Defend Us Dear Mother: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 6

 

Our Lady of Mount Carmel PRay for Us!

 

Around 1916, while addressing a group of seminarians, Pope Benedict XV stated: “Let all of you have a common language and a common armor: the language, the sentences of the Gospel; the common armor, the Scapular of the Virgin of Carmel, which you all ought to wear and which enjoys the singular privilege of protection even after death.”

Over the past week, we’ve contemplated the beauty of the gift of the Brown Scapular as we prepare for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16. Throughout these few days we reviewed the history of the Brown Scapular, considered the Blessed Mother’s promise of protection and discussed the unfathomable grace that accompanies Our Lady’s “Garment of Grace.” We have considered the manner in which Our Lady perpetually directs us toward her Divine Son, Jesus Christ; Who is our ultimate source of joy.

Devotion to Our Lady Always Directs Us to Jesus. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

One of the most salient aspects of the devotion to the Brown Scapular is the protection against evil imparted to those who faithfully express their love of Christ by entrusting themselves to His beloved Mother through this powerful sacramental. Heaven has offered a myriad of signs and miracles attesting to the veracity of Our Lady’s promise and the validity of the hopes of those who entrust themselves to Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s providential care.

Among the many miraculous stories regarding the Brown Scapular, there are two that seem relevant tonight. First, two great founders of religious orders, Saint John Bosco of the Salesians and St. Alphonsus Liguori of the Redemptorists each nurtured a deep devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and faithfully wore the Brown Scapular. Both St. John Bosco and St. Alphonsus Liguori were buried wearing their priestly vestments and the Brown Scapular. Many years later when their bodies were exhumed and their graves opened, the vestments they were wearing at the time of burial and their bodies had completely turned to dust. However, for each man, the Brown Scapular they had been wearing was discovered completely intact. Today, St. Alphonsus Liguori’s scapular is on exhibit in his monastery in Rome. As Pope Benedict XV admonished his seminarians: the Brown Scapular carries with it grace that is evident even after death.

St. John of the Cross Mosaic from the Basilica at Holy Hill. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

Venerable Francis de Yepes was the brother of the great Carmelite reformer St. John of the Cross. Venerable Francis was himself a Carmelite tertiary, and deeply dedicated to Our Lady of Mount Carmel and her Brown Scapular. He worked diligently to spread devotion to this vital channel of grace. One day as he was praying for the conversion of souls, Venerable Francis was assailed by angry, howling demons, who bemoaned the success of the scapular and ordered him to remove it. They said: “Take off that habit which snatches so many souls from us. All those clothed in it die piously and escape us.” However, Venerable Francis ignored them and continued his prayers.

Later, as he was performing an act of penance, his scapular slipped off. The demons again ordered him to keep the scapular off. He immediately put it back around his neck. As Francis replaced the Brown Scapular around his neck, the demons howled that three things particularly torment them: (1) the Holy Name of Jesus, (2) the blessed name of Mary, and lastly (3) the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Our Lord has bestowed tremendous grace upon those who show their devotion to Him, and honor His beloved Mother, through the Brown Scapular of Carmel. Countless documented miracles have been associated with devotion to the Scapular: houses spared fire, lives saved, incredible conversions, and abiding faith restored, just to name a few.

Our Brown Scapular is a tremendous treasure, the gift of a “Garment of Grace” from Our Lady. With gratitude, let us pray together the novena prayer for the sixth day in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Sixth Day
With loving provident care, O Mother Most Amiable, you covered us with your Scapular as a shield of defense against the Evil One.
Through your assistance, may we bravely struggle against the powers of evil, always open to your Son Jesus Christ.
(pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Zealous for the Lord God of Hosts: Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Day 5

With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts. © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The motto of the Carmelite Order is: “Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum.” This powerful expression is a direct quote of the words of Elijah from the First Book of Kings, 19:10: “With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts.” These words perfectly express the life of the Prophet Elijah, yet for those of us who wear the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, this motto also perfectly conveys the mission to which we are each called.

From the gift of our Baptism, we are called to be bear witness to reality of the Omnipotent Triune God. Through our sacramental life we are given the grace to know, love and serve Our Lord in this life so that we can spend Eternity with Him in Paradise.

