- “The blessing of heaven was upon the apostolate of St. Patrick. The hills and valleys of Erin were lit up with the light of divine truth; and the whole nation, with heroism, of fervour, and devotion, and gratitude, never surpassed in the history of the Church, embraced the Catholic faith, and were gathered into the one true fold.
- The daughter of Lir, tells us, she was held captive under druidical spell for 400 years. St. Patrick arriving on the shores of the lake, erected his altar to offer the holy sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise, and no sooner was the tinkling of the little bell heard on the waters than the enchanter's spell was broken, and the fair daughter of Lir arose in the full grace and bloom of youth, and strengthened by faith and arrayed in heavenly comeliness knelt for the saint's blessing at the altar of God. Wherever the apostle went, the cross of Christ triumphed; and, though he had many difficulties and dangers to encounter, yet his charity and patience, and prayer and miracles overcame them all.
- St. Patrick sets out for Tara. He is accompanied by his deacons and priests. The youthful Benen, still fragrant with the freshness of baptismal grace, went before the saint bearing the gospels on his breast. The saint himself, wearing a crown which was then the symbol of the episcopal authority, and bearing the blessed staff in his hand, intoned the invocation of the Trinity as an armour of salvation against the snares of the evil one. Truly solemn was that day, and momentous were the issues at stake. Light and darkness, life and death, the slavery of sin and the freedom of the children of God were in the balance for the Irish nation.”
- Archbishop of Sydney Francis Patrick Cardinal Moran, St. Patrick's Day, 9th May 1885
- We the Legion of Mary can learn from St Patrick’s apostolic zeal. St Patrick’s apostolate to Ireland was successful through his prayer, organization skills, and personal zeal.
- Let us engage in serious interior prayer.
- Keep the unity and purpose of our organization.
- Do our 2 hours “substantial apostolic work” every week.
- St Patrick’s zeal for lost souls poured forth from His interior life in Christ and the Holy Spirit.It is well recorded that St Patrick was a man of prayer.Prayer inspires us and strengthens us to do great things for God.Prayer allows us to overcome all the obstacles we face every day in our Apostolate.
- The Legion Handbook say; “The holiness of the member is of fundamental importance for the Legion. It is moreover the primary means of action, for only in the measure that the legionary possesses grace can he be the channel of it to others. Hence it is that the legionary begins his membership by a request to be filled, through Mary, with the Holy Spirit and to be used as an instrument of his power which is to renew the face of the earth.”
- Another means for St Patrick’s success was the unity of his plan. His apostolic organization and zeal was not left up to chance. St Patrick would arrive at each village; with men and women who with suitable talents would be able to begin immediately to build churches and schools; to make the necessary liturgical equipment; and to train the next generation in these trades. One can just image how St Patrick would, with procession of evangelizers walking before him and carts full of church goods following, would enter into each new apostolate.
- A firm structure of work would begin in every village the Saint entered. After a set period of evangelization St Patrick would move onto the next village, and so his apostolate gathered momentum and, success. When the time of intensive apostolate was over St Patrick would depart leaving a Priest for the Sacraments; Religious Brothers and Nuns and the first monastery building. He would leave the village full of the newly baptized, all ready to be governed, taught, and sanctified. A well-organized missionary apostolate had begun. Saint Patrick always left a village he had visited with the means to continue in their new found Catholic Faith.
- Another lesson we can learn from St Patrick is giving a substantial time to the work of the Apostolate. St Patrick spent substantial time in each village building up his apostolate and preaching to the people. Sometimes St Patrick stayed years in one village or another, building up his apostolate and taking care of the souls God had given to him.
- Cardinal Riberi, formerly Apostolic Delegate to the Missions in Africa and China once said about the Legion of Mary Apostolate:
- "The Legion of Mary is an Apostolate, attractive and alluring; throbbing with life so that it wins all to it; dependent on the Virgin Mother of God; insistent on the quality of membership and numerical strength; safeguarded by plenteous prayer and self-sacrifice, an exact system, and completely in co-operation with the priest. The Legion of Mary is a miracle of these times." Part 3. The Legion and the Lay Apostolate, Chapter 10 The Legion Apostolate, Legion of Mary Handbook, pg59.
- I think St Patrick would agree with all Cardinal Riberi has said about the Legion Apostolate.
- Let us engage in serious interior prayer.
- Keep the unity and purpose of our Apostolate.
- Do our 2 hours “substantial apostolic work” every week.
- Padre Pio used to carry permanently a Rosary in his hands and would pray it many times a day.One night to his helper Fr Onorato Marcucci, Padre Pio grabbing His Rosary beads said; "With this, one wins the battles."
- Father Marcellino testified that he had to help Padre Pio wash his hands always, one at a time, "because Padre Pio didn't want to leave praying his rosary beads, and passed the Rosary from one hand to the other."
- To Lucia Merlinda: "After the Glory, say: Jesus, I love you, and I repent for offending You."
- About the repetitiveness of the Rosary Padre Pio said; "Pay attention to the mysteries, they change at every decade."
- To Enedina Mori: "When you get tired reciting the Rosary, rest a bit, and then restart again."
- To Fr Carmelo at 9:00pm before bed: "I still have 2 rosaries to pray today. I said only 34 so far. Then I will go to bed."
- Answering to Fr Michelangelo; "Today I said 32 or 33 rosaries, maybe 1 or 2 more."
- Answering Fr Mariano question on how may Rosaries Padre Pio said a day: "About 30, maybe some more, but not less." Fr Mariano said, 'How do you do it?
- Padre Pio answered; "What is the night for?"
- Answering a similar question Padre Pio said; "Some days I say 40 Rosaries, some other days 50."
- The person asked; How do I do it?
- Padre Pio answered; "How do you manage, not so say any!"
- To Lucia Pennelli one morning around 7:00 AM after Mass: "How many rosaries did you say so far today?" 'Two". Padre Pio answered; "I already have said seven."
- To Lucietta Pennelli, one day at about noon: "Today I have already said 16 complete Rosaries."
- The table around which they (first) met bore a simple altar, of which the center was a statue of the Immaculate Conception (of the miraculous medal model).
- It stood on a white cloth, and was flanked by two vases with flowers, and two candlesticks with lighted candles.
- This setting, so rich in atmosphere, was the inspired notion of one of the earliest comers. It crystallized everything for which the Legion of Mary stands.
- Legion of Mary Handbook Name and Origin, Chapter 1, Pg10
- Legion of Mary altar crystallizes the Spirit of the Legion of Mary
- The Spirit of unity is crystallized as all our Altars are identical in the Legion of Mary. The Altar crystallizes the spiritual union of good works (the Spiritual works of Mercy) we all make in communion with Our Lady in the Legion of Mary. We are one worldwide body and Legion Apostolate. Our prayers are unified for one common goal the salvation of our own souls and that of our neighbor, and the Altar reflects the spiritual communion we are, whenever we gather, wherever we gather in the world. We are one spiritual army.
- Our white Altar Cloth – reminds us of the white Altar Cloth of the Mass. The white Altar cloth should remind us of the spirit of self-sacrifice which Jesus teaches us every day at the Mass and the power of the Legion apostolate has in being united with the Eucharistic Christ. Legion of Mary members are encouraged to attend Mass every day, it is one of the elements of the Adjutorian’s rank. On the Altar cloth is sewn Legio Mariae (not the Praesidium Name) – this is a further sign of our Spirit of unity. We are the ONE Legion of Mary wherever we gather.
