Sunday, August 21, 2016

Saint August 22 : Queenship of Mary Blessed Virgin Mother of Jesus

“When she became Mother of the Creator, she truly became Queen of every creature.” (St. John Damascene)
August 22, we celebrate the Coronation and Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the fifth Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary. For centuries, we have called upon the intercession of Our Blessed Mother under a multitude of regal and holy titles: Queen of Angels, Queen of Patriarchs, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of Virgins, Queen of the Rosary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth. Pope Benedict XVI noted that Mary is Queen of Heaven because of her humble and unconditional acceptance in the divine will when he said: ”God exalted her over all other creatures, and Christ crowned her Queen of heaven and earth.”
We have looked to Our holy Mother, to the Blessed Virgin Mary, to the Theotokos, to the Mother of Our Saviour, and have never been disappointed. Because of Her eminence, she is indeed entitled to the highest honors that can be bestowed upon any creature. Saint Gregory Nazianzen called Her Mother of the King of the entire universe, and the Virgin Mother who brought forth the King of the entire world.
Pope Pius XII established the feast of Mary’s Queenship in 1954, but recognition of Our Lady as Our Queen has roots in Scripture. At the Annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel announced that Mary’s Son would receive the throne of David and rule forever. At the Visitation, Elizabeth calls Mary “mother of my Lord.” As in all the mysteries of Mary’s life, Mary is closely associated with Jesus: Her Queenship is a share in Jesus’ kingship.
In the fourth century Saint Ephrem called Mary “Lady” and “Queen” and Church fathers and doctors (among them, Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Saint Augustine, Saint Anselm, Saint Peter Chrysologus, and Saint Amadeus of Lausanne) continued to use the title. Now familiar hymns such as “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Hail, Queen of Heaven,” and “Queen of Heaven” became popular as early as the eleventh century. The feast of Mary’s Queenship is a logical follow-up to the Assumption, now celebrated on the octave day of that feast. In his encyclical To the Queen of Heaven, Pius XII points out that Mary deserves the title because she is Mother of God, because she is closely associated as the New Eve with Jesus’ redemptive work, because of her preeminent perfection, and because of her intercessory power. In support of these four reasons that Our Lady deserves the title of Our Queen, Pope Pius XII bestowed upon her four titles. Of these four titles, two closely parallel those of Jesus, and two are unique unto the role of Mary.
First, Mary is Queen by her “divine relationship” with Jesus. That is, as Jesus was, is, and every shall be king, so, too, shall Mary ever be queen. But her relationship with Jesus supercedes that of normal earthly queen mothers, as she did not birth a man who would become king, she birthed an eternal king who predated the world.
Second, Mary is Queen by right of conquest, just as Jesus was King by the same right. Mary shared in her Son’s struggle and victory over Satan—and in doing so, shared in our redemption.
Third, Mary is Queen by grace. She is, as the Archangel Gabriel announced, “full of grace,” surpassed in grace only by Jesus. And fourth, Mary is Queen by the singular choice of the Lord. He chose her, appointed her, and elevated her through the birth of His Son.
In his Encyclical Letter of October 11, 1954, “On the Royal Dignity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Institution of Her Feast,” Pope Pius XII said “Constituted by the Lord as Queen of Heaven and earth, and exalted above all the choirs of Angels and the ranks of the Saints in heaven, standing at the right hand of Her only-begotten Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, She petitions most powerfully with Her maternal prayers, and obtains what She seeks.” (For the text of the complete Encyclical, see here.) He added that "nothing is excluded from her dominion." As Mediatrix of all graces, who shared in earning all graces, she is forever working on our behalf. United with her Son, Our Blessed Mother can obtain by her intercession anything that the all-powerful God can do by His own inherent power.
