Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘Mary’

Holy Week Part I… Holy Thursday

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on March 29, 2017

1Cor 1: 27b-30

1Cor 1: 27b-30

CHRISTIAN PRAYER: Tuesday, Holy Week, Evening Prayer: READING 1Cor 1: 27b-30 (emphasis added with commentary)

God singled out the weak of this world to shame the strong…

Jesus’ birth did not alert the wisest of men in Jerusalem or even the rulers of Israel; instead the message was made known to foreigners and shepherds – Mt 2:1-3 & Lk 2: 8-15

He chose the world’s lowborn and despised, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who were something…

“When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…” Mt. 1:3
“Behold, this Child is set for the rise and fall of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted…” Lk 2: 34b

So that mankind can do no boasting before God. 

“For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God…lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8, 9b

God it is who has given you life in Christ Jesus.  He has made Him our wisdom and also our justice, our sanctification, and our redemption.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away behold the new has come…Christ reconciled us to Himself…For our sake [God] made Him to be sin who knew no sin, that that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. 2Cor 5:17, 18b, 21

The Word of the Lord … Thanks be to God!

Holy Thursday, March 29th, 2018…

It is Holy Thursday…

And the INCREDIBLE is about to occur…

On its heels will come the UNTHINKABLE…

With a day in between before the UNBELIEVABLE…!

Out of all the Gospel accounts of the Passion of Christ and the immediate events leading up to it, I think I like St. John’s the best.  His detail is not only filled with much Spiritual Insight, but his is also a First Person account as he was the ONLY APOSTLE to be at the foot of the Cross and constantly at the side of the Mother of God, Mary, during the entire ordeal of Christ’s Passion.

Having said that, it is important to note, in order to have the fullness of the Passion account, however, the reader does need to also refer to the both the Gospels according to St. Matthew and St Luke.

(Special Note: St. Mark’s gospel account mirrors St. Matthew’s gospel which is why I do not refer to it above…)


What IS Holy Thursday? 

Feast of Unleavened Bread

Holy Thursday is known for many things.  It is the day in which the Feast of…

… Unleavened Bread, on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed. So Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.” They said to him, “Where will you have us prepare it?”

He said to them, “Behold, when you have entered the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him into the house which he enters, and tell the householder, ‘The Teacher says to you, Where is the guest room, where I am to eat the Passover with my disciples?’ And he will show you a large upper room furnished; there make ready.”

And they went, and found it as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover. ~Lk 22: 7-13

Here I want to point out a “little known detail” that I learned in my scriptural classes, the “man carrying a jug of water” is an Essene, the Jewish equivalence of a Religious Brother.  They used a different calendar from the religious Jews which explains why Jesus celebrated His Passover on Thursday and not on Saturday (our calendar denotations) as the rest of Jerusalem did.  But as we will soon find out, this small change only adds to the depth of the Passion itself…

Then they shall take some of the blood…

So it is the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the remembrance of Israel’s deliverance out of the bondage of slavery in Egypt.  When the Hebrews were commanded to “gird their loins”, eat bread without leaven as to demonstrate “haste”, no time to sit down and enjoy a meal.  They must be ready to leave at “a moment’s notice”.  And one thing more… they must,

…take every man a lamb according to their fathers’ houses, a lamb for a household; and if the household is too small for a lamb, then a man and his neighbor next to his house shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old; you shall take it from the sheep or from the goats [not everyone had sheep]; ~Ex 12: 3c-5

A Lamb without blemish…

The Lamb must be WITHOUT BLEMISH…

For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ~2 Cor 5:21

Jesus knew His “hour had come”, when He was to…

…depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. ~Jn 13:1

AND IT IS ALSO THE DAY when Jesus washed the feet of His disciples…

Rose from supper, laid aside His garments… poured water into a basin…

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper, laid aside His garments, and girded Himself with a towel. Then He poured water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. ~Jn 13: 3-5

A puzzling thing, for us in this modern world of socks and shoes, to see the Savior of the world WASH the feet of those He called Apostles.  But for the ancient, this action has GREAT SIGNIFICANCE. 

Anytime one entered into a house or a banquet there were always pitchers and basins of water available to wash the feet of those who had come in from the outside.  Usually done by the person with their own dirty feet.  But CHRIST washed the feet of HIS DISCIPLES, showing them utmost respect.

