Saturday with Mary

It has come through a several mediations this past week for me to pick up again Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort’s True Devotion to Mary.

On the title page to de Montfort’s preliminary remarks, he is quoted:

“The more the Holy Spirit finds Mary, His dear and inseparable spouse, in any soul, the more active and mighty He becomes in producing Jesus Christ in that soul, and that soul in Jesus Christ.”

These words remind me very much of the role of Mary by her participation in the mystery of the incarnation, the Word – Christ Jesus – made flesh:

“Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of David his father, and he will rule over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” (Luke 1:30-33).

The Holy Spirit is Mary’s Spouse. Where Mary is, her Spouse is. And, with them, Jesus Christ.

A side thought that came, reflecting on these words in view of the Incarnation:

no Mary – no Jesus; know Mary – know Jesus

To come to know Mary we surprisingly find her always pointing us to her Son. May she intercede for us, that her Spouse the Holy Spirit enlighten our hearts and minds to know and love her Son, our Lord Jesus.

The Annunciation Sung (Angelus)

What better way to reflect on the Solemnity of the Annunciation than to hear the words prayed by Christians three times a day (at first light; at noonday; and at dusk) in the Angelus Domini prayer:

In these simple words, the story of the Incarnation of our Savior are told:

The Annunciation: The Angel of the Lord declared (announced) unto Mary – And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. (Luke 1:26,30)

Mary’s Response: I am the handmaid of the Lord – Do unto me according to Your Word. (Luke 1:38)

The Incarnation: And the Word was made Flesh – And dwelt among us. (John 1:14)

In this prayer, we are shown the pattern of the Christian life, and how we too bring Christ to bear when our Fiat is like that of Mary’s: ‘Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum – be done unto me according the Word of the Lord’.

Mary, Mother of Christ,
as we contemplate your ‘yes’ at the words of the Angel Gabriel,
we turn to the Lord Jesus,
asking through your intercession,
that we too may be
God-bearers of your Son
in our small daily ‘yes’
that His will be done in our lives.
May God in His infinite mercy
hear us, and answer us.

Amen.

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Related Posts:

The Annunciation and the First Tabernacle

The Annunciation and the First Tabernacle

With the Solemnity of the Annunciation, we reflect upon that moment, when the Angel announces to the Virgin Mary, betrothed to Joseph, that she was chosen by God to be the God-bearer. We hear Mary’s fiat – her ‘yes’ – to fully participate in God’s salvific plan for all humanity:

“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

And with her ‘yes’, “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” (John 1:14)

I was struck by this reality tonight, reading the third antiphon for first vespers:

“The eternal Word, born of the Father before time began, today emptied himself for our sake and became man.”

The Annunciation by the angel Gabriel, and Mary’s availability to God’s plan, opens the doorway to the mystery of the Incarnation, that is so eloquently mentioned by Saint John’s first epistle:

“What was from the beginning, what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life–
for the life was made visible;
we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you
the eternal life that was with the Father
and was made visible to us–
what we have seen and heard we proclaim now to you,
so that you too may have fellowship with us;
for our fellowship is with the Father
and with his Son, Jesus Christ.”
(1 John 1:1-3)

The Annunciation paved the way for us to adore God in the flesh, initially present in the first tabernacle, Mary’s womb. And so, we begin a nine-month pilgrimage with Mary to the Nativity; nine-months in which God ’emptied himself’ taking on our weakest physical nature of total dependence on a woman. It is an opportune time, then, to also pray for the unborn, who share the vulnerability of the unborn Christ. They too, are fully present, in their mother’s womb.

Let us, remember then, to ask Mary on her feast day, to intercede for them.

Prayer to Our Lady of the Annunciation

Queen of heaven and earth,
daughter of the Father,
Mother of the divine Son,
spouse of the Holy Spirit,
I praise God for the unique grace given to you.

Mary, you became the great Mother of our divine Savior,
our Master, true Light of the world,
uncreated Wisdom, source of all truth and first Apostle of truth.
You gave the world the book to read, the eternal Word.

For this I bless the holy Trinity
and I ask you to obtain for me
the grace of heavenly wisdom,
to be a fervent disciple of Jesus
and to be lovingly devoted to the Church,
the pillar of truth.

