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As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the whole world in which we live John Paul II
IMITATION OF MARY
“Heaven rejoices and earth is amazed when I say: Hail, Mary! Satan flees, hell trembles when I say: Hail, Mary! The world becomes contemptible, the flesh foul, when I say : Hail, Mary! Sadness disappears and joy returns when I say : Hail, Mary! Tepidity vanishes and the heart is inflamed with love when I say: Hail, Mary! Devotion grows, compunction is born, hope intensifies, and consolation is increased when I say : Hail, Mary! The soul is renewed and the inclination to good is strengthened when I say: Hail, Mary!’’ So intense is the sweetness of this blessed greeting that it cannot be expressed in human words. It remains forever loftier and more profound than any creature can grasp. Therefore, I kneel again before you, Most Holy Virgin Mary, and say: “Hail, Mary! full of grace.’’ My most merciful Lady, Holy Mary, accept this very devout greeting and, with it, me as well, so that there may be something in me that pleases you, strengthens my trust in you, enkindles in me an ever increasing love, and keeps me forever devoted to your holy name. Heaven grant that in order to satisfy my desire to honor you and greet you eternally from the depths of my heart, all my members may be transformed into tongues and the tongues into fiery voices. Mother of God, I want to be able to utter this greeting as a pure and holy sacrifice of prayer that will atone for all the sins by which I have merited God’s wrath, greatly saddened your Son, and very often dishonored and offended you and the entire heavenly court. Since my life is a frail thing and transient due to all my excesses, my negligences, and my vain, unclean, and perverse thoughts, may heaven grant that all the blessed spirits and the souls of the just may turn to you, Most Blessed Virgin Mary, with pure devotion and ardent prayer. May they repeat over and over in your honor that loftiest of greetings which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were the first to use to you through the mouth of the Angel. Thus, I would in a way find an incense worthy of being sweet odor, for in me there is nothing good and nothing deserving of reward. But now, impelled by heartfelt devotion, I prostrate myself before you. Wholly on fire with reverence for your holy name, I repeat that joyful new greeting, never heard until the Archangel Gabriel, sent by God, entered your room and there on bent knee honoured you by saying : “Hail, full of grace; the Lord is with you’’. Thomas a Kempis
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Editorial Hail Mary full of grace
Woman -What concern is....
12 Tom Zacharia
Let your Life be Light to others
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Babitha John 32
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Glory to the Queen of Heaven
The very name October brings to mind first the Holy Rosary. It is not a simple thing that the Rosary prayer is said for ten days in all Catholic Churches throughout the world. It has helped to nurture and enhance the devotion, love and respect towards Holy Mother. Just as the Rosary prayed personally helps very much for the sanctification and transformation of a person, the community prayer causes the blessing of the community. The greatest blessing that happens in a community Rosary prayer in a church is Holy Mary’s coming into that place. The Lord has blessed me to witness it directly many times. Rosary prayer has the power to bring down Holy Mother from heaven. Jesus has taught us the way to bring about and experience His presence whenever and wherever we wish (Mt 18:20). If
two or three people come together in the name of Jesus and pray calling His name, He would come there instantly. I have seen it many times this word of God becoming flesh and Jesus coming to the midst. ‘Hail Mary’ prayer has the power to call forth and bring down Holy Mother from heaven. Personally I experience it each time. In community prayer when all together pray ‘Hail Mary’ in one heart, Mother would have reached there. When her children call out to her from this earth, she cannot be up there in heaven. Mother would definitely come to be together with her children and bless them. It was the first miracle of Jesus that He performed at Cana. It was Mary who made Jesus work that miracle. St. John narrates it as follows: “On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding” (John 2:1,2). Mother of Jesus be there in advance, Jesus reaching there as an invited guest - why would have Holy Mary gone to that house in advance? Only one answer : Mary’s intimate relationship with that house. Since there was such a relationship, Mary was there. When the wine gave out, Mother could understand their grief, and without anybody’s request she could approach Jesus and present the
issue before Him as if it were her own. The Holy Spirit delivers a few good musings here: (1) Mary’s presence turned out to be a great blessing for that family. It was that family’s long -standing relationship with Mary that brought her there. Mary’s presence turned out to be a timely blessing for them. Having an intimate relationnship with Mary and ensuring her presence together with you will assure her timely blessings for you. Rosary prayer is the means to establish the intimate relationship with Mother. Her presence will be assuredly there with those who pray the Rosary with faith, holiness and devotion and who live a life holy, obeying the word of God. Develop and foster such an intimate relationship with the Mother. Remember, Mary is holy. Mary will not come where there is sin. Therefore those who seek Mary and those who want Mary - live according to the word of God, live in holiness. Mother will not leave them. Be not like those who seek Mary only at the hours of needs and wants ; make sure that Mary is always with you. (2) The wine gave out during the wedding banquet and it turned out to be great disgrace for the family. The family members became grieved and worried. Their grief became mother’s grief. Nobody rushes to her and compells her to do something or requesting anything, because nobody there had any knowledge that either Mary or Jesus could do anything. But because of her close relatioship with that family, their grief became her grief. She then runs to Jesus who, she knows, is the sole answer to their problem. In my personal life, my close relationship with Mother helps to experience in me her presence at anytime. If any diabolic torments are to be faced by me she rushes to me ahead of them and gives warning. No days are there at all when I do not see the Mother
coming to me like a flaming light with the brilliance of the sun. How comforting and joyful is that ! Seeing the Mother who is holy, experiencing the Mother’s voice in my heart - how deep is its sweetness ! O Mary, heavenly glory, heavenly brilliance, what a great fortune it is to be capable of experiencing thy presence, capable of seeing thee direct, capable of experiencing thy wish in my soul! O Mary who is wisdom, I praise you, glorify you! I have come to realize that my grief becomes my mother’s grief. That is why she rushes to me every time. One thing is true - the grief of anyone who nurtures an intimate relationship with the Mother is her own grief. To console and to strengthen in that grief, she will rush in. It may be some fire of suffering that I have to pass through. Mother takes me through that fire holding my hand. Mother helps to go through that fire unburned and untouched. Mother’s presence becomes as consoling as a moist wind in the fire. (3) Mary knows that Jesus alone is the remedy for the problem of the family at Cana, and she approaches him direct and intercedes for them. When she said to Jesus “They have no wine’’, the reply received was, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come’’ (Jn 2:3,4). Mary did not withdraw disappointed at that reply. On the contrary she was firm on making her son work a miracle and so she said to the servants, “Do whatever
he tells you’’ (Jn. 2:5). Immediatly Jesus discerned in his Spirit that he had to act. So Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water’’ (Jn 2:7). They filled them and the water turned wine. Mary did two things. One, she interceded before Jesus; two, even when Jesus turned down her request she stood firm and made him work the miracle. This is a very important thing. Many pray to Mary, trusting that she will intercede for them. Some receive blessings, some do not. One reason for not being blessed might be that the hour has not yet come. But a strong and intimate relationship with the Mother enables her to enforce Jesus to work a miracle so that the request of a true dovotee of the Mother is not turned down. Beyond and above the sphere of an intercession, let the relationship with the Mother be such as to compell Jesus to act, saying to him that it has to be done. When the Cananite woman approached Jesus, begging to deliver her daughter from a demon, Jesus was silent. Even though Peter and others interceded, it was rejected rudely. But the faith of that woman who begged for deliverance of her daughter even after being rejected - that faith forced Jesus to work miracle (Mt 15:21-28). Our own faithless prayers are a hindrance for obtaining blessings. But when Mary, fort of faith, intercedes for us in her faith, Jesus will work miracles. The prayer of ‘Hail Mary’ is a key that opens heaven. When it is prayed repeatedly and becomes the Rosary prayer, Mary will definitely rush down from heaven with blessings. It is stated by St. Louis De Montfort that every 153 beads Rosary that we pray is a crown on Mary’s head. Mary is Queen of Heaven. Crown for the queen is a symbol of glory. Mary being Queen of heaven, it is only proper that her children adorn her with the crown of Rosary. That will glorify Mary, make her powerful, awake her and make her act. Let the Rosary prayer in October be a starting. Let us pray the Rosary everyday. Holy Mary is inevitable for redemption of the world. If Mary is to act, Rosary is inevitable. Hope and pray that all the blessings, graces and virtues of the Holy Mother be bestowed upon each one who reads this. Tom Zacharia, Chief Editor. P.S. : I had thought of writting about the Holy Spirit as editorial for this issue. Yesterday and today I sat down accordingly with paper and pen but nothing was coming forth. It was after praying the 153 beads Roasry repeatedly that I was enabled to write this editorial.
