Send Forth Your Spirit!

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of those who believers, and set them on fire with Your love!

Send Forth Your Spirit © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 EA photo

Today is the final day of the Holy Spirit Novena in preparation for the Feast of Pentecost, which we will celebrate tomorrow.

This novena to the Holy Spirit is has been prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Fill the Hearts of Your Faithful © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 EA photo

Day Nine

O Lord, Holy Spirit, grant me sight to see the wondrous promise of Divine Love; insight to see my own weakness; delight in Your Divine Presence in my soul which You have made Your temple by Your sanctifying Grace. I pray, O Holy Spirit, that I may be not doubting, that I be spared the pain of being alone without trust or hope in Christ; that my prayer will always be “My Lord and my God.”

I pray that I may acquire a sense of retreat to prayer and recollection at various times in my daily life; for prayer is the bond that joins us to Christ. I pray that I may be aware of the physical needs of the poor and that I may share what I can with them in the charitable works of the Church. I pray, O Holy Spirit, that You will in Your mercy grant me the favor I have sought in this novena. . . .(state your request here) . . .Amen

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit fill you with His many gifts!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Make My Heart Unto Thine, O Lord

“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).”

My Ways are Not Your Ways. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. KJ photo

We are made in God’s likeness and image; He is not made in ours. He made us; we belong to Him. How often do we attempt to remake God in our own image? How often do we attempt to limit His Perfections by squeezing them through the mold of our inadequacies?

He is God; We are Not! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

We like to see God as our BFF, our best friend forever. In some ways, He is. However, to limit our conception of God to this quality alone is to commit a grave injustice. God is supreme, transcendent, omniscient, omnipotent- Love Divine. We are not! By His Grace, we are His adopted sons. Yet, our status as adopted children of God is a miraculous gift of God’s grace. We are not His equals, His buddies, His colleagues and compatriots. When we seek to conform God to ourselves, rather than ourselves to God, we twist and mutilate the intrinsic beauty of the relationship He desires from us. We are dependent upon God for every breath and heartbeat, as well every movement of our immortal soul. Thus, we are properly His creation, redeemed by Christ’s blood, baptized with the Holy Spirit, and sealed with His grace.

Sacred Scripture directs us:

In humility and love. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus, Who though He was in the form of God did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, He emptied Himself, taking the form of a slave . . . (Philippians 2:6-7).”

It is through the Holy Spirit that we see ourselves are we truly are. In humility we recognize His greatness, and our weakness. Thus, in this posture of truth and meekness we may approach God in prayer. As we continue to prepare for Pentecost, let us pray for the gift to see ourselves as we truly are, and to be given the grace to transcend our fallen nature.

This novena to the Holy Spirit is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Set Our Hearts Aflame . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. EA photo

Day Eight

O Holy spirit, life and light of the Church, give us thoughts higher than our own thoughts, and prayers better than our own prayers, and powers beyond our own, that we may love and live, imitating Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Come to us, Holy Spirit, come with the Father and the Son and grant me the favor I so earnestly request in this novena .(state your request here). Vouchsafe to dwell within our souls and quickly make our hearts Your own. Quench in us the fires of hate and strife, the wasting fever of the heart. Let voice, mind, heart, and strength confess and glorify Your Name and let the fire of charity burn bright and other hearts inflame. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit give you His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Holy Spirit Novena Day Seven

As we continue to anticipate the outpouring of the Holy spirit on Pentecost let us together prepare our hearts with Day Seven of the Novena to the Holy Spirit. This novena is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Come Holy Spirit! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Day Seven

Come, Holy Spirit, creator of all things: come and visit our hearts with Your power. Fill with grace, friendly guest, the hearts which You have created. You are called the Consoler, the Gift from the Hand of God, the Source of Life, Light, Love, and Flame; the Highest Good. You are the pledge of the sevenfold grace, finger of the Father’s hand, promised us by Him, and You make our tongues speak the truth. Cast light upon our senses, pour love into our hearts. Grant our weak bodies strength that they may never grow weary of doing good holy and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . .(state your request here). .

