Don’t neglect your spiritual reading. Reading has made many saints.”
St. Josemaría Escrivá
Truly I, your Mother, am here
From the traditional narrative called “Nican Mopohua” (16th century).
When he reached the top he saw a Lady standing there, who called him to herself. When he came close to her he was stunned with how beautiful she was: her clothes shone like the sun. Then the Virgin gave him her command: “Know, beloved son, that I am the immaculate ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who is the Origin of all life, who creates all things and keeps them in being, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. I greatly wish, I earnestly desire, that my house should be built in this very place. I will show him to you there and praise him as I show him, my Love and Compassion, my Help and Defence. For in truth I am your compassionate Mother, yours and of all who live together in this land and of any others who love me, seek me, and call on me with confidence and devotion. In that house I will listen to their weeping and their sadness, I will give them help in their troubles and a cure for their misfortunes. So that this desire of mine may be fulfilled, go to Mexico City, to the palace of the Bishop. Tell him that I have sent you to him to tell him how much I want a house to be built here for me, a church built here at the bottom of the hill.”
When Juan Diego arrived in the city he went immediately to the house of the Bishop, Juan Zumárraga, a Franciscan. But when the bishop heard what he had to say, he did not believe him completely and said “My son, come another time and I will listen to you then. Meanwhile I will consider what should be done about your wish and your desire.”
Another day he saw the Queen of Heaven coming down from where he had seen her. She came to meet him next to the hill, stopped him, and said “Listen, my beloved son, have no fear or anxiety in your heart. Do not try to do anything about your uncle’s grave illness or about any other trouble of yours. For am I not here with you, your mother? Are you not safe in the shadow of my protection? Am I not the source of your life and your happiness? Am I not holding you in my lap, wrapped in my arms? What else can you possibly need? Do not be upset or distressed. Climb again, my beloved son, to the summit of this hill, to the place where you saw me and heard me speak. You will find flowers growing there. Pick them and gather them and bring them down to me.”
Juan Diego came back down with the flowers he had picked. She looked at them, took them with her blessed hands and put them in his tilma, or cape. She told him: “Most beloved son, these flowers are the sign that you are to carry to the Bishop. You yourself are my messenger and I entrust myself to your faithfulness. I strictly command you not to unfold your tilma in front of anyone except the Bishop; but to him you should show what it is you are carrying. As you do so, tell him the story of how I asked you to climb to the top of the hill and pick the flowers there. Tell him everything you saw and marvelled at, so that he will believe you and undertake to build the church I wish for.”
Obedient to the command of the Queen of Heaven, he took the road to Mexico City. He went happily, confident that all would turn out well. Coming into the palace he prostrated himself before the Bishop and recounted all that he had seen and told him the errand on which he had been sent. “My Lord,” he said, “I have done as you asked. I went to my Lady, the Queen of Heaven, holy Mary, the Mother of God, and told her that you had asked for a sign so that you might believe me and build the church that the Virgin herself desires. I told her that I had given my word to bring you back some sign of her wishes. She heard what you had asked and accepted with good grace your request for some sign so that you could fulfil her will. Today, very early, she sent me back to see you.”
The whole city came running to see the holy image. They wondered at it, accepted it as the work of God and made prayers to him. And that day Juan Diego’s uncle, whom the Virgin had cured, told them in what way she should be revered and said that her image should be known as the ever-virgin Saint Mary of Guadalupe.
Credit: Divine Office: Office of Readings; 12 December, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe; https://divineoffice.org/welcome/ Information herein posted under the "rules of fair use" to foster education and discussion in accordance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith.”
cf. Hebrews 12:1-2
Where Peter is, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is Jesus Christ. Where Jesus Christ is, there is eternal salvation.”
Saint Ambrose (340-397 A.D.), Doctor of the Church
“From ancient times the Church has had the custom of celebrating each day the liturgy of the hours. In this way the Church fulfills the Lord’s precept to pray without ceasing, at once offering its praise to God the Father and interceding for the salvation of the world.” — Office of the Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the whole People of God. In it, Christ himself “continues his priestly work through his Church.” His members participate according to their own place in the Church and the circumstances of their lives. The laity, too, are encouraged to recite the divine office either with the priests, among themselves, or individually. The celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours demands not only harmonizing the voice with the praying heart, but also a deeper “understanding of the liturgy and of the Bible, especially of the Psalms.” The hymns and litanies of the Liturgy of the Hours integrate the prayer of the psalms into the age of the Church, expressing the symbolism of the time of day, the liturgical season, or the feast being celebrated. Credit: https://divineoffice.org/liturgy-of-the-hours/
Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed.”
Saint Francis de Sales
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Holy Spirit, Light and Life of my Soul, enliven my prayer life.
Be not afraid! And may the peace of Christ be with you and your loved ones today and always. Holy Family, pray for us. Amen.