Interview with Sr Jackie Jean-Marie Gitonga, FSP

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-uie7c-b6f728

It is a joy to share with you this week an interview with Sr Jackie Jean-Marie Gitonga who made her perpetual profession in her home town in Kenya. She shares with us the cultural high points and the profoundly personal reflections of professing her vows as a Daughter of St Paul for all her life.

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

 

Interview with Sr Armanda Marie Detry, FSP

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tffqw-b6f734

It is always a joy to welcome a new sister into the community. Recently we had the joy of welcoming Sr Amanda Marie into the Daughters of St Paul. She made her profession at the end of June, 2019. We sat down with each other for a conversation in which she shares what it meant to her and some thoughtful advice for the rest of us.

 

An Invitation: to become a part of my HeartWork community!

Welcome to the HeartWork Community.

A blend of spiritual guidance, mentorship, and counselling, the HeartWork community is a place where you can ask the hard questions and find a path to a life that is free, fulfilling and fruitful.

Sometimes we can’t touch the sunrise within us because we are numb from the effort to keep pushing through the wounding of present or past situations and events in our life. But at a certain point, we can’t ignore our heart’s desire for more.

What is HeartWork
Here at the HeartWork Community we learn a simple and practical process of watchfulness “at the door of your heart” in the spirit of the Eastern Fathers, who teach that the process for healing the heart is through a patient and sacred watchfulness which gives rise to the deep experience of wonder that bubbles up from the heart.

For the past twenty years I’ve written about moving through our brokenness into the light of God. My best-selling title based on my own experience, Surviving Depression: A Catholic Approach, has been translated into 12 languages and is in its third edition. My newest book, Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, has just been released. For years I’ve offered HeartWork personally on an individual basis to whoever wants to pursue the hard questions in their own life and grow in an integrated spiritual-human formation. As much as that has helped people over the years, I realize that many more people could benefit from HeartWork if there were various ways a person could access the program. I so believe that HeartWork can help people that I want to make it available to as many as possible. That’s why I created the HeartWork community at http://pauline.org/heartwork.

I hope I’ll see you around.

Sign up for my letter (not a newsletter) and investigate my facebook group at: http://touchingthesunrise.com

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever”

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-6ccma-b650dc

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever” (Saint Thérèse).

The Salve Regina is right when it calls this world a “vale of tears.” From Mary Magdalene to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the saints have sought in the Sacred Heart of Jesus their solace along this painful path we call life. If you are looking for a friend who will be refuge and strength in your every need, these two great saints point you to the most Sacred Heart of the Master.

___

The Touching the Sunrise HeartWork Community is a place where you can ask your hard questions and walk with ever-growing strength to your heavenly homeland. We are all pilgrims on the way, but we don’t need to walk alone. 

The old adage is “you are the friends you keep.” We are an intentional group of pilgrims on the way to our eternal homeland, where our citizenship already is in heaven. In the HeartWork community we live in this “vale of tears” with a bit of heaven in our hearts. 

So if you have a hard question, I invite you to share it at Pauline.org/hardquestions. I’ll be posting answers to these questions every other week. Sometimes a shift in the way we’re thinking comes about with just a word or idea that’s Spirit-inspired just for you. Sometimes someone else’s question sparks an insight of your own. It is all good. The Spirit knows the best way to reach each one of us. 

As always you can find more support along the way at touchingthesunrise.com. 

You can find my Group on Facebook, sign up for my by-weekly letter Touching the Sunrise, or participate in the HeartWork community… So I hope I see you around! 

May the Spirit who has been poured out upon you, flood your spirit with a new and radiant Dawn. God bless

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever”

“I need a Heart…who will be my support forever” (Saint Thérèse).

The Salve Regina is right when it calls this world a “vale of tears.” From Mary Magdalene to Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, the saints have sought in the Sacred Heart of Jesus their solace along this painful path we call life. If you are looking for a friend who will be refuge and strength in your every need, these two great saints point you to the most Sacred Heart of the Master.

