“O you, whoever you are, who feel that in the tidal wave of this world you are nearer to being tossed about among the squalls and gales than treading on dry land, if you do not want to founder in the tempest, do not avert your eyes from the brightness of this star. When the wind of temptation blows up within you, when you strike upon the rock of temptation, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. Whether you are being tossed about by the waves of pride or ambition or slander or jealousy, gaze up at this star, call out to Mary. When rage or greed or fleshly desires are battering the skiff of your soul, gaze up at Mary. When the immensity of your sins weighs you down and you are bewildered by the loathsomeness of your conscience, when the terrifying thought of judgment appalls you and you begin to founder in the gulf of sadness and despair, think of Mary. In dangers, in hardships, in every doubt, think of Mary, call out to Mary. Keep her in your mouth, keep her in your heart. Follow the example of her life and you will obtain the favor of her prayer. Following her, you will never go astray. Asking her help, you will never despair. Keeping her in your thoughts, you will never wander away. With your hand in hers, you will never stumble. With her protecting you, you will not be afraid. With her leading you, you will never tire. Her kindness will see you through.” (Bernard of Clairvaux}
“Through the Incarnation of the Word the all-holy Virgin has been given to us as an all-powerful intercessor, who protects us from sins, misfortunes and disasters, praying for us day and night, our queen whose power no enemy–visible or invisible–can withstand, truly our mother by grace in accordance with the words uttered by Christ on the cross to the beloved disciple: Behold thy mother! and to her: Behold thy son!” (Father John of Krondstadt)
Night is not dark where she stands bright,
the woman clothed in living light.
Crowned with the stars, who served on earth
The Word to whom her faith gave birth.
Genevieve Glen, OSB
from St. Louis de Montfort:
Lastly, you never think of Mary without Mary thinking of God for you. You never praise of honor Mary without Mary joining you in praising and honoring God. Mary is entirely relative to God. Indeed I would say that she was relative only to God, because she exists uniquely in reference to him.
She is an echo of God, speaking and repeating only God. If you say ‘Mary’ she says ‘God’. When St. Elizabeth praised Mary calling her blessed because she had believed, Mary, the faithful echo of God responded with her canticle, ‘My soul glorifies the Lord.’ What Mary did on that day, she does every day. When we praise her, when we love and honor her, when we present anything to her, then God is praised, honored and loved and receives our gift through Mary and in Mary.
Madonna of the Streets
The Mystery of Mary
She is our Mother
But she is also our daughter.
A little girl and the Queen of Heaven.
The Queen of the Angels–
and yet she is still a little girl!
“You need not be afraid, am I not here?” (The Blessed Mother, to St. Juan Diego)
“Mary’s motherhood is not some vague or abstract sort of thing. It’s concrete and personal. And even though it’s universal, it’s also intensely particular. Mary is your mother. She is my mother. In this light, John Paul thinks it’s significant that Mary’s new motherhood on Calvary is expressed in the singular, ‘Behold, your son’ not ‘Behold, your billions of spiritual children.’ The Pope gets to the heart of it when he says, ‘Even when the same woman is the mother of many children, her personal relationship with each one of them is of the very essence of motherhood.’ In short: Mary is uniquely, particularly, personally your mother and my mother, and she doesn’t lose us in the crowd.” (Michael E. Gaitley, MIC, 33 Days to Morning Glory)
The meditation for today from the Magnificat Advent Companion:
How appropriate that commemoration of the events that lead to the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe begin immediately after the feast of the Immaculate Conception. For Mary, preserved from original sin, knows that the deepest and truest need of our heart is to be loved by God and to experience the unique preference he has for each of us. True obedience flows from our rejoicing over this preference. The serpent lied to Adam and Eve and made them think that the greatest human need is to be as powerful as God. We have sustained this wound, which makes us mistakenly think that to achieve and to impress is more satisfying than simply to be loved, when the merest reflection shows the opposite to be true. We see the interplay between Mary’s sinless clarity and the wound of original sin in her dialogue with Juan Diego, when he complains that he is not accomplished enough to be an emissary to the bishop. Mary reminds him that he is chosen, he has been preferred, and this is all that is necessary; in fact, this is everything. Let us pray to our Lady for our conversion, that our experience may teach us that it is not relying on accomplishments, but rather rejoicing in his love that makes our lives bear the fruit of his presence. (Fr. Richard Veras, emphasis added)
by Diego Velázquez (1599-1660)
Beloved, Mother of us all,
To-day we remember
That, of all earth’s millions,
You, Mary, in the womb,
Were shining, whole,
You only, O Morning Star,
Lighted the clouds of sin and waiting.
You only, Immaculate Ark,
Glided above the depths of the primal curse;
For you were to bear safely over those waters
Emmanuel, your little Son, from whose baby hand
Streams the rainbow up which we climb to God.
You only, little white moon, are the crystal
Reflection of our Sun.
But for your whiteness, O Gate of Heaven,
We had never entered, nor seen our God.
But for your loveliness, O Mystic Rose,
We had never breathed the Rose of Sharon.
White Tower of David, Ivory Tower,
Princess whose beauty lured Love’s kiss when life began,
Mother, who died a thousand deaths for us,
We thank Him for you.
To-day, when He smiles to see His image in you, clear,
~Sr. St. Francis S.S.J.