CONTEMPLATING AND INVOKING OUR MOTHER OF PERPETUAL HELP
Prayer for Each Day:
(Looking at her image)
O Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother of Perpetual Help, I am going to look to you to discover your Icon, the outstanding symbols, the important lessons, the mysterious nuances that Your inspired artist wanted to depict in Your picture. I am not only going to learn about them, but also try to learn, O admirable Teacher, what You want to teach me about Your Son and about our God, father of all love.
Help me to faithfully follow Your Son, Jesus Christ. Awaken in my understanding and in my heart, the faith, hope and love with which You want me to behold you and invoke you so that I will live with unlimited confidence in Your perpetual help. AMEN (pray a Hail Mary)
Contemplating the Left Hand of Mary
The instruments of the Passion (lance, sponge, nails and cross) are in the hands of the Angels. In your left hand, you hold the Child Jesus. In this Icon, Nazareth and Calvary, the infancy and the redemptive death of Jesus, are united.
As you presented your Son in the Temple, Simeon told you that a sword would pierce your soul. And from that moment, Mary, nor a day passed without your thinking of the meaning of those words. You cherished the baby talk of Jesus, His first faltering steps and, later on, His independence. But you always saw in Him the shadow of a sword hanging over His head, sword that deeply saddened you.
Mother of Perpetual Help, you are holding Jesus against your heart. Sustain us in our weakness as we look to the future and perhaps see it darkened by sickness and pain. We trust in your protection, because your very title of Perpetual Help is an invitation to confidence and hope.
Contemplating “Hand in Hand”
With your left hand, you hold the Child Jesus. With your right, you take the hands of the Child, while your long, slender fingers point to His face. One day in Cana you said: “Do what he tells you”. You point to Jesus, all good and all powerful. Through your image you remind us that you are only the one that points out the road, the guide, the Virgin of the Way.
Our Heavenly Father said at the moment of the Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, listen to Him”. Mary, you are the sign that allows us to identify the loving and comforting presence of Jesus. Where He is, you are, inseparable. You tell us Mary, Mother and first disciple of Jesus, that to be a Christian consists of following your Son and that you will take us by the hand to Him.
Thank you, Mother, for lighting our way to our Father’s House. Strengthen our faith and enliven our hope when we tire on life’s journey.
Contemplating the Child in Your Arms
Well do we see Him. He is no longer a baby but has already lived a few years.
We go back to think about Nazareth and its ordinary and peaceful home life. You dedicated yourself to your domestic chores; the kitchen and the oven, providing water and fire-wood, taking Jesus by the hand to the village well. What a nice place to meet friends, talk awhile, comment on the village news. Meanwhile the children played and, among them, Jesus. With Joseph and Jesus you formed a simple family in a humble town of Israel.
Good Mother, enlighten us to recognize the presence of Our Heavenly Father even in the fatigue of our daily life. He never lets go of our hand, even when our faith seems to falter or we are overcome by difficulties. Strengthen us so that, full of confidence, we can ask Him, as Jesus taught us, for our daily bread, and not to let us fall into temptation and despair.
Final Prayer (composed by St. John Paul II)
O Virgin of Perpetual Help, great sign of our hope, Holy Mother of the Redeemer, we invoke Your name. Help your people who desire to be renewed. Give us joy as we walk towards the future in conscious and active solidarity with the poorest of our brothers and sisters, announcing to them in a new and courageous way, the Gospel of Your Son, the beginning and the end of all human relationships that aspire to live a true, just and lasting peace. As does the Child Jesus, Whom we admire in this venerable icon, so we also want to hold your right hand. You have both the power and the goodness to help us in every need and circumstance of life. This moment is yours. Come then, and help us; be for us our refuge and our hope. (Mention your petitions here, especially for the needs of Cardinal Burke as well as his continued good health.) AMEN.
Source: Noel Londono, C.Ss.R., Liguori Publications (Used with Permission)
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