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Ecce Mater Dei




Our Blessed Mother


Hail Mary, full of grace.

The Lord is with thee.

Blessed art thou, among women,

And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, mother of God,

Pray for us sinners,

Now and at the hour of our death...

Amen...


Today we face a crossroad. With all the Christian Religions out there, it's difficult to be sure we are following the path the Lord is leading us to. It's difficult also, discerning which of our thoughts are our own and which are from God. However, it's usually a good sign, when we are drawn closer to our Father in Heaven. "What inspires us toward God, is of God, and what takes us away from God, is not of God".

Many years ago, I came to a crossroad. I was going to leave the Catholic faith, to join another religion. I was thirsting at the time, and praying for a sign from God to lead me. The people in this other church, were pressuring me for an answer, and they said they'd give me one month to make up my mind. Well, for one month I prayed hard, asking God to give me a sign as to what He wanted me to do. Up to that point, I was a devout Roman Catholic. I was married and had an infant son. I continued to pray for a sign, getting more desperate with my prayers, as the time was approaching fast when I'd have to give these people an answer.

On the Sunday before I was to meet with them, I went to Sunday mass as usual. My son was only two months old at the time, and after mass, I'd dart out the door of the church, to get home to my baby. This particular Sunday though, a woman who was standing behind me, started talking to me. As we spoke, a young gentleman approached us, and asked me to please forgive the intrusion, but he had to speak to me. He said that even though he didn't know me, he'd seen me in church, and for some unexplained reason the Lord was compelling him speak to me. He felt awkward approaching me, so he prayed for a sign that it was truly God's will that he approach me. He never had an opportunity to approach me before, because I'd dash out of the church so fast, so he asked God that if He really wanted this to happen, I'd for some reason stay, after mass was over. I was detained by the woman behind me, and so he approached me with the news that God wanted me to remain in the Catholic faith. That God knew that I was thirsting in my faith for more knowledge. (I graduated public schools and had no formal catholic education up to that point, except for catechisms for Holy Communion and Confirmation). He said that the Lord was leading him to tell me that I should start attending the weekly prayer meetings of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal. I told the young man that he had no idea just how glad I was that he acted out in faith. I told him about my prayers and that I was about to make the biggest mistake of my life. I told him that this had to be the sign I'd prayed for, and what a sign it was.

I went to my first prayer meeting that very Wednesday, and entered the church a little late. The people were all sitting around in a circle holding hands, with their eyes closed. Then they began speaking and singing in a strange language. I backed up against the wall, so as not to be seen. I thought, "this is a coven of witches, and they are going to sacrifice me, as a lamb being led to the slaughter". I ran out as fast as I could.

The following Sunday after mass, I ran into a dear priest who has since passed, God Bless his soul, and who brought Charismatic Renewal to our church, St. Irenaeus, in Philadelphia. His name was Father Summers, an angel; he approached me and asked me why I wasn't at the prayer meeting. I told him that I did go, but that I heard them chanting or something, and that it frightened me. He told me to go home and read "Acts" in the Bible. Well, I'm sorry to say that I didn't own a bible at that time. So, that Monday morning I went out to buy one, and promptly looked up "Acts". Acts 2:3; "Then they (the apostles), saw what looked like tongues of fire which spread out and touched each person there. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to talk in other languages. The Spirit enabled them to speak."

Well, I learned something, and from that moment on, I read the bible, and attend the weekly prayer meetings. We've attended many classes on bible study and theology. There were seminars and baptisms. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit. I learned my Catholic faith. I learned too, that it isn't a sin to love our Blessed Mother. That God chose her to be the mother of His Son. No matter what else you do believe, believe this: The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit would not be very pleased if you didn't love and respect the mother of Jesus Christ.

There was a time, when I was afraid to show my affection for the Blessed Mother. I was afraid that God would think I was worshipping her above Him. However, I know that I keep God first and foremost, that I adore Him above all else. Our Blessed Mother inspires us toward God. Remember, "what inspires us toward God, is of God..."

We forget, too often, that God has created the world, that He governs it and that our Mother is Queen not only of Heaven, but also of Earth. She does only what God wants her to do.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Eminent Prelate of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reminds us that Mary's primary exhortation, issued with maternal solicitude, is "Do whatever He tells you."

Don't be afraid to love our Blessed Mother...She loves you...Give her the love and respect she deserves...




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Ave Maria