Holy Spirit, Jesus, & Mary, Lead us to God …GodMindfulness
A Forward to this Blog and Book, The Virgin Mary, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque and the Eucharist!
Spiritual PPE for the Soul!
Forward to Mary-to-Jesus Blog
I have reviewed and re-reviewed / edited posts re: the use of the word Prayer throughout this blog, to be careful not to imply that I Pray to Mary as an equal or in place of Jesus. This is being written on October 11, 2022, after 4 months of writing, and I have thought to be careful to not say that I Pray to Mary, and to Saints in place of Jesus. That is why I called this blog, Mary-to-Jesus, to emphasize that all my actions are starting with Mary but going to, directed to, Jesus. So my prayers might be directed to Mary to carry to Her Son. I started writing this blog almost 2 years following a NDE, where I was left aphasic and experienced a sense of total separation from this world. I believed I was dying and realized that at that moment there were not any more “do-overs”, but only what I have done. I thought that If I were truly dying, my body that is, then I wouldn’t have any clothes, possessions or my physical body. I also thought that the person I would be talking to would be Jesus, God and Holy Spirit. I did find myself talking to Mary and St. Catherine Laboure, and I suspect due to my strong devotion to both of them, and believe that is why, I leaned on them and was trusting in and /or seeking their protection. I remembered being calm, feeling very warm and knowing I was being carried by them. I still see in my mind the experience of my Life Flight, the horizon of lights, the line between the earth and sky, and a sort of tether to Mary and Jesus. One thing for sure is that I was having a conversation with all of them, although I have to admit, it was pretty much, I who did all the talking. I told them I was sorry for all my sins, and I loved them very much, and felt gratitude for their protection. I felt that my being, my essence was safe and was under their protection.
For me, as I hope you will see from my Blog, Prayer is talking to God, to Jesus, to the Holy Spirit, to Mary, to Catherine Laboure, as I have done my whole life, since Childhood, altar server, young adult and adult. I know what I know, and I can not and will not deny my experiences of a lifetime of praying, to Mary, Jesus, Saints and departed ones. I will not deny that I pray to Mary, the Saints and Jesus, and for many everyday people, as I say “God Bless You, Have a Blessed Day and Go with the Lord”…and believe people pray for me as well. Where I live, Catholics are a minority, and I fear to say things that non-Catholics would be critical of or ridiculed for. But from time to time, God reminds me that when He calls me again, I will be alone again, naked and with no possessions, and He will not ask me what ANYONE else thinks about who I pray to, but only what I have done, accomplished for Him. Being a Saint is a tall order, and I need all the help I can get. I know my Lord will not mind, if especially I bring His Mother, my Mother, along with me when I see Him face-to-face. I do not fear death, but I fear being alone, being separated, from God, the Angels, Saints, Mary and Joseph. I will continue to Pray to all these folks so we remain together, on the same team, and then I have no fear, and I feel the warmth of God, around me all the time!
In my usual manner, after perhaps the 10th search on this topic, I found a wonderful article that attempts to describe our relationship with Mary and the Saints, through Prayer, written by the Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, that I think is pretty good. But they would know more or better, if I could have taken them with me on my Life Flight, and in that tiny cabin, there was room for all them, including, Jesus and Mary and Catherine Laboure!
The Article by the Brooklyn Diocese is followed by additional reflections on St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, the Blessed Mother and Leanne Bowen’s Eucharist Drawing that I really L-O-V-E!
Reprinted from the Diocese of Brooklyn, NY
WHY PRAY TO MARY AND THE SAINTS WHEN I CAN GO STRAIGHT TO JESUS?
When a person is baptized they become part of the mystical body of Christ. A Christian is connected spiritually to other Christians through their baptism. Since Christianity is a communal faith we are suppose to help each other out spiritually as well as physically. The Bible actually tells Christians to pray for one another in James 5:16 “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” Praying for one another is powerful and the prayers of a righteous person are very powerful. What human, other then the God-Man Jesus, is more righteous then Mary? She is full of grace (Luke 1:28) and blessed among women (Luke 1:42). Mary is our mother; Jesus extended her motherhood to all humanity when he was on the cross (John 19:26-27). What good mother isn’t concerned with her children? Mary loves her children and prayers for her children.
Mary along with the other Saints have died and gone to heaven, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned with the Church on earth. The Church consists of the Christians on Earth (Church militant), Christians in purgatory (Church suffering) and the Christians in Heaven (Church Triumphant). Christians on Earth may be physically separated from Christians in heaven but we are all connected supernaturally in the Mystical Body of Christ. Christ has conquered death; what is more powerful? Death or the blood of Christ? To say that death has cut off the Christians in heaven from the Christians on Earth is assuming that death is more powerful then the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross.
The book of Revelation supports that humans and angels in Heaven are conscience of and pray for Christians on Earth. Revelation 8:3-4 reads “And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer; and he was given much incense to mingle with the prayers of all the saints upon the golden altar before the throne; and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints from the hand of the angel before God.” The above text clearly states that Angels in heaven are offering up the prayers of the Saints. Who are they praying for?
This scene from the book of Revelation takes place in Heaven; the angels and saints aren’t praying for the people in heaven, they don’t need prayers they have been saved and are with God in Heaven. They aren’t praying for people in hell because they are eternally damned, their prayers are useless. They must be praying for the Church on Earth and Purgatory; this would imply that angels and saints in heaven hear the prayers of the Church on Earth and intercede on their behalf. The Catholic Church, guided by the Holy Spirit, has always known and taught this from its start in AD 33 by Jesus Christ.
