A Perfect Mother’s Heart…..

Behold, the only Heart which loves Jesus with a Mother’s love….

image And would she not be perfect, and pure and rendered impeccable by God for her unique and glorious privilege:  to conceive, bear and mother the only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ Who took upon Himself her very flesh.

Immaculate Mary, pray for us!

Advertisements

Happy Birthday, Sweet Mother of God!

image

“Only after the Last Judgment will Mary get any rest; from now until then, she is much too busy with her children.”
–St. John Vianney
 

“Men do not fear a powerful hostile army as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”
–St. Bonaventure<

 

“Mary, give me your Heart: so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate; your Heart so full of love and humility that I may be able to receive Jesus in the Bread of Life and love Him as you love Him and serve Him in the distressing guise of the poor.”
–Blessed Mother Teresa

 

“For God, having given her power over his only-begotten and natural Son, also gave her power over his adopted children – not only in what concerns their body – which would be of little account – but also in what concerns their soul.”
–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

 

“Prayer is powerful beyond limits when we turn to the Immaculata who is queen even of God’s heart.”
–Saint Maximilian Kolbe

 
 
“In that first ‘fusion’ with Jesus (holy communion), it was my Heavenly Mother again who accompanied me to the altar for it was she herself who placed her Jesus into my soul.”
–Saint Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church

 

We love you, O Most Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven and our Refuge.  Happy Birthday!

Let us follow Our Mother to Heaven…

The Virgin Mary was taken up to the heavenly bridal chamber where the King of kings is seated on a starry throne.  (Antiphon 2, Evening prayer for the Solemnity of the Assumption)

maryassumed1

Today at Mass, on the Feast of Our Lady’s Glorious Assumption, one of the topics Father spoke about was the value God places on our bodies.

God loves our bodies.  In fact, He esteems them so much that He did not hesitate to take upon Himself human flesh, in the Person of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

I recently heard a mystic describe an experience of God’s Love overwhelming him.  He said that it was as though every cell in his body knew and responded to its Creator, and that although the experience lasted but a few moments, he cried out, “Jesus, stop, or I will die for I cannot contain anymore of Your Love for me.”

This is almost exactly the description St. Therese gave of her mystical encounter where she was “burning up” with love. One moment more and I would have died.  St. Teresa of Avila, St John of the Cross and many other mystics relate similar experiences of God invading their entire being with His Love.

Most of us don’t often think about God’s love for our physical being.  We tend to focus mostly on our souls, which of course are made in the image and likeness of God.  But our souls and bodies dwell in a mysterious union.  What we think about is simultaneously transmitted to our bodies, which react with fear, joy, peace, tears, laughter and many other emotions and sensations.

Perhaps the most frightening thing about death is the awareness that our being will be rent in two… our soul and our body separated for the first time in our existence.  We cannot imagine what that will be like.

Nor do we know how long this separation will endure.

But in the gospels, Our Lord assures us that our bodies will live again.  We know that for those who die in God’s Grace, they will be glorious, resplendent bodies, free of pain and suffering, and in complete accord with our will, which will then be perfectly united to God’s Will.

Our bodies then should be holy, as Father said this morning, since they are tabernacles of the Most Holy Trinity.  We should keep them clean, modestly dressed, and borne with the dignity of a child of God.  Moreover, we should treat the bodies of others with respect at every stage of life.

Our Lady, in her Church approved apparitions is always described as “beautiful,” a word usually stammered out in desperation, in a feeble attempt to capture what is beyond human comprehension…..the glorified appearance of our Heavenly Mother.  What is seen by these chosen visionaries is no doubt vastly inferior to the true, radiant beauty and glory which the Mother of God possesses in Heaven.

How different that heavenly beauty is from what we admire on earth, where outward appearance attracts so much attention.  In heaven, it is the holiness of the soul which will communicate its splendor to our glorified body.  Earthly beauty will have passed away.

Today we celebrate with joy, Our Lady’s bodily assumption into Heaven.  It is a day to rejoice that Our Lord and Savior has promised to all of us that if we have died in Christ, we shall also rise with Him.

