Saturday, August 20, 2016
Detail from "The Apparition of the Virgin To Saint Bernard" by Fra Lippi c. 1486
More about Saint Bernard from The Golden Legend.
Another brief biography.
Friday, August 19, 2016
August 19th is the feast of this great Apostle of the Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Our Lord and Our Blessed Lady.
I had begun a serialization of his The Admirable Heart Of Mary, but the work came to a halt when I discovered that not all of this significantly large volume was already available on line, even in part, and that I would have to re-type virtually the whole book. Plus I had availability problems with the library copy I was using. Sloth on my part. Now I have no excuse, since I own the book itself. I hope to resume the serialization in the near future, and move on to his companion volume, The Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Here is one of his prayers to the Sacred Heart:
Oh, how good and delightful it is to dwell in the Heart of Jesus!
Thy Heart, O good Jesus, is a precious treasure, a precious pearl
which we have found by digging the field of Thy Body.
Who will cast aside this pearl? Nay, rather I will give all I have,
I will exchange all my thoughts and desires and purchase it.
I will cast all my care on the Heart of the Lord Jesus and He will
provide for me without fail. I will adore in this temple,
this Holy of Holies, this Ark of the Testament, and I will praise the name
of the Lord, saying with David, "I have found my heart that I may pray
to my God. And I have found the heart of my King, my Brother, my Friend,
the benign Jesus, and why shall I not adore?" Assuredly I shall pray.
For His Heart is mine. I will say it boldly, for Christ is my Head,
is not what belongs to my Head mine? Therefore as the eyes of my corporal
head are truly my eyes, so is my spiritual heart my heart.
Therefore, it is well with me: truly I have but one Heart with Jesus
and what wonder that there should be but one heart with the multitude of believers.
O most benevolent
and most merciful
Heart of Jesus,
imprint in our hearts
a perfect image
of your great mercy,
so that we may fulfil
You gave us:
as your Father
Mother of mercy,
so much misery,
so many poor people,
so many captives,
so many prisoners,
so many men and women
who suffer persecution
at the hands of their brothers and sisters,
so many defenseless people
so many afflicted souls, so many troubled hearts.
Mother of mercy, open the eyes
of your clemency and see our desolation.
Open the ears of your goodness
and hear our supplication.
Most loving and most powerful advocate,
show that You are truly the Mother of Mercy. Amen.
Hail Mary! Daughter of God the Father,
Hail Mary! Mother of God the Son,
Hail Mary! Spouse of God the Holy Ghost,
Hail Mary! Temple of the Most Blessed Trinity,
Hail Mary! Celestial Rose of the ineffable love of God.
Hail Mary! Virgin pure and humble, of whom the King of Heaven willed to be born and with thy milk to be nourished.
Hail Mary! Virgin of virgins,
Hail Mary! Queen of Martyrs, whose soul a sword transfixed,
Hail Mary! Lady most Blessed! unto whom all power in Heaven and earth is given,
Hail Mary! my Queen and my Mother! my Life, my Sweetness, and my Hope,
Hail Mary! Mother most Amiable,
Hail Mary! Mother most Admirable,
Hail Mary! Mother of Divine Love,
Hail Mary! IMMACULATE; Conceived without sin!
Hail Mary! Full of Grace! the Lord is with thee! Blessed art thou among women! And blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, JESUS!
Blessed by thy Spouse, St. Joseph,
Blessed by thy Father, St. Joachim,
Blessed by thy Mother, St. Anne,
Blessed by thy Guardian, St. John,
Blessed by thy Holy Angel, St. Gabriel,
Glory be to God the Father, who chose thee,
Glory be to God the Son, who loved thee,
Glory be to God the Holy Ghost, who espoused thee,
Glorious Virgin Mary, may all men love and praise thee,
Holy Mary, Mother of God! pray for us and bless us, now and at death in the Name of JESUS, thy Divine Son!
Monday, August 15, 2016
Most Holy, Immaculate Virgin and my Mother Mary! To thee who art the Mother of my Lord, the Queen of the world, the Advocate, the Hope, and the Refuge of sinners, I have recourse today, I who am the most miserable of all.
I render thee my most humble homage, O great Queen, and I thank thee for all the graces thou hast conferred on me until now, especially for having delivered me from Hell, which I have so often deserved.
