Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas, ora pro nobis.
Do not fear any illness or vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here, your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and protection?
—Our Lady of Guadalupe
On the Greater Glory which Accrued to God the Son through His Having Chosen to Redeem Us under the Form of a Child of Adam.
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.
On the Greater Glory which Accrued to God the Son through His Having Chosen to Redeem Us under the Form of a Child of Adam.
What more pitiable object is there than a new-born infant? And can you, my soul, contemplate the almighty Son of God under this miserable form, lying in the crib at Bethlehem, without profound emotion? Well may the sight of the Son of God clothed in the garb of fallen man touch you deeply, for it is precisely under this appearance that the wisdom, the self-abnegation, the self-sacrificing charity of the Son of God shine forth with greatest brightness.
1st. Consider how the Redeemer took upon Himself the form of man in order that He might not strive with Satan in all the panoply of His irresistible omnipotence, but in all the weakness pertaining to human nature; and for this reason: that Satan might not be able to complain of the former as being too powerful for him to contend against, and also that, he being conquered by the latter, his defeat might be all the more ignominious. O haughty Spirit of darkness, so proud, and yet so poor a creature! Thou wast completely deceived by the all-wise humility of the Son of God made man. Thou wast like the foolish fish, which snaps with avidity at the tempting bait, and is consequently caught and held fast by the hook concealed beneath the tempting morsel. For thus Satan, deceived by the human form our Lord had assumed, sought with hellish eagerness, through the death of the cross, which he strained every nerve to bring about, to swallow up, as it were, and destroy His sacred humanity; but he was caught and subjugated by the Godhead hidden under the form of mortal man, and in this manner, the fraud he had practised upon the first Adam was avenged upon him by the second Adam.
2d. Consider how the Son of God does not act like a monarch who, when his subjects are attacked by the enemy, remains comfortably at home in the splendor of his palace, enjoying every luxury; on the contrary, He goes out to give battle in His own person; over the regal robe of His divinity, He dons the armor of that humanity against which Satan wages war, and Himself enduring hunger and thirst, cold and heat, and various other hardships with and for His people, He fights like one of themselves against the enemy, with the purpose of delivering them out of his power. Does not the glory of Christ shine forth in the self-sacrifice, the renunciation manifested by the assumption of a human form, with incomparably more grandeur and beauty than would have been the case had He humanly speaking only hurled deadly thunderbolts from His celestial throne against the malignant foe?
3d. Consider finally how, in becoming man, the Son of God far surpassed in self-sacrificing charity the Athenian king Codrus, of whom history relates that, having been informed by an oracle that victory would be on the side of that people whose king should fall in battle, when war broke out, he put off his royal apparel, and arraying himself in the garb of a common soldier, and in this disguise fighting in the foremost ranks, sought and found death for the salvation of his subjects. Now our King, on becoming man, did not leave an earthly, but a heavenly throne; He did not merely exchange the garments of the great for those of the lowly; but He whose nature was divine stooped to assume the form of mortal man, and in the garb of mortality He suffered death for the sake of His subjects. And not indeed for the sake of loyal subjects, enthusiastically attached to their sovereign, who followed Him to battle, but for a people who were guilty of disobedience to their heavenly King, who hated His rule, who had openly rebelled and taken up arms against Him amazing, incomprehensible charity! What return, my soul, will you make for this charity? Behold how our Lord, in His incarnation, voluntarily imposes upon Himself these bitter privations, not because it was indispensable that He should do so, but because it appeared more in accordance with His divine dignity, more commensurate with His boundless love. And yet you often shun slight mortifications and acts of renunciation, you are reluctant to forego pleasures, amusements, society, etc., which it is not actually incumbent upon you to give up, but the renouncing of which would be more becoming to your profession as a Priest or a Religious.
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.
Four Prayers in Honor of the Immaculate Conception
In Thy Conception, O Virgin Mary, thou wast immaculate! Pray for us to the Father, whose Son Jesus, conceived in thy womb by the Holy Ghost, thou didst bring forth.
An indulgence of 300 days each time. (321)
Blessed be the holy, immaculate, and most pure conception of the most blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God.
300 days’ indulgence each time. Plenary indulgence monthly. (324) When granting this indulgence Pope Leo XIII., remarked: “There is no praise more glorious for so august a Mother, none more pleasing.”
O Mary, who didst come into this world free from sin! Obtain from God for me to leave it without sin.
300 days’ indulgence. (323)
O Mary, conceived without sin, Pray for us who have recourse to thee.
