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Model of the Church

Model of the Church

“Mary’s role in the Church is inseparable from Her union with Christ and flows directly from it.. After Her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by Her prayers’. In Her association with the Apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by Her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, Who had already overshadowed Her in the Annunciation.”

– Catechism of the Catholic Church, para.964-965

 

It is a beautiful scene to contemplate – the beginnings of the early Church being supported by the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Apostles are gathered around Her and they are all united in prayer, this union giving great efficacy to the prayers they are offering, for they are one single body – the Mystical Body of Christ. They are asking for the gift of the Holy Spirit – He is the movement and power behind the Church, His breath it’s very life. And He comes. For Mary, this descent of the Holy Spirit has already happened previously – He has overshadowed Her at the moment of the Annunciation.

Mary is the ‘lightning rod’ of the Holy Spirit.

When Mary and the Holy Spirit are intimately uinited, miracles take place; on the first occasion, at the Annunciation, the Christ Child was conceived; and now, in prayer at the Cenacle, the Spirit will descend once more – and this time, the Church will be born. In this way, Mary is both Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church.

Beautiful though this scene, occurring two thousand years ago, certainly is, we should remember that the same scene is, in a sense, re-enacted every time the Church prays; the Mother of the Lord is still with us, uniting Her prayers with ours and giving them great efficacy. The Catechism tells us –

“This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which She loyally gave at the Annunciation and which She sustained without wavering beneath the Cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to Heaven She did not lay aside this saving office but by Her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.” (para.969)

This good Mother hears the prayer of the Church and adds Her own supplication to ours. This ‘saving office’, as the Church refers to it, will continue until the last day.

To have prayed in the company of the Blessed Virgin was most certainly a great joy for the Apostles in those early days. And yet, we share the same joy, even though we do not physically see the Mother of the Lord, whenever we pray. Perhaps this is especially so in the praying of Her holy Rosary, that prayer so greatly loved by Her, and for which She often asks us, promising great graces to those who embrace this devotion.

When we take up our beads, even though we might be physically alone, still the Mother of God is with us and is listening to us. Our concerns are Her concerns – and above all, She is concerned with obtaining for us the great grace of eternal salvation once this life is complete for us.

In ‘Christi Matri’, Pope St Paul VI encourages us to weave the prayers of the Rosary into mystical garlands for the Mother of Christ”. He goes on to write –

“Nothing seems more appropriate and valuable to us than to have the prayers of the whole Christian family rise to the Mother of God, who is invoked as the Queen of Peace, begging Her to pour forth abundant gifts of Her maternal goodness in midst of so many great trials and hardships. We want constant and devout prayers to be offered to Her whom we declared Mother of the Church..” (CM, para.8)

 In praying our beads, let us join with the supplication of Pope Paul – “look down with clemency, Most Blessed Virgin, upon all Your children”.

 

Treasure of the Heart

Treasure of the Heart

“His Mother treasured all these things, pondering them in Her Heart.”

(Luke 2:19)

In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord tells us clearly – “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.. but store up treasures in Heaven..” (cf.Mt.6:19-20). Our treasures, then, should not be created things, for these decay and rot and do not last; the treasures we seek, on the other hand, are eternal. Earthly treasures are invariably a distraction from the love of God, when He alone should be our focus. Those eternal treasures – used properly – should focus our attention and our love on the Lord. And this, after all, was the purpose for which He created us – to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.

In searching for those eternal treasures, perhaps the actions of the Mother of the Lord, recounted early in the Gospel of Saint Luke, can provide us with an inspiration –

“His Mother treasured all these things, pondering them in Her Heart.” (Luke 2:19)

What things did She treasure? She treasured all the events of the life of Her Son. Luke is recounting this from the early part of the Lord’s life – but there can be little doubt that if this was Our Blessed Lady’s practice whilst Her Son was still a child, She would certanly have continued to do so as He grew into adulthood and as His mission progressed. Each of those events we read of in the Gospels, from the Crib to the Cross and beyond, She contemplated in Her Heart, in such a way that they were true treasures to Her. Undoubtedly, too, She would have recounted these events for the Apostles, so that the Evangelists then wrote them down, which allows us to read about them in the Gospels.