In the still-darkened dawn, Mary Magdalene made her way to the tomb in which her Master had been laid after being taken down from the cross. It was the third day since the beating of that great Heart ceased on the hill of Calvary. Did Magdalene have any tears left to shed? Any marks of grief not yet exhausted?

Unknown to her, God was coming to meet her there at the tomb. He veiled his glory, showing her first his face, before allowing her to hear once again her name upon his lips: Mary.

Like Mary Magdalene, we all want to see the face of God. It is a desire planted in us at our creation, for it is the final goal of our lives to see the glory of God, to surrender to the glory of God.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, in her poem “To the Sacred Heart of Jesus,” declares how, like Mary Magdalene, she wants to see God. She writes of her own search for him:

“I need a heart burning with tenderness,
Who will be my support forever,
Who loves everything in me, even my weakness…
And who never leaves me day or night.”

Little Thérèse, in words typical of her Little Way, does not consider the symbol of Christ’s Heart wounded by the lance, a picture with which we are so familiar. Instead, she opens up for us the reality of that Heart: “the loving Person of Jesus, his deep feelings, and the love that fills his Heart” (The Poetry of St Thérèse of Lisieux: The Complete Edition, ICS Publications). For her, Mary Magdalene is the woman who opens up to us the floodgates of tenderness from a Heart that has loved us as no other.

She cries out in her poem, as if she herself suddenly sees Jesus face to face who has come in answer to her call:

“You heard me, only Friend whom I love.
To ravish my heart, you became man.
You shed your blood, what a supreme mystery!…
And you still live for me on the Altar.”

John Henry Newman, convert, cardinal, and major figure in the Oxford Movement, whose canonization is expected to take place later this year, composed this prayer to the Sacred Heart that is found in his Meditations and Devotions. He reminds us where we can find the Master’s face today, where the Heart of Jesus still beats: at the altar. What joy that after we receive Jesus in communion, we can pray, “O make my heart beat with Thy Heart.”

O most Sacred, most loving Heart of Jesus, Thou art concealed in the Holy Eucharist, and Thou beatest for us still… I worship Thee with all my best love and awe, with my fervent affection, with my most subdued, most resolved will.

O my God, when Thou dost condescend to suffer me to receive Thee, to eat and drink Thee, and Thou for a while takest up Thy abode within me, O make my heart beat with Thy Heart.

Purify it of all that is earthly, all that is proud and sensual, all that is hard and cruel, of all perversity, of all disorder, of all deadness.

So fill it with Thee, that neither the events of the day nor the circumstances of the time may have power to ruffle it, but that in Thy love and Thy fear it may have peace. Amen. (Source: www.newmanfriendsinternational.org)

Jesus wants to replace our heart, with all its suffering and treacherous disorders, with his own Heart. The story of Saint Lutgarde has always inspired me. Born in the 13th century, Saint Lutgarde was a Cistercian mystic of Aywieres, Belgium. She was one of the great precursors of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Christ came to Lutgarde and offered her any gift of grace she desired. She asked for a better grasp of Latin, so that she might better understand the word of God and sing his praise. She thought this gift would help her love the Lord more. Christ granted her request and Lutgarde’s mind was flooded with the riches of psalms, antiphons, readings, and responsories. However, her painful emptiness persisted. She returned to Christ, asking to return his gift, and wondering if she might exchange it for another. “And for what would you exchange it?” Christ asked. “Lord,” said Lutgarde, “I would exchange it for your Heart.” Christ then reached into Lutgarde and, removing her heart, replaced it with his own, at the same time hiding her heart within his breast.

All we need to do is ask for this most precious of gifts. We may feel no different. We will still fall in our weakness. But with Saint Thérèse we need not fear our littleness. As she prays in her poem To The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus:

Ah! I know well, all our righteousness
Is worthless in your sight.
To give value to my sacrifices,
I want to cast them into your Divine Heart.
…I hide myself in your Sacred Heart, Jesus.
I do not fear, my virtue is You!…

Thérèse teaches us to not tremble before the history of our weakness and sin or before the power of Almighty God. Instead, she encourages us to dare to trust, to cast our works into Jesus’ Heart. Even this daring is an expression of her love, and it can be also an expression of our own.

