“Mondays with Mary” – Marian Hymns and the Benedictine Monks of St. Maurice & St. Maur

Continuing our theme and journey into Marian hymns through sacred music, this week I am turning to the Benedictine Monks of the Abbey of Saint-Maurice & Saint Maur, Clervaux. Originally released in 1960 on vinyl, and then redone on CD in 1988, these Marian hymns from the Benedictine monks are known specifically as Gregorian chant.

When the average person thinks of sacred music; I believe it is Gregorian chant that comes to mind for them. For an explanation into Gregorian chant, I suggest and recommend you read this article from Adam Bartlett – Gregorian Chant: The Acting Voice of Christ in Song. I know this will help you come to understand the importance of this style of sacred music.

As I have said in the past two weeks posts, many Catholic hymns focus on Jesus Christ and His Church, but there also many hymns written to reflect the beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and these are specifically known as Marian hymns. Many of the Marian hymns are used in the month of May since May is the month of Mary, during the great Marian solemnities throughout the liturgical year, and also during the Season of Advent, which we are in now.

For the rest of today’s blog post, I am going to ask you to do something that you have been doing for the past two weeks, instead of reading, I am going to encourage you to listen to some of these beautiful Marian Chants performed by the Benedictine Monks of St. Maurice and St. Maur, from their CD – Salve Regina. Click on the links to purchase it via CD, iTunes, and Google Play Music.

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1. Magnificat 

2. Stabat Mater 

3. Salve Regina 

4. Ave Maria

5. Sub Tuum Praesidium  

6. Alma Redemptoris Mater  

7. Inviolata 

8. Regina Caeli  

Most Holy and Virgin Mary…Pray for Us 

“Mondays with Mary” – Marian Advent Hymns and the Benedictines of Mary

Since yesterday was the beginning of the Season of Advent, I found it fitting today to share with you some Marian Advent hymns sung by a religious order that I know pretty well, since I have written about them a few times in the past – The Benedictines of Mary, Queen of the Apostles.

The Benedictines of Mary have produced four CD’s, which you can read more about on the DeMontfort Music website, the music company who produced their CD’s. To read more about the Benedictines of Mary, De Montfort Music, and Decca Records, please read my first post on ecclesiastical music – The Beauty of Sacred Music.

As we learned last week, many Catholic hymns focus on Jesus Christ and His Church, but there also many hymns written to reflect the beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and these are specifically known as Marian hymns. Many of the Marian hymns are used in the month of May since May is the month of Mary, during the great Marian solemnities throughout the liturgical year, and also during the Season of Advent.

So for the rest of today’s blog post, I am going to ask you to do something different, instead of reading, I am going to encourage you to listen to some of these beautiful Marian Advent hymns performed by the Benedictines of Mary from their CD, Advent at Ephesus. Click on the links to purchase it via CD, iTunes, and Google Music.

For more great music from the Benedictines of Mary, check out their latest CD (November 1, 2016), Caroling at Ephesus.

Mary in Advent

1. Angelus Ad Virginem

2. Gabriel’s Message

3. Hayl Mary, Full of Grace

4. Maria durch ein Dornwald Ging (Mary Wondered through a Wood of Thorns) 

5. Alma Redemptoris Mater

6. Adjuvabit Eam 

7. Like the Dawning 

Our Lady Queen of Ephesus…Pray for Us  

Our Lady, Queen of the Apostles…Pray for Us 

225th “Mondays with Mary” 

Giving Thanks to God on Thanksgiving

Today is November 24 and the holiday of Thanksgiving here in the United States of America. If you want to know more about the Thanksgiving holiday, its origin, traditions, and forms of celebration, I would encourage you to look it up online.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time when family and friends gather together, however, it’s more than just eating turkey, gathering with family around a table, and watching football on television.