Those same Evangelists thought enough of this action of the Mother of the Lord – that She treasured these things in Her Heart – to record it for the Church. For them, too, this ‘treasuring in the heart’ was crucial – it was from this that they then went out and preached the very events they were treasuring within themselves, those events having transformed them.

In the same way, we are called to treasure these things in our own hearts; we do this at Mass in hearing the Word of God; and in receiving the Sacraments of the Church; in our prayers; and in the living out of our Faith.

The Rosary is a simple and yet very powerful way for us – like Mary, like the Apostles and like the early Church – to treasure all these things and to ponder them in our hearts. This is exactly what the Rosary invites us to do. It invites us to consider and contemplate the events of the lives of Jesus and Mary, those events which are the history of our salvation, and it even presents those events to us in an ordered manner. All we need do is take up our beads and pray, so that these events resonate within us and transform us, as they did the Apostles.

It is for this reason that the great Saint John Paul II referred to the Rosary as the ‘school of Mary’, for there, we learn from Her own example.

In more recent years, our present Holy Father, Pope Francis has spoken of the Rosary as being “contemplation in action, making God part of the little things of each day”.

The Rosary draws us gently into a place of quiet and stillness, a place of tranquility and prayer – and there, we can encounter Christ with Mary.

Understanding all of this, and encouraged by these words of the Popes, let us endeavour to pray this heavenly prayer – to sit in that school of Mary and to learn from Her own example, just as the Apostles did.

 

Entrusting It All To Mary

Entrusting It All To Mary

“In times of darkness, holding the Rosary is like holding your Blessed Mother’s hand. Pray the Rosary every day. Abandon yourself in the hands of Mary. She will take care of you.. love Our Lady and make Her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible.

– Padre Pio

Little children always run to their mother in all their needs. Whether they are frightened, unsure, sad, lonely, or simply want a little solace, a mother is always the first port of call. So it is in the order of nature.

And so it is, too, in the order of grace; when we have any similar needs, we should do as those little children do and run to our heavenly Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Throughout the centuries of the life of the Church, the Saints and the Holy Fathers have always encouraged us to go to the Blessed Virgin Mary in every need. Indeed, the Church herself goes to the the Mother of God in every need, repeatedly handing over to Her all that threatens the Church, the common good of poor humanity, and the world and her nations. It is for this very reason that so many nations are consecrated specifically to the Mother of God.

Saint Pio, in the words quoted at the top of this page, encourages us to place everything in the hands of Mary, particularly through the devout recitation of the holy Rosary. For Saint Pio, these were not mere words – rather, they were the lesson he lived out every day of his (very holy) life; so much so that he had a Rosary in his hand almost constantly.

Saint John Macias, living several centuries ago, did similarly. He gave absolutely everything over to the Blessed Virgin, placing all his causes in Her hands. She never failed him. And Saint Louis de Montfort, a great Marian Priest and scholar, wrote so muchn and so often about giving everything to the Mother of God and what would result from doing so. He wrote –

“Being the sure means and the straight and immaculate way to go to Jesus Christ, and to find Him perfectly, it is by Her that the holy souls, who are to shine forth especially in sanctity, have to find Our Lord. He who shall find Mary shall find life; that is, Jesus Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.. they will know the grandeurs of that Queen, will consecrate themselves entirely to Her service, as subjects and slaves of love. They will experience Her sweetness and Her maternal goodness, and they will love Her tenderly like well-beloved children. They will know the mercies of which She is full, and the need they have of Her succour; and they will have recourse to Her in all things, as to their dear advocate and mediatrix with Jesus Christ.. and they will deliver themselves to Mary, body and soul, without reserve, that they may thus be all for Jesus Christ.” (‘Treatise On The True Devotion’, n.50 and 55)

The great Marian Pope of our times, Saint John Paul II, had much to say on this theme of giving everything to Mary – he referred to it as ‘entrustment’ to Her. And our present Holy Father, Pope Francis, spoke about this sense of entrustment yesterday, on the feast of Mary, Mother of God. He said –

“Woman of salvation, to You we entrust this year. Keep it in Your Heart. We acclaim You, the Holy Mother of God.”

The prayer of the Rosary is a great means of giving everything that is important to us, to Mary – whether our joys, our sorrows, our hopes, our fears, those dearest to us, or our very selves; in short, our lives and all they contain.

