Somethings about Mary in September 2011
Many, many thanks to Aetheria, Aldona, Alice, Anton, Belita, Sister Christine of the Trinity ocd, David, Sister Desiree of Jesus ocd, Gladys, Gwen, James, Jamie, Juliana, Sister Kathleen, Kristen, Sister Maria of the Resurrection ocd, Mother Mary of St Joseph ocd, Sister Mary of St Philip ocd, Mila, Sister Pamela of the Holy Spirit ocd, Sister Patricia of the Heart of Mary ocd, Patrick, Patt, Stephen, Sister Susan Marie of the Sacred Heart ocd, Teresa, Tim, Father Tom & Victoria for giving their 'something' about Mary.
This picture of Mary is Our Lady of Notting Hill. It was a great gift for Totus2us, celebrating its 2nd birthday on Our Lady's birthday this month, to be given responses by our Carmelite sisters in Notting Hill about Our Blessed Mother during a novena to St Thérèse of the Child Jesus & the Holy Face.
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If you'd like to give Our Lady a metaphorical bunch of flowers by saying your something about Mary,
please, pretty please, do contact the Totus2us team.
"The Blessed Mother is absolutely breathtaking. I never realised how important she was to me until I heard the story of John Paul II and how he lost his mother and asked Our Blessed Mary to take him in and it was absolutely amazing. I know that I have a mother always there for me and I know I can always lean back on her and she will always be there for me. And she was so devoted to her son, it makes me believe she is just as devoted to me and it's absolutely beautiful."
Kristen is 16 & from Virginia in the United States.
"If you want to get to know Jesus really, then you should focus on Mary who is very close to us, and just give yourself to her and ask her for guidance and that she may lead us and you to her son, who is Our Lord Jesus Christ."
Patrick is 24 & from Germany; he gives his response in English & German.
Our Lady's message to Mirjana Soldo, Međugorje, 2 September 2011:
"Dear children; With all my heart and soul full of faith and love in the Heavenly Father, I gave my Son to you and am giving Him to you anew. My Son has brought you, the people of the entire world, to know the only true God and His love. He has led you on the way of truth and made you brothers and sisters. Therefore, my children, do not wander, do not close your heart before that truth, hope and love. Everything around you is passing and everything is falling apart, only the glory of God remains. Therefore, renounce everything that distances you from the Lord. Adore Him alone, because He is the only true God. I am with you and I will remain with you. I am especially praying for the shepherds that they may be worthy representatives of my Son and may lead you with love on the way of truth. Thank you."
3rd September - Feast of St Gregory the Great - Anton
"Apart from Our Lady being one of the major figureheads of the Church and an important part of my life in the sense that I pray to her daily in the rosary, she played a big role in my life for 6 months when I was in a place called Medjugorje, where I was able to deepen my relationship with Our Lady and really experience her love as a mother, but also as someone who is able to offer comfort and joy and peace and pretty much every good measure of life all in one. "
Anton is 24 & from England.
"Our Lady is an intercessor, she is the mediatrix of all graces and our advocate. And she is the shortest way, because she was the one who said yes to Our Lord, and carried Our Lord's mission. Without Our Lady we would not have Jesus… Our Lady has played a major part in the life of all Christians, in the life of all humanity, she has played the greatest part."
Gladys is from Ghana.
5th September - Feast of Blessed Mother Teresa - Father Tom
"One day Mother Teresa was asked by a bishop the secret of her success .. How she'd managed to touch the hearts of so many people. In reply she told a story - she said that when she was young she was walking with her mother to a neighbouring village, and it was somewhere she had never been to before. At one point in the journey her mother stopped and said to her 'Do you know where we're going?' and she replied 'No, this is the first time I'm going.' And her mother said 'You're right, you don't know where we're going but you're not frightened because I'm here and I'm holding your hand and I will lead you to the place we're going.' And her mother said her 'In the same way, as you're going through life, hold onto the hand of Mary and Mary will lead you to the heart of her son, Jesus.' And Mother Teresa said that was really the secret of her apostolate, that each day she thought about Mary and she felt herself holding Mary's hands and Mary leading her ever more deeply to the heart of Jesus. I found that such a powerful story, I think of it every time I pray the rosary, because when I pick up my rosary I see it as really holding Mary's hands .. and being taken into the heart of Jesus."