HAIL MARY FULL OF GRACE
Catherine Mariam The Holy Church celebrates October as the month of Rosary. Devotion to the Holy Mass and devotion to the Rosary are two of the basic components of Christian life. For a true Christian these are the quintessential part of his daily life. Holy Mary is the person whom God selected to give us Jesus Christ, redeemer of the world. Just as salvation of the world started with the ‘Hail Mary’, salvation of every person also is related to this prayer. This is the prayer that transformed the arid and barren world and gave to it the fruit of eternal life. If prayed properly with reverence and devotion this prayer will cause the word of the Lord to be germinated in our souls and to give birth to Jesus the fruit of life. ‘Hail Mary’ is the snow that comes down from heaven to water the earth that our soul is. ‘Hail Mary’ is a beautiful prayer next only to the Lord’s Prayer. It is the noblest commendation that we can give to Holy Mary. It is the greeting sent to Mary by God through Archangel Gabriel. Mary was humble to the core. Yet she was persuaded by that greeting of Gabriel to give her fiat to the incarnation. Such was the power of this greeting. When we pray the ‘Hail Mary’ properly (with reverence, devotion and humility) it has the power to expel the devil. It is a hammer that crushes the wicked one. It is the opinion of many a saint that this prayer is holiness of the soul, the merriment of angels, the song of the elected ones, the psalm of the New Testament, the joy of Mary, and the glory of the Holy Trinity. It is the dew drops pouring from heaven to water the soul and make it fruit bearing. It is our sacred and loving kiss to Holy Mary. It is a precious gem. It is the most glittering flower of rose that we give to her. In the month of October, which is the month of the Rosary, let us resolve to pray a
153 bead Rosary for the glorification of Mother Mary. To the uninitiated it may seem to be a rather tiresome job. We can realize our needs and get answers to our supplications through the Rosary prayed with devotion. There must be love and devotion for Mother Mary in our hearts. Virgin Mary should be accepted and honoured as our own mother. It has to be ensured that we grow in virtues dearer to her heart and lead a holy life in accordance with the Word of the Lord. Devotion to Holy Mary is not some rituals or formal prayers outside of you. It has to branch out its roots deep into the heart. Some people just chant ‘Hail Mary’ in haste with the least devotion and reverence. Such supplications are not capable of bringing any blessing at all. There are other people who do not obey the Word of the Lord. They make little transformation in their lives. They lead the life of sinners and spread canards against just people and all sorts of accusations against others. These are all very strong bondages of the devil. A genuine devotee of Mary keeps away from all such evil. He will receive her help and free himself from all sins and bad habits and prosper in virtues and lead a saintly life. This sort of devotion is genuine devotion to Mary (Rosary devotion). “For they will be made holy who observe holy things in holiness” (Wisdom 6:10). If we practise devotion to Mary and Rosary in a manner befitting holy people we will also become holy. Get rid of all stray thoughts haunting you. Pray the rosary with devotion. Shed all laziness. Let it be not in undue haste. In the presence of the Lord you have to be reverential and well mannered. These are all important matters. These will help you grow in love of Jesus and to be nearer to Him and stay steady in graces
There are so many people who yearn and pray for the power and benedictions of the Holy Spirit (fruits, gifts, and the power of working miracles etc). The Holy Spirit of God is the greatest of benedictions that you receive from God through a simple Holy Rosary. The Holy Spirit raises us to the freedom that is the true legacy of the children of God. “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Rom 8:14). In the words of St Louis De Mont forte, “When the Holy Spirit, her spouse, finds Mary in a soul, he hastens there and enters fully into it. God the Holy Spirit wishes to fashion his chosen ones in and through Mary. He tells her, ‘My wellbeloved, my spouse, let all your virtues take root in my chosen ones that they may grow from strength to strength and from grace to grace. When you were living on earth, practising the most sublime virtues, I was so pleased with you that I still desire to find you on earth without your ceasing to be in heaven. Reproduce yourself then in my chosen ones, so that I may have the joy of seeing in them the roots of your invincible faith, profound humility, total mortification, sublime prayer, ardent charity, your firm hope and all your virtues. You are always my spouse, as faithful, pure, and fruitful as ever. May your faith give me believers; your purity, virgins; your fruitfulness, elect and living temples.” In the month of October devoted to Holy Mary, let us pray in full faith and holiness. May the Lord enrich us all with His benedictions and the power of the Holy Spirit. United with the faithful of all generations, we also shall pray : “Hail Mary, full of grace! The Lord is with you. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus”.
Woman - What concern is that to you and to me ?
