Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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SeaStar
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Posted: June 02 2008 at 7:37pm | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

been up to in your life lately?

I am hungering for stories of her goodness.
She has recently introduced me more in depth to her own mother, St. Anne, through AussieAnnie's wonderful blog. I have a sister whose middle name is Anne, and she has been so excited about these blog posts. What a blessing!

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Mary G
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Posted: June 02 2008 at 7:57pm | IP Logged Quote Mary G

doing the round the world Marian project that Kathryn blogged about has shown so clearly that Mary truly is the Mother of all of us ... we had a world map, circling each country as we discussed her apparition or the statue or the specific devotion and it was so cool to see she is ALL OVER the world ... even in areas where you wouldn't think she'd have a presence.

Cool topic Melinda!

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Posted: June 02 2008 at 8:18pm | IP Logged Quote Angie Mc

Lovely, Melinda. Thank you for the invitation to share...

Our Mother is showing me how to be gentle and lady-like. She has a huge undertaking with me . I am starting to see my rough edges softened; to be able to let down my guard without feeling terribly vulnerable...or accept my vulnerability with more grace. Her love is so sweet and tender...so sweet and tender (happy tears).

Mary, thanks for sharing this project idea. May was too short and I want our attention to our Mother to spill into June.

Love,

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Posted: June 02 2008 at 9:15pm | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

This is the best idea for a thread ever, Melinda.

I hope to chime in eventually. In the meantime, looking forward to reading what others have to say.

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Posted: June 02 2008 at 9:30pm | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

Mary is our #1 Go-To Girl around here, to use my teen's lingo. Recently she has guided my teen through some major teen drama, blessed me and hubby with guidance through parenting issues...

I've been learning to trust that her love for my children goes far beyond MY love for them, and this has given me unbelievable peace.

Alice, it's so good to see you posting again!! I've missed you!

Great thread, Melinda!

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Posted: June 03 2008 at 6:50am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

stefoodie wrote:
Alice, it's so good to see you posting again!! I've missed you!

Great thread, Melinda!


Thanks, Sweetie!

I think the reason it is difficult for me to know where to begin writing a story for this thread is that the Blessed Mother is so completely good to us--it is hard to know which tale to tell!

Not long ago, the pilgrim statue of Our Lady of America came to our area. I was so moved by it and, in less than a week, brought my children to visit the statue three times. We offered a great many petitions to Our Lady during that time, and she has shown us over and over again how much she loves us, responding with her usual generosity.

In thanksgiving, we are planning a pilgrimage to Washington DC this summer to see the statue displayed at the John Paul II Cultural Center.

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Posted: June 03 2008 at 9:48am | IP Logged Quote Helen

Thanks Melinda for a great topic!

I'm going to try to put together some words. These deep questions take a little longer to think over and to type. But, it is well worth it. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to say "thank you" to Our Blessed Mother!

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Posted: June 03 2008 at 10:29am | IP Logged Quote Mackfam

I love this topic as well. Thanks Melinda.

I am able to answer quickly because I've been begging Our Lady often lately for help in one particular area of my life. How good she is to be so patient with me!

I seek to emulate her gentleness. If I can manage to wrap my attitude in hers and speak, move and live gently - all is peace, all is ordered rightly. Needless to say, I have so far to go and I fail so frequently! It is always so disturbing to me when I fail at this, and it provides more motivation to me to continue trying. I see how much my children need a gentle mother, and my husband needs a gentle wife.   

I'm so grateful that she is such a gentle mother to me - I need her example so much.

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Posted: June 03 2008 at 11:14am | IP Logged Quote Philothea

I am trusting her with my younger sister, who is making some heartbreaking life choices at the moment. There is so much danger and she is so far from the faith right now ... there is nothing I can do but ask the Blessed Mother and Jesus to intervene.

What has been said above about her gentleness and order resonates with me, as well ... but God is using my hard-charging personality to get some necessary things done right now. I know I need to work on my peace and meekness, but first I need to do what's necessary to provide the basic essentials for my family ... and working on those attributes seems counterproductive at the moment. I'm probably dead wrong about that, but I'm in survival mode right now and not in a frame of mind to do too much introspection.
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Helen
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Posted: June 03 2008 at 11:41am | IP Logged Quote Helen

Philothea wrote:
What has been said above about her gentleness and order resonates with me, as well ... but God is using my hard-charging personality to get some necessary things done right now.


