May 18th.-Instruction XVIII. Mary at the Marriage of Cana.

May 18th.-Instruction 18. Mary at the Marriage of Cana.

PRAYER BEFORE MEDITATION.

My God, I firmly believe that Thou art here present. I acknowledge that on account of my many sins I am utterly unworthy to appear before Thy sacred countenance. Yet, confiding in Thy infinite goodness and mercy, I venture to address Thee, to call upon Thy holy name, and meditate upon Thy commandments, in order that I may acquire a better knowledge of Thy holy will, and accomplish it with more fidelity. Wherefore enlighten my understanding that I may perceive what I ought to do or leave undone for the promotion of Thy glory and my own salvation; at the same time excite my will, that I may repent with my whole heart of my past sins, and resolve for the future to do all that Thou requirest of me. Grant me above all to know Jesus, my divine Teacher and Guide, more clearly, that I may love Him more dearly, and consequently labor, struggle and suffer with greater generosity and self-sacrifice in imitation of His example. Holy Mary, Mother of God and my Mother, show Jesus to me now, and let me study thy divine Son to the salvation of my soul. Holy Guardian Angel, keep far from me all distracting thoughts; my patron saint, come to my assistance. Amen.

May 18th.-Instruction 18. Mary at the Marriage of Cana.

There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee: and the Mother of Jesus was there.”–St. John ii. i.

After having lived in the humble dwelling of Nazareth until His thirtieth year, constantly giving by His obedience the example of every virtue, our blessed Saviour commenced His public life. By a magnificent miracle He manifests His divinity to men for the first time. What is the occasion? “There was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and the Mother of Jesus was there. Jesus was also invited, and His disciples, to the marriage.” The wine failing, the Mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” Jesus answered, “Woman, what is to Me or to thee?” His Mother then said to the servants, “Whatsoever He shall say to you, do ye.” Now, there were set there six water-pots of stone, each containing two or three measures apiece. And Jesus said, “Fill the water-pots with water.” And they filled them. And Jesus said to them, “Draw out, now, and carry to the chief steward of the feast.” And they obeyed Him. Then they discovered that the water had been changed into wine. By this first miracle at Cana of Galilee Jesus manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him. The presence and the conduct of Mary at the wedding feast suggest these three reflections: she knows and anticipates our needs, she presents them to her divine Son, and indicates the means by which our petitions may be heard.

1. She knows and anticipates our needs.–The presence of the Blessed Virgin at the wedding feast of Cana assures us that she assisted at the marriage of some of her relatives. She was present not only as one of the invited guests, but also as a devoted friend, to aid in the necessary preparations for the feast. What a subject for admiration! Mary deigns to be occupied in the festivities, and arranges with greatest care all the details which the occasion requires. In her watchfulness and vigilance she observes that they have not provided sufficient wine. What a disappointment for the guests! What confusion for the young married people and their friends if they have only water to serve for the rest of the feast! This circumstance reveals all the charity and tenderness of Mary’s heart. At once she approaches her divine Son. She knows that He is God and can do all things. Did she not give Him to us in His humanity? It is most suitable that she should also reveal to us His divinity. She deems it sufficient to say to her divine Son, “They have no wine.” It seems that our blessed Saviour had attended this nuptial festival precisely to manifest His divinity. The result of Mary’s request proves this abundantly.

Behold the part which Mary takes in this manifestation. She sees our needs, our necessities, our indigence. With all her maternal devotion she makes them known to her divine Son, and she has fullest confidence that her petitions will never be disregarded.

2. She presents our needs.–We cannot fail to observe the simplicity, the brevity, and especially the power of Mary’s petition at the wedding feast. That which she asks is nothing less than one of the greatest miracles which can be imagined. They have no wine. To create a single drop of wine requires a power as great as to create the whole world. The quantity does not matter. If Jesus has the power to produce a single drop of wine, it will not be more difficult for Him to create an ocean of it. Mary, however, obtains this miracle from Jesus, and it suffices for her to merely make known the necessity. True, indeed, “His hour is not yet come,” but His Mother has spoken, and what request can He refuse her? To the words of Our Lord, “Woman, what is to Me and to thee?” some have endeavored to give an interpretation which the circumstances do not warrant. The sequence proves that Jesus was as obedient to Mary now as when they dwelt in their humble home at Nazareth. In fact, it is clear to the least reflecting that on this occasion Jesus wishes to give the most conclusive proof that He can refuse His blessed Mother nothing. At the wedding feast “they have no wine.” It is only something which is material, yet He grants the request, through love for her, and grants even more than is requested. Had He wished He could have increased the quantity already in use, and the miracle would have been just as great. But this was not enough to prove His love for His Mother. He not only creates a new wine, but He wishes that this new creation excel by far all that had hitherto been thought of by the guests who attended the festivities.