Tom Zacharia The occassion was a wedding feast. The wedding and the feast was in a foreign state, not in India. Their food habits, customs and rituals were entirely different. It is the land of vineyards. Wine is an essential part of daily life here. Wine therefore has become an indispensable part of wedding feasts. But unfortunately the wine gave out - either because the number of guests exceeded the expectation or because the stock of wine was inadequate. The stewards panicked. They informed the master of the house. It was a shock. Dumbfound they asked one another. what is to be done? If
the guests come to know that wine has given out it will be a disgrace forever. Hearts broken they called out to the Lord - ‘Yahweh, help us to tide over so that such a disgrace does not fall on us’ Yahweh heard their prayers. One lady - a gem of a woman - was also among the invitees. The cord of relation with the family was quite strong and so she had arrrived sufficiently early. She saw the panic and murmurs. There was something serious, she could gather. The mistress of the house, finding her to be empathetic, detailed her woes. Wine has given out and nobody knows what to be done. That gem of a woman told her not to worry and trust in Yahweh who can help her. Loosening herself from the mistresse’s palms, the woman entered the banquet hall. She was searching for somebody. She found the one whom she was longing to find. He was in the midst of a group of people. People gave way to her. Eyes fixed on him she told him sobbingly, “They have no wine”. It was none other than her own darling son who heard her sorrowful complaint. She knew that none else but her son alone would be able to do something in this dilemma. That woman who interceded was none other than Holy Mary. The one whom she approached was Jesus Christ her darling son, Lord and saviour. Jesus addressed her stately and with authority, “Woman”. Addressing one’s mother as woman is not good manners. Was it because he wanted to show the people his pomp and grandeour that he addressed her in such a fashion?
Everybody else knew that it was Jesus’s mother who was standing before them. Were they shattered when Jesus addressed her as “Woman”?. There were his disciples also who had been with him for just a few days. Only two days had passed since Andrews, Simon, Philip and Nathaniel had become his disciples (John 1:35-51). It was on the third day that this wedding feast at Cana in Galilee took place. It was on John the Baptist’s testimony that both Andrews and Simon followed Jesus and became his disciples. The one whom they accpeted as their master was now addressing his mother as “Woman”. They might have got shattered. Would they too have thought that he was disrespectful of his mother?
Jesus and the Holy Spirit
Jesus stood and gazed. He is on his return to home after forty days. He was fasting and praying continuously for forty days and nights in the desert. Before that, he went in search of John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan and was baptized by John. Holy Spirit descended upon him. “Jesus full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Holy Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing at all during those days, and when they were over, he was famished” (Luke 4:1-2). When forty days of fasting and prayer was over “Jesus filled with the power of the Spirit, returned to Galilee’’ (Luke 4: 14). The one filled with the Holy Spirit became filled with the Power of the Spirit through forty days of prayers. Jesus crossed over to Galilee from there. It was on his re-
overshadow her. Why did the angel say so ? We have to keep in mind that even in the case of Jesus, the word of the Lord states that when Jesus was baptized in Jordan, he was filled with the Holy Spirit. But when the forty days’ prayer was over, Jesus was filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in two planes are discussed here. The first one concerns receiving the Holy Spirit. The second one relates to empowerment in the Holy Spirit. When Holy Mary expressed her fiat, she was filled with the Holy Spirit. In the succeeding days Mary became one with God through prayers. The power of the Most High became visible in her. The power of the Most High that itself is the anointment of the Holy Spirit.
turn journey that Jesus was invited to the wedding feast at Cana. It was the Holy Spirit so powerfully filled in Jesus who led him to Cana. God himself arranged the setting for the Holy Spirt to reveal himself and to perform his works.
Mary and the Holy Spirit
Mary, the mother of Jesus, was filled with the Holy Spirit. The Bible does not explicitly state when Mary was filled with the Holy Spirit. But we can decipher. When she received the word of the Lord through Gabriel, the angel had told her “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). When Mary expressed her fiat (“Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be with me according to your word”, Luke 1:38), the Holy Spirit descended upon her. The angel had told her not only that the Holy Spirit will come upon her, but it was also told that the power of the Most High will
What is anointment?
Anointment is an oft spoken term. Everyone talks about the anointment of the Holy Spirit. They also pray for the anointment to descend. But what exactly is meant by anointment ? A state of overflow-
ing when filled to the brink. If you anoint somebody with oil or ointment on his head when the scalp and hair are fully soaked with the oil or ointment it begins overflowing from the head. When you pour out further and further, the overflow will continue. Anointment is the state when the Holy Spirit overflows in a person. Jesus says, “Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:38). The infilling has to be in the heart first. When it is full, it starts overflowing. That which fills in me is for me. That which overflows is for others. Holy Spirit is present in everyone who has received him. It may be just a spark in the bottom of the heart. It is not anointment. To be filled with the Holy Spirit you have to pay the price and have to pray continuously. Only there will the infilling become an overflow and an anointment. The anointment in Jesus became healing, deliverance and salvation for others. In the prophets and the apostles anointment of the Holy Spirit overflowed. The power of the Most High that emanated from Holy Mary is the anointment of Mary. It was because Mary was infilled to the brink and was overflowing that the power of the Holy Spirit anointed Elizabeth when the former greeted her. The same power of the Holy Spirit entered into John the Baptist who was still in his mother’s womb and made him leap for joy. Halelujah! “Even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:15).This is the word of the Lord revealed through Gabriel and accomplished through Holy Mary. John was the one who received the power of Elijah. John received this power also
through Mary. Mary is perfect in the power of the Most High. Mary and Jesus, both came endowed with the power of the Holy Spirit to the wedding at Cana in Galilee. When it was known that wine has given out the Holy Spirit in Mary woke up. The Spirit led Mary to Jesus. Mary tells Jesus that they do not have wine. Jesus addresses Mary as ‘woman’. The stately address as ‘Woman’ came not from Jesus but from the Holy Spirit filled in Jesus. It was with great pleasure and fervance that the Holy Spirit addressed Mary as “woman”. The Holy Spirit knew beforehand that Jesus was going to perform a miracle through Mary. It was the Holy Spirit in Jesus who addressed Mary as woman. Jesus himself tells us, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works” (John 14:10). The words that Jesus spoke were the words of His Father. The work that he did were the deeds of his Father.
“The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a warrior who gives victory; he will rejoice over you with gladness” (Zeph 3:17)
My name is Agnes Ann Augustine. During my 10th Std. public exams, I requested prayer from marian koodaram. Thus God blessed me with nine A+ grades and one A grade. Lots and lots of thanks to my Jesus for giving me such a great blessing. Agnes Ann Augustine, Thrissur, Kerala.