- The legion hand book asks for “silver Candlesticks and silver flower vases” – silver reminds us of the purity of the Blessed Virgin’s Faith. This “unwavering” faith we imamate in union with Mary, it is prayed for in our Legion Catena, and recommended to us in our Legion Handbook. There are many quotes in the Bible about silver being a symbol of pure faith in God, here is just a couple;
For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined - Psalm 66 "Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction” - Isaiah 48 “But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver” - Malachi 3 Our freshly cut flowers – are a sign of our living Spirit of Charity. This Legion Charity is firstly directed towards God and then to our neighbour. I have always recommended fresh flowers, not plastic because they are such a sign of true living love. Fresh flowers take an effort to attain, and so does love. The flowers remind us of God’s love towards all mankind in creation and how our love should be a garden of delight towards Him who is our creator. The Legion Vexillum – is the pillar of the Spirit of the Legion Apostolate, the Vexillum chrysalises the Apostolate of the Legion of Mary. The Vexillum Legionis begins with the emblem of the Holy Spirit. Beneath the Dove a is the inscription “Legio Mariae” (Legion of Mary). Then the Miraculous Medal bearing the revealed truth of the Immaculate Conception, and Our Lady’s own desired prayer for us; "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee" The staff of the Vexillum piercing into the world globe can remind us of the Good Shepherd and Legion loyalty to our Bishop. The Vexillium design conveys the idea that the world is to be conquered by the Holy Spirit acting through Mary and her children. And lastly the statue of Our Lady – is the spirit of Mary herself, and is the center piece of our Altar, the statue represents the Queen present among her soldiers. “It is through the Blessed Virgin Mary that Jesus Christ came into the world’ and it is also fitting that, through her, He should reign over the world.” Treatise on the True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin, St Louis-Maria De Monfort, page 9.From the Handbook:
- The setting of every meeting shall be uniform. The members should sit around a table at one end of which for the purpose of the meeting a small temporary altar is erected. On a white cloth of sufficient size is placed a statue of the Immaculate Conception (in the attitude of the distribution of Graces), preferably about two feet (60 cm) high - flanked by two vases of flowers and two candlesticks with lighted candles. A little to the right of the statue, and a little in advance of it, should be set the vexillum. As the idea is that the statue represents the Queen present among her soldiers, the altar must not be separated from the meeting-table or so placed as to remove the statue outside the circle of the members. Filial love towards our Heavenly Mother dictates that the equipment and the flowers should be as good as possible; the equipment is not a recurring item of expense. Possibly a benefactor or some other good fortune might put the praesidium in possession of silver vases and candlesticks. It should be regarded as an honourable duty on the part of some legionary to keep the vexillum and the vases and candlesticks clean and bright, and duly provided with flowers and candles at the expense of the praesidium.
- If natural flowers are absolutely unobtainable it would be allowable to use artificial ones with some greenery added to provide the element of living nature. In climates where it is necessary to shield the flame of the candles, plain glass cups or globes, which will not conceal the candle itself, may be fitted on to the top of the candle.
- The words "Legio Mariae" may be worked upon the cloth, but not the name of the praesidium. Points of unity, not of distinction, should be stressed.”
God can dispense His gifts, as He chooses, when He chooses and to whom He chooses and through whom He chooses.When we investigate the Divine Plan we can clearly see Mary has a special place in Salvation History. Mary is the Women of Genesis and Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, our Saviour.
- God willed to include Mary in His Divine Plan in repairing the fall of Adam.
- God chose Mary from the beginning to humble the pride of Lucifer who tricked Eve into sinning. Eve, the first woman whom God created, was truly a royal Queen with her endowments and destiny; for God wished Eve to be “mother of all the living”, as indicated by the meaning of her name in Genesis 3:20, and to serve as an example to those who would come after her.
- As Eve through Adam was conquered by the deceiver into sinning, so the reverse is true about Mary. God wills to restore His friendship to fallen man through the obedience of Mary.
- In the Bible we can see God often chooses what the world considers “weak” and He makes them strong for His mighty purposes.
- Queen Esther, who pleaded before the angry King, foreshadows Mary’s intercession before the King of kings; and Hannah who was faithful in prayer foreshadowed Mary’s faithful trust in God. There are many other biblical examples of Mary being foreshadowed in salvation history.
- Mary is the supreme co-operator in our salvation.
- Mary has an active spirit in the grace we receive when she intercedes for us directly, and Mary has a passive spirit when she knowingly, freely, co-operates with all Her Son’s works.
- Being a “Mediatrix of all Graces” does not require Jesus to be subservient to the will of His Mother but rather He freely chooses to include Mary in all His actions, for His Glory, and Her greater glory. The graces that come to us through Jesus may be said to come to us also through Mary not as the origin of the graces, but as a conduit, the channel of grace.
- As a Catholic Priest I am well aware I give to others something I do not produce myself.
- My active will is to provide the sacraments and hence all God’s grace to souls. My co-operation is both active and passive, I do not know what each soul is given, but I am happy that they are receiving God’s grace. I freely co-operate with what God is doing through me.
Conclusion: “One is my dove, my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed: the queens and concubines, and they praised her.Who is she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?” Song of Solomon 6:10
“The blessing of heaven was upon the apostolate of St. Patrick. The hills and valleys of Erin were lit up with the light of divine truth; and the whole nation, with a heroism, of fervor, and devotion, and gratitude, never surpassed in the history of the Church, embraced the Catholic faith, and were gathered into the one true fold. The daughter of Lir, tells us, she was held captive under druidical spell for 400 years. St. Patrick arriving on the shores of the lake, erected his altar to offer the holy sacrifice of thanksgiving and praise, and no sooner was the tinkling of the little bell heard on the waters than the enchanter's spell was broken, and the fair daughter of Lir arose in the full grace and bloom of youth, and strengthened by faith and arrayed in heavenly comeliness knelt for the saint's blessing at the altar of God. Wherever the apostle went, the cross of Christ triumphed; and, though he had many difficulties and dangers to encounter, yet his charity and patience, and prayer and miracles overcame them all. St. Patrick sets out for Tara. He is accompanied by his deacons and priests. The youthful Benen, still fragrant with the freshness of baptismal grace, went before the saint bearing the gospels on his breast. The saint himself, wearing a crown which was then the symbol of the episcopal authority, and bearing the blessed staff in his hand, intoned the invocation of the Trinity as an armour of salvation against the snares of the evil one. Truly solemn was that day, and momentous were the issues at stake. Light and darkness, life and death, the slavery of sin and the freedom of the children of God were in the balance for the Irish nation.”
Archbishop of Sydney Francis Patrick Cardinal Moran, St Patrick's day, 9th May 1885We, the Legion of Mary, can learn from St Patrick’s apostolic zeal. St Patrick’s apostolate to Ireland was successful through his prayer, organization skills, and personal zeal. We in the Legion of Mary can learn valuable lessons from St Patrick.
- The need to engage in serious daily interior prayer.
- To always keep the unity and purpose of our organization.
- Do our 2 hours “substantial apostolic work” every week.