In this quiet and repetitive praying of the Rosary, we lose ourselves to some extent, since we focus our mind and our heart on the Mother of God and Her Son, by looking carefully and prayerfully at the events of Their lives. In these events, we see that Our Lady shared so very many of the concerns which presently concern us; we see Her life of complete trust in the mercy and the grace of God, from the Crib to the Cross and beyond. And in our prayer, we follow closely the example of this Woman who “treasured all these things and pondered them in Her Heart” (Lk.2:19).

Pope Saint Paul VI said that “true devotion to the Most Holy Mary reflects Her virtues” – and in praying the Rosary, this becomes easier, since we are prayerfully examining those very virtues. And not only once, but day after day after day, until the lessons of the Mysteries of the Rosary take firm root within us, that we might begin to live them out and ever more perfectly reflect those virtues of Our Lady.

In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, the Lord enjoins us to “be perfect, as your Father in Heaven in perfect” (Mt.5:48). The greatest Saints of the Church have told us, over and over, that a marvellous way to do this is by following the example of the Mother of God – after all, none has ever achieved such a degree of sanctity as the Immaculate Virgin – this is what the poet William Wordsworth described when he called Her “our tainted nature’s solitary boast”

Over these past twenty centuries, the Popes and the Saints have constantly pointed us to Mary as our way of salvation, Her sole task being to bring us to Her Divine Son; and She herself constantly points us to the praying of Her Rosary, and for precisely the same reason.

Let us, then, take careful note of the clear direction being given to us; and through our praying of the holy Rosary, let us give and entrust ourselves to the holy Mother of God, that She might give us to Her Son, Our Lord.

The Daily Rosary

The Daily Rosary

“But the most important reason for strongly encouraging the practice of the Rosary is that it represents a most effective means of fostering among the faithful that commitment to the contemplation of the Christian mystery .. it is more urgent than ever that our Christian communities should become ‘genuine schools of prayer’. The Rosary belongs among the finest and most praiseworthy traditions of Christian contemplation.”

– St John Paul II, ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’

Saint John Paul was greatly concerned that our communities as Christians should be founded and nourished by prayer, to such an extent that they might become “genuine schools of prayer”.

His reasons for this were fairly straight-forward.

It is easy to become knowledgeable about the Catholic Faith – anyone can pick up a book and learn what it is we believe as Catholics. Equally, it is just as easy to pick up any theological book and learn something about God. But knowledge is not the same as Faith. Knowledge is something we gather – it is information about a particular subject, whether the subject is God or anything else. But Faith is something quite different to this.

First and foremost, Faith is a gift, given freely to us by God. He desires that we know Him and so love Him. It is not something we get but something we receive.

Secondly, Faith is not about knowledge – it is about relationship. It is about a real person – Jesus Christ. It is about getting to know Him on a deep, personal and intimate level.

In other words, Faith is a living thing. It is like a little plant, which we need to cultivate carefully, tending the soil, adding nutrients, watering the plant, so that it might gradually grow and develop and bear good fruit for us.

This Faith is nourished by the Word and by the Sacraments and by prayer; these are the primary means by which we come to know the Lord, Who reveals Himself to us by these means. In the Word, we begin to learn Who the Lord is, what He tells us about Himself, and about the Father. The Catechism tells us –

“Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father’s one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In Him He has said everything; there will be no other word than this one.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, para.65)

And in the Sacraments, the same Lord comes to us – through the particular graces of several of the Sacraments of the Church, and uniting Himself directly to us in the greatest Sacrament of all, Holy Communion, which the Church tells us is the “source and summit of the Christian life” (‘Lumen Gentium’, quoted in the Catechism, para.1324).

Prayer is the bridge that connects God and man, the human and the divine. Prayer is the opening of our hearts to God and to the action of His divine grace, and to His divine mercy. Prayer, which may seem like our approach to God, is actually our response to His approach to us.

Pope John Paul tells us that –

“Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Christ, treasuring his every word: “She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Lk 2:19; cf. 2:51). The memories of Jesus, impressed upon Her Heart, were always with Her, leading Her to reflect on the various moments of Her life at Her Son’s side. In a way those memories were to be the “rosary” which She recited uninterruptedly throughout Her earthly life.” (Rosarium, para.11)

The Holy Father then encourages us to imitate this contemplative quality of the Immaculate Heart of Mary –

“The Rosary, precisely because it starts with Mary’s own experience, is an exquisitely contemplative prayer.” (Rosarium, para.12)

Explaining what he means by this, Pope John Paul goes on to say that –

“Mary’s contemplation is above all a remembering. We need to understand this word in the biblical sense of remembrance (zakar) as a making present of the works brought about by God in the history of salvation.”

