Little Way of the Family


Consecration of the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

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My wife and I were moved today to read of the Holy Father’s consecration of the world to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. According to Vatican Radio, over 100,000 people were in St. Peter’s Square to witness the consecration.

This was a renewal of the consecration originally performed by Pope John Paul II in 1981, in absentia due to his hospitalization due to the assassination attempt, and again in 1984. This was the consecration asked for by Our Lady during the Fatima apparitions early in the 20th century. It occurred in front of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was visiting the Vatican.

I can’t help but wonder why the Holy Father chose to renew the consecration now, when so many years since the first consecration have passed. Mary asked for the consecration specifically to avoid Russia spreading her errors (communism) throughout the world. It was not long after that the Soviet Union fell, and with it communism lost its terrible grip on much of the world. I wonder if Pope Francis sees new errors, similar to communism, spreading again through the world. No doubt we need the prayers of our Blessed Mother. We need her, sitting at the feet of her son, pleading our case.

Just as importantly, all of us need to recognize ourselves as children of Mary, brothers and sisters of Christ. We are a part of the family, and we need to turn to our Mother in times of happiness and in times of need.

If you are reading this and you haven’t consecrated yourself to the Blessed Virgin, I urge you to consider it. I can promise you that if you give yourself over to it, it will be a life-changing decision. Go to http://www.myconsecration.org to learn more.



Ten Principal Virtues of the Blessed Virgin
March 19, 2013, 7:35 am
Filed under: Consecration, Lent, Mary | Tags: , , ,

According to St. Louis de Montfort:

1. Profound humility
2. Lively faith
3. Blind obedience
4. Continual mental prayer
5. Mortification in all things
6. Surpassing purity
7. Ardent charity
8. Heroic patience
9. Angelic sweetness
10. Divine wisdom

Worth reflecting on how we stack up against these virtues during these final days of Lent.



Prayer to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
Heavenly beauty and splendor of the Father,
You are the most valued Heavenly treasure.
New Eve, immaculate in soul, spirit and body,
Created of the godly seed by the Spirit of God,
You are the spiritual Mother of mankind.
Pure Virgin, full of grace then and now,
Your whole being was raised Heavenly in full glory,
To be elevated above all the hosts within the Kingdom of God.
O Heavenly Mother, Queen of Heaven and earth,
I recognize the glory of your highest title,
The Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Loving Mother, dispenser of endless blessings,
You who continuously intercede on our behalf,
Please present my need before your loving Son Jesus.

O Immaculate Heart of Mary,
I know that you are now presenting my need before Jesus,
For you have never turned away those in dire need.
Mother dearest, I await your favorable answer,
Submitting myself to the Divine will of the Lord,
For all glories are His forever and ever.



For All My Mothers
May 8, 2011, 8:58 pm
Filed under: Culture, Love, Mary, Mother's Day | Tags: ,

Mom
Thank you for the unconditional love with which you graced me from my birth. You were the lap I could always run to, with whatever hurt or fear or sadness that troubled me. It was my first experience of the kind of love God has for His children.
Thank you for your continued love throughout my adult life. You have accepted and loved my wife as a daughter, and you have been to my children the kind of grandmother I always knew you would be. Thank you for moving here to be close to them and to us. We are truly blessed to have you in our lives.
My Mother-In-Law
Thank you for raising such a wonderful daughter. You planted within her a faith that is strong to this day, and that faith has saved our family more than once. You raised her to be a loving, courageous, and strong-willed woman who will do anything for her kids.
Thank you for welcoming me into your family. You made me feel at home and stood by me during my difficulties.
Thank you for being a wonderful grandmother to our children. You are always there for them and shower them with love.
My Wife
Thank you for being such a wonderful mother to my children. You are an amazing example of Christian self-sacrifice, always putting my needs and the needs of our children before your own. Your faith in God is an inspiration to your whole family.
Thank you for guiding me to the faith. Thank you for being the loving heart at the center of our family. Thank you for always seeming to know the right thing to say or do when one of our children is having difficulties. You are so insightful I sometimes wonder if you can read minds!
Thank you for managing motherhood, marriage, and business without batting an eye, even when the schedule seems impossible. Thank you for making the sacrifices necessary to see that our kids have never seen a daycare and that their mom is the first person they see when they walk out of school.
They are devoted to you in a way that humbles me.
The Blessed Virgin, My Heavenly Mother
Thank you for saying “Yes” to God, and bringing forth our savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for raising Jesus and guiding Him as He grew and became a man.
Thank you for standing at the foot of the cross, and offering your motherly sorrow in union with Christ’s great sacrifice. Thank you for staying with the Apostles in the upper room, and helping them as they began our church.
Thank you for appearing to us La Salette, at Lourdes, at Fatima, and at so many other places. Thank you for the warnings and encouragements you brought.
Thank you for the rosary, and the scapular, and for listening to all our prayers.
Thank you for being Our Mother.