Keep the enemy far from us, give us peace always, let us willingly follow in Your footsteps that we may be far removed from sin. Grant that through You we may grow in knowledge if the Father and of the Son, and that we may ever strongly believe in You, the Spirit of both. Praise and honor be forever to the Father on the highest throne and to the Son of God, in the Consoler. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit give you His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Spirit of God, Intercede for Us!

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in speech. He Who searches hearts knows what the Spirit means, for the Spirit intercedes for the saints as God Himself wills (Romans 8: 26-27).”

I Would Lavish Great Graces Uopn Them. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

I love this verse! How often do I feel that I do not know how to pray as I ought! It is not for lack of trying. My day is in essence one long prayer, beginning with the morning offering and Divine Office and closing with the Divine Office, an examination of Conscience, Act of Contrition and closing prayers. Throughout the day there are rosaries, chaplets, and of course the highest form of worship: Holy Mass. There are prayers at meals, and prayers for patience, and night-night prayers with the little ones. I try to follow Brother Lawrence’s practice of the presence of God (as mentioned in an earlier blog post https://salvematerdei.com/2012/03/11/serenity-amid-chaos-practicing-the-presence-of-god-with-brother-lawrence/). I love sitting in Adoration in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament and allowing Christ’s love to fill me. Prayer is my life, yet after all of these years, I still feel I do it so poorly.

St. Therese Window at St. Mary’s Matrnity of the Blessed Virgin Chapel in Richfield © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

I’ve read the great spiritual treatises by the doctors of the Church. I love St. Teresa of Avila, and St. John of Cross, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas. Other patron saints guide my prayer life as well, including St. Therese, St. Maria Faustina, St. John Bosco, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Theresa of the Andes, St. Pio, the Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, and St. Gemma Galgani. Yet, the deeper I delve into the mystery of God, the more struck I am at the feebleness of my attempts to know, love and serve Him. I stand in awe at His greatness, and the abundance of His boundless love, and feel acutely my own littleness, and failings.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2011-2012

It is thus that I find consolation in Romans 8: 26-27. I realize that God smiles at my measly attempts at prayer. He sees my tiny hand grasp out of the darkness, and clasps it close to His heart. With His Holy Spirit, He searches my heart, and sounds the depths of my being. His love fills me to brim, making up for all that I lack. My poor attempts at prayer are not my shame, but my glory, for it is He who views them through Divine Eyes.

As we approach the great Solemnity of Pentecost, please join me in praying a novena to the Holy Spirit. This novena to the Holy Spirit is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

© SalveMaterDei.com, -2012

Day Six

O Father in Heaven I beg You to send the Holy Spirit. May Your Holy Spirit remind me when I am apt to forget Your law, Your love, Your promises. May Your Holy Spirit strengthen my memory to recall frequently Your omniscience, wisdom, goodness, faithfulness and love. May Your Holy Spirit encourage me when I am slothful; strengthen me when I am weak; enlighten me when I can no longer help myself. Breathe into me, O Holy Spirit, that I may do what is holy. Stir me, that I may love what is holy. Strengthen me, that I may preserve what is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may never lose what is holy and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . .(state your request here). .Amen.

May the Holy Spirit intercede for you and give you His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Come Holy Spirit: Novena Day 5

For the Spirit of God scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God…. no one knows what pertains to God except the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 2:10-11).”

Send Forth Your Spirit, Lord! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 (photo by Ken)

Like our ancient counter-parts in waiting for Pentecost in the Cenacle of the Upper Room in Jerusalem, we are on a spiritual quest to prepare our hearts to receive fully the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity. We are cognizant that our true happiness lies in in our ability to know, love and serve God in this life and the next. We are powerless to achieve this goal alone: we need His grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit.

God Is Love. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The Holy Spirit is the Love of God in action- One, perpetual movement of Being, emanating from the Father and the Son Eternally in Love. We are called to Love and by this Love we shall be saved. The gift of the Holy Spirit is essential in our lives. Jesus said: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God John 3:5).” If we desire Eternal happiness, then seeking the fullness of the Holy Spirit is a requisite place to begin.