Our own contemplation, then, is also this same type of remembering – we are making present in our hearts all the works and actions and revelations of God, and in remembering them in this way, we are giving thanks to God for them. Applying this sense to the prayer of the Rosary, the Holy Father goes on to add this –

“Contemplating the scenes of the Rosary in union with Mary is a means of learning from Her to ‘read’ Christ, to discover His secrets and to understand His message. This school of Mary is all the more effective if we consider that She teaches by obtaining for us in abundance the gifts of the Holy Spirit, even as She offers us the incomparable example of Her own ‘pilgrimage of faith’.” (Rosarium, para.14)

If Faith is about knowing God, about developing a deep and meaningful relationship with Him, then the Holy Father has proposed to us a most excellent means of doing so – the prayer of the Rosary; there, with Mary, we remember the works of the Lord in our contemplation; we make them present in our hearts and learn from them, following Our Lady’s own example.

All of this, we do in union with Mary –

“If Jesus, the one Mediator, is the Way of our prayer, then Mary, His purest and most transparent reflection, shows us the Way. ‘Beginning with Mary’s unique cooperation with the working of the Holy Spirit, the Churches developed their prayer to the Holy Mother of God, centering it on the person of Christ manifested in His mysteries’. At the wedding of Cana the Gospel clearly shows the power of Mary’s intercession as She makes known to Jesus the needs of others: ‘They have no wine’ (Jn 2:3).” (Rosarium, para.16)

And so, remembering Christ with Mary, we are then led a step further –

“The Rosary is also a path of proclamation and increasing knowledge, in which the mystery of Christ is presented again and again at different levels of the Christian experience. Its form is that of a prayerful and contemplative presentation, capable of forming Christians according to the heart of Christ.. Our Lady of the Rosary continues Her work of proclaiming Christ.” (Rosarium, para.17)

If the prayerful recitation of the holy Rosary can achieve all these things, then truly it is capable of forming us into those ‘genuine schools of prayer’ to which Pope John Paul referred.

Imagine, then, how powerful that prayer might be if prayed every single daily and if prayed in our local communities – our families and our Churches.

Throughout this month of October, the Church can consistently asked us to pray the holy Rosary – and many will have responded to this noble call. It is not a new call – for centuries, the Church has asked us to take up our beads and to pray, particularly for special intentions in the Church and in the world as they have arisen and as they have threatened the peace of the world.

At Lourdes, the appearances of the Blessed Virgin began with the recitation of the Rosary and continued with it, and even now, so many years later, there are constant Rosary processions through the Grotto.

And at Fatima, the Mother of God asked over and over again that we “pray the Rosary every day”.

Let us take up our beads and respond wholeheartedly to Her heavenly call.

 

In Prayer With Mary

In Prayer With Mary

“The Rosary of the Virgin Mary.. is a prayer loved by countless Saints and encouraged by the Magisterium. Simple yet profound, it still remains, at the dawn of this third millennium, a prayer of great significance, destined to bring forth a harvest of holiness. It blends easily into the spiritual journey of the Christian life..”

– St John Paul II, ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’

There is something exquisitely beautiful about giving to the Blessed Virgin Mary a little time each evening dedicated to prayer in Her honour – and in particular, the prayer of the holy Rosary.

In these moments, there is a profound sense of internal peace, for She is the Queen of Peace. The cares and worries of the day are put to the side for just a little while, so that the mind and the will can focus on what is truly important – prayer, that moment of deep connection between the human and the divine, between the creature and the Creator.

Also in these moments, there is the joyful consolation of knowing that those prayers are rising to Heaven and are being heard; how and when God responds is a matter for Him alone, and that requires trust on the part of the one who prays, but the very practice of prayer encourages this sense of deep trust and is itself a sign that this trust already exits to some degree. Further, there is conviction that the Blessed Virgin is also hearing those prayers and, in Heaven, is presenting them to the Lord.

