Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy

My Life for Your Freedom

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Litany of Blessed Virgin Mary for the Persecuted Church

Mercedarian Friar - Friday, September 12, 2014

Throughout the Gospels, Jesus made it clear to his disciples that they would experience persecution and hatred. He tells us in Matthew 10:22, "You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." And again in John,"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A slave is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you... (Jn. 15:20)" Yet despite all of this Scriptural evidence we are often lulled into thinking that persecution and martyrdom for the Faith are things of the past. It takes events such the Arab Spring uprising in Syria and the most recent ISIS brutal jihad in Iraq to wake us up. Even the most lukewarm of Christian now knows that believing does indeed mean hardship and even death to many of our fellow Christians.

 

What are we do in such a situation? We must return to the Scriptures and the tradition of our Church which tells us that persecution is part of the Christian walk. It is critical that we not stand ideally by while any are suffering injustice, let alone our own fellow Believers. We must make it know that this is a grave injustice and one that we will not tolerate.  Also, we are called to respond to this onslaught by coming together in prayer, fasting, and solidarity with those members of the Body of Christ who are suffering. In true Christian charity, we pray for our persecutors that their eyes may be opened to the Truth.

 

One of the Order's parishes, Our Lady of Lourdes, has offered an opportunity for the faithful to come together in prayer for the persecuted Church. For seven Sundays, they have organized a holy hour of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament for the Persecuted Church. The faithful come together to adore the Lord and make reparation for the crimes committed against religious freedom and the dignity of the human person.

 

Please join us in prayer for all involved in these crimes against humanity. We offer this beautiful litany as a fitting prayer for these times:

 

Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the Persecuted Church

 

Lord, have mercy.                                                               

Lord, have mercy.

Christ, have mercy.                                                             

Christ, have mercy.

Lord, have mercy.                                                               

Lord, have mercy.

 

God our Father in heaven,                                                  

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, redeemer of the world,                                  

Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Spirit,                                                             

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,                                                          

Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary,                                                                            

Pray for us.

Holy Mother of God,                                                             

Pray for us.
Queen of the silenced Church,                                            

Pray for us.                                  

Loving Guide of exiles and refugees,                                   

Pray for us.

Mother of the oppressed and those who have disappeared,

Pray for us.

Help of the exploited,                                                             

Pray for us.

Consoler of the victims of unbridled capitalism,                     

Pray for us.

Refuge of the forgotten in wealthy nations,                            

Pray for us.

Hope of those in shelters,                                                       

Pray for us.

Stare of the outcast and victims of racism,                             

Pray for us.

Eye that never sleeps,                                                             

Pray for us.

Indestructible wall against heresy,                                           

Pray for us.

Mother and help of the wayward,                                             

Pray for us.

Queen of the afflicted,                                                              

Pray for us.

Redemptress of the repudiated,                                               

Pray for us.

Help of Christians,                                                                    

Pray for us.

Queen of Confessors,                                                               

Pray for us.

Queen of Apostles,                                                                   

Pray for us.

Queen of Martyrs,                                                                     

Pray for us.

 

Option A

Through the blood of the Martyrs,                                            Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the exile of confessors,                                              Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the chains of the imprisoned,                                     Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the violence done to the innocent,                             Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the tears of the persecuted,                                       Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the trials against your saints,                                     Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the defamations uttered against your Vicar,              Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the insults against bishops,                                        Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the slander against priests and religious,                   Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through the accusations against your Bride,                           Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.
Through the torture accepted for your glory,                             Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through locked and destroyed churches,                                 Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through plundered altars,                                                         Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

Through moral restrictions and forced confessions,                  Lord, give your Church freedom unity and peace.

 

Option B

From the hatred of apostates,                                                     Lord, free your Church.

From the terrorism of atheists,                                                    Lord, free your Church.

From the error of materialism,                                                     Lord, free your Church.

From classism and racism,                                                          Lord, free your Church.

From all slavery,                                                                           Lord, free your Church.

From false prophets,                                                                    Lord, free your Church.

From the poison that invades peoples minds,                              Lord, free your Church.

From sacrilege against Consecrated persons,                             Lord, free your Church.

From atheistic education,                                                             Lord, free your Church.

From war against religion,                                                            Lord, free your Church.

From deprivation of freedom,                                                       Lord, free your Church.

From our indifference,                                                                  Lord, free your Church.

From confusion of ideas,                                                              Lord, free your Church.

 

Option C

For all who are persecutors,                                                         Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who have betrayed you,                                                    Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who are deceived by error,                                                Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who have no faith in you,                                                   Lord, hear our prayer.

For all who do not love you,                                                          Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who do not pray,                                                            Lord, hear our prayer.

For the new Judas',                                                                       Lord, hear our prayer.

For our apostles who have abandoned you,                                 Lord, hear our prayer.

For those who are weak in professing their Faith,                        Lord, hear our prayer.

For the indifference toward the suffering,                                      Lord, hear our prayer.

For an end to all persecution,                                                        Lord, hear our prayer.