Today, and every day, let us kneel at Mary's feet and confidently pray, placing our needs and concerns into the hands of our Mother, Mary the Queen of angels and saints, Queen of heaven and earth!
Father,
you have given us the mother of your Son to be our queen and mother. With the support of her prayers may we come to share the glory of your children in the kingdom of heaven. 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.
Saint Lomman, Abbot, "The Praises of Mary”:
O Mary, when our eyes close in our last sleep, and open to behold thy Son, the Just Judge, and the Angel opens the Book, and the Enemy accuses us; in that terrible hour, come to our aid. Be with us. When death came to Joseph, you and your Son were with him: Thy Son to judge, thou to console. O Happy Joseph! When death comes for us, be near us. O Mary, when we are held captive in the place of atonement; plead for us, and visit us, that we may find consolation in thy presence. Stretch forth thy hand to help us; deliver us from our bondage. We are thy children: Thou art our Mother. As little children we come to thee; we know no fear. O Mary, He changed water into wine for thee, even as He said: My hour has not yet come. Now He will not refuse thee, when you plead for us thy children. O Mary, come quickly to our aid. Do not let us stray from the Fold. The wolf is waiting to destroy us. There shall be neither night nor day to thy praises. Adoration to the Father Who created thee! Adoration to they Son, Who took flesh from thee! Adoration to the Holy Spirit, Thy Divine Spouse! Three in One, One in Three. Equal in all things. To Him be glory for ever. For ever. For ever. Amen.
The Saints on Mary's Queenship:
"No one has access to the Almighty as His mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen forever." (Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman) "Just as Mary surpassed in grace all others on earth, so also in heaven is her glory unique. If eye has not seen or ear heard or the human heart conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9), who can express what He has prepared for the woman who gave Him birth and who loved Him, as everyone knows, more than anyone else?" (Saint Bernard of Clairvaux)
"She has surpassed the riches of the virgins, the confessors, the martyrs, the apostles, the prophets, the patriarchs, and the angels, for she herself is the first-fruit of the virgins, the mirror of confessors, the rose of martyrs, the ruler of apostles, the oracle of prophets, the daughter of patriarchs, the queen of angels." (Saint Bonaventure)
"Such is the will of God that we should have everything through Mary." (Saint Alphonsus Liguori)
“Believe me, there is no more powerful means to obtain God’s grace than to employ the intercessions of the Holy Virgin.” (Saint Philip Neri) "Mary has the authority over the angels and the blessed in heaven. As a reward for her great humility, God gave her the power and mission of assigning to saints the thrones made vacant by the apostate angels who fell away through pride. Such is the will of the almighty God who exalts the humble, that the powers of heaven, earth and hell, willingly or unwillingly, must obey the commands of the humble Virgin Mary. For God has made her queen of heaven and earth, leader of his armies, keeper of his treasure, dispenser of his graces, mediatrix on behalf of men, destroyer of his enemies, and faithful associate in his great works and triumphs." (Saint Louis Marie de Montfort)
“To serve the Queen of Heaven is already to reign there, and to live under her commands is more than to govern.” (Saint John Marie Vianney)
"Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God's heart." (Saint Maximilian Kolbe)
Text shared from 365Rosaries Blog

