Friday, December 4, 2009

First Saturday Devotions and Mary - Some thoughts

I've admittedly not given much thought to "First Saturdays" devotions. I see them on my Church Calendar and mentally "pooh-pooh" them as archaic rituals meant to give older women in altar veils something to do with their weekends. However as time goes on, I'm learning that following the example of older women in altar veils isn't the worst thing in the world!

The Devotion originated as a recommendation from Our Lady to Sr. Lucia Santos, one of the Fatima visionaries, as follows:

Look, my daughter, at my Heart encircled by these thorns with which men pierce it at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You, at least, strive to console me, and so I announce: I promise to assist at the hour of death with the grace necessary for salvation all those who, with the intention of making reparation to me, will, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, go to confession, receive Holy Communion, say five decades of the beads, and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary.
- Our Lady of Fatima to Sr. Lucia

Sometimes it is difficult for me to envision my prayers as an actual consolation to Mary's Sorrows. However, Brother Ed (our Fraternity's spiritual assistant) emphasizes that we must embrace our "pilgrim" soul, and seek out God with new eyes and new ways. Paradoxically this has led to to "old" ways; traditional Catholic devotions I may have dismissed or been unaware of in the past, like the Rosary, Novenas, Scapular, and First Fridays and Saturdays.

So, I begin my own First Saturdays devotion tomorrow. Though the prayer may be difficult, I can imagine the suffering of Mary between the Crucifixion and Resurrection - the First Holy Saturday. How her faith must have been tested! How anguished she must have been! She was no wispy, ethereal entity as she is sometimes portrayed in art. She was a middle-aged mother who had just witnessed her only Son arrested, ridiculed, abused, beaten, and executed in one of the most horrid ways ever devised. I can imagine her pain. The focus of my prayer will be to remember how I personally can hurt others - mentally and spiritually - with my actions and inaction, and to make prayerful reparation to them with the help of Our Mother through her Son.

God Love You!

Feast of St. John of Damascus
First Friday

Daily Mass Readings
Isaiah 29:17-34
Psalm 27:1,4,13-14
Matthew 9:27-31

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