Mary should be the Queen of lives

(IT’S FREE) AUGUST 22, 2019
Mary Should Be the Queen of Our Lives
oday the Church celebrates the Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This feast day falls eight days after the Solemnity of the Assumption, which closely links the assumption of Our Lady body and soul into heaven with her coronation.
In the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Church we read: Mary “was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory… and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son” ( Lumen Gentium , n. 59). Since she is the Queen “over all things” she should be the Queen of our hearts, minds, souls, and bodies. Mary will help lead us into greater conformation with Her Son.
Queenship in the Kingdom of God
Often the idea of royalty conjures up images of worldly power, wealth, and prestige. This is the opposite of the Queenship of Mary, which is united completely to the self-emptying love of Her Son. In his general audience on the 22nd of August 2012, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI explained royalty in the Kingdom of God:
“Let us think of the Lord; the royalty and kingship of Christ is interwoven with humility, service and love. It is above all serving, helping and loving. Let us remember that Jesus on the Cross was proclaimed king with this inscription written by Pilate: “The King of the Jews” (cf. Mk 15:26). On the Cross, at that moment, he is shown to be King; and how is he King? By suffering with us and for us, by loving to the end, and in this way governing and creating truth, love and justice. Let us also think of another moment: at the Last Supper he bows down to wash the feet of his followers.
Consequently Jesus’ kingship has nothing to do with that of the powerful of this earth. He is a King who serves his servants; he demonstrated this throughout his life; and the same is true of Mary. She is Queen in her service to God for humanity, she is a Queen of love who lives the gift of herself to God so as to enter into the plan of man’s salvation. She answered the Angel: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord” (cf. Lk 1:38) and in the Magnificat she sings: God has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden (cf. Lk 1:48). She helps us. She is Queen precisely by loving us, by helping us in our every need; she is our sister, a humble handmaid.”
We turn to Mary and ask her to be the Queen of our lives because she will lead us deeper into the love of Christ. Her queenship is not predicated on power. It is one of love and she seeks to draw us into that love. She will show us how to love with the heart of Her Son and to serve others. Her queenship is meant to help each one of us become more like Christ. She does this in a number of ways.
Ponder and pray
First, she is fully united to God’s will. She seeks only to serve Him, not herself, not the world, and not the enemy. She has surrendered herself fully to God. She wants to help each one of us learn how to live in accordance with God’s will. This is accomplished first-and-foremost through prayer. We must “ponder in our hearts” what God is calling us to. Through prayer we grow in greater intimacy and union with Him so that we can discern what He is asking of us in each moment of our day.
Asking Mary to teach us how ‘to ponder all of these things in our heart’ helps us to seek God’s ways over our own. Oftentimes in the spiritual life, God will work in a way that defies the world order, what the people around us expect, or our own expectations. How and what we think God is doing is often obscured from our view and only revealed to us over time. There are times when other people do not understand what God is doing in us and we must simply ponder and pray for God to show us the path He is calling us to walk.
Our Heavenly Mother did not know exactly where God was taking her, but she trusted in His working and allowed herself to be conformed to Him in the process. There is much confusion and very deep wounds within the Church right now due to the clergy sex abuse scandals. Our Lady shows us the way forward, which is through a renewed commitment to seek to follow God’s will in all things. She shows us how to follow Christ over the world.
Do whatever He tells you
The last words Our Heavenly Mother says in the Sacred Scripture are: “Do what ever he tells you.” These are words to live by. We are called to do what ever Christ calls us to do, no matter what happens. The path to holiness is arduous and there will be times when God will ask us to do things that others do not understand. The lives of the saints are more-often-than-not, examples of how individuals were called by God to complete various tasks in the face of opposition from others, including their brothers and sisters in Christ. We are called to do what God is asking of us regardless of what others think of us.
There will be times in our lives when we will be misunderstood, betrayed, cast off, abandoned, and rejected. By asking Mary to be the Queen of our lives, we are asking her to show us how to do whatever her Son is asking of us no matter the personal cost to ourselves. This applies to the entire Church—laity, priest, and religious—but in times such as these, it applies to an even greater extent to the priesthood.
Renewal of the priesthood will include a greater devotion to Our Heavenly Mother. She should be the Queen of every priest’s heart since she stands guard—through her maternal love—over their vocation and the promises made at ordination. She wants to draw her priest-sons into greater union with Her Son during a time of devastation for the priesthood and the entire Church. She loves priests in a unique way by virtue of their calling to be configured to Christ the Eternal High Priest at a deeper level.
Our Queen Mother stood silently at the foot of the Cross with St. John; her first priest-son in the Apostles. In this time of division, confusion, scandal, and evil within the Church, she stands fast as Queen of the Church, which was brought forth from the pierced side of Her Son. She shows us how to endure such agonies as these and to cling to the Cross of Her Son. It is through her intercession, guidance, and example that we can learn how to grow in deeper fortitude and charity even as we endure great pain, agony, fear, and evil. She can help us overcome the obstacles of this life, including the scandals besieging the Church at present. We must trust in her intercession. Pope Emeritus again:
In serenity or in life’s darkness let us address Mary, entrusting ourselves to her continuous intercession so that she may obtain for us from the Son every grace and mercy we need for our pilgrimage on the highways of the world.
Through the Virgin Mary let us turn with trust to the One who rules the world and holds in his hand the future of the universe. For centuries she has been invoked as the celestial Queen of Heaven; in the Litany of Loreto after the prayer of the holy Rosary, she is implored eight times: as Queen of Angels, of Patriarchs, of Prophets, of Apostles, of Martyrs, of Confessors, of Virgins, of all the Saints and of Families. The rhythm of these ancient invocations and daily prayers, such as the Salve Regina, help us to understand that the Blessed Virgin, as our Mother beside her Son Jesus in the glory of heaven, is always with us in the daily events of our life.
The title “Queen” is thus a title of trust, joy and love. And we know that the One who holds a part of the world’s destinies in her hand is good, that she loves us and helps us in our difficulties.
All of us should ask Mary to be the Queen of our lives. Let us pray especially that our priests may take Mary as the Queen of their vocations, and that through her guidance and intercession, the priesthood may be renewed; which will lead to a renewal of the entire Church.