It is to this end that we continue with the fifth day of our novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for the Solemnity of Pentecost. This novena is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

Enlighten the Hearts of Your Faithful! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 (EA photo)

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Day Five

Send Forth the Radiance of Your Light! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 (EA photo)

Come, O Spirit of sanctity, from the glory of heaven and send forth the radiance of Your Light. Father of all the poor, light and peace of all hearts, come with Your countless gifts. Consoler in desolation; refreshment full of loveliness, come dear friend of my soul. In weariness send repose; breathe gently cool refreshing breeze; console the desolate who weep alone. Light of Beatitude, make our hearts ready; come enter our souls. Without Your grace, man stands alone; he cannot be good or sure. Cleanse what is soiled; heal what is wounded; moisten what is arid. Bend the stubborn will; warm the cold heart; guide the wandering footstep. O Holy Spirit, we beg You to give us grace through Your sevenfold power and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . .(state your request here). . Give us merit for the present, and one day beatitude when we have finished our earthly journey. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit give you His Light and His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Enlighten the Hearts of Your Faithful

“For with Thee is the Fountain of Life; and in thy Light we shall see Light (Psalm 36:9).”

In Thee We See the Light. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. GC photographer

It is impossible to wrap our mere human minds around the notion of the Holy Spirit. The Love that is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity is conceptually so vast that it cannot be contained by mortal understanding. Our fallen nature cannot begin to sound the depths of Love personified in the Holy Spirit. Thus, God has chosen certain symbols to augment our understanding.

I Saw the Spirit as a Dove. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. KJ photographer

Often we view the Holy Spirit as a dove. Scripture itself relates John the Baptist as stating: “I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from the sky and remain on Him (John 1:33).” This symbol seems to convey the transcendent peace of the Holy Spirit, and His role in creation itself. God is above and beyond the limits of human frailty; time and space cannot contain Him, nor can conflict and discord shape His existence. God’s transcendent peace and beauty surpass the limits of our temporal world.

A Mighty Wind Swept Over the Water. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. photpgrapher EA

The presence of God the Holy Spirit is often communicated through symbols of water and wind. For example, Genesis 1:2 manifests this concept with: “a mighty wind swept over the waters.” The waters of Baptism refresh and cleanse, bringing new life to the soul. It is only through the action of the Holy Spirit that we may respond to our Baptismal grace and live lives pleasing to God. The waters of Baptism remove the stain of Original Sign, and with the grace of the Holy Spirit, sanctify our souls.

Our Lord Himself stated:

“The waters that I will give Him will become a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting (John 4:14).”

Enkindle in Us the Fire of Your Love…© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. EA photographer

One of the most enduring symbols of the Holy Spirit is that of light. Light transcends darkness. One beam of light dispels the shadows and brings clarity to what otherwise would remain unintelligible. Light transforms; bringing shape and form to objects that lack dimension and substance if left in the dark. Light erases the obscurities that darkness tends to cloak. When the Holy Spirit brings light into a human soul, the shadow of sin and despair takes flight.

“The Light of Thy countenance, O Lord, is signed upon us; Thou has given gladness in my heart (Psalm 4:7).”

Today as we continue day four of our Novena to the Holy Spirit in Preparation for Pentecost, let us pray for the Light of the Spirit to penetrate us, sounding the depths of our frail humanity and transcending it with the very Love of God.

This novena to the Holy Spirit is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Let Your Light Shine Upon Us . . .SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. GM photographer

Day Four

O God, Who today by the Light of the Holy Spirit did instruct the hearts of the faithful, give us, by the Light of the Same Holy Spirit, a love for what is right and just, and a constant enjoyment of His comforts. Pray Holy Spirit, that I may strive to learn more of my faith; that I may be ever more conscious that reason in all its human magnificence is capable of grasping but a glimpse of the reality that is God. Pray that I may accept a the motto of my life: “All for the greater glory of God,” and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . .(state your request here). . .Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit give you His Light and His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

God Mounts His Throne to Shouts of Joy

“I am going to My Father and Your Father, to My God and Your God (John 20:17).”

