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The Solemnity of The Annunciation of The Lord

3/25  The Annunciation in the Divine Will

THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE LORD – SOLEMNITY

 

The First Joyful Mystery of the Rosary.  Today the Church celebrates that day when the Archangel Gabriel requested Our Lady to be the Mother of God.  Mary accepts and declares Herself to be the handmaid of the Lord.

The Annunciation is one of the three most ancient Feasts of Our Lady.  The Feast probably dates from the Council of Ephesus in 431, when Our Lady was proclaimed the Mother of God.  This proclamation was because of a heresy which denied Mary’s Divine Motherhood.  It was also the Council of Ephesus which added the following words to the Hail Mary:  “Holy Mary Mother of God, pray focus sinners now and at the hour of our death, Amen.”

This Feast has been known by many names over the years, including:  “the Feast of the Incarnation,” “the beginning of the Redemption,” “the Conception of Christ” and “the Announcing of the Christ.”

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Day Nineteen – The Queen of Heaven in the Kingdom of the Divine Will.

… Now, child of my Heart, pay attention to Me (Blessed Mother) and listen: several days before the descent of the Eternal Word upon earth, I could see Heaven opened and the Sun of the Divine Word at Its doors, as though to look out for the one upon whom He was to take His flight, to render Himself Celestial Prisoner of one creature. Oh, how beautiful it was to see Him at the doors of Heaven, as though on the lookout to spy the fortunate creature who was to host her Creator! The Sacrosanct Trinity no longer looked at the earth as alien to It, because there was little Mary who, by possessing the Divine Will, had formed Its Divine Kingdom in which the Word could safely descend, as in His own residence, in which He would find Heaven and the many suns of the many acts of Divine Will done within my soul. The Divinity overflowed with love, and removing the mantle of Justice which It had worn with the creatures for so many centuries, It covered Itself with the mantle of infinite mercy, and decreed the descent of the Word… and It was now in the act of sounding the hour of fulfillment! At this sound, Heaven and earth were astounded, and all stood at attention, to be spectators of such a great excess of love, and a prodigy so unheard-of.

Your Mama felt ignited with love, and echoing the love of my Creator, I wanted to form one single sea of love, so that the Word might descend upon earth within it. My prayers were incessant, and while I was praying in my little room, an Angel came, sent from Heaven as messenger of the great King. He came before Me, and bowing, he hailed Me: “Hail, O Mary, our Queen; the Divine Fiat has filled You with grace. He has already pronounced His Fiat, for He wants to descend; He is just behind my shoulders, but He wants your Fiat to form the fulfillment of His Fiat.”

At such a great announcement, so much desired by Me – although I had never thought I was to be the chosen one – I was stupefied and I hesitated one instant. But the Angel of the Lord told Me: “Do not fear, our Queen, for You have found grace before God. You have conquered your Creator; therefore, to complete the victory – pronounce your Fiat.”

I pronounced my Fiat, and – oh, marvel! – the two Fiat fused together and the Divine Word descended into Me. My Fiat, which received the same value as the Divine Fiat, from the seed of my humanity, formed the tiny little Humanity which was to enclose the Word, and so the great prodigy of the Incarnation was accomplished.

Oh, power of the Supreme Fiat! You raised Me so high as to render Me powerful, to the point of being able to create within Me that Humanity which was to enclose the Eternal Word, Whom Heaven and earth could not contain! The Heavens were shaken, and all Creation assumed the attitude of feast. Exulting with joy, they peeked over the little house of Nazareth, to give homages and obsequies to the Creator made man; and in their mute language, they said: “Oh, prodigy of prodigies, which only a God could do! Immensity has become little, power has made itself powerless, His unreachable height has lowered itself deep into the abyss of the womb of a Virgin and, at the same time, He is little and immense, powerful and powerless, strong and weak!”

My dear child, you cannot comprehend what your Mama felt in the act of the Incarnation of the Word. All pressed upon Me and awaited my Fiat, I could say, omnipotent.

Now, dear child, listen to Me: how much you should take to your heart doing the Divine Will and living of It! My power still exists: let Me pronounce my Fiat over your soul. But in order to do this, I want your own. One alone cannot do true good; the greatest works are always done between two. God Himself did not want to do it by Himself, but wanted Me together with Him, to form the great prodigy of the Incarnation. In my Fiat and in His, the life of the Man-God was formed; the destiny of mankind was restored, Heaven was no longer closed, and all goods were enclosed between the two Fiat. Therefore, let us say together, “Fiat! Fiat!”, and my maternal love will enclose in you the life of the Divine Will.

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St. Padre Pio And Luisa

 LUISA SEES JESUS ON THE CROSS

                     

St. Padre Pio and Luisa

an excerpt from the book

LUISA PICCARRETA  collection of memories of the Servant of God

BERNARDINO GIUSEPPE BUCCI, O.F.M.

 

Blessed Padre Pio, Luisa Piccarreta and Rosaria Bucci

Luisa Piccarreta and Blessed Padre Pio of Pietrelcina knew one another for some time without ever having met, for Luisa was always confined to the bed where she sat, while Padre Pio was enclosed in the friary of the Capuchin Fathers of San Giovanni Rotondo.5

One question naturally arises, how did they come to know one another?