I pray this prayer for you. Let us pray it for each other:

O Heart beating with love for us, help us find you, always waiting for us, to show us your face. Oh what joy it must give you to find us there before the Blessed Sacrament where your Heart beats still and your love pours forth on the sisters and brothers you so love!

When tears moisten our pillows and depression weighs down our spirits, lift us up by calling us by name, turning our eyes to your face.

Let us remember that even as we look for you, you have already come in search of us, eager to reveal to us that we are, with all our weaknesses, welcome in your Father’s embrace.

Take our hearts as your own, hearts so in need of purification and consolation, disordered in so many ways. Cast our hearts into the fire that burns in your own most Sacred Heart.

Plant within us, tender Master, your own Heart, that your fire burning within us might propel us to help, preserve, and nurture every living being, that we might run through the world sharing the glorious inheritance you have freely given us by rescuing us completely from the rule of darkness, cancelling our sins, and translating us into your kingdom forever (cf. Colossians 1: 5, 12-13).

I praise you now for all you are working in us, all you will accomplish in us, for the holiness you will bring about in each of us and all we love. Amen.

by Sr Kathryn J. Hermes, FSP

If you have enjoyed this article, please consider joining my private Facebook Group. Thank you.

 

Midlife Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-thh8z-b55e92

I have beautiful memories of devotion to the Sacred Heart when I was a child. Today in my fifties, however, after half-a-lifetime or more of relationships, problems, dreams, the joy of giving life and love to others, disillusionments, sorrows, my devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is very different. This program offers ways in which someone in their fifties lives their love for Jesus and their devotion to his most Sacred Heart.

Venerable Mother Thecla Merlo’s Secrets to Holiness

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-tmjt2-b4abae

“This year, with the grace of God, I want to grow in holiness. I want to become a great saint and I want to do this quickly! By myself I can do nothing, but with God I can do all things.”

Spiritual Notes 01.01.1927

Mother Thecla’s secrets for the spiritual journey include: Have great desires, be aware of your need for the Lord, yearn for the will of God,  remember heaven, open your heart to the world, take Mary as your guide, believe that God embraces your nothingness.

Mother Thecla is the Co-Foundress of the Daughters of St Paul. Mother Thecla Merlo was a contemplative in action; a simple soul who knew her place before God and with her fellow sisters

Her life was one of continuous adhesion to the will of God We know, however, peak moments which showed the spiritual evolution that was taking place.

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts

Maybe you never heard of Patreon before? Worried about whether you could find yourself around?

Patreon helps fund writers and artists by letting supporters become patrons. The artist sets goals: what they will do with the pledged money. And the patrons pledge a monthly amount–in our case: $2, $4, $8 or $22. You choose your contribution. In return, you get rewards – and lots of them!

I hope to see you around!

The Secret of Sanctity

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-qb2ts-b2942a

Look around you. Do you see Spirit-filled Christians? Do you see Catholics on fire for the Gospel? Men and women totally surrendered to God and living lives marked by the beatitudes: Blessed the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure of heart?

The event of Pentecost as it is recounted in the Acts of the Apostles gives us a clear indication of why we don’t see the Spirit transforming the earth.

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles was part of a long process of transformation for these twelve disciples of Jesus. The Master took these men from their professions as fishermen or tax collector, for example, and began a three-year process of helping them see that they could do nothing of themselves. Nothing. Peter’s betrayal of Jesus within just hours of his boast that he would die for him is a clear example of this. Peter learned, he had to learn, as we all have to learn, apart from Jesus we are nothing. We can do nothing. Without the Spirit of Jesus, no one of us can say Jesus is Lord.

This cuts against the grain. Today we all want to prove who we are, strut our stuff, even in the spiritual life. We humans think we can do at least part of it on our own and God can help us out with the rest….

