Happy, Holy Feast of the Annunciation/Incarnation - Mar. 25!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Mary with Holy Spirit

How can we ever thank God enough for loving us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary! Only by receiving His Grace, can we begin to know by supernatural faith, hope and charity, how much we have been loved by God who created us and brought us to this day.

With great joy, some of us will be Consecrating ourselves totally to Jesus through Mary for the first time, while others will be renewing that same total consecration again. In so doing we will also be renewing our Baptismal promises.

If anyone reading this post has never read St. Louis de Montfort’s little treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin I urge you click on the lin and read the online version, or you can purchase your own paperback copy inexpensively HERE

For those who are planning to pray the “Act of Consecration” written by St. Louis de Montfort and explained in his treatise, I encourage all to either participate in the Mass offered by EWTN or if your parish live-streams Mass to participate in that way. EWTN offers on screen a prayer for “Spiritual Communion” while the Eucharist is distributed at Mass.

You may also want to look at the “Supplement” in St. Louis’ Treatise for this Devotion at Holy Communion. See HERE

Finally, if you have any questions, I’ll do my best to answer on this thread.
The link to the Act of Consecration is HERE and after you pray this prayer and sign it, you may enroll in the Association of Mary, Queen of all Hearts, HERE

Totus Tuus!

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The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply
On the Annunciation and Mary’s “fiat”
Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

This homily excerpt of St. Bernard is in the Office of Readings for
December 20, the fourth week of Advent.

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

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IOANNES PAULUS PP. II
REDEMPTORIS MATER
On the Blessed Virgin Mary
in the life of the Pilgrim Church

  1. This blessing reaches its full meaning when Mary stands beneath the Cross of her Son (cf. Jn. 19:25). The Council says that this happened “not without a divine plan”: by “suffering deeply with her only-begotten Son and joining herself with her maternal spirit to his sacrifice, lovingly consenting to the immolation of the victim to whom she had given birth,” in this way Mary "faithfully preserved her union with her Son even to the Cross."38 It is a union through faith- the same faith with which she had received the angel’s revelation at the Annunciation. At that moment she had also heard the words: “He will be great…and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end” (Lk. 1:32-33).
    And now, standing at the foot of the Cross, Mary is the witness, humanly speaking, of the
    complete negation of these words. On that wood of the Cross her Son hangs in agony as one
    condemned. “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows…he was despised, and we esteemed him not”: as one destroyed (cf. Is. 53:3- 5). How great, how heroic then is the obedience of faith shown by Mary in the face of God’s “unsearchable judgments”! How completely she “abandons herself to God” without reserve, offering the full assent of the intellect and the will"39 to him whose “ways are inscrutable” (cf. Rom. 11:33)! And how powerful too is the action of grace in her soul, how all-pervading is the influence of the Holy Spirit and of his light and power!
    Through this faith Mary is perfectly united with Christ in his self- emptying. For “Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men”: precisely on Golgotha “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (cf. Phil. 2:5- 8). At the foot of the Cross Mary shares through faith in the shocking mystery of this selfemptying. This is perhaps the deepest “kenosis” of faith in human history. Through faith the Mother shares in the death of her Son, in his redeeming death; but in contrast with the faith of the disciples who fled, hers was far more enlightened. On Golgotha, Jesus through the Cross definitively confirmed that he was the “sign of contradiction” foretold by Simeon. At the same time, there were also fulfilled on Golgotha the words which Simeon had addressed to Mary: "and a sword will pierce through your own soul also."40
    13

Peace

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Dear KBS and CathF,

Thank you both for your “loving hearts” on this beautiful Feast-Day! I told my two Granddaughters that this is my favorite Feast-Day – even more than Christmas or Easter or any of our birthdays or even our baptismal days because, Mary’s “Yes” to God was the beginning of new Life for all of us – Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit came into her womb and is now our Brother. He shared His Mother with us from His Cross!