As we celebrate the glorious Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, our eyes must turn from looking up at the clouds to walking the road ahead of us. After His Resurrection, Our Lord appeared to His disciples over a period of forty days – eating, drinking, and speaking with them on various occasions. Today we celebrate that moment during which Jesus, the Risen Christ, returned to His Heavenly Throne, where He is eternally seated at the right hand of The Heavenly Father. Our Lord promised His disciples that he would not leave them orphaned; Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide them into all truth. It is in anticipation of the fulfillment of this promise, that Jesus instructs His disciples to remain in Jerusalem for a time.

Today’s First Reading states:

“the promise of the Father about which you have heard Me speak; for John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit (Acts of the Apostles 1:4-5 ).”

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself like the disciples, too concerned about temporal matters to comprehend the depth of the gift which they are about to receive. They question Our Lord about whether He now intends to restore the temporal kingdom of Israel. Like us, they just don’t get it! He has died, risen, and explained the subtleties of Sacred Scripture to these individuals. They have enjoyed the intimacy of His companionship, eating, drinking and sharing profound conversation with the Risen Christ; and like us, the distraction of the temporal situation blurs the reality of the spiritual grace which is perpetually lavished upon them.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Today First Reading continues:

“It is not for you to know the times and the seasons that the Father has established by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth (Acts of the Apostles 1:7-8).”

Like the early disciples, our Lord commissions us to carry His Word to all peoples. Yet, we too need the supernatural grace of the Holy Spirit, to fulfill our mission. Later this year we will hear more about our responsibility to act on this commission by Our Lord, as Pope Benedict XVI opens the Year of Evangelization.

Today’s First Reading continues:

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

As they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him from their sight. While they were looking intently at the sky as He was going, suddenly two men dressed in white garments stood beside them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing there looking at the sky? This Jesus who has been taken up from you into heaven will return in the same way as you have seen Him going into Heaven (Acts of the Apostles 1: 10-12 ).”

One can scarcely imagine the array of emotions which confronted the Apostles and disciples after witnessing Our Lord ascend into the clouds of the sky: joy, exhilaration, trepidation, awe, incredulity, wonder – the experience is almost unimaginable! Were it not for the admonition of their celestial messengers, the disciples might have remained frozen, contemplating the miraculous Ascension, yet unable to take the requisite steps to make Our Lord’s commission an actuality. The white-clad visitors pull them back to reality. They validated the mystery experienced by all present, yet called the Apostles and disciples to transcend it. It is as if God’s messengers were saying: “Yes, Jesus did just rise above the clouds and enter Heaven. However, He has given you a mission and will return with a demand for accountability. Get moving! Begin the work He has entrusted to you!”

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Two millennia have passed, and yet the message is as relevant today as it was on the day of Our Lord’s Ascension. We too need the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives to grasp the meaning of the Ascension. Yes, there is a moment to stare into the clouds in wonder and awe, contemplating the glorious mystery of Christ, yet we are also called to embrace the evangelical mission entrusted to us.

Therefore, as this week unfolds let us join the Apostles in the Cenacle in prayer. Consider joining me in preparing for the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost with this novena to the Holy Spirit which is currently prayed each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. photo by Joey

Day Three

Heavenly Father, You have called me to be a member of the Mystical Body of Your Son, Jesus Christ, and to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit. I ask You to give me these Gifts of the Holy Spirit: wisdom, that I may understand the follies of this world; understanding, that I may grasp more fully the meaning of my existence and the purpose of all things in the world; counsel that I may always choose the proper way; fortitude, that I may remain faithful to You under the pressure of temptation; piety, that I may revere You in all I do, think or say; fear of the Lord, that should the motive of love fail me, I may be quickly awakened to the eternal consequences of my deeds. Visit me by Your grace and Your Love and grant me the favor I earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). . .Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

May the Holy Spirit give you His peace!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Be Sealed With the Holy Spirit: Novena to the Holy Spirit Day 1

