Pray Always

"Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you.
For every one that asketh, receiveth: and he that seeketh, findeth: and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened." -Matthew 7:7-8

“We ought always to pray.” –Luke 18:1

“Pray always” –Romans 12:12

Friday, September 4, 2015

Novena to the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary - Day 4

Day 4 – September 9 – Feast of Saint Gorgonius and Saint Peter Claver (USA)


Collect for the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Deus, in cuius passióne, secúndum Simeónis prophétiam, dulcíssimam ánimam gloriósæ Vírginis et Matris Maríæ dolóris gladius pertransívit: concéde propítius; ut, qui transfixiónem eius et passiónem venerándo recólimus, gloriósis méritis et précibus ómnium Sanctórum Cruci fidéliter astántium intercedéntibus, passiónis tuæ efféctum felícem consequámur: Qui vivis et regnas cum Deo Patre, in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O God, in Whose Passion the sword, according to the prophecy of blessed Simeon, pierced through the soul of Mary, the glorious Virgin and Mother, mercifully grant that we, who reverently commemorate her piercing through and her suffering, may, by the interceding glorious merits of all the saints faithfully standing by the Cross, obtain the abundant fruit of Your passion. Who livest and reignest with God the Father, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Collect for the Feast of Saint Gorgonius and Saint Peter Claver
Sanctus tuus, Domine, Gorgonius sua nos intercessione laetificet: et pia faciat solemnitate gaudere. Per Dóminum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum: qui tecum vivit et regnat in unitáte Spíritus Sancti Deus, per ómnia sǽcula sæculórum. Amen.

Deus, qui abréptos in servitútem Nigrítas, ad agnitiónem tui nóminis. vocatúrus, beátum Petrum mira in eis juvándis caritáte et patiéntia roborásti: ejus nobis intercessióne concéde; ut, quæ Jesu Christi sunt quæréntes, próximos ópere et veritáte diligámus. Per eúmdem Dominum Jesum Christum, Filium Tuum, Qui Tecum vivit et regnat in unitate Spiritus Sancti, Deus, per omnia saecula saeculorum. Amen.
O Lord, may thine holy servant Gorgonius gladden us by his prayers, and make this his blessed Festival to be unto us indeed a day of rejoicing. Through Jesus Christ, thy Son our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.  Amen.

O God, Who, when about to call the enslaved negroes unto the knowledge of Thy name, didst strengthen blessed Peter with a wondrous charity and patience for their help: grant, through his intercession, that we, seeking the things of Christ Jesus, may love our neighbors in deed and in truth. Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, one God Forever and ever.  Amen.

Excerpt from the Sequence Stabat Mater dolorósa
Pro peccátis suæ gentis
Vidit Iesum in torméntis
Et flagéllis súbditum.

Vidit suum dulcem
Natum Moriéndo desolátum,
Dum emísit spíritum.
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His spirit forth He sent.

Prayer by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri

Oh blessed Virgin, why art thou afflicted, seeking thy lost Son? Is it because thou dost not know where he is? But dost thou not know that he is in thy heart? Dost thou not see that he is feeding among the lilies? Thou thyself hast said it: "My beloved to me and I to him who feedeth among the lilies." These, thy humble, pure, and holy thoughts and affections, are all lilies, that invite the divine spouse to dwell with thee. Ah, Mary, dost thou sigh after Jesus, thou who lovest none but Jesus? Leave sighing to me and so many other sinners who do not love him, and who have lost him by offending him. My most amiable mother, if through my fault thy Son hast not yet returned to my soul, wilt thou obtain for me that I may find him. I know well that he allows himself to be found by all who seek him: The Lord is good to the soul that seeketh him: " Bonus est Dominus . . . animse quaerenti ilium." Make me to seek him as I ought to seek him. Thou art the gate through which all find Jesus; through the I too hope to find him.

Reading for Mediation-

Excerpt from the Discourse on the Third Dolor of Mary by Saint Alphonsus Maria de Ligouri

The Third Dolor - Of the loss of Jesus in the temple

In the second chapter of St. Luke we read that the blessed Virgin, being accustomed to visit the temple every year at the paschal season, with Joseph her spouse and Jesus, once went when he was about twelve years old, and Jesus remained in Jerusalem, though she was not aware of it for she thought he was in company with others. When she reached Nazareth she inquired for her Son, and not finding him there, she returned immediately to Jerusalem to seek him, but did not succeed until after three days. Now let us imagine what distress that afflicted mother must have experienced in those three days in which she was searching everywhere for her Son, with the spouse in the Canticles : "Have you seen him whom my soul loveth?" But she could hear no tidings of him. Oh, with how much greater tenderness must Mary, overcome with fatigue, and yet not having found her be loved Son, have repeated those words of Ruben, concerning his brother Joseph: The boy doth not appear, and whither shall I go? "Puer non comparet, et ego quo ibo ?" My Jesus doth not appear, and I know not what to do that I may find him; but where shall I go without my treasure? Weeping continually, she repeated during these three days with David: "My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily, Where is thy God ? Wherefore Pelbart with reason says, that during those nights the afflicted mother had no rest, but wept and prayed without ceasing to God, that he would enable her to find her Son. And, according to St. Bernard, often during that time did she repeat to her Son himself the words of the spouse: "Show me where thou feedest, where thou liest in the mid-day, lest I begin to wander. My Son, tell me where thou art, that I may no longer wander, seeking thee in vain.

Some writers assert, and not without reason, that this dolor was not only one of the greatest, but that it was the greatest and most painful of all. For in the first place, Mary in her other dolors had Jesus with her; she suffered when St. Simeon uttered the prophecy in the temple; she suffered in the flight to Egypt, but always with Jesus; but in this dolor she suffered at a distance from Jesus, without knowing where he was: "And the light of my eyes itself is not with me." Thus, with tears, she then exclaimed: Ah, the light of my eyes, my dear Jesus, is no more with me; he is far from me, I know not where he is! Origen says, that though the love which this holy mother bore her Son, she suffered more at this loss of Jesus than any martyr ever suffered at death. Ah, how long: were these three days for Mary! they appeared three ages. Very bitter days, for there was none to comfort her. And who, she exclaimed with Jeremias, who can console me if he who could console me is far from me? and therefore my eyes are not satisfied with weeping : "Therefore do I weep, and my eyes run down with water, because the comforter is far from me." And with Tobias she repeated: "What manner of joy shall be to me who sit in darkness, and see not the light of heaven?"

This sorrow of Mary ought, in the first place, to serve as a comfort to those souls who are desolate and do not enjoy the sweet presence they once enjoyed of their Lord. They may weep, but let them weep in peace, as Mary wept in the absence of her Son. Let them take courage, and not fear that on this account they have lost the divine favor, for God himself said to St. Theresa: "No one is lost without knowing it; and no one is deceived without wishing to be deceived." If the Lord departs from the sight of that soul who loves him, he does not therefore depart from the heart. He often hides himself that she may seek him with greater desire and love. But those who would find Jesus must seek him, not amid the delights and pleasures of the world, but amid crosses and mortifications, as Mary sought him: We sought thee sorrowing, as she said to her Son: "Dolentes quasrebamus te." Learn from Mary to seek Jesus, says Origen "Disce a Maria quaerere Jesum."

Prayers for each day.

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