by Fr Richard Heilman | January 27, 2016 2:00 AM
St. Augustine’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit
Breathe in me O Holy Spirit that my thoughts may all be holy; Act in me O Holy Spirit that my works, too, may be holy; Draw my heart O Holy Spirit that I love but what is holy; Strengthen me O Holy Spirit to defend all that is holy; Guard me then O Holy Spirit that I always may be holy.
Reading: Luke 2:22-40
When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,” and to offer the sacrifice of “a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,” in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.
Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:
Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you prepared in sight of all the peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and glory for your people Israel.
The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem. When they had fulfilled all the prescriptions of the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. The child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him.
Mary and Joseph faithfully adhere to the Jewish law and consecrate the Boy to the Lord. The Holy Spirit again activates the mystery of Jesus as Simeon holds Him and proclaims the presence of the light of the world and glory of Israel. He foretells that the Child will be opposed in order to reveal the thoughts of many hearts. Mary, he predicts, will be directly linked to the suffering of the Messiah; she will be pierced by a sword. By the prophecy of Simeon the Holy Spirit prepares His spouse to enter deeply into the redemptive process alongside her Son.
John’s Gospel often uses individuals as “types,” that is, symbols of whole groups or even of all human beings. In the dialogue with “the Mother of Jesus” and “the disciple whom Jesus loved,” John makes the disciple stand in for all the world and the Church. By Jesus giving Mary to John as his mother, she becomes the mother of the Church and the world.
As a daughter of Israel, Mary had the pain of seeing her homeland overrun by the Romans. As a child of God she suffered from seeing her nation’s leaders too concerned about external observances. After Jesus left home she had the uncertainty of poverty and fear for her Son’s life. Then after seeing her Son die shamefully and enjoying His resurrected presence for a mere forty days, she witnessed the martyrdom of the early believers, the Mystical Body of which she was the Mother. Yet she continued to press the work of evangelization, becoming the prime source of knowledge for the events of Jesus’ life, keeping His memory alive, strengthening the disciples, even though she was impatient to be homeward bound to possess what she had so long pondered.
The Words of St. Maximilian
Strictly speaking, the mission of the Militia of the Immaculata is the same as that of the Immaculata herself. As Co-redemptrix, in fact, she desires to extend to all humanity the fruits of the redemption effected by her Son and to do all she can to win back to Christ heretics, schismatics, Freemasons, Jews, etc. The sole desire of the Immaculata is to lift the level of our spiritual life until it reaches the height of sanctity. She does not expect to bring about these goals of apostolic activity directly, in person. Rather, she seeks to involve us in them. Consequently the essential condition that every member of the Militia of the Immaculata should effectively realize is self-offering to the Immaculata as her own.
We can consecrate ourselves to the Immaculata by making use of any formula, as long as we renounce our own wills and adhere to her orders, which are made known to us in the commandments of God and of the Church, in the duties of our state in life, and in internal inspirations. This activity of the Immaculata will be all the more effective the more that we for our part seek to deepen our spiritual formation. Consecration to the Immaculata, therefore, implies the necessity of working for the perfection of ourselves and of our inclinations. Only when we are perfectly obedient to the Immaculata shall we become worthy instruments in her apostolic hands. We shall be apostles by the example of our lives, apostles by offering others the help of our actions.
Sub Tuum Praesidium
Prayer We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and blessed Virgin. Amen.
Miraculous Medal Prayer
O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to you, and for all who do not have recourse to you, especially the enemies of the Church and all those recommended to you.
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