I love thee, O most amiable Lady; and for the love which I bear thee, I promise to serve thee always and to do all in my power to make others love thee also. I place in thee all my hopes; I confide my salvation to thy care.
Accept me for thy servant and receive me under thy mantle, O Mother of Mercy. And since thou art so powerful with God, deliver me from all temptations; or rather, obtain for me the strength to triumph over them until death. Of thee I ask a perfect love for Jesus Christ.
Through thee I hope to die a good death. O my Mother, by the love which thou bearest to God, I beseech thee to help me at all times, but especially at the last moment of my life. Leave me not, I beseech thee, until thou seest me safe in Heaven, blessing thee and singing thy mercies for all eternity.
Thus, I hope. Thus, may it be.
O Queen of heaven and earth! O Mother of the Lord of the world! O Mary, of all creatures the greatest, the most exalted and the most amiable! It is true that there are many in this world who neither know thee nor love thee; but in heaven there are many millions of angels and blessed spirits, who love and praise thee continually.
Even in this world, how many happy souls are there not who burn with thy love, and live enamoured of thy goodness! O, that I also could love thee, O Lady worthy of all love! O that I could always remember to serve thee, to praise thee, to honor thee, and engage all to love thee! Thou hast attracted the love of God, whom, by thy beauty, thou hast, so to say, torn from the bosom of His Eternal Father, and engaged to become man, and be thy Son.
And shall I, a poor worm of the earth, not be enamoured of thee? No, my most sweet Mother, I also will love thee much, and will do all that I can to make others love thee also.
Accept, then, O Mary, the desire that I have to love thee, and help me to execute it. I know how favorably thy lovers are looked upon by God. He, after his own glory, desires nothing more than thine, and to see thee honored and loved by all.
From thee, O Lady, do I expect all; through thee the remission of my sins, through thee perseverance. Thou must assist me at death, and deliver me from purgatory; and finally, thou must lead me to heavn. All this thy lovers hope from thee, and are not deceived. I, who love thee with so much affection, and above all other things, after God, hope for the same favors.
Queen of Heaven, most Holy Mary, I was once a slave of sin, but now I consecrate myself to thee as thy client forever. I give myself to thine honor and service for the rest of my life. Do not reject me as I deserve, but accept me as thy servant.
I have placed all my hope in thee as my Mother. I bless and thank Almighty God, because in His mercy He has given me this confidence in thee. It is true that in the past I have shamefully fallen into sin; but I trust that, through thy prayers and the merits of Jesus Christ, I have been forgiven. But yet, my Mother, this is not enough. One fear I have which troubles me: that I may fall into sin again and lose the grace of God.
The dangers are constant; my enemies never sleep; and new temptations will assail me. O my Lady, protect me. Help me in the assaults of Hell, so I may never again offend thy Divine Son Jesus.
Let not the same thing happen again, that I lose my soul, Heaven, and God. This is the grace I beg of thee, O Mary; this is what I long for; obtain this grace for me through thy prayers.
Thus, I hope. Thus, may it be.
O Queen and Mother of mercy, who dispensest graces to all who have recourse to thee with so much liberality, because thou art a Queen, and with so much love, because thou art our most loving Mother; to thee do I, who am so devoid of merit and virtue, and so loaded with debts to the divine justice, recommend myself this day.
O Mary, thou holdest the keys of all the divine mercies; forget not my miseries, and leave me not in my poverty. Thou art so liberal with all, and givest more than thou art asked for, O, be thus liberal with me.
O Lady, protect me; this is all that I ask of thee. If thou protectest me, I fear nothing. I fear not the evil spirits; for thou art more powerful than all of them. I fear not my sins; for thou by one word canst obtain their full pardon from God. And if I have thy favor, I do not even fear an angry God; for a single prayer of thine will appease him. In fine, if thou protectest me, I hope all; for thou art all-powerful.