As Catholics, we are able to celebrate “thanksgiving” every day. Everyday we can go to Mass and receive Our Lord Jesus Christ – body, blood, soul, and divinity. The word Eucharist comes from the Latin term, eucharistia, which means “thanksgiving.” Turkey might be good to eat, but it will never provide eternal life. Only Jesus Christ in Sacrament of all Sacraments can do that.

Today’s blog is to remind all of us that we must give thanks to God. All that we have comes from Him. He is our provider. When He answers your prayer…Give Him thanks! Don’t forget to Thank Him for answering that prayer. When we ask someone for a cup of coffee, we say thank you. So too must we thank God when he provides for us something we requested from Him.

The great 20th century Catholic writer, G.K. Chesterton, once said, “Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace.”

This year, I am thankful for my family (my Mom, my sister, my brother-in-law, my niece and nephew, and my cousins). I am thankful for having a job that I love where I can teach many people on a daily basis about Jesus Christ and His Catholic Church. I am thankful for having a roof over my head and the ability to build up that home. I am thankful to my coworkers and all the people in my life who I get to interact with on a daily basis.

What are you thankful for this year (and let’s avoid politics)? Share with us in the comment box.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

“Mondays with Mary” – Marian Hymns and the Sisters of Mary

Since tomorrow is the memorial of St. Cecilia, the patroness of ecclesiastical music, I found it fitting to share with you some Marian hymns sung by a religious order that is very close and dear to my heart – The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.

The Sisters of Mary have produced two CD’s, first is Mater Eucharistiae (2013), which is what you will hear from today. The second CD is titled, The Rosary – Mysteries, Meditations, and Songs (2014). Both of these CD’s were produced in conjunction with De Montfort Music. To read more about the Sisters of Mary, De Montfort Music, and Decca Records, please read my post – The Singing Dominicans.

Ecclesiastical music is music that is specifically written for performance in church, or for any ecclesiastical liturgy, where the music being expressed by the musicians is sacred in nature. Most ecclesiastical pieces are called hymns. In regards to specifically Catholic liturgical music, the front page of The Chant Café states the following,

“Catholic liturgical music is serious, solemn, transcendent, but Catholic musicians are never more fun and inspiring than when they are talking about what they love most. This is what happens at sacred music events around the world: the social and intellectual are critically important elements. The musicians (and music enthusiasts) at the Chant Café, a project of the Church Music Association of America, bring that sense of life and love to the digital world. As St. Augustine said, ‘Cantare amantis est.’”

Mary, Queen of Angels

Many hymns focus on Jesus Christ and His Church, but there also many hymns written to reflect the beauty of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and these are specifically known as Marian hymns. Many of the Marian hymns are used in the month of May devotions since May is the month of Mary and during the great Marian solemnities throughout the liturgical year.

So for the rest of today’s blog post, I am going to ask you to do something different today, instead of reading, I am going to encourage you to listen to some of these beautiful Marian hymns performed by the Sisters of Mary from their CD, Mater Eucharistiae. Click on the links to purchase it via CD, iTunes or Google Music.

1. Holy Mary, Mother of God

2. O Gloriosa Virginum  

3. Ave Maria to Thee Holy Queen 

4. I am in Thy Hands, O Mary 

5. Ave Maris Stella 

6. Angelus Ad Virginem 

7. Salve Regina 

Mary, Queen of the Angels…Pray for Us. 

Sunday Homilies and Saturday Morning Speaker Series on iTunes and Google Play Music

As I have done in the past, I want to share with all of you some exciting news coming out of the parish that I work for in Gilbert, Arizona. Our parishioners as well as all of you can now download our Sunday homilies and Saturday Morning Speaker Series through iTunes and Google Play Music. We have been offering this service since July, when I first wrote about it. Every month our download numbers increase, and although it’s not about numbers, I felt the desire to share this information again, especially since I gained many new followers in the month of October.

