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Anima Mariae: the Quarterly Newsletter of the sisters of Mary Immaculate Queen

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Preparing an Advent wreath for display in the store
Articles in this newsletter:
“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord...”
Exhortation During the Kissing of the Feet of the Holy Infant
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Calendar

Our Apostolate of Prayer
Send intentions for Sisters’ Novenas

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Winter 2017

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord...

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

Once again November has eased quietly into December, and the new liturgical year has begun with little external fanfare. While the world has plunged into a mad rush of shopping, a reverent hush has settled upon those who remember what Christmas is truly about. It began when the Gospels of these recent Sundays presented to us with the earth- and soul-shaking scenes of the end of the world and the Second Coming. Our Lord Himself tells us that no one knows the day nor the hour, and that we must always hold ourselves in readiness — which, of course, has not stopped people from endless speculation about the last days. What can I do to be ready for the Christ’s second coming? But perhaps more importantly, do I make sure He is always welcome at every moment of my life, in every aspect of my life? After all, Christ ought to be a constant living Presence in my life, in my soul. And during Advent, our Mother Mary is more than ever a model in this regard.

The 18th of December is a devotional feast referred to as Our Lady’s Expectation. Think of how Our Lady’s internal gaze was constantly fixed on the tiny Babe growing within her womb. If Mary and Joseph were not already on the road to Bethlehem at that time, they must certainly have been preparing to leave. Those simple external preparations for the journey and the birth of the Christ Child were nothing compared to the interior preparation of prayer and surrender to God’s Will that Mary and St. Joseph had been making ever since the Incarnation of the Son of God was revealed to them. And now they had to leave their home for Bethlehem, and then from there to flee into Egypt, where they lived in exile for some years. But because He was with them, nothing else mattered. As for us, we may live comfortably enough in our homes, but we must remember that this life is but a journey to our heavenly homeland, and that if He is always with us, we will make a fitting preparation for the life that really matters — eternity. If Christ is welcome in every aspect of our lives, our homes, our activities, He in turn will one day welcome us into His heavenly kingdom.

Baby Jesus in the EucharistRemember, too, that at times, we, like Mary, have Jesus physically within us when we receive Him in Holy Communion. And each time, He comes to us through Our Lady. This is not only because it was from her that Christ received the human nature in which He visits us, but also because He has given her all the graces He gained during His life and through His Passion to distribute according to the Will of God, for the good of His Mystical Body. This includes the graces we receive from the sacraments, and especially from Holy Communion.

St. Louis de Montfort says that as Our Lady was the path which Jesus took to come to us in His Incarnation, that she will also be the way by which He comes in what is commonly referred to as His second coming: His victorious advent as our Judge at the end of the world: “It was through Mary that the salvation of the world was begun, and it is through Mary that it must be consummated.” He goes on to call Our Lady the dawn which precedes the Sun of Justice. Mary must be known and loved in these latter days, in order that people may come to a proper knowledge of Jesus. So as we prepare for the coming of Christ, in whatever way or time He chooses to come for us, let us join with Our Lady’s expectation, asking her to help us make our hearts ready for Him.

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Exhortation During the Kissing of the Feet of the Holy Infant

From The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Kissing the feet of Baby Jesus

Each year during the Twelve Days of Christmas, the Sisters honor Our Lord in the ceremony of the kissing of the feet of the Infant Jesus mentioned in The Incarnation, Birth and Infancy of Jesus Christ by St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori. His discourse for Christmas Day provides the following invocations to be read while those present come up one by one to kiss the feet of the statue:

“Now then, O all ye devout souls, does Jesus invite you to come and kiss His feet this night. The shepherds who came to visit Him in the stable of Bethlehem brought their gifts; you must also bring your gifts. What will you bring Him? The most acceptable present you can bring Him is that of a contrite and loving heart. Let each one then say to Him before He comes:

“Lord, I should not have dared to approach Thee, see-ing myself so deformed by my sins; but since Thou, my Jesus, dost invite me so courteously, and dost call me so lovingly, I will not refuse. After having so many times turned my back upon Thee, I will not add this fresh insult, namely, that of refusing this affectionate, this loving invitation, out of distrust.

“Thou must know that I am poor, and that I have nothing to give Thee — nothing but this heart, which I now offer to Thee. It is true that it has offended Thee at one time, but now I bring it to Thee penitent. Yes, O Infant ! I repent of having offended Thee. I confess that I have been a traitor, cruel and ungrateful; that it is I who have caused Thee to suffer so much, and who have made Thee shed so many tears in the stable of Bethlehem; but Thy tears are my hope. I am a sinner, it is true, and I do not deserve to be pardoned; but I come before Thee, who, being God, hast become a little child to obtain pardon for me.

“Eternal Father, if I merit hell, look at the tears of Thy innocent Son; they invoke Thy pardon in my behalf. Thou dost deny nothing to the prayers of Thy Son. Listen to Him, then, now that He asks Thee to pardon me on this night, the night of joy, the night of salvation, the night of pardon.

“Ah, my Infant Jesus, I hope for pardon from Thee; but the forgiveness of my sins alone is not sufficient for me. On this night Thou dost grant great spiritual graces; I also desire that Thou shouldst bestow a great grace on me — the grace to love Thee. Now that I am about to approach Thy feet, inflame me wholly with Thy holy love, and bind me to Thee; but bind me so effectually that I may nevermore be separated from Thee. I love Thee, O my God, who didst become a little child for my sake; but I love Thee very little; I desire to love Thee very much, and Thou hast to enable me to do it. I come, then, to kiss Thy feet, and I offer Thee my heart; I leave it in Thy hands; I will have it no longer; do Thou change it, and keep it forever; do not give it back to me again; for if Thou dost, I fear lest it should betray Thee afresh.”

Calendar

December 8

10
12
16-17
22
25

27
  Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Mary Immaculata’s feastday
Sr. Mary Loretta’s feastday
Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
Christmas concerts at Mount St. Michael
Sr. Mary Cabrini’s feastday
Christmas Day
Sr. Marie Emmanuel’s feastday
Sr. Mary Evangeline’s feastday
 
The Sisters praying during the 40 Hours Devotion

Our Apostolate of Prayer

Are you worried about a loved one? Is there a problem that is weighing heavily upon your heart? Send in your intentions, and the Sisters will commend them in their prayers and Masses, especially during our upcoming Novenas:

Our Lady of Prompt Succor
   (Feast: January 15)
Our Lady of Lourdes
   (Feast: February 11)



January 1
3
15

21

31
  Feast of the Circumcision
Sr. Mary Genevieve’s feastday
Feast of Our Lady of Prompt Succor (Novena: Jan. 6-14)
Rev. Mother’s Feastday
Sr. Maria Ines’s feastday
Sr. Giovanna Marie’s feastday
February 1
2
5
10
11

14
18
20
  Sr. Mary Bridget’s feastday
Purification BVM (Candlemas)
Sr. Mary Agatha’s feastday
Ash Wednesday
Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes (Novena: Feb. 2-10)
Ash Wednesday
Sr. Mary Bernadette’s feastday
Sr. Marie Jacinta’s feastday
March 4
9
19
  Sr. Maria Kazimiera’s feastday
Mother Mary Dominica’s feastday
Feast of St. Joseph
Sr. Mary Josephine’s feastday

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Anima Mariae is the free quarterly newsletter of the CMRI Sisters.
To join our mailing list, or to send comments, questions, prayers intentions or donations, please write or email:

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