God at the centre of my life

Because of the human condition, I do not have the ability to place God at the center of my life. God will have to place himself there. My job is to stay out of the way and let God do his thing. I need to stop doing and allow God to do the doing to me, in me, for me. My part is so simple, and yet, because I am so stuck in the rut of the human condition, it will take my whole lifetime—maybe more—to completely surrender to God. God will indeed make himself my God, but he will not do so against my free will. He will not push me off the throne. He will patiently, lovingly, slowly take over my life as I awkwardly, painfully, begrudgingly allow him to do so. First, I may allow him to sit on a corner of the throne. After a long while, I will inch over and allow him to sit beside me. Only in the end will I finally sit in my Father’s lap and rest there from the childish games of my life.

—from the book Armchair Mystic: How Contemplative Prayer Can Lead You Closer to God by Mark Thibodeaux, SJ

Mysticism, not moralism

God always entices you through love. You were probably taught that God would love you if and when you changed. In fact, God loves you so that you can change. What empowers change, what makes you desirous of change, is the experience of love and acceptance itself. This is the engine of change. If the mystics say that one way, they say it a thousand ways. But, because most common religion has not been at the mystical level, you’ve been given an inferior message—that God loves you when you change (moralism). It puts it all back on you, which is the opposite of being saved. Moralism leads you back to navel-gazing and you can never succeed at that level. You are never holy enough, pure enough, refined enough, or loving enough. Whereas, when you fall into God’s mercy, when you fall into God’s great generosity, you find, seemingly from nowhere, this capacity to change. No one is more surprised than you are. You know it is a total gift.
—from the book Yes, and…: Daily Meditations by Richard Rohr, OFM

