Tag Archives: Blessed Virgin Mary

Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary


Immaculate Conception Cano.jpgBlessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself. (A sermon by Saint Anselm)

 

O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin did make her a worthy habitation for Thy Son and did by His foreseen death preserve her from all stain of sin, grant we beseech Thee, that through her intercession we may be cleansed from sin and come with pure hearts to Thee.

Kindly Mother of the Redeemer

A new liturgical season calls for a new Marian antiphon. So with Advent beginning at First Vespers last Saturday until the Purification of Mary (February 2nd), the monks are singing Alma Redemptoris Mater as the Marian hymn following the Office of Vigils. This hymn dates at least to the 11th century and is said to have been composed by Herman the Cripple. The popularity of Alma Redemptoris Mater is demonstrated by the fact that it is found in the “The Prioress’ Tale” in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales.


BVM with child Gozzoli.jpg

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Kindly Mother of the Redeemer, who art ever of heaven
The open gate, and the star of the sea, aid a fallen people,
Which is trying to rise again; thou who didst give birth,
While Nature marveled how, to thy Holy Creator,
Virgin both before and after, from Gabriel’s mouth
Accepting the All hail, be merciful towards sinners.

(translated by Cardinal John Henry Newman)

Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Blessed art thou, O may, who did believe; those things shall be fulfilled in thee which were spoken to thee by the Lord, alleluia.

 


Presentation of the BVM3.jpgO God, Who did will that the blessed Mary ever Virgin, the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, should this day be presented in the temple; we beseech Thee, grant that through her intercession we may be found worthy to be present in the temple of Thy glory.

 

 

 

Mater Amabilis

Mother most lovable

 

WHY is she “Amabilis” thus specially? It is because she was without sin. Sin is something odious in its very nature, and grace is something bright, beautiful, attractive.

 

However, it may be said that sinlessness was not enough to make others love her, or to make her dear to others, and that for two reasons: first, because we cannot like anyone that is not like ourselves, and we are sinners; and next, because her being holy would not make her pleasant and winning, because holy persons whom we fall in with, are not always agreeable, and we cannot like them, however we may revere them and look up to them.

 

Now as to the first of these two questions, we may grant that bad men do not, cannot like good men; but our Blessed Virgin Mary is called Amabilis, or lovable, as being such to the children of the Church, not to those outside of it, who know nothing about her; and no child of Holy Church but has some remains of God’s grace in his soul which makes him sufficiently like her, however greatly wanting he may be, to allow of his being able to love her. So we may let this question pass.

 

But as to the second question, viz., How are we sure that our Lady, when she was on earth, attracted people round her, and made them love her merely because she was holy? — considering that holy people sometimes have not that gift of drawing others to them.

 

To explain this point we must recollect that there is a vast difference between the state of a soul such as that of the Blessed Virgin, which has never sinned, and a soul, however holy, which has once had upon it Adam’s sin; for, even after baptism and repentance, it suffers necessarily from the spiritual wounds which are the consequence of that sin. Holy men, indeed, never commit mortal sin; nay, sometimes have never committed even one mortal sin in the whole course of their lives. But Mary’s holiness went beyond this. She never committed even a venial sin, and this special privilege is not known to belong to anyone but Mary.

 

Now, whatever want of amiableness, sweetness, attractiveness, really exists in holy men arises from the remains of sin in them, or again from the want of a holiness powerful enough to overcome the defects of nature, whether of soul or body; but, as to Mary, her holiness was such, that if we saw her, and heard her, we should not be able to tell to those who asked us anything about her except simply that she was angelic and heavenly.

 

Of course her face was most beautiful; but we should not be able to recollect whether it
BVM.jpgwas beautiful or not; we should not recollect any of her features, because it was her beautiful sinless soul, which looked through her eyes, and spoke through her mouth, and was heard in her voice, and compassed her all about; when she was still, or when she walked, whether she smiled, or was sad, her sinless soul, this it was which would draw all those to her who had any grace in them, any remains of grace, any love of holy things. There was a divine music in all she said and did — in her mien, her air, her deportment, that charmed every true heart that came near her. Her innocence, her humility and modesty, her simplicity, sincerity, and truthfulness, her unselfishness, her unaffected interest in every one who came to her, her purity — it was these qualities which made her so lovable; and were we to see her now, neither our first thought nor our second thought would be what she could do for us with her Son (though she can do so much), but our first thought would be, “Oh, how beautiful!” and our second thought would be, “Oh, what ugly hateful creatures are we!”

 

(taken from Card. John Henry Newman’s “Discourses to Mixed Congregations”, 1849)

Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam

One of the things that distinguishes my day is an attempt to recognize the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. Of course, my day is punctuated with praying the Divine Office and the Mass but there are times where I find myself praying the Angelus and the ejaculatory prayer–one liners given by the Church to focus my attention, for example Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam or Saint Joseph, pray for us. The acknowledgement of the Spirit in my life is known pivotally in the fact of the Incarnation: the point in history that that God’s love can’t be kept to Himself that He sends the eternal Word to become man, Jesus born of the virgin Mary.

 

This very brief prayer is well used by the members of the ecclesial movement Communion & Liberation. We maintain a tradition of concluding our prayer with this keen reminder and request that the Holy Spirit, Who is already present, to allow us to grasp the meaning of God becoming man.