Bishop Donald Hying & Our Family © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

During recent the months I’ve had the opportunity to reflect on the power of the Holy Spirit in my life, and the lives of those whom I love. My eldest son received the Sacrament of Confirmation a few weeks ago, and this year of preparation has offered our family the opportunity to focus more deeply upon the real, abiding presence of the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity in our lives. Kenny was graced with the ability of joining a Confirmation class that seriously undertook the task of catechesis. They worked diligently through not only portions of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but also delved into Thomistic study. As a parent, I was required to follow along, and read the same weekly texts as my son. Watching the Holy Spirit bring His gifts of wisdom, understanding, fortitude, piety, knowledge, fear of the Lord, and counsel and heap them measure by measure upon my offspring was a delight. Thus, this year, as I prepare for Pentecost, I feel a unique gratitude to the Holy Spirit.

Bishop Hying & Kenny © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

As a matter of faith, we believe that the Holy Spirit is truly the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, distinct, yet consubstantial, coequal and coeternal with the Father and the Son. Likewise, as Catholics, we believe that the Holy Spirit is fully and truly God, and is thus not generated, but rather proceeds from the Father and the Son by a single spiration.

God is Love (1 John 4:8). Yes, indeed, in a very real way God is truly Love Itself. Aquinas viewed the Trinity as the very heart of Christian teaching. St. Thomas believed that one could use reason to arrive at and defend the concept of the existence of God. However, the concept of Trinity is one that must be revealed. It is thus, through the teachings of Jesus Christ, One in Being with the Father, that we arrive at the concept of the Blessed Trinity.

Unity yet Diversity © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

God is both unity and diversity. God is unity in the sense not only of solidarity of purpose, but also an accord – or oneness of nature. God is one God, yet three distinct Persons. Scripture clearly tells us that God is God alone. Deuteronomy 6:4 states: “Hear O Israel, the Lord Your God Is One.” Likewise: “I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me (Isaiah 44: 6).” While God is unity, He also exists as diversity in the sense that we can distinguish the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit as discrete Persons. For the Angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, the Trinity is a reflection of the relationship of Love and Self-Knowledge within the Being of God. God the Son emanates from God the Father as a reflection of His self-knowledge; in turn God the Holy Spirit proceeds from God the Father and God the Son as the Love that exists between them.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

On the day of Pentecost when seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, Christ’s Passover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, and communicated as a Divine Person: of His fullness, Christ the Lord, pours out the Spirit in abundance (731).

It continues:

On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announced by Christ has been open to those who believe in: the humility of the flesh and in faith they share in the communion of the Holy Trinity (732).

As we anticipate the great feast of Pentecost, perhaps you might wish to join me in praying the novena to the Holy Spirit that is being recited each day after Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Each day the Preparatory prayer is:

O Holy Spirit, Divine Consoler!

I adore You as my Triune God.

I bless You by uniting myself to the praises You receive from the angels and saints.

I offer You my whole heart, and I render You heartfelt thanks for all the benefits You have bestowed and unceasingly bestow upon the world. You are the author of all supernatural gifts and Who did enrich with immense favors the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God, I beseech You to visit me by Your Grace and Your Love, and grant me the favor I so earnestly seek in this novena. . . .(state your request here). O Holy Spirit, Spirit of all Truth, come into our hearts: shed the brightness of your light on all nations, that they may be of one faith and pleasing to You. Amen.

Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Your Love.

(Recite the prayer of the appropriate day)

Let Your Light Shine Upon Us © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Day One

O Holy Spirit, bestow upon us Your seven gifts.

Enlighten our understanding that we may know You. Give us Wisdom that Your Will might be clear to us and that we might accept it. Grant us the Gift of Counsel that we may always perceive what is right. Fortify us that we may always be capable of fulfilling Your Divine Will. Inspire us with the Spirit of Learning that we might be able to penetrate more deeply into the truths that You have revealed. Let our hearts be steeped in the Spirit of Childlikeness that we may bring You joy. Let us have proper fear of God that we may never grieve You or wander from the path of goodness. Give us the fullness of Your gifts that we may glorify You. Amen.

