justice and Joy. By casting out devils You make it known that the kingdom of God is at hand, and that the reign of Satan has ended. We ask that You invest our every word, thought, prayer and action with Your Power o Word; so that all that we are and do proclaim in ceaseless acclamation: “Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Give us a profound trust in You o Lord."


4. The Transfiguration of Christ on Mt. Tabor

"He was transfigured before them, and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became dazzling white." Matthew 17:2


As Moses representing the Law, and Elijah representing the prophets, spoke with You O Lord, about how the Messiah must suffer and die; You manifested Your Glory to Peter, James and John. Transfigured, Your countenance blazed with the Glory of Your Divinity; shining more brilliantly than the sun. We ask that You would ‘expand in us O Divine Sun, until Thou burst forth with the all consuming gasp of Thy flame!’ And taking this Fire of Divine Love, we set ablaze all hearts with a desperate desire to be one with You for ever.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Come, manifest Your Glory o Lord!"


4. The Institution of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper

"He took the bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me." Luke 22:19



As You raise the Pearl of Great Price in Your hands; a raging river of light gushes forth throughout all space, time and eternity. Uniting with the Apostles in the act of Adoration, we ask to be clothed in this light, so that we may blind You o God, with Your very own Love, and Your very own Glory. O send forth Your Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Perpetual Adoration, so that all may come to feast upon this Celestial Bread of the Father’s Will. And now with Mary our Mother we make flight so as to receive You in every reception of Holy Communion ever made. And finally, falling prostrate before You, we adore You present in every Host throughout the ages; so as to make reparation for all those who ignore and reject You in this Host of Love.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "We praise and adore You o Lord!"


Thursday, 3 April 2014

Meditations on the Sorrowful Mysteries

Beginning Prayer:
Let us unite with Jesus through our most Sweet Mother in the Sorrowful Mysteries; as we pray, repair and console our Sorrowful Lord and Mother on behalf of ourselves and all souls, from Adam to the last man.

1. The Agony in the Garden

"And His sweat became as drops of blood running down upon the ground. And rising from prayer He came to the disciples, and found them sleeping." Luke 22:44-45


In the Garden of Gethsemane our Lord beheld all the sins, all the adulteration's and lusts of us His unfaithful brides. In the still and heavy darkness of that night, our Lord wept with the bitter pains of being betrayed and cheated on by the sins of mankind. In Mary His faithful Bride, let us console our Lord with the many hours of intimacy spent by souls in Adoration.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Together with You my Love, let me weep tears of sorrow."

2. The Scourging at the Pillar

"Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified." Mark 15:15


Drunk with lust and blinded by love for sin, souls incessantly scourge our Lord's Flesh; leaving behind deep wounds and painful incisions. Yet just as the sweet fragrance exudes from the myrrh tree when it is bruised and cut, so too does the Flesh of our Lord permeate the Myrrh of His love. Let us sooth our Beloved Lord's Flesh with the balm of Divine Love; and let us hide the stench of the world's lust, by perfuming each soul with the Myrrh of Christ's Love.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Together with You my Love, let me be scourged."


3. The Crowning with Thorns

"And they stripped Him and put on Him a scarlet cloak; and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on His head, and a reed into His right hand." Matthew 27: 28-29


In our pride we steal the gold of glory owed to our God; and with it we make for ourselves crowns, which Satan uses to coronate us as kings of wickedness. However our Lord the King of the Universe, in all humility, accepted the crown of thorns as the rite of His coronation. Casting our stolen crowns of pride into the Furnace of Divine Love, let us fall prostrate before our King: paying Him homage in reparation for all the blasphemies; and sending Him kisses of Adoration, in reparation for all the spittle that humanity smears upon the Face of our Beloved King.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Together with You my Love, let me be crowned with thorns."


4. The Carrying of the Cross

"They took Jesus, and He went out, bearing His own cross, to the place of the skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha." John 19:17



Yearning to win us over by His Unfathomable Love, our Lord embraced with bitter joy that Cross which we fashioned by our sins. As He climbed the slope of Calvary, each step became as a death to His poor Heart. With each fall that He made, sending forth a light of strength to all poor sinners, that they might arise out of sin and continue along the way. Now let us console our Sorrowful Jesus by allowing Him to meet His Mother in our heart; and by carrying our cross with His very own ardent longing, to suffer out of love for God and neighbour.

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Together with You my Love, let me carry my cross."

5. The Crucifixion of our Lord

"Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!' And having said this He breathed His Last." Luke 23:46


It was you who crucified our Lord! It was you who nailed Him to the tree! O it was all of us who worked together in our sin, to kill our Beloved King! O let us climb that Cross with great haste, so as to join our lonely Lord in His final moments. It is then that our Lord speaks with a love to melt the hardest of hearts: "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." O even whilst dying you think of no one but us! And then speaking again our Lord pants: "I thirst". Here we are then Lord, drink of our love to your heart’s content. And finally, after He commends His spirit to the Father, He cries out: "Imma!", "Mamma!” and dying His Sacred Head drops to the side, as the sun withdraws behind the thickets of the clouds.

Meanwhile Your Mother faints o Lord in the anguish of Her sorrow. And it is then that in the cruelty of our sins, we take the lance and crudely pierce your most Sacred Heart. Then as water and blood gush forth from the wound of our making, we are healed of the blindness of sin. O how we thank You sweet Lord, for allowing us to pierce Your Sweet Heart! Now let us make amends for our horrendous crimes, by joining our Mother in Her sorrows. So together with our Mother, let us hold the dead Body of Jesus in our arms; kissing His wounds and bathing Him clean with the water of our tears. Now let us join John the Beloved, and rest our heads upon that Sweet Heart, the Pillow of our Salvation. And as we lay crying upon that Heart, let us whisper with the lips of our Holy Mother: "Rise my Glory, Rise my Love."

And with the voice of Mary let us pray: "Together with You my Love, let me be crucified."