May we all who celebrate this Feast – offer the fullness of love in our hearts to Jesus through Mary in return for Their Love. From His Heart pierced by a sword, flowed Blood and Water - signs of Eucharist and Baptism. Mary’s Heart was pierced with His Spiritually - not only on Calvary but in her life with Jesus from His rejection before birth at Bethlehem, through all the rejection He received and receives even today.

We Thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for all You Are and for ALL you have given us, are giving us and will give us! Mary, Mother of the Church pray for us and for all those in most need of your Mercy.

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Thank you for this…my first time experiencing this day. In fact, I did not know of it; just beginning my journey, and am in awe at the amount of things I knew nothing about.

I’m old, but just starting out, and going slowly.

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Dear Salamandrina,

A holy priest once said: “There is nothing more beautiful than a grey-haired child”. We are never too old to begin knowing, loving and serving God more!

Thanks so much for your reply, and a very blessed Feast Day to you!

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Dear MariaChristi,
I want to thank you for leading us through this daily journey. I have learned a great deal and have been both humbled and lifted-up as I have tried to follow along. Your thoughtful responses to my private messages have been greatly appreciated as well.

I was inspired to purchase some books on Marian devotion which too have broadened my inner prayer life - and I’m sure having print copies secure in my library will put me in a position of looking towards the Holy Mother in times of need as well as times of joy much more often than I ever have before. This process has shown me that Her divine interventions are limitless and that Her presence is constant. I would not have sought out any of those volumes if you had not inspired me to look beyond the words here on CAF.

I also appreciate your links to the Association of Mary, Queen of Hearts - listening to some of those tracks have further broadened my thinking - I never would have thought to pray my rosary outside of its standard form. Today I learned about devoting all five decades to the single mystery of the Annunciation - and it was like a lightbulb went on! It is wonderful to understand that mystery in an entirely new way! It gives me chills even writing of it now.

To hazocompat and patricius thank you also for regularly adding to MariaChristi’s posts. Your daily contributions have been much appreciated.

May God bless all who have followed along on this journey! It has been a special one for me.

——————
edited to add patricius - it was an oversight that I did not include you in my original post

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks so much for St. Bernard’s words on this Feast-day. Of course, St. Bernard is using his imagination in the conversation with Mary, and his thoughts were not hers. Nevertheless, we owe St. Bernard gratitude for his words because in many ways his words reflect our own “fears” and “doubts”, our own “hesitancy” to receive God’s Word and our “delays” in acting on God’s Truth when we hear it.

I was struck especially by this part of his homily:

…If He should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek Him afresh, the One Whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord’, she says, ‘be it done to me according to your word.’

I think it was St. Faustina who wrote that if we refuse a grace, that grace does not return. We may receive another grace, by God’s Mercy but it will be a different grace. That is consistent with Scripture in which we hear God tell us: “Harden not your hearts.”

Today if anyone is inclined to pray St. Louis de Montfort’s Prayer with the full intention to live the words prayed, or if anyone is experiencing a desire to know more from the writings of St. Louis de Montfort, I encourage you to Listen to what God may be asking of you and humbly remember St. Bernard’s words: "Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving – that by God’s Grace Mary’s “Yes” may become yours.

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Dear hazcompat,

Thanks again today for another excerpt from Pope St. JPII’s encyclical on “The Mother of the Redeemer”. How appropriate is the subtitle also: “On the Blessed Virgin Mary in the life of the Pilgrim Church”.

In paragraph 18, we can hear St. John Paul’s deep understanding of Mary’s faith in her own pilgrimage with Jesus her Son – to stand finally suffering beneath His Cross, joining herself to His sacrifice. He wrote that Mary’s union with Jesus is a union of faith – the same faith with which she had received the angel’s revelation at the Annunciation.