300 days’ indulgence each time. Plenary indulgence monthly. (325)
Petition to the Blessed Virgin
Almighty and Eternal God, Who didst provide for sinners a Refuge and Help in the Blessed Mary ever Virgin, vouchsafe, that through her intercession we may be freed from every sin, and may obtain the blessed fruits of Thy Mercy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Three years’ indulgence each time. Plenary indulgence monthly. (403)
Act of Consecration to Our Blessed Lady.
Recite the Hail Mary and then add:
My Queen, my Mother! I give myself entirely to thee, and, to show my devotion to thee, I consecrate to thee this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, and my whole being without reserve.
Wherefore, good Mother, as I am thine own, keep me, guard me, as thy property and possession.
500 days’ indulgence each time. Plenary indulgence monthly. (310)
Virgin Mary, thou hast been exalted above all the women of the world by the Lord God Supreme.
300 days’ indulgence each time. Plenary indulgence monthly. (287)
Immaculate Conception Novena.
by Father Daniel Lord, S.J.
In the year of Our Lord 1846 the bishops of the United States dedicated our land to Mary of the Immaculate Conception.
In a brave and splendid gesture they presented to the Queen of Heaven the new republic with its high hopes and uncertainties, with its enormous possibilities for good or evil, with the record of its history still unwritten and its destiny only vaguely seen.
Because these men loved America and foresaw what the new land needed most, they gave to America’s history a lovely woman, God’s own Mother. Into her hands did they commit its care and future.
Mary was for America; America was for Mary.
And in dedicating America to Mary they pledged it to her Divine Son.
The infant republic now had a Mother in heaven. The land, upon the success of which depended so much of man’s political progress, now had a protectress with God. Democracy had the only queen that is would ever know. American’s could henceforth look up to a perfect model for their women and a never failing inspiration for their men.
As Catholic Americans, whose land was under the motherly eye of earth’s purest Virgin and most powerful Mother, we can say:
The Prayer of the Immaculate Conception:
O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, didst prepare a worthy dwelling place for Thy Son, we beseech Thee that, as by the foreseen death of this, Thy Son, Thou didst preserve her from all stain, so too Thou wouldst permit us, purified through her intercession, to come unto Thee. Through the same Lord Jesus, Christ, Thy Son, Who livest and reignest with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen.
December Devotion: The Immaculate Conception.
Come, let us adore the King our Lord, who is to come!
Hymn from the Office of Lauds for Advent
The solemn voice of the Precursor is heard, explaining the obscurity of the ancient figures; let our slumbers cease; Jesus is rising on our horizon.
Let the sluggish soul now rise, and stay no more upon this earth; a new star is shining, which will take all sin away.
Lo! the Lamb is sent to forgive us freely our debt; let us unite in tears and prayers, that we may obtain pardon.
That when He comes the second time, filling the world with fear, He may not have to punish us for our sins, but may protect us in mercy.
Power, honour, praise, and glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Paraclete, for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayers from the Office and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass for Advent
V. O Lord, hear my prayer.
R. And let my cry come unto Thee.
Almighty Lord and God, who hast brought us to the beginning of this day, let thy powerful grace so conduct us through it, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our thoughts, words, and actions may be regulated according to the rules of thy heavenly justice, and tend to the observance of thy holy law. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
V. Incline unto my aid, O God.
R. O Lord, make haste to help me.
Lord God, and King of heaven and earth, vouchsafe this day to rule and sanctify, to direct and govern our souls and bodies, our senses, words, and actions in conformity to Thy law, and strict obedience to Thy commands; that by the help of Thy grace, O Saviour of the world! we may be fenced and freed from all evils. Who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.
V. O Lord God of hosts, come and deliver us.
R. Show Thy face, and we shall be saved.
V. Show us, O Lord, thy mercy.
R. And grant us the Saviour, whom we expect from Thee.
V. The Lord shall rise upon thee, O Jerusalem!
R. And His glory shall be seen upon thee.
Bend Thine ear, O Lord, we beseech Thee, to our prayers, and enlighten the darkness of our minds by the grace of Thy visitation; who livest and reignest God, world without end. Amen.
Novena for Advent
Hail and blessed be the hour and the moment in which the Son of God was born of the most pure Virgin Mary, at midnight, in Bethlehem, in piercing cold. In that hour vouchsafe, O my God! To hear my prayer and grant my desires, through the merits of Our Savior Jesus Christ, and of His blessed Mother. Amen.
(It is piously believed that whoever recites the above prayer fifteen times a day from the feast of St. Andrew (Nov. 30th) until Christmas will obtain what is asked.)
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