One of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him, (Please note, Jesus did not invite him, HE INVITED Jesus.  Jesus ate with sinners but only at their invitation, C. Dolan…) and He went into the Pharisee’s house, and took His place at table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that He was at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Then turning toward the woman He said to [the Pharisee], “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave Me no water for my feet, but she has wet My feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You gave Me no kiss, but from the time I came in she has not ceased to kiss My feet. You did not anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with ointment. ~Lk 7:36-38, 44-46


Son, they have no more wine… Do whatever He tells you.

Beyond the necessary and practical, this was not the first time we encountered this.  The first occurred at another feast, a WEDDING FEAST, when Jesus revealed who He was to His disciples at His mother’s request.  Do you remember when? See Jn 2: 1-11. 

Something to note, the Jars that Jesus had filled which tells us the water in them had already been emptied.  For what?  For the washing of feet, as is customary when entering a house or a feast.  And in these jars Jesus made  NEW WINE out of water.  Thus giving us a FORETASTE of the NEW WINE He will soon institute during this Passover celebration with His Apostles.

We come today to that solemn moment when something of Eternity, something of the sacred sanctuary where God dwells in His total otherness, breaks through out world, and we come face to face with the Living God.  We celebrate today the institution of the Eucharist [the 5th Luminous Mystery] that astonishing gift that Jesus left each one of us, His Presence among us [cf Mt 28:20b], as a living memorial of His Passion and Death, and as the living evidence of His care and concern for us, who often get so lost in the business of living we can forget how precious we are to our Creator.   ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, emphasis added.

This is My Body which is given for you.

Tuesday and Wednesday’s readings (Jn 13: 33, 36-38 and Mt 26: 14-25), prepare us for Christ’s Passion and death.  Today’s reading focus on the washing of the Apostle’s feet, which is why we must now look to the accounts in Luke and Matthew to discover this great gift that Jesus fulfills the promise ahead of time, that He will never leave us (Mt 28:20b).  Taken from the Gospels according to St. Luke and St. Matthew, we read…

And He took bread, and when He had given thanks He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me.” And likewise the cup after supper, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Lk 22: 19-20, (emphasis added)

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins ~Mt 26: 27c-28, (emphasis added)

Did you know that this mirrors much of what was written in Exodus when the directions of how to eat the Passover are explained?

They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. ~Ex 12:8, (emphasis added)

The flesh of…?

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male…Ex 12:3c (emphasis added)

But that ‘s not all!  What about the blood from this unblemished male lamb?

Then they shall take some of the blood, and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat them… ~Ex 3:7

The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt. ~Ex 3:13 (emphasis added)

Question:  What is often referred to as the “doorway to the soul”? 

Answer: The Human Heart

But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins, upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, by His stripes we were healed. ~Is 53:5 (NAB)

… Today I am sending you with My mercy to the people of the whole world. I do not want to punish aching mankind, but I desire to heal it, pressing it to My Merciful Heart.  I use punishment when they themselves force me to do so;  My hand is reluctant to take hold of the Sword of Justice (cf. Rev 19:11-16).  Before the Day of Justice I am sending the Day of Mercy.~Diary§1588  (emphasis added), Divine Mercy, St. Faustina…

Question: What kind of plague can destroy a person?

Answer: DEATH

Shall I deliver them from the power of the nether world? Shall I redeem them from death? Where are your plagues, O death! where is your sting O nether world!  Compassion is hid from my eyes. ~Hosea 13:14

“O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”  The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. ~1 Cor 15: 15c-17

So by the pouring out of the Lamb’s blood, the “sting of death”, which is right judgment for all who oppose God…

…the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…~Romans 3: 22-23 (emphasis added)

God’s rightful judgment will pass over us IF we rely on the Son and His GREAT MERCY which flows from His pierced side…


So when you attend Mass tonight, and participate in the Lord’s Supper and the washing of the feet, REMEMBER, this TREMENDOUS GIFT came from Him who is LOVE.  Do not receive this gift haphazardly as if it were nothing but mere bread and wine, for what Jesus said, HE MEANT…!

This IS  My Body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of Me…This cup which is poured out for you is the New Covenant in My blood…” ~Luke 22: 19, 20, (emphasis added)

“Drink of it, all of you; for this is My Blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins…” ~Mt 26: 27c-28, (emphasis added)

Because St. Paul warns us MOST STERNLY…

Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the BODY and BLOOD of the Lord. Let a man examine himself [CONFESSION], and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. ~1 Cor 11: 23-29 (emphasis added)

Have you been to Confession yet?

