Meditating Catholic Mass with Mary through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary 1

Here is what St. Peter Julian Eymard says about meditating the Mass from St. Peter Julian Eymard’s Holy Communion, the 2nd Volume of the Eymard Library, Method of Hearing Holy Mass by Meditating on the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ:

“For as often as you shall eat this Bread, and drink the Chalice, you shall show the death of the Lord until He come “(1 Cor 11:26)


“In order to hear Holy Mass with profit, meditate on the events of the Savior’s Passion which it so wonderfully renews.”

I have been attempting to meditate the Mass, but have gotten some resistance from others who insist that I should be following the Mass in the Missal. I believe they obtained this advice from another saint in the Catholic Church, Pope Pius X, who said that in order to hear Mass with profit, one should carefully pray the Mass from the Missal with the priest.

Since two separate methods have come down to us from two separate saints, I have concluded that either one is acceptable to God. And as I gravitate towards meditating the Mass, myself, and have added the presence of Mary with Jesus throughout, I share my own experience of this lesser known way to assist at Mass.

When Pope Pius XII wrote the encyclical “Mediator Dei,” he said that during the Mass, the congregation “can lovingly meditate on the mysteries of Jesus Christ or perform other exercises of piety or recite prayers which, though they differ from the sacred rites, are still essentially in harmony with them” (No. 108).

I’ve included the above quote and link in order to allay any fears regarding reciting the rosary at Mass, so that you would be free to follow my method if it is something that strikes your own heart and way to Jesus Christ at Mass.

  1. A little before Mass begins, I find Mary. Where is Mary? She is in the tabernacle with Jesus. She is continually guarding, loving, and worshiping Him. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. She loves Him so much forever. She is surrounding His Body with her womb. She never leaves Him: once the Mother of Jesus, always the Mother of Jesus. Blessed art thou among women and Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
  2. I talk at the tabernacle to her because she is in or around it. I give her my heart and ask her to give it to Jesus. Also, I make my petition for the Mass and ask her to pray my petition for me to Jesus Christ at the Consecration because it is the most powerful time in the world to petition, thank, praise, or ask forgiveness of God. Mary will bring my prayers to Jesus, but the prayers will be perfected by her and make Our Lord very happy.
  3. Then, I start saying the First Sorrowful Mystery of the rosary which is The Agony in the Garden. I begin just before the priest comes out. I usually envision going to the Garden of Gethsemane where there is a fence between Jesus and me. I think it is because it mirrors the Communion rail at the altar. Out of respect for this most sacred place, my subconscious mind erects a fence. I greet our sorrowful Savior, and He tells me to go to His Mother. I see her a ways off and run to her side where I kneel and lean up against her. I talk to Jesus through her. I ask her to say the things I would say to Him if I had her Immaculate Heart, so that I will please Him and not injure Him any further as He is in great anguish when I’m there. I envision Him sweating blood. Of course, it goes without saying that your own vision will be instructive and superior for you. Jesus reaches out to each one of us with all His Love with respect to individuality.
  4. I notice that the priest has started the Mass. He is saying the Confiteor, alternating the recitation of it with the altar boys. It says to me, because the priest is taking the place of Jesus, that he is taking on our sins in the garden. He is bowing to God for us. He is asking forgiveness of God for sins He has never committed, but they are His now because He has taken them upon Himself.
  5. The altar servers are attending Him and also saying the Confiteor. But their “I’m sorry” to God is not enough, and it needs Jesus’s I’m sorry to make it all right. The priest’s Confiteor is to make up what we, His apostles, lack; for although the Apostles were with Jesus in spirit that night, they were asleep in the flesh. “Could you not watch one hour with me?”
  6. It is true today as it was then. There is only so much and no more that we will all give to Christ Jesus unless He is the only one alive in you like He was with Mary. She was full of grace which means she was full to overflowing of God’s life in her. We are vessels that only do our duty to hold Jesus Christ within us, half-heartedly. I am put in mind of some of the names for Mary in The Litany of Loreto: Spiritual Vessel, pray for us. Vessel of honor, pray for us. Singular Vessel of Devotion, pray for us.
  7. The priest then recites the Introit at the right side of the altar and then recites the Kyrie Eleison in the center of the altar. It seems to me Jesus is taken from the Garden of Gethsemane on the right as the Introit is being recited. Introit means enter. He leaves the garden and enters into his public Passion. He is brought to the center as He was in life. He is asking God for mercy for us as he says the Kyrie Eleison.(to be continued)