“The holiness of the member is of fundamental importance for the Legion. It is moreover the primary means of action, for only in the measure that the legionary possesses grace can he be the channel of it to others. Hence it is that the legionary begins his membership by a request to be filled, through Mary, with the Holy Spirit and to be used as an instrument of his power which is to renew the face of the earth.”Another means for St Patrick’s success was the unity of his plan. His apostolic organization and zeal was not left up to chance. It is well known that St Patrick would bring men and women with suitable talents to build churches and schools and to make the necessary liturgical equipment; carts full of church goods would rattle in with the Saint’s team of evangelizers. A firm structure of work would begin in every village the Saint entered. After a set period of evangelization St Patrick would move onto the next village, and so his apostolate would gather momentum and success. When the time of intensive apostolate was over St Patrick would depart leaving a Priest and possible Deacons, Religious Brothers and Nuns, to teach the catechism and work with the people. A well-organized missionary apostolate had begun. Saint Patrick always left a village he had visited with the means to continue in their new found Catholic Faith. Another lesson we can learn from St Patrick is giving a substantial time to the work of the Apostolate. St Patrick spent substantial time in each village building up his apostolate and preaching to the people. He stayed years in one village or another, building up his apostolate and taking care of the souls God had given to him. In the Legion of Mary we should inmate the lessons found in the life of St Patrick.
- Let us engage in serious interior prayer.
- Keep the unity and purpose of our Apostolate.
- Do our 2 hours “substantial apostolic work” every week.
"The Legion of Mary is an Apostolate, attractive and alluring; throbbing with life so that it wins all to it; dependent on the Virgin Mother of God; insistent on the quality of membership and numerical strength; safeguarded by plenteous prayer and self-sacrifice, an exact system, and completely in co-operation with the priest. The Legion of Mary is a miracle of these times." Legion of Mary Handbook.
- ST. PATRICK'S APOSTOLATE.
- THE MIRACLE OF TARA.
- THE SAINTS OF ERIN.
- THE INHERITANCE OF IRELAND.
- He calls for a disturbing - Holy Slavery.
- He calls for a disturbing - True Devotion.
- He calls for a disturbing – Way, through Mary to Jesus.
- Holy Slavery to Mary
- The True Devotion to Mary
- The Total Consecration to Mary
- natural slavery
- enforced slavery
- voluntary slavery.
True Devotion to Mary Chap 2, para. 70.Saint Paul wrote; “For he who was called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord's freedman; likewise he who was called while free, is Christ's slave.” 1 Corinthians 7:21 St Louis Maria De Montfort is not asking for something Mary has not already given herself. Mary acknowledges her total reliance on God in the Annunciation by saying; “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word”. In a real way Mary was the first to say what we all say in the annual Acies but her consecration was to Yahweh;
I am all yours Yahweh
And all that I have is Yours
My Lord and My GodThe Legion of Mary has accepted the value of this true devotion of holy slavery. We make ourselves (to a certain extent) “slaves” to Mary by the complete consecration of ourselves in Acies consecration...
“I am all yours My Queen and My Mother,
and all that I have is Yours”.Secondly, A True Devotion St Louis Maria De Montfort calls for a “true spirit” in our devotion. He outlines his true devotion as;
- A real desire to serve from God from your heart.
- Prolonged prayer that proves and supports your desire.
- Death to self.
- And a true love of suffering.
“As is well known, my episcopal coat of arms symbolically illustrates the Gospel text; “Standing by the Cross of Jesus were His mother, and His mother's sister, Mary, the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing near, He said to His mother, ‘Woman, behold, Your son!’. Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold, Your mother!’ And from that hour the disciple took Her to his own home” (Jn 19: 25-27).… and the motto Totus is inspired by the teaching of St. Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort. These two words express total belonging to Jesus through Mary: “Tuus totus ego sum, et omnia mea tua sunt,” As St. Louis Marie wrote and translated them as:
“I am all Yours, and all that I have is Yours,
O most loving Jesus, through Mary, Your most holy Mother”This Saint's teaching has had a profound influence on my own life. Reading the True Devotion to Mary has marked a decisive turning point in my life. I said 'turning point', although this is a long inner journey....
Totus Tuus – by Pope John Paul II
Totally yours, Totus Tuus,
Immaculate Conception, Mary my Mother,
Live in me, Act in me,
Speak in me and through me,
Think your thoughts in my mind,
Love through my heart,
Give me your dispositions and feelings,
Teach, lead me and guide me to Jesus,
Correct, enlighten and expand my thoughts and behavior,
Possess my soul,
Take over my entire personality and life, replace it with Yourself,
Incline me to constant adoration,
Pray in me and through me,
Let me live in you and keep me in this union alwaysThirdly, A Way through Mary to Jesus In the True Devotion St Louis Maria De Monfort says;
“…here are some very sanctifying interior practices for those souls who feel called by the Holy Spirit to a high degree of perfection.
They may be expressed in four words, doing everything,
through Mary, with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary,
in order to do it more perfectly through Jesus,
with Jesus, in Jesus, and for Jesus.”
True Devotion to Mary Chapter 8, Para. 257.These words of St Loius Maria De Montford, especially for any Priest, are disturbing as they are the same words the Priest says in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass just after the consecration while offering our Sacrificial Victim to God the Most High…
Through him, and with him, and in him,
O God, almighty Father,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honor is yours,
forever and ever. Amen.St Loius Maria de Montfort suggests doing everything,
with Mary, in Mary, and for Mary,in order to do it more perfectly
in Jesus, and for Jesus.So, quite rightly, this “Way” has its completion at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Recently in the Mass the Church has brought back the word “oblation”. An oblation is a complete offering of something to God. In fact the latin “ob latus” hints at a complete outpouring. When we use that word oblation at Mass we are asking God for the grace to pour out our lives before Him, through Jesus and with Jesus and in Jesus. Mary has a good reason to lead us in every Mass. It is through her body that she gave Jesus His body. The same body Jesus offers to His Father on our behalf at every Mass. It only makes sense to allow Mary to bring us to the body of her Son Jesus; she fittingly prepares us to “pour out” our lives in True Devotion to the One who is the source and summit of all grace and charity in the Church. If you have not read St Louis Maria de Montfort True Devotion to Mary I suggest you get a copy and read it slowly and perhaps the best place would be in a Church before the Blessed Sacrament.