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts

Maybe you never heard of Patreon before? Worried about whether you could find yourself around?

Patreon helps fund writers and artists by letting supporters become patrons. The artist sets goals: what they will do with the pledged money. And the patrons pledge a monthly amount–in our case: $2, $4, $8 or $22. You choose your contribution. In return, you get rewards – and lots of them!

I hope to see you around!

Bless and Do Not Curse: How Love Conquers Everything

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-iy8g7-b2941d

I love you. You know that. I’m sorry. You know you’re my dearest daughter.

The words were soothing, forgiving, as I rested a moment in my father’s hug. It had been a long week and a lot of work as we prepared their house to go on the market and my parents to move.

I love you. You know that.

All my failures rushed over me. I hadn’t been able that week to plaster over my own broken humanness with a schedule of prayer and community and work. Instead I saw me. In the raw. Tired. Unable to rise above the frustrations of the moment. The worry. The fatigue. The sleeplessness….

If you’re wondering if you could get some help along the spiritual path but aren’t really interested in committing to one-on-one spiritual accompaniment, you should check out my Patreon membership. 

If you want to explore more, from as little as $2 per month my valued Patreon friends develop their relationship with God through:

  • over 50+ audio and video programs and guides on spirituality and prayer,
  • my very popular Journalling Sheets created for each month
  • monthly HeartWork Exercise Guides
  • weekly new podcasts

What is impossible for us is possible for God

Look around you. Do you see Spirit-filled Christians? Do you see Catholics on fire for the Gospel? Men and women totally surrendered to God and living lives marked by the beatitudes: Blessed the poor in spirit, the meek, the pure of heart?

The event of Pentecost as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles gives us a clear indication of why we don’t see the Spirit transforming the earth.

The descent of the Holy Spirit on the apostles was part of a long process of transformation for these twelve disciples of Jesus. The Master took these men from their professions as fishermen or tax collector, for example, and began a three-year process of helping them see they could do nothing of themselves. Nothing. Peter’s betrayal of Jesus within just hours of his boast that he would die for him is a clear example of this. Peter learned, he had to learn, as we all have to learn, the truth: apart from Jesus we are nothing. We can do nothing. Without the Spirit of Jesus, no one of us can say Jesus is Lord.

This cuts against the grain. Today we all want to prove who we are, strut our stuff, even in the spiritual life. We humans think we can do at least part of it on our own and God can help us out with the rest.

It takes a long time to learn the first lesson: that salvation is not possible for us to achieve. And the second lesson is just as important: what is impossible to us is possible for God! Pentecost teaches us both lessons. The frightened apostle who gave way under the accusing glance of a maid in the High Priest’s garden after Jesus’ arrest, now stood before a crowd of 5000 boldly proclaiming that Jesus had died and risen. The difference? The Spirit now filled his heart after he’d learned the all-important lesson that he, by himself, could do nothing. He needed the divine omnipotence to work within him so he could delight in the law of God and do what God wills. God gives us the power to accomplish what his will desires.

If you have ever felt you couldn’t be virtuous, holy, or good, you are on the right road! Let yourself be led. When you are utterly helpless, God will come to work in you all that he desires of you.

Another word for this is “poor in spirit.” This is the first beatitude: “What happiness comes to you when you feel your spiritual poverty!” (Mt 5:3 TPT) The poor in spirit have only one remedy: trust in God. This total reliance upon God is the doorway to the Kingdom. Blessed are they who have surrendered to God and trust completely in him.

Isaiah the prophet proclaims:

“The oppressed and needy
search for water,
and there is none,
their tongue is parched with thirst.
I, Yahweh, shall answer them,
I, the God of Israel,
shall not abandon them.
I shall open up rivers on barren heights
and water-holes down in the ravines;
I shall turn the desert into a lake”… (Is 41:17-18 JB)

Imagine the Sahara desert being turned into a lake! It can’t turn itself into a lake gradually. It can’t do anything to become a lake. In fact, a lake is the exact opposite of a desert! But God can completely uproot the desert and plant in its place a body of water. And he wants to do so, because he will not abandon you.

