Under the Cross

Raphael (c. 1503) "The Crucifixion with Sts Mary Virgin, Mary Magdalen, John and Jerome" (National Gallery, London)

We who suffer, we who are in anguish and anxiety, should stand with the Virgin Mary under the cross. Through her, we will find the courage to keep believing, and the strength to bear the burdens that tear our souls apart.

Catherine Doherty, from: God in the Nitty-Gritty Life

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

On this feastday, we continue with the theme of the last few posts – the nativity, the divine child, and the birth of Jesus within us.  Why, you may ask.  What connection is there between the Holy Name of Jesus and ourselves giving birth to Christ daily?

Well, the name of Jesus was given by an angel to Mary and Joseph before the birth of the Baby.  Must we not also receive His Holy Name into our hearts before we can birth Him? 

I’ve posted some reflections from Servant of God Catherine Doherty over at Contemplative Haven today, which help to explain the connection between the Holy Name of Jesus and His presence within us.  But here I’d like to share some thoughts from Father George A. Maloney, S.J., from his book entitled, Invaded by God.  Mysticism and the Indwelling Trinity” .

In his section on “The Jesus Prayer”, Father Maloney writes:

The name of Jesus Christ for us modern Christians is also more than a mere recall of our Lord who once lived on this earth and performed healings and miracles and died for love of us.  Allowing His name to be present not only on our lips but in our heart (pushing ourselves to be consciously present to Him), we can experience by the Spirit’s gifts of deeper infusion of faith, hope and love the presence of Jesus Christ.  (pg. 140)

Strikingly similar to the thoughts of Meister Eckhart posted recently, Father Maloney continues:

Jesus becomes more and more present to us, leading us into the presence of the Father through His Spirit of love.  We experience with Mary the growth of Jesus within our hearts.  We experience also the Heavenly Father begetting Him and us together in a new birth of His only begotten Son.  We experience the Holy Spirit pouring out His gifts that allow us to build up the body of Christ through contemplation and action.  (pgs. 140-141)

In the video I posted just recently where Father Schineller, S.J. tells us that the U.S. Catholic bishops took Meister Eckhart’s thoughts one step further, i.e., into the world, so too Father Maloney makes this point, and does so beautifully in the section entitled, “A Transfiguring Light”:

Above all, as we are bathed in the transfiguring power of the indwelling Jesus, we are able to release the same transfiguring presence of Jesus in the world in which we are present….  What a power a Christian contemplative has to call forth the transforming power of Jesus Christ into his modern world, one that groans so loudly in agony until the full Christ has been born….  “Come, Lord Jesus, Marana tha!”  (pg. 141)

Feastday of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Grace will flow through her gentle hands and fall on the book that her Spouse will write for you, and all will become simple, because fundamentally, it will be the book of love. All things are simple to those who love.

And as you go through this, you will notice, finally, that she has spoken very little, that you have learned at the knees and feet of her silence, that it has enveloped you with a mantle fragrant and sweet. And whenever her silence has touched you, it has healed, and made you whole. And you will learn to be silent, silent with a depth of silence that alone allows others to hear the voice of God in you.

So, gently and slowly, you will walk with her, all of you here, and everyone else to come, unto the end of time. You will walk with her through the whole life of her Son, step by step, day by day, hour by hour, for she alone can lead you.

There, in that school of love, you will learn how to restore this world to God through her. You will know that the restoration lies not in what you do but in what you are. And you will understand that you must be nothing, nothing but a sheet of flame as a backdrop to God. Christ-bearers, life-bearers, lovers, that’s all. The rest shall be added to you. She will see to it that it will[Catherine Doherty: Bogoroditza, pg. 110]

“Bella Maria”, by James Hooker, found at Catholic Planet

Your Consecration Day

On this long-awaited day, some words of experience, inspiration and encouragement from Catherine Doherty, from the chapter entitled, ‘Total Consecration’, in “Bogoroditza. She Who Gave Birth to God” :

“On the Feast of Our Lady’s Purification, February 2, 1951, I finished a long journey.  Or perhaps I should say that I completed the first stage of it.  I cannot tell for sure.  Time alone will give the answer. My journey ended at the feet of Our Lady’s altar, in the church of the Sacred Heart in Ottawa, Canada, where my husband, Eddie Doherty, and I consecrated ourselves to her, according to the True Devotion of St. Louis Marie de Montfort.  On that day we handed over to her all of ourselves, our earthly goods, our spiritual merits and good works, for her to do with as she pleased, from then until our deaths.  We became totally hers that lovely day…” [pg. 39]

“…Eddie and I made the three-week preparation which has been prescribed for those wishing to make the de Montfort consecration.  We completed it on the feast of her Purification, a feast which now is celebrated as the feast of the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple.  We consecrated ourselves to her entirely and forever.  The long journey was ended.  Or had it only begun?” [pg. 42]

“…she will arise and, taking you by the hand, lead you into the inner chamber of her Immaculate Heart, where all the words of her Son are still kept, as fresh and alive as when he spoke them….The next will be her leading you through another door to her Spouse the Holy Spirit, the Crimson Dove.  Gently she will lift you up into his blinding light.  Then, if you lie still in her arms, as her small divine Son once did, you will begin to see life with the eyes of God.  And all things will come together for you and make marvelous and holy sense, and you will lose all fears, for you will enter onto the first step of perfect love that ‘casts out all fear.’ ” [pgs. 45-46]

May you have a beautiful and blessed Consecration Day, my friends.

♥  ♥  ♥