Look with compassion upon us, O Holy Spirit, and grant us the favor we seek in this novena. . . . (state your request here) if it be in accordance with Your Will.

May God the Holy Spirit bring you His many gifts and give You His peace,

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A.    J.M.J.

Be Sealed With the Gifts of the Holy Spirit © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Cardinal Dolan’s Mass of Thanksgiving: Welcoming Home a Good Shepherd

Ergo sum pastor bonus, dicit Dominus; et cognosco oves meas, et cognos- cunt me meae.“I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep and mine know me (John 10:14).”

This is My Body! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. photo by KJU

Through this blog, I have previously expressed my esteem for Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Just prior to his elevation in February, I posted, “May God Bless Timothy Cardinal Dolan,” https://salvematerdei.com/2012/02/20/may-god-bless-timothy-cardinal-dolan/, tracing my admiration for this brilliant, charismatic leader to his early days as Archbishop of Milwaukee, and his involvement with my cherished Basilica of the National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill.

Bless these O Lord, . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Months ago, when I heard that Cardinal Dolan had chosen to celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving at Holy Hill, I was thrilled. It was under his leadership that Holy Hill became a minor Basilica. During Cardinal Dolan’s 7 years as Archbishop of Milwaukee, he affectionately used to call Holy Hill, “Our Mother’s House” or “Our Lady’s House.” How fitting for one of Blessed Virgin’s favorite sons to make his homecoming, in Her House. Over the months, the sense of anticipation built to a crescendo. As we would come and go for daily Mass the kids and I enjoyed watching the preparations unfold. For weeks the sacristy and grounds have been abuzz with busy hands. Even the very door handles of the upper church were scrubbed to a polish!

Fr. Don Brick, O.C.D., Rector of the Basilica, was charged with the monumental task of organizing the Cardinal’s visit to Holy Hill, National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians. He and the Archdiocesan staff worked tirelessly to make this homecoming a success. In recent weeks, one truly began to wonder if Fr. Don could bilocate – sightings of the busy friar were reported from all corners of the grounds. One would catch a glimpse of him with the grounds-keepers mulching the bushes, five minutes later he’d be in his confessional before Holy Mass, later we’d see him with workers repairing the wrought-iron railing around the out-door Stations of the Cross. The man was everywhere! His sense of humor remained in-tact, and it was easy to discern that each detail of these preparations was born of a labor of love.

Fr. Rocky (Francis Hoffman) of Relevant Radio & KJ . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

My family was blessed to participate with the music for this celebration. Two of my children played violin and viola, while two others sang in the choir. Under Annie’s gentle direction, weeks of practice and polish manifested into a sound that Heaven must have inspired.

Welcome Home! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Saturday morning arrived and my eldest served the 11 a.m. Mass, as is his habit. The girls brought their instruments and helped with the final preparations. A frigid rain may have kept the crowds at bay, but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of those present. In a huge white tent in the middle parking lot, folks began to gather around 5 a.m., waiting for a coveted wrist band – a necessary pass to obtain a seat in either the upper or lower churches. Among the hundreds of folks waiting in the wee morning hours were our dear Schoenstatt Sisters from Pewaukee. Cardinal Dolan has a special devotion to Our Mother Thrice Admirable, and Schoenstatt spirituality. One of the sisters had brought a lovely image of Our Mother Thrice Admirable for the Cardinal to bless.

I know My Sheep, and My Sheep Know Me © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Despite the large crowds and foul weather, the atmosphere remained festive. Cordial conversations bonded intimate strangers, sharing exuberance in the beauty of the day. We were there for HOURS – in that time we passed among thousands of people. Through it all, there wasn’t a harsh word, a snide comment, or a muffled complaint. Dignitaries arrived and the press and cameras seemed to fill every corner. Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Sheriff David Clark, and Tommy Thompson all waited to share this moment in time. I marveled at how flawlessly the day progressed; joy and peace filled the Basilica.