In Peter’s complete failure, the Lord placed holiness and courage and power. It was the Lord’s work brought about by the coming of the Spirit.

So where are you failing?

What are you worrying about regarding your journey with the Lord?

What do your inner critics accuse you of?

Where are you hopelessly lost?

What are the attitudes and behaviors you can’t improve?

What are the addictions you can’t overcome?

Where are the prayers that are filled with distraction?

Who will save you? God will, through Jesus Christ.

So pray, “I can do nothing. God must and will do all. In prayer, in virtue, in love, in work, I believe the Spirit will work in me at every moment. Oh my God, teach me this! Show me what a God you are. How you place your omnipotence at the disposal of every child of yours. I count on you. My God, you are working out my life for me. You are making me holy. You are renewing the face of the earth. You are sending down on me your Spirit. You are refashioning me. You do all things.”

At the Last Supper Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to his followers. When he wants to give you the Holy Spirit, he will first bring you to the end of self, as he did Peter, and then he will flood your desert with the water of life and the fountain of the Spirit. Every moment you will receive this gift. Every moment you must depend on the Spirit. Every moment you must surrender yourself to receive from above what you cannot do on your own.

So you are called to be this Spirit-filled Christian! You are called to be the living witness of the Spirit’s power in the Church and the world!

Here is a short and powerful prayer you can say daily to surrender yourself completely to the Spirit’s guidance:

The Prayer to the Holy Spirit by Cardinal Mercier:

I am going to reveal to you the secret of sanctity and happiness. Every day for five minutes control your imagination and close your eyes to all the noises of the world in order to enter into yourself. Then, in the sanctuary of your baptized soul (which is the temple of the Holy Spirit) speak to that Divine Spirit, saying to Him:

O Holy Spirit, beloved of my soul, I adore You. Enlighten me, guide me, strengthen me, console me. Tell me what I should do; give me Your orders. I promise to submit myself to all that You desire of me and to accept all that You permit to happen to me. Let me only know Your Will.

If you do this, your life will flow along happily, serenely, and full of consolation, even in the midst of trials. Grace will be proportioned to the trial, giving you the strength to carry it and you will arrive at the Gate of Paradise, laden with merit. This submission to the Holy Spirit is the secret of sanctity.

When life breaks your heart: Mary is there

The long silent Holy Saturday…. Mary’s heart broke anew as she retraced in her memory every pain-filled step of her Son to Calvary, heard once more every gasp for breath, every word of his resounding in her soul… Mary was mother and mourned the limp body of her Son laid in her arms and then buried in the earth. Cast into the fire she waited, knelt before the Father, wept to wash away the pain.

On Holy Saturday I imagine Mary as the mother who in her humanness shared the misery of so many sorrowing mothers who worry for their children, who have life wrenched from their hands. Parents who see their children absorbed in evil or lost to the evil of another or swept away in accidents beyond their control.

We all can draw next to Mary when the night falls on our joy.

We can be sure she understands when our hearts break, when the desert sands swirl around us making us lose our way. When we fear for a loved one, and when we face our powerlessness to keep evil from affecting another, our powerlessness in the face of death.

With what tenderness must Jesus have approached his mother the morning of the resurrection. With a joy that for all its glory could never erase the wounds of the past two days. Both mother and Son forever would bear the agony of human hearts broken open on the edge of pain…the same that we all bear in some way in life. Mother. We call her mother. She is the one who knows. Who stands by us when we walk amid the flames.

40 days of quiet joy, almost learning to breathe again, to trust again, to invite the sun’s splashing splendor to surround the disciples nearest to Jesus and his mother. Mother and more, the Risen Master pulled Mary into the center of the tiny community he would leave behind as he returned to the Father, a community of “sons” assigned to her from the altar of the cross. She was not only his mother but theirs. And in the nine days which they spent locked in retreat in the Cenacle, she quietly took on a mother’s role of teacher and guide, listener, getting to know each of the apostles with their specific gifts and challenges, knowing them as fully and wisely as she knew her Son. Their souls an open book to her tender searching eyes, as she helped each become more a bearer of Jesus. She knew just the right word for each, teaching them to pray, to trust in the Spirit’s advent promised by Jesus. In those nine days they gathered around their Mother and Teacher.