- The Authority of Faith
- The Content of Faith
- The Perfection of Faith
Jesus said; I am the Way; I am the Truth; I am the Light.The content of our Catholic Faith begins in the written lives and legacy of the great men and women of the Old Testament. Abraham is called “the father of Faith” and Moses is the great Lawgiver of God. But the fullness of Faith, the complete content of our Faith, is found only, with Jesus, in Jesus, and through Jesus. He alone is the final Word of God, find Jesus and you find the content of our Faith. The content of our Faith can therefore be found in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The Eucharist is the living presence of Jesus in the world. The prayers and actions of the Mass give each one of us the content of our living Faith. In the Gloria - we acclaim Jesus’ divinity. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen. In the Creed – we profess our Faith in the Most Holy Trinity. In the Our Father – we profess communion with Jesus calling God our Father. We can also find the content of our Catholic Faith in the authentic teaching of the Magisterium of the Church, in the Sunday homily, in papal encyclicals, in the Catholic Catechism, and in many other ways. 3. The Perfection of Faith The word “perfection” has its roots in the Latin language per = through facio = to do The word perfection thus gives us the English “making it through to the end; completing a task”. Your Faith sets you free! Faith humbles our pride Faith overcomes poverty, and makes us want riches that really last Faith stops greed and avarice in worldly things because Heaven is our true home Faith stops us becoming prisoners of self-indulgence, excessive luxury and pleasure seeking in this world. Faith makes sense of suffering. Faith makes us sympathetic to others. Faith gives us the virtue of Hope. Faith is Patient Faith overcomes our anger and hatred. Faith unleashes the Power of God. And finally; Faith will even overcome death – for Jesus says; “I am the resurrection and life, He who believes in Me even though He may die will live.” At death human life is changed, not ended. Eventually our Faith will give way to the perfection of the Vision of God. Faith is cast off, and hope is fulfilled in the vision of the children of God who have proved themselves obedient to the Word of God. We call this, vision, of all things in God, the Lumen Gloriae, the light of Glory! A fitting analogy or comparison for this new way of seeing when we are in Heaven is a common household tropical fish tank. When the light is switched off the fish tank is dark and it is hard to see what is in the tank, everything lacks colour and shape. But when the light is switched on the fish tank takes on a new life. The fish are all colourful and brightly shining, the green plants can be seen and the rocks glow. That is similar to what the light of glory Lumen Gloriae does for the soul. We see all things in God’s light clear, bright, and shining. Let us pray for the gift of Faith, Prayer for New Zealand O Almighty God, Who in your infinite goodness sent thy only begotten Son into this world to open again the gates of heaven, and to teach us how to know, love and serve You, have mercy on the people who live in New Zealand. Grant to them the precious gift of faith, and unite them in the one true Church founded by thy Divine Son; that they may love, serve and worship You in this world and obtain for themselves eternal happiness in heaven. We make this prayer through Your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen
God the Father can be seen as supremely generous in creation; God the Son is seen as totally generous in salvation history; God the Holy Spirit is complete generous in the lives of the Saints. The nature of God is to be supremely generous it is one of His attributes. “God is never self-seeking, but acts only and always with selfless generosity, pouring out good gifts, from His abundance, on His creatures showing His infinite abundance and generosity”. St Thomas AquinasJesus taught us to be generous In the Bible we have Jesus’s own commentary on the spirit of generosity. Jesus spoke to His apostles about the widow who gave all she had to God and He praised her generosity. Jesus also taught, God is a mysterious and generous rewarded. He gave us the parable of the workers in the vineyard. He taught us not to judge God’s generosity.
- Filled with the Holy Spirit one day Jesus taught of the good things to come…
- Give and it will be given to you.
- A good amount will be poured into your lap.
- It will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
- The same amount you give will be measured out to you." Luke 6:38
For most of us being generous is difficult and requires small action that may grow.We must learn to give without counting the cost, and that is a hard lesson.Give and it will be given to you.A good amount will be poured into your lap.It will be pressed down, shaken together, and running over.The same amount you give will be measured out to you." Luke 6:38In heaven we will be completely generous, but not with anything you own, for we will have learnt the lesson that all in fact belongs to God. Therefore we must pray for the spirit of generosity. Your generosity like any virtue in this life and it must be tested and being tested it grows. That is why we have the saying a virtue …. grows a habit…..a habit gives a destiny. At the source of all Edel's activity was her deep union with God, sustained by constant prayer. The Eucharist was the centre of her life: "What a desolation life would be without the Eucharist", she wrote. Her devotion to Mary was marked by childlike trust and utter generosity. She said she could never refuse Our Lady anything she thought she wanted. Mary's rosary seemed to be always in her hand. The Legion does not require persons of talent but rather persons with generous and willing hearts, generosity is part of the Spirit of the Legion as Edel Quinn has shown us. Just listen to some of these Legion titles from the Handbook from the chapter LEGIONARY SERVICE -
Must "put on the whole armour of God".
Must be "a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God . . . not conformed to this world."
Must not turn from "toil and hardship."
Must "live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us."
Must "finish the race"
Practical conclusions:Being Generous with God
- We are all called to live a morally good life which will be tested in our generosity towards God.
- We are all called to spend some time each day generously in prayer to adore, and thank God.
- We are all called to be generous with our approaching all the sacraments of God and not just to receive Holy Communion and never to go to confession.
- We are all called to share our faith in God with others, especially we Legionaries.
- We are all called to be generous with our spouses.
- Married people are called to be generous in having large Catholic families witness of their co-creative activity in God.
- Then you are called to be very generous in feeding and clothing your co-creations in God.
- Being generous in your parish
- Some people can receive from the Parish, but never give to the Parish.
- Boomerang love – selfish salvation
- Turn up to events for others in the Parish
- Cup of tea in hall for others in the Parish
- Children catechism / parish feast days
"By the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory."The church has always acknowledged Mary’s unique part in salvation history. God chose Mary and set her apart from all other women. She was to be the Mother of God, the first disciple of Jesus who is our Saviour and the incarnate Word of God. Here are some insights the Church has given us over the centuries on Mary’s unique place in salvation history. We begin with the “first good news” called the Protoevangelium; then the Immaculate Conception; then the prophesy of Simeon predicting the suffering of Mary in union with Her Son; and finally the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. God preordained Mary to be the new Eve with her Son the new Adam, we call this the protoevangelium, the first good news.
- Mary is born Immaculate free from all sin. When we are free from sin we are free to co-operate in God’s Plan for our lives, this is the purpose of our transformation in Christ. We are called to be persons, free from sin to share God’s life in Heaven, and this is the whole point of salvation history.
- Mary was pre-destined to be meritorious in God’s eyes through suffering. Mary lived a sinless life while suffering in this world. Mary did not suffer alone but was to share uniquely and mysteriously, in the sufferings of her Son Jesus. In the Presentation of Jesus in the temple of Jerusalem Simeon tells Mary she will suffer with Her Son.
- God’s plan extends to Mary’s triumphant Assumption, body and soul, into Heaven. She is the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary who reigns with her Son triumphant over the serpent and all fatal poisons produced by the first sin of our parents.
“Death was not God’s doing, he takes no pleasure in the extinction of the living. To be – for this he created all; the world’s created things have health in them, in them no fatal poison can be found, and Hades holds no power on earth; for virtue is undying.” Wisdom 1:13-15The first Good News (The Protoevangelium) The first good news is really concerning the Victory of Jesus Christ over the enemies of mankind. The Church calls our enemies the fallen flesh, the fallen world and fallen Man, the fatal poisons the Devil caused in human history. But in the book of Genesis we can also see God has preordained Mary’s role in salvation history. The child of the “woman” was to be the cause of restoration for mankind. The Woman and her Son were to be the downfall of the serpent who had tricked our first parents Adam and Eve into disobedience and sin.
I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” Genesis 3:15The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary God’s plan was that Mary was not to suffer any ill effects of the sin of Adam and Eve. God made Mary unstained, Immaculate, delighting God from the beginning of her existence and being free from the effects of sin to work with God on His Divine Plan for our salvation.
The Angel greeted Mary saying Hail Mary full of grace the Lord is with thee” “All ages will called me blessed for the Lord has done great things for me”The prophesy of Simeon The prophesy of Simeon predicts Mary as one pre-ordained by God to stand beneath the Cross sharing uniquely in the sufferings of Jesus Her Son. Mary was not passive in suffering with her Son but actively co-operated with God’s will in obedience, hope, and love. God wanted Mary to be meritorious with her Son.