Our Lord loves us with an incompressible, eternal love. He desires our ultimate happiness, which can only reach fruition with lives utterly centered in Him. God both places a deep yearning within our hearts, and also gives us the means to satisfy that longing. It is paradoxical that when we serve God with zeal, we become zealous for His the reality of His Kingdom. Our zealousness grows as His unfathomable love fills our being. Love begets Love, and zeal for the Kingdom of God finds its ultimate expression in charity. He loves us, we respond to that love, and become zealous for God, and in so doing advance His kingdom by ministering to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

The premier exemplar of the love of Christ in action is the Blessed Virgin. She is the model of the ultimate expression of faithful service to plan of God. When we call on Our Lady to assist us in reaching our goal to love God with our whole heart, mind and soul, and love our neighbor as our selves, she will surely respond with all the requisite grace essential for the task.

Please join me praying to the fifth day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in preparation for her great feast on July 16.

Fifth Day
O Mother of Fair Love, through your goodness, as your children, we are called to live in the spirit of Carmel. Help us to live in charity with one another, prayerful as Elijah of old, and mindful of our call to minister to God’s people.
(pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J

A Slice of Paradise: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 4

Today was a slice of Paradise. Throughout the stillness of the night I had listened to the serene lapping of rippling water on Lake Michigan. My patio door was open, and the Moon shone brightly over Whitefish Bay, as the stars reflected on the gently moving water.

refreshing Waters of Lake Michigan © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For most of our week of vacation, the water was like glass. In the nine years we’ve been traveling to this particular spot, the water has never been this smooth, nor the lake so warm and inviting. Our week here has been glorious; a true gift from God. The kids waded out into the bay, and I splashed with them in the gentle flow of the usually tempestuous Lake. We built castles in the balmy sand, and shared the joy of relaxing amid one of the most picturesque vistas I know. This morning, a pink and orange hue melted into a brilliant golden orb reflecting on the sparkling lake. I flopped out of bed, grasped my rosary and Divine Office, and began my day on the patio. The morning sun warmed my physical being, as I thanked Our Lord for the magnificent week He had given me and mine.

The rhythm of the day rapidly changed as we busied ourselves with packing the van, and hitting the road. Yet even so, this joy and peace of this morning’s prayer remained with me. We had tried to find a morning Mass, but the only Monday Mass in our area was at 5:15 p.m., and we needed to hit the road by 11 a.m. I hate missing daily Mass, but today I had no choice. I stopped to purchase a bouquet of roses to leave at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help as is our tradition, and who should I meet in the parking lot of the grocery store, but the Franciscan Friar who is pastor of the nearby church. We chatted and he blessed our van, after a few jokes about our mode of travel. Eight kids sandwiched amid suitcases and beach toys in a large van with two huge luggage turtles strapped on top, sporting a variety of Catholic and Pro-Life bumper stickers, is enough to draw chuckles from the occasional passersby. I’ve got to admit we definitely do not add to the ambience of the local vista.

Statue of Our Lady in the Crypt of the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Later we stopped to pray at two of my favorite spiritual fountains of grace. First we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help, in Champion Wisconsin. This is the only approved Marian apparition site in the United States. I love visiting the simple little shrine, where in 1859, Our Blessed Mother demonstrated the depth of her maternal love, by visiting a humble immigrant woman, Sr. Adele Brise, and charged her with the mission to catechize the children of this then wild frontier. Countless blessings and miracles have flowed from this site, the most memorable of which occurred the night of the Peshtigo Fire, when with Our Lady’s intervention all those who sought shelter on the five acre chapel site were spared the ravages of the most devastating fire in U.S. history. Knowing Our Lady still cares for her children, and attentively listens to their prayers, my family and I adored Our Lord, in His Mother’s home – the Chapel of Our Lady of Good Help, and again requested her intercession for our temporal and spiritual needs.

From there we traveled a short distance to visit the Carmelite Monastery in Denmark, Wisconsin. This peaceful convent is home to a community of cloistered Discalced Carmelite Sisters. My family loves visiting this beautiful chapel for a few moments of prayerful solitude.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Today, as we knelt in prayer before Our Lord’s Tabernacle, my heart was full of gratitude and joy. As I turned to walk to the door, I stopped to pray a “Hail Mary” before the ornate statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Above this exquisite statue are three stained glass windows depicting: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Teresa of Avila, and St. Therese of the Holy Face of Jesus. Our Lady is in there in the midst of these great Carmelite saints. She stands in the alcove, half way between them and the Tabernacle of Our Lord. It occurred to me that in a real way she stands likewise for each of us- she is there with each of us near the door, beckoning us to come closer to her Divine Son Jesus. Like the great Carmelite saints whose images are rendered here in stained glass, with Our Lady’s help, one day we too may join the celestial court in eternal rejoicing. Then our moment of Paradise will last for all eternity.

