Monday, March 30, 2009

Stabat Mater

Stabat Mater dolorosa juxta crucemIn the shadow of the rood,
Broken-hearted there she stood
Near her Son and Lord:
While her soul, His doom lamenting,
Yet in sacrifice consenting
Felt the cleaving sword.

Came there ever to another
Grief like thine, O wounded Mother,
As thou looked'st upon
Him, the Son of God, all holy,
And of thee, a Virgin lowly,
Sole-begotten Son?

Who so lost of human feeling
As to hide his tears revealing
Sympathy with thine?
Who that e'er was born of woman,
In a tenderness so human
Sees not love Divine?

To the lash, for sin atoning,
Lo! He bows! and thou, O moaning
Mother, now must see
Limb from limb His spirit languish
And His latest look of anguish
Turned in love to thee!

Let me near the fountain growing
Of thy tenderness o'erflowing,
Drink my fill thereof;
Let the fervent flames illuming
All thy soul a fire consuming,
Kindle mine to love.

Thou alone no ransom needing,
Let thy Son, the Victim bleeding
For my sin atone:
What for me my God and Brother
Deigns to bear, O sinless Mother,
Learn not thou alone.

One with thee, thy vigil keeping,
One with thee, the Mourner, weeping
Near His sacred side,
Where thy soul in desolation
Waits of woe the consummation,
Let my soul abide.

Virgin, Earth's divinest blossom,
Spurn not from thy fragrant bosom
Dews that fall for thee!
Make me near thy Son remaining,
Simon-like, His cross sustaining,
One in sympathy!

Let me from His life-distilling
Wounds, mine empty chalice filling,
Quaff the crimson wine.
Lest the flames, devouring end me,
In thy chastity defend me
From the wrath Divine.

Lord, through her who brought
Thee hither,
Let me hence departing whither
Thou the way hast found,
Come, through Death's opposing portal,
To the Victor's palm immortal,
With Thy glory crowned.

Rev. John B. Tabb.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Prayer to St. Joseph

Josef_Sankt_11-1To thee, O Blessed Joseph, we have recourse in our affliction, and, having implored the help of thy thrice-holy Spouse, we now, with hearts filled with confidence, earnestly beg thee also to take us under thy protection. By that charity, wherewith thou wert united to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God and by that fatherly love with which thou didst cherish the Child Jesus, we beseech thee and we humbly pray that thou wilt look down with gracious eyes upon that inheritance which Jesus Christ purchased by His Blood, and wilt succor us in our need by thy power and strength.

DEFEND, O most watchful guardian of the Holy Family, the chosen offspring of Jesus Christ. Keep from us, O most loving father, all blight of error and corruption. Aid us from on high, most valiant defender in this conflict with the powers of darkness. And even as of old thou didst rescue the Child Jesus from the peril of His life, so now defend God's holy Church from the snares of the enemy and from all adversity. Shield us ever under thy patronage, that imitating thy example and strengthened by thy help, we may live a holy life, die a happy death and attain to everlasting bliss in heaven. Amen.


Monday, March 09, 2009

The Mother of the Saviour Mother of God

Jungfrau der Armen, BanneuxMary has identified herself in some way in all her visits. She made herself known to Catherine Labouré by the inscription she wished placed on the Miraculous Medal: "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee." Our Lady of La Salette gave herself no name but spoke of her Son, as she did at Pontmain. At Lourdes, Mary said: "I am the Immaculate Conception." And at Fatima she called herself Queen of the Rosary. At Banneux, Our Lady first said she was the Virgin of the Poor and this, together with her clothing, her rosary and the supernatural manner of her apperarance naturally inclined a few people to believe she was Our Lady. But many othes were skeptical because of this very title. They saw politcal implications in it and even thought that Mariette, the daughter of a poverty-stricken family, had invented it. They certainly knew nothing of Mariette, who was quite incapable of such flights of fancy. It was, though, not long before Our Lady swept these doubts away by presenting herself in the name that sets her above the angels and marks her off from all other creatures.
Mariette insisted that Our Lady called herself by this title: "The Mother of the Saviour Mother of God", and that she did not say she was: "The Mother of the Saviour and the Mother of God", which is what one would expect her to say. Does it matter? It does. The truth is always important and, in this particular case, Our Lady's title, as she herself gave it, carries an emphasis which makes it subtly different from that which she might have used by did not. "Mother of the Saviour" and "Mother of God" are both traditional names of Our Lady, but here they become one title, indissolubly welded together. Never before had the two names been joined in this manner until she herself did so at Banneux, and this union stresses how intimately she is involved in our salvation: "no single individual can even be imagined who has ever contributed or ever will contribute so much towards reconciling man with God." This the Church, the Fathers and the general faithful have always known, but at Banneux we are reminded again that she is indeed "a worthy and acceptable Mediatrix to the absolute Mediator - who is our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. By disclosing herself in the plenitude of her power at this, her last appearance (at Banneux), she makes it clear that the Mother of the Saviour Mother of God does not descend among us solely to heal the sick; her purpose is to lead us to a greater knowledge and love of her Son.
Our Lady's third and final exhortation: "Pray a lot" gains an even greater force and urgency coming, as it did, immediately after she had gravely announced that she was in truth the woman chosen by God to be His Mother and given by Him to be ours.

Looking back over Our Lady's words at Banneux we see that:
She wishes to be honored as the Virgin of the Poor.
She presents a gift to the people of every race and nation - a spring.
She expresses a wish: for a little chapel.
She makes a promise: to comfort and relieve the sick and to relieve all suffering.
She demands from us: confidence and constant prayer.
She fulfills her mission as Mother of the Saviour.
She reveals the greatness of her power as Mother of God.
She will pray for us, protect us, blss us and lead us to her Son, our Saviour and our God.

From: Virgin of the Poor - The Apparitions of Our Lady at Banneux - by John Beevers - Abbey Press, St. Meinrad, Indiana 47577 - 1972