The Immaculate Conception with Fr. Mark Cyza

We discuss with Fr. Mark Cyza the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

For more on the Immaculate Conception from St. John Paul II:

HOLY MASS ON THE OCCASION OF THE 150th ANNIVERSARY
OF THE DOGMA OF THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY

HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Wednesday, 8 December 2004

 

  1. Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” (Lk 1: 28).

We address the Virgin Mary several times a day with these words of the Archangel Gabriel. Let us repeat them with fervent joy today, on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, remembering 8 December 1854 when Blessed Pius IX proclaimed this wonderful Dogma of the Catholic faith in this very same Vatican Basilica.

I cordially greet those who are gathered here today, especially the representatives of the National Mariological Societies who have taken part in the International Mariological Congress, organized by the Pontifical Marian Academy.Blessed Virgin Mary - Devotionals, Prayers, Chaplets, Novenas text and Mp3 audio downloads 4

I then greet all of you present here, dear brothers and sisters, who have come to pay filial homage to the Immaculate Virgin. I offer a special greeting to Cardinal Camillo Ruini. I renew to him my warmest wishes for the jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood and express to him my deep gratitude for the service that with generous dedication he has and continues to render to the Church as my Vicar General for the Diocese of Rome and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference.

  1. How great is the mystery of the Immaculate Conception that the Liturgy presents to us today! A mystery that never ceases to invite the contemplation of believers and inspires the reflection of theologians. The theme of the Congress that has just been mentioned: “Mary of Nazareth welcomes the Son of God into history”, has fostered a deep examination of the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary as a presupposition for receiving in her virginal womb the Word of God Incarnate, the Saviour of the human race.

“Full of grace”, “κεχαριτωµευη”: in the original Greek of Luke’s Gospel, the Angel greets Mary with this title. It is the name that God, through his messenger, chose to use to describe the Virgin. This is how he had always seen and thought of her, ab aeterno (from all eternity).

  1. In the hymn of the Letter to the Ephesians just now proclaimed, the Apostle praises God the Father “who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (1: 3). What a special blessing God addressed to Mary from the beginning of time! Mary was truly blessed among women (cf. Lk 1: 42)!

The Father chose her in Christ before the creation of the world, so that she might be holy and immaculate before him in love, preordaining her as the first fruits of filial adoption through the work of Jesus Christ (cf. Eph 1: 4-5).

  1. The predestination of Mary, like that of each one of us, is linked to the predestination of the Son. Christ is that “seed” that was “to bruise the head” of the ancient serpent, according to the Book of Genesis (cf. Gn 3: 15); he is the Lamb “without blemish” (cf. Ex 12: 5; I Pt 1: 19), immolated to redeem humanity from sin.

With a view to the saving death of the Son, Mary, his Mother, was preserved free from original sin and from every other sin. The victory of the new Adam also includes that of the new Eve, Mother of the redeemed. The Immaculate Virgin is thus a sign of hope for all the living who have triumphed over Satan by the blood of the Lamb (cf. Rv 12: 11).

  1. Today let us contemplate the humble young girl of Nazareth, holy and blameless before God in love (cf. Eph 1: 4), in that “love” whose original source is God himself, one and triune.

How sublime an act of the Most Holy Trinity is the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of the Redeemer! Pius IX, in the Bull Ineffabilis Deus, recalls that the Almighty “by one and the same decree had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of divine Wisdom” (Pii IX Pontificis Maximi Acta, Pars prima, p. 559).

The Virgin’s “yes” to the announcement of the Angel fits into the reality of our earthly condition, with humble respect for the divine will to save humanity not from history but in history. Indeed, ever preserved free from all taint of original sin, the “new Eve” benefited uniquely from the work of Christ as the most perfect Mediator and Redeemer. The first to be redeemed by her Son, she shares to the full in his holiness; she is already what the entire Church desires and hopes to be. She is the eschatological icon of the Church.