As we focus on the hope of Eternal joy, please pray the fourth day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel with me.


Fourth Day
When you gave us, Gracious Lady, the Scapular as our Habit, you called us to be not only servants, but also your own children.
We ask you to gain for us from your Son the grace to live as your children in joy, peace and love. (pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

I Know Mine: Our Lady of Mount Carmel Novena, Day 3

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For many years my children and I would tie-dye brightly colored T-shirts. As a homeschooling family this exercise served many purposes. For the slightly older children, we would explore the science behind the process of tinting fabric. The children loved the creativity unleashed in this entertaining imaginative activity. Each year we’d tie and dye a drawer full of shirts. This annual event usually occurred on Father’s Day. I remember one year, the kids performed in a violin concert the weekend we were dying T-shirts. That’s right, the morning after our fun-filled artistic adventure, my lovely brood stood on stage, in formal clothes, with pink, purple, and blue blotches from their fingernails to their elbows. Embarrassment is a great teacher: the subsequent year we were more scrupulous about wearing gloves. . . .

While it has been a few years since we’ve engaged in the massive tie-dye event, the T-shirts are still treasures, and worn frequently. When the kids were younger it was our family uniform on public field-trips. Whether we were headed to the zoo, public museum, or state fair, the kids and I would sport our tie-dyed shirts. Yes, we were occasionally the object of amusement. I recall touring the Cana Island Lighthouse in Door County, Wisconsin one summer, and having a fellow tourist loudly smirk to his son, “Look honey, that’s what a bunch of liberal hippie-kids looks like.” To which I shot back, “Actually, Sir, this is what conservative Catholic homeschoolers who want to keep track of their (then) 6 kids look like.” (o.k., so Sarah Palin isn’t the only Pit-Bull with lipstick.. . .)

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

For me, dressing in brightly colored togs was not a political statement or an expression of artistic pride, but rather a practical matter of survival. I need to keep track of my 8 children, and when they were dressed in these brightly colored garments, with a mere glance I could recognize them and they could recognize me. Just as our Lord says: “I know my sheep and My sheep know Me (John 10:14).” These tie-dyed shirts were a garment that allowed me to make sure all my children were safe, and protected; because no matter how much fun we were having on an outing, as a good mother I wanted to be sure that all mine made it safely home. My kids are growing up, yet still they will often all sport tie-dyed shirts of their own free will, partly out of nostalgia, rejoicing in the fondness of memories shared.

Our Lady’s Garment of Grace © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

I like to think the Brown Scapular is something like our tie-dyed T-shirts. When we are properly enrolled, and wearing the garment of grace given to St. Simon Stock by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we are robed in Mary’s own special garment. With this highly blessed sacramental, Our Lady is able to impart countless graces. Through it, we identify ourselves as belonging to Jesus through Mary. Like my tie-dyed T-shirts, our Brown Scapulars set us apart. Our Brown Scapular is an outward sign that we are unified under a Maternal Protectoress; one whose only desire is to see us safely home.

With gratitude to Our Lady of Mount Camel for providing such an exquisite garment of grace, please join me in praying the third day of our novena in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on July 16.

Third Day
O Queen of Heaven, you gave us the Scapular as an outward sign by which we might be known as your faithful children. May we always wear it with honor by avoiding sin and imitating your virtues. Help us to be faithful to this desire of ours.
(pause and mention petitions) s)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Garment of Grace: Our Lady Of Mount Carmel Novena Day 2

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012

 

The veneration of Our Lady of Mount Camel dates back before the twelfth century. This enduring image of the brown-clad Virgin Queen, holding Her Divine Infant Son, Whose arms are outstretched in blessing while bearing the gift of the Brown Scapular, is a familiar one for most Catholics.

