Mother Mary novena

One good way to prepare for a Marian event is to spend a few minutes each of nine days some time prior to the occasion by meditating on the gospel readings provided below. These are all the passages in the four gospels that mention Mary (or Jesus’ mother).

They will help you get to know her better and learn much from her. Notice how quiet she is, how humble, and simple: no fanfare or boasting after God’s momentous Annunciation through his archangel, or when shepherds reported the glorious apparition of angels at Jesus’ birth, or after the Presentation in the temple in the presence of prophets, or when visited by wise visionaries from the east. Mary’s Song, filled with profound spiritual wisdom, was spoken in the hearing of just one person, Elizabeth. At the wedding feast in Cana she acted behind the scenes to alert Jesus concerning the shortage of wine – allowing Jesus to be glorified, not herself. Superficiality finds no place in this exemplary saint par excellence.

Everyone should learn from Mother Mary. Those who crave to be noticed and admired at every social function and religious gathering, should learn from her. Those who pride themselves for their exceptional talents and accomplishments, their superior knowledge and personality, should learn from her. Those who are puffed-up by the gift of the gab, who broadcast their pious utterances and cute remarks for the sake of fame and recognition, should learn from her.

In honour of Mary’s position as the Mother God, you may also use this novena to ask her intercession for prayer requests. She is full of grace, but does not keep them for herself. She will give them to you and, as a loving mother, will ask for more graces from God on your behalf.

At the end of each meditation, please answer the question(s) in a thoughtful way. What is it that makes Mary so useful to God that he sends her as his messenger to appear on earth again and again ever since the first century of the Christian era?

 

Day 1

Genealogy

“This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:

Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar, … Salmon the father of Boaz, whose mother was Rahab, Boaz the father of Obed, whose mother was Ruth, Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of King David.

David was the father of Solomon, whose mother had been Uriah’s wife, … Matthan the father of Jacob, and Jacob the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary, and Mary was the mother of Jesus who is called the Messiah.” (Mt 1:1–16, NIV)

The annunciation

“In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, ‘Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!’ But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High;

and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David,

and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever;

and of his kingdom there will be no end.’

And Mary said to the angel, ‘How shall this be, since I have no husband?’ And the angel said to her,

‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you,

and the power of the Most High will overshadow you;

therefore the child to be born will be called holy,

the Son of God.

     And behold, your kinswoman Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son; and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’” (Lk 1:26–37, RSV)

“Mary said, ‘You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said.’ And the angel left her.” (Lk 1:38, NJB)

 

Questions:

When God called you to do something, what was your usual response?

At what stage would your reply be: “You see before you the Lord’s servant, let it happen to me as you have said”?

The angel told Mary: “For with God nothing will be impossible.” Do you dare ask the Lord for great and noble things and truly believe that he can give them to you?

 

Day 2

The visitation

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!’

Mary’s Song

And Mary said: ‘My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.’ Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” (Lk 1:39-56, NIV)

 

Questions:

What does this mean: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant”?

How does one “fear” God? [Please check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_of_God, and Mt 10:28, Heb 10:26 – 31, and 2 Thes 1:5–10.]

The following sentences show what happens to the proud, the powerful and the rich: “he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones, … but has sent the rich away empty.” Which sentences in Mary’s Song describe God’s mercy towards the humble, and the hungry, and those who fear the Lord?

In what ways are you rich: money, talents, knowledge, position of influence, friends, popularity, …?

How would you live in genuine humility so that the Mighty One will show you his mercy and do great things for you, and through you, unto generations upon generations?

 

Day 3

Joseph takes Mary as his wife

“Now this is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about. When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found with child through the holy Spirit. Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man, yet unwilling to expose her to shame, decided to divorce her quietly. Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her. She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.’ All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:

‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child

and bear a son,

and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”’ When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.” (Mt 1:18–24, NAB)

The birth of Jesus

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. So all went to be enrolled, each to his own town. And Joseph too went up from Galilee from the town of Nazareth to Judea, to the city of David that is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. While they were there, the time came for her to have her child, and she gave birth to her firstborn son. She wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Lk 2:1–7, NAB)

The shepherds

“Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear. The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

‘Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to those on

whom his favor rests.’

