Posts Tagged ‘rosary’

The Coronation – Franciscan Crown – Part VII

May 6, 2017

Coronation of Mary, Queen of the Universe.

“And when the chief Shepherd is revealed, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.”

(1 Peter 5:4)

In this mystery, we contemplate on Mary, who was assumed into Heaven and is crowned Queen of the Universe, with her never fading crown of the 12 stars spoken of in the book of Revelations.

The mystery calls to mind the extension of the Assumption and completion of , or the fulfillment of the vocation Mary was called to. As Mary was given to us on the cross as our own mother, we have the greatest advocate and intercessor who pleads for us with Jesus.

This mystery is all about the subject of perseverance. Perseverance, is that long, steady and abiding faith.. It is not that we do not fail, it is not that we do not fall, or falter from time to time. perseverance is about the efforts, it is about the work involved towards something. It is about truth, without and within. It is about truth from without, because God is the source. The Eucharist, often called the “Source and Summit ” is Jesus. God incarnate. It is faith at its deepest quaking in our hearts and souls.

It is our abiding with God. It says everything about how we are as a disciple. It has everything to do with how we live out our day to day lives in our work, in our rest, in our service, both to God and to our brothers and sisters.

It is from within, when we spend time in prayer. Not just the prayer of self…. Not the *I* prayer. You know the one I am speaking of. *I* need…. *I* want… What *I* am coming to you for …. These prayers that are centered in the desires of the world. This does not mean that we should not ask God for what we need. Or that it makes us bad Christians. It is changing the orientation of our prayer life.

from the child like process of give me “this” because I want it, into a more mature version of asking for Gods will. ” Lord. I have been presented with this situation, and we are seeking your will in what it is that we are to do “.

As in the “Prologue” of our Holy Rule states :

” All who love the Lord with their whole heart, with their whole soul and mind , with all their strength, and love their neighbors as themselves, and hate their bodies with their vices and sins, and receive the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and produce worthy fruits of penance. Oh, how holy and blessed are these men and women when they do these things and PERSEVERE (emphasis added) in doing them. ”

I once saw a poster of an injured lion. The lion had pulled itself up off the ground and stood strong and fearless. The caption at the bottom of the poster was this :

” It is not how we fall that matters…. It is how we RISE ! ”

As Christians, and as Franciscans this is primary in our necessity to examine how it is that we fallen, but more importantly, how it is that we rise in strength of perseverance and with the heart of the lion, strong in our faith, and strong in the knowledge and surety, in the perseverance of the love of our Lord !

This mystery is the Coronation of Mary, Queen of the Universe.

We meditate on Perseverance.

We ask pardon Lord, for those times when we have not lived the Holy Rule, as we should.

For when we have failed and faltered,

For when our failures have injured our brothers and sisters …

For those times when we have missed opportunities for worthy penance

For those times when we have stayed in our sin and vices.

We pray Lord for perseverance and strength and wisdom.

For the perseverance of mind, heart and soul, that we might not falter

For the strength of faith and character to live out our faith to the glory of God.

For the Wisdom, to see where we have failed to persevere, and to assist our brothers and sisters who may also need strength, assisting without judgment and with love in the examination of our own sin.

Finally, in perseverance of living our Holy Rule of Life to the fullest human extend with extraordinary heavenly graces, gifted to others through us.

Our Father who art in Heaven…..

May God give you the gift of His peace..

Hail Holy Queen – Franciscan Crown Part VI

April 27, 2017

The Assumption –

” 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 ” ( Revelations 12: 1-2)

In this reflection we meditate on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, Queen of the Universe.

It goes without saying to many Christian denominations ( not just Catholics) that Mary is someone we honor as the Mother of God. She is not Divine, she is human. We do not pray to her as God. We ask her for intercessory prayer, much in the same way that you would ask a friend or neighbor to pray for you for something that is near to your heart. It is beyond the scope of this reflection to go through the ‘ “Why’s and How’s ” of the Dogma of the Assumption. So I will leave that to you.

The Assumption is, for those who may be unaware, is that at the end of her earthly life, Mary, was assumed into Heaven, body and soul, to live and reign. Jesus loved Mary, as any son would love his mother. There is nothing he would not do for her, that was within the Fathers will.

Mary, who was human, although free of sin and corruption, still lived a very human life. she knows the pains of the living. Being single, and betrothed, the feeling of being alone, or lonely. The challenges of being married to someone who was not perfect. The struggles of marriage… The feelings of separation. Mary was after all the champion empty nest-er ! The pains of watching her child struggle. She was a widow… She lost a family member … She suffered sickness,,, She struggled and worked to see her son do the things He was meant to do. It was long hours.. Late nights.., and early mornings. cooking, cleaning, preparing, serving.

