Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

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.)

The Visitation, God’s in-breaking

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is the in-breaking of God’s joy in history.

The theological explanation of the Vistiation reminds us that at the annunciation, the Archangel Gabriel informs Mary that her cousin Elizabeth is six months pregnant. A startling divine gift.

Then we see Mary hurrying to visit Elizabeth. An interior in-breaking extroverting itself.

I think the key here is Mary’s selflessness and her sharing in the joy of God. Containing the joy she feels is impossible. In her visitation Mary brings the joy of God to both Elizabeth and to John the Baptist who moves in Elizabeth’s womb. 

As we know, this second of the joyful mysteries of the Rosary is about Joy who desires to expand into our heart and abide there. Let’s pray for the movement of joy in our life today.

Virgin Mary gets a bad rap, sometimes

On this first day of the new calendar year, the Novus Ordo Catholic Church celebrates the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. It is, in fact, the 8th day since the Incarnation and traditionally the Church recalls the Lord’s adherence to the Divine Law with his circumcision.

I’d like to highlight something we tend to overlook in our daily journey of faith. That is, the role of Mary, the Mother of God and the Mother of us all, in this walk of faith. What does Mary teach us? Why is she so very critical to our catholic life? Recall, the Church has some central themes in her theology that we need to attend to, namely, the Church is approached from the perspective of the Marian dimension in light of our discipleship.

Some friends wrote the following reflection on Mary that I think needs to be more widely seen and understood:

Sometimes in Christian spirituality, the Virgin Mary gets a bad rap because she is so routinely associated with a damaging and suffocating sentimentality, something sickeningly sweet. But this is really a fiction; the Gospel’s portrait of her reveals something entirely different. There we encounter a Mary who is so open to the Word of God that she actually gives birth to it. At the same time, I believe she knew what it meant to encounter the Lord in the darkness of faith. Can we imagine what it must have been like to learn that she was to give birth to the Messiah? Can we imagine her inner struggle, wondering if this could actually be? And yet, her simple “fiat” is what Jesus commands in this morning’s Gospel. “Blessed rather, are they who hear the word and keep it.” In Mary we discover one who not only heard the Word, she “digested” it; she expressed the whole message of the scriptures in her life. We’re told in several places that Mary “treasured these things, and pondered them in her heart.” That was her fundamental attitude. In a very real sense, she is the archetype of a disciple, of what it means to be a follower of Christ. (NS)

Blessings in 2018!!!!

Mother’s Day

“Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend (παραθώμεθα, предадим, place before God, hand over) ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.” (Great Litany, Byzantine Divine Liturgy) [VL]

I am always reminded the intimate connection and relationship that exists between and among the Blessed Mother and earthly mothers. Each has a strong hand in my doing the right, the good and the beautiful.

God bless Mom, may God care for our grandmothers: indeed all mothers! Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.

Fatima at 100

On May 13, 1917, Mary, the Mother of God, known also by a title of “Our Lady of Fatima,” revealed herself to  three shepherd children in a small town in Portugal. 100 years later we firmly recognize and follow the lead Jacinta, Francisco, and Lucia who gave us a renewed opportunity to enter into deeper communion with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ through His Mother.

Saint John Paul II tells us that “the message of Fatima is, in its basic nucleus, a call to conversion and repentance as in the Gospel.”

At Fatima we were told to “Pray the Rosary, every day, in order to bring peace to the world.”

Hence, we pray for ourselves, indeed, all sinners, as we say the prayer Our Lady of Fatima asked to be added after each mystery of the Rosary: “O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fire of hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who are most in need of Thy mercy.” During the six monthly apparitions in 1917, Mary instructed Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco to pray the Rosary daily for peace, and to make sacrifices for sinners, saying that “many souls go to hell, because there are none to sacrifice themselves and pray for them.”

So, today we celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Fatima with special solemnity, as we mark the 100th anniversary of her first apparition.

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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