The construction of the Rosary establishes the space and peace necessary to do all this – the long familiarity of the vocal prayers allows the wandering mind to focus on something that is both known and loved, while the deepest parts of the person are then given over to the ‘soul’ of the Rosary – the meditation upon the Mysteries.

Now, you might imagine that with only twenty Mysteries upon which to meditate, the potential for real prayerful meditation is fairly limited. And yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Those Mysteries contain the fullness of the Gospel itself and so there is an abundance of material from which to draw profitably. This well is deep and it’s waters will never run dry; those waters are cool and constantly refreshing, reviving the drooping spirit.

At the affective level, there is joy in knowing that by praying the Rosary, the soul is offering to the Mother of God that very prayer which She constantly asks us to pray, the same prayer the Church repeatedly and consistently recommends to us, the one so beloved of the Saints, as Pope John Paul reminded us. And to pray it well, we need neither great intelligence nor a broad theological outlook, for it is the prayer of the simple man and woman. All we need is the desire to pray it well – the Blessed Virgin will then take care of the rest, so long as we have confidence in Her and leave it all in Her hands. She will obtain for us a measure of the graces which this beautiful prayer contains within itself.

All of this may sound delightful to read, but the real delight comes in experiencing what is described here so poorly; as they say, prayer brings it’s own rewards. It is in the act of praying that it really comes to life, like a little spark winnowed until it is a blazing fire.

Try it. Experience it for yourself.

 

A Eucharistic Rosary

A Eucharistic Rosary

“The Rosary, though clearly Marian in character, is at heart a Christocentric prayer. In the sobriety of its elements, it has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety, of which it can be said to be a compendium.”

–  ‘Rosarium Virginis Mariae’, St John Paul II, 2002

The Church tells us that the Eucharist is the ‘source and summit of the Christian life’ (cf. Lumen Gentium, para.11) and it is here, before the Blessed Sacrament, that we so often pray, recommending to the Lord all those intentions which occupy our hearts. One of the prayers we commonly offer to the Lord is the recitation of the holy Rosary, the prayer so beloved of the Church and so greatly recommended to us by her – and also by the Mother of God, who constantly asks us to pray Her Rosary.

I wondered, then, if it might be possible to develop a set of Rosary meditations which take the Eucharist as their overall theme, looking at various aspects of this Sacrament of the Lord’s abiding presence amongst, us as we contemplate each of the Mysteries. I hope the following Meditations might be useful to you.

The First Joyful Mystery – the Annunciation

At the Incarnation, the Blessed Virgin consented to become the Mother of God; in this moment, ‘the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us’. In each Holy Communion, it is the very same Lord we receive, present in His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.

Let us ask the Lord, through the intercession of His Mother, for the grace of a true Faith – a Faith which enables us to to submit ourseles to His will for us, as Mary did.

The Second Joyful Mystery – the Visitation

When Mary visited Elizabeth, She bore the Christ Child within Her womb; Elizabeth perceived His divine presence and praised Him, giving glory to God. Mary, too, offered praise to God in the prayer of Her Magnificat.

At the end of each Mass we take part in, we are sent out to the world bearing Christ within us in the Eucharist; may those around us perceive His presence in our lives.

The Third Joyful Mystery – the Birth of Jesus

The Child lying in the manger drew others to Him, that they might worship Him, while Angels praised Him. In a similar way, He draws us to the new Manger of the Tabernacle, where we come before Him – like the Shepherds – in silent adoration.

As we kneel silently before the Eucharistic Lord, let us ask Him to fill us with His joy and His peace, those gifts which He alone can bestow and which surpass all human understanding.

The Fourth Joyful Mystery – the Presentation in the Temple

Fulfiling the requirements of the Law, the Blessed Virgin brought Her Child to the Temple – there, recognising the Child, Simeon gave thanks for seeing the One who brings salvation to His people.

 Let us always take care to recognise the Divine Guest coming to us in each Holy Communion, and never fail to prepare our souls to receive Him, nor to give thanks for His visit to us in the Eucharist.

The Fifth Joyful Mystery – the Finding of Jesus in the Temple

 The Heart of the Blessed Virgin was filled with great joy at finding Her Son in the Temple, where He was sitting amongst the scholars and teaching them, such that they were amazed at His wisdom.

May we never fail to give thanks for the Church, where we – like Mary – will always find Jesus in the Eucharist. Kneeling at His feet, let us ask Him to teach us through the authentic voice of the Church, His Mystical Body on earth.