  1. Consequently the Immaculate Virgin, who marks “the very beginning of the Church, Bride of Christ, without spot or wrinkle, shining with beauty” (Preface), always precedes the People of God in the pilgrimage of faith, bound for the Kingdom of Heaven (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 58; Redemptoris Mater, n. 2).

In Mary’s Immaculate Conception the Church sees projected and anticipated in her most noble member, the saving grace of Easter.

In the event of the Incarnation the Church encounters Christ and Mary indissolubly united: “he who is the Church’s Lord and Head and she who, uttering the first fiat of the New Covenant, prefigures the Church’s condition as spouse and mother” (Redemptoris Mater, n. 1).

  1. To you, Virgin Immaculate, predestined by God above every other creature to be the advocate of grace and model of holiness for his people, today in a special way I renew the entrustment of the whole Church.

May you guide your children on their pilgrimage of faith, making them ever more obedient and faithful to the Word of God.

May you accompany every Christian on the path of conversion and holiness, in the fight against sin and in the search for true beauty that is always an impression and a reflection of divine Beauty.

May you obtain peace and salvation for all the peoples. May the eternal Father, who desired you to be the immaculate Mother of the Redeemer, also renew in our time through you, the miracles of his merciful love. Amen!

 

 

IP#100 Fr. Andrew Apostoli – Fatima For Today on Inside the Pages with Kris McGregor

Fr. Andrew Apostoli does a tremendous job covering all the varied aspects of the events of Fatima and the call  of Our Lady of Fatima. He conveys the “immaculate” heart of the message, as well as tackling the “controversies” that have plagued the events over the years.  Because of the prophetic nature of her messages, Our Lady of Fatima has been the subject of much controversy and speculation. In this book, Father Andrew Apostoli carefully analyzes the events that took place in Fatima and clears up lingering questions and doubts about their meaning. He also challenges the reader to hear anew the call of Our Lady to prayer and sacrifice, for the world is ever in need of generous hearts willing to make reparation for those in danger of losing their way to God.

 

 

Check out the book here

“As was so dramatically obvious during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Fatima in May, 2010, Our Lady’s apparitions in 1917 remain powerfully compelling for us today. There she was an evangelist, calling us to prayer, conversion of heart, and penance, pointing to Jesus and repeating her words at Cana, ‘Do whatever He tells you.’ This book brings it all home.”
-Most Reverend Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“For us, Fatima is a sign of the presence of faith, of the fact that it is precisely from the little ones that faith gains new strength, one which is not limited to the little ones but has a message for the entire world and touches history here and now, and sheds light on this history . . . Even now there is tribulation, in every conceivable form, and power threatens to trample down faith. Even now, then, there is a need for the answer about which the Mother of God spoke to the children at Fatima.”
-Pope Benedict XVI

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Seven Sorrows  of the Blessed Virgin Mary

olsorrowsThe Virgin Mary, who believed in the word of the Lord, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, abused and crucified. Rather she remained beside Jesus, suffering and praying, until the end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to witness to our faith with a life of humble service, ready to personally pay the price of staying faithful to the Gospel of love and truth, certain that nothing that we do will be lost.

— Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus – September 13, 2009

Collect:

Father,
as Your Son was raised on the cross,
His mother Mary stood by Him, sharing His sufferings.
May Your Church be united with Christ
in His suffering and death
and so come to share in His rising to new life,
where He lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Devotion from the revelation to St. Bridget of Sweden:

The Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

IP#269 Tim Staples – Behold Your Mother on Inside the Page with Kris McGregor

“Behold Your Mother – A Biblical and Historical Defense of the Marian Doctrines”, by Catholic apologist Tim Staples,  is outstanding!  For those who are unfamiliar or even unsure what the Church teaches about the Mother of God, this is a tremendous entry point for your study.  For all who have a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, this is the book to have in order to help articulate the truths of Marian Dogma clearly to others!   Director of Apologetics and Evangelization for Catholic Answers, Tim Staples, has authored a work that is easy to navigate and filled with solid biblical and historical reasons for what we as Catholics believe about Mary. A must for the Catholic library in every parish and home!  A GREAT book for Advent reflection and study, as well as a gift for family and friends!