And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this [child] is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. Luke 2:34-35Assumption of Blessed Virgin Mary As the Catechism of the Catholic Church puts it: The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of His Body (974).
Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of His covenant was seen within His temple, and there were flashes of lightening, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; she was with child. ... She brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron. Revelation 11:19 - 12:1.
- The tradition of the Church states that Mary the Mother of Jesus retired to Ephesus with the John the Apostle, living a hidden life of prayer until her own Assumption into Heaven some 12 years later.
- Under the guidance of the Church, archeologists have found what they believe to be the house of Ephesus. This site has been visited by five different Popes and venerated for many years. The shrine has also gained the Apostolic Blessing of the first pilgrimage by Pope Leo XIII in 1896. On the site there is a small chapel.
- It is a welcome thought for Catholics to know the Virgin Mary once attended Mass, received Holy Communion, and prayed to her Son hidden in the Eucharist. We can only wonder at the spiritual life of Mary, in union with her Son present in the Eucharist, for these 12 years.
"her heart was drawn towards the Blessed Sacrament as iron is towards a magnet".Mary would have been very busy every day serving Jesus in prayer. Mary lived a Devout and Holy life.
Humility, prayer and obedience before God and our neighbour pleases God very much. Jesus made this type of life a condition of entering the Kingdom of God. Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. - Matt 18:3There are four basic forms of prayer. A.C.T.S. is a short way of remembering them. Adoration; Contrition; Thanksgiving; Supplication.
- Mary lived this prayerful, humble, and obedient life while she was at Ephesus. She must have grown in the love of God her Father and won many graces for the family of the Church while she was living at Ephesus. Mary’s life of prayer with her Eucharistic Son.
- Mary ADORED God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
- She made acts of CONTRITION (sorrow for sins) in reparation for lost sinners.
- She gave THANKSGIVING to God for the life of her Son Jesus and the Church.
- INTERCEDING for all she knew needed her prayers.
Blessed Peter Julian Eymard says, “that in the Eucharist, the divinity, power, glory, and even humanity of Christ are concealed; that Jesus lives a life of poverty; that He labours unceasingly for the saving of souls, but mysteriously and in silence, so that the world hardly notices His activity. In consequence, anyone living in close union with Christ in the Eucharist is bound to lead an interior life of intense charity, but their external life must be poor and humble. “Their life is hidden with Christ in God." The Priest in Union with Christ, By Garrigou-LagrangeThe Interior life of the members of the Legion of Mary But what about our hidden spiritual life in Christ! How do we live a devout and holy life, today!? Surely, humility, prayer, and obedience are the foundation of the Legion of Mary spiritual system. Her humility is our humility, her prayer is our prayer, and her obedience is our obedience. The Legion Handbook is very clear how we are to accomplish this spiritual work;
- by attending our weekly Legion meeting,
- by saying our Legion prayers.
- by doing our apostolic work every week for two hours.
What is a Saint…It is this… “One who, with the object of pleasing God, does his ordinary duties extraordinarily well. Such a life may be lived out without a single wonder in it, arouse little notice, be soon forgotten, and yet be the life of one of God's dearest friends.” So, let us be friends of God, and let us be friends of Mary, and then surely, we will “be-friend” all those souls who surround us daily.PRAYER TO THE EUCHARISTIC HEART OF JESUS
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, gracious companion of our exile, I adore you.
Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, lonely Heart, humiliated Heart, abandoned Heart, forgotten Heart, despised Heart, outraged Heart, Heart ignored by men, Heart which loves our own hearts, Heart pleading for our love, Heart so patient in waiting for us, Heart so eager to listen to our prayers, Heart so anxious for our requests, Heart, unending source of new graces, Heart so silent, yet desiring to speak to souls, Heart, welcome refuge of the hidden life, Heart, teacher of the secrets of union with God, Heart of Him, who sleeps but watches always, Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Jesus Victim, I desire to comfort you; I unite myself to you; I offer myself in union with you. I regard myself as nothing in your presence. I long to forget myself in order to think only of you, to be despised and forgotten for love of you. I have no desire to be understood or loved by anyone but you. I will keep silent in order to listen to you, and I will abandon myself in order to lose myself in you.
Grant that I may thus satisfy your thirst for my salvation, your burning thirst for my holiness, and that once purified I may give you a sincere and pure love. I am anxious not to tire you further with waiting: take me, I hand myself over to you. I give you all my actions, my mind to be enlightened, my heart to be directed, my will to be stabilized, my wretchedness to be relieved, my soul and body to be nourished by you.
Eucharistic Heart of my Saviour, whose blood is the life of my soul, may I myself cease to live, and you alone live in me. Amen.
The Old Testament prepares for the New and the New Testament fulfills the Old; the two shed light on each other; both are true Word of God.Catholic Catechism - Part 1 Procession of Faith 
Seeing his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, ‘Woman, behold, your son.’ Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home (Jn 19:26-27).
We fly to your patronage, O holy Mother of God,despise not our petitions in our necessities,but deliver us from all dangers.O ever glorious and blessed Virgin.
From the earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, whose protection the faithful take refuge together in prayer in all their perils and needs. (Lumen Gentium, No. 66).
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.Blessed be her glorious Assumption.Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
- Spiritual preparation: Advent is the four week period of preparation for the Solemnity.
- Spiritual Joy: The Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord, (Christmas Day), and the eight day Octave of the Solemnity is a time of great joy for us. We share joy the same joy of the Shepherds and the Kings.
- Spiritual Wonder: Time after the Solemnity, including the feast of Mary Mother of God, and the feast of the Epiphany of the Lord is a time of wonder before God’s works and knowing God’s goodness to us in those works.
- Using the difficult title of “Nativity of the Lord” makes us “stop and think” what Christmas is really about in this busy time of the year.
- Using the title of honor The Lord, makes us stop and think, “Who” the holiday is all about, rather than mindless Santa Clause and Christmas cheer.
- And using the word, “Nativity” which means to “give birth” in Latin, we can begin a pro-life conversation with all those whom we meet during Christmas.
Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven….And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. (Matt 6: 1-6)
The Dove • The Legio Mariae • The Miraculous Medal
The whole design conveys the idea that the world is to be conquered by the Holy Spiritacting through Mary and her children.
The Dove: symbol of the Most Holy Spirit
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age. - Matt 28:19
What exactly do we commit ourselves to in the Legionary Promise?It is crystal clear that we promise to submit ourselves totally to the Holy Spirit with Mary, in Mary and through Mary.The Holy Spirit is the principle of fruitfulness in the Church and therefore in the Legion too just as he is pre-eminently fruitful in Mary.There cannot be any fruitfulness in the apostolate without the Holy Spirit being at work in the apostolic activity.He is the primary agent in evangelization and our personal sanctification.Our founder, Frank Duff was so profoundly convinced of this principle that he entrusted the whole Legion to the Holy Spirit and enshrined it in the Legionary Promise. Fr. Bede McGregor O.P. Spiritual Director to the Legion of Mary, Allocutio: Back to basics (2), http://www.legionofmary.ie/news/article/back-to-basics-2
The Legio Mariae: the sign of the Legion of Mary.
The Miraculous Medal.
have a medal struck after this model; those who wear it when it is blessed will receive great graces, especially if they wear it round their neck.Graces will be abundant for those who have confidence'. (St. Catherine Labourè)
- that our lives are filled with the Holy Spirit who animates our poor actions, to do great things for God and salvation of souls,
- and that we are entirely dependent on Mary to perform these good works.