 

The First Sorrowful Mystery – the Agony in the Garden

How often do we, like the Disciples that Maundy Thursday, promise the Lord much, yet deliver little; in numerous little ways, we abandon Him in His agony and leave Him alone to suffer on our behalf.

Let us ask the Lord to grant us faithfulness in remaining close to Him always; and, when our need is great, to turn immediately to Him in prayer, following His own example in that Garden.

The Second Sorrowful Mystery – the Scourging at the Pillar

Tied to that pillar, the Lord silently and willingly endured the scourging of His Body. Today, many tear at the Body of Christ which is the Church. Many others tear at His Eucharistic Body through sacrilege and indifference.

Let us offer the sufferings of the Church in union with those of the Passion, and ask the Lord for mercy for us and for the whole world. And in each Holy Communion, let us make reparation for so much indifference.

The Third Sorrowful Mystery – the Crowning with Thorns

Abused, reviled, crowned now with thorns. And yet He remains silent, saying nothing to defend Himself. Similarly, in the Eucharist, He maintains that silence even now. Meek and humble, His Presence is enough.

Let us ask the Lord for the grace to let go of our pride and our ego, our sense of ‘self above all’, and our desire to defend our rights, our reputation, as we see them. Let us ask Him for the grace of interior silence.

The Fourth Sorrowful Mystery – Jesus Carries His Cross

The price of our sins bearing down upon Him, three times He falls under the weight of the Cross whilst carrying it to Golgotha. Looking up, He sees the face of His Mother, Her presence nearby strengthening Him.

Before the Tabernacle, let us think of our own crosses of whatever sort in life; and in those moments in His Eucharistic Presence, let us ask Him for His own strength, and the help of His Mother.

The Fifth Sorrowful Mystery – the Crucifixion

Each Holy Mass is a re-presentation of the Sacrifice of Golgotha, of the Death of the Lord upon the Cross. Each Holy Communion is His own Body, broken for us, His own Blood, poured out for us.

As we receive Him in Holy Communion, let us remember that had we been the only person ever created, still He would have undergone His Passion for love of us; let us thank Him for this infinite love for each one of us.

 

The First Glorious Mystery – the Resurrection

We are an Easter people. Jesus is risen from the dead. His Sacred Heart beats once again, a new and eternal heartbeat which will never end. He is the Victor, He has conquered both sin and death.

In the Eucharist, His Heart beats constantly for love of us, and receiving Him in Holy Communion, His divine grace helps us to be victorious in the great battles of life until we are with Him forever in Heaven.

The Second Glorious Mystery – the Ascension

His earthly mission complete, the Lord ascends to the Father. Consider the sense of loss of the Apostles in that moment, contemplating their lives without Him now that He is gone from them.

Like the Apostles on that day, we have the promise of the Lord that ‘I will be with you always, until the end of time’. And here, in the Tabernacle of every Catholic Church, He keeps that promise.

The Third Glorious Mystery – the Descent of the Holy Spirit

As He promised, the Lord sent the Holy Spirit down upon the Apostles, gathered in the Cenacle with His Mother, all united in constant prayer. The Holy Spirit transformed them and the Church was born that day.

Let us thank the Lord for the gift of His Church, and for being part of her. It is through the Church and her Priests that we have the Blessed Sacrament; let us pray for them and give thanks for them.

The Fourth Glorious Mystery – the Assumption of Mary, Body and Soul, Into Heaven

No unpure thing can enter Heaven. Mary, ever Immaculate, was assumed there immediately at the completion of Her earthly life, both body and soul, to the joy of all the Angels and Saints.

In each Holy Communion, we are gradually made ever more ready to enter Heaven and to spend eternity there, in the Presence of the Lamb, in the new and eternal Jerusalem, with Mary and the entire heavenly court.

The Fifth Glorious Mystery – the Coronation of Mary as Queen of Heaven

In life and now in eternity, the Blessed Virgin looks upon the Face of Her Son in adoration, praising Him endlessly and praying for Her children still on earth, and for the Church, whose Queen She is.

Let us thank the Lord for the great grace to be able to spend moments in His Eucharistic Presence, adoring Him there. These moments are a foretaste of Heaven itself, and a infinite treasure house of great grace and mercy.