At the signal given by the voice of the Archangel and the trumpet of God, the Lord Himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and only after that shall we who remain alive be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air.  This is the way we shall be with the Lord for ever    I Thessalonians 4: 16-17  (NJB)

 

Mary bashing…they should know better

I rarely visit Twitter. My followers are in double digits…barely. But, a couple of nights ago, I happened to glance at the feed, and to my shock, Our Lady was the subject of some twitter banter. Sadly, many people were claiming that she had been only an “incubator” for Jesus, that she had not even given Him flesh. Others said to “forget about Mary,” and to “put her aside.”

Well, I joined some other Catholics who were defending our Beloved Mother and tried to help enlighten those who were so cruelly disparaging her. What I found most heartbreaking was that they weren’t even neutral in their opinion, but rather anti-Mary…as though they wished they could just make her go away.

Because of this recent incident, I’m dusting off a past post I wrote about our Blessed Mother, and yes, I’ll be linking to it on Twitter. I doubt it will open any closed minds, but maybe the rosary I’m about to say will!  You just never know….

O Mary, Gate of Heaven, Morning Star, Ark of the Covenant, Theotokos, pray for us!

image
Sandro Botticelli, circa 1480

Mary was on my mind yesterday during adoration, no doubt because I was reading 33 Days to Morning Glory, and also because of the recent events related in my last post.

But it’s more than that. I’ve mentioned before that I listen to Catholic radio a lot, and during the call-in shows, Mary is often a topic of conversation. So many people simply do not grasp her sublime place in God’s Plan for our salvation, or worse yet, they think she was simply a convenient vehicle used by God to bring the Savior into the world. After Jesus was born, these individuals assume that Mary and Joseph led a normal married life and that Mary simply faded into oblivion.

What an insult to God! First to imagine that His Son would be conceived by an ordinary woman who had not been perfectly prepared by Him. Secondly, to ascribe to God such a capricious attitude of using one of His creatures for so exalted a purpose and then to essentially forget about her….to credit nothing to her for the sacrifice of her very own Son.

Scripture and the Church present us with such a very different picture of Mary’s life and Mary’s purpose.

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you….

What a great Mystery!  Mary is asked, and consents to be the Mother of Jesus.

And…in a glorious silence containing all the Power of Heaven and earth, the Holy Spirit overshadows her and enters into her virginal womb to create the Body and Soul of the God-Man, that Human Nature which would be hypostatically united to the Divine Nature and Person of the Son of God.

The Incarnation is God’s greatest Work, and It took place within Mary, hidden in silence, unheralded save by Gabriel’s few words to the chosen maiden.

How holy Mary was from the first moment of her Immaculate Conception… Full of Grace, as Gabriel addressed her. But what new and unique Graces surely flooded her soul in that wondrous Instant when she became the Mother of God, and truly the Spouse of the Holy Spirit!

Can anyone really dare to think that all of this happened in an off-handed, matter of fact way? That God overshadowed Mary, and then departed, bestowing no splendor of Grace, no bond between Himself and this Woman carrying the very Son of God, now incarnate?

Mary is matchless, and we can never comprehend her holiness and her unique relationship to God.  She is not Divine. God is infinitely above all of His creatures. But Mary has an exalted place which cannot be approached by even the greatest of the Saints.

She is the God-Bearer. And once you say that, what is left to say about her greatness? All that she is and all that she has was bestowed upon her because of the ineffable and most pure intimacy she experienced with the Most Holy Trinity.

Who can plumb the mysteries which passed between God and Mary in that Moment which changed everything? The Son became her Child…uniting her flesh to His Being in an act of humility and Gift for which the angels surely were rendered speechless to praise.

Yes, God defeated Satan through a humble maiden, forever raised to the heights of holiness because of her relationship with God.

If we become holy through Baptism, when The Trinity comes to dwell within us, then what is there to say of Mary’s holiness, her relationship to God, her exaltation?

O Mary, Daughter of the Most High, Mother of the Eternal Word, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, pray for us!