Blessed Is She: Living Lent with Mary

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  1. Blessed is She - Living Lent with Mary | Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan
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She is to be for ever the mother of those who believe, and they will look to her with great confidence in her unfailing protection. She loves her Son in loving her children, and in heeding what she says they keep the words of their Master. Mary and the disciple are the first of Christ's followers to be commended and commissioned. It is primarily God who is glorified, for making "a home for the Blessed Virgin in the Church as the joyful mother of children" Entrance Antiphon, cf to Psalm This act of commending is part of the mystery of Christ's passion and the Virgin's co-suffering; the liturgy therefore refers to the Blessed Virgin as one who "stood by the cross and tenderly looked on the wounds of her Son, whose death she knew would redeem the world" Gospel Verse , and it places on her lips the words of the apostle: "I endure all for the sake of the elect, so that they too may achieve salvation in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" Communion Antiphon, 2 Timothy Our Lady also was entrusted by Christ to the loving care of the beloved disciple: "To the virgin John, Christ, dying on the cross, entrusted his Virgin mother" Liturgy of the Hours, 27 Dec, Antiphon 2 at morning prayer.

In John Christ made all his disciples living signs of his own love for her. Mary and John, then, are entrusted to each other, to love and care for one other. This is their commission. The very bond that binds them is not a bond only between two. It is a bond of the two to Jesus Christ, whose commission they fulfill. It remains Jesus who "draws all the universe to himself. He draws us and sends us to the daily offering of our own lives, which shall be a magnet drawing all to Christ. Lord God, let this sacred table increase our filial love, for here we are nourished by the body and blood of Christ, who when dying on the cross delivered his spirit into your hands and entrusted us to his Virgin Mother as her children.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. How can we let ourselves be drawn and draw? One way is to meditate and assimilate the Crucifixion Icon as it is expressed in this prayer:. Lord Jesus, we gather in spirit at the foot of the Cross with your Mother and the disciple whom you loved.

Blessed is She - Living Lent with Mary | Archdiocese of Regina, Saskatchewan

We ask your pardon for our sins which are the cause of your death. We thank you for remembering us in that hour of salvation and for giving us Mary as our Mother. Holy Virgin, take us under your protection and open us to the action of the Holy Spirit. Saint John, obtain for us the grace of taking Mary into our life, as you did, and of assisting her in her mission. In the Calvary event, Mary and the beloved disciple both represent the Church, that is its original cell.

Mary is the figure of Mother-Church; John stands for Christian discipleship. Together they personify faithful, loving and persevering commitment to the Church. They are both teachers of authentic ecclesial sensitivity. This Church of ours, at times, looks very human, beaten and broken. It is in dire need of all the friends it can get, dependent on faithful hearts and healing hands.

Invited into the company of Mary and John, each part of the Church is called to be another healthy and life-giving cell of the Church. Each one of its members is graced with passionate and compassionate Marian sensitivity for the many needs and calls of Mother-Church. The Three O'clock Prayer presents us with a whole array of themes. Mary is portrayed as the Mother of Jesus and, at the same time, as our mother, given to us by the very same Jesus hanging in agony on the Cross.

Mary is depicted as the strong woman -- the holy virgin -- and lady of the mantle, whose protection we seek and need. She is the gentle mistress and sister, who opens our hearts and minds to the action of the Holy Spirit. Ever the fruitful mother, she forms those who are entrusted to her in the Spirit of her Son.

As we take her into our life, she becomes a part of our self. Called into alliance with her, through whom the Holy Trinity shall be glorified in all places, we assist Mary in her mission as the Woman mandated by her Son. Discipleship is thoroughly Marian, but it has a definite Johannine touch. The beloved disciple was told to take Mary into his home. More important still, he took her into his life and made her deepest memories of her Son his own. His heart was filled with her courage and faith. He shared her pain and loving certitude.


He adopted her sense of mission and her total commitment to the spirit and work of her Son, his friend and spiritual master. Thus, the Three O'clock Prayer is a powerful lesson in Christian discipleship. It has its origin in Christ's crucified love, and takes shape and direction in his pressing invitation to take Mary into our life. Discipleship blossoms in the caring and creative company of Mary, the Mother and Woman.

The figure of the beloved disciple is forever a reminder that the Church of Jesus Christ does not know members and partisans, but only disciples, daughters and son, and friends. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation. I Corinthians The Old Testament reading is taken from the songs of the suffering servant in Isaiah and placed on the lips of Jesus, the suffering servant of his people:.

The Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue. So that I may know how to reply to the wearied he provides me with speech. Each morning he wakes me to hear, to listen like a disciple. The Lord Yahweh has opened my ear. For my part, I made no resistance, neither did I turn away. I offered my back to those who struck me, my cheeks to those who tore at my beard; I did not cover my face against insult and spittle.