Archbishop Jerome Listecki, Bishop Donald Hying, and Bishop David Ricken © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

As Cardinal Dolan and the concelebrating Bishops and priests began to line up for the processional hymn, the exhilaration was palpable. Holy Mass was incredible! Cardinal Dolan was welcomed home by a congregation who truly loves him. He was joined by Archbishop Listecki and Bishops Don Hying, William Callahan, and David Ricken, as well as dozens of ordered and diocesan priests in concelebrating this magnificent Mass. I will never forget the beautiful image of all of those faithful shepherds filling the sanctuary during the Eucharistic prayer.

Shepherd Us © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

This was Good Shepherd Sunday, and the reading from John 10: 11-18 seemed chosen for this moment in time.

“I am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, the wolf catches them and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the Good Shepherd, and I know mine and mine know Me, just as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. . . “

Bless them O Lord! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. KJU photographer

While Jesus Christ is The Good Shepherd, it is abundantly clear that He elevated Timothy Cardinal Dolan to be one of the Princes of His Church, because this dear human man is himself a good shepherd. He is no mere hired-hand, nor is he one to capitulate to the wolves of contemporary society. No, in recent months Cardinal Dolan confirmed the fiber of his character. As a good shepherd he is willing to defend his flock from the dark threats. Standing up for religious freedom, Cardinal Dolan has demonstrated that when wolves lurk with HHS mandates and assaults to religious liberty, that he will defend not only his flock, but sheep from all folds. Truly his life has become that of a public figure. He can no longer sneak into the Basilica at Holy Hill unannounced and pray in solitude. Where he goes throngs follow, and unlike the crowds at Holy Hill, those crowds are not always filled with well-wishers. Cardinal Dolan is living the life of the good shepherd – he lives for his flock, and is willing to defend both their spiritual and temporal existence from dark and real threats.

Good Shepherd Sunday, May God Bless Them © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012. KJU photographer

Saturday was a Mass of Thanksgiving. Cardinal Dolan was here to thank Our Lord for the gift of his office. However, each of us in the pews also experienced this as a Mass of Thanksgiving, as a Mass at which we expressed our deepest gratitude to God for the gift of Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

With sincerest gratitude to The Good Shepherd for giving us this good shepherd, may God continue bless Cardinal Timothy Dolan!

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

A.M.D.G.

MA JMJ

With Gratitude and Love © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Jesus, I Trust In You!

Jesus, I Trust in You! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. photographer

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls, especially for poor sinners. . . .It is for them that the blood and water flowed from My Heart as from a fount overflowing with mercy. I dwell in the tabernacle as the King of Mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul,

Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

We are nearing the culmination of this Octave of Easter Week: the Feast of Divine Mercy. It has been as glorious week, with each day celebrated as a mini-Easter. We have prepared with both the Novena of Mercy Chaplets, and the special novena dictated by Our Lord Himself to St. Maria Faustina in preparation for this incredible feast.

Today marks the last day of the Novena of Chaplets. This novena is prayed on ordinary Rosary Beads. Complete instructions regarding the Novena of Chaplets can be found on the Divine Mercy website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/praythechaplet.php

Today we also complete the final day of the Divine Mercy Novena dictated by Jesus to St. Maria Faustina. For each of the past eight days, Our Lord requested that Sr. Faustina pray for a given group of souls, immersing them in the unfathomable mercy of Christ and then pleading for them before the throne of the Heavenly Father. On this the ninth day of the novena, Our Lord appealed to Sr. Faustina as follows:

Divine Mercy Image

“Today bring to Me souls who have become lukewarm, and immerse them in the abyss of My mercy. These souls wound My Heart most painfully. My soul suffered the most dreadful loathing in the Garden of Olives because of lukewarm souls. They were the reason I cried out: ‘Father, take this cup away from Me, if it be Your will.’ For them the last hope of Salvation is to run to My Mercy (1216, p. 438 – Divine Mercy in My Soul,

Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

For the complete text of the ninth day of the novena, please visit the Divine Mercy Website of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception at: http://thedivinemercy.org/message/devotions/novena/ninthday.php.