On our own “pilgrimage” as members of Christ’s Body, His Church, we need Mary as our human Model as well as Mother. We go through many trials as she did and in the end there must be that same “self- emptying” if we are to finally die to self and live in Christ. May we ponder these beautiful words from Pope St. John Paul II:

At the foot of the Cross Mary shares through faith in the shocking mystery of this selfemptying. This is perhaps the deepest “kenosis” of faith in human history. Through faith the Mother shares in the death of her Son, in His redeeming death; but in contrast with the faith of the disciples who fled, hers was far more enlightened. On Golgotha, Jesus through the Cross definitively confirmed that He was the “sign of contradiction” foretold by Simeon. At the same time, there were also fulfilled on Golgotha the words which Simeon had addressed to Mary: “and a sword will pierce through your own soul also”.

Mary, Mother of the Church pray for us. Help us on our own pilgrimage of faith, on earth, until we reach our heavenly home.

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Dear MariaChristi,

Thank you so much…I love that expression, and it was so kind of you to reply

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Dear KBS,

Thank you for your willingness to make the journey. In truth, however the “leader” was never myself. I believe the Lord led you and others to CAF, as He led me for His Own Purpose.

Thank you also for your willingness to pursue the Truth about Mary. Searching the Scriptures and the writings of the saints, and prayerfully seeking God’s Holy Spirit to bring us into all Truth is sure to bring joy. Mary is God’s chosen one to bring Jesus to us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and this continues every day - every moment - a child of God asks in faith for help.

With you, dear KBS, I thank the Lord for His Infinite Mercy and Love, in urging us to make this journey and for all His many blessings along the way. I too am grateful to hazcompat and to patricius for many helpful quotes and to all who offered their hearts and replies to encourage us.

Some may have read the posts but did not respond with a heart or any reply, but God may have touched their hearts in ways unknown to us. So I join you in asking God to bless all who followed in any way making this a special time to honor Jesus through Mary - and thank Him it was so special for you and me. :slight_smile:

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Dear Salamandrina,

I’ve loved those words from the first time I heard them. And I don’t think I even had gray hair at the time! :slight_smile:

The priest who said those words to a group of us on Retreat, has gone home to God, but he was the one who really taught me to listen to Scripture as “God speaking to me” and I can never thank God enough for leading me to that retreat! God works in mysterious ways, but He is always working Good in all things! (cf Rom. 8:28)

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“O God, who willed that your Word should take on the reality of human flesh in the womb of the Virgin Mary, grant, we pray, that we, who confess our Redeemer to be God and man, may merit to become partakers even in his divine nature. Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”

“O God, who didst will that Thy Word should take flesh, at the message of an Angel, in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary, grant to Thy suppliant people, that we who believe her to be truly the Mother of God, may be helped by her intercession with Thee. Through the same Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.”

http://www.extraordinaryform.org/propers/0325AnnunciationBVM.pdf

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Dear joannes_pius,

Thanks for you reply and your love for Jesus and Mary which prompted it! The Liturgical Year is among the many ways the Holy Spirit continues bringing the Church into all Truth. As we ponder the Life of Christ, in the beginning of the Church Year we find the advent season preparing us to celebrate His birth. Today, the Solemnity of the Annunciation March 25 is 9 months before His Birth we celebrate on Dec. 25.

Every Liturgical Feast is an opportunity to grow in our love for God in all He has done for us. Today is such a special Feast – I pray the Holy Spirit will enable all of us to grow in love for Jesus through Mary. Thanks again!

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Dear Wm777 and Magdalene,

Thank you both for your “hearts” and your love for Jesus through Mary which prompted you to let us know you liked what you read today. What a joy it is to belong to Jesus and Mary!