On the Cross, in her pain, in His pain, Jesus gave His mother to us. What a gift… what an outpouring of love and grace !

Let us take the time to meditate on the joys and sufferings of the Blessed Mother. How there was not much of anything that was shared about the life of either Jesus or Mary during his formative years. How she knew of the suffering, and endured it anyway. How she struggled sometimes in silence just as we sometimes may do today. Even in the time of her life that is recorded, it was a life of service, charity and selflessness.

The Sixth Mystery – The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary –

In this mystery, we meditate on long suffering, or perseverance , and our own resurrection at the coming of Christ.

Heavenly Father, we beg pardon, for those times when we have failed to live our Holy Rule of Life.
For those times when we have failed to show You to others in charity, in service or in love.
For the times when we have not walked, as Mary did , in humble acceptance of Your will for us.

We pray, that like Mary, we will walk our lives in faith…
That we will only want what ever is Your Holy will for us..
That we have the strength of faith, to walk the road you have prepared for us no matter the cost.

Finally, we pray that the Blessed Mother will intercede for us with her Son,
that when we fail on our earthly journey, that He forgive our failings and grant us a renewed vigor of faith, strength, and perseverance to follow His most Holy will !

Mary conceived without sin…. Pray for us who have recourse to thee !

Our Father who art in Heaven……

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Finding of the Child Jesus

April 22, 2017

” Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover,
and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom.

After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances,
but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him.

After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers.

When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.”
And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2: 41-49)

If you are a parent of a child, this story falls near to your heart. The anxiety begins with that feeling where you do not see the child, and then it begins to grow as you search, Those minutes feel like hours and that level if anxiety only grows until you are finally reunited with the child and feel secure in the knowledge that they are safe, and at that moment, nothing else really matters at all.

If you are not a parent, then you if you have been entrusted with something precious that you need to return to your parents, or to someone else in authority, and you have no idea where that thing is. That might give you a very small idea of how a parent feels in those moments of separation.

Even the typically very rational and thoughtful of parents calm goes out the window when they are looking for a child. There are just no words for this level of anxiety.

In those days it was typical for a child to travel up and down a caravan, these were friends and community, and a place of safety. Imagine, after the child was not found after a full day of searching, and no one knew anything about where the child was. Imagine after that, to go searching for 4 full days with no answers. The level of that anxiety was immeasurable.

Imagine, their relief and , as a typical parental response, wanting to know what He was doing, and why He did that to them ? His response was pretty simple. Didn’t you already know that I had to be here ? After that episode He was a good and obedient son while He grew in age.

So, what is it that we get from this Mystery ?

We are like Mary and Joseph in this story. It is given to us as Christians a responsibility for the soul we have. We are given the gift of life, and during our period of time on earth we are responsible for the care and feeding of that soul. We are responsible to seek God in our daily lives,

When we face challenges and difficulties in life, each challenge is the call of the soul, it is the call of God . He is calling out to find the lost soul of our heart. In our earthly life we feel anxieties, and pains, fear, and longing. It is however, sometimes difficult for us to discern what it is that the soul is looking for. Because our soul belongs to God, The soul will seek God even if we do not see, or understand what that call is or what to do about it. God will provide these things. Just as a parent provides for a child. The child may only understand the basic need, and not the will or intent of the parent..

The child will only be content, when it is back in Heaven, in its Fathers house. So it is with Jesus.

The fifth Mystery – The finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

Father, we ask pardon for those times when we have not lived our Franciscan Rule of Life,
For when we have not sought, and found Jesus in our brothers and sisters,
For when we have failed care for the child Jesus in the body and soul of our brothers and sisters,
For when we have not trusted in Your Divine providence and suffered anxiety from our lack of faith.

We pray for those who are lost.
For those who do not know Jesus, or have turned away.
For those who suffer, either in their souls or in their bodies.
For all parents, who are given the primary responsibility of sharing Jesus, with their children, and with each other.
For our Franciscan Brothers and Sisters, for the strength and wisdom to live the Rule every day until they are united again with God in Heaven.

Our Father who art in Heaven….

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Franciscan Crown Part III – Nativity

April 7, 2017

” In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled.

This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria.

So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town.

