HAIL MARY, FULL OF GRACE.
DAY 1, NOVENA TO THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION.
(From Nov. 30 to Dec. 8 we shall publish texts of St. Josemaria on Our Lady for personal reflection as a way of living the Novena in preparation for the Solemnity of Her Immaculate Conception. See links below.)
“She is the one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections; and she is also our Mother. Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything we ask for, and, like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers. Like any mother also, she knows and understands our weaknesses. She encourages us and makes excuses for us. She makes the way easy for us and, even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us.
Perhaps some of you might be thinking that the ordinary comings and goings of your working day are not going to help you much to stay close to someone as pure as Our Lady. But I would just ask you to reflect a little. What are we looking for all the time in things we do, even without thinking about it especially? If we are motivated by the love of God and we work with a right intention, then we are seeking whatever is good and clean, whatever brings peace to our conscience and happiness to our soul. Yes, you might say, but don’t we still have our faults? Indeed, but it is precisely by acknowledg- ing our faults that we are able to see, more clearly than ever, just what our goal has to be. What we are looking for is happiness; not a momentary happiness, but one that is deep and lasting, and both human and supernatural.
There is one creature who achieved such happiness here on earth because she is God’s masterpiece: our most holy Mother Mary. She lives now and is protecting us. She is there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
Friends of God, 292
It’s fair, gentle Lady, for me to ask you for a present, a proof of your affection: contrition, compunction for my sins, sorrow of love. Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope. Take me by the hand – and if there is anything in me now that is displeasing to my Father-God, make me see it, and between the two of us we’ll tear it out. (St. Josemaria)