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Archive for the ‘Blesséd Virgin Mary’ Category

Men_praying_in_Afghanistan

Well today is the first day of Ramadan, which is more or less the Islamic version of Lent.  It is a time of fasting, prayer, almsgiving, and spiritual renewal.

According to Muslim belief, Ramadan commemorates the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Muhammad.  It leads up to a final period (more…)

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A wonderful explanation for anyone who’s wondering 🙂

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Oh ever immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, Health of the Sick, Refuge of Sinners, Comfortess of the Afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings. Look upon me with mercy. When you appeared in the grotto of Lourdes, you made it a privileged sanctuary where you dispense your favors, and where many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with unbounded confidence to implore your maternal intercession. My loving Mother, obtain my request. I will try to imitate your virtues so that I may one day share your company and bless you in eternity. Amen.

Acknowledgement

Dennis Jarvis. Source France-002009 – Our Lady of Lourdes. 28 June 2014.

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O most Holy Virgin, immaculate in body and spirit,
look kindly on me as I implore your powerful intercession.

O most Holy Mother, receive my prayers as I present them to God.

O Mary, Mother of Jesus and our Mother, you intercede for us with your Son.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.  Amen.

Acknowledgement

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo.  Immaculate of Soult.  https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Murillo_immaculate_conception.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

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This is the final installment in a three-part series.  For parts one and two, click here

Let’s get right to it: Theologically speaking, what’s so special about being a girl?

(more…)

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Letchworth_WaterfallWell, the medievals used to say that God wrote two books: The Book of Scripture (a.k.a. the Bible), and the Book of Nature.  One finds His explicit self-revelation in the former, but hints of both God and His plan are discernible in the latter as well.

Of course, reflective soul that I am, I could not help but think of this during my outing to Letchworth State Park with my family over the weekend.  (By the way: If you’re ever in New York State, do yourself a favor and go there.  It has some gorgeous waterfalls, beautiful foliage, nice walking trails, buildings of historical significance, and a gorge that has earned the nickname “Grand Canyon of the East.”)

Last year I spent a weekend on retreat at a monastery in the country, and I remember looking out one morning at a fine mist hanging over a pond outside.  This got me thinking of that famous passage from St. Luke’s Gospel in which the angel Gabriel announces the birth of Christ to the Blesséd Virgin Mary:

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.

(Luke 1:35)

The hovering mist reminds one of the Holy Spirit — ethereal, invisible, otherworldly, and coming from above — and the body of water, an image of feminine receptivity and fecundity, of the Virgin Mary.

Letchworth_Waterfall 1If a pond can remind one of Mary, how much more a great waterfall, with its majestic beauty and humble greatness?

Letchworth_Waterfall 2Now back to the mist.  Here, as you can see, it ascends from the water, as opposed to hovering over it.  Yet here also can we find an analogy pointing to the divine partnership with Mother Mary.  Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Holy Trinity, issued forth from the womb of Mary in His Incarnation, as the God-Man, “as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma” (Ephesians 5:2, italics mine).

As I’ve said before: Who ever said nature isn’t “evangelical”?

Thanks for reading.  Here are some more pics, if you’re interested:

Rainbow over the waterfall

Letchworth_Rainbow

A “trickle”

Letchworth_Trickle

A couple pictures taken around the gorge

Letchworth_Gorge

Letchworth_Gorge2Stone picnic table where we ate lunch 🙂

Letchworth_Stone Table

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Nothing against the traditional (and joyful) “Happy Birthday” tune, of course.  But on this Feast of the Birth of the Virgin Mary, it seems something a bit stronger, and with more of a sublime beauty, is in order.

Check out this short bit (under 5 minutes) featuring a traditional Latin hymn (as performed by the Daughters of Mary):

Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!

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