I am standing in the center of the spacious main hall, the atrium, of the new Preda children's home for girls. The light from the transparent roof throws its soft and gentle light on the children playing nosily, shouting in glee. They are happy, running about, playing games, and laughing, cheerful and joyful. They had a sumptuous Christmas dinner and gifts and new clothes.
I was reading a Biblical reflection when word came that my niece's baby had just been born. The author of the reflection pointed out that the first sound we hear in the Bible is God breathing in the darkness. My thoughts wandered to my niece's baby breathing in the darkness for nine months. Gradually I came to realize that both mysteries are related.
O Immaculate Queen of Heaven and Earth,
Mother of God and Mediator of every grace:
I believe that thy dearly beloved Son,
Our Lord Jesus Christ,
is truly, really, and substantially
contained in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
O Mary, Mother of Mercy,
watch over all people,
that the Cross of Christ
may not be emptied of its power,
that man may not stray from the path of the good
or become blind to sin,
but may put his hope ever more
fully in God who is rich in mercy
May he carry out the good works
prepared by God beforehand
and so live completely
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within your wounds, hide me.
Never let me be separated from you.
From the malignant enemy, defend me.
At the hour of death, call me;
and bid me come to you.
Last year, I was visiting Monasterboice, an Irish monastic settlement that dates back to the fifth century, with a group of Australian pilgrims who were on pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Columban.
“This Advent season invites us to gently prepare our hearts to receive the Son of God.”
Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
enlighten our minds to perceive the mysteries
of the universe in relation to eternity.
Spirit of right judgment and courage,
guide us and make us firm in our baptismal decision
to follow Jesus' way of love.
Sacred Heart of Jesus
today I wish to live in You,
in Your grace,
in which I desire at all costs to persevere.
Keep me from sin
and strengthen my will by helping me to keep watch over my senses,
my imagination, and my heart.
Help me to correct my faults which are the source of sin.
I beg You to do this,
O Jesus, through Mary,