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Fourth Tuesday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 23/12/2014

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14)

Take some time to find a moment of inner peace, and pray: Blessed Mother Mary, we have given ourselves to you, and you have given yourself to us. We have made a covenant of love with you and you have made a covenant with us. From the depths of our hearts, we ask you: Care that our longing for the Lord will never decrease, and never be held back by slavery to possessions and material things. Break the chains that bind us here on earth. Help us to sing a hymn of love to the Lord, that echoes and re-echoes everywhere in our lives. Amen. (Joseph Kentenich)

 

 

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Fourth Monday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 22/12/2014

A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham… and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ. (Matthew 1:1,16)

If it’s true that each one of us is the “result” of God’s plan, it must also be true that Mary is the “most perfect result”, in fact the “masterpiece” of God’s love, wisdom, and power. In a unique way she is the “new creation” (2 Corinthians 5:17), that St Paul spoke about. She is the Woman who has “the touch of paradise” – redeemed from original sin, full of life. Mary, as the first of the Lord’s disciples, can show us in her life and faith what it means to follow Jesus. What are the experiences in Mary’s life than can give us strength on our journey? What gift could we ask for to help us prepare our hearts for Christmas?

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Fourth Sunday of Advent with Fr Kentenich


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 21/12/2014

And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49)

Advent is that special season when we long for Jesus to take on form in us. Mary’s mission is to care that this really happens. She is the “masterpiece” of God’s creation, she is the “mirror of hope”, she is the “Advent dawn” that leads us securely to the true light of the world, Jesus Christ. During the days of Advent we always celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception (on 8th December). She shows us, and gives witness to, what grace can do in someone’s life. When we look at her, we can understand what the Lord also wants to achieve in us – the fully redeemed Christian person. She is a sign of the Lord’s light; we can be signs of light as well. She is a sign of the Lord’s peace; we too can spread peace, and dispel unrest and anxiety. Mary is a sign of the Lord’s victory; we too can be “success stories” of grace, and not necessarily some kind of “failure”. Mary, the Dawn, gives witness in her life to the three elements that nourish our Advent hope: Longing for the Lord, trusting in the Lord, and working with the Lord. Let’s look at each in turn. They can be an inspiration and help to us… (more…)

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Five Messages of Pope Francis to Schoenstatt


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 31/10/2014

First Message: Support the family and defend marriage – both of which have never before been attacked as they are today. This was Pope Francis’ reflection to the Schoenstatt Apostolic Movement whom he received in Paul VI Hall on October 25th, on the occasion of the centenary of its foundation of the Movement in October 1914 by Father Joseph Kentenich. The meeting, in which some 7,500 people took part, was animated by a conversation between the Pope and those present, and by testimonies and videos of the community, spouses, families and young people from some fifty countries. The Holy Father continued: “That the family is hit, that the family is knocked and that the family is debased as [how can this be] a way of association … Can everything be called a family? How many families are divided, how many marriages are broken, how much relativism there is in the concept of the Sacrament of Marriage. At present, from a sociological point of view and from the point of view of human values, as well as, in fact, of the Catholic Sacrament, of the Christian Sacrament, there is a crisis of the family, a crisis because it is hit from all sides and left very wounded!.. We are witnessing”, he notes, the “reduction of the Sacrament to a rite… the Sacrament is made a social event… [but] the social [dimension] covers the fundamental thing, which is union with God… What they are proposing is not marriage, it is an association, but it is not marriage! It is necessary to say things very clearly and we must say this! The pastoral helps, but in this alone it is necessary that it be ‘body to body.’ Therefore support, and this also means to waste time. The great teacher of wasting time is Jesus! He wasted time to support, to have consciences mature, to heal wounds, to teach. To support is to journey together.” Connected with this, the Holy Father expressed concern that engaged couples engage in a profound preparation for marriage, have support, and understand the meaning of “forever” which today is disputed by the “culture of the provisional.” He urged them not to be scandalized by what happens, “family tragedies, the destruction of families, the children” who suffer because of their parents’ disagreements, but also [because of] the new [forms] of living together. “They are new forms, totally destructive and limiting of the grandeur of the love of matrimony. There are so many [persons] living together, and separations and divorces: therefore, the key to know how to help is ‘body to body,’ supporting and not engaging in proselytism, because this does not lead to any result: to support with patience.” In front of the symbols of Schoenstatt’s spirituality — the Cross of the mission, linked to the Movement’s strong missionary impulse, and the image of the Pilgrim Virgin and then the reading of the Gospel on the Visitation, with the meeting between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth — those present asked the Pope about his “great love for the Virgin” and his “way of seeing the missionary role” of Our Lady. (more…)

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Covenant of Love Day in Brasil – Not just World Cup