A Family Prayer to Jesus. Mary, and Joseph
May 3, 2011, 7:03 pm
Filed under: Joyful Christian, Marriage, Mary, Prayers, St. Joseph | Tags: , , ,

My priest sent us this prayer. I liked it so much that I thought I would pass it on.

A PRAYER
FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY

Dear Lord, bless our family.
Be so kind as to give us the unity, peace,
and mutual love that You found in Your own family
in the little town of Nazareth.

Saint Joseph, bless the head of our family.
Obtain for him the strength,
the wisdom, and the prudence
he needs to support and direct those under his care.

Mother Mary, bless the mother of our family.
Help her to be pure and kind,
gentle and self-sacrificing.
For the more she resembles you,
the better will our family be.

Lord Jesus, bless the children of our family.
Help them to be obedient and devoted to their parents.
Make them more and more like You.
Let them grow, as You did,
in wisdom and age and grace before God and man.

Holy Family of Nazareth,
make our family and home more and more like Yours,
until we are all one family,
happy and at peace in our true home with You.

Amen.



Thérèse of Lisieux and Louis de Montfort: Two Great Saints Who Go Great Together

I have long loved St. Thérèse of Lisieux. She holds a special place in my family, and she was the inspiration of this blog. I’ve always known that I will never be a hermit on a mountain or a prophet in the desert or a Doctor of the Church. The gifts God has given me are humble gifts, and they are unlikely to earn me a feast day or my own page on Saint of the Day. I am just a husband and a father, with my own virtues and foibles, challenges and opportunities. Thérèse taught me that I don’t have to move mountains to get to heaven. I just have to do the little things with great love. And we are all capable of great love.

Now that I have made my consecration to Jesus through Mary, I see how St. Louis de Montfort is trying to lead us down the same path.

St. Thérèse says, “Expect all things from the good God just as a little child expects all things from its father.” We are to approach God with a childlike love and trust.

St. Louis de Montfort says, “If you put all the love of all the mothers into one heart it still would not equal the love of the Heart of Mary for her children.”

Every child needs a father AND a mother. And we ARE children. St. Thérèse didn’t make this up. Christ, himself, told us this:.

“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.

Every child needs a father AND a mother. St. Thérèse exhorts us to remain a child:

“Even among poor people, a child is given all it needs, as long as it is very little, but as soon as it has grown up, the father does not want to support it any longer and says: “Work, now you are able to take care of yourself”. Because I never want to hear these words I do not want to grow up, feeling that I can never earn my living, that is, eternal life in heaven. So I have stayed little, and have no other occupation than of gathering flowers of love and sacrifice and of offering them to the good God to please Him.”

And St. Louis de Montfort guides us to our Mother:

“Mary alone gives to the unfortunate children of unfaithful Eve entry into that earthly paradise where they may walk pleasantly with God and be safely hidden from their enemies.”

What these two wonderful Saints are saying is that we do not need to resign ourselves to a morose and laborious spiritual life, filled with privations and fear of eternal punishment. As St. Thérèse said:

“You are not sufficiently trusting, you fear God too much. I assure you that this grieves Him. Do not be afraid of going to purgatory because of its pain, but rather long not to go there because this pleases God who imposes this expiation so regretfully. From the moment that you try to please Him in all things, if you have the unshakable confidence that He will purify you at every instant in His love and will leave in you no trace of sin, be very sure that you will not go to purgatory.”

Our faith must, instead, be suffused with joy and love. And it will be, if we entrust ourselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of His Most Blessed Mother. As St. Louis de Montfort said:

“Happy, then, a thousand times happy, are the Christians who are now fastened faithfully and entirely to Her, as to a firm anchor!”

Be a child. Entrust yourself to Mary. Love Christ. Love His Mother. If we love Christ, we follow His command to take His Mother into our home.

When Jesus saw 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.
John 19: 26-27

So both of these great Saints are guiding us to take the Blessed Mother as our Mother, and allow her to bring us closer to Jesus.

In fact, St. Thérèse’s memory of her first communion – “In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my
soul.” – mirrors St. Louis de Montfort’s instructions on receiving Holy Communion: “Implore Mary to lend you her heart so that you may receive her Son with her dispositions.”

So listen to these wonderful Saints. Be a child. Take Mary as your mother. Consecrate yourself to Jesus through Mary. Make of yourself a humble and joyful Christian.



Consoling Our Sorrowful Mother
January 7, 2011, 9:58 pm
Filed under: Mary, Prayers, Pre-Cana, Rosary

As I was praying the sorrowful mysteries – on the fifth mystery, in fact – I found myself imagining I was at the foot of the cross, next to the Blessed Mother, attempting, vainly it seemed, to console her as her Son died before us. It occurred to me that when we pray the Rosary, or any Marian prayer, we are consoling Mary in her sorrows, by showing her how much her Son is loved. And if we console His mother, are we not pleasing the son?
Just a thought.