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Posts Tagged ‘Virgin Mary’

 

 

You, Lord God, calmed the winds and the waves, and brought rest to the Lake of Gennesaret, grant eternal rest to those who died in the wind and the waves, and bring calm to those mourn them now.

In nomine Domini nostri Iesu Christi. Amen.

[Frank Franklin II, “Breezy Point, Queens” (2012). Link here]

Dixit autem illis: ‘Ubi est fides vestra?’ Qui timentes mirati sunt ad invicem, dicentes: ‘Quis putas hic est? quia et ventis et mari imperat, et obediunt ei?’ [Lk 8.25]

He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?’ [NRSV]

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In the fiery heavens
are now two bodies:
one of the resurrection
and one assumed.

In bodies anew
we meet them there,
see face to face,
known and knowing.

Our faith will close,
our hope made whole;
save lasting charity,
in the city of love.

With bright new eyes,
we see their face:
the Virgin immaculate,
her Son still pierced.

With angelic hymns
of incorporeal song,
our bodies made new
and Mary’s still whole.

C.H. McCants, “Heavenly Bodies” (2012)

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You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

St Bernard, abbot

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favoured one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.”

And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. (1.26-38)

The Gospel of St Luke

The Annunciation (14th cent., Russia)

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The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury, bishop.

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

I will not give a full meaning for the Feast Day and its significance in the life of the Church, the history of the Dogmatic pronouncement, nor will I try to lay out or elaborate the theological significance of this teaching of the Christian Church, relating it to original sin or sanctifying grace.

In truth, I think “immaculate conception” is this one moment where many Roman Catholics receive it all too easily, many Protestants reject it all too easily, and somewhere in between there is gift of wrestling theologically with what it really means to be born immaculate by the grace of God.

I will, however, simply point back to St Anselm above, who I believe said it best: “Not only does [the universe] feel the unseen presence of God himself, its creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy.”

The Immaculate Conception of Mary is one of the many ways God has made this fallen world holy in preparation and anticipation for the coming of the Λογος, the Word of God, who is Son of God and Son of Mary.


im·mac·u·late,
adj., free from stain or blemish; pure.

[Middle English immaculat, from Latin immaculātus (in- + past participle of maculāre, to blemish (see macula, spot).]

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Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother :  “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed.  And a sword will pierce your own soul too.

The Gospel of St. Luke

Candlemas

The feast of the purification of the Virgin Mary (or presentation of Christ in the Temple) celebrated with a great display of candles.

Forms: OE–ME candel mæsse, ME -masse, -messe, ME -mas, ME candil-masse, ME -messe, -mas, condulmas, ME candylmesse, 15 -mas, 15–17 candlemass, 15– candlemas.

Etymology: Old English candelmæsse, < candel candle n. + mæsse mass v.4 In Icelandic kyndilmessa: compare medieval Latin candelaria, French chandeleur, German lichtmesse.

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