Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day Three of St. Maximilian Kolbe's Novena to the Immaculate Conception

    Opening prayer to the Immaculata

    V. How fair you are, 0 Mary!
    R. How fair you are, 0 Mary!

    V. The original stain is not in you.
    R. The original stain is not in you.

    V. You are the boast of Jerusalem,
    R. You are the joy of Israel.

    V. You are the pride of our people.
    R. You are the advocate of sinners.

    V. 0 Mary!
    R. 0 Mary!

    V. You are the wisest of virgins.
    R. You are the kindest of mothers.

    V. Pray for us.
    R. Intercede for us with our Lord Jesus Christ.

    V. Holy Virgin, you were spotless from the very moment of your conception.
    R. Because you bore his Son, pray to the Father for us.

    Through the spotless conception of the Virgin, 0 God, you made ready a dwelling place worthy of your Son. In anticipation of your Son's death you preserved her from every stain. Please purify us by her intercession, so that we might find our way to you. We ask this through Christ our lord.
    R. Amen.

    Day 3: The Immaculata's Place in God's Plan of Creation and Salvation
    Reading: The Immaculata appears in this world, without the least stain of sin, the masterpiece of God's hands, full of grace. God, the most Holy Trinity, beholds the lowliness (i.e., the humility, the root of all her other virtues) of his handmaid, and "does great things" for her (cf. Lk 1:49). God the Father gives her his own Son to be her Son; God the Son descends into her womb; and God the Holy Spirit forms the body of Christ in the womb of this most pure virgin. "And the Word was made flesh" (Jn 1:14). The Immaculata becomes the Mother of God. The fruit of the love of God in his Trinitarian life and of Mary the Immaculata, is Christ, the God-man. Hence forth all the other sons of God must be modeled after this first Son of God, the God-man, the infinite One. They must reproduce his traits; by imitating Christ souls reach sanctity. . . . This is the union brought about by the spousal love of the soul for Christ, through its re-semblance to him, and by God's action. But if anyone does not wish to have Mary Immaculate for his Mother, he will not have Christ for his Brother. . . . Since the firstborn Son, the God-man was conceived only with the specific consent of the most Blessed Virgin, the same must hold true for all men, who must be conformed to their first model in all things ("Sketches for a book," 1940).

    Meditation: From all eternity, God has designed a unique plan for each one of us, no two being identical. His ultimate aim is that we all be fully united to the Lord. May the Immaculata, from her unique position in God's plan, foster our growing conformity to Christ.
    Closing Prayers

    Novena Prayer to the Immaculata
    I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God throne of grace, miracle of almighty power! I greet you, sanctuary of the most Holy Trinity and Queen of the universe, Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners! Most loving Mother, attracted by your beauty and sweetness and by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, and beg of you to obtain for me of your dear Son the favor I request in this novena (here mention you request).

    Obtain for me also, Queen of Heaven, the most lively contrition for my many sins and the grace to imitate closely those virtues which you practiced so faithfully especially humility, purity, and obedience. Above all I beg you to be my mother and protectress, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory. Do not reject my petitions, Mother of mercy! Have pity on me, and do no abandon me during life or at the moment of my death.

    Daughter of the Eternal Father, Mother of the Eternal Son, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, temple of the adorable Trinity, pray for me. Immaculate and tender Heart of Mary, refuge of the needy and hope of sinners, filled with the most lively respect, love, and gratitude, I devote myself forever to your service, and I offer you my heart with all that I am and all that belongs to me. Accept this offering, sweet Queen of Heaven and earth, and obtain for me of your dear Son, Jesus Christ, the favors I ask through your intercession in this novena. Obtain for me also a tender, generous, constant love of God, perfect submission to his adorable will, the true spirit of a Christian, and the grace of final perseverance.

    R. Amen.

    Closing Prayer of Identification with the Immaculata
    O Immaculate Conception, Mary, my Mother, live in me, act in me, speak in and through me. Think your thoughts in my mind, love through my heart. Give me your own dispositions and feelings. Teach, lead and guide me to Jesus. Correct, enlighten and expand my entire personality and life. Replace me with yourself. Incline me to constant adoration and thanksgiving; pray in and through me. Let me live in you and keep me in this union always.

    R. Amen.

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Omnes Sancti et Sanctæ Coreæ, orate pro nobis.