Father Tom is from England.
"Para mi Maria es el espejo donde mirarse para poder educar bien a mis hijos, con carino, ternura, amor que para mi eso es la fe, osea me lleva a Cristo."
Teresa is from Spain & gives her algo de María in Spanish.
"Mary helps me feel how universal the Church is; she helps to bond the faithful together."
James is 29 and from England.
8th September - Our Lady's Birthday - Belita
"I think that Our Lady is the best person in the world and I think we should pray to her because, if we pray to her, she will give us what we want. So I think we should thank her and we should praise her and glorify her. I think the prayers we should say is the rosary and after that be thankful to Our Lady and pray for everyone that needs our prayers. I am very thankful to Our Lady for having Jesus because without Jesus we wouldn't be anything and, yep, I thank Our Lady for listening to God so that we could have Jesus."
Belita is 8 and from Ghana.
"Hail Mary, the most divine mother, it is through you, Our Lady, that we have Jesus in our heart and the peace of love. You are our loving channel through prayer to Jesus."
"I think that Mary is a bit in a way like my Mum because I pray to her at night when I'm scared, like if there's a thunderstorm, or if I'm scared about something that's going to happen in the future or in the past that has happened. And I pray to her when I'm feeling happy as well when I'm glad about something or I'm grateful."
Gwen is 10 & from England.
"I stayed near the Abbey of Fontgombault (in France) where there is a wonderful image of Our Lady of the good death. It is a great grace to visit this abbey and to witness the life of prayer of the monks who live an enclosed life, they're Benedictines, and who say their daily Masses in their splendid 11th century building in the presence of this wonderful statue and to have so strongly the sense that they are all leading their lives in preparation for heaven. And with the accompaniment of this wonderful image, which is always decorated with flowers and surrounded by candles, it puts the cares and concerns of our secular lives into a completely new perspective .. Try always to remember that we are made for heaven, Our Lady wants us with her in heaven and this is how we should give true perspective to our daily lives."
Tim is from England.
"I belong to an order which is specially dedicated to Our Lady. I look on her as my model and my guide through life. If I'm facing struggles and near disasters, I know that I can turn to her and from her example, it helps me to be a bit more steadfast."
"On this Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows it was really helpful to think about all the sufferings that Mary had.. It wasn't until we broke down the dolours in Mass with the children that I thought particularly of her in the flight into Egypt."
Alice is from the UK.
"For me Our Lady is, all my life, my way which I try to follow every day."
Aldona is from Poland. She gives her response in English & Polish.
"I was converted about 11 years ago and my mother, who is still pagan, loves Our Lady. I have given her a small statue of Our Lady and every day she prays to Our Lady, even if she is not Christian, and she always tells me how much Our Lady is protecting me. So it's very real me to me, I am feeling that I am being protected by Our Lady."
Aetheria is from Japan.
"We thank God for our Mother Mary. If you don't love Mary, you don't have a mother. The more you love Mary, your mother is Mary, because you are born from her. And we thank her for all the graces that we're receiving from her."
Victoria is from Nigeria.
"Mary was really strong when her own child died but she was also really sad, but she knew it was the right thing for him to do, like to take away all our sin. She actually really inspires me a lot."
Juliana is 13 and from Colombia.
"I feel like I have a very personal relationship with Our Lady and that she is just so very beautiful. She looks after me, I feel, as a mother does, and sort of encompasses me and holds me and takes care of me through all difficulties I've ever encountered, and makes things fresh and beautiful in my life."
Jamie is from London.
"Every time that I have something, a problem or whatever, Mary is always the first one I think of to help me. I love her so much. She always helps me so much in my every day life. ... Blessed Virgin Mary because you are our mother you will never abandon us and I know that you are always with us, thank you."