The object of the Legion of Mary is the glory of God through the holiness of its members developed by prayer and active co-operation… - Legion Handbook, Object of the Legion.
Most Holy Spirit, I,Do ask of you to come upon me and fill me with yourself,So that my poor acts may be sustained by your power,and become an instrument of your mighty purposes.But I know that you, who has come to regenerate the world in Jesus Christ,Has not willed to do so except through Mary.
God is a spirit; and they that adore him, must adore him in spirit and in truth.
Every best gift, and every perfect gift,is from above, coming down from the Father of lights,with whom there is no change, nor shadow of alteration. (James 1:17)
but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereofyou shall surely die. (Gen 2:17)
Most Holy Spirit, I, (name of candidate), Do ask of you to come upon me and fill me with yourself, So that my poor acts may be sustained by your power,and become an instrument of your mighty purposes.
The spirit of the Legion of Mary is that of Mary herself.
A perfect model of this apostolic spiritual lifeis the Blessed Virgin Mary, Queen of Apostles.
Inspired by this love and faith of Mary, her Legion essays any and every work
complains not of impossibility, because it conceives that it may and can do all things.
The greatest service we can render to people is to speak the truthsof faith - to tell, for example, what God is, what the humansoul is, what the purpose of life is and what follows death.Above all, about Christ Our Lord who contains all truth.(Pg. 208, Chapter 33, Basic Duty of the Legion.)
“Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in a man.” (John 2:23)
- humble before God and others;
- act justly in all their dealing with God and their neighbour;
- when they are generous to God and their neighbour;
- when they are patience and faithful….
the spirit of the Legion of Mary, (which) while properly drawing fruitful nourishment from the strong interior life of its members, nevertheless are distinguished and characterized by an adamant confidence in the action of the Blessed Virgin.
The work of the President is to safe guard at all times“a united consideration of the 'Father’s business'".(Legion of Mary Handbook, pg 214)
- We offered ourselves whole heartedly to the Legion of Mary Apostolate.
- We implored the Holy Spirit to come upon us and fill us with His power.
- Remember the words of St Paul, “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”.
- You are not alone, Mary works with you and the Legion apostolate is a team effort.
- If you follow the Legion Handbook faithfully you will be at peace.
Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask,it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.For where two or three are gathered in my name,I am there among them. (Mt 18:19-20)
- they learn endurance in the joy of family work;
- they learn love and generosity;
- and at times - even repeated lessons about – forgiveness;
- but above all, the home, Domestica Ecclesia, is the centre of family worship;
The visitation of the homes has been traditionally the preferred work of the Legion, its special occupation everywhere and its avenue of greatest good. It is a characteristic of the Legion.Through this visitation, personal contact can be made with a great many people and the Church's concern for every person and every family can be shown. "The Church's pastoral concern will not be limited only to the Christian families closest at hand; it will extend its horizons in harmony with the Heart of Christ, and will show itself to be even more lively for families in general and for those families in particular which are in difficult or irregular situations. For all of them the Church will have a word of truth, goodness, understanding, hope and deep sympathy with their sometimes tragic difficulties. To all of them she will offer her disinterested help so that they can come closer to that model of a family which the Creator intended from 'the beginning' and which Christ has renewed with his redeeming grace. (FC 65)In his letters Frank Duff points out on numerous occasions the centrality of home visitation in the Legion scheme of things.'We see that the basic work of the Praesidium will be the visitation of homes in the parish. For visitation is the principal work of the Legion, the foundation of all other things, which grow out of it. You will find it a remarkable way of bringing souls to God. In fact I am sure that you will be astonished by the fruits of grace, which you will observe to proceed rapidly from this work. I trust that the Parish Priest will thus be rewarded for his goodness and his enterprise in permitting the Legion to take its first roots in his territory.'Recently we had the good news that the book 'Mary Shall Reign' has been reprinted and there you will find the chapter on the 'The Spirit of Home Visitation'.It really is a masterpiece of insight and presentation. Every Legionary should read it again and again. - The Visitation and the Legion
that the pastor of every parish proclaim the word of God to those living in his parish.With the collaboration of the faithful, he is to make every effort to bring the gospel message to those also who have given up religious practice or who do not profess the true faith.
Not everyone that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven:but he that doth the will of my Father who is in heaven,he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven. - Matt 7:21
In the Legion, Mary is Queen. She it is who summons her legionary hosts to their glorious warfare and commands them in the field inspires them, and personally leads them on to victory. (Handbook, Government of the Legion, page 152 )
As the burning lens is to the rays of the sun, so is the meeting to the members.The focus collects them, begets the fire, and kindles everything that comes near it.It is the meeting which makes the Legion.(Handbook, Scheme of the Legion, Chapter 4 Primary Obligation, page 70)
the government, local and central, of the Legion shall be carried on by its councils, whose duty is to ensure; unity, to preserve the original ideals of the Legion of Mary, to guard the integrity of the Legion spirit and rules and practiceas set forth in the official handbook of the Legion, and to spread the organisation.The Legion in any area will be as good as these councils wish to make it.”(Handbook, Government of the Legion, page 152 )
- obedient to their duties outlined in the Legion of Mary Handbook.
- and generous to their regular and punctual attendance at meetings.
And I am sure that He who began this good work in you will complete it. (Philippians 1:6)
- Part of a beautiful picture.
- Words to show you your way.
- A watch word for an Army.
- is a prayer that makes a beautiful picture in the life of the Church.
- is the words that show us the way of the Legion and binds us together.
- it is the true watchword of the all the Legion Prayers.
"So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead…..and further on St James says ….and I will demonstrate my faith to you from my works. "
You are a movement of lay people who propose to make faith the aspiration of your life up to the achievement of personal sanctity.It is without doubt a lofty and difficult ideal.But today the Church, through the Vatican Council, calls all Christians of the Catholic laity to this ideal, inviting them to share in the kingly priesthood of Christ with the witness of a holy life, with mortification and charitable works; to be in the world, with the splendour of faith, hope and charity, what the soul is in the bodyPope John Paul II to the Legion of Mary Address delivered by the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, to a group of Italian Legionaries on 30th October 1982
The Eucharist is the centre and source of grace: therefore, it must be the very keystone of the legionary scheme. The Legionary and the Mass, Legion Handbook.