 

Tim Staples respectfully but clearly answers every conceivable Protestant objection to Mary, the Mother of God. With the street cred of one who has been there, Tim backs up his words with Scripture every time. His answers are exhaustive but not exhausting! An invaluable book for thoughtful, truth-seeking Christians. —-Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J., EWTN host and author of Mary: Virgin, Mother, and Queen

The greatest doctrinal obstacle to my return to the Catholic Church was fear that Catholics had no basis for or boundaries on the Marian dogmas. If only Tim Staples had written Behold Your Mother then! His presentation is fearless, precise, biblically wise, historically rooted, and popular in expression. He addresses objections I haven t seen addressed elsewhere. I can t think of a more insightful, comprehensive single volume that persuades so thoroughly. Great, truly great, piece of apologetics. — Al Kresta, president, Ave Maria Communications and host of Kresta in the Afternoon

Tim Staples presents a remarkable defense of the six major Marian doctrines, including a veritable compendium of source material from the Bible, Fathers, and Church documents. He gives clear presentations of the controversial issues surrounding each doctrine, makes careful definitions and distinctions, and thinks his way through each issue as if he were having a conversation with the reader. Even well-informed readers will benefit from this engaging book. – –Fr. Robert J. Spitzer, S.J., president, Magis Center of Reason and Faith

Our Lady of Fatima and the Power of the Holy Rosary with Msgr. John Esseff

Msgr. Esseff reflects on Our Lady of Fatima and the power of the Holy Rosary. It is a tremendous peace in the world, as well in their own lives, should turn to Our Lady and her Holy Rosary.  The way to the face of God can be found in the Holy Rosary and all the mysteries contained in this treasury of grace.

BA-V10 Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Pt 1 – Begin Again with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary Pt 1 – Begin Again /w Fr. Timothy Gallagher – Ep. 10 from Discerning Hearts on Vimeo.

BA6 - "Refuse to Accept Discouragement" - Begin Again: The Spiritual Legacy of Ven. Bruno Lanteri with Fr. Timothy Gallagher

In this episode, Fr. Timothy Gallagher discusses the deep devotion Ven. Bruno Lanteri had for the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a deep relationship of love between Ven. Lanteri and Our Lady. Fr. Gallagher offers what a Marian devotion can bring to the spiritual life. He goes on to say that there is something safe about turning to the Blessed Mother in our struggles which is deeply rooted in our Catholic tradition.

For the other episodes in this series check out Fr. Timothy Gallagher’s “Discerning Hearts” page

You can obtain just the audio podcast if you would prefer

For a copy of the Spiritual Counsels of Ven. Lanteri visit here:

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ST12 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran – The Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Head-Crushing” Immaculately Conceived Handmaid of the Lord

Episode 12 – Seeking Truth with Sharon Doran, hosted by Bruce McGregor.   Ep 12 – The Blessed Virgin Mary, “The Head-Crushing” Immaculately Conceived Handmaid of the Lord

Sharon Doran serves as the teaching director of “Seeking Truth.” An experienced Bible Study teacher, Sharon has a passion for scripture that will motivate and challenge you to immerse yourself in God’s Word and apply His message to your everyday life.

Episode 12 – Sharon and Bruce discuss the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Mary is the new Eve! The sin-free woman who will crush the head of the serpent.  Sharon breaks open Genesis chapter 2, the Gospel of Luke, Revelation 12 and the Old Testament teachings on the two other woman who are “blessed” and how this shines a light on our understanding of Mary!