Philothea,
Sounds like you need
the Madonna delle Milizie

(Click the link for an amazing picture)

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Posted: June 03 2008 at 6:45pm | IP Logged Quote Philothea

Helen wrote:
Philothea wrote:
What has been said above about her gentleness and order resonates with me, as well ... but God is using my hard-charging personality to get some necessary things done right now.


Philothea,
Sounds like you need
the Madonna delle Milizie

(Click the link for an amazing picture)


What an amazing picture, indeed! This is just the lift I needed today. Our Lady is looking out for me through you! Thanks.
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Posted: June 04 2008 at 7:53am | IP Logged Quote aussieannie

Helen, fabulous link - I love it! She is the tenderest of mothers but she is also a protectoress of her children par excellence and will not allow them to be harmed.

It makes me think of Our Lady of Capocroce in Italy when she said to the plunderers and invaders, "Back, Soliders! This land is mine." Don't you love it?

That and other stories can be found in Miraculous Images of Our Lady by Joan Carroll Cruz - I know I need to go back and refresh my heart with all those beautiful stories.

Thank you Melinda for sharing your thoughts on getting to know St Anne, Our Lady's mother better. I see St Anne tied so strongly to her daughter that to think of St Anne has to make me think of Our Lady too, giving joy to both.

You know Melinda one of the greatest books for me in showing Our Lady's goodness and love is Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness while Our Lady only features heavily to the very end I feel that she shows her tenderest love and devotion in lifting up the Mexicans higher than any nation after it had been so low and in the grips of false gods that were indeed real devils in disguise. For me, one of the best reads ever. I think that tells us she loves her Mary Magdalen's as well as her Johns.

Mackfam wrote:
I seek to emulate her gentleness. If I can manage to wrap my attitude in hers and speak, move and live gently - all is peace, all is ordered rightly. Needless to say, I have so far to go and I fail so frequently! It is always so disturbing to me when I fail at this, and it provides more motivation to me to continue trying. I see how much my children need a gentle mother, and my husband needs a gentle wife.    


Jennifer we share the same desires and tread the same path.



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Posted: June 04 2008 at 10:12am | IP Logged Quote SeaStar

The picture and the quote give me shivers!

I love it-: "Back, Soliders! This land is mine."
You don't mess with a mother, certainly and especially not Our Lady.

I will have to hunt down both those books, Anne. They will be good reading for me.

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Posted: June 07 2008 at 7:36am | IP Logged Quote Helen

I think I'll have to give the short answer to this question rather than the longer version.

I've been reflecting on the union of the two hearts of Jesus and Mary and how beautiful it is to offer, in prayer, the Heart of Mary to the Lord. (Yes, I MaryVitamin'd it. That's a verb I use. )

St. John Eudes really sums it up with this prayer:
An Offering of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary

O Jesus, only Son of God, only Son of Mary,
I offer Thee the most loving Heart of Thy divine Mother
which is more precious and pleasing to Thee than all hearts.

O Mary, Mother of Jesus,
I offer Thee the most adorable Heart of Thy well-beloved Son,
who is the life and love and joy of Thy Heart.

Blessed be the Most Loving Heart
and Sweet Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ
and the most glorious
Virgin Mary, His Mother,
in eternity and forever.
Amen.

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Posted: June 07 2008 at 7:47am | IP Logged Quote Shari in NY

This isn't a recent story but 9 years ago we were attending a Methodist church and the pastor thought it would be "fun" to baptize the youth group. I gave my daughter a rosary as a baptismal gift, more for the romance of it than anything. Then we decided to learn how to pray the rosary. Then because of a variety of events we decide to join the Church and we were received as a family ( a whole other amazing story) the next Easter. I learned then the power of the Blessed Virgin Mary!!
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Posted: June 07 2008 at 9:20am | IP Logged Quote alicegunther

That is a tremendous story, Shari!

