The Cloud of Carmel

 

Virgo Maria
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Art source unknown)

 

“The Lord promised that He would dwell in a cloud.”
~ 2 Chronicles 6:1 

 

Symbol of star or lily of the snows,
rainbow or root or vine or fruit-filled tree:
these image the immaculate to me
less than a little cloud, a little light cloud rising
from Orient waters cleft by prophecy.
And as the Virgin in a most surprising
maternity bore God in the mysteries of grace
beseech her: Cloud, encompass God and me.

Nothing defiled can touch the cloud of Mary.
God as a child willed to be safe in her,
and the Divine Indweller sets His throne
deep in a cloud in me, His sanctuary.
I pray, O wrap me, Cloud, . . . light Cloud of Carmel
within whose purity my vows were sown
to lift their secrecies to God alone.
Say to my soul, the timorous and small
house of a Presence that it cannot see
and frightened acre of a Deity,
say in the fullness of your clemency:
I have enclosed you all.
You are in whiteness of a lighted lamb wool;
you are in softness of a summer wind lull.
O hut of God, deepen your faith anew.
Enfolded in this motherhood of mine,
all that is beautiful and all divine
is safe in you.

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

To Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

 

Church-StAlphonsus-Liguori-Our-Lady-Perpetual-Help-pilgrim-info03
Byzantine Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

 

On my way to Heaven,
Where I shall see you,
Your beloved image accompanies me
on my earthly journey
to be my Perpetual Help.
You know how your sweet image
captivates my soul,
Near you I breath the fragrance of love,
And find my peace in your gaze.
Your maternal smile shone above me,
When I was good,
When I erred, sad was your gaze upon me.
My childish prayer you welcomed with caresses and maternal love,
I look upon you and weep no longer,
For I anticipate my Heaven.
My Mother, support me in the terrors
of my battle for God on earth,
To bring to Him my prisoners of war,
A thousand souls for His love.
Image of Mary, be always for me
A rich honeycomb of love,
To sweeten the bitterness of death;

My eyes to ever draw from you my consolation.
From this earth to you I go
Throwing myself into your arms,
To rest forever in your sweet embrace,
which none will ever take from me.

~ A poem by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, O.C.D.

 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, ora pro nobis!

 

 

The Church of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri stands out among the many churches in Rome…not for its’ external beauty but for what it contains: The original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

About the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help:
The original painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is, perhaps, the most widely-recognized icon in the world.

The image was, for some time, kept in Saint Matthew’s Church in Rome. Then in 1798, the church was destroyed by Napoleon’s forces. In January 1855, the Redemptorist Order purchased a villa located here for their headquarters. They were unaware of the fact that the land they had purchased was actually the location of the church and monastery of Saint Matthew–the place which the Virgin Mary had specified for the image to be placed in an earlier vision.
The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour) hangs above the main altar.
It is not very large, about 16 x 20″. But it is of great significance to many Catholics who have sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To stand in front of the icon–quite often un-disturbed by other visitors– is a wonderful experience.
*This information has been taken from The Catholic Travel Guide.

*For more information about Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, please check:
https://www.pilgrim-info.com/church-st-alphonsus-liguori-rome/

 

 

Wishing you all a happy & blessed Feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour!

Ad Mariam

 

Madonna 1609
The Madonna, art by Giovanni Battista Salvi – called Sassoferrato (1609-1685) Rome

 

When a sister, born for each strong month-brother,
Spring’s one daughter, the sweet child Mary,
Lies in the breast of the young year-mother
With light on her face like the waves at play,
Man from the lips of him speaketh and saith,
At the touch of her wandering wondering breath
Warm on his brow: lo! where is another
Fairer than this one to brighten our day?

We have suffered the sons of Winter in sorrow
And been in their ruinous reigns oppressed,
And fain in the springtime surcease would borrow
From all the pain of the past’s unrest;
And May has come, hair-bound in flowers,
With eyes that smile thro’ the tears of the hours,
With joy for to-day and hope for to-morrow
And the promise of Summer within her breast!

And we that joy in this month joy-laden,
The gladdest thing that our eyes have seen,
Oh thou, proud mother and much proud maiden —
Maid yet mother as May hath been —
To thee we tender the beauties all
Of the month by men called virginal.
And, where thou dwellest in deep-groved Aidenn,
Salute thee, mother, the maid-month’s Queen!

For thou, as she, wert the one fair daughter
That came when a line of kings did cease,
Princes strong for the sword and slaughter,
That, warring, wasted the land’s increase,
And like the storm-months smote the earth
Till a maid in David’s house had birth,
That was unto Judah as Mary, and brought her
A son for King, whose name was peace.

Wherefore we love thee, wherefore we sing to thee,
We, all we, thro’ the length of our days,
The praise of the lips and the hearts of us bring to thee,
Thee, oh maiden. most worthy of praise;
For lips and hearts they belong to thee
Who to us are as dew unto grass and tree,
For the fallen rise and the stricken spring to thee,
Thee, May-hope of our darkened ways!