"Christ appointed a Priesthood, which should not only represent him and stand for him, but should in a certain sense be Himself - that is to say, that he should exercise divine powers through its agency.Therefore devotion and reverence towards the priest is a direct homage to the Eternal Priesthood."Legion of Mary Handbook pg. 212
The legionaries hope to render themselves worthy of their great heavenly Queen, by their loyalty, their virtues, and their courage. The Legion of Mary is therefore organised on the model of an army, principally on that of the army of ancient Rome, the terminology of which is adopted also. But the army and the arms of legionaries of Mary are not of this world. Chapter One - Name and Origin of the Legion of MaryThe whole life of men, both individual and social, shows itself to be a struggle, and a dramatic one, between good and evil, between light and darkness. (GS 13)
- ORDER in your Spiritual life
- OBEDIENCE to God and the Church
- HONOUR to JESUS through MARY
- A faith motivated through, with, and in, love of Her Son
- A courageous faith that inspires us to works of love
- Faith that is a pillar of fire that enlightens us and others
2. HOLINESS : Frank Duff wrote a booklet on WHAT IS A SAINT ? In the heart of every right-thinking Catholic, God has implanted the desire to become a Saint. Yet few make a serious attempt to realise the ambition. The cause for this is to a large extent discouragement, due to the misunderstanding of what a Saint really is. This is what a Saint is: One who, with the object of pleasing God, does his ordinary duties extraordinarily well. Such a life may be lived out without a single wonder in it, arouse little notice, be soon forgotten, and yet be the life of one of God's dearest friends.Confer, 0 Lord, on us, who serve beneath the standard of Mary, that fullness of faith in You and trust in her, to which it is given to conquer the world. Grant us a lively faith, animated by charity, which will enable us to perform all our actions from the motive of pure love of You, and ever to see You and serve You in our neighbour; a faith, firm and immovable as a rock, through which we shall rest tranquil and steadfast amid the crosses, toils and disappointments of life; a courageous faith which will inspire us to undertake and carry out without hesitation great things for your glory and for the salvation of souls; a faith which will be our Legion's Pillar of Fire - to lead us forth united - to kindle everywhere the fires of divine love - to enlighten those who are in darkness and in the shadow of death - to inflame those who are lukewarm - to bring back life to those who are dead in sin; and which will guide our own feet in the way of peace; so that - the battle of life over - our Legion may reassemble, without the loss of any one, in the kingdom of Your love and glory. Amen.
- Officers Ordinary Work in the Legion
- Firm in our Faith and Order of Meetings
- Officers humility and love to each member
If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first do not lie in bed beyond the time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; receive the sacraments; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God's glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your 15 mins. evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect."
The angel Gabriel revealed to Mary: "You shall call His name Jesus." And to St. Joseph the angel not merely revealed the name but explained its meaning: "You shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins."
“The kings of the earth stood up, and the princes met together, against the Lord, and against his Christ.” Ps 2:2
“Then Jesus said the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath” Luke 6:1-11"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? Luke 6:46
God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.”
Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name,that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14:13
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was made nothing that was made: in Him was life, and the life was the Light of men; and the Light shined in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.This man came for a witness, to testify concerning the Light, that all might believe through Him. He was not the Light, be he was to testify concerning the Light.That was the true Light, which enlightened every man that comes into this world.He was in the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not.He came to His own, and His own received Him not.But as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become sons of God,to them that believe in His Name, who are born not of blood,nor of the will of the flesh,nor of the will of man, but of God.And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us: and we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth”. (John 1:10)
- The divinity and eternity of the Word (Jesus). He is a divine Person.
- The Incarnation of the Word and His Manifestation is God’s revelation of Himself to all mankind.
- The work of the Word is to form and mould us to God’s image. Free loving persons.
- The Prologue predicts the re-actions of men, some people will accept Jesus with deep faith, and others will reject Him.
- Confession. Repentance is the first work of preparation at Christmas.
- Receive Our Lord worthily on Christmas Day in the most holy Eucharist.
- Practise virtue, acts of personal Faith, Hope, Love, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, and Justice.
- Personal prayer, visit a Church and say some family prayers, go on a pilgrimage to a Cathedral or church you normally don’t enter often.
- Love your fellow man or woman with acts of charity, and if you do these works, then you are assured of a Holy - Joyful – Christmas.
From the first, the angels were invoked in the Legion prayers. The form followed was:"Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" (Mt 26:53)
St. Michael, Archangel, pray for us. Our Holy Guardian Angels, pray for us.All you heavenly powers, Mary’s legion of Angels pray for us.THE HEAVENLY POWERS, MARY'S LEGION OF ANGELS"Regina Angelorum! Queen of the Angels!"Mary is the general of the armies of God.The angels form the most glorious troops of her who is terrible as an army set in battle array!"
Mary is Queen of the Angels. She is truly the Commander of the Angelic Legion and we are graced to salute her under this deeply significant title. The work of Mary’s Legion of Angels is like that of an airforce in relation to a surface army. The angels are a heavenly counterpart of our legionary campaign.What enchantment, what a foretaste of heaven it is to think thus of Mary our mother ceaselessly accompanied by legions of angels !" (Pope John XXIII.)
The prince of all the heavenly court, St. Michael is the most zealous in honouring Mary and causing her to be honoured, while he waits always in expectation that he may have the honour to go at her bidding to render service to some one of her servants. (St. Augustine)
"Our Lady's queenship of the angels must not be taken as a term of honour only.Her royal office is a participation in that of Christ and he has absolute universal dominion over creation.Theologians have not yet explained all the modes of Our Lady's joint rule with Christ the King.But it is clear that her royalty is a principle of action and that the effects of this action reach out to the confines of the visible and invisible universe.She rules the good spirits and controls the bad.Through her is made that indissoluble alliance of human and angelic society by which all creation will be led to its true end, the glory of the Trinity.Her queenship is our shield, for our mother and protectress has the power to command angels to help us.For her it means active partnership with her son in the loosening and destruction of Satan’s empire over men." (Dr. Michael O'Carroll, C.S.Sp.)The Patrons of the Legion, Handbook, p.141
You are the salt of the earth. You are the light of the World (Mat 5:14-15)
Grant that we, who are nourished by His body and blood, may be filled with His Holy Spirit, and become one body, one Spirit in Christ.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me. John 15:4
Come, O Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Your love.V. Send forth Your Spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created.R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.Let us pray. God our Father, pour out the gifts of Your Holy Spirit on the world.You sent the Spirit on Your Church to begin the teaching of the gospel: now let the, Spirit continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
The goal of a virtuous life,… is to become like God.[St. Gregory of Nyssa, De Beatitudinibus]
“omit, without serious mutilation of her essential message, a constant catechesis on what traditional Christian language calls the 4 last things of man: death, judgment (universal and particular),heaven or hell.
In a culture which tends to imprison man in the earthly life at which he is more or less successful, the Pastors of the Church are asked to provide a catechesis which will reveal and illustrate with the certainties of faith what comes after the present life: beyond the mysterious gates of death, an eternity of joy in communion with God or the punishment of separation from him.Only in this eternal (eschatological) vision can one realize the exact nature of sin and feel decisively moved to penance and reconciliation.[Faith Seeking Understanding by Charles Belmonte]
And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' (Matt 25:41)
“We must never forget that the devil wants his soul in hell as he wants ours, and we must fight the devil for him. It is that strangest of wars which is fought for the enemy, not against him.” (Legion of Mary Handbook, Chapter 33)
That Christian commission drastically drives us out to people everywhere - to the least ones, to the greatest ones, to those near, to those remote, to the ordinary people, to the wickedest, to the farthest shack, to all afflicted creatures, to the diabolical types, to the loneliest lighthouse, to the leper, to the forgotten sort, to the victims of drink and vice, to the dangerous classes, to the dwellers in caves and caravans, to those on the battlefield, to those who hide, to the avoided places, to the lowest den, to the icy wastes, to the sun-baked desert, to the densest jungle, to the dismal swamp, to the uncharted island, to the undiscovered tribe, out into the absolute unknown to find if there is someone living there, right on to the ends of the earth where the rainbow rests! No one must evade our search lest the gentle Jesus frown upon us. The Legion must be, so to speak, obsessed by that final commandment.It must, as a first principle, set out to establish a contact of some sort with every soul everywhere. If this be done - and it can be done - then the Lord's command will be moving towards fulfilment. (Legion of Mary Handbook chapter 40)
Close your eyes, let your spirit start to soar!And you'll live as you've never lived before ...Let your mind start a journey through a strange new world!Leave all thoughts of the world you knew before!Let your soul take you where you long to be !Only then, can you belong to me …
- Jesus born at Bethlehem (“Bet lahm” means house of Bread). We are being taught all human beings are important to God. A little child has been given to you today and His name is Emmanuel (God with you).