 

Here are the notes from Father Luigi Giussani’s remarks at the Spiritual Retreat of the Memores Domini, La Thuile, Italy, 2 August 2001

 

Forgive me if I too come explicitly into your meeting. Because, if the sacrifice of not coming to be with you is united with the joy of being Christ’s, of being His, with a little of this confidence, of this hope-which was born in the heart and which fidelity to the life of the Church has magnified enormously and caused to become adult, mature-then it is not inconceivable that I might talk with you for a few minutes.


Annunciation Angelico.jpgI wanted all the Memores Domini [the group of consecrated lay men & women] to know that there is a formula, an ejaculatory prayer-as all the Church’s tradition calls it-a formula that sums up everything we have tried to believe, express, and communicate, because it is the formula that summarizes all of Christian dogma as the Church has always lived it: Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam (Come Holy Spirit, come through Mary).

You will have been struck by lots of things; but guilt is never uprooted from our conscience, the affirmation of the truth is never renewed, if the whole soul does not try to make happen what the cry of the Christian tradition has us say over and over. Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam is the synthesis of everything the liturgical year tells us, it is the synthesis of everything the memory of Christian life tells us.

Because everything, everything comes from the Holy Spirit. It is the Spirit of God who gives the possibility of being struck positively, and even fervidly, by vocation, by the grace of God in life-because vocation is the grace of God in life. It is through the Spirit that every man, like every being, enters into a vast design, as vast as the Father conceived it.

Who knows if the Spirit will grant me still to have a living relationship with you, or better, that the living relationship with you-which will not cease for all of eternity-may still have some direct operative implications in the life of this world.

Veni per Mariam indicates, synthesizes, the finger pointing to everything, everything that our human eye can let us see and that the consciousness can readily understand. Because Our Lady is the synthesis of all humanity… not only of humanity but also of everything that creation brings with it from all eternity, for all eternity. From all eternity everything is the Father’s; in the Mystery every thing was born, every speck of dust, even the grain of sand on the earth, every thought and every feeling man has. Mary synthetically expresses this link between the Mystery and the things the Mystery Himself created (this is why the Holy Spirit is called Redeemer and Savior), because Our Lady is the only possibility of synthesis, in man’s heart, of everything that happens, has happened and will happen, which is faith, which unfolds a hope, and hope makes us live the aurora of the eternal. It makes us live the aurora of the eternal!

Who knows, who knows if the Lord and Our Lady will give me more health and will renew again the energy to communicate things to you, according to an experience that, with time, grows greater and greater, ever greater and greater!

May Veni Sancte Spiritus, Veni per Mariam be a connection that may arouse more quickly in your heart adherence, a certitude of hope, and a beginning of a vision of what the Lord will do for us as the final reward of our life.

Ciao! Until we meet again!

Our Lady of the Rosary


Virgin aletti.jpg
The feast of Our Lady of the Rosary has been observed by the universal Church since 1716 when Pope Clement XI extended its observance, but the feast was in many respects a local feast since 1213 by some accounts. Regardless, we should take care to pray this feast because of the theology and beauty of Christ and the great Mother of God.

The Directory on Popular Piety and the Liturgy says of the rosary: “Given the close relationship between Christ and Our Lady, the rosary can always be of assistance in giving prayer a Christological orientation, since it contains meditation of the Incarnation and the Redemption.” In another place it says: “The Rosary, or Psalter of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is one of the most excellent prayers to the Mother of God. Thus, ‘the Roman Pontiffs have repeatedly exhorted the faithful to the frequent recitation of this biblically inspired prayer which is centered on contemplation of the salvific events of Christ’s life, and their close association with the his Virgin Mother. The value and efficacy of this prayer have often been attested by saintly Bishops and those advanced in holiness of life.'”

And so we pray the Litany of Loreto and the Rosary today for the intentions of the New Evangelization and a greater awareness of our Christ’s work of salvation.

Litany of Loreto

V. Lord, have mercy.
R. Christ have mercy.

V. Lord have mercy. Christ hear us.
R. Christ graciously hear us.

God the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, [etc.]

Mother of Christ,
Mother of divine grace,
Mother most pure,
Mother most chaste,
Mother inviolate,
Mother undefiled,
Mother most amiable,
Mother most admirable,
Mother of good Counsel,
Mother of our Creator,
Mother of our Savior,
Virgin most prudent,

OL of the Rosary2.jpgVirgin most venerable,
Virgin most renowned,
Virgin most powerful,
Virgin most merciful,
Virgin most faithful,
Mirror of justice,
Seat of wisdom,
Cause of our joy,
Spiritual vessel,
Vessel of honor,
Singular vessel of devotion,
Mystical rose,
Tower of David,
Tower of ivory,
House of gold,
Ark of the covenant,
Gate of heaven,
Morning star,
Health of the sick,
Refuge of sinners,
Comforter of the afflicted,
Help of Christians,
Queen of Angels,
Queen of Patriarchs,
Queen of Prophets,
Queen of Apostles,
Queen of Martyrs,
Queen of Confessors,
Queen of Virgins,
Queen of all Saints,
Queen conceived without original sin,
Queen assumed into heaven,
Queen of the most holy Rosary,
Queen of peace,

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Spare us, O Lord.

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
R. Graciously hear us, O Lord.

V. Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray. Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, that we thy servants may enjoy perpetual health of mind and body, and by the glorious intercession of blessed Mary, ever Virgin, may we be freed from present sorrow, and rejoice in eternal happiness. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

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.
coat of arms

Categories

Archives

Humanities Blog Directory