When the angels went away from them to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go, then, to Bethlehem to see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.’ So they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the infant lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known the message that had been told them about this child. All who heard it were amazed by what had been told them by the shepherds. And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, just as it had been told to them.” (Lk 2:8–20, NAB)

 

Questions:

How do the following proclamations impact your outlook on this sinful world? One: Joseph is told that Mary’s son, Jesus, “will save his people from their sins.” Two: the angel said to the shepherds: “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord.”

If you ask God in faith for a favour, what does it take for you to start conducting yourself as though the favour is already happening?

 

Day 4

The presentation in the temple

“When the days were completed for their purification according to the law of Moses, they took him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, just as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every male that opens the womb shall be consecrated to the Lord,’ and to offer the sacrifice of ‘a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons,’ in accordance with the dictate in the law of the Lord.

Now there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, awaiting the consolation of Israel, and the holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the holy Spirit that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. He came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform the custom of the law in regard to him, he took him into his arms and blessed God, saying:

‘Now, Master, you may let your servant go

in peace, according to your word,

for my eyes have seen your salvation,

which you prepared in sight of all the peoples,

a light for revelation to the Gentiles,

and glory for your people Israel.’

The child’s father and mother were amazed at what was said about him; and Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, ‘Behold, this child is destined for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be contradicted (and you yourself a sword will pierce) so that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived seven years with her husband after her marriage, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple, but worshiped night and day with fasting and prayer. And coming forward at that very time, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were awaiting the redemption of Jerusalem.” (Lk 2:22–38, NAB)

 

Question:

What insights have you learned from Simeon’s prayer: “Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation”?

 

Day 5

The wise men

“After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judaea during the reign of King Herod, suddenly some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east asking, ‘Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.’ When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, ‘At Bethlehem in Judaea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

And you, Bethlehem,

in the land of Judah,

you are by no means the least

among the leaders of Judah,

for from you will come a leader

who will shepherd my people Israel.’

Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, ‘Go and find out all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.’ Having listened to what the king had to say, they set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went forward and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.” (Mt 2:1–12, NJB)

The escape to Egypt

“After they had left, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you, and escape into Egypt, and stay there until I tell you, because Herod intends to search for the child and do away with him.’

So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, left that night for Egypt, where he stayed until Herod was dead. This was to fulfil what the Lord had spoken through the prophet:

I called my son out of Egypt.

Herod was furious on realising that he had been fooled by the wise men, and in Bethlehem and its surrounding district he had all the male children killed who were two years old or less, reckoning by the date he had been careful to ask the wise men. Then were fulfilled the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah:

A voice is heard in Ramah,

lamenting and weeping bitterly:

it is Rachel weeping for her children,

refusing to be comforted

because they are no more.” (Mt 2:13–18, NJB)

 

Question:

On coming close to baby Jesus, the wise men were filled with joy and, “falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh.”

What treasures will you bring to Jesus?

Here is a beautiful gift we can give to him after introspection and conversion. The wise men, cautioned not to go home retracing their former steps, took a far better route. Let’s ask ourselves: “What’s wrong with the way I have been going on? Why have I constantly thirsted for vain-glory and praise? Was that not pride? Was that not self-destructive in the long run? Didn’t I already know the warning: ‘For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted’ (Mt 23:12, NIV)? What must I do to embark on a new path – the path of humility?”

 

Day 6

The return to Nazareth      

“After Herod’s death, suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, ‘Get up, take the child and his mother with you and go back to the land of Israel, for those who wanted to kill the child are dead.’ So Joseph got up and, taking the child and his mother with him, went back to the land of Israel. But when he learnt that Archelaus had succeeded his father Herod as ruler of Judaea he was afraid to go there, and being warned in a dream he withdrew to the region of Galilee. There he settled in a town called Nazareth. In this way the words spoken through the prophets were to be fulfilled:

He will be called a Nazarene.” (Mt 2:19–23, NJB)

Finding Jesus in the Temple

“Each year his parents went to Jerusalem for the feast of Passover, and when he was twelve years old, they went up according to festival custom. After they had completed its days, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, but his parents did not know it. Thinking that he was in the caravan, they journeyed for a day and looked for him among their relatives and acquaintances, but not finding him, they returned to Jerusalem to look for him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions, and all who heard him were astounded at his understanding and his answers. When his parents saw him, they were astonished, and his mother said to him, ‘Son, why have you done this to us? Your father and I have been looking for you with great anxiety.’ And he said to them, ‘Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ But they did not understand what he said to them. He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus advanced [in] wisdom and age and favor before God and man.” (Lk 2:41–52, NAB)

 

Questions:

If Jesus was the Son of God, why did he need to advance in wisdom? Wasn’t he wise already? Why did he have to obey Mary and Joseph? [Please check Philippians 2:5–9. This is a very important passage.]