And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David,
to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

While they were there, the time came for her to have her child,
and she gave birth to her firstborn son.* She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a
manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2 :1-7 )\\

This mystery deals with the Nativity of the Lord. That singular point in time when the God, the creator of the universe and all it contains, deigned to become reach down and become part of the created world. He chose to become small, to appear less, to become poor, and to suffer for love of us. He became man, not because of our sin, but because of love for us.

God gave us free will. In order that we might choose to love Him. We might choose to know Him and seek after Him, not because we are slaves. Not because we are servants, but because we are children of God.

God came to earth because of love. He came to both show us love, and to try to teach us how to love.
He gave us guidelines, He gave us rules, He gave us examples and lessons. He gave us tools to use, and He gave us each other.

Consider the depth and breadth of His love as He suffered poverty, and humility in His birth. He was not born in fine linens. and not in a warm bed. He was not born with the fanfare of man. He did not have throngs of crowd to hail his arrival. Instead, he was born in a barn, with rags for clothes… and a choir of animals gently grazing nearby.

He came into a world of nothing, He brought into the world everything..

The Mystery of the Nativity of Our Lord…

We meditate on Love.

We ask pardon Lord, for those times when we have not lived our Holy Rule,
When we have not shown love to our brothers and sisters.
when our human weakness got in the way of showing your divine love.

We pray to show your love to those who might have hurt us.
to others who might have allowed their humanity to get in the way,
and for the wisdom of understanding the human failings
that are both our neighbors and our own.

And in the example of Our Lord,
that we have the courage, and the trust, to show love,
and the strength to conquer our humanity,
and allow the divinity of Christ to show through us.

Our Father who art in Heaven….

May God give you the gift of His peace… !

Franciscan Crown – The Annunciation

March 25, 2017

The Annunciation – Franciscan Crown Rosary Part I

“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. ” ( Luke 1 : 35-38 )

Annunciation, to announce or proclaim in an authoritative way. We are as Christians called to announce and proclaim the Good News of Jesus to all the world.

We, as Franciscans, are called through the words of St. Francis to “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”.. Why is this important ? It is important because we are called into action first, and then using words.

When the angel appeared to Mary, he greeted her, and gave her the the news. and her Magnificat, her surrender, and ascent to the news, and to the will of the Heavenly Father, was a very important part of the salvic action.

Because of the fact that we were created with free will, the angel presents the request.. and Mary says “yes”. She could have said “no” .. or let me think on it for a while.. and instead chose surrender.

Because Mary said “yes” Jesus was born into this world. Because Mary said “yes” , she risked everything in this life that she knew. Everything in her earthly life , including her own life, could she have lost as a result of being an unwed mother who was betrothed to a man. She risked, scorn and her reputation, she risked her family and friends.

We are given the opportunities and the options to have our own mini-Magnificats to proclaim the Gospel through the choices we are given every day. We are given the chance to say YES.. to God, Yes to the job that we are given to proclaim God through our lives, our actions and our words.

In a society which is full of mis-information, and indifference, to a world which is starved for truth, and love, it is given to us, to share the Truth of Jesus Christ, and His Love with all. Ultimately, our entire lives need to be ordered towards the Divine Truth, towards God, and His will. That requires our ascent to His holy will.

Doubt, is at the very “tap-root” of Satan’s plan. Satan does not want you to believe that you have this call within you. It is only by living the Gospel through your life and words that Jesus may convict others. Just like Mary, it is through your actions, through your word, where you can choose to be the vessel God uses in order to bring the love of Jesus Christ into the world that is in so much need of it.

*** The first Mystery***

The Annunciation – The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Mary. Let it be done unto me according to Your will.

” We meditate on surrender of our will unto God”

We pray for forgiveness when we have not surrendered our will,

and when we failed to proclaim Christ, in word and deed.

For our failure to follow the Franciscan Rule of life,

For our failure in loving our Brothers and Sisters,

Our Father…

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Entering Into The Silence….. ( Prayer Part IV)

December 19, 2015

Entering into the silence….. ( Prayer Part IV)

We are now going to enter into the second area of prayer, namely meditative prayer.

Not everyone is comfortable, or practiced, or possibly desirous of dabbling in meditative prayer. Lets see what is waiting for us in the Catechism on the subject of Meditative prayer.

“Meditation is above all a quest . The mind seeks to understand the why and how of the Christian life , in order to adhere and respond to what the Lord is asking.” CCC #2705

The point of meditative prayer moved from the vocal to the mental,and spritual prayer. The Holy Rosary is a great example of the fusion between vocal prayer and meditative prayer. It is also a great teaching tool for all the versions on prayer on whole, and even like a tour guide,if you will, through all the different versions of prayer. For now lets look at the first parts.

