Category Archives: Rosary

To Be Surprised by Children 

Sarah, in her old age, chuckles at God’s promise of a child (art by Bethany Vanderputten).

My wife has not yet turned 50, but she is well on the way beyond her childbearing years.  As I was praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary this morning during our walk together, I was thinking about how it might be possible for us to still have children, if God wills it, even at this late time in our lives, even given the scientific probability that “it just ain’t gonna happen.”  In fact, I dedicated my Rosary to my wife and to the good health of our child if God so wills it to happen.

Now, when I got back to the house, I saw a reminder on my IPad that I was to be Lector tomorrow morning at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  Having forgotten that completely, I immediately found the readings for tomorrow, and imagine my surprise, given my thoughts and prayers, when I saw the first reading.  Here it is:

Reading 1 from 2 KGS 4:8-11, 14-16A:

One day Elisha came to Shunem, where there was a woman of influence, who urged him to dine with her.  Afterward, whenever he passed by, he used to stop there to dine.

So she said to her husband, “I know that Elisha is a holy man of God. Since he visits us often, let us arrange a little room on the roof and furnish it for him with a bed, table, chair, and lamp, so that when he comes to us he can stay there.”

Sometime later Elisha arrived and stayed in the room overnight.

Later Elisha asked, “Can something be done for her?” His servant Gehazi answered, “Yes! She has no son, and her husband is getting on in years.”

Elisha said, “Call her.”

When the woman had been called and stood at the door, Elisha promised, “This time next year you will be fondling a baby son.”

Well, when I read that, it touched me because of 1) the coincidence with my thoughts and prayers, 2) the coincidence that I will read it tomorrow as if a witness to the miracle, and 3) the realization that God was speaking to me through this situation.  He knows how I feel about children.

Now, that stated, I have accepted that I may never have children, and I am okay with it.  This gives me room to live life more for others doing things that regular fathers would not ordinarily do perhaps.  But, if the Lord wants to bless us with a child, then I will give Him all of the Glory, and very happily.

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I Make All Things New

Passion Fruit Flower

Passion Fruit Flower with Trinitarian Stigmata

As I was praying the Sorrowful Mysteries the other day, something happened which has not happened before:  I began to see flowers blooming from the Holy Wounds of Jesus, most especially from the palms of His Wounded Hands.  Blooms were unfolding from Blooms and Jesus was happy.

This reminded me of Sacred Scripture, the Apocalypse where St. John writes:

The one who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then he said, “Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.”

[Book of Revelation, 21:5, NAB Holy Bible]

 

 

Mother Mary Smiling in Me

 

“My dear Son, i adore you”

Yesterday, I took another Rosary walk, and I was praying the Joyful Mysteries.  For the second time in a month, when I meditated on the Presentation, I saw Mother Mary holding her infant son, Jesus.  

The first time, she was in a heavenly place, all white with a translucent, opaque, frameless sort of window behind her and standing on a multi-stepped white platform and dressed in a flowing, floor-length white gown with a light blue mantel draped over her head and flowing downward (similar to the statue in my own parish, but much more elegant and realistic).  She looked at me, and she offered the infant Jesus to me to hold in my arms.  She was trusting me with her baby Jesus.  I took Him and cuddled Him in my arms and then gave Him back to her.  This was a precious experience, not only because He is Precious, but because I have no children of my own.  Most often, when I contemplate God, especially in the Holy Spirit, I know His Preciousness…so very, very precious and sweet to my soul.  This sentiment has been foreign to me all of my life until these most recent years.

 

“You make me so very happy”

 The second time, yesterday, I saw Mother Mary, wearing a royal blue mantel this time, standing and holding the infant Jesus in her arms.  But, this time, she was standing next to St. Joseph I presume, and they were waiting outside the Temple in the bright sunlight.  Mother Mary was cradling and swinging Jesus back and forth in her arms while looking down at Him.  She was very happy, and the day was very bright.  And then she looked directly at me, from about 30 feet away, and she smiled at me.  It was a huge smile, and I felt this smile in my heart, and it was like a welling up of joy.  And she did it again, and I could not help but also smile and laugh in joy with her.  

If anyone saw me at that time, they would have no idea why I was laughing!  I can imagine that they would think that I might have a mental health issue; I even considered that myself – “Here I am laughing out loud spontaneously, but just walking along by myself with my dog.  I must look crazy!”

