Category Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Mary, the Immaculate Conception

“Who are you, O Immaculate Conception?” asks St Maximillian Maria Kolbe, the 20th century martyr and saint who founded a Marian movement. Accordingly, he teaches us, based on his prayer and experience, that the perfect love of the Holy Trinity meets an adequate response in the perfect love of the Immaculate, which is the name St Maximilian gives to the Blessed Virgin Mary. In another place he says, “In the union of the Holy Spirit with her, not only does love bind these two beings, but the first of them [the Holy Spirit] is all the love of the Most Holy Trinity, while the second [the Blessed Virgin Mary] is all the love of creation, and thus in that union heaven is joined to earth, the whole heaven with the whole earth, the whole of Uncreated Love with the whole of created love: this is the vertex of love.”

St Maximillian gave us a mature perspective of Mary under this title.

The dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary was declared and defined by Bl. Pius IX in 1854: “The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.” (Ineffabilis Deus )

Since Mary under the title of the Immaculate Conception let us pray for our nation today.

Blessing the Truly Blessed

Today is the feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary into the Temple. Latin Catholics and the new calendar Eastern Christians (Catholic and Orthodox) celebrate a feast with the biblical basis in a book that is not part of the canonical Scriptures, the Proto-Evangelium of James.

The meditation by Sister Vassa Larin herein asks a good question in our participating in liturgical services, or merely paying lip-service to the Divine Majesty, the Mother of God or the saints when we do not have our spiritual life put in order or at least trying to live rightly. The spiritual life is a journey, one that we need to take seriously. As Mary lived so ought we…

The mediation:

“Blessed are the blameless in the Way, who walk in the law of the Lord.” (Ps 118/119: 1, Septuagint)

Is it pointless for us to “bless” and praise “the blameless” (οἱ ἄμωμοι, непорочнии), for example, the Theotokos, whose Entry into the Temple is celebrated today on the “New” Calendar; or the archangels and angels, whose feast is celebrated today on the Older Calendar,– if we ourselves are not “blameless”? No, of course not. Because by celebrating the “blameless” in the law of the Lord, we are reminded of the kind of “celebrity” that is truly praise-worthy in God’s eyes, and are inspired to desire it for ourselves. This is particularly counter-cultural in our day, when so much press is wasted on, and “lip-service” paid to, celebrities both famous and infamous.

Lord, let me not bless, nor desire to be like, those who have the dubious “blessing” of our press. Let me rather bless those who are blessed in Your “press,” in Holy Scripture: “Blessed is the man that has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the pestilent.” (Ps 1: 1)

 

Nativity of Mary

Exercising a motherly care for her poor children in all things and through all things the Virgin Mother calms our trembling fear, enlivens our faith, supports our hope, drives away our distrust, encourages us in our hesitancy.
 
Adam, you were afraid to approach your Father; you were terrified at the mere sound of his voice and tried to hide amid the trees. And so he gave you Jesus as your Mediator. What shall such a Son not be able to obtain from such a Father? Undoubtedly he will be heard because of his reverence, for the Father loves the Son.
 
Surely you are not afraid to approach Jesus as well? He is your Brother and your flesh, tempted  in all things as you are, yet without sin, so that he might have compassion. And this Brother has been given to us by Mary. 
Your birth, O Virgin Mother of God, proclaims joy to the world, for from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ the Lord.
The prudent advice for all Christians is to go to the Maternal Heart of Mary with all our needs and place ourselves in her keeping. Our hearts should never be far from her, trusting always in her real interest in us and our needs. In celebrating Mary’s birthday we recall that she is the gateway for us to all the healing that only Christ can give.
(Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermon for the Nativity of The Blessed Virgin Mary, 7.)

Assumption of Mary

Who shall declare the Assumption of Mary? For the glory wherewith she is crowned in heaven is as singular as the grace she found upon earth was incomparable.

If eye has not seen nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man what things God has prepared for them that love Him (1 Cor.2:9) who can say or conceive what He has prepared for her that bore Him and that loves Him – which no one doubts – with a love unparalleled?

Oh, happy in truth is Mary and doubly happy in that she has both received the Savior and has been received by the Savior. In both these signal honors the dignity of the Virgin Mother appears to us equally admirable, in both the condescension of the Divine Majesty appears equally worthy of praise.

First Sermon for the Feast of the Assumption
St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Our Lady of Częstochowa, not only the Queen of Poland

Today is not just another feast of Mary, the Mother of God. No, it is the feast of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Queen of the Slavs, Queen of the World.

Since I was a boy Our Lady of Czestochowa has been of keen importance to me. She even is the image on my iPhone.

Here is a beautiful article on this image of Our Lady by John Sikorski, a PhD student at my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame.

May we stay close the Mother of God.

Our Lady of Czestochowa, pray for us.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]yahoo.com.
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