Saturday, December 08, 2007
Priere du jour - Prayer of the day!!!!
Prayer and Devotions
by Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Resolution: Make an effort at a task that you have been avoiding out of fear.
December 8, 2007
Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary
In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, "Greetings, oh full of grace! The Lord is with you." But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be. The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. You will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end." Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?" The angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God. And now, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month for her who was said to be barren. For nothing is impossible with God." Then Mary said, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, thank you for this opportunity to spend time in prayer with you on this great feast honoring your Mother. You gave her as a Mother to help guide me through life and reach heaven. For that, I am grateful. Help me now to draw closer to you by understanding more deeply the mystery whereby your Mother was kept free of original sin at her own conception.
Petition: Grant me, Lord, an openness to doing God the Father's will.
1. An Exact Time and Place: The annunciation of Our Lord's entrance into the world came at a precise moment ("in the sixth month"), in a precise place ("a town of Galilee called Nazareth") and to a precise person ("a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph"). Nothing is left to chance. God's action in the world isn't random. He knows what he wants to accomplish — and when and through whom. That gives us confidence that our own lives are not random. God has put us in this place, at this time, for a purpose. Never should we think that God has overlooked us or forgotten about us. Rather, we should realize that he wants us to bring his love to wherever we are, to whomever we meet. "Bloom where you are planted" goes the adage. How am I bringing God's love to the people I encounter each day? Or am I awaiting a "better" day to be Christian?
2. Fearsome Favor: The angel's first words to Mary after his greeting were, "Don't be afraid." Mary's reaction to a messenger from God was a natural one. It left her perplexed. God's ways often leave us puzzled, if not fearful. We might think that he has the wrong person. We might think that his request goes beyond our capabilities. We might feel inadequate before his demands in our lives. What is easy to overlook is that God's demands on us are a sign of his favor. Like a loving father, God demands of us because he wants us to rise to our potential with the help of his grace. To not demand of someone isn't love; it is indifference. Do I see God's demands on me as a sure sign of his love?
3. Spirited Assistance: Mary keenly felt her inadequacy for the task of being the mother of the Messiah. Who wouldn't have felt a bit overwhelmed in the face of such a vocation? The angel tells Mary, though, that she would not be alone if she said yes to God's plan. The Holy Spirit would be there to empower and sustain Our Lady. That is a lesson for us, too. When we feel overwhelmed by God's demands in our life, we have to be confident that he will give us the grace to complete our mission. He knows our weakness, but that is a sure sign that it his grace that carries us. "For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10). Do I feel overwhelmed about something? Could it be that I just need more trust in God's grace?
Conversation with Christ: Lord, if ever I feel as if I cannot measure up to the demands of life, help me to see it as a reason to rely more on your providence. You want me to be holier, to be closer to you, and so you often ask me to go beyond my natural abilities. Grant me the grace to have more trust in you, just as your Mother had trust at the Annunciation.
Resolution: I will make some kind of effort at a task that I have been avoiding out of fear.