It consists in going to Confession, receiving Communion, reciting five decades of the Rosary and meditating for a quarter of an hour on the mysteries of the Rosary on the first Saturday of five consecutive months. The Confession may be made during the eight days preceding or following the first Saturday of each month, provided that Holy Communion be received in the state of grace. Should one forget to form the intention of making reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, it may be formed at the next Confession, occasion to go to confession being taken at the first opportunity.
|The Holy Family - Jesus, Mary and Joseph|
|Angel appearing to|
Joseph in a dream
I'm sure the next major incident made Joseph and Mary wonder if this was the sword predicted by Simeon. King Herod, the King of Judah, decided the Christ Child was a threat to him, and proceeded to search for him to kill him. Once again, an angel appeared to Joseph in a dream to warn him of the impending danger to the child, and told Joseph to flee to Egypt for safety. Neither Joseph nor Mary had any ties to Egypt, no family there, and it is highly doubtful either of them had ever been in Egypt before. They were forced to leave everyone and everything that was familiar. But they obeyed without complaint or murmur, and took their precious responsibility out of harm's way. But how they must have suffered when they knew that other children were killed in an attempt to kill their own child.
|Joseph and Mary fleeing into Egypt with the|
young Christ Child
|Mary in deep sorrow|
|Mary questioning Jesus|
We too, like Joseph and Mary here, often do not understand why God acts in our lives as he does. Why does he allow us to suffer, often with seemingly no explanation, and if and when He does give us an answer, we still don't understand. But like Joseph and Mary, we need to realize that it is not given to us to understand everything that happens to us. Our Lord is about his Father's business, which is the salvation of mankind. Like Joseph and Mary, we must accept on faith and childlike trust the events in our lives and realize we are involved in something much bigger than ourselves. Joseph and Mary thought they had lost the child Jesus, but he had never left them. When we feel lost and abandoned by God, as these two holy people did, let us realize that Christ, in fact, will never abandon us, never leave us, all appearances to the contrary, and to find Him, we must merely look to where He is "about his Father's business."
This mystery of the Rosary has another lesson for us as well, and that is, our Blessed Mother understands how we also can feel abandoned and that we have somehow lost Christ. Although she was closer to Jesus than anyone in history has ever been, she still had much sorrow and pain in her life. In fact, her sorrow started at the time she was told by Simeon that a sword would pierce her heart, and it became deeper and more profound as her Child grew, right up to her sharing Christ's Passion on the Cross. We should always reach out to our Mother of Sorrows, knowing that she has a better understanding of our pain and feelings of loss than even we ourselves do. And she wants to comfort us just as any mother wants to comfort her children.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us.