3. She indicates the means by which our petitions may be heard.–Naturally the question rises to our lips, Whence comes this power which Mary exercises? Whence comes it that she has merely to make known the needs of her friends and her petition is answered? It is because she has been always faithful to keep the word of God in her heart and to put this word in practice. Her cousin, St. Elizabeth, extolled her because she believed in the accomplishment of all that had been said to her by the angel. And what are the means which we should employ to render our petitions efficacious? After having exposed the indigence of the newly-married people and the needs of the guests, Mary said to the waiters, “Do whatever He will command.” We are the servants of Christ. It is to us that Mary’s words are addressed. Do we not desire to obtain Mary’s intercession in our behalf? Do we not earnestly wish that God would fill us with His gifts, and if necessary work a miracle to secure our eternal salvation? Then let us faithfully do what He commands. Let us observe the precepts of His holy law. This is the expression of His will in our regard. The lesson which Mary teaches us to-day is to do the will of her Son, and He will show us the splendor of His glory.

PRAYER AFTER MEDITATION.

My God, I give Thee heartfelt thanks for all the graces and all the light Thou hast conferred on me during this meditation. Pardon me all the negligence and the distractions of which I have been guilty, and give me strength to carry out the resolutions that I have made. Fortify me, that from henceforth I may diligently practise this virtue . . . avoid this fault . . . perform this action . . . to Thy honor. Help me to do this, sweet Virgin Mary; and if I ever forget my good resolutions, I entreat my Angel Guardian to recall them to my memory. Amen.

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Of having an humble Sentiment of one’s self.

      II. Leave off that excessive desire of knowing; because there is found therein much distraction and deceit.
They who are learned, are desirous to appear and to be called wise.
There are many things, the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul.
And he is very unwise who attends to other things than what may serve to his salvation.
Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life gives ease to the mind; and a pure conscience affords a great confidence in God.–Thomas à Kempis–Imitation of Christ Bk I, Ch II pt II.

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May Devotion: The Blessed Virgin Mary

Virtues to practice: Meekness, purity, the spirit of poverty

O holy Mary, my Mistress, into thy blessed trust and special keeping, into the bosom of thy tender mercy, this day, every day of my life and at the hour of my death, I commend my soul and body; to thee I entrust all my hopes and consolations, all my trials and miseries, my life and the end of my life, that through thy most holy intercession and thy merits, all my actions may be ordered and disposed according to thy will and that of thy divine Son. Amen (St. Aloysius Gonzaga)

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins and Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

(For either of the above prayers: An indulgence of 3 years.

A plenary indulgence once a month on the usual conditions for the daily recitation of this prayer.)

The faithful who during the month of May take part in public exercises in honor of the B.V.M. may gain: An indulgence of 7 years on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence if they assist at the exercises on at least 10 days, and moreover, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, and pray for the Holy Father’s intentions.

Those who perform their devotions privately during the aforesaid month are granted: an indulgence of 5 years once on any day of the month; a plenary indulgence on the usual conditions, if they perform these devotions every day during the month; but where public exercises are held, this indulgence is granted only to those who are lawfully hindered from taking part in the same. (Raccolta).

Mother of Christ

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I ask of thee?
I do not sigh for the wealth of earth,
For the joys that fade and flee;
But, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I long to see;
The Bliss untold which thine arms enfold,
The Treasure upon thy knee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He was all in all to thee
In the winters cave, in Nazareth’s home,
In the hamlets of Galilee.
So, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
He will not say nay to thee;
When He lifts His face to thy sweet embrace,
Speak to Him, Mother, of me.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
The world will bid Him flee
Too busy to heed His gentle voice,
Too blind His charms to see
Then, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
Come with thy Babe to me;
Tho’ the world be cold, my heart shall hold,
A shelter for Him and thee.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
What shall I do for thee?
I will love thy son with the whole of my strength
My only King shall He be.
Yes, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This will I do for thee
Of all that are dear or cherished here,
None shall be dear as He.

Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
I toss on a stormy sea,
O lift thy Child as a beacon light
To the port where I fain would be,
Then, Mother of Christ, Mother of Christ,
This do I ask of thee,
When the voyage is over,
O stand on the shore
And show Him at last to me.

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