Jesus who addressed her as woman said, “What concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). It was actually meant to glorify and exalt Mary that Jesus said those words. God the Father had willed that nothing shall happen in Jesus’ life without Holy Mary who gave birth to him. When Jesus said that his time had not yet arrived the Spirit in Mary was awakened. The Holy Spirit in Mary became the instrument that compelled Jesus to do the miracle. Mary told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:5). Mary should have instructed the householder, not the servants. But she gave instruction to the servants. It was the Holy Spirit in Mary who talked. Instantly Jesus, directed by the Holy Spirit, told the servants, “Fill the jars with water” (John 2:7). Mary told the servants to act as per Jesus’ direction. Jesus asked them to fill the jars. It was the power of the same Holy Spirit who dwelled in Jesus and Mary that was at work. Hallelujah! Mary told them, “Do whatever he tells you”. When she uttered those words, what emanated from Mary was the power of the Holy Spirit. Those words awakened the Spirit in Jesus Christ with fire in the same manner as the words of Mary awakened Elizabeth and as John was filled with the spirit of Elijah. Instantly Jesus ordered “Fill the jars with water”. Hallelujah! Mary was the one who prodded and compelled Jesus to perform his first miracle. Through that God the
Father was exalting and glorifying his beloved daughter. Hallelujah!
Why did Jesus address Mary as woman? It was the Lord’s revelation to the world. We see Jesus addressing Mary as woman two times in the Bible. Jesus is God. Mary is his mother. More important, she was “woman”to him. It was in the midst of his two great events - first at the wedding feast at Cana in Galilee and for the second time at the time of his death on the cross. It was the unveiling of a great mystery. She is the woman, the promised woman. It was this truth that Jesus said aloud. What is meant by the ‘promised woman’? When the first woman Eve sinned she told God the Lord, “The serpent deceived me”. God said to the serpent, “I will put enmity between your offspring and hers; she will strike your head” (Gen 3: 15, Latin translation). Mary is the second ‘woman’ who is promised by God the Lord to crush the head of the serpent who deceived the first woman. She is the one to crush the head of satan. Revelation 12th chapter details the fight between the ancient serpent and the woman. Mary is the woman. The might of satan will be completely destroyed through Mary. She is the one sent by the Lord from heaven. God’s wisdom made flesh, that is Holy Mary. The perfection and greatness of God’s
schemes are deposited in Mary. So Jesus addressed her as “woman”. It is neither rejection nor insulting nor humiliating. It was the voice of recognition, authority and power that was shown. Oh Mary, you are the woman, the one sent by the Lord, the promised one. You have attired yourself in might and authority. Your authority and
supremacy pervades the heaven, earth and the hades. “I dwelt in the highest heavens, and my throne was in a pillar of cloud. Alone I compassed the vault of heaven and traversed the depths of the abyss. Over waves of the sea, over all the earth, and over every people and nation I have held sway” (Sirach 24:46).
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you”(Isa 43:2)
My name is Gabriel. I was working in a chemical tanker ship. During my duty time in the first week of April 2013, at about 10.30 at night, I had an intuition that the main engine of the ship had caught fire. The cargo in the ship was ‘Naphta’, which is highly inflammable. Holding fast the Rosary which is always there in my left pocket, I prayed, spiritually uniting with Bro. Tom, Sr. Catharine and all the Spirit in Jesus prayer centers, ‘Holy Mother, take control of the situation, Holy Spirit in Jesus, help me and strengthen me’. I continued praising the Lord. The ship’s master and the chief engineer were informed immediatly. The speed of the ship was reduced and instructions were given so that fire might not spread out. Fire pump, fire extinguishers, first aid things etc, were arranged quickly. More than anything else the good Lord gave me timely insights to arrange everything properly with courage and without making others to panic. The ship’s engine was changed from heavy oil to diesel in 95o temparature. All this time the ship’s crew were trying their level best to protect the cargo (Naptha) from any spark. The captain and the chief engineer took it not that serious as there was no sign of fire outside the engine. After about 20 minutes the green colour of the engine gradually blackened and fumes came out and all actually got frightened. But with all the safety measures taken, the Holy Spirit helped us to handle the situation so calmly and with a joint effort we could stop the engine for maintenance. After about 6 hours we could resume our voyage, with the same engine put to work. The engine was not seriously damaged. Spirit of the Lord protected all of us in the ship without causing even a scratch. After everything cooled off, the senior officers enquired me, how come I know that the engine caught fire. Showing the Rosary and the crucifix I told them, ‘nobody else but Jesus and Holy Mother gave me the information’. Ave Maria! Thank you Jesus! Thank you Father in Heaven! Thank you Holy Spirit. Gabriel, Thrissur, Kerala.
Let your Life be
When I was a young boy, there was a begger in our village - an aged grand dad. Though there were many other beggers who came on saturdays and other days this particular old man was singluarly loved by every one of us. Children were usually afraid of beggers. But they loved this saturday grandpa. If for some reason the grandpa did not come, every one felt quite bad. When he came next time we used to enquire what befell him last time. Years passed by. Our grandpa did not turn out on one saturday. He was not to be found the next week also. The grandpa’s vanishing became a subject of talk. A few of us went to the grandpa’s homevillage, only to learn that he had died a few days previously. The people of our village especially children learnt of his death with deep sorrow. Now even after two decades there are quite a few people who still remember the saturday grandpa. Though a mere beggar he was loved by everyone. It was because he was a very virtuous man. His presence was a pleasure and solace to everyone. He used to bless and pray for every house and household: “God
e Light to others
Joshy Pandari bless you all”, “your kids shall become great”, “your disease will be cured soon, “you have a bright future”. These were only some of his good words and wishes. Even if you gave him no alms he did not reproach. Let us examine our own lives. Is my life a blessing to others? Does my presence and proximity offer any happiness, peace or solace to others ? Do others thirst for my proximity ? If a beggar could transmit his happiness to others, we who are ministers in the kingdom of the Lord and who have known God the Lord, should be able to do the same thing with better results. We are the ones who are called upon to illuminate the world. We walk in the light that Jesus Christ is. Our lives are meant to illuminate the lives of others. “Again Jesus spoke to them; saying “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus is the light of the world. He is the light of our life. “In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:4-5). We who follow Jesus are not in darkness but in light. In our life together with Jesus, darkness cannot co-exist. The light within us should be able to banish the darkness encompassing us. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven’’ (Mat 5:4-16). We are the ones who have partaken of godly life. We who traverse in this light have to reach the life of others with this lantern. We have to be the apostles of love and service, kindling the lives of others with hope, solace and expectations. We have to give Jesus who is the light of life to others. When we are led by the world and the things of the world our pathways will be flooded
with darkness. If we travel along such a darkened pathway, how can we be light to others? The blind cannot lead the blind. It is Jesus’ light that should lead us. “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you by night, but the Lord will be your everlasting light and your God will be your glory”. (Isa 60:19) Those who are led by the true light that is Jesus, cannot be congenial to the world. They will be a blessing and solace to many. They will be valuable assets for the kingdom of God. They can carry the lantern of faith. Pope Francis used the epithet, “intercessor of light’’ in his first encyclical while referring to Mother Theresa who led many a human soul from darkness to the light of hope and faith. Pope Francis added that faith is simply not scattering darkness. On the other hand it helps one to step out in darkness and keep him company all through. The Holy Church is commemorating the 200th birth centenary of blessed Frederich Osanam this year. He was born in 1813. In France he started his deeds of kindness when he was just twenty and became the resort to thousands living in poverty and penury. Now after 180 years, St.Vincent de Paul society has become a succour to all. Is it not because of the light radiated through the person of Osanam?
