Category: Mary

Worried About Your Children? Say This Prayer To Their Guardian Angels

Worried About Your Children? Say This Prayer To Their Guardian Angels

The world is a dangerous place. When you leave the comforts of your home there is no telling what may happen to you or your children. This has been the case since Adam and Eve and will continue to be so until Jesus comes again.

The good news is that we are not alone.

As the Catechism of the Catholic Church declares, “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by [angels and] their watchful care and intercession” (CCC 336). God appoints to each one of us a guardian angel whose mission is to guide, guard and protect. We don’t always see them or sense their presence, but the truth is that they are there, ready and willing to come to our aid.

We just have to ask.

For parents, it is easy to forget that our children have guardian angels and that we can pray to them (through the mediation of our own guardian angel) and invoke their powerful protection over our children. When we can’t physically be there with our children to protect them, it is most appropriate to pray to their guardian angel.

Here is a short prayer that is usually entitled, “A Mother’s Prayer to the Guardian Angels of Her Children,” and is one way that we can quiet our heart and be at peace knowing who is protecting our little ones.

SAY PRAYER

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly friends of my children! I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company. Amen.

Our Lady Of The Snows  

Our Lady Of The Snows  

 
Our Lady of the Snows.

August 5:
Our Lady of the Snows.
Improbable as it is for snow to fall during August, history tells of a snowfall that seemed more impossible, namely in Rome, Italy. August 5, 352, snow fell during the night in Rome.
There lived in the Eternal City a nobleman, John and his childless wife, who had been blessed with much of this world’s goods. They chose the Mother of God as the heir to their fortune, and at the suggestion of Pope Liberius, prayed that she might make known to them how to do this by a particular sign.
In answer, the Virgin Mother during the night of August 5, appeared to John and his wife and also to the Holy Father, Pope Liberius, directing them to build a church in her honor on the crown of the Esquiline Hill. And what would be the sign that John and his wife had requested?
“Snow will cover the crest of the hill.”

Snow rarely falls in Rome, but the flakes fell silently during that night, blanketing the peak of the historic hill. In the morning the news quickly spread and crowds gathered to throng up the hill and behold the white splendor. The snow had fallen in a particular pattern, showing the outline of the future church. When it became known that the snow was a sign from Mary, the people spontaneously added another to her long list of titles, Our Lady of the Snows.

The church built there is now known as Saint Mary Major. It is the focal point of devotion for many of Mary’s millions of children, one of the most popular churches in the world. There Mary has been pleased to secure various and many blessings as numerous and varied, as the flakes of snow that fell that August night.

The church built by John and his wife in honor of Our Lady of the Snows, restored and enlarged at various times was known by different names: the Basilica of Liberius, Saint Mary of the Crib because it enshrines relics of Christ’s Crib; lastly, Saint Mary Major, to distinguish it from the many other Roman churches dedicated to the Mother of God; Major, means Greater. There is an image revered as Our Lady of the Snows, which is believed to have been produced by St. Luke the Apostle.

Saint Mary Major is one of the four basilicas in which the pilgrims to Rome must pray in order to gain the indulgences of the Holy Year. Most fitting do we call Mary Our Lady of the Snows. The white blanket of that August night symbolizes Mary, pure as the driven snow; her blessings and graces, numerous and varied as the falling snowflakes.

Science tells us that every snowflake is different in form and make-up: size, outline, structure, ornamentation, are all without limit, infinite in wondrous beauty, startling complexity, perfect symmetry as they fleet, dancing down from the sky. What a wonderful figure of the blessings Mary obtains for us! Snow changes the face of the earth, painting even a field of mud with a white coat. The grace of God won through prayer to Mary, also changes the face of the earth. Snow preserves the heat of the earth, protects vegetation, supplies moisture with slow effectiveness.

Grace serves similar purposes: it preserves the warmth of God’s love in our hearts; it protects the soul from the chill of temptation and sin; it nourishes the soul with new life. We see a further symbolism in this feast. There are millions living in lands of ice and snow who have not come to the knowledge of Mary and her Divine Son. We might ask that with the actual snowflakes, she shower down upon them the graces of the True Faith.

In particular may that land where snow falls long and heavily, Russia, come to share in a fall of graces through prayer to her whom we honor on August fifth as “Our Lady of the Snows.”

Story Behind The Hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

Story Behind The Hymn, “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross”

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

His dying crimson, like a robe,
Spreads o’er His body on the tree;
Then I am dead to all the globe,
And all the globe is dead to me.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Story

When teenager Isaac Watts complained to his father about the monotonous way Christians in England sang the Old Testament Psalms, his father, a leading deacon, snapped back ‘All right young man, you give us something better.’

