I am sorry I have missed the last two days. I have been sick with pneumonia and just too weak to even open my laptop. It literally took the grace of the Lord to even pray daily. I am in no way well yet, but I feel a little stronger today, so I decided to “catch up” in a way. This month I have dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. My meditations will come from several Marian prayers, and the seven joys and sorrows of Mary. I have combined the first three meditations from the “Hail Mary” for todays meditation.
Today, Our SFO Region is having a ceremony for the Transitus of St. Francis. I am sorry I will not be present physically, but I will be with my brothers and sisters in Christ through my prayers as I lean heavily on the Lord’s Cross in my puny exhibit of suffering through this trial of health. Thank you Lord for allowing me to suffer with you and St. Francis while celebrating Yours, and St. Francis’ life.
Hail Mary, Full of grace! The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!
What profound statements are these two sentences! Let’s start with Hail Mary. Hail is a strong greeting; more of a tribute. A tribute from a messenger of God to a human being is impressive by itself, but then Gabriel says something that is impossible for humans normally; “Full of Grace.”
Not half-full or three-quarters full, but TOTALLY full of grace. What is “grace?” Grace is the love of God. So, Mary is full of God’s love, and thus there is no room for anything that is NOT love from God – namely sin or bad of any kind. This statement alone proves that Mary HAD to be without sin, including the mark of original sin. Mary is in essence, the new Eve, for the new covenant coming with Jesus!
Elizabeth had it right when she said, “Blessed are YOU, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus!” Mary should be venerated (Not worshipped). She brought Jesus into this world. She cared for, nurtured, and suffered along with her son, for OUR sake. And, she did it without understanding; but with total abandonment of self and in total obedience to God. Would any of us do the same if asked?
What a Woman! What a Lady! What a Role Model! What a Mother!
Pax et Bonum,
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: Saint John of Dukla
Saint John of Dukla was a Franciscan Conventual in 1440. He was a priest and a good preacher in Ukraine, Moldavia and Belarus. Often a local superior, and once led the Franciscan custody headquartered in Lvív, Ukraine. In 1463 he joined the Observants (OFM) who observed their Rule very strictly. He reached a high level of asceticism and was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Despite blindness at age 70, he continued his ministry as a preacher and confessor.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)