Many who begin the practice of saying the Rosary will concentrate on the individual prayers, insuring that they are saying the right prayers and on the right beads. This becomes more important when one is reciting the Rosary when in communion or in choir with others. If your new to this form of prayer, I would encourage you by saying first that in all of my experiences in praying the Rosary it is inevitable that someone will “loose their place ” in the counting of which bead they are on leaving the rest to wonder if they had lost a bead or if the person leading the prayer had missed a bead somewhere along the line.

It only becomes important if you begin this practice in choir with others, or if your asked to lead a decade of the Rosary, and you find that you need to track where you are in the progression of the prayers or if indeed you are the one who is counting the beads to insure that you have recited the correct prayer.

But lets back track a bit. If this is not part of your prayer life, and you find that you need a little spiritual workout, then I can recommend that this is a good place to start.

The first part of the physical act of prayer, reciting the prayers, tracking where you are, fingering through the beads, basically the mental and physical part of learning the prayer routine is part of the physical parts of the prayers and the initial part of the learning of the first part of the prayer.

Once past the discipline of HOW the prayer is done, then you move to the intial prayer mode. Vocal prayer. The part where you recite the prayers and are in a point of comfort with what your actually saying, or what it is that these prayers mean.

The prayer moves from the physical to the spiritual act of prayer.

At some point in the practice of the Rosary, you move from the act of praying where you have become comfortable enough with the prayers that you can begin to move beyond the vocal prayer to the meditiational prayer. Each decade has assigned to it a Mystery and a meditative passage or thought, or spiritual practice. These meditiations add a new dimension to the prayer.

For instance, in the sorrowful mysteries, The Passion of our Lord, which has attached to it the meditation on “long suffering”, this mystery has many different flavors in it, not unlike the daily readings. These mysteries, like scriptural readings also have different flavors or facets, that reflect differently for each person according to where they are on their own personal journeys.

These meditations then move from the concept of the meditation into the actual prayer that we seek.  Like many other forms of prayer this takes practice and work. Its not something that just happens for most.

I also want to admonish you that if this does not come easily for you that you are not alone. Different people pray differently, and everyone has a particular style of prayer that they feel most comfortable with. The same thing applies to ones service to God, and their own particular ministries.

The Carmelites have a contemplative charism. The Dominicans have an active apostolate and charism. The Franciscans are right smack in the middle. We are both Contemplative and Active in our charism. This is why there are so many different ministries, orders and avenues of service within the church. Our journey to God is individual and as different as each person is.

This does not however mean that we should not work at each of the avenues of prayer.

Until next time….

May God give you the gift of His peace !

Thy Will Be Done !

October 7, 2009

Today we celebrate the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Many people have a vast misconception about Catholics and their praying the Rosary, or to Mary at all for that matter.  So I would like to set the record straight.    Catholics do NOT worship Mary as a God.   Catholics Honor and vernerate Mary.  Now some of you would like to know why there is an attachment to Mary.

First, Mary had to agree to the whole thing.  She had to say YES TO GOD.  She had to agree to carry a baby who was God.  She had to put aside her own will and carry Jesus.  She had to say yes knowing what that would mean to her socially  and that she would have to explain things to her family, and to her fiance.

Today she would probably have been committed.   Imagine how hard it was knowing that you are agreeing to try and raise God.  Teach God,  To raise the child who will be the saviour of  the world.   Mary had the tuffest parenting job in the world.   She was not at the top of the food chain either, she was just the neighborhood girl.   BUT she was pure of heart and full of faith and sinless from her birth.

Next point, Mary was the mother of Jesus.  Now think about that for a moment.  If you are going to do anything for anyone its more than likely going to be your mom.    If your mom asks you for something, your probably going to do it.     We pray to Mary to ask her to talk to her son for us.   This does not mean we dont also go to Jesus in prayer.  We do.    We have a special place in our hearts for the one who, by her saying yes to God, cooperated and was instrumental in the process of  of the Paschal Mystery.

Her prayer was ” Let it be done unto me, according to your word”.     Now, the important thing in for us to remember, is that we too can share in this process.  Daily, we can pray for the will of the Father to be done here on earth.   Particularly when we are suffering.  We can pray for relief, for recovery, and primarily for the will of God to be done in all that we do and are.   We are join our suffering with his passion, we can become empowered in our weakness.

We have an advocate in Mary,who is queen of Angels and Men.