Mother Mary, protectress of the United States – July 2 and 4

July 2nd is the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the Traditional Catholic Church. Independence day should have been July 2nd as Independence was voted in on that day. John Adams, our second president, even remarked that July 2nd would go down in history and would be marked with festivities and fireworks. However, although the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th was chosen as the country’s birthday, it is i interesting and comforting to note that Mary had her hand in the declaration of the United States as an independent country from the very beginning.

In fact, Mary’s mantle over the United States continues to be confirmed throughout US history. In 1792, Bishop John Carroll of Maryland made the first consecration to Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception. In 1846, US Bishops at the Sixth Provincial Council in Baltimore, Maryland, reaffirmed the choice of Mary as the patroness of The United States of America under the title of The Immaculate Conception. Later on, on November 19, 1959, Cardinal O’Boyle of Washington D.C. consecrated America to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Furthermore,, on November 11, 2006, the Bishops, gathering at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at noon, again consecrated our country to the Blessed Mother under the title of The Immaculate Conception. Finally, in light of the COVID 19 pandemic, on May 1st 2020, Archbishop Jose H Gomez effected a reconsecration to Our Lady for both Canada and the US.

Finally, for me personally and maybe for others, the Statue of Liberty, standing in the harbor of New York City, is highly representative of Mary standing guard at the portal of our nation. Even the inscription of the poem by Emma Lazarus is quintessential Mary:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Mother Mary of Exiles, pray for us!

Reflection – Feast Day – The Blessed Trinity – Our Lady of the Blessed Trinity? Yes. Mother of God? Yes. Mother of the Blessed Trinity? No.

This year the feast of the Blessed Trinity occurred on June 7, 2020. It so happened that my twins were baptized on the Feast of the Blessed Trinity entirely without my instigation some years ago, now. But before launching into that story, let me say what I know and have heard in the Catholic world from priests and the catechism about the Blessed Trinity and Mother Mary. There are 3 persons in 1 God. They are one God. Picture a 3 leaf clover. Other than that, it is a mystery to us. Each person, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, all contain the infinite virtues: almighty, all loving, eternal, all-knowing, all-present, among others. Is the Father God? Yes. Is the Son God? Yes. Is the Holy Ghost God? Yes. Are there three Gods? No. There are three persons in one God. Also, the title of Mother of God has its roots in the Counsel of Ephesus in 431 AD.  Although Mary was the Mother of Jesus and therefore bears the title, Mother of God; the title, Mother of the Trinity, implies that Mother Mary is the mother of God the Father and the Holy Ghost which is not true.

My twins were in the hospital in the ICU nursery. They were born premature. I was 42 years old at the time. I had a C-section. My daughter held the finger of the doctor before she was born. My son was born first, and he was almost 5 lbs. My daughter was born second, and she was almost 4 pounds. Before I conceived them, I agonized over whether to keep having children because my two previous children had also been born prematurely. They both had a stint in the ICU, but they were both fine!

I prayed a lot to Mary about it and was given a sign that I knew was saying that I should continue to have children. My mother-in-law bought a blanket for my baby boy, Joe. I opened it and it had two puppies on it. It said, “We are hopeful about the future.” The puppies were babies and they were hopeful, and I had that feeling. I knew God was speaking to me. However, I did not know I’d have twins. When I thought back on that sign, it was amazing to me that there were two puppies!

So, the twins were in the hospital. But they were both sound. The doctor kept them there for observation and to increase the weights of both babies, especially the weight of my daughter. So, I wasn’t alarmed that they may be near death or anything and would need Baptism right away. I guess I didn’t know enough about it. But there was a lady at church who heard about their birth somehow. I don’t know how because I don’t think I told anyone. She called me and insisted on their immediate baptism.