 I needed this.  How merciful and delightful this vision was for me.  May you also receive them, and more.

Jesus Laughing in Me

 

American Bald Eagle in flight.

Yesterday, as I took my long Rosary-walk with my pet hound dog (7.5 miles), I was praying the Joyful Mysteries.  I was thinking about how and when to change my career orientation to be more Theology and service – focused.  I saw an eagle flying above after I had the thought of the choice that I would PREFER to make, but which would be difficult – which seems unlikely for me.  What does the eagle mean?  Anything?  Or am I placing a meaning upon it?

But here is the really good part.  Upon praying the mystery of the birth of the infant Jesus, I imagined the little infant in Mother Mary’s arms.  I saw his little feet and knelt and kissed His toes, and His feet recoiled, and He smiled and laughed in joy.  And then, my heart swelled, and I felt joy and also laughed in joy!

Joyful Infant Jesus

Now, it is not natural for me to think of something and then have intense feelings like this.  It was as if Jesus was there, in me, laughing and feeling joyful in me such that I could know His joy.  What a blessing it was.

How Mother Mary Hears Our Prayers

This is rather simplistic, but this came to me while praying the Rosary:

“…(and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”

[Gospel of Jesus Christ according to St. Luke, 2:35]

I don’t know what is meant by “sword.” 

We might think to take it literally to mean that she would die a death related to that of her Son, but that this must be so that she could be assumed into Heaven, wounded like her Son, for her mission as Advocate for poor sinners whose thoughts and prayers she hears.

We might think of it in another way.  We often hear of her Immaculate Heart being pierced with thorns.  This tells of her woundedness.  And so, in a spiritual way, we might take “sword” to mean that she would know the wounds of sin in her heart, especially the sins of priests and bishops, those who are configured to her Son, closest to her in daily activity, and who should be blameless before God.  And she will know who are faithful and blameless and who are not by their thoughts and deeds.  This may be why she calls us to always pray for her priests and bishops.  This must be a difficult burden.

Let us pray with Mother Mary for all priests and bishops, for their sanctity and holiness in daily activity.

Six (6) Moral Imperatives for Humanity

  When praying the Joyful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one can find six moral imperatives for humanity.  Inasmuch as these mysteries reflect upon the entrance of God into Humanity, these mysteries can also reflect the entrance of Morality into humanity.  

1. The Annunciation / Human Dignity:  All human life must be treated with the dignity commenserate with its potential capacity for charity, creation and innovation.

2. The Visitation / Human Freedom:  All human life must be permitted the freedom to pursue peace and prosperity.

3. The Nativity / Human Fullness:  All human life must be permitted to achieve fullness of natural life, become who it is meant to be, from natural conception to natural death.  

4. The Presentation / Human Fruitfulness:  All human life must be permitted to present itself for service to humanity, to be fruitful in service to each other.

5. The Finding / Human Truthfulness:  All human life must strive to be truthful in all its works.

6. Hail, Holy Queen / Human Compliance:  All humanity must comply with the aforementioned moral imperatives by obedience to that authority appointed for the good of humanity.

  

Pentecost:  God Reveals His Divine Language

 

Pentecost. God opens their souls and reveals the Divine Language which unites all souls in God.

 When praying the rosary the other day, meditating on the third Glorious Mystery, I had this insight about how it could be that the people gathered all of the sudden could understand each other in their own languages.  Here is what happened – the scene – during Pentecost:

And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.  Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven staying in Jerusalem. At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd, but they were confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language. They were astounded, and in amazement they asked, “Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans? Then how does each of us hear them in his own native language? [Acts 2:4-8, NAB Holy Bible]

What just happened?  God was in their minds, enabling all of them to communicate via a universal language, deep in their minds, and only God knows how.  God is the Technician here.  AND, this is proof that there IS and will BE a universal language in Heaven and by it, we will all know each other’s thoughts as we will to communicate. 

But, why was this necessary at Pentecost, and why was this ability to understand the universal language underneath human languages so temporary?  And what were all of the people gathered there saying to each other and why?  These are mysteries.

