A few days after the feast of St. John the Baptist on the summer solstice, we remember these two words: “I am the light of the world,” Jesus says, and “he must grow and I must diminish,” the forerunner said. In this holy hour, let us accompany Christ and say again: “Lord, be our light!”
On this 2nd of July, we evoke the great vision with which St Margaret Mary was graced on this day in the year 1688. At the time, it was the solemn day of the Visitation. She was adoring in front of the Blessed Sacrament, and she saw in the middle of a very high, spacious and beautiful place, the Sacred Heart of Jesus radiating like on a throne of fire… the Virgin Mary appeared to her as well as st Francis of Sales and st Claude la Colombière. « The Queen of Heaven, speaking to the nuns, spoke thus : « Come, my beloved daugthers, approach », and showing them the Divine Heart : « Here is this precious treasure which is revealed particularly to you by the tender love of my Son. » » During this vision, the Blessed Virgin Mary designated the Heart of her Divine Son as being the « Sun of justice », an allusion to the verses of the prophet Malachi which we quote now : « For you who obey me, my saving power will rise on you like the sun and bring healing like the sun’s rays » (Malachi 4). Let us also allow ourselves to be visited by these rays, which come to us through this « Eucharistic Sun », which is the Blessed Host exposed on the altar.
« The hour has now come for the Son of Man to receive great glory. I am telling you the truth : a grain of wheat remains no more than a single grain unless it is dropped into the ground and dies. If it does die, the it produces many grains. Those who love their own lives will lose it ; those who hate their own life in this world will keep it for life eternal. Whoever wants to serve me, must follow me so that my servant will be with me where I am. And my father will honour anyone who serves me. Now my heart is troubled – and what shall I say ? Shall I say, « Father, do not let this hour come upon me ! » But that is why I came – so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your Name ». Then a voice spoke from Heaven, « I have brought glory to it and I will do so again ». (John 12).
On this day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, let us hear what the carmelite martyr Edith Stein, Ste Elizabeth Benedict of the Cross (1891-1942) has to say. Prayer to the Virgin : « I stood with You today at the foot of the Cross, and I had the clear feeling as never before that, at the foot of the Cross, You have become our Mother. The faithfulness of a mother down here, so readily carries out the last wish of her Son ! But You, on top of this You were the handmaid of the Lord. The being and the life of God made man were etched completely in your being and in your life. And it is thus that You took His into your Heart. Through the blood of your heart, through your bitter sufferings, You have gained a new life for each of these souls. You know us all : with our wounds, our weaknesses ; You also know the heavenly splendour in which your Son desires to flood us in eternal brightness. » (Edith Stein)
Thursday July 23rd :
Today we celebrate st Bridget, who like Edith Stein is patron saint of Europe, let us meditate with her. « Remember the sufferings that you endured, especially at the time of your Holy Passion, as it had been decreed and ordered for all time in the Divine Thought… Through your anguish I implore you, O my Saviour, do not abandon me in the terrors and pains of death… I pray, O my Saviour, that you should fuel the desire of my heart to reach perfection in all that I undertake ; and to extinguish completely in me concupiescence of the flesh and the fire of worldly cravings… Through the faithful memory of your Passion, may the fruit of your suffering be renewed in my Soul, and may your Love grow each day , until I reach you who are the treasure of all the blessings, and all the joys which I beg you to give me, O most sweet Jesus, in eternal life. » (Bridget of Sweden)
In this vigil for the memory of st Ignatius of Loyola, the founding father of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), let us
evoke what st Margaret Mary experienced in the « supernatural » meeting with her future confessor (st Claude la Colombière, Jesuit) during a eucharistic celebration at the Visitation. Let the text of the Bull of canonisation of the saing of Paray give us the facts : « One day, when Father la Colombière was celebrating the holy sacrifice in the presence of the community (Visitation Sisters), he felt as though he was afire with an extraordinary favour towards his God. This state of mind was immediately revealed to Margaret, who as she received holy communion had the joy to see our Lord show her his Heart in the form of a burning furnace, which two other hearts approached to join it and be lost within it. A voice was saying to them : « It is thus that my pure love unites these three hearts for ever ». These were the hearts of Margaret Mary and Father la Colombière. » (Bull of canonisation)
36 Then Jesus came with them to an area called Gethsemane and told them, “Sit here while I go there to pray.” “
Jesus light of the world, teach us how to pray! We remain here awake with you; you stood aside praying the Father, grant us to turn to the father! Join all those who live this evening in agony, a Gethsemane, be their light!
37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons Jacques and John, and he began to feel sad and anxious. 38 He said to them, “My soul is sad to die from it. Stay here and stay with me. “
Jesus, light of the world, you called disciples to turn into light of the world. In this special hour we present to you the whole Church, the Pope and his shepherds who want to follow you, who are committed to you! Attract them to you and give them to conform their life to follow you so that they may become an offering to the Father for their brothers.
39 Going a little further, he fell to the ground praying, and said, “Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me! However, not like me, I want, but like you, you want. “
Jesus, light of the world, teach us the will of the Father. Strength us! Give us your spirit so that in our struggles and our despair, we do not stray from the will of the Father.
40 Then he returns to his disciples and finds them asleep; he said to Peter, “So you didn’t have the strength to stay with me for only an hour? 41 Watch and pray not to be tempted; the spirit is fiery, but the flesh is weak. “
Jesus, light of the world, awake all those who are asleep in the darkness of death, and come to save us! You who light up the darkness! Come and light up our nights! Jesus, be our light and transfigure our sorrows in joy!
42 Again he went away and prayed for the second time; he said: “My Father, if this cup cannot pass without my drinking it, let your will be done! “
Lord Jesus, light of the world, we pray for all the members of the body of Christ who cry with you: Father, may your will be done! We present to you the whole mystical body of the Church! As we adore you in your Eucharistic body: gather in your light all your children, make from us one body which glorifies the Father!
43 Returning to the disciples, he found them again asleep, for their eyes were heavy with sleep.
44 Leaving them, he walked away again and prayed for the third time, repeating the same words.
Jesus, light of the world: look at our country and our world who may be tempted to doze in an often deadly sleep! You formed Eve from Adam’s mysterious sleep. You prepared a New Covenant from Abraham’s mysterious sleep. From your mysterious sleep you begat the Church; reach all sleeping men and make of them standing men, ready to love with a heart similar to yours. We beg you.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Now you can sleep and rest.” Behold, it is near, the hour when the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.
46 Get up! Let’s go ! Now he’s close, the one who delivers me. “
Praise be to you, O Christ!
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