It is our good works that illuminate the lives of our brethren. But the world we live in is engulfed in sin. Hence it loves darkness more than light. The influence of the world overshadows the light of godly life in us. Therefore quite often we find it impossible to give fruits pleasing to the Lord. “Live as children of light for the fruit of life is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord’’ (Ephes 5:8-10). Acts of selfishness destroys the light in the life of others. If one has a mentality that seeks the good of himself only, he cannot be a solace to others. Self interests should not be allowed to have sway over our relationship with others. We have to correct and rectify the mistakes and drawbacks in our personal relationships with brethren. It is in this way only that we can bring light in the life of others which is our duty. But if you are self-defensive and self-justifying you cannot by your presence illuminate the wounded heart of your fellow beings. “They are darkened
in their understanding, alieanted from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart.” (Eph 4:18) Our lives should be little lanterns to those who are in sin and misery. Am I light to my family, neighbours and my prayer fellowhship? Have I been able to lead them along the path of goodness, virtue and joy? The Christmas star led the shepherds to the manger where infant Jesus was born. Likewise I am here to glitter in darkness and lead many a heart in despair and dismay to the hope that Jesus is. Have I been able to ? We read in the word of the Lord that when God’s angel came to Peter in prison, light shone in the cell (Acts 12:7). It is seen in other parts of the Holy Bible that the presence or coming of the Lord is accompanied by light. If your presence which emits God’s light does not radiate the joy
that it should to others, it means that the light in you is sullied Those who meet us should be able to discern the godly light in us. Our presence must be able to deliver one from darkness just like the angel freed Peter from prison. “The night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light” (Rom 13:12). The Holy Mother bore the light of the world in her womb. Her sheer presence blessed Elizabeth, the child in her womb, the householder giving the marriage feast at Cana, and the apostles assembled at the Sehion attic. Let us pray that we may be filled with light so that our presence itself shall be a blessing to others. Let the Holy Spirit be filled in us. Holy Mother, pray for us. Amen.
“Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O Lord of hosts, my King and my God” (Ps 84:3)
“For nothing will be impossible with God’’. This word of God really proved true in our family. My name is Mary. There were a number of hindrances in my son’s academic career. Problems began to rise up in the 2nd year itself of his engineering course. He faced failure in both years. He couldn’t pass the subject in which he had failed in the second year even after appearing for several chances. In the 5th year he said if he fails for the same once again he wouldn’t try again. We informed the Spirit In Jesus counsellors who came home and prayed for him. When the re-valuation result came he passed. During final year studies, he had to study the subjects in which he had faild in the third year also. We prayed for getting all these subjects in the first chance itself, and also intended to give testimony in the magazine. Besides, we requested for prayer from Marian Koodaram. When the result came, he passed in all the subjects. Thousands of thanks and praise to the Triune God and Holy Mother. Mary Joseph, Kalpetta, Kerala.
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Eze 36:26)
Blessed be the Lord in heaven. My name is Sebastian, settled in Kottayam district, Kerala. Boundless are the graces, love and mercy showered in my life by my Lord. For 15 years I participated in different retreats in almost all the retreat centers in Kerala. My soul was thirsty to have a deep experience of God my creator, but never did I get pacified. In 2006, through a friend of mine, I chanced to read the magazine ‘Itha Ninte Amma’. During the perusal I experienced a sort of spiritual infilling and great anointing. The anointing was getting stronger on reading each page. Later I got more information about this ‘Spirit in Jesus’ Ministry from Marian Koodaram. In the same year itself I got a chance to attend a 3 day convention at Pala, Kerala. Many insights I got through Bro. Tom and Sr. Catherine. After that the Lord blessed me to participate in Spirit in Jesus retreats and programmes and prayer gatherings. After each prayer gathering changes could be seen in our family. I really experienced several evil forces and hereditary curses getting rooted out from our family. During a retreat in 2009, on the 4th day, there was a deep and touching class by Bro. Tom about the ten commandments, in front of the Blessed Sacrament. In between, the greatest miracle in my life happened. Jesus began to crush my heart which was too hard. Sweat covered my whole body. Tears rolled down my eyes like from a fountain. For almost 3 hours my heart was sobbing painfully. By the time the class and Eucharistic adoration were over, the Lord had taken away my sins with all its heaviness. Joy, peace and happiness filled me. Next day I got reconciled to God by confessing all my sins to the priest with a penitent heart and tearful eyes. It was to Jesus that I confessed - I was aware. And He on His part immersed into the deep sea all my sins. That retreat was the turning point in my life. The word of God in Acts 16:31 was made flesh in our family, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household”. In each retreat and prayer thereafter the Lord poured out his graces and charisms. “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?’’ (1 Cor 3:16) - through this word of God the Holy Spirit guides me everyday. The Good Lord allowed me to find out what I really craved for and sought for, through this ministry. Word of the Lord in Ezechiel 36:25-27 were becoming flesh in me. My Lord transformed and moulded my heart. I have surrendered all my likes and desires to the Lord completely, seeking and fulfilling solely His will and being guided every moment by the Holy Spirit. I thank my Mother for leading me to such a heavenly experience. Ave Maria, Halleluja! Sebastian Choondianipurath, Kottayam, Kerala.
