Friday, March 31, 2017


Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing St. Judy Church Elyria, Ohio

I grieve for thee, O Mary most sorrowful, in the wounding of thy compassionate heart, when the side of Jesus was struck by the lance and His Heart was pierced before His body was removed from the Cross. Dear Mother, by thy heart thus transfixed, obtain for me the virtue of fraternal charity and the gift of understanding. 

The Seven promises to those who honor the seven sorrows of Mary:

The Blessed Virgin Mary grants seven graces to the souls who honor her daily by saying seven Hail Mary's and meditating on her tears and dolors (sorrows). The devotion was passed on by St. Bridget.

  1. I will grant peace to their families.
  2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.
  3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.
  4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the adorable will of my divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.
  5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.
  6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their Mother.
  7. I have obtained from my divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son and I will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, March 29, 2017



Photo: R. Massaro (c)2017 St. Charles Borromeo Church Parm, Ohio

Let him who has ears heed the Spirit's word to the churches! To the victor I will give the hidden manna; I will also give him a white stone upon which is inscribed a new name, to be known only by him who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)

Do you find this scripture passage intriguing?  I've often wondered if we will be called by a new name in heaven?  There are a few passages from the Bible that one can turn to for meditation on this subject.

At the Annunciation, it seems that Our Lady, Mary, is given a new name, for the angel Gabriel refers to her as "full of grace."
(Luke 1:28) He doesn't call her by her earthly name. Then, when Mary visits Elizabeth she exclaims in her joyful "Magnifcat" that God has another name destined for her: Blessed! She tells us directly, through the Holy Spirit, that all generations will call her blessed. (Luke 1:48) And, in fact, the entire Church refers to her as the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

At the Annunciation, the angel Gabriel also announces the name of her Son: Jesus!

Before the Visitation, the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and proclaimed a name for his son...John. Zechariah finally consents to God's will, and breaking family tradition, names the child, John.

It seems that names are very important to God.

Another person, who was given a new name is Peter.  Jesus changed his name from Simon to Peter, which means rock.

I for my part declare to you, you are Rock, and on this rock I will build my church... (Matthew 16:18).

An in-turn, Peter calls the Lord by another name: Messiah!

You are the Messiah...the Son of the living God! (Matthew 16:15)

In religious life, monks and nuns are given a new name and a religious title when they are clothed in the habit. We, as Secular Carmelites take a religious title when we make our promises. My religious title is Rosemarie of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, I also have a second title that one can request during great celebrations of the Order. During the 500th anniversary of the birth of St. Teresa of Avila, which the order celebrated last year, I requested an additional title: Rosemarie of Jesus the Living Water. These titles are only used for devotional purposes, in community on occasions, and when communicating officially with the Carmelite Order.

As Catholics, we receive a new name when we are confirmed. We choose a saint that we can identify with or a saint that we would like to emulate. 

At the time of their ordination, priests can choose a devotional name as well. This is an option for them, it is not required.

Names, names, and more names.  The Church has many names and titles for Jesus and Mary. Perhaps you are familiar with the Litany of Loreto. This litany is full of beautiful names and titles for Our Lady:

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.
V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of 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. 
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]
Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,
Virgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of families,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord. 
V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

Spouses sometimes refer to each other with "pet names." Perhaps you call each other 'Honey' or 'Sweetheart.'  Terms of endearment that mean something special to the couple. It is an intimate sharing between those who love each other. In the intimate encounters of prayer, St. Teresa of Avila would tell Our Lord, " I am Teresa of Jesus." And he would lovingly respond, " I am Jesus of Teresa."

Until the mystery of a new name in heaven is revealed to us, let us fulfill our baptismal promises under the name in which we were baptized. Let us ask our confirmation patron saint to help us lead a life of virtue and holiness. And let us seek the help of the Saints to assist us in life and at the hour of our death.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, March 25, 2017


From the Imitation of Mary

Madonna of Humility
Source: Wikipedia

...If you become the least, you will become the greatest. The conviction that you are and can do nothing will humble you and in that very act raise you up to the God whom you acknowledge as sovereign source of all good.

Humility will free you from all the vileness into which ambition and pride lead men. What soul can be more base than that of the man who is ruled by pride and wants to be applauded at any cost?

Humility will free you from false respect for men and from the worthless ideas men have. You will be able to say with the apostle: "It matters little to me that you pass judgment on me...I acknowledge but one judge, and that is God" (I Cor 4, 3-5).

Humility will make you look with detachment at the world's honors, for behind the splendid facade lurk illusion and emptiness.