10 Tools to Help You Offer Your Praise to God

10 Tools to Help You Offer Your Praise to God
f all of the expressions of prayer, the most sublime and exalted is that of Praise. Saint Ignatius in the Spiritual Exercises, Principle and Foundation (#23) starts out attesting to the fact that Man is created to praise God. Very interesting, before anything else, man is first and foremost created by God so that he might praise God.
No doubt, we must reverence God, serve God, submit to God, obey God, listen to God, and multiple other actions we must carry out in our relationship to God, but above all our actions and tributes to God, Praise is the summit of the mountain, the first and foremost in the hierarchy of importance!
Catechism of the Catholic Church on Adoration
Praise and adoration are closely related, often interchangeable. The Catechism of the Catholic Church offers a short but excellent explanation of ADORATION:
“ADORATION is the first attitude of man acknowledging that he is a creature before his Creator. It exalts the greatness of the Lord who made us and the almighty power of the Savior who sets us free from evil. Adoration is homage of the spirit to the King of glory, respectful silence in the presence of the “ever-greater” God. Adoration of the thrice-holy and sovereign God of love blends with humility and gives assurance of our supplications.” (CCC # 2628)
Helpful Acronym: A.C.T.S.
This short acronym of four letters can prove extremely useful in ordering our prayer life, our priorities and pursuits— A.C.T.S .
A = ADORATION … First and foremost, we are all called to adore God with all our heart, mind, soul, being, and strength; then to love our neighbor as ourselves.
C = CONTRITIO N… Being sinners and failing God often. The Bible states that the just man falls seven times a day. (Prov 24:16) We must beg God’s pardon and forgiveness for our transgressions and sins, always trusting in His mercy.
T = THANKSGIVING … We should never allow a day to transpire without spending at least a short time, hopefully a long time, in rendering thanks to God. We are in debt to God for all that we have. With the Psalmist let us lift our hearts in gratitude: “ Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His mercy endures forever.” (Ps 136:1)
S=SUPPLICATION . The great Saint Augustine states the utter truth: “ We are all beggars before God.” In supplication, we implore God for all the things—both material and spiritual—that we are in desperate need of in order to live a life of security and dignity.
These are the four basic sentiments of prayer. However, the first in the hierarchy of importance is that of praising God and striving to do it with every fiber of our being. We must constantly strive to praise God in this life because we will be doing it for all eternity.
This being the case, what are some ways that we can offer to Almighty God the praise that He undoubtedly deserves from us, His creatures? We will offer a list with the hope that you will implement these channels of praise to enrich your spiritual life, to enrich and enhance your filial relationship to your Heavenly Father who loves you so very much!

  1. The Book of Psalms
    No doubt whatsoever, the greatest Prayer Book is that of the Psalms. Many are attributed to King David — the poet, mystic, and writer — and they are replete with prayers expressing the full gamut of the sentiments of the human heart in all their variety. Many of the Psalms express the attitude of praise implicitly. Whereas some of the Psalms are nothing except praise.
  2. Psalms 148, 149, & 150
    The Book of Psalms contains 150 in total. How interesting in the composition of the totality of the Psalms is the fact that the last three of the Psalter are dedicated totally and unreservedly to the praise of God. In a certain sense God, who speaks through the Psalms, is saying to us: “Start your life on earth praising God on the day of your Baptism; but also end your life giving praise to God. If done, you will be praising Me for all eternity in heaven with the angels and saints.”
  3. Daniel 3
    It is hard to find one chapter in the totality of the Bible itself that is more replete with copious expressions of praise than that found in the Prophetic Book of Daniel, most specifically Chapter 3.
    By the way, this is also one of the longest chapters in the Bible—100 verses! The majority of the words and verses cry out to nature, for this element of God’s creation resounds in praise of the Creator—sun and moon and stars, praise the Lord… light and darkness, cold and heat, praise the Lord… animals and sea-animals, praise the Lord.
    This canticle of praise, especially on the beauty of God’s creation, can serve as a powerful elevator to lift our whole being to praise God.
  4. The Benedictus
    Throughout the world, in Morning Prayer (Laudes), the totality of the Catholic Church lifts up its voice to praise God through the prayer that was uttered by Zechariah, the father of Saint John the Baptist. After having doubted God through the ministry of the Archangel Gabriel and having been struck dumb, upon recovering his voice, the first thing he utters is a beautiful canticle of praise that is called the “Benedictus” —which means
    Blessing! Get into the habit of praying this beautiful and powerful canticle of praise, uniting yourself with Holy Mother Church every day.
  5. The Liturgy of the Hours
    Following up on the prayer of praise of Zechariah, the Benedictus , why not learn the art of praising God through praying the Liturgy of the Hours .
    Deacons and priests pray this prayer of the Church every day as a commitment in the reception of Holy Orders. But the lay people are also strongly encouraged to undertake this most noble spiritual enterprise and practice.
    Actually, there are five separate times or hours during the day that can be prayed: Morning Prayer, Midday Prayer, Evening Prayer, Night Prayer, and the Office of Readings. Even if lay people would pray the two hinge hours—Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer —they would greatly enhance and enrich their attitude of praise.
    By the way, besides providing an excellent commentary on the Daily Readings in the Mass, the magazine
    Magnificat includes Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer as part of their daily text. Closing up on this topic we encourage you to read the excellent writings of Fr. Tim Gallagher on The Liturgy of the Hours . If this is done, your knowledge and appreciation of this form of praise will skyrocket!
  6. The Magnificat
    Once again, with respect to the Liturgy of the Hours and Biblical passages dedicated to praising God, the Magnificat should be part and parcel of our life of praise. This prayer is prayed in the Liturgy of the Hours every evening of the year.
    Of all the prayers of praise that can be offered, this is without doubt one of the greatest. Why? The Magnificat is a hymn and canticle of praise that flowed from the depths of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in the context of her visit to her cousin, Saint Elizabeth.
    The New Testament has just a few words of the Blessed Virgin Mary recorded. However, this is the longest Biblical expression of Mary’s words and a hymn and canticle of praise of the greatest depth, simplicity, holiness, and inspiration.
    Praising God through the most pure and Immaculate Heart of Mary is most pleasing to our Triune God.
    My soul magnifies the Lord,
    and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
    because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid.
    For behold, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed,
    because He who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is His name.
    His mercy is from generation to generation,
    on those who fear Him.
    He has shown might with His arm,
    He has scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
    He has put down the mighty from their thrones,
    and has exalted the lowly.
    He has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich He has sent away empty.
    He has given help to Israel, His servant, mindful of His mercy,
    even as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity forever.
  7. The Glory Be
    Given that this short prayer is said often by practicing Catholics, we can easily pray it mechanically, perfunctorily, and without attention. However, we must be careful!
    Though short and consisting of very few words, the Glory Be is the prayer of praise most used by Christian-Catholics. Indeed, this short prayer is one in which we praise the Trinity—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Pray it slowly with attention, devotion, and unction. Call to mind the presence of the Blessed Trinity in your soul starting with your Baptism. Recall also that if you are living in the state of sanctifying grace, you are presently a living Temple of the Blessed Trinity. Stop at times during the course of the day to praise the Trinity who lives within the very depths of your soul!!
  8. The Corporal Act of Praise and Worship
    Every time you enter Church, when walking in front of the Blessed Sacrament, in the tabernacle or in the monstrance, where Jesus is truly present in His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the consecrated Host, you must make a genuflection. By bending your right knee and touching the ground, even without words spoken corporally, you are saying with this gesture and hopefully from your heart: Jesus, I praise, adore, and worship you present in the Tabernacle, present in the Blessed Sacrament.
  9. The Divine Praises
    At the conclusion of the Holy Hour and after the Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament, the Church praises God with the Divine Praises. What an excellent way to offer praise to God! What an excellent way to praise God in your heart, praying the Divine Praises after receiving Jesus in Holy Communion during Holy Mass.
    The Divine Praises are the following:
    Blessed Be God; Blessed be His Holy Name;
    Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man;
    Blessed be the Name of Jesus;
    Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart;
    Blessed be His Most Precious Blood;
    Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar;
    Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete;
    Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy;
    Blessed be her Holy and Immaculate Conception;
    Blessed be her Glorious Assumption;
    Blessed be the Name of Mary, Virgin and Mother;
    Blessed be Saint Joseph, her Most Chaste Spouse;
    Blessed be God in His Angels and in His Saints.
  10. Praise God With Your Lips and Heart, but Also With Your Life
    In one of the many writings of the great Saint Augustine, he admonishes the followers of Jesus to praise God with their lips in prayer, but to be careful that they do not tarnish, blemish, besmirch, or contradict the praise that issues from their lips with the style of their lives. In other words, we must praise God in our fervent prayers, but also in the expression of our holy lives!
    In conclusion, let us beg the Holy Spirit and Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, for the light, grace, and motivation to praise God with our lips, our hearts, our bodies, and our lives in this life, so that we may praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