 

 

 

 

 

This image uniquely demonstrates the maternal love of Our Lady. As a mother, I feed, clothe, educate and care for my children. Our Blessed Mother does exactly the same thing, but on a spiritual plane. She draws us close to Her Divine Son that we might have the Bread of Life, nourishing us on His Word. She knows well that our eternal happiness is best achieved when we are fed with His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. To this end, our loving Mother endeavors to educate us. She slowly turns our hearts and minds from the vanities of this transient world to the splendor of Eternal Life in Christ. As Our Lady of Mount Carmel, she offers us a “Garment of Grace”- and clothes us in her own glorious raiment. Just as a mother clothes her dear children in appropriate apparel; likewise, our Blessed Mother clothes us with the Brown Scapular. A true mother is concerned with the happiness of her progeny. Our Blessed Mother perpetually demonstrates the depth of her desire for our eternal joy in Jesus Christ. Through her, we ultimately find Him, and in so doing achieve the deepest longing of our hearts.

Please join me in praying the second day of the novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in preparation for her feast on July 16.

Second Day
Most Holy Mary, Our Mother, in your great love for us you gave us the Holy Scapular of Mount Carmel, having heard the prayers of your chosen son Saint Simon Stock. Help us now to wear it faithfully and with devotion. May it be a sign to us of our desire to grow in holiness.
(pause and mention petitions)
Say: Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Please Pray for Us!

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for Us! © SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

The Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is rapidly approaching. This feast commemorates the vision granted by Our Lady to St. Simon Stock on the evening of July 15, 1251. St. Simon Stock was the Prior General of the Carmelite Order at Ayelsford in Kent, England. On that momentous night, Our Lady visited St. Simon in a vision, and promised: “This shall be to thee and all Carmelites a privilege, that whosoever dies clothed in this shall never suffer eternal fire.”Our Lady then gave St. Simon the long brown scapular that is the garment of their order. Carmelites have worn it and graciously shared it ever since. As a result of Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s gift and the diligent work of the Carmelites, miracles and grace abound.

This fruitful practice is highly regarded by a myriad of saints. For example, the magnificent Jesuit preacher, Saint Claude de la Colombiere, once claimed that the premiere devotion to Our Lady was that of the Brown Scapular. He insisted: “No devotion has been confirmed by more numerous authentic miracles than the Brown Scapular.” Pope John Paul the Great is also among the numerous saints who found grace in reverencing the Brown Scapular and Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Thus, of all the avenues through which we venerate the Blessed Virgin, it is justifiable that my favorite is the devotion to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Over the years I have sought our Lady’s aide perpetually. I call upon her maternal blessing for everything from daily mundane concerns to matters of life and death urgency. Each and every time I invoke our dear Blessed Mother, I am assured of her intercession. I truly feel her maternal blessing upon me and mine, as I grow in confidence and grace.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel has never failed me- whether my necessity is trivial or substantial, I always receive the comfort of a response to my petition. It is not always the answer I seek, but without fail it unmistakably bears hallmark of her intercession. Even when my petition is answered in a manner that differs from my aspired end, there is a sense of peace that accompanies its resolution.

 

 

Currently, I am requesting her intervention in a confidential and substantial matter. I am confident that the very same “Our Lady of Mount Camel” who heard the prayers of St. Therese, St. Teresa of Avila, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, St. Alphonse Ligouri, Saint Claude de la Colombiere, Blessed Pope John Paul the Great and countless other saints and holy pilgrims on earth, will present my poor petition before the Throne of Her Divine Son, Jesus. With certainty, I know that Our Lady of Mount Carmel will embrace my petition and yours, and through her maternal aide, God’s Holy Will shall be accomplished in time and eternity for each of us. Assured of the Blessed Virgin’s compassionate, maternal intercession, I know that Our Lady of Mount Carmel will secure for each of us the graces of which we each stand in the most need, and thus obtain the best possible response to the hopes we cherish in our hearts.

Please consider joining me in praying together this powerful novena throughout these nine days in preparation for the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. I assure you that I shall pray for your intentions as well as mine during these significant days in preparation of the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

© SalveMaterDei.com, 2012.

First Day
O Beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of God, still ever remaining a pure virgin, assist us in our necessity! O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother!
(pause and mention petitions)
Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us.

 

 

May Our Lady of Mount Carmel wrap her Mantle around your shoulders and hold you close to the Sacred Heart of her Divine Infant Son, Jesus.

Blessings,

Ad Jesum per Mariam,

M.A. J.M.J.

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.