SAINT OF THE MONTH
Blessed John XXIII
(Pope 1881 - 1963)
“Let the winds of change blow into the Church!’’ said His Holiness, Pope John XXIII, symbolically opening a window, at the commencement of Vatican II in the year 1962. Ever since, neither have the winds of change stopped blowing nor has any of John’s successors closed the window of the Church on the winds of change. Indeed, the Church Universal continues to take a scrutinizing look both at herself and at the gospel she preaches and practises. Blessed John XXIII was obviously a man with a keenness all his own - a keen foresight that led him to call the council whose discussions, decisions and directives have had far reaching implications; a keen sense of duty that ensured he maintained a busy schedule, whether as a priest or a bishop, as Archbishop, Cardinal or Pope, that was both exacting and productive; a keen sense of judgement that helped him save the Church in France much embarrassment and heart-breaking during the priest-workers’ strife in that country; a keen sense of humanity that saw him save an estimated 24,000 Jews from extermination; a keen sense of humour that saw him steer clear of controversy through many a possible crisis; a keen sense of God’s providence that made him the ideal person to promote a new dialogue with Protestant and Orthodox Christians and with Jews and Muslims as well; and, above all, a keen sense of Christian unity that had him make his own the priestly prayer of Jesus on the eve of his death, “Ut unum sint”, i.e., “that they may be one” (Jn 17:22). Born into a simple peasant family of Sotto il Monte near Bergamo, Northern Italy on 25 November 1881, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was ordained Priest in 1904, In 1953 he was created Cardinal and appointed Patriarch of Venice. In October 1958, subsequent to the death of Pius XII, Angelo Roncalli, aged 78, was elected Pope. He took the name of John. A many-sided personality, with deep reserves to draw upon, John XXIII was a man of intuitive tact, gracious courtesy, simple and open-minded, always succeeding in bringing out the best in people. As a certain journalist named Giovanna once said, “One experiences a sense of release in speaking to him’’. This humble “Pope of the Council” was raised to the honours of the Altar on 3 September 2000 by Pope John Paul II. The Pope’s canonization procedures have now been completed and Pope Francis has anounced that Pope John XXIII, along with Pope John Paul II, will be declared saints on April 27, 2014.
Mother Mary against Word of God?
Mary is the Mother of ‘Word of God’. John 1:1 teaches that the “Word was God”. Jesus is the ‘Word made flesh’ in Mother Mary’s womb, and how can honoring Mother Mary be against the Word of God? “Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord” (Luke 1:45). Like Mary, we must learn to receive and obey the Word of God. God the Father Almighty was the first to honor Mother Mary as seen in Luke 1:28. “In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!”(Luke 1:26-28). Gabriel was sent by God, so it was God’s message that Gabriel delivered. If God the Father was the first person to call Mary ‘Blessed’ or in other words ‘Hail, full of Grace’, can any of God’s creatures do less? Can anyone contradict a clear statement from God Himself ? Anyone who attempts to do so is putting himself above God.
The greatest way to honor Mother Mary is by reciting the Holy Rosary which is filled with the Word of God and helps the people to meditate upon the mysteries of God and thus receive great deliverance, thereby glorifying God more and more. God needed Mary to give birth to His Divine Son. If God needed her, do we not need her also to experience Jesus ourselves and to give Him to the world? In Luke 11:28 Jesus indirectly proclaims that Mother Mary who was completely obedient to the Word of God is blessed by saying, “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” Jesus honored His mother. God Himself obeyed His mother everyday, as He was growing up. This is shown in Luke 2:51, “And He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them”. Jesus also obeyed Mary by performing His first miracle at her request at Cana when He turned the water into wine in John 2:1-5. Jesus Christ therefore kept the commandment ‘honor thy father and mother’. If Jesus Christ honored His mother, can we do less? Jesus Christ loves His mother like any good son would. He will defend her from all attacks against her. If you have not honored Mary, what will you tell her Son when you eventually meet Him face to face, after you have taken your last breath, and He asks you why? What reason can you find to dishonor or criticize her? Holy Spirit filled in Elizabeth honors Mother Mary, “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud
cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!”(Luke 1:41,42) Mary who was filled with the Holy Spirit and upon whom the power of the Most High dwelled (Luke 1:46) glorifies God saying, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”(Luke1: 46-49). Here the Holy Spirit demands that all generations should call Mother Mary “Blessed” as the Father in Heaven have certified the very fact. It’s not a mere suggestion. Hence if anyone criticizes Mother Mary it becomes blasphemous and against the Word of God. There is no Scripture that tells not to honor her but a lot of Scriptures where God Himself honors and respects her. Does any man or woman have the right, or the authority, to say we should not honor Mary? When we honor Mary we actually adore and glorify God who gave her all. All her greatness flows from her closeness to Christ. As she says: “For He who is mighty has done great things for me and Holy is His name” (Luke 1:49). Such honor is in recognition of God’s Divine accomplishments through Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit. Through the various forms of Marian devotion the Church ensures that while these honor the Mother they also make her Son Jesus known, loved and glorified and His commands obeyed. One’s love of
Mary is certain to direct the Christian towards the love of Jesus Christ. Catholics do not worship Mary. The sign of this is that we do not make sacrifice to her. We don’t find any Catholic priest offering a Mass to Mary or any other saint. The sacrifice of the Mass is offered to God the Almighty Father. Even if a church is named in honor of Mary or any other saint, the Holy Mass is offered to God alone. The Roman Catholic Church holds many teachings associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. Four of these specific doctrines have been raised to the level of dogma. She has been honored by the different titles given to her.
MOTHER OF GOD
“And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron”(Rev 12:5). Is she a mother like any other mother? In Revelation 19:13-15, this phrase of ruling with a rod of iron is specifically applied to ‘the Word of God’ who is Jesus (John 1:1). Thus, this Son is Jesus. Jesus is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the only Son of God. We know He is also the ‘Incarnate Word’ as explained in John 1:14, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” John 1:1 teaches us that the “Word was God.” Mary gave birth to the ‘Incarnate Word’ and the ‘Word’ was God.
To whom did Mary give birth? The only possible answer is that she gave birth to God. Some insist that she only gave birth to the ‘humanity’ of God, but what does that mean? Jesus Christ was the only person ever born with two natures, one human and one divine. He was but one person however, not two. Back to John 1:1 and 14, the ‘Incarnate Word’ was God. Jesus Christ is a divine person. Mothers give birth to persons, each with a nature. They do not give birth to natures. God Himself calls Jesus Christ His divine Son (Heb 1:5-8). In Luke 1:42-43 Mary’s aunt Elizabeth exclaims with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” 17 times in Luke 1 for example, the term ‘Lord’ is used and every single time the term is used, it speaks of God. The aversion to using the term Mary as the ‘Mother of God’ is thus non biblical. If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. The woman who crushes the head of Satan is the mother of Jesus who is Mary and this title rightly belongs to her. The First Council of Ephesus in the fifth century proclaimed Virgin Mary as “theotokos”, a title rendered in English as “Mother of God”. The use of Theotokos was formally affirmed at the Third Ecumenical Council held at Ephesus in 431 condemning Nestorius’s belief that she was only the mother of human Jesus, christotokos.