#PopeFrancis "The door of God’s mercy is narrow but always wide open..." FULL TEXT - Video - Angelus

Before the Angelus:
Dear brothers and sisters, Good morning!
Today’s Gospel passage invites us to meditate on the theme of salvation. The Evangelist Luke tells us of when Jesus was going toward Jerusalem and along the way, is approached by a man who asks him this question: “Lord, will only a few people be saved?”(Luke 13:23). Jesus does not give a direct answer, but he moves the discussion to another level, with a suggestive language, which, at first, perhaps, the disciples did not understand: “Strive to enter through the narrow door, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough “(v.24). With the image of the door, He wants to explain to his listeners that it is not a question of numbers, of how many people will be saved. It doesn’t matter how many, but it is important that everyone knows which is the path that leads to salvation: the door.
To go along this path, one must pass through a door. But where is the door?  What is it like?  Who is the door?  Jesus himself is the door. He says in the Gospel of John; “I am the gate” (Jn 10,9). He leads us into fellowship with the Father, where we find love, understanding and protection. But why is this door narrow? One can ask. Why is it narrow?  It is a narrow door not because it is oppressive – no, but because it asks us to restrict and limit our pride and our fear, to open ourselves with humble and trusting heart to Him, recognizing ourselves as sinners, in need of His forgiveness. For this [reason], it is narrow: to contain our pride, which bloats us.  The door of God’s mercy is narrow but always wide open, wide open for everyone! God has no favorites, but always welcomes everyone, without distinction.  A door, that is narrow to restrict our pride and our fear.  Open because God welcomes us without distinction. And the salvation that He gives us, is a never-ending stream of mercy, which breaks down every barrier and opens up surprising perspectives of light and peace. The gate is narrow, but always wide open: do not forget this.
Jesus speaks to us today, once again, offering a pressing invitation to come to Him, to cross the threshold of full life, reconciled and happy. He waits for us, no matter what sin we have committed, no matter what, to embrace us, to offer us His forgiveness.  He alone can transform our hearts, He alone can give full meaning to our existence, giving us the real joy. Upon entering the gate of Jesus, the door of faith and of the Gospel, we can get out from worldly attitudes, bad habits, by selfishness and by our own closures. When there is contact with the love and mercy of God, there is a real change. And our life is illuminated by the light of the Holy Spirit: an inextinguishable light!
I would like to make a proposal. Let us think now, in silence, for a moment of the things we have inside of us and prevent us from going through the door: my pride, my sins, etc. And then, let us think of the other door, that opens us to the mercy of God, Who is waiting for us, to give forgiveness.
The Lord offers us many opportunities to save and enter through the door of salvation. This door is an opportunity, that must not be wasted: we must not make an ‘academic discourse’ on salvation, as the man who turned to Jesus, but we must seize the opportunities of salvation. Because at a certain moment “the master of the house had arisen and locked the door” (v.25), as mentioned in the Gospel. But if God is good and loves us, why does He close the door at some point? Because our life is not a video game or a soap opera; our life is serious and the goal to achieve is important: eternal salvation.
To the Virgin Mary, Door of Heaven, we ask you to help us seize the opportunities that the Lord gives us to cross the threshold of faith and thus, to enter into a wide road: it is the path of salvation that can accommodate all those who allow themselves to love and be loved. It is love which saves, the love here on earth is a source of happiness to those who, in meekness, patience and justice, forget themselves and give themselves to others, especially the weakest.
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]
After the Angelus:
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Sad news has reached me about the bloody attack that hit dear Turkey yesterday. Let us pray for the victims, for the dead and the injured, and we ask for the gift of peace for all.
Hail Mary …
I cordially greet all the Roman pilgrims and those from various countries, in particular the faithful of Kalisz (Poland) and Gondomar (Portugal); I would also like to greet in a special way the new seminarians of the Pontifical North American College. Welcome to Rome!
I greet the Most Holy Redeemer Association of Manfredonia, the bikers of Polesine, the faithful of Delianuova and those of Verona, who have come on pilgrimage on foot. I greet the young people of Paddule, who came to help the soup kitchen of Caritas of Rome.
I wish you all a good Sunday. And please, do not forget to pray for me. Good lunch and goodbye!
[Original text: Italian] [Translation by Deborah Castellano Lubov]

Sunday Mass Online : Sun August 21, 2016 - 21st Ordinary Time - C


Twenty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 123


Reading 1IS 66:18-21

Thus says the LORD:
I know their works and their thoughts,
and I come to gather nations of every language;
they shall come and see my glory.
I will set a sign among them;
from them I will send fugitives to the nations:
to Tarshish, Put and Lud, Mosoch, Tubal and Javan,
to the distant coastlands
that have never heard of my fame, or seen my glory;
and they shall proclaim my glory among the nations.
They shall bring all your brothers and sisters from all the nations
as an offering to the LORD,
on horses and in chariots, in carts, upon mules and dromedaries,
to Jerusalem, my holy mountain, says the LORD,
just as the Israelites bring their offering
to the house of the LORD in clean vessels.
Some of these I will take as priests and Levites, says the LORD.

Responsorial PsalmPS 117:1, 2

R. (Mk 16:15) Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Praise the LORD all you nations;
glorify him, all you peoples!
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R.. Alleluia.
For steadfast is his kindness toward us,
and the fidelity of the LORD endures forever.
R. Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 2HEB 12:5-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Alleluia JN 14:6

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
I am the way, the truth and the life, says the Lord;
no one comes to the Father, except through me.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

GospelLK 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”