On this Our Lady’s birthday, let us with all our hearts lift up our Holy Father Pope Francis to her and ask her to take him into her special care.
I see many of you are turning to go at the very mention of the name Pope Francis. Please stop a moment and hear me out…
Many of you have been wounded, frustrated, angered, scandalized and even driven to the depths of despair by this man who currently occupies the Seat of Peter. (Peter himself was but a man, with weaknesses too…) I hear your murmuring, your deprecations, your bubbling and frothing anger. I hear what you would say when I call him Holy Father and ask you to pray for him.
But now I ask you to stop a moment and reflect. Is this Christlike? On the night before He died, in that same supper room where He gave us the greatest of Sacraments, Christ commanded His disciples to love one another, saying, “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.” (Jn 13:35)
(Heh heh…and don’t forget, in the very next moment Christ predicts that Peter will deny him three
times. How great our Savior, who
knows our very weakness!)
We are now undergoing that greatest of tests, the Passion of
the Mystical Body, the Church. As our
Lord willingly submitted to His Passion, He loved and prayed for all those who
played a part in His suffering and death, from his betrayer to those who nailed
him to the cross, to the thieves who shared His fate. And we
must do the same.
And why especially today, of all days?
On this blessed feast of Our Lady’s Nativity, what do all mothers want of their children? That they should be obedient and patient, not unruly and contentious. She who steadfastly remained at the foot of her Son’s cross is the one to whom we should most naturally turn as her Son’s Mystical Body undergoes once more this frightful Passion. And in return for her aid, we must heed her voice. “Do whatever He tells you,” she instructed the stewards at Cana. So must we do.
And what does He tell us to do?
“But love ye your enemies: do good, and lend, hoping for nothing thereby: and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the sons of the Highest; for he is kind to the unthankful, and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35)
How can our Lord fail to hear and answer our prayers, if we–despite any natural disinclinations we might
feel for any reasons, justified or not–spend all our efforts on this
Birthday of Our Lady to offer her the beautiful gift of sacrificial love for
the person of our Holy Father Pope Francis?
For even if this cup of suffering may not pass from our lips,
how much better off shall we be in the eyes of Eternity, if with the help of
God’s Grace, we have done our utmost to be humble and obedient in loving to the
very end? Is this not the path our
If you say, “I am too wounded, I cannot,” I say to you: “…not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other: And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him. And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two.” (Mt 5: 39-41)
If you say, “I am too angry, I cannot,” I say to you: “…give place unto wrath, for it is written: Revenge is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord. But if thy enemy be hungry, give him to eat; if he thirst, give him to drink. For, doing this, thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head.” (Rom 12:19-20)
If you say, “How can I love one who hates everything I believe in?” I say to you: “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven…[therefore] let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Mt 5: 11-12, 16)
If we would be perfect, as our Heavenly Father is perfect;
if we would offer Our Lady a most perfect gift on this her Birthday; if we
would have the peace in our hearts that comes from God alone, I beseech of all
of you reading this now: please take a moment, right now, and pray the Litany
of Loreto for our Holy Father Pope Francis, and especially today and throughout
this week, turn your thoughts toward him with true Charity of heart for Christ’s
sake, and see what a difference this can make.
May God bless you.
Litany of Loreto
Lord have mercy…Christ have mercy…Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us…Christ graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven,
have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, …
God the Holy Spirit, …
Holy Trinity, one God, …
Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, …
Holy Virgin of virgins, …
Mother of Christ, …
Mother of the Church,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother most amiable,
Mother of good counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Saviour,
Mother of mercy,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Vessel of honour,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Tower of David,
Tower if ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the Covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comfort of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God…That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray:
Grant, we beseech thee, O Lord God, that we, your servants, may
enjoy perpetual health of mind and body; and by the intercession of the Blessed
Mary, ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sorrow, and obtain eternal
joy. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.