Tuesday, September 08, 2015

A thought for Mary's birthday

Mother and child: The Blessed Virgin
learning Scripture from her mother,
St Anne.

Nine months ago, we celebrated the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Today we celebrate her birthday. (Liturgy is like that. Christmas is exactly nine months after the Solemnity of the Annunciation of the Lord.)

Today's liturgical observance is a pretty important one; it is a "feast day" in every sense of the word (the priest's "Ordo" or Mass guide, marks it as a Feast with an uppercase F). If you go to Mass today (and I hope you will!), you will hear the Gloria, inspired by the song of the Angels on Christmas night. In fact, the Mass of this ancient feast, celebrated in East and West on the same date (that's how you can tell it's an ancient feast), is full of references to "dawn": Mary's birth is the "dawn" announcing the approach of the Sun, the true Light of the world.

Pope Benedict, in his first encyclical, wrote of Mary:
"The Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture, threads drawn from the Word of God. Here we see how completely at home Mary is with the Word of God, with ease she moves in and out of it. She speaks and thinks with the Word of God; the Word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the Word of God. Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God, how her will is one with the will of God. Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God, she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate."
Pope Benedict XVI, "God is Love" (n. 41)

And the Eastern Church prays today:
Nativity of the Theotokos
Your Nativity, O Virgin,
Has proclaimed joy to the whole universe!
The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God,
Has shone from You, O Theotokos!
By annulling the curse,
He bestowed a blessing.
By destroying death, He has granted us eternal Life.

On this Feast, join me in praying in a particular way for Robert Barron, who today will be ordained to the fullness of Holy Orders as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. As a Daughter of St Paul, I have a special commitment to praying for those who use media to evangelize, so Father Barron has a kind of extra call on that. There is also a rather big sacrifice looming for me today; I already told the Lord to count it, in union with his own sacrifice, for Bishop-elect Barron and his ministry. Do you have a sacrifice you can offer, too?

1 comment:

mrsd said...

Beautiful thoughts.