This is difficult to discover, yet one thing is certain, that the two did know and esteem one another.

My aunt recounts how Luisa would speak with respect and veneration of the blessed father, describing him as a “true man of God“, who still had great suffering to face for the good of souls.

In about 1930, a well-known figure arrived at Luisa’s house, sent personally by Padre Pio. He was Federico Abresch, a convert of Padre Pio. Federico spoke at length with Luisa. What they said we are not given to know; but one thing is certain. Federico Abresch became an apostle of the Divine Will and regularly visited Luisa, with whom he always had long conversations.

When his little son received his first communion from Padre Pio’s hands, he was also immediately taken to see Luisa who, according to the story, foretold that he would become a priest.

The small boy of that time is now a priest and works at the Congregation for Bishops in Rome; he is known by the name of Mgr. Pio Abresch.

When Luisa was condemned by the Holy Office and her works put on the Index, Padre Pio sent her this message though Federico Abresch: “Dear Luisa, saints serve for the good of souls, but their suffering knows no bounds“. At that time Padre Pio was also in very great difficulties.

Blessed Padre Pio sent many people to Luisa Piccarreta and would say to the people of Corato who went to San Giovanni Rotondo: “What have you come here for? You have Luisa, go to her“.

Padre Pio recommended to certain of his faithful (including Federico Abresch) that they open a spirituality center at San Giovanni Rotondo, inspired by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.

Miss Adriana Pallotti (a spiritual daughter of Padre Pio) is currently an heir to Padre Pio’s wishes. She has opened a House of the Divine Will at San Giovanni Rotondo, keeping alive the torch lit by Padre Pio with Federico Abresch. Miss Adriana Pallotti says that it was Blessed Padre Pio who encouraged her to spread Luisa Piccarreta’s spirituality in San Giovanni Rotondo and to help disseminate the Divine Will throughout the world, as Padre Pio desired.

Aunt Rosaria went regularly to San Giovanni Rotondo, especially after Luisa’s death. Padre Pio knew her very well, and when Luisa was still alive he would ask Aunt Rosaria when he saw her: “Rosa’, how is Luisa?“.

Aunt Rosaria would answer him: “She is well!“.

After Luisa’s death, Aunt Rosaria increased her visits to San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to receive enlightenment and advice from Padre Pio.

Aunt Rosaria was the one lamp that stayed alight to resolve Luisa Piccarreta’s case regarding the sentence of the Holy Office, visiting various ecclesiastical figures and, in addition, confronting the Congregation of the Holy Office. Once she managed – it is not known how – to enter the office of the Cardinal Prefect, Ottaviani, who heard her kindly and promised to take up the case.

Indeed, a few days later, Aunt Rosaria was summoned by Archbishop Addazi of Trani, who said to her: “Miss Rosaria, I do not know whether to reprimand you or to admire you for your courage. You have faced the guard dog of the Church, the great defender of the faith, without being bitten“.

The conclusion was that permission was obtained to move Luisa’s body from the cemetery to the Church of Santa Maria Greca.

Luisa said to my aunt: “You will be my witness” and one day Padre Pio told her point-blank in his Benevento dialect: “Rosa’, va nanz, va nanz ca Luisa iè gran e u munn sarà chin di Luisa” (Rosaria, go ahead, go ahead for Luisa is great and the world will be full of Luisa). My aunt often recounted this episode, but things were not going well: everything indicated that Luisa would soon be forgotten.

After the venerated Padre Pio’s death, my aunt said one day: “Padre Pio prophesied that Luisa would be known throughout the world“. And she repeated the phrase Padre Pio had said in his dialect.

I answered that there would be no easy solution to the case of Luisa Piccarreta Indeed nothing further was said of it in Corato either, and Padre Pio’s words could have been considered merely a comforting remark. But Aunt Rosaria retorted: “No! During my confession Padre Pio told me that Luisa is not a human factor, she is a work of God and he himself will make her emerge. The world will be astounded at her greatness; not many years will pass before this happens. The new millennium will see Luisa’s light“.

I was silent at this assertion and my aunt asked me: “But do you believe in Luisa?.

I answered her that I did.

Then she said to me: “Come to my house in a few days’ time, because I have something very important to tell you“.

It was during the 70s and Padre Pio had been dead for a several years.

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Testimonies About Luisa Piccarreta, Servant of God

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWncBMi181s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhTFkKTVZUM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOTaA0wf0yw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO2Ntb76MXc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DSnXHdcXQI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uE_xbNk0tbs

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooxr-_I8jlE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7PFObFnDZ0

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Our Divinization: O What A Deal!

Our  Divinization: O What a Deal!  http://fatherberg.com/2014/01/

Posted on  January 4, 2014 by  Padre

It turned a few heads at Mass on Christmas Day when in my homily, among other  things, I reiterated a line of Christology dating back to the Fathers of the  Church, often formulated as: “God became man, that man might become God.”