For Christian unity,                                                                         Lord, hear our prayer.

For world peace,                                                                            Lord, hear our prayer.

 

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,                    Spare us, Lord.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,                    Graciously hear us.

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world,                    Have mercy on us.

 

V. We fly to your protection, O holy Mother of God.

R. Despise not our petitions in our necessity, but deliver us from all evil, O glorious and blessed Virgin Mary.

 

Let us pray: God our Father, in your mysterious providence, your Church must share in the sufferings of Christ your Son. Give the spirit of patience and love to those who are persecuted for their Faith in you, that they may always be true and faithful witnesses to your promise of eternal life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

 

Ways to give:

Help Iraq Catholics

Catholic Relief Services to Middle East

 

More Information:

Voice of the Martyrs

 

 

 

An Easter Reflection on the Gift of Freedom

Mercedarian Friar - Thursday, May 01, 2014

The following is based on a reflection from the 3rd Sunday of Easter (Luke 24:13-35)

One of the greatest gifts of being a parent is to recognize tangibly the beauty of life that God creates and blesses. Seeing your child run about with such joy and innocence is often a moment of contemplation for many. They may wish whimsically that they could keep them at 3 or 4 years of age forever. We all know too well the harsh realities of this world. How many, who began with the same innocence, have gone down a dark path.

 

However, we also deep down know that we can’t keep them in a bubble or “try to dominate the rhythm of life (Pope Francis, E.G. #82)” which must play out as it will. Yet, this fact doesn’t stop many from becoming what is popularly coined helicopter parents; hovering over their children trying to prevent the wrong choices. These parents, who know well the dangers of life, have all the best intentions for their children. But, is this how God our Father deals with us?

 

We see in today’s Gospel that Jesus has a much different way of treating his beloved. He profoundly respects the freedom of the disciples and chooses to quietly invite rather than force or even pressure. For there is no coercion in Love. This Road to Emmaus is more than just a physical walk, it is a powerfully symbolic spiritual journey. Jesus comes upon these two distraught disciples walking and takes pains to hide Himself. The passage says, “…their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.” The Lord just simple asks them questions as a fellow traveler. “What are you discussing as you walk along?” “What sort of things… (have taken place in Jerusalem)?” The two men go on to explain the mystery of the cross and the empty tomb. Jesus is encouraging them to engage their whole person in the mystery; mind, senses, and soul. The hidden Lord reveals the deeper meaning of Sacred Scripture as they walk along the way.

 

Then, the time for a choice has come to the disciples. A turning point in their journey…in their lives. Will they welcome the hope-filled, but challenging messenger or go along the way returning to their former manner of life secure in their ignorance. Jesus will not force Himself on any of us even though He loves us dearly. The choice is truly free with no coercion. The two make their choice by saying, “Stay with us…” So they have made a more profound free decision to open themselves up to a great mystery. A life changing decision is made so casually as the walk along the way. Finally, “in the breaking of the bread” their “eyes were opened and they recognized him.”

 

What a profound lesson we receive in the Gospel about the life long journey of faith. It becomes even more powerful if we realize that the gift of New Life is being offered in such a gentle invitation. This is not our way is it? No, as humans, we would try to control the situation. Try to ensure that a person we loved made the right decision. But, then choice of faith would not be free or fully embraced.

 

Throughout history human beings have used coercion and/or force to prohibit religious freedom. It happened within the Church in times such as the Spanish Inquisition. Just as often, it has happened in the world through atheistic communism or the enforcing of Islamic Sharia law. In fact, our own Religious Order, the Mercedarian Friars, was founded by in Barcelona, Spain in 1218 to ransom Christians held captive by Muslims and pressured to renounce their faith. St Peter Nolasco, the founder (Feast May 6th), lead the community to offer everything even their lives, if necessary, for those whose religious freedom was threatened.

 

Today, we face new forms of coercion from Secular Governments who wish enact laws which threaten the commonly known beliefs of Christians. This is the case with the HHS Mandate which forces religious institutions to provide coverage of sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs and devices as well as contraception. The Second Vatican Council document Dignitatis Humanae states: "This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or of social groups and of any human power, in such ways that no one is to be forced to act in a manner contrary to his own beliefs, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits."

 

Jesus, the Lord, profoundly respects the freedom of each individual even if this means that they continue on the way without Him. This sort of radical respect for free will is what leads us to learn the supernatural skill of journeying with others. God has placed a desire for Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in each of our hearts which leads us to Him. We must resist any attempts to control or force those who are adults, but instead appeal to the innate desires in their hearts. God’s grace is more powerful than any of our efforts and He givens abundant opportunities for us to choose Life. Let us respect the freedom of others and demand that ours be respected as well so that all may have the same chance to embrace Christ freely. This is the way of the Father; the way of a true Christian parent.

 

Happy Feast of St Peter Nolasco! May 6th

 Third Sunday of Easter

Declaration on religious freedom

Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation 


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