|Holy Spirit: Spouse of Mary - Session 1
"You, O Mary, are the young plant that produced the fragrant flower of the Word, only begotten of God because you were the fertile land that was
sown with His word." - St. Catherine of Siena
"At the mention of this name, the angels rejoice and the devils tremble; through this invocation, sinners obtain grace and pardon." - St. Peter
Quote One directs our thoughts to the source of all grace, the Spouse, the Holy Spirit Who filled Mary when He overshadowed her and she
became the fertile soil.
Quote 2 directs our thoughts to the power that flowed from God through Mary because she is "holy and without blemish (Ephesians 5): she is the
"Panaghia" of the Orthodox Churches.
And finally, we now move directly to the teacher who will guide us in this session, St. Maximilian Kolbe.
"The Immaculate alone has from God the promise of victory over satan. She seeks souls that will consecrate themselves entirely to her, that will
become in her hands forceful instruments for the defeat of Satan and the spread of God's Kingdom."
Holy Spirit: Spouse of Mary - Session 2
What happens when we ask Mary to be our mother? She whispers to her Spouse and He overshadows us, pitches a tent around us...and the child
begins to resemble the mother just as the mother resembled the child."
Mary is the prototype of praying souls. Mary prayed ceaselessly because her desire for God was ceaseless. How deep is our desire for God? St.
Augustine teaches us
"… your desire is your prayer; if your desire is continuous then your prayer is continuous, because the Apostle did not say in vain: “pray constantly”
(1 Thess 5:17). Do we constantly pray on our knees, prostrate our bodies or raise our hands to obey the order to “pray constantly”? If that’s what
prayer means to us, then I think we cannot do it constantly. But there’s an interior prayer that goes on ceaselessly and that is desire. If you wish not
to interrupt your prayer, never cease to desire. Your ceaseless desire will be your ceaseless prayer.” (St Augustine, On the Psalms)
Mary's ceaseless prayer sanctified her state. She and her Spouse will teach us how to sanctify our state in life no matter what or where it is. They
will help us to bring it into submission to God's Holy Will. They will help us to allow it to become the instrument to reach eternity. And they will
teach us how to do all of this in love."
Holy Spirit: Spouse of Mary - Session 3
In his book Witness to Hope, Pope John Paul II teaches us that the ideal of sanctity has already been programmed in Mary. Mary gives us a profile
of what a disciple looks like. She was the ideal disciple before Christ was born so she shows us how the People of God should live.
So, how should we live in the model of Mary? St. Therese of Lisieux gives us five of the most beautiful jewels in the heart of Mary:
Her love for the Cross
Her thirst for souls,
and the diamond in the center:
“It is because she is, of all the saints, the most perfectly poor and the most perfectly hidden, the one who has absolutely nothing whatever that she
attempts to possess as her own, that she can most fully communicate to the rest of us the grace of the infinitely selfless God. And we will most truly
posses Him when we have emptied ourselves and become poor and hidden as she is, resembling Him by resembling her. All our sanctity depends
on her maternal love. The ones she desires to share the joy of her own poverty and simplicity, the ones whom she wills to be hidden as she is
hidden, are the ones who share her closeness to God” – Thomas Merton, Understanding Catholic Devotion to Mary
|The Beckoning – Week One
Prayer is the desire to seek God, to pursue Him. This very desire itself is from God … so, in seeking Him,
our desire means we have already found Him.
Prayer is a major threat to satan. In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul tells us that prayer reveals the
works of satan. The Father told Catherine of Siena that prayer unwinds the bandages of self-love.
St. Teresa of Avila reminds us that when we invite God to take up lodging in us He will always pay us
generously for sharing our roof with Him.
“How can we doubt that he will work miracles within us since He is in our home? His majesty never offers
too little payment for His lodging if we treat Him well.” Way of Perfection, pg 224
The Beckoning – Week Two
Last week we talked about being drawn into the silence of our souls through prayer – the place where God dwells. Seeking silence is not about
seeking an absence of noise. It about seeking the PRESENCE of the Holy One within. To do this, to enter this interior silence, we spoke about
going into solitude with God.
Going into solitude is not the same as being in isolation, Isolation brings withdrawal and sadness. These are feelings that happen when we are
lonely. Going into solitude with God means that we will have contact with Another. When we step out of our little desert, our solitude with God, we
will be RESTORED. One effect of this is that our minds to go into wonder when we attend Mass and hear the language of this beautiful Sacrifice.
We will no longer be spectators, we will be participants.
The Beckoning – Week Three
We are now at the midway point of our retreat. We move tonight with courage towards the all-important last Wednesday of our retreat before Holy
Week and Easter when we will be silenced …
WITH SHOCK AND AWE…
at the revelations that we will now examine as we begin to look at the Source and Summit of our Catholic lives –
the Most Holy Eucharist.
To prepare us, we look this evening at the Beatitudes which are a call to become the anawim of God. In order to make us His anawim, God will
use every circumstance in our daily lives to get our attention, to make us trust in Him alone. He allows us to learn hard lessons if we are His pre-
destined ones, His children. He allows us to go into a sort of Spiritual boot camp. The circumstances which bring about trials cause us to ask:
What has God taught me from failure?
What has God taught me from lack of money?
What has God taught me from pain or sorrow or depression?
What has God taught me through waiting?
What has God taught me through illness?
What has God taught me from disappointment?
The Beckoning – Week Four
In Week One, we retreated to examine our weaponry in the battle to win souls, our own and others, for God. And our first week’s weapon was
PRAYER. In Week Two, we looked for a worthy companion to walk with us as we try every new day to respond to the beckoning from God. And our
eyes turned to Mary, the beloved daughter of the Eternal father, the admirable Mother of the Son and the Faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit. This
woman, who is the world of God, will teach us how to empty ourselves. In Week Three, we sought a roadmap for direction on the journey and we
found the Beatitudes.
Tonight, we will pick up a tool that was given by Our Lady to St. Dominic and which gives us strength in responding to the power of the Call. The
tool is the Rosary. Tonight, we will use the Luminous Mysteries to enter into Mental Prayer guided by the Holy Spirit.
The Beckoning -Week Five
And when your heart resembles Mine, when you are drawn to prayer and come to Me, when you empty yourself of sinfulness, when you find Me in
the silence and humbly listen to Me, when you allow yourself to be used and used up for Me, and be broken like Me so that others may live, when
you unite yourself to Me in the Eucharist, THEN …
bear you on the breath of Dawn,
make you to shine like the sun…