Monday, December 8, 2014

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception - December 8

Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, which is the day when we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ, the very Mother of God, who herself was conceived without the stain of original sin. What a glorious mystery! What a glorious feast! May we all draw closer to the mother of Jesus Christ, who will of course draw us closer to her son, who is the Son, the second person of the Blessed Trinity.

The following comes from a sermon by St. Anselm and is found in today's Office of Readings (hat tip: Universalis.com):

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

Here is a wonderful image of Mary by the great artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo.

Let us close with the wonderful prayer to Mary, Tota pulchra es: (hat tip: Whispers in the Loggia)

Virgin most holy and immaculate, 
to you, the honor of our people, 
and the loving protector of our city,
do we turn with loving trust.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you there is no sin.

Awaken in all of us a renewed desire for holiness:
May the splendor of truth shine forth in our words, 
the song of charity resound in our works, 
purity and chastity abide in our hearts and bodies,
and the full beauty of the Gospel be evident in our lives.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you the Word of God became flesh.

Help us always to heed the Lord’s voice:
May we never be indifferent to the cry of the poor,
or untouched by the sufferings of the sick and those in need;
may we be sensitive to the loneliness of the elderly and the vulnerability of children, 
and always love and cherish the life of every human being.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
In you is the fullness of joy born of life with God.

Help us never to forget the meaning of our earthly journey:
May the kindly light of faith illumine our days,
the comforting power of hope direct our steps,
the contagious warmth of love stir our hearts;
and may our gaze be fixed on God, in whom true joy is found.

You are all-beautiful, O Mary!
Hear our prayer, graciously hear our plea:
May the beauty of God’s merciful love in Jesus abide in our hearts,
and may this divine beauty save us, our city and the entire world.