Many times non-Catholic Christians accuse Catholics of praying to the Saints and not going to Jesus. Catholics have always gone to Jesus. Every day at Mass millions of Catholics recite the Lord’s Prayer. If one listens closely during Mass, everything is asked “Through Christ our Lord”. Practicing Catholics have the most intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, greater then any Protestant Christian group; by Christ’s command we actually consume his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity at every Mass. Christ literally becomes part of us and strengthens us on our road to holiness and salvation. Protestants have communion services every so often but the bread and wine (or grape juice) is just a symbol of Christ’s body and Blood. The Catholic and Orthodox Churches are the only Churches that have the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist. What greater personal relationship can one have with Jesus then actually partaking in his Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity?
Just like Catholics who go directly to Jesus but also ask Mary and the Saints to pray for us, Protestants themselves ask for the prays of their: pastors, ministers, elders, family and friends. There is nothing wrong with this; James 5:16 says “The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects” and we are told to “pray for one another.” With this in mind, how greater are the prayers of Mary and Saints, particularly Mary, who is most blessed among women. All Christians should have an intimate relationship with Jesus but also be united with the other members of the Body of Christ in prayer. As said earlier death temporally separates Christians physically but death cannot separate those who have been baptized in Christ’s life, death and resurrection and live in Christ Jesus.
Mary’s Example of perseverance with suffering, patience, patient Mary was not just quiet and meek, but of strong willed DNA fortitude, persevered and all giving, not for Herself!
St. Margaret Mary Alacoque July 22, 1647 Verosvres, France- October 17, 1690, Pray-le-Monial, France
Margaret Mary Alacoque intended to become a nun. Alacoque was subjected to many trials to prove the genuineness of her vocation. She was admitted to wearing the religious habit on 25 August 1671, but was not allowed to make her religious profession on the same date of the following year, which would have been normal. A fellow novice described Margaret Mary as humble, simple and frank, but above all kind and patient. Finally, she was admitted to profession on 6 November 1672. It is said that she was assigned to the infirmary and was not very skillful at her tasks.
In this monastery Alacoque received several private revelations of the Sacred Heart, the first on 27 December 1673 and the final one 18 months later. The visions revealed to her the form of the devotion, the chief features being reception of Holy Communion on the first Friday of each month, Eucharistic adoration during a “Holy hour” on Thursdays, and the celebration of the Feast of the Sacred Heart. She stated that in her vision she was instructed to spend an hour every Thursday night to meditate on Jesus’ Agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. The Holy Hour practice later became widespread among Catholics.
On 27 December 1673, the feast of St. John, Margaret Mary said that Jesus had permitted her to rest her head upon his heart, and then disclosed to her the wonders of his love, telling her that he desired to make them known to all mankind and to diffuse the treasures of his goodness, and that he had chosen her for this work.
Initially discouraged in her efforts to follow the instruction she had received in her visions, Alacoque was eventually able to convince her superior, Mother de Saumaise, of the authenticity of her visions. She was unable, however, to convince a group of theologians of the validity of her apparitions, nor was she any more successful with many of the members of her own community, and suffered greatly at their hands. She eventually received the support of Claude de la Colombière, the community’s confessor for a time, who declared that the visions were genuine. In 1683, opposition in the community ended when Mother Melin was elected Superior and named Margaret Mary her assistant. She later became Novice Mistress, and saw the monastery observe the Feast of the Sacred Heart privately, beginning in 1686. Two years later, a chapel was built at Paray-le-Monial to honor the Sacred Heart.
In 1689, Alacoque received a private request from Jesus to urge the King of France, Louis XIV, to consecrate the nation to the Sacred Heart, so that he may be “triumphant over all the enemies of Holy Church.” Louis XIV, along with his successors, Louis XV & Louis XVI failed to consecrate the nation, and 100 years after Alcoque’s vision, Louis XVI was stripped of his power in 1789, during the events of the French Revolution.
Margaret Mary Alacoque died on 17 October 1690.
Eucharist is the most intimate encounter of our Souls with Jesus offering sustenance for our souls. Jesus is here right now, around me, with me, but when I encounter His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Eucharist, He transforms my human-ness to participate in His Human to Divine nature through His Love! As Catholics, we encounter Christ directly in the Eucharist, mostly through partaking in the Celebration of the Mass. My focus on the Eucharist assumes an increase in attendance at the Holy Mass, but emphasizes receiving the Eucharist as a highest priority. Further, even if we do not increase our attendance at Mass, once partaking, ‘How could we not receive the Eucharist, Jesus is there, waiting for us!
Jesus Christ acts as a bridge between humanity and divinity. His sacrifice is our continual connection to heaven itself. The point where Jesus touches earth burns with immense love for mankind. And as man elevates the host up towards heaven, the Holy Spirit drips divinity back into the chalice of our receptive hearts. Mary is also a chalice, she is a simple and humble cup who holds divinity within her. And once a chalice holds the blood of divinity, it can never be a normal cup again. We burn illuminated candles and our hearts burn within us as we gaze upon the heart of our Savior. And as the world embraces the sacrifice of their Ultimate Love, Mary’s mantle will wrap around us in an embrace of solace.
Original Drawing of the Eucharist, by Leanne Bowen, from her Etsy Shop!