The Lord Yahweh comes to my help, so that I am untouched by the insults. So, too, I set my face like flint; I know I shall not be shamed. The Messiah must suffer. He must assume into Himself all human suffering to transform it and make sense out of it for an everlasting purpose. We live in the light of Resurrection. Our reading of the Scriptures is always on the backdrop of knowing that Jesus will overcome. Could it be that this knowledge makes us passive participants in the unfolding of an ancient drama? In our TV-violent age, are we immune to the real pain?

Perhaps we need to remember that real people suffered these events, not as actors on a stage, but as sons and mothers and relatives and friends. Jesus Christ alone suffered, died and redeemed us.

He alone! He was truly alone yet not alone. Each person is ultimately alone in death. The words of Psalm 22, an ancient hymn of the sufferings and hope of the virtuous person, expresses the loneliness of the dying Christ:. My God, my God, why have you deserted me? How far from saving me, the words I groan! I call all day, my God, but you never answer, all night long I call and cannot rest. Yet, Holy One, you who make your home in the praises of Israel, in you our fathers put their trust, they trusted and you rescued them Yet here am I, now more worm than man, scorn of mankind, jest of the people, all who see me jeer at me, they toss their heads and sneer, "He relied on Yahweh, let Yahweh save him!

If Yahweh is his friend, let Him rescue him!

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Jesus was infinitely alone yet not alone. Mary, his mother was there and the small community of the beloved disciple and some women. John This was the moment when Tradition holds it that the Church was born of the open wound of Christ on the cross. But why all this? Clearly, to be reconciled with God! No one is spared the decision-making and the journey. No one is exempt from sin, sorrow, and misery, from the things that isolate and divide.

In Christ, the old things are to pass away, these things of sin. Saint Paul tell the Corinthians:. Brother and sisters: Whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. And all this is from God, who has reconciled us to himself through Christ and given us the ministry of reconciliation, So we are ambassadors for Christ, as if God were appealing through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake God made Christ to be sin who did not know sin, so that in Christ we might become the righteousness of God. The liturgy asks us to become persons of reconciliation.

The introduction to the Marian liturgy states:. The Church has with ever greater clarity acknowledged the role of our Lady in reconciling sinners with God. The Fathers of the Church in the early centuries, in discussing the mystery of the incarnation of the Word, speak frequently of the virginal womb of the mother of the Lord as the place where 'peace' between God and the human race came to be. Popular devotion has long remembered this 'peace' of Mary, the woman who gave birth to the Redeemer. She held him in her arms at his birth; tradition has it that he was placed in her arms at his death.

She is reconciled to the Father's will. As time went on, Mary was called a refuge where the miserable could find consolation. Not only is she called Mother of Reconciliation. She is also called Refuge of Sinners. The sinner and the miserable find refuge in her peace. As early as the eleventh and twelfth century, we reference to Mary compassion toward the sinner. Legends abound which show Mary's love for those in trouble, especially for sinners in trouble. As shown in the images on this webpage, the earliest painting to express Mary's compassion were those where Jesus is taken from the cross and placed in the tomb.

The placing in the tomb became the most important image. In the fourteenth century an illuminated manuscript about the fall and redemption was written in Latin prosaic rhyme. It consists of one hundred lines and four miniature paintings. Over time, the Speculum was extended to forty-five chapters, lines, and miniatures.

It contained three hundred quotes from Scripture and ancient writings. The last part dealt with the seven sufferings of Christ and the seven joys and seven sorrows of Mary. Mary is portrayed as a helper in the work of redemption. It is Jesus, however, who is central. This work received a great reception in writing, architecture and art between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries. The theme continues today. Many artists, well known to the contemporary world, have tried to represent this moment of exquisite sorrow, abandonment, and at the same time intimacy of Son and mother.

O Son, you have left me! Lord our God, through the precious blood of Your Son You reconciled the world to Yourself and at the foot of his cross you chose the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of reconciliation for sinners; grant through her intercession that we may obtain pardon for our sins.

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We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ Athletics Overview Dayton Flyers. Explore More News Calendar Libraries. Alphabetical List of Articles. All About Mary. Lenten Weekly Meditations — Sister M. Jean Frisk, S. Genesis Abraham's faith also established an unbreakable covenant with God.

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As the Psalms of these two liturgies tell us: All Yahweh's paths are love and truth for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. Psalm The close secret of Yahweh belongs to them who fear him, his covenant also to bring them knowledge. Psalm Those who keep God's covenant and follow him will learn the knowledge of love and truth. The singer of the Psalm begs God: Relieve the distress of my heart, free me from my sufferings. Psalm Let innocence and integrity be my protection, since my hope is in you, Yahweh.

Psalm In the readings, we are led closer to Jesus Christ who is the answer to Noah, who teaches us active patience in our waiting for redemption. Romans b Total Oblation, Ennabeuron, Germany Jesus Christ is the one like us in all things; he underwent temptation and lived the human life in all things except sin.