“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation…” 2Cor 5:18

In the Eucharist, we come closer to God than is conceivable and He draws close to us in a moment of breathtaking wonder, if we only open our eyes and our minds to the marvel.  [As St. Thomas Aquinas said], “The Eucharist…is the living evidence, the shining token of God’s overpowering LOVE for us.  The very substance of our hopes has its foundation in this tender familiarity of Christ towards us.  The Eucharist IS PROOF…of God’s passionate love for us and all of our HOPE is grounded in this closeness that we have to God in this amazing MYSTERY.” ~Fr Clifford Stevens, Homily, Holy Thursday, (emphasis added)

O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine…

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Nativity (Birth) of Mary

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on September 8, 2016

Hail, Mary, Full of Grace!

Hail, Mary, Full of Grace!

Greetings!:  Recently we celebrated the birth of the Mother of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. This reflection as seen from the eyes of the Mother of the Redeemer, the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Please refer to the: INTRODUCTION if you are a first time reader, as it explains the origin of the reflection below.


AFTER GOD HAD CREATED Mary’s immaculate soul, He showed it to the choirs of angels in heaven, and they felt intense joy upon seeing its unique beauty.

Then, as Mary’s soul was infused into her body, her holy mother, St. Ann, was filled with the [Holy Spirit] and experienced an extraordinary devotion and happiness. Throughout rest of her life, and especially during the next nine months, she constantly received new graces and enlightenment concerning the great mystery of the Incarnation, and frequently praised the Lord in canticles of love.

However, in order to increase her merit, God allowed St. Ann to undergo grievous trials during her pregnancy… Satan did not know that her daughter was to be the Mother of the Saviour,… [but] he did his best to tempt and disturb and harm her… she resisted all his attacks with humble fortitude, patience, and prayer.

St. Ann, mother of Mary, pray for us!

St. Ann, mother of Mary, pray for us!

Next, Satan incited some of St. Ann’s women friends to treat her with open scorn and mockery because of her late pregnancy.  St. Ann did not permit herself to be upset by this injustice, but in all meekness and humility she bore the insults and acted with still greater kindness toward these women.

Early in September, St. Ann was informed interiorly by the Lord that the time of her daughter’s birth was near…she sent for three of her closest women relatives…When she told St. Joachim, he rejoiced and went among his flocks in order to choose the finest lambs, goats, and bulls, which he sent to the Temple in care of his servants as an offering of gratitude to the Lord.

One evening the three women arrived and embraced Ann, congratulating her warmly. Standing with them, she poured forth her deep joy and thankfulness in a beautiful spontaneous canticle,…St. Ann prayed until nearly midnight…While she was praying thus, a supernatural light began to fill the room. Noticing it, the three friends threw themselves onto the floor and hid their faces in awe.  So the dazzling light entirely surrounded St. Ann, making her invisible.

A moment later she was holding in her hands a beautiful, spotless, radiant baby, which she tenderly wrapped in her cloak and pressed to her heart. With tears of fervent love joy, she gazed at her child and then, raising her eyes to heaven and holding up the baby, she prayed:

“O Lord and Creator, with eternal thanks I offer Thee this blessed fruit of my womb which I have received from Thy bounty without any merit of mine. But how shall I be able to treat such a child worthily?”

God gave her to understand that she was to bring up her daughter with all motherly love and care but without outward show of reverence, while retaining inwardly profound veneration for the future Mother of the Messiah.

Later St. Ann retired to her room and lay down on her bed with her baby in a little cradle next to her, and St. Joachim was called in. The holy old man knelt beside the bed, deeply moved at the sight of this lovely daughter for which he and his dear wife had waited and suffered for twenty long years. While warm tears flowed freely down his cheeks, he carefully took the baby in his arms and sang a fervent hymn of praise to God.

The next day many friends and neighbors of St. Ann St. Joachim came to see the baby and congratulate the happy parents. Everyone was deeply touched upon seeing little Mary lying in her cradle, wrapped in her red and gray swaddling clothes, and there was general rejoicing.

Now in heaven the Blessed Trinity announced to the choir of angels:  “Our Chosen One shall be called Mary, and this name is to be powerful in grace.”


Saint Anne with her daughter, Mary, the Mother of God

Saint Anne with her daughter, Mary, the Mother of God

Hail [Mary], full of Grace, the Lord is with you! ~Luke 1:28

As we continue to pray and prepare for the coming of God – Jesus Christ – both into our hearts and in to human flesh, may we ever be mindful of the privilege and power that God has given to His Mother.  Especially we our society so frequently abuses her name and virginity.  PRAY for those who wound God so closely with their words of ignorance and hatred!  It is they who will receive much justice at the hand of the Returning King.

Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, [Jesus]! ~Luke 1:42

Pray for US SINNERS, now and at the hour of our death.  Amen!

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