If Mary and Joseph searched for Jesus, would they not also be searching for you, their child? How will you express your belief in their love and care for you?

As Jesus lived in obedience to Mother Mary, he advanced in wisdom and age and favour before God and man. How will you advance in wisdom and favour with God and man through imitating her example of humility?

 

Day 7

Cana

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, ‘They have no more wine.’

‘Woman, why do you involve me?’ Jesus replied. ‘My hour has not yet come.’

His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water’; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, ‘Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”’

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside  and said, ‘Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.’

What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples.” (Jn 2:1–12, NIV)

 

Questions:

Why did Mary initiate the action that started Jesus’ first public miracle? If Mary said nothing, wouldn’t Jesus have noticed the problem and performed the miracle anyway?

If Mary asks you to do whatever Jesus tells you, would you do it? Would you carry out everything Jesus tells you in the Gospel? When would you begin? How would you begin?

 

Day 8

The rejection of Jesus

“Jesus left there and went to his hometown, accompanied by his disciples. When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed.

‘Where did this man get these things?’ they asked. ‘What’s this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?’ And they took offense at him.

Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own town, among his relatives and in his own home.’ He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.” (Mk 6:1–6, NIV)

Jesus’ spiritual family

“Now Jesus’ mother and brothers came to see him, but they were not able to get near him because of the crowd. Someone told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ He replied, ‘My mother and brothers are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.’” (Lk 8:19–21, NIV)

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.’ He replied, ‘Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.’” (Lk 11:27–28, NIV)

This is your mother

“Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, ‘Woman, this is your son.’ Then to the disciple he said, ‘This is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.” (Jn 19:25–27, NJB)

 

Questions:

If Jesus tells you that Mary is your mother, would you take her into your own home immediately? For her to be your mother, you would have to “hear the word of God and obey it.” How often would you read the word of God in the Gospel and put Jesus’ commands into practice? Will you commit to doing that every day from now on?

 

Day 9

Do the following devotion: The Joys of Mary.

 

2018/9/14-16 MCC Retreat: 樂在祈禱中

Theme: 樂在祈禱中
Spiritual Director: Fr. Francis Ching
Date: Sept 14-16, 2018

(audios in Cantonese)

To download audios: Click the title below, and click “Save as…”

Homilies
Sept 15, 2018

Sept 16, 2018

Talks
Sept 14, 2018

Sept 15, 2018
PART I

PART II

PART III

PART IV – Adoration & Healing

Sept 16, 2018
PART I

PART II

NOTES:
Vocabulary of Praise

Kitty Kit Tsing Chan (June B 2018)

