A Rosary Teaching

Sr. Rebecca Shinas, OP gives a beautiful little teaching on The Rosary (and how to say a scriptural rosary) for all who would like to learn, and also to inspire or re-inspire others.

I have also posted Sr. Rebecca’s video on contemplative prayer today over at Contemplative Haven. All of Sister’s videos can be found at the YouTube Channel of the MSJ Dominicans.

Thank you, Sister Rebecca!  I love your videos, as well as your gift for song-writing and singing. 

Woman of Silence

Excerpt from:  Mary, Human and Holy (by Antonio Bello).  From Chapter 17, entitled, “Woman of Silence” [pgs. 94-95]:

Holy Mary, woman of silence, tell us of your encounters with God. What fields did you go to on springtime afternoons, far from the bustle of Nazareth, to listen to his voice? What crevices of rock did you hide in as an adolescent, so that the violence of human noise would not profane your encounter with him?….

Holy Mary, admit us to your school. Keep us apart from the marketplace of noise where we risk becoming deaf. Keep us from an idle curiosity for unimportant news, which deafens us to the “Good News.” Help us cherish the silence that restores to us an eagerness for contemplation even in the bustle of great cities. Help us to understand that the great things in life – conversion, love, sacrifice, and death – mature only in silence.

 

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)

Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Today is a Marian “optional memorial” wherein we commemorate several things:  Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Marian spirituality of the Carmelites, the scapular and consecration of oneself to Mary.

Picking up on the theme from my previous post, I would like to share a little bit from the Dictionary of Mary :

“The commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel calls for a rediscovery of the contemplative dimension of life. Nothing indeed is more foreign to Carmel and to Mary than an exteriority bereft of any intimate union of love with God….There is no more profound and urgent need for people today – who are in danger of losing themselves in a frenetic chaos without a definitive meaning – than the need to experience God in their own lives.

The great mystical Carmelite authors have had an acute sense of the spiritual life as a ‘way of perfection’…On this journey Mary is present as Mother and Model of contemplatives, that is, of Christians attuned to the filial listening to the Father through Christ in the Spirit.” [Dictionary of Mary, pg. 58]

 

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An excellent video about Our Lady of Mount Carmel produced by Catholic Radio Dramas (many thanks to YouTube Channel andresgran53):

Mary, Mediatrix of Contemplation

We have, moreover, considered the external conditions that favor contemplation and union with God.  They are:  a certain solitude, silence, sufficient time given to prayer, no overburdening, no useless reading, no preoccupations foreign to our vocation.  To these external conditions must be added natural aptitude and also enlightened direction.  If many of these exterior conditions are lacking, it is difficult to reach contemplation, which no longer has its normal environment.  Profound humility and ardent charity, however, may supply this lack, especially if joined with great devotion to the Blessed Virgin and to the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.  He who habitually begins his prayer with these two mediators, will be led by them to intimate union with God, since the object of the Blessed Virgin’s influence is to lead us to her Son, and that of Christ to lead us to the Father.

The divine mercy often compensates for the inequality of natural conditions by great graces. “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” Deep humility supplies for other conditions in the life of union with God. The two great mediators, Jesus and Mary, stoop to the humble in order to lead them to the intimacy of the Father. We have only one life, and on it our eternity depends. As Tauler says, if we have not entered the divine intimacy before we are advanced in years, we run the risk of not entering it in this life, even though it is the normal prelude to heaven.

[Excerpts from “Christian Perfection and Contemplation”, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P., page 417 and page 423]

Mary’s Detachment

An excerpt from “The Other-Centeredness of Mary”, by Dom John Main, O.S.B.:

At the core of Mary’s detachment, even from what is dearest and most precious, is the continual projection of her consciousness away from herself.  This is indeed the condition of her pilgrimage.  On every occasion where Jesus is shown addressing her in the gospel a further degree of detachment is achieved.  In the Temple, at Cana, when the crowd drew Jesus’ attention to her, Mary is each time confronted with the hard truth of the path of prayer that “the way of possession is the way of dispossession.”  No mother has ever possessed her son less possessively than Mary and for that reason none has been able to be as open to his experience.  The whole of Mary’s life is presented as a silent and loving response to the progressive detachment of her spirit.  She stands before the mystery of her own life as before the mystery of God with ever-increasing simplicity, deepening vulnerability and an ever more refined sensitivity to the transforming power of love. [pg. 20]