Call to Holy Confession

 

Roses in your Heart

 
I was struggling to pray the Rosary this morning.  I just stopped and looked at Mother Mary in my mind, and she looked at me and said to pray to her Son, Jesus instead.  And then that is what I did, even with words which came to me such as, “Jesus, I am sorry that I have offended you” and more prayers of praise and jubilation.

We had a conversation in my heart.  The most important thing He said to me was – and this is for you, too –

“Come before Me with roses in your heart.”

I could smell the fragrance of roses at that time, and I smell the fragrance even now as I write – a spiritual sensing of the odor of sweetness of a rose.

I think this means that we should confess our sins, often even, so that when we speak with Jesus – when we approach Him at the altar, we are pleasant to Him Who gives us His Very Life in His Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  This is a mystery.

But I do know He is present with me, as is Mother Mary.  How this can be is a mystery.

Jesus Returns, and the Holy Spirit Departs?

As I was praying the rosary this morning, the Joyful Mysteries, this came to mind:  Jesus said that if He did not leave, the Spirit would not be sent.  

St. John witnessed Jesus say, “But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.  But if I go, I will send him to you.” [Gospel of John, 16:7, NAB Holy Bible]

We know that the Spirit guides the Church in all truth in matters pertaining to faith and morals.  He has done so for over two millennia.

But as logic would have it, if Jesus is coming back, is not the Holy Spirit leaving?  Would not Jesus say, “But if I return, I will take Him from you, and I will be your sovereign King and ruler.”

Let us be prepared for the possibility of being adrift without the Holy Spirit for a short time…for a short time.  Let us prepare ourselves with frequent participation in the Sacraments. 

Mother Mary’s Thoughts And Presence During the Pentecost

Mary and Apostles as the Holy Spirit descends in tongues of fire

Our Blessed Mother Mary conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, and became Theotokos, the Mother of God.  When, after the Lord Jesus Christ ascended into Heaven, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost,  Mary was there with the Apostles.  

What might she have been thinking?  She must have been 48 years old at the time, when most women are approaching or are already in menopause.  I can imagine…I did imagine when praying the Glorious Mysteries…her excitement at the thought that upon the overshadowing again of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, that she might conceive once again for God.  Remember the words of Sarah, wife of Abraham after hearing of her future motherhood:

“And she laughed secretly saying: ‘After I am grown old, and my lord is an old man, shall I give myself to pleasure?'”  [Genesis 18:12, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

In contrast, what was Mother Mary thinking?  Perhaps she thought as she did upon visiting Spirit-filled Elizabeth:

“And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.”  [Gospel of Luke, 1:47, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Mother Mary is one with the Holy Spirit

 As the spouse of the Holy Spirit, Pentecost must have been a wonderful event for Mother Mary, an event which, perhaps, sealed her future as the spiritual mother of all of God’s children.  Afterall, she did become the future mother of 3,000 on the first day alone.

“They therefore that received his word, were baptized; and there were added in that day about 3,000 souls.”  [Acts of the Apostles, 2:41, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

As it was at Pentecost, is how it is today at each celebration of the Sacraments of Initiation: at Baptism to give birth to us, at Confirmation to fortify us, and at Eucharist to nurture us for eternal Life.  She is there with the Holy Spirit.  How is this possible?  How can this be?  This is a mystery, but we know that…

“…Mary said: ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord'” [Gospel of Luke, 1:46, Douay-Rheims Holy Bible]

Indeed, Mother Mary is one with the Lord, Who is the source of all life.  She and the Holy Spirit are the perfect union, for she magnifies the Lord as co-Source of our new Life in Christ.  This is not a priestly function; it is above the priestly function.  She is co-Advocate and co-Redeemer.  She magnifies our Savior.

Making Eucharist

Pure, Precious, Holy Spiritual Food for Eternal Life

Pure, Precious, Holy Spiritual Food for Eternal Life

When I was praying the Rosary on Monday, I had a wonderful inspiration when thinking about the wonder and beauty of the Annunciation and the Sacrament of Eucharist.

I imagined Divine Wisdom of God, which is flawless, informing the pristine Virtue of the Blessed Virgin Mary and presenting Spiritual Food for our souls.

Precious.

If our souls were not so hardened and encrusted with the tar of sin, we would more easily absorb the precious, living essence of the Eucharist, would we not?

Many do not think they have sin, and so they receive but do not seem to benefit ( noticeably or notably ) from receiving the Holy Eucharist, true?