Announcing a new CD — Songs in honor of the Virgin Mary for the Marian month of October

I am pleased to announce the official release of “Mater Dei,” a collection of beloved Marian hymns and original songs in honor of Our Lady.

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Marian classics

Favorites include “Hail, Holy Queen,” “Immaculate Mary” and Shubert’s “Ave Maria.” pitched in a lower key so you can sing along. Continue reading “Announcing a new CD — Songs in honor of the Virgin Mary for the Marian month of October”

“Is My Day Your Day”: Meditations on the wounds of Christ

MARCH 31, 2016–Today’s meditation from The Word Among Us (based upon Luke 24:35-48) reflects upon the wounds Christ received at his death–wounds that remained on his glorified body after the resurrection:

“Jesus’ victory looked so different from what the disciples had expected. Instead of arriving with a king’s crown or a huge army, he returned bearing the wounds of a brutal death. Even though he is now risen in glory, his body remains marred. He isn’t just restored to his former state—he is transformed in a way that reflects the price he paid for our salvation. God didn’t just press a reset button. He took Jesus through death into a new and eternal life.

Jesus’ scars are the marks of his love for us—a love unto death. Every day, he invites us to gaze at these wounds and to see in them the proof of his victory. What’s more, he wants to convince us that he can turn our own wounds into marks of triumph. There is no situation too desperate for him to overcome.”

It may seem morbid to focus on such graphic wounds. But then I am reminded of the love behind those wounds, the love that gave Jesus the courage to follow through with his suffering so that we might know hope in this life and paradise beyond this life.

When I put together my sung rosary book (Mary, Queen of Peace Meditation Guide & Sung Rosary) I included a special meditation on those wounds, based upon a simple practice in Eastern Catholic prayer–that of repeating “Lord, have mercy!”

I invite you try this meditation and see where it leads. It’s led me to some pretty amazing spiritual places.

Meditations on the Wounds of Christ

5th sorrowful betania II full smallA prayer frequently chanted during the Divine Office in the Eastern Catholic Church is “Lord, have mercy.” Often this prayer is chanted 40 times in succession.

I formulated a method with this repetition that turned into a meaningful devotion focusing on the wounds of Christ:

  1. Gazing upon the crucifix, begin by reciting or chanting “Lord, have mercy” 5 times. Each time it is recited, focus on a wound on Christ’s body. For example, recite “Lord, have mercy” and meditate on Christ’s feet. Recite it again and focus on the left hand. Recite it a third time and meditate on the right hand. Recite it again and gaze on the wound in his side. Then recite it a fifth time and focus on the head.
  2. Repeat this cycle 8 times, thus reciting or chanting the prayer 40 times in total.I found, for example, that as I focused on the nail marks in His feet, I thought about where those feet had traveled. I studied the wounded hands and wondered whom they had healed. I thought about his heart, pierced and yet so full of love. I thought about the head and the emotional and mental agony he went through, and yet also marveled at all the wisdom and knowledge that resided in that head. I recalled his teachings, exhortations, and words of comfort.

These are just some of the places where this devotion can take you. May the Spirit of the Living Lord guide you as you gaze upon His wounds and contemplate His love.

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Susan Bailey, Author, Speaker, Musician on Facebook and Twitter
Read my other blog, Louisa May Alcott is My Passion

 

Prayerful resources for your Lenten reflection

Lent is already well underway but perhaps you are still in need of ideas for your reflection. Click on any of the images below for blog posts, songs, videos podcast presentations and Flow Lesson exercises to enhance your Lenten experience:

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Do you have a particular spiritual practice that helps you draw closer to God? Please feel free to leave a comment and share–we can all use new suggestions!

And please–feel free to share on your social media:

twitter-graphic-transTweet: Here’s some great ideas for Lent–songs, videos, podcasts, prayerful exercises http://ctt.ec/2MP5O+

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May you have a blessed Lent and a Happy Easter!

 

Good Friday reflections in video and song

On this Good Friday I wanted to offer several short video reflections as we pause and think about the meaning of this holy day and the glorious Easter to come.

This first video takes a little over 5 minutes to view. It follows the Stations of the Cross using the Jesus Prayer as the reflection:

For a longer reflection, this series of videos leads you through the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary using the music and sung prayers from my Mary, Queen of Peace Meditation Guide & Sung Rosary.

And finally, an excellent reflection found on the Holy Rover blog contains a video connecting the events of Good Friday to our everyday, ordinary activities.

May you all have a blessed day today as you reflect upon the immense, endless love of God, and may it lead to a joyous Easter, celebrated with family and friends.

Click to Tweet & Share: Good Friday reflections in video and song http://wp.me/p2D9hg-rb

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