Man becoming God?  Really? To many ears in the congregation, it probably  sounded like a throwback to the New Age movement.

That just goes to show that this truth is as startling today as it was back  in the day of Irenaeus, or Athanasius or Leo the Great.

At First Vespers for the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God on January 1st,  the Church prays this antiphon that dates back to the fifth century A.D.:

O  marvelous exchange! Man’s Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We have  been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share our  humanity.

O marvelous exchange! In  Latin, it’s O Admirabile  Commercium, which in later  centuries was beautifully transformed into a five-part motet by Palestrina.                          

The late theologian Franz Josef van Beeck observes that the antiphon “alludes  to the condemnation, at the first Council of Constantinople (AD 381) of  Apollinarius’ denial of Christs’ human soul…[and] the strong emphasis on Mary  and her virginity strengthens the impression that the Latin text goes back to a  Greek original composed shortly after the Council of Ephesus” (God  Encountered, Vol. 1, 87).

The antiphon is echoed in the prayer which the priest says quietly as he  prepares the gifts at the altar at the offertory of the Mass: “By the mystery of  this water and wine may we come to share in the divinity of Christ who  humbled himself to share in our humanity.”

The “marvelous exchange” here referred to is something that would send the  Fathers of the Church practically into ecstasy—and it should have the same  effect on us.

It’s a truth that made St. Leo the Great famously exclaim, “O, Christian,  remember your dignity, and now that you share in God’s own nature, do not  return by sin to your former base condition.”   And says the great St.  Athanasius:

[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By  the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature.  . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are  divinized.

Divinized.

Yes, but not in some New Age  sense. The truth, rather, is that in Jesus, divine nature and human nature have  been intimately brought together; and this has cosmic consequences for us:   it means we can come to share in God’s own divinity.

And ‘O Marvelous Exchange’ has been a way of expressing our excitement about  that for nearly sixteen hundred years.   It’s an expression that  historically emerges from a context in which goods were exchanged by means of a  bartering system; ‘commercium’ is the root of our English word ‘commerce.’  Today, we might say, in more earthy language,  “O What a Deal!”  God  becomes man, so that we can become God-like!

As Catechism 460 puts it quoting both Irenaeus and Athanasius:

The Word became flesh to make us  “partakers of the divine  nature” (Cf. II Peter 1:4):  “For this is why the Word became man, and the Son of God became the Son of man:  so that man, by entering into communion with the Word and thus receiving divine  sonship, might become a son of God” (Irenaeus, Adversus haereses 3.19.1). “For the Son of God  became man so that we might become God” (Athanasius, De Incarnatione, 54.3).

And even St. Thomas Aquinas  does not shrink from an audacious formulation:  “The only-begotten Son of  God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he,  made man, might make men gods.”  He goes on to teach that the foretaste of  this divinization in our present state is the experience of sanctifying grace in  our lives which is itself, he explains, “nothing other than a kind of shared  impression of the divine nature” upon us.

The incarnation of the Son  of God does not only mean that God becomes humanly present, in the flesh, in  Jesus of Nazareth, but that he gives us a divine calling at our own creation,  and a capacitation through Baptism, one day, to attain a destiny that far  exceeds the possibilities of human nature considered in itself.  In heaven,  we will be fully who we  were meant to be from all  eternity, daughters and sons of God living in intimacy with Father, Son, and  Holy Spirit and in the joyful company of all the elect in the bliss of heavenly  union for all eternity—that is our “divinization.”  And  that is at the heart of the Good News  about Jesus, and Christmas. O, what a deal!

Imagine what 2014 could be  like… if we really let this truth sink  in. 

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St. Joseph’s Feast Day

         

St. Joseph 1

         

Feast day

 Saint Joseph’s Day

 

March 19, Saint Joseph’s Day, has been the principal feast day of Saint Joseph in Western Christianity,[50][51] since the tenth century, and is celebrated by Catholics, Anglicans, many Lutherans and other denominations.[52] In Eastern Orthodoxy, the feast day of Saint Joseph is celebrated on the First Sunday after the Nativity of Christ.

In 1870, Pope Pius IX declared Joseph patron of the universal Church and instituted another feast, with an octave, to be held in his honour on Wednesday in the second week after Easter. This was abolished by Pope Pius XII, when in 1955 he established the Feast of “St. Joseph the Worker”, to be celebrated on 1 May. This date counteracts May Day, a union, workers and socialists holiday and reflects Joseph’s status as what many Catholics and other Christians consider the “patron of workers” and “model of workers.” Catholic and other Christian teachings and stories about or relating to Joseph and the Holy Family frequently stress his patience, persistence, and hard work as admirable qualities which believers should adopt.

Pope John XXIII added the name of Joseph to the Canon of the Mass. The 19 March feast is a solemnity and is transferred to another date if impeded (for instance, if it falls on a Sunday within Lent). The 1 May celebration is an optional memorial, and so is omitted if impeded. (However, the 1 May celebration is 1st class in the Tridentine calendar, so in it St. Joseph the Worker was celebrated on 2 May in 2008 because 1 May was Ascension Thursday.)

 

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