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Posted: June 09 2008 at 10:31pm | IP Logged Quote chrisv664

I had always thought of Mary as someone I should try to emulate in my own motherhood. But several years after my mother passed away, Mary showed me she wants to be more than a "role model". It was Mother's Day and I was at Mass, and feeling terribly down. Mother's Day was a day that I struggled with after losing my mom. My first mothers' day was her last. Anyway, as I was praying, I was asking God to show me my mother. I was missing her so much and just wanted to be able to somehow "see" her. I don't know what I was expecting to happen. My head was bowed and I was fighting off tears so I would not upset my children. As I lifted my head from prayer my gaze was immediately drawn, not by my own will, to the statue of the Blessed mother which our parish keeps on the altar during the month of May. I had a feeling of calm and I knew the Lord had just granted my request. He showed me my Mother; the Blessed Mother. Since then I have been able to come to Mary as a child to her mother. I still try to emulate her, but a new way of relating to her was planted in my heart that day. I am now thankful for my two mothers... the Blessed Mother, and my earthly mother.. also named Mary!

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Posted: June 10 2008 at 8:23am | IP Logged Quote LLR4

     I have always had such a deep fondness in my heart for the Blessed Mother. As a child, I said the rosary every night from 1st-4th grade. I wanted to be a nun. I used to write her notes and put them under my pillow. lol. For me, even a deeper connection to her was born, with the birth of my first child -- knowing the love of a mother, and not wanting to see harm come your children's way. The thought of what she was going through as her Son was tortured, crucified, put to death...

    And then I read this particular book that a Catholic aquaintence loaned to me, and after doing so, I feel like I 'know' the Blessed Mother in a closer way, all the more. My husband was totally absorbed in it (not like him to read these kinds of books) and was always 1-2 chapters ahead of me saying "Oh my gosh..you HAVE to read the next chapter...it is SO good"...or "OH boy, just wait until you read THIS!".....all the way trough the book. My daughter, now 10 read it 3 times.

   It's called Medjugorje-The Message, by Wayne Weible.

Naturally, everyone has heard of Medjugorje, and what has happened to some children their for years. But this book sheds a whole new light -- paints the picture as if you were there yourself, seeing Mary, and honestly....it changed our life in a way. The Blessed Mother's message to the world, through these children who got to experience these amazing apparitions with her, is so POW-ER-FUL and clear, one we ALL MUST KNOW, and I always feel so anxiousness for the whole world to read this book, so they know it clearly too. I tell everyone to read it, and I am highly suggesting it to you all as well.
   
   If you adore Mary, you will all the more after reading this book. If you feel you need a deeper connection with her, this book will do it. What's more, you will feel you know a secret that the world desperately needs to know too. Honestly, I have never 'thought' about life quite the same again, because of this book.



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Posted: June 10 2008 at 9:43pm | IP Logged Quote amethyst

aussieannie wrote:

You know Melinda one of the greatest books for me in showing Our Lady's goodness and love is Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Conquest of Darkness while Our Lady only features heavily to the very end I feel that she shows her tenderest love and devotion in lifting up the Mexicans higher than any nation after it had been so low and in the grips of false gods that were indeed real devils in disguise. For me, one of the best reads ever. I think that tells us she loves her Mary Magdalen's as well as her Johns.


Anne, I am reading this at the moment - it's hard to put down!

Our Lady holds a very special place in my heart. My mother died when I was 3, but as long as I can remember I had asked God to give me another mother.
I struggled in motherhood to my children, everything I did was an experiment as I had nothing familiar in my past to draw from. Over the years I made so many mistakes in parenting that I felt such a failure...evidenced by the separation from some of my older children even today (my eldest is 31).
In 2006 I ardently took steps to begin my conversion to the Catholic faith, and in doing so I began to pray the Rosary daily. One morning after praying my Rosary I prayed the Memorare - when I spoke the words "I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother", well, I fell to my knees and wept for hours. I recognised Our Blessed Lady as my mother, knew that she had always been so, and gave myself to her completely from that day forth.
I have also given over to her my 'lost' children, knowing that she prays for them with perfect prayers and knows exactly where they are and what they need...she will lead them to her Son.
Daily she shows me her love and care...as I seek to emulate her I know I am growing in holiness as a mother and wife. The Rosary has grown me so much closer to Jesus these last years because she takes me to Him in every Ave, every mystery, every petition.
I cannot believe I lived so many decades without her.


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Posted: June 10 2008 at 10:02pm | IP Logged Quote Philothea

I would just note that the Medjugorge apparition has not yet been approved by the Church, so study with caution.
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