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Weekly Features: Week of March 9, 2015

By Ann Zlotnik

Features for the week of March 9, 2015.

Season of Lent

Lenten Meditation – Week 3

Meditating on the Passion of Our Lord with Stamps

Passion Plays

Lourdes Poem

A New Type of Apparition

March Commemorations


Lourdes Poem:

On a Cold, Damp, Wintry Day

This world’s a pig’s sty in all that’s awry:
bombs strapped to enraged men’s backs,
angry, afraid, empty, corrupt they cry
to only know hurt and choose death as attack.

Yet one young girl who didn’t read,
drawn through mud to pray on her beads,
opened that grotto, that shelter of truth,
that joy in sadness, silence, respect,
quiet beauty for poor, ones we reject,
warmed in the cold, fed with faith,
called to see our ways are wrong,
called to hear our sins are strong,
called to listen and sing her song.

Two young girls met by River Gave,
their only bond a sense of love,
afraid yet strong, one bore God’s son,
the simple one asked to carry on,
defending an inner call that swelled,
drawing her strangely to Massabielle,
leaving blinded father and mother alone
to find the place where Heaven shone,
singing prayers in a prison cell,
winning mankind from certain hell,
breathing hard through heavy lungs,
reeling down from acrid tongues,
the world now knows the Virgin’s call,
"pray and come, come one, come all ...
grasp the gift from God above,
repent, believe, persist in love."


The Season of Lent:
 Lenten Resources

The commentary in the Sacramentary of the Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the votive Mass, "Holy Mary, Disciple of the Lord," says about Lent:

Lent is a "journey" for the faithful, during which they "more diligently listen to the word of God and devote themselves to prayer with greater earnestness" (SC 109}, and during which they are ready to bear the cross with greater zeal, so that with minds and hearts renewed they may reach a more worthy celebration of the Easter festival. In this way they show themselves true disciples of Christ, hearing his words and seeking to make them their own (see Luke 8:15), following in his footsteps in self-denial (see Matthew 16:24), and striving to stand by his cross in faithful witness (see John 19:26).

The Blessed Virgin Mary was such a disciple. One of the prefaces in the Marian Mass, "The Commending of the Blessed Virgin Mary," sums up the Marian outlook for Lent:

Father, all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks.

At the foot of the cross of Jesus,
by his solemn and dying wish,
a deep bond of love is fashioned 
between the Blessed Virgin Mary 
and his faithful disciples:
the Mother of God is entrusted to the disciples 
as their own mother,
and they receive her 
as a precious inheritance from their Master.

She is to be for ever 
the mother of those who believe,
and they will look to her 
with great confidence in her unfailing protection.
She loves her Son in loving her children,
and in heeding what she says 
they keep the words of their Master.

Through him the angels of heaven 
offer their prayer of adoration 
as they rejoice in your presence for ever.
May our voice be one with theirs 
in their triumphant hymn of praise.
(Preface 13)

The Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 
Masses are arranged according to the divisions of the liturgical year. There are five votive Masses for Lent.

Holy Mary, Disciple of the Lord
The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross, I
The Blessed Virgin Mary at the Foot of the Cross, II
The Commending of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Reconciliation

HAP Grieshaber's Polish Stations of the Cross
The stations are accompanied by reflections from Rev. Johann G. Roten, SM. 

Poetry for Lent

"Mother of Sorrows," "She Shall Crush Thy Head," "Communion of Reparation (for Our Lady of Sorrows)," "To the Sorrowing and Immaculate Heart," "Lady Most Pitiful," "The Passion," and many more...

Poetry for Passiontide:

This poetry section concentrates on the final days of the Lenten

Thomas Merton's, "Evening: Zero Weather" - Written in 1947

Here in the zero days before Lent -
(We are already binding up our sheaves of harvest
Beating the lazy liturgy, going up with exultation
Even on the eve of our Ash Wednesday...)

The Rosary

The Sorrowful Mysteries, to be said on Tuesdays and Fridays, as well as Sundays during Lent.

Marian Music Collection – Lent

For the season of Lent see a selection of chant, traditional, contemporary, ecumenical, and art songs at

Marian Antiphon for Lent

Ave Regina Caelorum – Marian Antiphon for the Time After the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord and Lent.

Akathistos of the Annunciation of the Most Holy Mother of God

Sung on the fourth Sunday of Great Lent in the Eastern Rite Church. The article contains a link to the Akathistos in English.

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