2015年我第一次到墨主哥耶朝聖,那年一齊參與的家人有母親,弟妹和弟婦共6人,兩個弟弟至少有20年沒上教堂,當時他們的參與我是很緊張的, 怕他們不厭煩,整天扳起臉,問梁神父意見,神父的答案祈禱交付,不用煩,是聖母的邀請,一切不是問題;感恩過程沒有我擔心的情況出現,回港後弟婦對信仰的熱忱也令弟弟慢慢轉變,也時常出現在教堂內,還跟我參與善會;在那次朝聖中,我也懇求聖母 ,如可以也邀請我兩個囝囝到墨主哥耶與祂親近,因我感受他們兩人像牛像馬,每天營營役役地工作,把自己當全能,天天都說累,主日要上班就自然不上教堂,就算到教堂都不停看手機,心不在焉,不懂用心祈禱,不懂把面對的問題交付,祈求天父帶領;當我回港後,我嘗試和細囝Leo提議他參與朝聖,他的答案是無錢無時間,他任職服務行業,不能請太長的假期,雖然他沒答應,我還是替他先報名,他會不會或能不能去,就袛有祈禱,祈求聖母俯聽!直到2018 年6月26日出發,我更相信聖母媽媽一直為我代禱,她很清楚一個做媽媽的心情和期盼;在我第二次朝聖中感受的恩寵更令我心中激動,事緣就是有一天,團友Ben 問誰可協助分擔在彌撒中輔祭職務,Leo毫不猶疑說他可以,因他在10歲離港前是在聖德肋撒堂當輔祭的,但我卻問他,你能嗎?你超過20多年沒上過祭台了。我的懷疑態度,當時就被眾多的主內兄弟姊妹說我不對,Leo對輔祭工作的熱誠,對用餐的自動幫忙,對上落聖母山、十字架山需幫忙的協助,那裡需要協助的他都自動自覺地出現的,那次朝聖過程中,就像一個天使穿插其中,看在眼裡我記起多次神父常提到,聖母對每事都默存心中,反覆思量的這兩句話語;Leo 是我的兒子,我總覺他多方面沒做好自己,他人的事卻做很多,太沒分寸 ,但在其他人的眼中,他是這樣優秀的;雖然這次朝聖團沒有令Leo改變什麼,但卻改變了我對他的看法,少了挑剔,多了包容;因我不時提醒自己要學習聖母,對上主的依賴,把一切都交付給天主;只有我能學到,有了改變,身邊的人就會看我對上主的的交付,對上主依賴,繼而分享到真正的平安。

Kitty Kit Tsing Chan
June B 2018

Maria Chee Lee (June B 2018)

「用心祈禱,在祈禱中把自己完全交託給耶穌。」
是我在這次默主哥耶朝聖之旅最大的得著。

從來沒有像今次出門時的輕鬆和平靜,多謝默主哥耶中心提供的備忘手冊和33天準備奉獻之旅,就把這十天時間全部奉獻,空虛自己,跟隨聖母媽媽一起,完全信賴祂,感覚像兩歲小孩子出門一樣,十分安心呀!

果然,剛踏入旅館, 隊長Lucia 便派發名牌,聖母媽媽給我的第一個訉息,便是在每天祈禱中,毌忘天主賜予一切旳恩惠感恩和讚頌祂的仁慈,提醒我不要做個忘恩負義的人!

我本是「電器盲」,本來稍微掛心一些的事,如挿蘇開關,電話傳訉問題,同房姊妺一一幫我解決了.真好! 多倫多小組,Margaret 姊妺是笫四次前來,提示我要注意的事,不計其數。例如甚麼時候要帶跪墊和摺椅,吃餐和周囲環境。像大姐姐關懷備至,我還有什么掛心呢!

解決了起居飲食問題,接著是甚麼呢?在我還沒有想到時,小組的姊妹己提我填入辦妥修和聖事的時間。當晩,天氣稍涼,下毛毛雨,在告解亭外等候Fr Leung ,雨點灑在臉上,省察痛悔已罪,Father 語重心長, 赧我罪過,解我心結,皈依天主。感謝Father!

接下來的日子,便是依照導遊小姐和領隊安排,在這個寧靜的小山窩, 聖母揀選的聖地,過著無憂無慮的生活。除了上聖母顯現山和聖十字架上外,每天早餐後,便到小聖堂參與由Father 主持中文彌撒,聆聽天主聖言。下午四時三十分晚餐後,便與萬人以上,來自不同國家和族裔的教友一同誦唸玫瑰經,參與黃昏彌撒聖祭,主內共融合一,十分陶醉!每當下午六時四十分鈡聲敲響,心情十分激動,感到聖母媽媽親身臨在。

最難忘是在晚上十時的朝拜聖體,伴隨著優美的歌聲和短禱,享受與主親蜜的情誼,在聖神內,與基督一起談心事,這個奇妙的交往,很珍惜這段寧靜時刻。在默主哥耶,我做到了!多謝聖母媽媽!

這十天的奇妙旅程,心神沒有想到世俗的事,一心只想像小孩子倚偎在聖母懷抱中。此刻想到天主經首幾句﹕「願你的國來臨,願你的旨意奉行在人間,如同在天上」。在這十天默主哥耶朝聖之旅中,善牧Father 就像在世的耶穌,身體力行,循循善誘,盡責的領隊們如同宗徒,我們就像一班心、身靈有病得以治癒的婦女。大家一同生活,一同祈禱,同心合意,就像活在天堂裏相親愛呀!