Yesterday hazcompat posted paragraph 17 from Pope St. John Paul II’s Encyclical “Mother of the Redeemer”. I woke this morning still thinking about the words which touched me so deeply yesterday from Pope St. JPII – I continued to ponder them today:

"…From the moment of the Annunciation, the mind of the Virgin-Mother has been initiated into the radical “newness” of God’s self-revelation and has been made aware of the mystery. She is the first of those “little ones” of whom Jesus will say one day: “Father, …you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes ” (Mt. 11:25). For “no one knows the Son except the Father” (Mt. 11:27). If this is the case, how can Mary “know the Son”? Of course she does not know him as the Father does; and yet she is the first of those to whom the Father “has chosen to reveal him” (cf. Mt. 11:26-27; 1 Cor. 2:11)

As I was doing some household chores, I was thinking of Mary and how the mind of the Virgin-Mother has been initiated into the radical “newness” of God’s self-revelation and has been made aware of the mystery. She is the first of those “little ones” of whom Jesus will say one day: “Father, …you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes

By God’s Grace may we truly look to Mary as our Mother and Model, may our minds be ever pondering as she did “God’s self-revelation”. May we always be “little ones” pondering the mysteries of God’s Love in our lives.

Totus Tuus!

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Dear Stephie,

I must have missed your “faithful heart” on this thread last night! I saw it this morning and so I wanted to be sure to thank you again for all your encouragement over these 33 Days of Preparation for Total Consecration. Yesterday was a beautiful day for me and I trust it was a beautiful day for you and for all those seeking Jesus through Mary our Mother!

Totus Tuus!

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How did God become a man? By totally surrendering himself to a woman, by taking flesh from the flesh of the Virgin Mary, God gave himself totally to her. And Mary completely offered herself up to the Father’s will.

If we too want to enter into the mystery of this covenant, of the transformation of our whole being in God, which is our vocation as Christians, we must do the same. It is by giving ourselves completely to God that he can take possession of our whole being and that we can become participants in the divine nature.

This total gift that Jesus Christ made on the day of his incarnation is the “I am all yours,” Saint John Paul’s totus tuus and Saint Louis de Montfort’s before him. Jesus, the Word of God, gave himself completely to the Virgin Mary: totus tuus . This is how he became a man. St Louis de Montfort, who perceived the simplicity of God, said that we must do the same. To go to God, we have to take the same path he took to reach us. It is at once the easiest and safest way. It is by giving ourselves totally to Mary— totus tuus— that we welcome the mystery of the incarnation into us.

The mystery of the consecration to Jesus through Mary, which we shorten by “consecration to Mary,” is this total gift of ourselves in the image of the total gift that the Word of God made to the Virgin Mary by becoming man. God became man so that man could become God. Since God became man in Mary, it is also in Mary that we can become God by letting ourselves be steered by the action of the Holy Spirit through her.

Father Maire

Homily on the Annunciation and the Consecration to Jesus, March 23, 2015

Read more on mariedenazareth.com:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

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Thanks so much, dear hazcompat for this homily by Fr. Maire and for the link. I’ve visited that site several times and found it helpful. Hopefully, anyone who has not yet visited there will find it helpful too.

I must tell you that I continue to ponder still today, the words of Pope St. John Paul II from his Encyclical “Mother of the Redeemer”:

From paragaph 17:

"…From the moment of the Annunciation, the mind of the Virgin-Mother has been initiated into the radical “newness” of God’s self-revelation and has been made aware of the mystery. She is the first of those “little ones” of whom Jesus will say one day: “Father, …you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes ” (Mt. 11:25). For “no one knows the Son except the Father” (Mt. 11:27). If this is the case, how can Mary “know the Son”? Of course she does not know him as the Father does; and yet she is the first of those to whom the Father “has chosen to reveal him” (cf. Mt. 11:26-27; 1 Cor. 2:11)

And from paragraph 18:

At the foot of the Cross Mary shares through faith in the shocking mystery of this selfemptying. This is perhaps the deepest “kenosis” of faith in human history.

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Holy Spirit grant me the grace to become “Little”!

Peace

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Dear Margaret_Ann

Thanks for your “heart” - hopefully, you have read or will perhaps read St. Louis de Montfort’s treatise on “True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin” Just click on the link and if you’ve never read it, you can begin to read the online version today! :slight_smile:

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