Humility will  teach you not to vie with your neighbor but to honor him, and to have no envy when you see him raise about you, whether in rank or in esteem.

The natural man regards humility as base, because he judges entirely according to the senses and perceives only sensible things. Yet humility is one of the virtues best fitted to form great and noble hearts.

Of all the virtues, humility is the one that most steadies the spirit and most strengthens the soul. 

Above all, it is the most beautiful element of likeness to Jesus, the God-man and source of true greatness and glory...Jesus was humble and loved humiliation because He knew how much He thereby honored the Father.

Here is an excellent homily on Humility:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Tuesday, March 14, 2017



Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Our Lady of Lebanon Shrine North Jackson, Ohio

Many parishes throughout the world publish our Holy Father, Pope Francis' prayer intentions for the month in their bulletin or announce them during the Prayers of the Faithful at Mass on Sunday.  We should take seriously our obligation to pray for our Holy Father. 

There are many opportunities to gain a partial or plenary indulgence when we include prayers for the intentions of the Holy Father. For instance, each time you make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, one can gain a partial or plenary indulgence. If you spend at least one half hour in adoration of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, you can gain the indulgence. There are a few other conditions to gain the indulgence besides praying for the Holy Father. One must go to the sacrament of Confession and be detached from sin. Please visit Fr. John Zuhlsdorf's (Fr. Z) blog to find out more about this holy practice:

Why should we care about gaining indulgences? Because it is an act of mercy on behalf of Christ, through the Church, to help the souls of the living and the dead. Remember, the souls in Purgatory cannot pray for themselves, we must pray for them. Obtaining indulgences for them is an act of mercy.

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.

Click here to read more about indulgences from the Catechism

Did the line from above strike you as it did me?  "...through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption..." 

I must say, I think this is one of the most beautiful statements in Catholic teaching I have ever read! By the authority of Jesus Christ, the Catholic Church is the minister of redemption!

Our Lady, Mother of the Church, desires all to be saved. She is united to Christ, her Son, in this desire. This is why she has been sent from God on mission in many approved apparitions.

At Lourdes, she said to St. Bernadette: "Penance, penance, penance. Pray for the conversion of sinners."  

At Fatima, she told the children, "Pray, pray very much, and make sacrifices for sinners; for many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them."

In the year 1214, Our Lady appeared to St. Dominic and presented to him the Rosary. She told him, "Therefore if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter.”

One can gain a plenary indulgence by reciting the Rosary in church, with your family, or in a spiritual group setting.

Our Lady came from heaven to present to us her prayer petitions. In her apparitions, she has the same message: "Repent! Pray for the conversion of sinners."  Let us console the Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart of Our Lady by responding to her requests. 

Each month, when you hear the new prayer intentions of the Holy Father, remember the intentions of Our Lady.  Her intention never changes: "Pray for the conversion of sinners."

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, March 4, 2017


From The Way of the Cross for the Holy Souls in Purgatory by Susan Tassone

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing St. Joseph Church Circleville, Ohio

HAIL MARY...Behold, most merciful Mother, your poor and sorrowful children who suffer so grievously in the purification of purgatory. We beg you, for the sake of the great joy that the angelic salutation caused you, to have compassion on them, and send them your holy angel to bring them another joyful greeting, and to announce to them release from their suffering.

FULL OF GRACE...Obtain for them grace, mercy, and remission of the great cleansing they now endure.

THE LORD IS WITH THEE...He will deny you nothing, but will hear your prayer and mercifully come to the assistance of these poor souls.

BLESSED ART THOU AMONG WOMEN...Yes, you are blessed among all creatures in the whole world! Bless and render happy with your intercession the poor imprisoned souls, and deliver them from their bonds.

AND BLESSED IS THE FRUIT OF THY WOMB JESUS...Your Son is the Savior and Redeemer of the whole world, who was born, without pain, of you, a Virgin! O merciful Jesus, blessed fruit of Mary's inviolate virginity, have mercy on the souls departed! O merciful Mother, hasten to their assistance!

HOLY MARY, MOTHER OF GOD...Wonderful Virgin Mother of God!

PRAY FOR US SINNERS...--and for the souls in purgatory.

NOW...--and forever!

AND AT THE HOUR OF OUR DEATH...And as you assisted the departing souls in their last agony, so assist them now in their grievous suffering, that delivered by your motherly intercession they may pass from present suffering to everlating joy, from anguish and torment to evelasting rest and glory, and rejoice with you and the whole heavenly host through all eternity.


Order Susan Tassone's book on Amazon:

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS