With Marie Rivier on the Way of the Beatitudes. As we journey towards the canonization of our Foundress, we will make of the novena in preparation for her feast day, a time of listening, in order to rediscover the call to holiness in today’s world and to respond generously. Every day, we will welcome a Beatitude and deepen it through the catechesis of Pope Francis and a short extract from his Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate. Day after day, Marie Rivier will urge us to walk resolutely on the way of the Beatitudes. The Church, through the liturgy, will put before our eyes and in our hearts the Word of God, inexhaustible treasure and bread of life.
Throughout this time of preparation for the feast of February 3, which we will live in a special way in the light of the future canonization of Mother Marie Rivier, let us be attentive. Our beloved Mother speaks to our hearts and minds. She shows us the way to follow this path of happiness: I hope that you will all be renewed and that you will walk with great strides in the ways of holiness. May this year be a year of holiness for all of you, may you not waste a single of your actions.
Let us move forward in joy, in thanksgiving and in love! Jesus is with us. We have seen his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth Jn 1:14.
May the Virgin Mary, our Mother and Guardian, draw down upon us the Spirit of light and peace so we might reveal to all the hope that dwells in us.
I wish a fervent novena to each of you my dear Sisters and to the entire Spiritual Family of Marie Rivier: Associates, Consecrated Lay Persons, Rivier Youth, Friends and Collaborators. Let us live united in faith.
In communion with my Councillors and with all my affection,
Sr. Maria dos Anjos Alves, pm
Birth in heaven of Blessed Marie Rivier
Become saints, apostles,
true disciples of Jesus Christ!
Holiness is accepting and putting into practice, with God’s help, this prophecy that revolutionises the world. So, we can ask ourselves: do I bear witness to the prophecy of Jesus? Do I express the prophetic spirit I received in Baptism? Or do I conform to the comforts of life and to my own laziness, assuming that everything is fine if it is fine with me? Do I bring to the world the joyful newness of Jesus’ prophecy or the usual complaints about what is wrong? Questions that are good for us to ask ourselves. (Angelus, November 1, 2021)
There is no holiness without joy!
Have patience with yourself, my daughter, holiness is no more impossible for you than for others. Most of the saints had the same defects, the same repugnance; with the grace of God and a strong will, they overcame them and became great saints. Continue to be willing and you will surely become a saint, but you must be careful never to give way to discouragement. Stand firm on this. (Letter 90-8)
O Mother Marie Rivier, obtain for us the grace of contemplation in action.
Mt 11:25-30: You revealed it to the little ones
God our Father, for your glory and the salvation of the world, you have raised Blessed Marie Rivier like a burning flame in the midst of your people. We beg you: burn our hearts with a passionate love for Jesus Christ, transform our communities with the power of the Gospel, and make us apostles of pure and untiring zeal. We ask this through Jesus your Son our Lord who lives and reigns with you in the communion of the Spirit for ever and ever. Amen.
Every abandoned, crippled or disgraced person, unjustly incarcerated or painfully tortured, you are with him, Lord, you who have suffered injustice like him. Support the activists who fight for justice and human happiness. Help me not to deprive anyone of consideration and love. Give me the strength, Lord, to fight such a battle, even if it is at the cost of my peace. Amen.
DAY 7 Blessed are the Peacemakers
Blessed are the peacemakers
Word of God: Mk 5, 21-43: Little girl, I tell you, get up!
I wish you all to be renewed and to walk with great steps in the ways of holiness.
This Beatitude makes us think of the many endless situations of war in our world. Yet we ourselves are often a cause of conflict or at least of misunderstanding. … The world of gossip, inhabited by negative and destructive people, does not bring peace.
89. It is not easy to “make” this evangelical peace, which excludes no one but embraces even those who are a bit odd, troublesome or difficult, demanding, different, beaten down by life or simply uninterested. It is hard work; it calls for great openness of mind and heart
Sowing peace all around us: that is holiness!
To have peace with God, two things are necessary: a good conscience and perfect conformity to the divine will. To have peace with our neighbor, we must love him, bear with him, do nothing and say nothing that might upset him; we must treat him with gentleness, not out of interest or inclination, but out of virtue. To have peace with ourselves, let us be humble, modest… for there is no peace here below without war; and that is why we must make war on our passions. (Meditations on the Beatitudes)
O Mother Marie Rivier, obtain for us the grace
of the creativity of love.
Peace, Lord, help us to establish it within ourselves, not as an armistice or a compromise, but as a conquest over our weaknesses and contradictions. Reconciled with ourselves, we will go with the others, and we will fight with all our strength against privileges, oppression, established disorder, because there is no Peace without Justice. Nor is there any without Love, without the recognition of the other, individual, social class, people or race. Make us, Lord, women and men of reconciliation. Amen.
DAY 6 BLESSED ARE THE PURE OF HEART
Blessed are the pure of heart
Mk 5:1-20: Unclean spirit, come out of this man!
All for God, my dear daughter; follow his spirit and never your character; study Jesus Christ and follow his examples; this is the sure way to holiness.
In order to see God, there is neither the need to change eyeglasses or vantage point, nor to change the theological authors who teach the path: we need to free the heart from its deception. This is the only path. […]
But what does having a “pure” heart mean? A pure heart lives in the presence of the Lord, preserving in the heart what is worthy of the relationship with him. Only in this way can one possess an intimate life that is “unified, linear and unwinding. […]
Keeping a heart free of all that tarnishes love: that is holiness!
We cannot be exempt from all faults in this life. Carelessness, thoughtlessness, fragility, inconstancy make us commit so many faults that they cannot be counted… Let us guard our heart. Let us watch carefully over its movements, let us always have our eyes open to receive the divine lights and to discover the wiles of the enemy! This must be our first care; it is the foundation of the spiritual building. (Meditations on the Beatitudes)
O Mother Marie Rivier, obtain for us
the grace to learn again
to choose between Jesus Christ and the spirit of the world.
Deliver us, Lord, from envy, ambition and hypocrisy. Deliver us from resentment and ulterior motives, from every spirit of calculation and competition, from every aggressive and defensive behavior. For the only way to exist is to love and be loved. O You who are Light and Transparency, may my heart be like pure water in which the sky is reflected. May my gaze be a ray of light and through my gaze may you be seen, Lord. Amen.
DAY 5 Blessed are the merciful
DAY 4 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for justice
Someone might object: “If I am that meek, they will think that I am an idiot, a fool or a weakling”. At times they may, but so be it. It is always better to be meek, for then our deepest desires will be fulfilled. The meek “shall inherit the earth”, for they will see God’s promises accomplished in their lives. In every situation, the meek put their hope in the Lord, and those who hope for him shall possess the land… and enjoy the fullness of peace.
Reacting with meekness and humility: that is holiness
The wise person has the secret of softening all evils: meekness, poverty, ignominy, prison, exile, contradictions of all kinds, scorn and humiliation, everything becomes sweet to him. And if we ask what is this rare, wonderful and precious secret? Here it is: humility and patience are the two companions of meekness. Let us take this shield when something shocks us. Let us never give entry to anger, spite, bad temper; rather, let us drive them out – without delay! (Meditations on the Beatitudes)
O Mother Marie Rivier, obtain for us the grace
of meekness and humility.