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It was necessary, in God's sight, that the Virgin Mary be conceived Immaculate - free from Original Sin, and then from personal sin, so that at her consent she could be a fit mother for the Son of God, as she taught and guided Him in His childhood, developing His human faculties.
We adore God, and honour Mary, at every Mass. Our Blessed Lady was conceived Immaculate by a special privilege; and after fulfilling God's arduous plan for her life on earth, she reigns as Immaculate Queen in Heaven, at the heart of the Most Blessed Trinity, close to her son, and with all the Company of the Blessed.
God wants each of us to realise that the Blessed Virgin Mary is not just an historical figure, or a person pictured in our Christmas cards, but is a living woman: a great Saint: the Mother of Jesus Christ. She reigns in Heaven with Him, and reaches out to help us by her powerful and loving intercessions.
If we look beyond our Christmas decorations towards the Heavens, it can remind us of the gap between human beings and the Godhead: a gap we could not bridge through our own strength, which is why Christ came down to earth, and was born of Mary: to rescue us from weakness and sin. He founded a Church, so that by His power, given in the sacraments, we can be made holy, worthy of union with the Blessed Trinity and of Heaven.
From the crib, the infant Jesus saw only shadowy figures around Him. He lay helpless, in His humanity, as His Mother smiled upon Him, and Saint Joseph gave a protective presence. We need to ask ourselves: how would I have approached Jesus in His lifetime in His infancy, His teaching ministry or His Passion. How do I treat people today? The measure of our love for other people, in God's sight, is counted as the measure of our love for Jesus.
If the evil one wishes to cause distress, he will attempt any number of ploys, whether spiritual assaults to cause fear, or false visions, or a flurry of images to annoy the soul during prayer, or new and vigorous temptations to sin, or other trials. Trust in God is essential, and holy water is very helpful, as is the Name of Jesus - and Our Lady's prayers.
Although God allowed sinful men, whom He justified, to guide and lead His People, He wants to teach all the peoples of the world through the truth spoken by His own Son, on earth, hence the Incarnation and Birth of Jesus Christ. He was inevitably persecuted and killed, yet knowing and accepting this in advance. But death, a punishment for sin, could not hold the sinless one, or His sinless Virgin Mother. They are in Heaven now, encouraging us to persevere is truth and holiness.
As we pray for the Holy Souls we help them to move forward, closer to Heaven's light. It is as if they are in a queue, waiting their turn to meet Christ and His Mother Mary. We cannot see the Holy Souls, but if we could peep into Purgatory as if into a cellar beneath our world, we would see that they are safe, content to be in God's care, grateful for the prospect of Heaven.
Those Holy Souls whose time of Purification has nearly ended are like people who slowly ascend a great stairway, clad in their best garments, aware that they will have the privilege, very soon, of being announced to Royalty. The Holy Souls make no complaints, aware that at the top of the stairs they will be greeted by the King of Heaven, with joy, and by His Virgin Mother.
The ancient tower of Babel fell, because of the pride of its builder. But we have a tower which reaches to Heaven, so that our prayers can reach the Father, every time we pray. It is the Sinless Son of God, in Whose name we pray, who makes possible our climb up to the Father in prayer - as well as the holy Mother He kept sinless, who helps us by her intercessions.
The Divine Son of God crossed the vast gulf between Heaven and earth, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to take flesh, and be born of the Blessed Virgin Mary. After His Death and Resurrection He again crossed that gulf at His Ascension into Heaven, having promised that He would bring His faithful followers to Heaven, likewise; so the Spirit carries towards Heaven, all who die in a state of grace - though some pause for a while, in Purgatory, on their way to glory.
It was the Father's plan to give His Son to the world through Mary, the Blessed Virgin. Only because of her consent to the Father's plan - which would bring her tremendous suffering as well as joy - did Jesus come to our world: the God-man, to save us from our sins. She is still active, with Christ, as she prays for us, as our Mother.
God asks us all to adore His Son, and to honour Christ's holy Mother Mary. The Father gave His Son to us through the Blessed Virgin Mary. Only because of her self-gift to the Father's plan have we received Jesus Christ as our Saviour, our Teacher, and our Friend, Really Present in the Holy Eucharist; and only because of Mary's love are we members of Christ's Mystical Body, being made ready to ascend to Heaven.
Our spiritual lives should be balanced, as we follow Christ. There are people who love to be busy with works of practical charity, yet who sit in judgement on people who show devotion to Christ and His Mother, and label them as 'Holy Joes'. The First Commandment is to love God, so a busy person who is kind but does not pray is failing in love; however, every prayerful person should desire, out of love for God, to keep the Second Commandment, and to love his neighbour. It is wrong to neglect prayer, or works of charity.
The Saints in Heaven are overjoyed that we love and serve God, and that we believe what the Church teaches about the Communion of Saints, and ask them to intercede for us. The Saints, who all love Christ and His Mother, are also full of joy on seeing us, too, honour the Blessed Virgin Mary, who gave us our Saviour, and who has appeared at Lourdes, to Saint Bernadette, asking us to pray and do penance.
Just as a tiny model of a dancer or a Princess turns around on top of a musical jewel box, Our Blessed Lady, Queen of Heaven, looks around her in awe and wonder, as she gazes, first at the men who generously come forward to accept her son's call to the Priesthood, and then, as she gazes at the priests who have persevered for love of Christ and are about to enter Heaven. She admires them all, but rejoices to see the second group receive the reward they deserve.
This is the truth: The Catholic Faith, as taught, for example, through the Maryvale Institute, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This is the Faith handed down through the centuries, in the unchanging Deposit of Faith, and not the distorted version so often presented to enquirers today.
There is a distorted or truncated version of the Catholic Faith which is widely taught today. It is the evil one who wants people to hear that they can disregard the sure teachings of the Church on sexual morality, neglect her devotions, down-play reverence towards the Holy Eucharist, ignore Christ's ever-Virgin Mother, and look upon the Pope as having no authority unless each of his acts delights all of the Bishops.
When a Catholic church is designed not to be the threshold of Heaven, for a holy people, who adore Christ Really Present in His Divine Glory, but as an architectural gem, of beautiful proportions but with no sign or symbol of Christian faith, it is unworthy of the name "House of God". The Faithful deserve to see reminders of the crucified Saviour and of His ever-virgin mother, and of the Angels, the glory of Heaven, and the Communion of Saints.
A call to the Sacred Priesthood is a call to a man, from the Most Blessed Trinity, to accept a way of life in a most exalted state, which no-one can deserve. This call is made in the presence of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and the Archangels; and loving service as another Christ, in this world, however arduous, will be followed by a glorious welcome in the next.
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