Saturday, February 16, 2008

Saturday - Our Lady's Day


O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary from which you dispense your favors. Already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirimities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore with unceasing confidence to implore your motherly intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. Let me strive to imitate your virtues on earth, that I may one day share your glory in heaven. Amen.


MARY, you have learned the meaning of compassion while you witnessed the long and bitter sufferings of your Son during His holy Passion. At the foot of the cross you received from His lips as an inheritance all the faithful as your children in the person of the beloved disciple John. Your children who invoke you know that your power equals your love. When you were told that Elizabeth was with child, you hastened to her side to help her. If you showed such compassion for the married couple at Cana who were disturbed because the wine failed, how much more will you have pity on the sick whose need is far greater. Who can number all the miraculous cures of the most terrible diseases of body and soul, which have been wrought through your intercession? When we visit sacred shrines, like Lourdes and Fatima, where great churches have been erected in your honor, we find there inscriptions engraved by gratitude and gifts offered to your altar as trophies of your power over diseases which resisted all human aid. Therefore, to whom after Jesus can the Christian turn in the crosses and sufferings of life, if not to you, the Health of the Sick? In your motherly compassion, sympathize with the sick throughout the world and give them comfort and, help, and even health, if this should be God's will.

MARY, you comfort the sick with motherly love and alleviate their sufferings. You take an interest in them lest they lose patience and become discouraged. A mother watches day and night by the bedside of her darling child when it is dangerously ill, lovingly she treats the little one and caresses it. But your love for us is greater than any mother's love. Unseen you stand at the sickbed and serve them with motherly care. You pour strengthening remedies into the hearts of the sick so that they feel their pains of sickness soothed; you speak words of peace and consolation to their souls, so as to revive their courage and to strengthen their confidence; you procure for them the forgiveness of their sins and peace of conscience which is such a comfort in suffering. You help them in every temptation and give them grace to gain the victory. You confirm their hope, fill them with confidence in God, and help them to pray with a cheerful heart and perfect resignation: Thy will be done!

Health of the Sick, help me to realize that it is a great grace to be sick. May sickness lead me to a knowledge of my helplessness and teach me the virtue of humility. May sickness open my eyes to the vanity of all earthly things and direct my heart to those which are above. May sickness weaken the violence of carnal desires and remove from me the occasion of sin. May sickness teach me to pray with devotion; may it give me an opportunity to practice obedience, humility, and confidence in God. May I use sickness as one of the great means I have of atoning for my sins and of increasing my merits for heaven. Help me to thank God for sickness. Though I use the proper means for recovery, I wish to leave it entirely to God to do with me what He wills since He knows what is best for me. Perfect resignation is the most acceptable sacrifice to God, as you have taught me in your own life.

MARY, you are the health of the spiritually sick. In the days of their strength they live in forgetfulness of God, and when illness overtakes them, they lie down with the poison of sin eating into their hearts. The gnawing worm of conscience, the fear of their approaching death, of the judgment to come, and of a never-ending eternity, fills them with anguish and brings them to the verge of despair. May they, too, learn that you are the health of the Sick. Obtain for them the grace of repentance and forgiveness and even bodily health.

Grant us, Your servants, we beg of You, O Lord God, that we may be blessed with health of soul and body, and by the glorious intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, be freed from the sorrows of this present life and enjoy everlasting bliss. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.


Credits: "Our Lady's Titles - Meditations for all Saturdays of the Year" by Fr Lawrence G. Lovasik - copy of the text after Intermirifica Loreto Litany meditations - link on the sidebar Rosary section