For the longest time, we have offered the homilies on our website for our parishioners (and visitors to the website), but now using iTunes and Google Play, a person can download the homilies (and the Saturday Morning Speaker Series) to their device and listen to them anytime and anywhere. I hope that many of you will take the time to listen to the great preaching many of us here on a weekly and daily basis. I hope that you will also share it with your family and friends.

Francis.Benedict - SMM Homilies meme

For those of you that don’t have a device and just want to listen to the homilies via the website, click here.

For those of you that prefer iTunes, and more than likely own Apple products, click here.

For those of you that prefer Google Play, and more than likely own an Android, click here.

“Mondays with Mary” – The Marian Prayer of Saint Albert the Great

Since tomorrow, November 15, is the memorial of Saint Albert the Great in the Latin Calendar of the Catholic Church, I found it fitting to share with you the Marian Prayer of St. Albert the Great. St. Albert was a Dominican scholar, who along with his student, St. Thomas Aquinas, he applied Aristotelian teachings to Catholicism. You could say that St. Albert baptized Aristotle a Catholic and St. Thomas confirmed him a Catholic. St. Albert is one of the greatest minds of the Catholic Church, and only one of a few who were given the title “The Great.” To learn more about St. Albert, I would encourage you to check out the above link.

Like so many of the saints before and after him, St. Albert the Great had a abundant love, devotion, and prayer life that was associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. As you have seen in previous posts on this blog already, many of the great saints had written their own prayers specifically directed towards the Blessed Mother. They knew how important her role was in Salvation History, which continues through the Catholic Church to this day.

Mother of Grace statue, Altotting, Germany

Mother of Grace statue, Altotting, Germany

As I often do in many of my posts, I have given links to other blog posts that will lead you to understand theological ideas in this prayer by St. Albert the Great. It’s my hope that you will not only read this post, but also read the links as well in order to give yourself a better understanding of Marian theology as a whole. This prayer is titled, Mother of Grace.

Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.” For note, Mary, for you have found grace, not taken it as Lucifer tried to so.You have found grace, not lost it as Adam did. You have found favor with God because you desired and sought it. You have found uncreated Grace, that is, God himself became your Son, and with the Grace you have found and obtained every uncreated good. 

As always, feel free to share with this blog with your family and friends in the hopes that they may come to have a more complete understanding of Our Lord Jesus Christ through His Virgin Mother.

Our Lady of Grace…Pray for Us.

St. Albert the Great…Pray for Us.

Pray for Our Veterans 2016

On this day, November 11, let us remember the brave men and women that have served our country and who have given us the freedoms we love so very much. Let us always pray that these freedoms will continue in our country for generations to come. Thank you for all you that done for me personally and my many family and friends. It has become a mission of mine to thank every veteran I meet on the street or driving in the car. If you own a US flag, proudly display it on your home today.

We should also pray for those men and women currently serving in our Armed Forces, either here on US soil or abroad in a foreign country. Lord Jesus Christ, please watch over them and keep them all safe. They have given their lives to protect and defend this great nation – they deserve our respect, loyal, and prayers.

Yesterday, was the 241st Anniversary of the U.S. Marines. President Ronald Reagan once said, “Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don’t have that problem.”

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President Ronald Reagan’s speech on Veterans Day from 1985.

If you can, please support the Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA

Here are Knights of Columbus Veterans pages – Serving Those Who Served, Military Knights, Serving Veterans, and History of Serving those who Served.

Check out the Lt. Dan Band and Gary Sinise’s Foundation that helps Wounded Warriors.

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, we give you praise and thanksgiving for our veterans in our communities and around the world who have bravely served to protect us from harm. Be with them this day and protect them. We ask Our Blessed Mother to always be their Mother ready to protect them as well. For those who have given their lives, we ask that their families are healed and protected from any harm. Amen.

Saint Michael the Archangel, Saint George, and Saint Joan of Arc…Pray for our veterans, all military personnel, and for us. 

Marching Military Branches