DFOT: Message of August 1, 2010

Message from Jesus of August 1, 2010 read by Father Darragh Connolly of Direction For Our Times (DFOT) and the Lay Apostles of Jesus Christ the Returning King

So, let us calmly and daily sow seeds even though we may not be the ones who see the beautiful blossoms or the fields being harvested; we must use all our resources even though we may never be in a position to see the finished product. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us patience, perseverence and humility to continue as workers for Jesus, even though the fruits of our labours may not be revealed to us here.

Anne the lay apostle’s talk for June 2010:

How many rays of light do you see when you gaze at the image of the Divine Mercy? Two, one red, one white? Anne sees the number of rays of light that come from the heart of Jesus as uncountable:

…for every person born into time there is a corresponding ray of light, a ray of Divine Mercy that comes from the heart of Christ, and it is in this ray of mercy that we can know Him.

Thank you for your prayers for Anne, a lay apostle. She is recuperating now, and extends her thanks to everyone who prayed for her.  Please see short post at Contemplative Haven today. 

Queenship of Mary

…the three Divine Persons placed on the august head of the most holy Virgin a crown of glory, which far exceeded any that ever has or ever shall be awarded to a creature. At the same instant a voice came from the throne, saying: “Our friend and Our chosen one among all other creatures, Our kingdom belongs to thee. Thou art the Sovereign, the Queen and the Mistress of the Seraphim, the Angels Our ministers, and of the entire creation. Guard then, command and reign happily over them. In Our supreme consistory we give thee empire, majesty and dominion, because although filled with grace above all creatures, thou hast humbled thyself in thy mind, and hast always placed thyself in the last place.

[Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin]

Artwork: The Coronation of the Virgin, Ridolfo Ghirlandaio (1483-1561)

Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary

It is impossible to describe here the light, splendor and admirable beauty of her glory; it will suffice to consider that as the divine Mother gave to her most holy Son a human form in her virginal womb, and gave it most pure and spotless for the Redemption of the world, so, in return for this gift, the Lord gave her in this resurrection and new birth a glory and a beauty like to His own. In this mysterious and Divine correspondence, each gave as far as was possible, for the Virgin engendered Jesus Christ like to herself as far as possible, and Jesus Christ, in raising her, communicated to her His glory, as far as a pure creature is capable of receiving it.

The magnificent procession departed from the sepulchre chanting celestial melodies and ascended through the region of the air to the empyreal Heaven….

Vested with this wonderful glory, the Holy Virgin arrived at the throne of the Divinity, and the three Divine Persons received her into Their eternal and indissoluble embrace. She seemed as if absorbed within the three Divine Persons, and as if submerged in that infinite ocean of the abyss of the Divinity.

[Venerable Mary of Agreda, The Divine Life of the Most Holy Virgin]

Consecration Renewal – Day 33

Day 33 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

Well here we are, Day 33. It’s been a joy and a challenge. During the span of my renewal period I lost my job, have been sick for about three weeks and weathered a few demanding situations on the homefront. On the other hand, I had some cherished hours in the garden, an unexpected visit from a long-time friend, and the peace that came from doing my renewal readings and prayers every day.

In terms of the blog, there were times when I had a good part of the day to myself, and I thought about doing a week’s worth of posts all at once to get a bit ahead, but Mother Mary said, “No, that is our daily time together,” and so it was. One evening last week, while I was praying, I believe Bishop Bello came to me; I felt a very strong presence, and I believe it was he. I have turned to him quite often over these past few weeks of sharing his work with you, to talk with him.

I want to thank Bishop Bello for his life and his work; the Holy Trinity and Mother Mary for sustaining me and guiding me through my renewal and here on this site, and all of you for sharing this renewal period with me, especially Carol, Pia, Ann, Terry and Ken – thank you for your prayers, support and comments. It means so much to me. 

On Day 23 I had a bit of a struggle with “the dance”, and Pia kindly came to my aid. As I was re-reading Luigi Santucci’s Foreword to Bishop Bello’s book (I had quoted from the Foreword on Day 1) I noticed something that had escaped me earlier, and so I share it now – it is a most fitting way to close:

In his love for Mary, Bello humbly and joyfully associates himself with that extraordinary personage of Anatole France: the jongleur de Notre Dame, who as a friar, wanted to offer the Virgin Mary no other veneration than dancing before her image – expressing his exuberant love in leaps and somersaults.

Thank you everyone, and do keep dancing.

Consecration Renewal – Day 32

Day 32 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 31: Companion On Our Journey

[This is the last chapter]

Previously, the first half of each chapter consisted of Bishop Bello discussing Mary, and in the second half he spoke to Mary in a beautiful reflective prayer-like fashion. This final chapter is entirely addressed to Mary. I wish I could share it all, but here are a few selections; Bishop Bello helps us to realize that Mary is not only our companion on our lifelong journey, but very close to us throughout the course of each day.

Holy Mary, tender and strong mother…. Accept our wish to take your hand, and increase the pace of such weary travelers.  As pilgrims in faith, we seek the Lord’s face and contemplate you as an icon of human solicitude toward those in need.