Jesus describes souls such as these in several places in the Diary. At times they are also compared to ice and corpses. Our Lord mentions that the indifferences of these souls offends Him greatly, especially when they are chosen souls. Regarding these souls He states:

All the Graces I Pour on Them Flow Off. . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

“. . . . Souls without love and without devotion, souls full of self-love and egoism, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls who have just enough warmth to keep themselves alive. My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces I pour on them flow off them as off the face of a rock. I cannot stand them because they are neither good nor bad….. (1702, p. 602 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Yikes, those words sting! When I look deep within my own soul, I see those moments of arrogance, and hypocrisy, and I shudder to think that Our Lord might be speaking of me! I don’t want to be lukewarm! I certainly do not want to be the cause of Our Lord’s loathing.

Our Lord speaks of these souls on another occasion:

I Would Lavish Great Graces Uopn Them. . . . © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

“If souls would put themselves completely in My care, I Myself would undertake the task of sanctifying them, and I would lavish even greater graces upon them. There are souls who thwart My efforts, but I have not given up on them; as often as they turn to Me, I hurry to their aid, shielding them with My mercy and giving them first place in My compassionate Heart of Mercy (1682p. 595 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

Our Lord’s love and mercy are immeasurable! He desires to save us, and offers each of us the opportunity to accept the gift of His mercy. This great feast was instituted as not only a celebration of God’s Divine Mercy, but also a vehicle to obtain it.

Jesus was very specific regarding the institution of the Feast of Divine Mercy, speaking about it through 14 entries in St. Faustina’s diary. He stipulated that it was to be liturgically celebrated on the Sunday after Easter, and that it include the solemn blessing of a Divine Mercy image bearing the words “Jesus, I trust in You!” (For more information on the Divine Mercy Image and Mercy Sunday, visit the Marians of the Immaculate Conception website at: http://thedivinemercy.org/mercysunday/dms.php.)

Our Lord stated:

Divine Mercy Image, Basilica of The National Shrine of Mary Help of Christians at Holy Hill © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012 E.A. Photographer

“I want the Image to be solemnly blessed on the first Sunday after Easter, and I want it to be venerated publicly so that every soul may know about it (341 p. 153 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).

Jesus promised St. Faustina:

“I want to grant a complete pardon to the souls that will go to confession and receive Holy Communion on the Feast of My Mercy (1109 p. 412 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

This promise is extraordinary! Blessed Pope John Paul the Great officially instituted Divine Mercy Sunday in 2000, and reiterated the importance of this feast in His homily a year later.

As Our Lord designated the 3 O’clock hour as the Hour of Mercy stating:

“At three O’clock , implore My mercy, especially for sinners; and if only for a brief moment, immerse yourself in My Passion, particularly in My abandonment at the moment of agony. This is the hour of great mercy for the whole world. I will allow you to enter fully into My mortal sorrow. In this hour, I will refuse nothing to the souls that makes a request of Me in virtue of My Passion (1320 p. 474 – Divine Mercy in My Soul, Congregation of Marians, 1987).”

On Mercy Sunday special Masses will be celebrated around the world to commemorate this solemn feast. Our Lord especially requested that priests preach on the subject of the immense Mercy of Jesus the Holy Mass on Divine Mercy Sunday.

To celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy we need to:

Our Lives Too Must Reflect the Image of Christ's Divine Mercy © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

A) Sincerely repent of our sins.

(B) Offer our complete Trust to Jesus.

(C) Sacramentally Confess our sins and be Absolved – (within 8 days prior or after).

(D) Receive Holy Communion.

(E) Pray for the intentions of the Holy Father.

(F) Venerate (show a gesture of respect) to the Image of the Divine Mercy Jesus.

(G) Be Merciful! Extend Our Lord’s mercy to others by being merciful.

This great feast is an extraordinary celebration of the love and mercy of Christ. Unimaginable graces are poured out upon the whole world through it. Rejoice! Celebrate!

He Is Risen!

He is Truly Risen Indeed!

Ad Jesum per Mariam

M.A. J.M.J.