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 02/07/2014

Geraldo Alckmin, the Governor of the State of São Paulo, has officially instituted October 18th of every year beginning in 2014, as a commemorative date as the Covenant of Love Day.  Therefore, Law N° 15.462 is published in the official calendar of the State of São Paulo as “Covenant of Love Day”. “The Covenant of Love Day was established and it will be celebrated annually on October 18th in the State of São Paulo”.  This is the published text of Law 15462 in the Official Journal of the State, on June 20th, signed by Governor Geraldo Alckmin. In her report, Rita Passos, the state representative, justifies the influence of the Schoenstatt Movement in the Brasilian culture through the thousands of families who receive the visit of the Schoenstatt Picture of Mary, the Pilgrim Mother. The Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign has brought forth “true missionaries, an authentic campaign of evangelization integrated to the objectives and projects of the diocese and the Brazilian National Conference of Bishops – CNBB”. Moreover, she mentions the influence of the Schoenstatt Shrine in Atibaia, which is a centre of pilgrimage and of prayer and considered a holy place, visited by thousands of people who come to express gratitude, to ask for graces or simply to learn about it, since it is about a place “where it is good to be”. The favourable votes of the other representatives and the approval of the governor are the recognition of the reality that was presented:  the very positive influence of the Covenant of Love, that will be one hundred years old, is part of the Brasilian culture. In this way a commemorative date is added to the entire state that accommodates more than 21% of the total population of Brazil, more than 43.6 million people. The celebration of this date is an important contribution for the present and the future, the Covenant of Love exercises an important influence in the history and in the culture of all Brazil. It is worthwhile to recall that in some cities this date is already officially celebrated by public agencies, such as in Londrina for this year 2014, and the city of Confins, which has introduced a Public Holiday on October 18th, because of the influence of the Schoenstatt Covenant of Love among its population. [From Sister M. Nilza P. da Silva]

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A Mother’s Crown


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 28/05/2014

Heaven lit up with a mighty presence, as the Angels all looked down. Today the Lord was placing the jewels into my mother’s crown. He held up a golden crown, as my darling mother looked on. He said in His gentle voice, ‘I will now explain each one.’ “The first gem,’ He said, ‘is a Ruby, and it’s for endurance alone, for all the nights you waited up for your children to come home.’ ‘For all the nights by their bedside, you stayed till the fever went down. For nursing every little wound, I add this ruby to your crown.’ ‘An emerald, I’ll place by the ruby, for leading your child in the right way. For teaching them the lessons,That made them who they are today.’ ‘For always being right there, through all life’s important events. I give you a sapphire stone, for the time and love you spent.’‘For untying the strings that held them, when they grew up and left home. I give you this one for courage.’ Then the Lord added a garnet stone. ‘I’ll place a stone of amethyst,’ He said. ‘For all the times you spent on your knees, when you asked if I’d take care of your children, and then for having faith in Me.’ ‘I have a pearl for every little sacrifice that you made without them knowing. For all the times you went without, to keep them happy, healthy and growing.’ ‘And last of all I have a diamond, the greatest one of all, for sharing unconditional love whether they were big or small.’‘It was your love that helped them grow Feeling safe and happy and proud A love so strong and pure It could shift the darkest cloud.’ After the Lord placed the last jewel in, He said, ‘Your crown is now complete, You’ve earned your place in Heaven – With your children at your feet.’

 

 

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Mary and the Month of May


by Fr Duncan McVicar on 11/05/2014

The month of May is the “month which the People of God  has especially dedicated to Our Blessed Lady,” and it is the occasion for a “moving tribute of faith and love which Catholics in every part of the world [pay] to the Queen of Heaven. During this month Christians, both in church and in the privacy of the home, offer up to Mary from their hearts an especially fervent and loving homage of prayer and veneration. In this month, too, the benefits of God’s mercy come down to us from her throne in greater abundance” (Paul VI: Encyclical on the Month of May, no. 1). This special custom of dedicating the month of May to the Blessed Virgin arose at the end of the 13th century. The Blessed Virgin Mary is the Mother of the Church and therefore the example, as well as the guide and inspiration, of everyone who, in and through the Church, seeks to be a servant of God. The Holy Spirit, as Pope Leo XIII reminded us, is the soul of the Church: All the activity and service of the members of the Church, beginning with the supreme participation of the Blessed Mother in the work of the Church, is vivified by the Holy Spirit as the body, in all its activities, is vivified by its soul. The Holy Spirit is the Paraclete, Advocate, and Comforter which Christ Himself sent to be our consolation in the sorrowful mysteries of life, our source of moderation in the joyful mysteries of life, our added principle of exaltation in the glorious mysteries of life. So He was for the Blessed Mother; so also He is for the least of us; so also He is for the rest of the Church, even for those who are its unconscious but conscientious members. Wherever there is faith there is the example of Mary, because she lived by faith as the Scriptures remind us.

Hail Mary, Mother of the Church and Queen of the Family. We honour you and come before your Picture of Grace to place upon it this precious Crown. We crown you in thanksgiving for everything that you have given to us in your motherly care and protection. Accept the Crown, which God has prepared for you from all eternity. Accept the Crown, as a sign of our love. Accept the Crown and give us many graces for the renewal of our Church and society. Accept the Crown and make every family a sanctuary of peace and love. Accept the Crown and call the youth of today to follow your Son. Accept the Crown, Mother and Queen, and teach us to love and serve our Saviour, Jesus Christ, in all things. Accept the Crown and pray for us in all our needs and petitions. Amen.

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