Call out to Mary

“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}

 

A Hope Carol

A night was near, a day was near,
Between a day and night
I heard sweet voices calling clear,
Calling me:
I heard a whirr of wing on wing,
But could not see the sight;
I long to see my birds that sing,
I long to see.
Below the stars, beyond the moon,
Between the night and day
I heard a rising falling tune
Calling me:
I long to see the pipes and strings
Whereon such minstrels play;
I long to see each face that sings,
I long to see.
Today or may be not today,
Tonight or not tonight,
All voices that command or pray
Calling me,
Shall kindle in my soul such fire
And in my eyes such light
That I shall see that heart’s desire
I long to see.

Christina Georgina Rossetti

Only four words

From my old friend, Amy Carmichael:

Mt 14.30-31  But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand, and caught him.

“And beginning to sink.”  Only four words, but they bring us the certainty that we will never sink, for Peter never sank.  It is like that word in Psalm 94.18, When I said, My foot slippeth–yes, in that very moment–Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up.

Sometimes a single word may make all the difference to us, lifting us up, strengthening and refreshing us.  Let us be careful not to miss these words of life, which come so suddenly, perhaps in the midst of the day’s work.

Samuel Rutherford wrote: “In your temptations, run to the promises: they may be our Lord’s branches hanging over the water, that our Lord’s silly, half-drowned children may take a grip of them.”  And those boughs never break.