「耶穌走遍各城各村講道,宣傳天主國的喜訉,同他在一起的有那十二宗徒,還有幾個曾附過悪魔戓或患病而得治好的婦女。」 (路8:1-2)

Maria Chee Lee
June B 2018

Lise Ng (June B 2018)

各位主內的兄弟姊妹,
你們好!我是Lise 伍雲姿,剛參加完2018 默主哥耶朝聖B團,應Pat Young的邀請,分享一下今次朝聖的得着和經驗。
朋友去年參加了由加拿大默主哥耶朝聖中心主辦的朝聖團,回來後傳給我一些有關聖母媽媽顯現時的訊息,還有”默主哥耶訊息”的中文譯本電子書,看完後開始很嚮往這個地方。剛好有朋友也很想去,便一齊報名,但參加者眾多,要2019才有位,後來有人退出,我和朋友方可補上。非常感恩可以參加到今次朝聖,想必是聖母媽媽願意給我一個再教育的機會。
起程前,曾擔心整整十天在同一地方,做差不多同一樣的事情,會不會悶到發慌?結果我是嫌時間不夠用,希望能多待幾天呢!
我之前都去過其他地方朝聖,但總沒有在默主哥耶的感覺。為何默主哥耶這樣吸引?除了風景美麗,這裏宗教氣氛濃厚,民風純樸,連小朋友都恭敬虔誠,有一晚見到一個坐在BB車上的小朋友,只有兩三歲大,由爸爸推著,手中也拿着唸珠,一起頌唸著玫瑰經,那個畫面,至今難忘,置身這裏,真有如人間天堂。
在人性方面,體驗到團友的無私,互助互愛,犧牲共融的精神,這特別在登聖母顯現山及十字架山時彰顯無遺,願主及聖母媽媽賜福這些天使般的團友繼續有能力去無私助人。出色的領隊Ben和Lucia, 盡責的組長們,皆使行程流暢及充滿愉悅。
在神修方面,慶幸有如慈父般的梁神父帶領,及資深導遊Marijana的妥善安排及講解,確是大開眼界,獲益良多。每晚的戲肉就在晚飯後,五時四十五分就乘車往St. James Church, 六時開始唸玫瑰經,不同國家的神父用本國語言領唸,大家就用自己的語言續唸,很感受到天主教的公教性。每晚六時四十分,是聖母媽媽的顯現時間,大家暫停頌唸,約一, 兩分鐘後再繼續,完成後用克羅地亞語唱聖母德敘禱文,非常悅耳動聽,不其然也隨著默主哥耶黃昏祈禱手冊一起詠唱,七時開始克羅地亞語彌撒,其間有英語翻譯。逢星期二,四,六彌撒後有一小時明恭聖體,從前朝拜聖體無什感覺,但在黙主哥耶美麗的天空下,加上Melinda 美妙的小提琴及歌聲,令我既陶醉,又感動,感受到天主的臨在及無比的大愛,在星期五朝拜十字架時也有這樣的觸動。其他活動如探訪戒毒所,保護婦女中心,及Jakov(神視者), Patrick 及Melinda的分享,還有Sister Emmanuel講解守齋的力量等等,都使我重新反省自己在信,望,愛三德方面,皆需要日新又新。
很感恩今次行程安排到兩次與神視者一起在聖母顯現現埸參與聖母媽媽顯現的美妙時刻。
最後要提提的是每位團員名牌內都有一個聖母媽媽給我們獨一無二的訊息,而我的是 “In this time of grace, let the cross be for you a sign-post of love and unity through which true peace comes.“ 這不正是我最需要的內心平安嗎?感謝聖母媽媽給我的禮物,我會緊記並實行。
回港後,我開始嘗試逢星期三,五守齋,希望繼續努力,以五粒石仔為目標,向天國進發。也會將這些寶貴經驗與家人及朋友分享,使更多人知道聖母媽媽的訊息。
和平之后,為我等祈!
主佑!

Lise Ng
June B 2018

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