Honoring the Immaculate Conception: “Would that I could fully express the thoughts that, in His goodness, God has granted to me on the subject of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin, so that the true understanding that I possess of her merits and the desire that I have to render her fitting homage may remain always in my heart… The most pure body of the Blessed Virgin is a worthy dwelling place for the soul that God created for her. Both are agreeable to God because, from the moment of her Pure Conception, both have been enriched by the merits of the death of her Son. As into a very precious vessel, more and more graces have been poured into her soul and she has never failed to make good use of them. Therefore, with every good reason, she should be honored by all creatures and served in a particular way by Christians since she is the only pure creature who has always found favor in the eyes of God. This makes her the astonishment of the heavenly court and the admiration of all humanity. The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin leads us to realize and to adore the omnipotence of God because grace totally vanquished nature in her. She was saved without ever having been lost, not only through mercy
but also through justice, since this was essential for the Incarnation of the Son of God in the eternal plan for the Redemption of mankind. We must, therefore, honor this Holy Conception that made her so precious in the eyes of God and believe that [we can] receive the assistance of the Blessed Virgin in all our needs. This is so because it seems to me that it would be impossible for God to refuse her anything. His divine and loving glance never left her since she always lived according to His Will. Therefore, we must be convinced that He is always ready to grant whatever she requests because she asks for nothing that is not for His glory and our good.” St. Louise de Marillac (St. Louise [+1660] co-founded, with St. Vincent de Paul, the Daughters of Charity)
All For the Glory of God!
As soon as a good Christian awakens in the morning, he should…profess the Most Holy Trinity, three Persons in one sole God, which Christians alone truthfully and faithfully profess when they bless themselves with the words: In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. [Then he should] profess Jesus Christ, the true Son of God, by reciting the Creed and by firmly and faithfully believing without any doubt that which contains all our Catholic Faith...True God! I freely and from my heart, as a good and faithful Christian, profess the Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three Persons in one God. I firmly believe, without doubting, all that our Holy Mother the Church of Rome believes and teaches. I promise to live and die as a true Christian in the holy Catholic Faith of my Lord Jesus Christ. And if I should not be able to speak at the hour of my death, I now, for when I shall die, acknowledge with all my heart my Lord Jesus Christ as the only Son of God... I ask you, my Lord Jesus Christ, to give me the grace to keep the Ten Commandments today, during this day, and during all the time of my life. I ask you, my Lady Saint Mary, that you intercede for me with your blessed Son Jesus Christ, so that He may give me the grace today, during this day, and during all the time of my life, to keep these Ten Commandments. I ask you, my Lord Jesus Christ, to forgive me the sins which I have committed today, during this day, and during all the time of my life... I ask you my Lady Saint Mary, Queen of Angels, to obtain pardon for me from your blessed Son Jesus Christ for the sins which I have committed today, during this day, and during all the time of my life. -St. Francis Xavier (+1552, a great Spanish Jesuit missionary to Asia.)
The Feast of the Baptism of the Lord: This is a perfect day to remember and renew our baptismal vows and to thank God for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit through Baptism!
Renewal of Baptismal Promises
V. Do you reject Satan? R. I do. V. And all his works? R. I do. V. And all his empty promises? R. I do. V. Do you believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth? R. I do. V. Do you believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and was buried, rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of the Father? R. I do. V. Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting? R. I do. V. God, the all-powerful Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has given us a new birth by water and the Holy Spirit, and forgiven all our sins. May He also keep us faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ forever and ever. R. Amen.
CONSECRATION TO THE HOLY FAMILY:
O Lord Jesus, you lived in the home of Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. There you grew in age, wisdom and grace as you prepared to fulfill your mission as our Redeemer. We entrust our family to you. O Blessed Mary, you are the Mother of our Savior. At Nazareth you cared for Jesus and nurtured him in the peace and joy of your home. We entrust our family to you. O Saint Joseph, you provided a secure and loving home for Jesus and Mary, and gave us a model of fatherhood while showing us the dignity of work. We entrust our family to you.
Holy Family, we consecrate ourselves and our family to you. May we be completely united in a love that is lasting, faithful and open to the gift of new life. Help us to grow in virtue, to forgive one another from our hearts, and to live in peace all our days. Keep us strong in faith, persevering in prayer, diligent in our work, and generous toward those in need. May our home, O Holy Family, truly become a domestic church where we reflect your example in our daily life. Amen. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us!