To Isaac Watts, the singing of God’s praise was the form of worship nearest to Heaven and he went on to argue: ‘It’s performance among us is the worst on earth.’

Young Isaac accepted his father’s challenge and eventually wrote a total of more than 600 hymns, earning him the title ‘The father of English hymnody.’

Even as a child Isaac had shown a passion for poetry, rhyming and such mundane things as everyday conversation. His serious-minded father, after several warnings, decided to spank the rhyming nonsense out of his son. But the tearful Isaac helplessly replied,
‘Oh father do some pity take,
and I will no more verses make.’

However, choirs, congregations and individual Christians rejoice to this day that the young lad did not keep his impromptu promise.

If he had, none of us would have the thrill of singing such all-time favourites as “Oh God Our Help In Ages Past,” “Am I A Soldier Of The Cross” or “Joy To The World.”

As a child, Isaac Watts was sickly and unattractive, yet, even by today’s standards he was clever beyond his years. He began the study of Latin at the age of four, and added Greek when he was nine, French at eleven and Hebrew at thirteen.

At fifteen the young poet turned his talents to the service of the church and the great career in hymn-writing began.

In his hymns Isaac Watts takes the Word of God, of which he must have been a diligent student, and distils it so that all is wisdom, beauty and comfort are set before us with plainness and power. No wonder, then, that C.H. Spurgeon’s grandfather, himself a great preacher, and in the line of the Puritans, would have nothing else but the hymns of Isaac Watts sung in his services.

Isaac Watt’s greatest composition must surely be “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.”
It has been called ‘The very best hymn in the English language’ and in it Watts, using only 16 lines, paints a soul-stirring picture of the Saviour’s death on the cross coupled with the whole-hearted response of the believer to such amazing love.

As Tedd Smith says ‘It seems to me that Isaac Watts wrote this text as if he were standing at the foot of Christ’s cross.’

How blessed to reflect on the finished work of Christ Jesus, as summed up in those lines:

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

And how enriching to be able to voice our reconsecration to the Lord’s service in the words:

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were an offering far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Bible Verse

Galatians 6:14 “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Why Satan Hates The Blessed Virgin Mary So Much 

Why Satan Hates The Blessed Virgin Mary So Much 


In fact, Satan has been tirelessly doing everything in his power to discourage devotion to Mary and instill hatred for her for two millennia. Have you ever noticed that it is Marian dogmas and devotions that stir the strongest reactions in those who reject the Church? Even some good Catholics are embarrassed by devotion to our Lady, and they feel we should not be too extreme in our veneration of her.

Perhaps you, too, have wondered why the Church holds the Immaculate Virgin in such high regard. Perhaps you have wonder why God has chosen to use her in the work of redemption. Today, I’d like to take a look at why the devil hates the Blessed Mother so much, and why we should be her devoted knights.

She will crush your head

The scene is the garden of Eden. The characters are God, the serpent, Adam, and Eve. The devil is smirking in triumph. He has just deceived Eve, and through her, Adam. Oh, he is proud of himself. You can almost feel the demonic pride in destruction, for he has successfully marred God’s handiwork of creation, and dragged human beings—for whom God has a special love—into death and misery.

God has appeared on the scene to clean up the mess, declaring the tragic curse that has arisen from sin, but also to proclaim the protoevangelium, the first hint at the Gospel and the devil’s doom.

God starts by addressing Satan, telling him he is going to eat dirt for the rest of his days. Then he reveals something that makes Satan cringe in horror—his ultimate defeat will come at the hands of a woman.

And I will establish a feud between thee and the woman, between thy offspring and hers; she is to crush thy head, while thou dost lie in ambush at her heels (Genesis 3:15, Knox)

Now, scholars argue about whether or not the pronoun is masculine or feminine in the sentence, “She is to crush thy head”—that is, whether it refers to the Virgin Mary or Jesus Christ. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it doesn’t matter. You see, Jesus is going to crush Satan through Mary. She is the instrument Jesus is going to wield when he destroys his ancient enemy.

With that in mind, it is just as legitimate to say, “he will crush your head” as it is to say, “she will crush your head.” It’s kind of like telling an armed assailant, “One more step and I will shoot you” and “One more step and my .44 magnum will blow you away.” They are both true statements.

So why does being defeated by Mary pain the devil so much? Why does God want to use Mary to defeat Satan? Here is the explanation.

“He has put down the mighty from their seat…”

The devil hates, I mean he loathes the fact that his ultimate defeat will come at the hands of a lowly handmaiden. In a way, his proud heart could handle being defeated by God himself because he’s almighty and omnipotent. But being crushed by a little Lady from Nazareth? The thought is absolutely humiliating. It drives him crazy. For if there is one thing the most proud creature in all of creation hates, it is being humiliated.

