When the name of an acquaintance is mentioned, an image or idea of that person at once arises in our minds, and if it is one we love, an emotion of joy or pleasure unconsciously possesses us. At the very mention of the Holy Name of Jesus, the Saints felt the most intense delight. St. Bernard said that it was music to his ears, sweetness to his taste, joy to his heart. He declared that whatever he heard gave him no pleasure unless Jesus were the theme.
Jesus means Savior. We all know this, but do we now and then reflect upon it?
There was once, we are told, somewhere in Spain, a crucifix which had this peculiarity, that one arm was detached from the nail and hung down at one side. It was said that it had once hung upon the wall of a confessional, where a sinner confessed an atrocious crime, and the priest, appalled, hesitated to give him absolution. But what was the amazement of both priest and penitent when they heard sobs issuing from the crucifix, from which the hand of Our Lord detached itself and gave absolution to the poor sinner, while at the same time a voice was heard saying to the priest:"You have not shed your blood for this poor sinner, as I have."
This is only a story, which may or may not be true, but it symbolizes exactly a certain truth, of which it gives us some faint idea, and that is what it means to be Savior. It is at the price of His Precious Blood that Christ has saved us from sin and its consequences.
He has brought us peace, pardon, grace and the love and friendship of God. Without these blessings, which have only come to us through Our Savior, we should be the most miserable of creatures, even if we had all the riches and pleasures of this world. Why? Because only the love of God and the possession of His grace can fill and satisfy the hungry soul of man. St. Augustine says: "Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our heart is restless until it finds rest in Thee." Only God can satisfy that mysterious craving for something, we know not what, which is in every human soul, and which we all feel at some time or another, and which we so often try in vain to satisfy by running after earthly loves and pleasures.
It is Jesus, Our Savior, Who alone can give us that which can satisfy the deep longing of our soul.
Perhaps we have never reflected upon or realized what it means when we say that Christ is Our Savior, or what it is that He has saved us from. But if we had lived in the world as it was before He had given us His Church and His Sacraments, we should know too well. It is Our Lord Who has brought all kindness and gentleness and peace into the world. Before that most men were hard and cruel and selfish. Those who were rich and powerful and strong, crushed down the poor and weak and wretched as a matter of course. The horrors of slavery show how men can treat one another without the Law of Charity which Our Lord teaches in the Gospel. We should not like to have lived in that world. Children did not have a good time then. Think of the innumerable child lives sacrificed in the horrible worship of Moloch, for instance, "parents sacrificing with their own hands helpless souls," "merciless murderers of their own children," as we read in the Book of Wisdom. In ancient Rome parents could put their children to death, if they thought fit. Helpless prisoners, again, were treated with horrible cruelty, and tortured before death. Our Lord had not yet come to teach that it was a blessed work of mercy "to visit the imprisoned." There were no Sisters of Mercy or Charity to attend to the poor, the sick and the afflicted. Now that Our Lord has shed His Precious Blood for each single soul, we know that souls are the most precious things in the world, and that every human being, even the puniest, poorest child, has sacred rights that must be respected. Those who love Jesus will make any sacrifice to save a single soul, no matter how poor, or wretched, or repulsive it may be. And Our Lord has expressly said that whatever we do to the least of His brethren, we do to Him. All this beautiful charity and pity and tenderness we owe to Our Savior. All the kindness and charity in the world had its beginnings in the teaching and example of Our Savior Jesus Christ.
And after God, it is to His Mother, Mary, that we owe Jesus. She gave Him of Her substance for His human life; She nursed and fed, and took care of Him as a Babe, She worked and lived and suffered that we might have a Savior. That was the whole meaning of Her life. This is what it means to be the Mother of the Savior, to suffer in all that He suffered for us. She stood by the Cross on Calvary, and gave Him up as a Victim for our sins. Let the title, "Mother of Our Savior" always remind us how dear and precious our souls are to Mary, since She, too, paid, in Her compassion for Her Son, the price of our ransom.
But Our Lord's Life was for us, too, as well as His Death, His Birth, His Infancy, Childhood, Hidden and Public Life, His Miracles, His Resurrection, and Ascension. We were, every one of us, in His mind, in all that He said, and did, and suffered, all the time. All of it was for each one of us, as if we were the only ones. No one of us can be passed over, each one is as precious as another. Why? Because the same price was paid for every single soul of man. The only thing that makes any one of us of any value is the price we cost Our Lord, His Precious Blood. We may never look down on anyone; no matter how repulsive, or uninteresting; all men are of the same value as we are, in the eyes of God, they cost the same price, they are, every one of them, as we are, infinitely precious.