Make the light of the Gospel
shine to the farthest bounds of the earth.
Queen of the Apostles, pray for us!

Prayer Source: Fr. James Alberione SSP
(H/T Divine Office)

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Related Posts:

Our Lady’s Life before the Annunciation, by Dr. Edward P. Sri

What Confused Mary about the Annunciation

REMINDER: An efficacious way we can help Fr. Corapi and other accused Priests: A Novena for Fr John Corapi Novena begins today.

The Anchoress

Father Z

Happy Feast from Deacon Greg

Have Steak today – Indult for the Solemnity

Celebrating the Day of the Unborn Child

On the lighter side, from The Curt Jester, Mary’s Fiat

Fr. Frank Pavone, from a prolife perspective

Dr. Gerard M. Nadal, Full of Grace: Mary’s Yes and Ours

Advent Vigil – for all Nascent Human Life – Update

Pope Benedict will hold a prayer vigil for unborn babies on Nov. 27, the evening before the First Sunday of Advent, at St. Peter’s Basilica in conjunction with Vespers for the Start of Advent and he is requesting that parishes, religious communities, associations and movements the world over host vigils in communion with him.

The Pope said:

“The season of preparation for Christmas is an appropriate time for invoking divine protection over every human being called into existence and for thanking God for the gift of life we received from our parents,”

This Vigil for Nascent Human Life, which has pro-life leaders rejoicing, will be held after Vespers for the Start of Advent. EWTN will televise both celebrations beginning at 11 a.m. ET, Sat., Nov. 27.

The Pope said he will pray for the unborn and their parents, for an end to abortion and research that destroys embryos, for recognition of the dignity of every human life, for the overturning of laws that permit the destruction of innocent lives, and for the healing of those who have acted against innocent human life.

He asks that all diocesan bishops (and their equivalent) preside over similar celebrations involving Catholics in every state of life around the world. (Read in full at EWTN)

Advent begins this Saturday night…candles in churches and homes will be lit…and prayers will be prayed. But this Advent will be different in its introductory tone in many Churches around the world who have pledged to pray in union with the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI for “All Nascent Human Life”. The Pope has made an unprecedented request to all Bishops around the world to reserve first vespers on November 27th for the specific intention of all life on the verge of coming into existence. The Unborn.

The timing for these prayers for children not-yet born, sets the tone for our anticipation of the Christ-child anew. It is also a reminder to us that our Lord, too, began His earthly life in a precarious state of complete dependence upon a woman for all nourishment while being carried for nine months in Mary’s womb. Advent turns our gaze to the anticipation of His coming, and preparation of the great feast of Christmas, and yet, it is the anticipation with the Christ child for the birth of every child.

Are we ready to welcome him? Let us prepare our hearts for the Lord, in our prayers for every child in waiting to be born.

__What Others are Saying __

Prayer materials have been developed by the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments and the Pontifical Council for the Family, and are available on the USCCB Pro-Life site.

You may also feel a desire to write a note of support of this project to the Pope at the Yes! for Benedict website.

Thanksgiving with the Holy Father By Mary McClusky

Life News: Pope’s Vigil for Nascent Human Life “Could not be more Important

National Catholic Register

Catholic News Agency: Spanish Bishops Encourage Participation

Zenit: Holy Father Urges Participation in Pro-Life Vigil

Fr. Z explains the word nascent very well.

Lisa Graas: Pope Benedict to Celebrate “Vigil for All Nascent Human Life”

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Prayer of Pope John Paul II

O Mary, bright dawn of the new world,

Mother of the living,

to you do we entrust the cause of life

Look down, O Mother,

upon the vast numbers

of babies not allowed to be born,

of the poor whose lives are made difficult,

of men and women

who are victims of brutal violence,

of the elderly and the sick killed

by indifference or out of misguided mercy.

Grant that all who believe in your Son

may proclaim the Gospel of life

with honesty and love

to the people of our time.

Obtain for them the grace

to accept that Gospel

as a gift ever new,

the joy of celebrating it with gratitude

throughout their lives

and the courage to bear witness to it

resolutely, in order to build,

together with all people of good will,

the civilization of truth and love,

to the praise and glory of God,

the Creator and lover of life.

– Evangelium Vitae, 105