How and why Mary really can help us

I’m a practical person. I need to understand Mary’s ability to help. Here’s a simple explanation of who she is for us today:

Is Jesus Prince of Peace and King of Kings? Yes.

Then who is the Queen Mother? Mary of course.

Does a queen have authority? Indeed yes.

How does a good queen use her authority? By helping everyone in the kingdom any way she can.

When Mary passed away and went to heaven, did she lose her authority as queen? Of course not, because she is still the mother of Jesus who is still the King of Kings.

Then what does she do with that authority? Does she just float idly on a cloud while her Son does all the work? No of course not. She is still Mary our Queen — the Queen Mother to all of us who are brothers and sisters of Christ our Savior. And she continually serves God as a good queen using her authority to do good for those under her care.

As a good queen, she helps us in our relationship with the King. She fights along side us in our battles against the villains who want to hurt our relationship with the King. She crushes the enemy by wielding her authority (fulfilling God’s promise of Genesis 3:15).

I’m reading a book by Fr. Gabriele Amorth, who was the Vatican’s chief exorcist for many years until his passing, entitled “An Exorcist Explains the Demonic”. In it he reports that demons fear Mary so much they won’t even say her name. During exorcisms, just a glance from Mary was all it took to send them fleeing.

Therefore, my battle cry has become:

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, defeater of Satan, crushing the head of the serpent beneath your heel, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Venerable Pope Pius XII