I was a little put off at the time. She insisted, and I was dealing with a lot. I didn’t really think it was her business, but I figured I ought to try and be humble and accept her help because maybe Mother Mary was behind the whole thing. She arranged everything for me and the priest came to the hospital on Trinity Sunday which was a great blessing that I would not have received had I not listened to this lady from church!

Furthermore, when we say the family rosary together, on the 5th glorious mystery which is The Crowning of the Blessed Virgin Mary as queen of Heaven, each member of the family says a title of Mary that they have chosen from among her many titles before each Hail Mary of the Hail Marys of this decade. My youngest daughter, one of the twins, says, Mother of the Blessed Trinity, pray for us. Although I’ve recently learned that’s wrong , I haven’t had the heart to correct her, yet. It’s the one she chose.

Marian Days – The Annunciation – March 25

Although I am unworthy and unable to write on the Annunciation with any authority, I will share my thoughts and what I’ve heard about this  magnificent feast day. It is the day that the Angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she was chosen by God to be the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Savior of the World. Mary said to Angel Gabriel :Fiat Mihi Secundum Verbum tuum or Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to Thy Word.

At the center of the Annunciation is Mary’s yes to God, and her yes became the fulcrum of the universe. It is the central point upon which we all depend. Without Mary’s yes to being the Mother of Jesus Christ, there would be no salvation for us. No Mass. No sacraments. No Catholic Church. No Enlightenment. There would be no Jesus;  He wouldn’t be with us. Mary didn’t know this when she said yes to God, she only knew to love Him with all her heart, mind, and soul, and do His Will at all times.

During her life, Mary’s “yes” didn’t look like it had meant much. She lived in poverty. When Our Lord Jesus Christ, her Son, came to manhood, He began to preach and wander the desert with some poor men devoid of any kind of status. It’s true that He performed  many miracles and left them in his wake, but He was crucified for it—the worst, humiliating death for bottom-of-the-barrel criminals. Yes, not only did her “yes” look like nothing, but she suffered indescribably for it at the foot the Cross of her dearest only Son. A Son who was perfect. A Son who was God.  It is not by accident that the Annunciation always lands in Lent. Her “yes” had its grave shadow.

Then, why should we say, “yes” to God if we will end up suffering for it? The answer is that God is protecting us and our connection with all of humanity  in so many ways beyond our understanding that it would be disastrous for us to do otherwise. He can see a catastrophe waiting to happen in the physical, mental,  and emotiona, and spiritual lives of people and how it connects to everyone else. He sometimes asks us to make sacrifices for our neighbors, but always to our ultimate good and never to our detriment.  Rest assured, even if we don’t do God’s Will, He will be bending over backwards to help us.

By way of analogy, I was watching Air Disasters which is a good series on Roku TV.  On one of the episodes, after an exhaustive investigation, the NTSB discovered what was one of the key factors in bringing down the plane that killed hundreds of people: a faulty screw. One screw that was not doing its job. Mary’s yes was the one piece at the center of the wheel of the universe. Without it  our universe would  have spun out of control. Despite what it looks like in your life, despite that it may not look like it means much, say “yes” to God. You could be the piece that saves hundreds of lives.

Reflection – Mary’s Love for Us

Here’s what St. Alphonsus says about Mother Mary :

“The sum total of the love of all mothers for their children can never equal the love Mary has for only one soul…How great our confidence in her! We know her power with God to gain us mercy.”

Our Lady said to St Bridget,

“I am the Queen of Heaven and the Mother of Mercy. I am the door that leads sinners to God. No sinner is deprived of my mercy. No one (except those already in hell) is so cast off by God that he will not return if he invokes my aid. I am the Mother of Mercy. A soul who could have invoked me and did not, will be miserable for all eternity.”

Let us go to Mary to be certain of our salvation. Let us remember that Mary is the Queen of Mercy. She helps even the most abandoned sinners who invoke her.

In heaven, these sinners are her crown. “You shall be delivered from the dens of lions” (Song 4:8)