PERPETUAL VIRGINITY OF MARY
The New Testament and Church Tradition provide evidence to the second Marian dogma, her perpetual virginity. “All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet, “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,’ which means ‘God is with us’” (Mt 1: 22, 23).
In the Word of God we can clearly see Jewish people continuing vows of sexual abstinence even after marriage. Consecrated virgins were part of the religious landscape of the Jewish world. The book of Numbers chapter 30 appears to be specifically concerned with vows of sexual abstinence taken by married women. Mary took a vow of sexual abstinence and her words “How can this be, since I know not man?” (Luke 1:34) is an evidence that she had taken the vow and Righteous Joseph had accepted this vow and she declares that she is a perpetual virgin. The doctrine of the perpetual virginity of Mary, which is believed de fide (i.e. held by Catholics as being an essential part of faith), states that Mary was a virgin before, during and after giving birth for all her life. In many icons, Mary’s perpetual virginity is signified by three stars that appear on her left, her right, and above her or on her head, which represent her virginity before, during and after giving birth. This dogma is celebrated through the twin solemnities of the Annunciation, (March 25), and Christmas (Incarnation), (December 25). While many confirmed this dogma in the fifth century, its official proclamation was not made until the Lateran Synod of 649, under the direction of Pope Martin I. It is important to understand how Catholics respond to Matthew 13:55, which speaks of Jesus’ brothers and sisters. The Catholic Tradition has always understood these “brothers” and “sisters” in a generic sense, viewing them as brethren or possibly distant relatives. They have never been
understood as children of Joseph and Mary and, therefore, blood siblings of Jesus. The word for brother and the word for first generation cousin were the same in ancient Greek. Jesus has no blood siblings at the end of his life. Otherwise, He would have entrusted his mother to the care of his brother instead of his disciple John. (Jn 19:26-27)
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
Gen. 3:15-This passage is especially significant in that it refers to the “Seed of the woman,” a singular usage. The woman is Mary who gave birth to child Jesus without the aid of a human father, a fact prophesied in Isaiah 7:14,” Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” If Mary were not completely sinless this prophecy becomes untenable. Why is that? The passage points to Mary’s Immaculate Conception because it mentions a complete enmity between the woman and Satan. Such an enmity would have been impossible if Mary were tainted by sin, original or actual. “For what partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? What agreement has the temple of God with idols?” (2 Cor. 6:14). This line of thinking rules out Eve as ‘the woman’, since she clearly was under the influence of satan as per Genesis 3. To be Mother of God and to crush head of satan the woman should be completely sinless and immaculate. The enmity between
the ‘woman’ and the serpent cannot be reconciled with sin in the woman: not only with original sin, but with any sin whatsoever. Any sin at all would constitute a victory for the serpent. “Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil.”(1 John 3:8). Then how can one say it is Israel who rebelled against God or any other particular group, to be the woman of Revelation 12? The salutation of the angel Gabriel, which was from Father Almighty ‘Hail, full of grace’ (Luke 1:28) indicates a unique abundance of grace, a supernatural grace that is bestowed upon Mary, which finds its explanation only in the Immaculate Conception of Mary. It expresses a characteristic quality of Mary. Only the continual union of Mary with grace explains sufficiently the enmity between her and satan. Genesis 3:15, therefore, in the original text contains not only a direct
promise of the Redeemer, but in conjunction therewith the manifestation of the masterpiece of His Redemption, the perfect preservation of His virginal Mother from original sin. The texts Proverbs 8 and Sirach 24 exalts the Wisdom of God and which in the liturgy are applied to Mary, who is wisdom herself. “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.”(Song of Solomon 4:7) On December 8, 1854, Pope Pius IX officially declared the Immaculate Conception a dogma of the Church, which means that all Christians are bound to accept it as true. As the Holy Father wrote in the Apostolic Constitution ‘Ineffabilis Deus’, “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the
merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.” During the sixteenth Apparition at Lourdes on March 25th 1858, Bernadette Soubirous was determined to know the lady’s name and she repeated four times the question, “Would you be so kind as to tell me who you are?” Mary finally answered: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This statement from the Lady confirms the doctrine of Pope Pius 1X declared only four years earlier on December 8, 1854. She is “The Woman Clothed with the sun “(Rev 12:1), the completely pure one.
ASSUMPTION OF MARY
“But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle, so that she could fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to her place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.” (Rev 12:14). This verse indicates the Assumption of Mother Mary. ‘Wings of Eagle’ represents God’s mighty protection (Exodus 19:4). ‘Wilderness’ in Israel’s past has been a place of God’s protection and provision. “Therefore, I will now allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. From there I will give her her vineyards, and make the Valley of A’chor a door of hope” (Hosea 2:14, 15). “For the wages of sin is death.” (Rom 6:23). Mother Mary who was untainted (even free from original sin) cannot die. Mary was assumed with her virgin and pure body and soul into heaven. If Elijah was taken up to heaven along with his body (2 Kings 2:1-12), if God had taken Enoch to heaven so that he did not experience death (Hebrews 11:5), then how much more worthy will the Mother of God, Mary, most immaculate be to be assumed to heaven! Also, Christ was bound to “Honor your father and mother,” and thus honored his mother Mary by not allowing her body to decay. Christ would not see Enoch and Elijah assumed into Heaven and then allow His very own mother to rot. Throughout the years, the Roman Catholic Church has found the bodies of some of the saints to be incorrupt. Some of them are St John Vianney (died 1859), St
“Make vows to the Lord your God, and perform them; let all who are around him bring gifts to the one who is awesome” (Ps 76:11)
My name is Kunjamma Joseph. I am testifying this for my grandson. When he was in standard 10, he was not that good in studies. He was telling that when he sits for studies he begins to drowse. I sought the intercession of Holy Mother in this regard. I also decided to testify his success in our magazine. As a result he could study properly and pass the exams. Thank you Lord for your mercy. Praise you Jesus, thank you Holy Mother. Kunjamma Joseph, Kannur, Kerala.
Bernadette of Lourdes (died 1879), St John Bosco (died 1888), St Clare of Assisi (died 1253), St Francis Xavier (died 1552) and others. Mary, the woman that bore Him, nursed Him, and stood by Him during His passion and death on the cross - will not Her Son honor her by assuming her into heaven! Catholics don’t speak of the “Ascension of Mary.” Christ ascended by His own power. But Mary was passively assumed into heaven by Christ. His power accomplished the honor. And thus in Revelation 12, Mary is seen as being “in Heaven.”In the Psalms, there is a verse which says, “At your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.”(Psalm 45:9) The apostolic Tradition is consistent that Mary was granted the privilege of being assumed, body and soul, into heaven. Her role as Mother of God made it inappropriate for her to experience the corruption of the grave. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII published ‘Munificentissimus Deus’, which proclaimed the Assumption as an infallible dogma. Today this feast is celebrated each August 15 and is commemorated as a holy day of obligation, meaning Catholics are obligated, as with Sunday, to attend Mass. Catholic tradition assigns the identity of ‘the woman’ to the Virgin Mary after her assumption into heaven, where she is revealed in all her glory (Revelation 12:1-2) as the “Queen of Heaven”, “Mother of God”, “Mother of the Church”, the “CoRedemptrix”, and the “Mediatrix of all graces.” This view has been affirmed by Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XII, Pope Paul VI, and Pope John Paul II. Holy Queen (will continue...)