Mila isfrom the Philippines.
"To me Mary is very important. She's my hope, my hope for the resurrection because she is one of us, God chose one of us; and she is my sister, my mother, and my presence throughout life."
"Mary to me is a very intimate friend and everything to me, because I feel that I am very close to her whenever I have any difficulties and I always ask her for help, and she seems always to be there for me."
24th September - Feast of Our Lady of Walsingham - Sister Susan Marie of the Sacred Heart ocd
"I think it's one of the blessings of our Carmelite heritage that we have Mary there. Whenever I've had difficulties in my relationship with God or when He has seemed rather far away, Mary has always been there. And I think it's one of the traditions that says 'Who ever went to Mary and came away disappointed?' All I can say is I can echo that myself throughout my life."
"Our Lady to me - when I'm down, she's the sunshine in my life; at night, she is my star. Otherwise, she's the rainbow in my life, a refuge, a consoler, a comforter and she has taken the place of my mum. I love her very much."
Our Lady of Medjugorje's message to Marija, 25 September 2011:
"Dear children! I call you, for this time to be for all of you, a time of witnessing. You, who live in the love of God and have experienced His gifts, witness them with your words and life that they may be for the joy and encouragement to others in faith. I am with you and incessantly intercede before God for all of you that your faith may always be alive and joyful, and in the love of God. Thank you for having responded to my call."
"Cari figli, vi invito affinché questo tempo sia per tutti voi il tempo per testimoniare. Voi che vivete nell’amore di Dio e avete sperimentato i Suoi doni, testimoniateli con le vostre parole e con la vostra vita perchè siano gioia ed esortazione alla fede per gli altri. Io sono con voi e intercedo incessantemente presso Dio per tutti voi perché la vostra fede sia sempre viva, gioiosa e nell’amore di Dio. Grazie per aver risposto alla mia chiamata."
"Queridos hijos! Los invito a que este tiempo sea para todos ustedes tiempo de testimonio. Ustedes, los que viven en el amor de Dios y han experimentado sus dones, testimónienlos con sus palabras y su vida para que sean alegría y estimulo en la fe para los demás. Yo estoy con ustedes e intercedo incesantemente delante de Dios por todos para que su fe sea siempre viva y alegre y en el amor de Dios. Gracias por haber respondido a mi llamado."
"I had a very good Catholic education and I learnt at school all about the doctrines concerning Our Lady and, although I believed and understood them, it made her feel very remote. I couldn't engage with her until after I had been in Carmel 2 or 3 years, one day something clicked: she is my mother not as a mother to a little child, but a mother to an unborn child. I couldn't relate to her because we were distant but because we were too close. Once I understood that I just relaxed and rested and let my mother do the rest."
"Mary means a great deal to me - she's my mother, my friend, my companion in the noviciate. She walks side by side with me, holds me by my hand and guides me all the way through."
"My favourite title of Our Lady is her Greek title Theotokos, the God bearer. To me is the woman who was able to bear such close encounter with God, she is the one who leads us close to God. Therefore she's our model of prayer, our model of the interior of life, the one who was able to remain so close to God she actually bore direct encounter with God."
"Our Lady means to me something very beautiful. A beautiful person, beautiful to look at, beautiful personality, somebody who is very loving and accepting, and who's also protective and will help, help us in any way whatever. When I was a novice, my novice mistress used to say to me 'If you need reminding, go to your guardian angel, but remember he'll only remind you once.' And I used to think 'No, I'm going to Our Lady because she's a mother and she'll keep on reminding you.'"
"One of my favourite pictures of Our Lady is Our Lady of Notting Hill. It was one of the sisters here who had an apparition of Our Lady and some time afterwards she drew what she saw. The picture is very powerful, it's called 'The Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary', and just looking at it is a real prayer. And she leads us through life and through the summit of Mount Carmel, which is our Order, through trials and joys and everything, she's always there and that picture is a reminder to me. She's also full of grace, she's full of the Blessed Trinity and she lets us participate in her life. I think that's wonderful - not only for me, for everybody."