Who can teach us the mysteries of Our Savior as Mary can? She was an indispensable part of every one of them. As the Wise Men of old found Jesus "with Mary His Mother" so must we. We must ask our Mother, the Mother of Our Savior, to teach us how much we all need Him. His Most Precious Blood has to be applied to each one of our souls in the Sacraments, we shall never get to Heaven without Him, and it is through His Mother we reach Him.
No one ever appreciated Our Savior and His salvation, as did Mary. "My spirit hath rejoiced in God My Savior." She alone fully realized what it meant. How many times in the Scripture does God show us that He would have us, too, rejoice in Jesus, Our Savior, and in our salvation. "Ye shall draw waters in joy from the fountains of the Savior;" "I will exult in God my Savior;" "My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation;" "in Thy salvation he (the king) shall rejoice exceedingly;" "restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation;" etc.
Let us then rejoice in Our Savior and in the Mother of Our Savior.
Motto: "My spirit hath rejoiced in God My Savior."
Practice: Think often of all we owe to Jesus and to His Mother.
The truth of Mary's Immaculate Conception – which was revealed to the Apostles by the Divine Son of Mary, inherited by the Church, taught by the holy Fathers, believed by each generation of the Christian people with an ever increasing explicitness – was implied in the very notion of Her being the Mother of Our Savior, the Mother of God. To believe that Mary was Mother of God, was implicitly to believe that She, on Whom this sublime dignity was conferred, had never been defiled with the slightest stain of sin, and that God had bestowed upon Her an absolute exemption from sin. But now the Immaculate Conception of Mary rests on an explicit definition dictated by the Holy Ghost. Peter has spoken by the mouth of Pope Pius IX.
It would be unjust to pass over the immense share which the seraphic Order, the Order of St. Francis of Assisi, has had in the earthly triumph of Our Blessed Mother. As often as this Feast comes round, is it not just that we should think with reverence and gratitude on him, who was the first theologian that showed how closely connected with the mystery of the Incarnation is this dogma of the Immaculate Conception? First, then, all honor to the name of the pious and learned John Duns Scotus of the Friars Minor! And when at length the great day of the definition of the Immaculate Conception came, how justly merited was the grand audience, which the Vicar of Christ granted to the Franciscan Order, and with which closed the pageant of the glorious solemnity! Pius IX received from the hands of the children of St. Francis a tribute of homage and gratitude, which the Scotist school, after having fought four hundred years in defense of Mary's Immaculate Conception, now presented to the Pontiff.
In the presence of 54 Cardinals, 42 Archbishops and 92 Bishops; before an immense concourse of people that filled St. Peter's, and had united in prayer, begging the assistance of the Spirit of Truth; the Vicar of Christ had just pronounced the decision which so many ages had hoped to hear. The Pope had offered the Holy Sacrifice on the altar of the Confession of St. Peter. He had crowned the statue of the Immaculate Queen with a splendid diadem. Carried on his lofty throne, and wearing his triple crown, he had reached the portico of the Basilica; there he is met by the two representatives of St. Francis: they prostrate before the throne: and first, the General of the Friars Minor Observantines advances, and presents to the Holy Father a branch of silver lilies; he is followed by the General of the Conventual Friars, holding in his hand a branch of silver roses. The Pope graciously accepted both. The lilies and the roses were symbolical of Mary's purity and love; the whiteness of the silver was the emblem of the lovely brightness of that orb, on which is reflected the light of the Sun; for, as the Canticle says of Mary, "She is beautiful as the moon." The Pontiff was overcome with emotion at these gifts of the family of the Seraphic Patriarch. And thus ended the glories of that grand morning of the 8th of December, 1854.
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|Reference Library||The Story of Fatima||The Message of Fatima||The Fatima Cell||The Holy Rosary|
|Salve Maria Regina Bulletin||The Angel of Portugal||Promise & Plan of Our Lady||Cell Meeting Outline||Fatima Devotions & Prayers|
|Marian Apparitions & Shrines||Jacinta||Modesty||Monthly Cell Program||Seasonal Devotions|
|Calendars||Francisco||Scapular Consecration||Cell Reference Material||"The Fatima Prayers"|
|Saints||"Here You See Hell..."||Living our Consecration||Rosary Crusaders||Litany of Loreto|
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