O Mother of mercy, I know that thou takest pleasure and dost glory in helping the most miserable, and, provided they are not obstinate, that thou canst help them. I am a sinner, but am not obstinate; I desire to change my life. Thou canst, then, help me; O, help me and save me. I now place myself entirely in thy hands. Tell me what I msut do in order to please God, and I am ready for all, and hope to do all with thy help, O Mary—Mary my Mother, my light, my consolations, my refuge, my hope.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
O my sovereign Queen and worthy Mother of my God, most holy Mary; I seeing myself, as I do, so despicable and loaded with so many sins, ought not to presume to call thee Mother, or even to approach thee; yet I will not allow my miseries to deprive me of the consolation and confidence that I feel in calling thee mother; I know well that I deserve that thou shouldst reject me; but I beseech thee to remember all that thy Son Jesus has endured for me, and then reject me if thou canst.
I am a wretched sinner, who, more than all others, have despised the infinite majesty of God: but the evil is done. To thee have I recourse; thou canst help me; my Mother, help me. Say not that thou canst not do so; for I know that thou art all-powerful, and that thou obtainest whatever thou desirest of God; and if thou sayest that thou wilt not help me, tell me at least to whom I can apply in this my so great misfortune. "Either pity me," will I say with the devout St. Anselm, "O my Jesus, and forgive me, and do thou pity me, my Mother Mary, by interceding for me, or at least tell me to whom I can have recourse, who is more compassionate, or in whom I can have greater confidence than in thee" ("Aut miseremini miseri, tu parcendo, tu interveniendo; aut ostendite, ad quos tutius fugiam misericordiores; et monstrate, in quibus certius confidam potentiores"—Orat. 50).
O Mother of God, Queen of angels and hope of men, give ear to one who calls upon thee and has recourse to thy protection. Behold me this day prostrate at thy feet; I, a miserable slave of hell, devote myself entirely to thee. I desire to be forever thy servant. I offer myself to serve and honor thee to the utmost of my power during the whole of my life.
I know that the service of one so vile and miserable can be no honor to thee, since I have so grievously offended Jesus, thy Son and my Redeemer. But if thou wilt accept one so unworthy for thy servant, and by thy intercession change me, and thus making me worthy, this very mercy will give thee that honor which so miserable a wretch as I can never give thee.
Receive me, then, and reject me not, O my Mother. The Eternal Word came from heaven on earth to seek for lost sheep, and to save them he became thy Son. And when one of them goes to thee to find Jesus, wilt thou despise it?
The price of my salvation is already paid; my Savior has already shed his blood, which suffices to save an infinity of worlds. This blood has only to be applied even to such a one as I am. And that is thy office, O Blessed Virgin; to thee does it belong, as I am told by St. Bernard, to dispense the merits of this blood to whom thou pleasest. To thee does it belong, says St. Bonaventure, to save whomsoever thou willest, "whomsoever thou willest will be saved" ("Quem vis, ipse salvus erit").
Oh, then, help me, my Queen; my Queen, save me. To thee do I this day consecrate my whole soul; do thou save it. O salvation of those who invoke thee, I conclude in the words of the same saint, "O salvation of those who call upon thee, do thou save me" ("O Salus te invocantium!").
Behold at thy feet, O Mary my hope, a poor sinner, who has so many times been by his own fault the slave of hell. I know that by neglecting to have recourse to thee, my refuge, I allowed myself to be overcome by the devil. Had I always had recourse to thee, had I always invoked thee, I certainly should not have fallen.
I trust, O Lady most worthy of all our love, that through thee I have already escaped from the hands of the devil, and that God has pardoned me. But I tremble lest at some future period I may again fall into the same bonds. I know that my enemies have not lost the hope of again overcoming me, and already they prepare new assaults and temptations for me.
O, my Queen and refuge, do thou assist me. Place me under thy mantle; permit me not again to become their slave. I know that thou wilt help me and give me the victory, provided I invoke thee; but I dread lest in my temptations I may forget thee, and neglect to do so.
The favor, then, that I seek of thee, and which thou must grant me, O most holy Virgin, is that I may never forget thee, and especially in time of temptation; grant that I may then repeatedly invoke thee, saying, "O Mary, help me; O Mary, help me."
And when my last struggle with hell comes, at the moment of death, then, my Queen, help me more than ever, and thou thyself remind me to call on thee more frequently either with my lips or in my heart; that, being thus filled with confidence, I may expire with thy sweet name and that of thy Son Jesus on my lips; that so I may be able to bless thee and praise thee, and not depart from thy feet in Paradise for all eternity.