On Sunday, 16 June in Lebanon the entire Episcopate of Lebanon, along with their Papal Nuncio and all the Catholic Patriarchs of the Middle East will gather in Harissa, the National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon to solemnly Consecrate Lebanon and the Middle East to the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Act of Consecration of Lebanon and the Middle East to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Most Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God and our Mother, You have been chosen by God Our Father, through the action of the Holy Spirit, to become the Mother of His Incarnate Son; You lived perfectly the obedience of faith, united, by your motherhood, to Your Son Jesus, by an indissoluble bond, thus listening to His words, treasuring up all these things and pondering them in Your heart; You accompanied Him throughout His early life in Nazareth, where He was growing in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man; You interceded with Him in Cana of Galilee, You suffered with Him in Your motherly heart on the foot of the Cross and participated in the redemption that He accomplished, He, the only Redeemer of the world, for the sake of the entire humanity in every time and place.
Your spiritual motherhood thus embraced the whole of humanity and all mankind, in all their affiliations and cultures. Today, after You were raised to the glory of Your Son risen from the dead, you continue to enfold us with Your maternal care, through Your intercession, for us to welcome the graces of the Lord that would lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Our Lady of Lebanon, we ask You to bestow your tenderness upon our beloved country Lebanon and all the Middle East, this region which soil witnessed the fulfillment of the events of His plan of redemption and from where the Church, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, took off to bring the Good News to the entire populations, bearing witness to the Lord Jesus until martyrdom and acting as the guarantor of the treasure of faith, in order to transmit it from generation to generation, until it reached us.
O Mother of the Church, Help us through Your intercession, for we are the sons and daughters of the Church to which You belong and whose model, mother and teacher You are, so that we live the Communion of Love among ourselves and bear witness for the human and Christian values in our family, social and national lives, working to promote those values in Lebanon and the East and turning them into a civilization that elevates the human person to listen with the utmost obedience to God who speaks constantly to his heart.
O Mother of men and peoples, You who knows our sufferings and joys, our fears and hopes, Protect this region through Your intercession from all that threatens it, from violence, extremism, turmoil and turbulences and from the demeaning of human persons dignity and the infringement of their rights, freedom and integrity; we pray You to guide all the children of this East, in their diversity, that their minds be enlightened with the light of the only Creator who wants us to live as one human family tied by the bonds of brotherhood, so that every person seeks to build a bright future, on the grounds of convergence, participation, love and justice.
We implore You, O Mother, to accept from us the consecration of Lebanon and the East to Your Immaculate Heart and to Your Holy patronage. We thus consecrate ourselves to God, through the action of the Holy Spirit, following the example of the Only Son who consecrated Himself to His Divine Father and was faithful to Him in all His acts and teachings, for the salvation of humanity. Pray for us, that we may live the full requirements of this consecration, thus repenting of our sins, listening to the Word of God which is our source of life and renewing our love to God by complying to His will and through our love for our neighbors expressed in the act of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence in a spirit of brotherhood.
We implore Your intercession, O Holy Mary:
For the human persons to be open to God and to abide by His will, thus working for the good of the entire humanity and contributing to building peace, We pray You;
So that we show faithfulness to Jesus Christ in our life and we bear witness to Him in our words and deeds, through love and reconciliation, service and sacrifice, We pray;
So that we carry the Cross of pain in our souls and bodies, on the example of Jesus Christ, and face the challenges and adversities with patience and hope, We pray;
For our bishops, priests, religious and laymen, so that God assists them in carrying out their mission, We pray;
For the preservation of the sanctity of the union of marriage and for our families to remain domestic churches that convey faith, teach how to pray and contribute in the life and the minister of the Church, We pray;
For the respect of human life from birth and until death, We pray;
For peace in the hearts, the families and communities and for the advancement of human beings, We pray;
So that each human person’s dignity, rights, civil and religious freedoms and integritybe preserved, We pray;
For the political authorities to work on ensuring public good which contributes to the good of men and the nations, We pray You;
So that we may be delivered from our sins that lead to divisions, aggressions and violence, We pray;
So that we give God the priority in our life, against the reality of consumerism and materialism and in light of the excessive earthly concerns and temptations of life, We pray;
O Mother of God and Lady of Lebanon, full of sanctity, intercede for us, that we may accept in our country and our East the graces that God has bestowed upon the world, by the enduring salvific power of the redemption and the merciful love that leads the consciences and sanctifies the human person, so that with You and through You we elevate the hymn of glory and praise to the Saint Trinity who has chosen You, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
Summer Newsletter and pass it on to your mail list to help promote our mission as Maronite Servants of Christ the Light. We are grateful to our volunteers who helped us get this issue out in the mail. God reward their sacrifice. If you are interested in volunteering at our Convent in Dartmouth, please contact us.
By Natalie Salameh
The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light hosted a one day Retreat at the Mother of Light Convent on 31 May to 1 June 2013 for the young women of the Maronite Church.
The focus of the retreat was on being made in the image and likeness of God. I think we all often forget that we, as individual human beings, have a superior dignity. That it was God who formed us, created us from nothing, and who willed us into existence purely out of His unfathomable love for us. The Maronite Servants of Christ the Light have reminded us of the superior dignity that we have of being children of an all-powerful and all-loving God.
The Retreat began on the evening of 31 May 2013 with the praying of the Maronite Ramsho (evening prayer). The Sisters then launched into their first presentation with a focus on the Book of Genesis.
Questions I think we all ask ourselves at one point in our lives were focused on in great detail, “who am I?” and “what am I?” The Sisters gave us the answers we all search for - we are beautiful because we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are made in His image not because of what we have done for Him, but because of what He has done for us, and not because of what He means to us, but because of what we mean to Him. This served as an excellent topic of meditation for our one hour of Eucharistic Adoration that followed.
The evening was sealed with the watching of the movie “October Baby”. This movie in itself focused on the great gift of God’s love, the gift of children (particularly the unborn), and the healing power of God’s love (well chosen). This movie transmitted a really powerful message, and that is in forgiveness, Christ sets us free. What does He set us free from? The shackles and fetters of sin.
The topic of sin was then the focus of the next morning’s presentation, after the praying of the Maronite Safro (morning prayer). What does sin do? It distorts and corrupts our image, which was made in God’s likeness. The morning’s presentation focused on original sin which caused the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden and closed the gates of heaven. But God the Father Almighty, in His infinite mercy and compassion, sent us a Savior, His only begotten Son, to redeem us and re-open the gates of heaven. So Christ Jesus, by taking on our humanity, has united us to His divinity.
Of course, the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light reminded us that the greatest remedy for sin is the Holy Mystery of Penance (Confession). To that end, we had Abouna Jack from Our Lady of Purgatory Maronite Church in New Bedford come and hear our confessions and celebrate a Divine Liturgy. Thankyou - Abouna Jack.
The third and final presentation focused on the role that we women have in the conception and birth of new life (as biological mothers) and the tender love and care we have for all of God’s children in Holy Mother Church (as spiritual mothers). This was followed again by a beautiful hour of Eucharistic Adoration and the praying of the Maronite Ramsho.
On a personal note, I got to share my testimony of discernment with the other young ladies who attended the retreat. I have been discerning a religious vocation with the Maronite Servants of Christ the Light for the past two weeks. I am originally from Sydney, Australia, but I made a special visit to the Maronite Servants to discern the voice and call of God. I ask for your prayers during this time of my discernment.
On behalf of all the young ladies who attended the retreat, I’d like to thank the Sisters for an enlightening and thought-provoking retreat. May God continue to bless your mission and ministry to our Maronite people (and of course may He add to your numbers).