- The Baptism of Jesus at the River Jordan. God has sent His Son to “forgive us our sins” and to teach us to forgive others who have trespassed against us. Forgiveness is important for all human beings to receive from God and to give to each other.
- Wedding feast of Canna. God sent His Son into the World that we may have Communion with Him. This Life is given to us when we have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit in our souls which allows us to cry out abba , God is my Father. This is the communion of Saints, whose good deeds go before them into heaven.
- come to our Parish Praesidium meetings and pray our Rosary.
- when we do our Legion works, home visitation, visiting the sick and the elderly.
- when come to monthly Senatus meetings when we would rather be at home.
“The Eucharist is the centre and source of grace: therefore, it must be the very keystone of the legionary scheme and; The Eucharist is the infinite good. For in that sacrament is Jesus himself, as much present as he was in his home at Nazareth or in the Upper Room at Jerusalem. The holy Eucharist is no mere symbol of him, or instrument of his power, but is Jesus Christ himself substantially. So that she, who had conceived him and nurtured him, "found again in the adorable host the blessed fruit of her womb, and renewed in her life of union with his Sacramental presence the happy days of Bethlehem and Nazareth." (St. Peter Julian Eymard) (The Eucharist our Treasure, Chapter 8)
"Here you see hell, where the souls of poor sinners go.To save them, God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart… Pray, pray a great deal and make sacrifices for sinners.So many souls go to hell because there is no one to pray and sacrifice for them.”
Then Jesus approached and said to them, "All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age."and“Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find.”
- who we “are” as consecrated Legion of Mary members?
- and, secondly, what do we “do” as members of the Legion of Mary?
- through the holiness of its members
- developed by prayer and active co-operation,
- under ecclesiastical guidance,
- in Mary's
- and the Church's work of crushing the head of the serpent,
- and advancing the reign of Christ.
- Are we one fire or has routine fallen upon us?
- Do we often reflect that Jesus said; “I choose you, you did not choose me”?
- Do we remember one of the 6 precepts of the Catholic Church is to be Apostolic?
- Does our Presidium have a real concern and friendship for each other?
- Do we all go to Confession once a month as a Legion group?Do we hold regular Praesidium days in our Parish?
- Di we ask for special Masses for our Praesidium?
- Do we have religious talks or Praesidium study days for our members?
- Do we go on retreat at least once a year with our Presidium members?
- (Not just Motuti retreat)
- Do we inform our Parish Priest with summary of our work each week?
- Do we invite the Priest to our prayer days or to give a talk to our Praesidium occasionally?
- Do we ask the Priest to offer Mass for the Legions intentions each week?
- Do we make sure the Parish Priest is invited to the Acies, Legion functions, and Legion Masses.
- Do we really have a loving relationship with Mary outside our Legion work?
- Do we promote Mary under the title of our Presidium?
- Do we have a shrine of Mary in our Church, do we take her flowers and make sure the shrine is clean and neat at all times?
- Do we actively and sincerely do our work realising it is important?
- Do we prepare with prayer before we go to do our work?
- Do we have a Praesidium Plan
- Monthly plan for visitation, apostolic works?
- Yearly plan for Parish visitations?
- Do we keep a detailed list of the people we have met?
- Do we revisit people whom we have met?
- Do we have a Legion presence in the Parish Council?
- Do you have a poster with contact names in the Church?
- Do you have Legion information at the back of the Church?
- Do we advertise once a month in the parish newsletter?
Pope Benedict has called us to renew our Baptism in Christ, the suffering servant, and to realise our place with Him. He stressed the importance of “sacrifice" during Lent. Sacrifices help us to see the needs of others and that, in doing so, we come closer to God as we see His face in our suffering neighbour."we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit, like St. Paul on the road to Damascus; that we may firmly find our existence according to the will of God and the love of Christ."
As Legionary’s we can renew our interior Legionary Spirit this lent,” so that we may be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit”. We can re-consecrate ourselves to the Most Holy Spirit; and with great fervour we can rededicate ourselves to our Holy Mother. The coming Acies is a perfect opportunity for this renewal.And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me. Matthew 25:40
We can renew this dedication to Our Lady, and our Baptism, each day using some such formula as:" I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours."
Again, Pope Benedict said our faith in Jesus contains both an internal and an external dimension. Our baptism is lived in the Church; a public community founded; Through Jesus; With Jesus; and in Jesus. Faith is lived in the depths of our hearts, but Faith, is also lived in as a public offering to God. Our Faith is seen in our community every Sunday as we gather for our Eucharist - thanksgiving to God. Our Faith is also a publicly witnessed when people see our works of love flowing from our Sunday offering. Such are the works of the Legion of Mary. We have weekly meetings, prayers and works of Charity. As active Legionary Members we have taken a public consecration to the work of the Holy Spirit;"I am all yours, and all that I have I offer to you, O most loving Jesus, through Mary your holy Mother."
We live this public consecration by being obedient to our weekly meeting; praying the prayers of the Legion; and fulfilling our duty of two hours work each week. It would be a great shame to have the reputation in our parishes of being lukewarm. The Legion Work we do is a sacrifice of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving which is very suitable for our Lenten renewal. Renewed, may our Legion be on fire with the works of the Holy Spirit, and the love of Mary. Amen“Most Holy Spirit, I, (name of candidate)… I take my place in the ranks of the Legion, and I venture to promise a faithful service. l will submit fully to its discipline, which binds me to my comrades”
The Legion aims not at the doing of any particular work, but has as a primary object the making of its members holy. For the attainment of this reality it relies, in the first place, upon its members’ attendance at its various meetings, into which prayer and devotion are so wound and woven as to give their complexion to all the proceedings.
- THE AClES: The consecration - which shall comprise both an individual and a collective consecration - will take place on the 25th March or on a day close thereto, and will be known as the Acies
- THE ANNUAL GENERAL REUNION: At a time as near as possible to the feast of the Immaculate Conception a reunion of all the members shall be held.
- AN OUTDOOR FUNCTION: The holding of this function dates back to the earliest days of the Legion. It is not obligatory, but it is recommended. It may take the form of an excursion, pilgrimage, or outdoor function.
- THE PRAESIDIUM FUNCTION: It is strongly recommended that each praesidium will hold a social function about the feast of the Nativity of Our Lady.
- THE CONGRESS: The first Legion Congress was held by the Clare (Ireland) Curia on Easter Sunday, 1939. Its success led to imitation, as success always does, and now that feature has been firmly grafted into the Legion system. A Congress should be confined to a Comitium or a Curia.
“The spiritual poverty of the Western World is much greater than the physical poverty of India. You, in the West, have millions of people who suffer such terrible loneliness and emptiness. They feel unloved and unwanted. These people are not hungry in the physical sense, but they are spiritually. What they are missing, really, is a living relationship with God.”