When the Spirit fell upon the apostles and those in the Cenacle, she encouraged them to go forth bearing the message of her Son to the world. As a mother she remained in the background, praying for her “children,” encouraging, supporting, loving. She walks through history bringing us Jesus, the mission she received at the Annunciation and which she carried out through her life. She brought Jesus to Elizabeth, and John the Baptist leapt in her womb for joy. She presented Jesus to the shepherds and the magi, and they left filled rejoicing. She has appeared throughout the centuries around the globe, continuing to call us to live the Gospel and love her Son. And she speaks to us in the quiet of prayer, knowing our souls intimately…our every need, desire, struggle, pain.

On the Saturday before Pentecost, the Pauline Family celebrates the Feast of Mary who is the Mother, Teacher, and Queen of the Apostles. Blessed James Alberione, our Founder, wanted to go back to the very source of Marian devotion in the Church, and at the source of find Mary as Queen of Apostles.

Mary is an apostle because she gave Jesus to the world. As his mother and ours, she has a unique vocation and gave Jesus to us in a way that no one else ever could. As Alberione put it: “By nature Mary is essentially an apostle. She came to give Jesus, to bring life to souls, to be mediatrix and distributrix of grace. Mary came to bring us the Life—Christ. She is an apostle in the prophecies of the Old Testament, in life and in heaven.”

On the spiritual level, every baptized Christian is also called to bring Jesus to the world today. So Mary is our model for evangelization. She can help us become bearers of Jesus, teaching us to “put on” Christ in our mind, will, and heart so as to live and serve as true disciples. She loves, guides, and supports us just as she did with the first disciples and apostles of Jesus.

As Mary walked the road to Calvary and now the roads of the world, she has only one desire: that we know and love her Son, that we find grace and glory through obedience to him.

Today my heart ached to be able to hold a friend who was scared about the health of her parents, a friend several states away. I had to step back and remind myself that Mary understands this not-being-able-to-take-away-the-pain-of-another. I can stand in the fire with her at my side. There is a comfort to that. But my devotion to Mary as the Queen of Apostles means she helps me take one step further: she helps me find Jesus in this experience; to put on Jesus’ thoughts, words, behavior; to want what Jesus wants in this situation, and then to give Jesus to my friend through prayer, words, and love.

This Saturday, let us take again this magnificent prayer to Mary given us by John Paul II, drawing close to her in our every need, allowing her to be our mother, teacher and queen.

Hail Mary, poor and humble Woman,
Blessed by the Most High!
Virgin of hope, dawn of a new era,
We join in your song of praise,
to celebrate the Lord’s mercy,
to proclaim the coming of the Kingdom
and the full liberation of humanity.

Hail Mary, lowly handmaid of the Lord,
Glorious Mother of Christ!
Faithful Virgin, holy dwelling-place of the Word,
Teach us to persevere in listening to the Word,
and to be docile to the voice of the Spirit,
attentive to his promptings in the depths of our conscience
and to his manifestations in the events of history.

Hail Mary, Woman of sorrows,
Mother of the living!
Virgin spouse beneath the Cross, the new Eve,
Be our guide along the paths of the world.
Teach us to experience and to spread the love of Christ,
to stand with you before the innumerable crosses
on which your Son is still crucified.

Hail Mary, woman of faith,
First of the disciples!
Virgin Mother of the Church, help us always
to account for the hope that is in us,
with trust in human goodness and the Father’s love.
Teach us to build up the world beginning from within:
in the depths of silence and prayer,
in the joy of fraternal love,
in the unique fruitfulness of the Cross.

Holy Mary, Mother of believers,
[Mary, Mother, Teacher, and Queen of Apostles]
pray for us.

Amen.

August 15, 2004