 

“Seeking Truth” is an in-depth Catholic Bible Study, commissioned by the Archdiocese of Omaha in response to John Paul II’s call to the New Evangelization as well as Pope Benedict XVI’s exhortation for all Catholics to study scripture. To learn more go to:www.seekingtruth.net

The Holy Rosary for Discerning Hearts – Our Lady’s Garden of Prayer – Mp3 Audio downloadable

ourladyoftherosaryOutside of the Sacramental prayers of the Church, there is no other prayer more important than the prayerful recitation of the Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Our late great Holy Father, St. John Paul II put it beautifully in His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary:

“A path of contemplation”

“But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery which I have proposed in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte as a genuine “training in holiness”: “What is needed is a Christian life distinguished above all in the heart of The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation. Developed in the West, it is a typically meditative prayer, corresponding in some way to the “prayer of the heart” or “Jesus prayer” which took root in the soil of the Christian East.”–  His Apostolic Letter On the Rosary of the Virgin Mary

Please take some time to check out the Discerning Hearts “Holy Rosary Page”

Audio mp3 download/podcasts of the Holy Rosary

Joyful Mysteries

Sorrowful Mysteries

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Luminous Mysteries

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

Glorious Mysteries

Download (right click & choose “Save Link As”)

 rosary

 

BKL#17 – Building a Kingdom of Love w/ Msgr. John Esseff – Our Lady of Sorrows

Msgr. Esseff reflects on the meaning of Our Lady of Sorrows. How do we connect that with the suffering of Christ?  All the suffering we endure is united with Jesus, and the Blessed Mother guides our way.  She is our mother and the power of her love is incredible.  Ask her to come to you in your suffering as she came to her Son. She is our Our Mother of Hope and Compassion.  God conquers sorrow with hope!

 

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of Mercy,
our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.

Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile,
show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary.

℣ Pray for us O holy Mother of God,
℟ that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Msgr. John A. Esseff is a Roman Catholic priest in the Diocese of Scranton.  He was ordained on May 30th 1953, by the late Bishop William J. Hafey, D.D. at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, PA.  Msgr. Esseff served a retreat director and confessor to St. Mother Teresa.    He continues to offer direction and retreats for the sisters of the missionaries of charity around the world.  Msgr. Esseff encountered St.  Padre Pio,  who would become a spiritual father to him.  He has lived in areas around the world,  serving  in the Pontifical missions, a Catholic organization established by St. Pope John Paul II to bring the Good News to the world especially to the poor.  Msgr. Esseff assisted the founders of the Institute for Priestly Formation and continues to serve as a spiritual director for the Institute.  He continues to  serve as a retreat leader and director to bishops, priests and sisters and seminarians and other religious leaders around the world.   

 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with Fr. Mark Cyza – Discerning Hearts

Catholic Spiritual Formation - Catholic Spiritual DirectionJoin Bruce and I as we discuss the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the wonderful Fr. Mark Cyza.

From Pope Benedict XVI 2005 found at vatican.va:

I am also thinking of the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that we recently published, in which the Word of God is applied to our lives and the reality of our lives interpreted; it helps us enter into the great “temple” of God’s Word, to learn to love it and, like Mary, to be penetrated by this Word.

Thus, life becomes luminous and we have the basic criterion with which to judge; at the same time, we receive goodness and strength.

AssumptionMary is taken up body and soul into the glory of Heaven, and with God and in God she is Queen of Heaven and earth. And is she really so remote from us?

The contrary is true. Precisely because she is with God and in God, she is very close to each one of us.

While she lived on this earth she could only be close to a few people. Being in God, who is close to us, actually, “within” all of us, Mary shares in this closeness of God. Being in God and with God, she is close to each one of us, knows our hearts, can hear our prayers, can help us with her motherly kindness and has been given to us, as the Lord said, precisely as a “mother” to whom we can turn at every moment.

She always listens to us, she is always close to us, and being Mother of the Son, participates in the power of the Son and in his goodness. We can always entrust the whole of our lives to this Mother, who is not far from any one of us.

On this feast day, let us thank the Lord for the gift of the Mother, and let us pray to Mary to help us find the right path every day. Amen.

 

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