Holy Mary, virgin of the morning…. give us the joy of sensing, even under the mist of dawn, the hopes of the new day… Give to our voices the joy of the Easter alleluia.  Fill with dreams the sands of our realism.  Help us to understand that it counts more to point out the buds sprouting on branches than to lament the fallen leaves.

Holy Mary, virgin of midday, give us the gladness of the light… Water our drought of grace in the palm of your hand… fill our jars with oil destined to burn before God…

Holy Mary, virgin of the evening, Mother of the hour when we return home and taste the joy of being accepted, sharing the gladness of sitting at supper with others, give us the gift of communion…. We ask it for the entire world, so that solidarity among peoples may be rediscovered as the only ethical imperative on which to base human society. Let the poor take their places, with equal dignity, at the table of all, and let peace be the aim of our daily tasks.

Holy Mary, virgin of the night…. Free us from the terror of shadows…. comfort with the strengthening glance of your eyes, anyone who has lost trust in life…. Do not leave us alone in the night to sing of our fears. Rather, if you come close to us in the darkness and whisper that you too are waiting for the light, the tears will dry on our faces. Then we will wake the dawn together. Amen.

Consecration Renewal – Day 31

Day 31 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 30: Woman of the Final Hour

“Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

The Hail Mary…those few words…are they, “…pushing one toward the line separating time from eternity. Or are they drawing one back into a remote past laden with memories?”

Holy Mary, woman of the final hour, when the great evening comes for us and the sun sinks into twilight, come to our side to help us face the night. You have already experienced this with Jesus when, at his death, the sun was eclipsed and a great darkness fell over the whole earth. Stay with us too when we die. Place yourself under our cross and watch over us at our hour of darkness. Free us from the terror of the abyss. Even in the eclipse, give us rays of hope. Let death, however, find us alive!…

When our time comes to give ourselves over to the Father, and none of those present can respond to our pleas, as we sink into that loneliness which even our dearest loved ones cannot fill, offer us your head as our last cushion.

Consecration Renewal – Day 30

Day 30 of Consecration Preparation from 2008 (or renewal)

From “Mary, Human and Holy” (Antonio Bello)
Chapter 29: Woman of Our Time

Bishop Bello opens this chapter by describing our longing to have Mary in our midst in a way that was so foreign to me that it bothered me for hours. There are too many examples to list, but here are a few; he prefaces most of them by saying that we want to see Mary:

  • immersed in the town news
  • wearing modern clothes
  • shopping in the same supermarket
  • earning her bread like everybody else
  • parking her car next to ours
  • coming back from the beach
  • going skating
  • having one of our surnames
  • going to our highschool
  • having her name in the phonebook

I read the chapter three or four times, struggling with my feelings of discomfort at Bishop Bello’s images of Mary in these various everyday modern roles and circumstances and his insistence that “we want” to see her like this.  He’s being ridiculous, I told myself.  Who thinks of Mary or visualizes her like this?  

I was much more comfortable with language and a concept of Mary such as from this passage, a little further on:

She is always ready to give us a hand, to share her hope with us. With her impressive purity, she makes us feel our need for God. We want her to share with us moments of celebration and of tears, work in the office and at home, aromas of oven and laundry, tears of departures and arrivals.

Yes, this was better, for me.  I could relate to this.  Yet something continued to gnaw at me.  Why had I reacted so negatively to his words?  What was really at the bottom of my discomfort?  And then I realized what Bishop Bello had accomplished – he had gotten me to acknowledge to myself that I do indeed still have a comfort zone with Mary.  Never mind whether those early examples of Mary were truly the way Bishop Bello thinks of her or whether he used them as a way of expanding our viewpoint; the fact was, they affected me viscerally – they got me out of my head. 

Yes, I want Mary in my life in so many ways – to protect me, to intercede for me and my loved ones and even strangers, to help me and guide me, to sanctify me, to bring me closer to Jesus and the Holy Trinity.  Yes, I want her to be with me, to love me, and to allow me to serve her and the Lord. 

 But how often do I only allow her to be a witness to the events and circumstances of my life, rather than be a part of them?  How have I kept my distance?  From what areas of my life have I either failed to include her or downright excluded her?  Mary is a person, after all.  She wants a relationship; she wants to be somebody to us.  How many times have I caused her to cry because she was right in the room with me and I ignored her?  How many times has she wanted to accompany me somewhere and I went alone without inviting her?  How many times was she ready with advice but I asked others instead?

 Thank you, Bishop Bello. Your words were gentle but the impact was hard, as in giant wake-up call.

Holy Mary, when Jesus gave you to us as our mother, he made you our contemporary. Come to our side and listen to us as we confide in you the everyday anxieties that assail our modern life: low income, stress, an uncertain future, doubts, fears, loneliness, fractured relationships, lack of love and communication even with those dearest to us, the dullness of sin…. Make us feel your reassuring presence, so we will know that you always stand by our side.