~ A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) ,  S.J.

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day Blessed Virgin Mary, my heavenly Mother!
Ora pro nobis!

 

 

 

 

The May Magnificat

 

Virgin Mary meditation of the holy Virgin Mary by sarah paxton ball dodson 1889
Meditation of The Holy Virgin (1889), art by Sarah Paxton Ball Dodson

 

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season —

Candlemas, Lady Day;
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?

Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?

Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?
Growth in everything —

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together;
Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
Throstle above her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within;
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.

All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Nature’s motherhood.

Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.

Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.

When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry.

And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all —

This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.

~ A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ

 

 



“Mother of God, tell me your mystery;

of how your earthly life was spent:
the way, right from the time of ‘Fiat – how you’d be
buried in adoration, Mary!
Say how – in a peace, a silence – you could enter in
to deeps that none but you could do –
bearing the gift of God within.
Secure in God’s embrace keep me I ask.
In me his imprint may He place –
For wholly love is he.”

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D.


O All-Holy Servant and Mother

 

The Annunciation by El Greco 1577
The Annunciation, art by El Greco (1577, Spain)

 
In the Liturgy of the Visigothic Church the prayers are woven essentially from Biblical texts, solidly grounded in theology, and enriched with true emotion.

Prayers abounding in their formulation span the centuries and echo the notes of blessing and invocation of Mary that resounded in ancient Spain.

Possibly for the first time in the history of Marian devotion, these prayers speak of Mary’s spiritual Motherhood, and they highlight the maternal ways of the mercy of God that are present in her.

They also inculcate the devotion of the “slavery” of love of Mary and the attitude of filial confidence to have toward Mary.

Because of these features, such prayers have an air of relevance about them.

O All-Holy Servant and Mother
of the Divine Word,
childbirth revealed you to be a virgin
and virginity made you fruitful.

Gather in your devout embrace
the people who have recourse to you.

In your profound mercy
take care of the flock
that was redeemed by the Blood of the Son
Whom you have brought forth.

Show yourself a Mother to creatures,
for you gave nourishment to their Creator.
Bless with your service those whom you see
offering themselves to you in homage.

Grant that we may be protected by your
intercession
for we exult in bearing
the sweet yoke of your servitude.

And grant that all of us who have sung praises
in honor of your conception
may continue to live in your service,
so that once the stain of sin has been removed
we may attain the One
Whose Mother we honor you to be
by our celebrations.

Defend us now and forever
with your inexhaustible affection
so that the One Whom you brought forth
may possess us eternally in His Kingdom.

~ By Most rev. Virgilio Noe  

 

The Angelus

 The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary, full of grace,
The Lord is with Thee;
Blessed art thou among women,
And blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Pray for us sinners,
Now and at the hour of our death. Amen!

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary . . .

And the Word was made Flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

LET US PRAY
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord.
Amen!

 

This beautiful prayer evolved from a recitation of three Hail Mary’s following an evening bell around the 12th century to its present form (with morning and midday recitations) in the 16th century.

 

Wishing you All a very Blessed Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord!
❤ 

The Visitation Journey

 

Mary and Elizabeth by brother sylvain of taize
Mary and Elizabeth, art by Brother Sylvain of Taizé 

 

The second bead: scene of the lovely journey
of Lady Mary, on whom artists confer
a blue silk gown, a day pouring out Springtime,
and birds singing and flowers bowing to her.

Rather, I see a girl upon a donkey
and her too held by what was said to mind
how the sky was or if the grass was growing.
I doubt the flowers; I doubt the road was kind.

“Love hurried forth to serve.” I read, approving.
But also see, with thoughts blown past her youth,
a girl riding upon a jolting donkey
and riding further and further into the truth.

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

 

O Jesus living in Mary,
come to live in Your servants,
with Your spirit of holiness,
in the fullness of Your power,
in the perfection of Your ways,
in the truth of Your virtues,
and in the communion of Your Divine Mysteries.

In Your Spirit
and for the glory of the Father,
overcome every hostile power!

~ A prayer by Father John J. Olier (d. 1657)

 

The Pool of God

Maria by jan styka
Virgen Maria, art by Jan Styka (1890)

 

There was nothing in the Virgin’s soul
that belonged to the Virgin—
no word, no thought, no image, no intent.
She was  a pure, transparent pool reflecting
God, only God.
She held His burnished day; she held His night
of planet-glow or shade inscrutable.
God was her sky and she who mirrored Him
became His firmament.

When I so much as turn my thoughts toward her
my spirit is enisled in her repose.
And when I gaze into her selfless depths
an anguish in me grows
to hold such blueness and to hold such fire.
I pray to hollow out my earth and be
filled with these waters of transparency.
I think that one could die of this desire,
seeing oneself dry earth or stubborn sod.
Oh, to become a pure pool like the Virgin,
water that lost the semblances of water
and was a sky like God.

~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.