Fifth Reflection |  May 12

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As the second month of our Nine-Month Novena to Our Lady of Guadalupe concludes, and as we, today, officially begin the third month, let us thank God and Our Lady for the grace of perseverance which that Our Lord, through the maternal mediation of Our Lady, has given to us so that we might fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the Faith (cf. 2 Tim. 4, 7).

Our Lady commissioned Saint Juan Diego to be her heroic messenger, just as she commissions us today to lead others to Christ by handing on to them the truths of the Faith and its beauty in the life of prayer and, above all, of divine worship. However, after Bishop Juan de Zumárraga’s initial skeptical reaction to Saint Juan Diego’s account of Our Lady’s desire, Saint Juan Diego considered himself to be unworthy of the mission that the Mother of God had entrusted into his hands. Saint Juan Diego was always docile and obedient, but, at the same time, he doubted that he could do all that God was asking of him.

When the work seemed particularly difficult, he thought of reasons why the mission should be entrusted to someone else, and he even suggested to Our Lady that he was not the right person for her mission. Yet as a child is comforted by a mother’s love, so too, Saint Juan Diego found comfort in Our Lady’s words:

I will reward the care, the work and the fatigue that you have put into this for me (Nican Mopohua, no. 92).

Our Lord Himself teaches us that God reveals His will to the “childlike” (Mt 11, 25), to those who, like Him, are “meek and humble of heart” (Mt 11, 29), to those who recognize that all that they are and have comes from the hand of God and who, therefore, place all their trust in Him. He assures us that, if doing His will demands much labor and is burdensome, He will “give [us] rest” (Mt 11, 28). Using an image from farming to describe our work with Him for the salvation of the world, he encourages to “take [His] yoke” (Mt 11, 29) upon our shoulders. He declares: “For my yoke is easy, and my burden light” (Mt 11, 30).

In our daily struggle to be faithful and generous co-workers with Christ in His saving work, let us call upon the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe and her heroic messenger, Saint Juan Diego, even as we seek to follow their example. Christ will never fail us. He will render efficacious for our salvation and the salvation of the world our every good thought, word, and deed. When we are tempted to give up in the battle, let us bear in mind Our Lady’s words to Saint Juan Diego for they are motherly words which will comfort and encourage us as well: “I will reward the care, the work and the fatigue that you have put into this for me.”

Fifth Reflection

Those wishing to read a transcript for the video reflection will find this text and other supplementary reading at the bottom of this page.

How can Cardinal Burke pray for you?

Write in your prayer using the form below. Cardinal Burke will pray for your intentions every day and offer Mass on the 12th of each month for your prayer requests.

Let us pray.

In these early days of the novena, carry the events of the first apparition in your hearts as you pray the following each day:

‍O Virgin Mother of God, we fly to your protection and beg your intercession against the darkness and sin which ever more envelop the world and menace the Church. Your Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, gave you to us as our mother as He died on the Cross for our salvation. So too, in 1531, when darkness and sin beset us, He sent you, as Our Lady of Guadalupe, on Tepeyac to lead us to Him Who alone is our light and our salvation.

Through your apparitions on Tepeyac and your abiding presence with us on the miraculous mantle of your messenger, Saint Juan Diego, millions of souls converted to faith in your Divine Son. Through this novena and our consecration to you, we humbly implore your intercession for our daily conversion of life to Him and the conversion of millions more who do not yet believe in Him. In our homes and in our nation, lead us to Him Who alone wins the victory over sin and darkness in us and in the world.

Unite our hearts to your Immaculate Heart so that they may find their true and lasting home in the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. Ever guide us along the pilgrimage of life to our eternal home with Him. So may our hearts, one with yours, always trust in God's promise of salvation, in His never-failing mercy toward all who turn to Him with a humble and contrite heart. Through this novena and our consecration to you, O Virgin of Guadalupe, lead all souls in America and throughout the world to your Divine Son in Whose name we pray. Amen.

AUDIO | Cardinal Burke reciting the Latin Novena Prayer

Additional Material

Those seeking a transcript of His Eminence's reflection from the above video can find a copy of the text here:

Read the meditation

Those wishing to learn more about the Apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe can find the text of the Nican Mopohua at the link below. The translation that we cite in this novena is found in Our Lady of Guadalupe: Mother of the Civilization of Love (New York: Doubleday, 2009) by Carl A. Anderson and Msgr. Eduardo Chávez..

Nican Mopohua

Those interested in learning even more might enjoy a presentation that His Eminence recently delivered, which examines the the immense literary and spiritual merit of the Nican Mopohua. It is available at the link below.

the Cardinal's Presentation

Download the Prayer Card