Sunday, February 16, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Maria de Mattias (1805-1866) came from Vallecorsa (Frosinone), Italy. In her adolescence there she met Gaspar and Merlini, under whose guidance she came to realize that her vocation was to found a community of nuns in 1834 at Acuto: the Congregation of the Adorers of the Blood of Christ. Her motto was "Charity toward God and toward our dear neighbor."
Merlini later spoke of Maria as "a strong woman, a tireless worker…" He describes her as having a sensitive heart, open to God's grace, an energetic spirit, and a saintly character. That came, as it always does, at a personal cost. Maria's devotion to the Mother of Christ as a young woman revealed to her her vanity and pride, and moved her to eventually appreciate and perpetuate a greater vision of unselfishly helping others to realize Christ's desire to love and be loved by them, under the symbol of his precious Blood.
Father most holy, who in your loving plan adorned
St. Maria de Mattias with exceptional gifts of grace
so that in the Church she might be a witness to the
blood of Christ: grant that, through her intercession,
we may faithfully adore Christ who died and rose for us,
celebrate with thanksgiving the new and eternal covenant
in his blood, and with zeal proclaim to all the power
of the love of Christ crucified.
Sunday, February 2, 2014
The third prayer of the Blessing of the Candles is a beautiful summation of the message of this feast, full of rich images upon which to reflect:
“Lord Jesus Christ, the true light, you enlighten everyone coming into this world: pour your blessing upon these candles and sanctify them with the light of your grace. Mercifully grant that as these light, enkindled with visible fire, dispel the darkness of night, so our hearts, illumined by invisible fire, that is, the brightness of the Holy Spirit, may be free from the blindness of every vice; that our mental eye may be so purified that we may perceive those things which are pleasing to you and are profitable to our salvation, so that after the dark perils of this world, we may deserve to come into that never-failing light: through you, Christ Jesus, Savior of the world, who in perfect Trinity live and reign, God, world without end. Amen.”