Mark The liturgy for the second Lenten Sunday gives yet another text for us to ponder: Yahweh, I am your servant, your servant, son of a pious mother, you undo my fetters. Psalm We do not know who the song writer is nor who his pious mother is, but our liturgical sense will link these texts to Jesus, and we may draw his mother into our reflections as well. In her sorrow at his passion and death, she may have found comfort in the Psalm that the liturgy applies to her beloved Son: Return to your resting place, my soul, Yahweh has treated you kindly.

See Luke She followed the Lord from the first moment of his earthly existence, and heard the words praising her for her faith: Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled. Luke The votive liturgy applies a text from the book of Sirach to Mary. Read the holy words of Sirach: When I was young and innocent, I sought wisdom. But it was when Jesus was presented in the temple that she heard the prophecy: "And a sword will pierce your own soul too -- so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare.

These symbols came to be known as the Arma Christi , meaning: "all Christ's sufferings; they were for him the weapons arms with which he conquered death and Satan. Yahweh gave the Decalogue to the people through Moses: " Just prior to these statements, there are passages in I Corinthians that invite further reflection: Where are any of our thinkers today? See John But he was speaking of the sanctuary that was his body, and when Jesus rose from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the words he had said. We pray in the opening prayer: Lord our God, in your mysterious wisdom you fill out the passion of Christ through the suffering that his members endure in the many trials of this life.

John Mary was prepared for this moment through her life-long attitude of listening, pondering faith. The preface of the Marian Mass prays to our God: In your loving providence you decreed that Mary, the mother of your Son, should stand faithfully beside his cross, and so fulfill in her person the prophecies of old, and enrich the world with her own witness of living faith.

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The writer of Ephesians speaks of this redeemer, Jesus Christ: Do not forget, I say, that you had no Christ and were excluded from membership of Israel, aliens with no part in the covenants with their Promise; you were immersed in this world, without hope and without God. The Scriptures tells us that we need grace in order for this "coming close" to take place: But God loved us with so much love that he was generous with his mercy: when we were dead through our sins, he brought us to life with Christ--it is through grace that you have been saved--and raised us up with him and gave us a place with him in heave, in Christ Jesus.

Blessed Is She: Living Lent with Mary

Ephesians What does the liturgy present to us as Jesus' testimony? Jesus tells Nicodemus: "Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. John We are accountable ultimately to accept the invitation of grace, to believe in Christ Jesus, and to live and act out of this life of faith.

Larger Image. Description Table of Contents Author Biography Goodreads reviews Everyone is happy to see Mary in the creche at Christmastime, but by the time the Magi head back East after the Feast of the Epiphany, Christians of many traditions are often ready to place Mary to the side, too. But in Blessed Is She, Timothy Perry presents a Mary who belongs in Lent as much as in Advent, who shows what it means to die and live with the crucified and risen Jesus. Drawing primarily from the Gospel of Luke, this lovely book of devotions sketches a Lenten Mary who teaches us about being disciples.

The result is a complex, inviting, strong character a disciple to be emulated by all Christians, especially during this holy season. The data gathered from the survey will help establish a baseline to stimulate conversation on pertinent issues to our region. The survey takes just minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous. You can take the survey online here. Mark your calendars for March 14 from pm—pm to attend!

Find out more on the event flyer online here. Episcopal Youth Camp Registration! Our Diocesan Youth Camp registration has opened. There are camp dates this summer for kids from grades , , and Additionally, there is Weekend Camp for adults, families, and children of all ages! And if you want to send your kids to camp—St. John's can cover the cost! Through the generosity of the Hill Family Christian Education Fund, we are able to offer camp scholarships to the children and youth of the parish. Click here to find out more about camp dates and registration and let the Office know if you'd like to request a scholarship.

The Camp is also always welcoming older teenagers and adults who would like to help out as a counselor, whether just for a day or two or for a full week. Find out more online here. Parishioners are always welcome to attend Vestry meetings and are particularly encouraged, at least, to join the Vestry for prayer before the meeting. Food Drive! There will be a box located in the coatroom for your donations. The canned food drive will run through the end of February! Tim Perry.

Order a copy online either at Episcopal Church Publishing or Amazon. But Fr. Timothy Perry presents a Mary who belongs in Lent as much as in Advent, showing what it means to die and live with the crucified and risen Jesus. Drawing primarily from the Gospel of Luke, this lovely book of spiritual reflections reveals a Lenten Mary who teaches us about being disciples. The result is a complex, inviting, strong character — a disciple to be emulated by all Christians, especially during this holy season.

With a study for each week of Lent, along with questions to ponder, this is a thought-provoking volume. For many of us Lent is a special liturgical season of the year. Many of us will give up a favorite item of food during Lent, while others will devote time to prayers, meditation, or time for spiritual reflection.