St. Michael Prayer

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do, thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, cast into hell satan and all of the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Glory to God in the Highest!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mary's Memories - Meditations on the Rosary

Pope John Paul II wrote of "Mary's Memories" in the Rosary.   In his Apostolic letter "Rosarium Virginis Mariae"  Pope John Paul, soon to be canonized, wrote,

"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."

With the season of Advent upon us, our focus should turn to Mary, the Mother of God.  By imitating her virtue, we will be better prepared to greet her Son on Christmas Day.    Inspired by her memories of the Rosary, I wrote these Meditations on the Rosary.  The first ones we encounter in "Mary's memories," are the Joyful mysteries.  As I wrote, I tried to look at these mysteries through Mary's eyes.  Of course, these responses are fictional.  I am writing these, not Mary.  My hope is that by looking at these mysteries through Mary's eyes, we will come to know Jesus better.

Mary's Memories
Meditations on the Rosary

The Joyful Mysteries

The Annunciation

I was praying, thanking God for all of His goodness and mercies.  I heard my name whispered in the wind.  I opened my eyes and I saw a being of light in front of me.  He greeted me by saying, "Hail, full of grace."  I was surprised by such a greeting.  He was so beautiful.  I knew he was from God.  He told me his name was Gabriel.  He told me that I was blessed among women.  He said that I would bear a son, the Promised One, and that I would name Him, Jesus.  I was very surprised.  I didn't understand how this could be since I had not known man.  He said that the power of the Holy Spirit would come upon me.  This is how I would conceive my Son, the Holy one of God.  I replied that it should be done according to God's Will.  When the angel left, I knew I was with child.

The Visitation

Gabriel also told me that my cousin, Elizabeth, who was beyond the age of bearing children was going to have a son!  I was so excited!  He said that Elizabeth was in her sixth month.  I knew that I had to go help her.  I sought permission, and I was allowed to go to take care of her.  The journey was difficult, but the Babe in my womb made my travels easier.  I didn't know what Joseph would think when I returned, but I knew that God would take care of my precious Son, His Son, and me.  When I saw Elizabeth she was great with child, and she knew I was pregnant.  She said that her son jumped in her womb when we arrived.  God is so good!  Elizabeth and I immediately fell into prayer praising God for these miracle children of ours!  Elizabeth knew that my Son was her Savior!  God is so good!  I stayed until John was born.  Now, I could see that my body had changed.  My parents and Joseph would know that I was with child.  God would take care of us.

The Birth of Jesus
Joseph is such a wonderful husband!  He said that an angel came to him in a dream and told him not to be afraid to take me for his wife.  The angel told him that this baby would be the promised Messiah.  That next morning, Joseph brought me home.  Now, we are on a journey to Bethlehem where Joseph must register for the census.  I am great with child now.  I feel so tired.  Joseph has been so kind.  He bought a donkey so that I could ride.  My Son kicks so much.  I think He's ready to be born, too!  I know He's a King, but only Joseph and I know that.  He should be born in a palace, but Joseph was only able to find a stable.  I know my time has come.  My Babe will begin his life in poverty for Joseph and I do not have wealth.  We only have love.  My Son will be rich in love.  The angels have surrounded me now.  Joseph is outside waiting. The angels will bring Jesus into this world, and they do.  I do not need a midwife.  God is watching over us.  Joseph heard the first cry of his foster child, and he ran into to meet the Son of God.  Joseph could hear the angels singing, too.  There is great joy in heaven.  Joseph fell to his knees adoring and worshiping the Son of God!!  God's Son is born.  I wrapped Jesus in all the blankets we brought with us.  I hold Him close to my heart.  He's a beautiful baby!  We adore Jesus!  He is our God and our Son.  The Father is so good to us!

The Presentation

My child must be given back to God today.  Joseph and I will go to the temple and pay our tribute to the temple to ransom our Son.  I must be purified too.  Joseph feels he can take care of Jesus while I take the ritual bath.  He still seems a little nervous, though.  Joseph asked me last night if I thought that he would be able to teach Jesus anything.  I know that Joseph will teach him so much!  Jesus will be a carpenter like his father.  We enter the temple.  The women of the temple tell me how beautiful Jesus is.  This makes both Joseph and I proud.  We don't have much money.  Joseph gave me his food last night, and he didn't eat.  Later I saw Jesus asleep in Joseph's arms.  I smiled.  God is so good!  Simeon stopped us as we walked into the temple.  He said that God could take him now because God had kept His promise that he, Simeon, would not die until he beheld the Messiah.  Simeon also told me that my Son would be the rise and fall of many and that a sword would pierce my heart.  Yet, Simeon's face glowed when he held Jesus.  I believe that what he spoke is true for I felt the scrape of a knife on my heart at that moment.

The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple

Every year we travel to Jerusalem with our families in a caravan.  Jesus enjoys His cousins, and  He loves my mother's bread!  Jesus always finds His way to the fires where Mother cooks.  Jesus is a good boy.  He always waits until He is offered bread from Grandmother, then He eats it so fast!  Grand Mother loves her Grandson!  Everyone seems to love Jesus!  Our visit to the temple is prayerful and holy.  Jesus was with the men this year.  He became a man!  Jesus, my child, is a man according to our traditions.  We have all gathered to go home, and it's time to leave.  I don't see Jesus, but He is probably with His cousins.  I don't see them either.  Joseph said not to worry about Him.  He needs to be given the respect of a man now.  He knows that Jesus will be at His grandmother's cooking fires for supper.  We traveled the entire day.  Evening has come and I still haven't seen Jesus.  I asked Mother if Jesus had been here.  She told me that she hadn't seen Him all day.  He usually finds her to give her a hug.  It's then that Joseph and I realized that Jesus is not with the caravan.  We can't go back tonight.  We have to wait until morning. 

Joseph is very upset.  We reached Jerusalem the next evening.  We looked for Jesus among the people we knew who were still there.  They had not seen Jesus. We found a place to stay, and Joseph promised me that we would continue our search in the morning.  We both rose at dawn.  I had been in prayer most of the night.  Joseph slept fitfully.  We searched and searched.  We reached the temple and decided to go in to pray for our Son's safety.  As we entered the Temple, we both saw Jesus and ran to him.  I don't think I've ever seen Joseph so upset.  He couldn't even talk.  Jesus smiled at both of us.  I said to Jesus, "Your father and I have been searching for You."  Jesus looked at me.  He looked confused.  He didn't seem to understand why Joseph was so upset.  Jesus said to me, "Didn't you know that I must be about my Father's business?"  The elders in the temple took Joseph aside.  Joseph told me later that the elders told him that Jesus was wise beyond His years.  They wanted Joseph to consider leaving Him at the temple to be educated in the law.  Joseph, thanked them for being so kind.  I could see that Joseph was calm now.  Joseph said that Jesus would be returning with us to Nazareth.  The elders understood.  We left the temple as a family and began our second journey home.

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