Saturday, September 09, 2006

Nativity of our Lady

Saint Bernard (1091-1153), wrote a beautiful commentary commemorating our Lady's birth:

Rejoice, Adam, our father, and above all you, Eve, our mother. You were parents to all of us and at the same time our murderers. You who doomed us to death even before we were born, be comforted now. One of your daughters – and what a daughter! – will comfort you… So come, Eve, run to Mary. May the mother run to the daughter. The daughter will answer for her mother and will wipe away her fault… For the human race will now be raised up by a woman.

What did Adam say in times past? “The woman whom you put here with me – she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it.” (Gen 3:12) Those were nasty words, which increased his fault rather than wiping it away. But divine Wisdom triumphed over so much malice. After vainly trying to give birth to the opportunity to forgive by questioning Adam, God now finds that opportunity in the treasure of his inexhaustible goodness. He gives the first woman a substitute, a wise woman in the place of the one who was foolish, a woman who is as humble as the other was proud.

Instead of the fruit of the tree of death, she offers to humankind the bread of life. She replaces this bitter and poisonous nourishment with the sweetness of an eternal food. So Adam, change your unjust accusation to an expression of gratitude and say: “Lord, this woman whom you gave me offered me the fruit of the tree of life. I ate of it; its flavor was sweeter than honey from the comb (Ps 19:11), because by means of this fruit, you gave me back life.” So that is why the angel was sent to a virgin. Oh admirable Virgin, worthy of all honors! Woman whom we must venerate infinitely among all women, you repair the fault of our first parents, you give life back to all their descendants.

Happy Birthday, our dear mother!

1 comment:

Virgin said...

Contemplating Mary and her Nativity


How sweet is the sound of your name, that I love to hear it over and over again.

At the mention of your name, Mary, my heart melts like candle wax

My whole being evaporates as I contemplate the great wonders of God in you, Mary

Your beauty, your profound humility, your lively faith, your continual prayer, your courageous love, your meekness and patience, your angelic sweetness, your universal mortification, your altogether spotless purity and chastity, your blind obedience, your poverty in spirit, your fortitude, your kindness and compassion etc. .... All these and many more gifts which you received
from God, you strived to graciously utilize

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord, Be it done to me according to your word"

My life! My vocation! How can I accept it when God unveils it to me?

Abraham left his father land to answer God's call. To a place where he knew no one, Abraham marched on with the eyes of faith, clinged on the great promises of God and became the father of many nations

And what about Mary?

"Oh Mary! You allowed that being, "the Holy spirit to
overshadow you and you became pregnant for Him. You knew the grave consequences of a jewish girl having a child outside wedlock, you knew you were bethrothed to Joseph, and yet you went ahead to say "yes" to Gabriel."

"How could you Mary? How could you? Did you not know that you would be stoned to death for doing so?"

And I seem to hear her say:

It was so difficult for me at first. I had the choice to say "no". For I saw all the misunderstandings that would
arise. I saw all the pain ,sorrow and disasters awaiting me. But then I thought about how God would
feel if I failed answer his call. My love for him would be tainted, cold or meaningless. How could I be so selfish to refuse His call all because of vanity that will pass away. All that I have comes from him and now that he wants to use me for a purpose, who am I a mere creature to refuse myself to Him.

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord, Be it done to me according to your word"

Yes, it was a hard test. I had to make a choice. A choice to follow the one I truely love... not minding the cost. Contrary to what everyone had expected. Contrary to what my family and community had planned for me. Contrary to what I had planned for myself. I had to make a choice of faith. I had to give up all I had for the sake of love, for the sake of following my
true love

And in giving my self to him, He gave himself back to me. He made sure that I lost nothing but gained much more than I had before. Joseph, whom I thought I had lost actually came back to me, my purity and virginity which I so treasured remained untainted, my future was repaired and now I was not only the chaste wife of Joseph miraculously, but also the mother of the long expected saviour of Isreal

Oh Mary, how could I ever forget you...

The patriachs of old prayed and sighed for the coming of the saviour but he did not come, yet it was the prayers of the humble Mary that drew him to earth. The
world was so filthy and incapable of receiving the Holy One of Isreal directly from God's hand and so God prepared a holy vessel to bring Him to us.

St Augustine says:
God could create more perfect angels. God could create more perfect heavens, but God could not create a more perfect vessel than that which he created to encase His holy Word (he could not create a more perfect mother than that which he created to be His mother).

St. Louis de Montfort affirms: Compared to God, Mary is but an atom. He does not need her to accomplish his will. He has only to will it and it will be. Yet it was His loving plan to begin and bring to consumation the salvation of mankind through the holy hands of Mary.

If God knows all things. If God knew from the very beginning that mankind would fall through the
disobedience of Eve.... then St. Augustine was right

when he said

"Mary was in the mind of God before creation began"

God lavished his love, his graces and his skills in creating Mary as his perfect Master piece

For like a ray of light passing through a plane glass without cracking it. Like the burning bush that was burning but not burnt. God passed through the womb of

Mary without her loosing her virginity. And so she remained a virgin before child birth, a virgin during child birth and a virgin after child birth.

Remember when He said:
I am the Lord your God, I will never share my glory with any man....( )

To be continued soon........