Satan finds his defeat by the Virgin Mary humiliating because she is a woman, and women are the weaker sex (1 Peter 3:7), and he despises weakness. He loves nothing more than to see women abused, degraded, and objectified. Not to mention that our Blessed Lady is a human, and Satan hates humans because we have bodies, and he is a pure spirit that thinks bodies are disgusting. But there’s another, more profound reason Satan hates being defeated by Mary: She is his replacement in heaven.

You see, Lucifer was originally God’s finest achievement. He was more beautiful, more powerful than all the other creatures that God has made. And as we all know, it went to his head. He was so gorgeous, so mighty that he really thought he could be better than God. The defining marks of Satan are pride and envy of the Almighty.

And what are the defining characteristics of our Lady? First and foremost, she is supremely humble. In fact, she is the most humble creature that has ever existed. For every ounce of pride the devil has, Mary has twice as much humility. For every drop of hate-filled and bitter envy in Satan’s black heart, Mary’s heart is filled with twice as much praise, worship, and love. For every bit of warped and destructive depravity in the devil’s soul, Mary’s heart is filled with more purity and fruitfulness. And by grace, God has made her the most exquisite and most glorious creature in all the universe—the title the devil used to claim.

In every way, the Immaculate is Satan’s polar opposite. In every way, she is his replacement, and he knows it. This Divine exchange of Mary for Satan is revealed in our Lady’s hymn of praise, the Magnificat

My soul magnifies the Lord;
my spirit has found joy in God, who is my Saviour,
because he has looked graciously upon the lowliness of his handmaid.
Behold, from this day forward all generations will count me blessed;
because he who is mighty, he whose name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders.
He has mercy upon those who fear him, from generation to generation;
he has done valiantly with the strength of his arm,
driving the proud astray in the conceit of their hearts;
he has put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty-handed.
He has protected his servant Israel,
keeping his merciful design in remembrance,
according to the promise which he made to our forefathers,
Abraham and his posterity for evermore.

In the Magnificat, we see the role of Mary in salvation summarized beautifully:

  • Mary’s humility- “He has looked graciously on the lowliness of his handmaid”
  • God’s marvelous work of grace in her: “Because he who is mighty, he who name is holy, has wrought for me his wonders”
  • God’s casting out of Satan: “Driving the proud astray in the conceit of their hearts, he has put down the mighty from their seat”
  • His exalting of Mary in Satan’s place: “He has…exalted the lowly.”

Worst of all for Satan, his replacement in heaven is none other than the mother of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ, whose passion and death redeemed the very humanity he has worked so hard to destroy. Her Yes to God undid the disobedience of Eve, paving the way for the saving work of the New Adam. The very weakness of Eve that Satan so scorned was replaced by the humble obedience of Mary, an obedience to the will of God that has made her powerful beyond limits. 

This is the Divine plan for the defeat of his enemy. This is Satan’s humiliation and his doom.

Hasta la vista, Satan

In case you didn’t realize it, Satan hates you. His bitter envy inspires him to destroy God’s creation, to drag it down into the abyss of hell. He would love nothing more for you—image bearer of God—to join in him in the eternal flames of the lake of fire, for misery loves company.

But fear not. The ancient serpent is powerless against the Immaculate Virgin, for in God’s plan, she is the instrument that Jesus will use to humiliate and demolish him. Do you want to crush the head of the devil in your life? Do you want to make it safely through trials, temptations, and storms to our eternal Home? The answer is simple: Call on Mary. Love her, be her devoted servant. Be her knight, her defender, her apostle. Consecrate yourself to her totally and completely—for nothing that belongs to her will be lost. As St. John Damascene said so beautifully, “To be devoted to thee, O holy Virgin, is an arm of salvation which God gives to those whom He wishes to save.”

Satan is on a rampage, wreaking as much havoc as he possibly can—because he knows his time is running out. He is afraid and he is angry, for he knows that one day very soon, he will be crushed by the Woman who makes his heart quake, the woman who “looks forth like the dawn, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army with banners” (Song of Solomon 6:10).

Prayer

Majestic Queen of Heaven and Mistress of the Angels,
thou didst receive from God the power and commission to crush the head of Satan;
wherefore we humbly beseech thee, send forth the legions of heaven, that, under thy command,
they may seek out all evil spirits, engage them everywhere in battle, curb their insolence,
and hurl them back into the pit of hell. “Who is like unto God?”

O good and tender Mother, thou shalt ever be our hope and the object of our love.
O Mother of God, send forth the holy Angels to defend me and drive far from me the cruel foe.
Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us and keep us. Amen. 

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