“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Ps 103:1)
To the Lord I lift up my soul in thanksgiving for having blessed my daughter-in-law Deepa Mary with a job. She has not been able to hold on to a job ever since she landed in the United States in 2002. I cried out to my Lord in distress and he listened to me and answered me. All my heart goes out to you my Lord, in praise and thanksgiving. When I apealed for prayer, I was reminded whether I should not be praying for the spiritual aspect as well. Accordingly I have been offering up one decade of the Rosary for them, for their spiritual wellbeing since February last. By April the Lord was ready with a job to bless her. Mother Mary, please help me to remain grateful to the Lord all my life. I love you Mother. Matilda Pereira, Trivandrum, Kerala.
Lisbon, consecrated the Pope’s pontificate to Our Lady of Fatima on May 13, her feast day.
Pope to consecrate world to Voyager 1 Becomes First ManMary’s Immaculate Heart Made Object to Reach Vatican City : (CNA). Pope Francis will Interstellar Space consecrate the world to the Immaculate
Heart of Mary on Oct.13 as part of the Marian Day celebration that will involve the statue of Our Lady of the Rosary of Fatima. According to the Portuguese shrine’s website, the statue of Our Lady of Fatima will leave for Rome on the morning of Oct. 12 and return on the afternoon of Oct. 13. The statue normally resides in the shrine’s Little Chapel of Apparitions. The archbishop said that “all ecclesial entities of Marian spirituality” are invited to take part in the celebration. Hundreds of movements and institutions that emphasize Marian devotion are expected to attend, the Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima says. The two-day observance includes an Oct. 12 pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Peter and moments of prayer and meditation. On Oct. 13, Pope Francis will celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Square. Our Lady of Fatima appeared to three shepherd children in the village of Fatima in Portugal in 1917. She warned of violent trials in the twentieth century if the world did not make reparation for sins. She urged prayer and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. At the request of Pope Francis, Cardinal Jose Polycarp, the Patriarch of
NASA’s Voyager 1 spacecraft, which was launched in 1977, has officially entered interstellar space and is now more than 19 billion kilometers from our sun, nearly 130 times farther away than our planet. Anannouncement from NASA scientists confirms that the probe has entered a region of space that is outside our sun’s electromagnetic influence. Voyager completed its primary mission in 1980, after taking spectacular photos of Jupiter and Saturn, and has been flying away from the sun ever since. An analysis of data from the machine’s plasma wave sensor suggests that Voyager 1 in fact reached interstellar space more than a year ago, in August 2012. Voyager 1 will not actually leave the solar system for a very long time. That boundary is thought to extend to a region called the Oort Cloud, a band of icy bodies from which many comets originate. It is hypothesized to exist at a distance 50,000 times that of the Earth and the sun. Of course, Voyager’s batteries will run out long before then, probably around 2025, so it won’t be sending back any signals after that
Facebook is No Friend to Mental Health
Roughly a half billion people interact on Facebook every day, with many more engaging in other social networking sites. With all these friends, it would seem that social networking followers have a great support system and a happy life. New research points out, however, that Facebook may actually be undermining well-being and life satisfaction. Researchers at the University of Michigan examined two weeks of Facebook use and concluded that the more people use Facebook, the more negative they feel about their life moment-to-moment, and the more dissatisfied they were with their life in general over time. Several other studies have reported negative associations with social networking, including tension between romantic partners. Social networking sites foster attachment issues, uncertainty, and partner surveillance, all of which lead to negative relationship outcomes.
emphasizing the need for a more communal dynamic in which the leaders of the Church “are at the service of the people of God.” Referencing St. Francis of Assisi’s vision of the Church, Pope Francis urged that “the ideal of a missionary and poor Church remains more than valid...this is still the Church that Jesus and his disciples preached.” When pressed by comments stating that a love for power strongly exists in the Vatican, and that the institution predominates the poor, missionary Church he envisions, the Pontiff stated that “Things are in fact like this.” ”On this subject no miracles are made,” he said, recalling how during his life, St. Francis also had to “negotiate at length with the Roman hierarchy” for the recognition of the rules of his order, which he eventually obtained, “but with profound changes and compromises.” When asked if he would follow the same path as his patron, the Pope said that although he does not have the “strength and holiness” of the saint, he has appointed the council of eight Cardinals to assist him in building a Church that is “not only vertical, but horizontal.”
Pope says the Curia is Vatican Centric.
CNA/EWTN News: The Church leaders, according to the Holy Father, “have often been narcissistic.” Although the curia’s main job is to manage “the services that serve the Holy See,” said the Pope, “its has a defect: it is Vatican-centric.” This Vatican-centric vision neglects the world that surrounds it. I do not share this vision and I will do everything (I can) to change it,” he said,
Voyager-1 has left the solar system, but what message is it carrying to the stars?
Launched 36 years ago in September 1977, Voyager-1 has become the first man-made object to leave the solar system. But it’s
not just sending back signals to Earth, Voyager-1 is also carrying a present for anyone who finds it: the Voyager Golden Record. Encoded on the disc is a compilation of sounds and images intended to encapsulate the diversity of life on Earth, as well as outline humanity’s basic knowledge of physics, chemistry and astronomy.
told Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist with whom he recently corresponded. The Pope affirmed that each person must follow his conscience, saying, “Everyone has an idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight the evil as he or she understands it. That would be enough to improve the world.” The two were able to agree that love for other people must come to surpass the love of self in men’s hearts. Pope Francis pointedly asked Scalfari about what he believes, regarding “the essence of the world” and questions of man’s nature: “who we are, where we come from, where we are going.” Pope Francis responded by saying that Being is God the Father, who is “the light and the Creator.” “God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us.”
Pope to atheist: all people can receive grace, seek the Good
Vatican City, (CNA/EWTN News): Emphasizing that grace is available to all people, Pope Francis stressed dialogue and encounter rather than proselytism and underscored the need for each person to seek the Good while following his conscience. “Even you, without knowing it, could be touched by grace,” Pope Francis
PILGRIMAGE TO HOLY LAND
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Visiting: Israel, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt.
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