Category Archives: Love for Our Lady

TOWER OF IVORY, PRAY OF US!

TOWER OF IVORY, PRAY OF US!
In the Judeo-Christian tradition, the term “ivory tower” is used not only as a symbol for noble purity, but also of beatury and strength.
It originates with the Song of Solomon (7:4) (“Your neck is like an ivory tower”; in the Hebrew Masoretic text, it is found in 7:5) and was included in the epithets for Mary in the sixteenth century Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (“tower of ivory”, turris eburnea in Latin), though the title and image was in use long before that, since the 12th century Marian revival at least.
The invocation “Tower of Ivory” indicates a glowing image of delicate beauty, a celestial strong structure with pinnacles and spires of dazzling whiteness, resplendent in the sunlight, lovely in shape as well as in substance, a very picture of elegance and stainlessness, therefore of purity. Truly an invocation applicable to Immaculate Mother Mary!

Advertisements

Jan. 24: OUR LADY OF PEACE

Jan. 24: OUR LADY OF PEACE

Our Lady of Peace, Mother of Peace, Queen of Peace or Our Lady Queen of Peace is a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Crowned on July 9, 1906, she is represented holding a dove and an olive branch. Her memorial is celebrated on January 24 in Hawaii and some churches in the United States. Elsewhere, it is celebrated on July 9. Our Lady of Peace is the patroness of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, founded by Peter Coudrin in Paris during the French Revolution. In the Philippines, Our Lady of Peace interceded for the quiet protesters in 1986.

January 1: HAPPY SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD!

January 1:
HAPPY SOLEMNITY OF
MARY, MOTHER OF GOD!
Why Do Catholics Rightfully Call
Mary, the Mother of God?
AV summary & text

The Catholic Church wants to begin the year asking for the protection of the Most Holy Virgin Mary. Today’s solemnity is the most ancient Marian feast in the Occident. Inscriptions and paintings of “Mary, Mother of God” can be found in the catacombs or very ancient subterraneous labyrinths dug under the city of Rome where the first Christians reunited to celebrate the Holy Mass during the times of persecution.

When the heretic Nestorius dared to say that Mary was not the Mother of God in the year 431 AD, 200 bishops from all over the world reunited in Ephesus (the city where the Most Holy Virgin spent her last years) and illumined by the Holy Spirit declared: “The Virgin Mary, yes, is the Mother of God because her son, Christ, is God.” Accompanied by the entire inhabitants of Ephesus who were carrying lighted torches, they had a great procession singing: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

Even if several centuries had passed after the conciliar proclamation of the Divine Maternity of Mary, a lot of people unfortunately still do not understand this truth. In a previous post, “On Loving Mary, Mother of God, Our Mother in http://wp.me/p6k7Mv-bE , someone commented, reprimanding me for calling Mary, the Mother of God. The commentary is as follows:

“Wrong [sic] Mary is not Mother of God  XXX bcoz [sic] Jesus has two nature divine & human. so naging ina lang c Mary ni Cristo sa katawang tao… [so Mary is just the mother of Christ in his bodily person] Dapat Mother of Jesus, not mother of God, huh? may ina ba po ba ang Dios? maling pagtuturo [It should only be Mother of Jesus, not mother of God, huh? Does God have a mother? It is a wrong teaching].”

I don’t know if he is a Catholic…but if so and to clarify his erroneous comment incompatible with what the Catholic Church teaches, and to all other Christians, I responded:

“Do mothers give birth to natures? No, right? Mothers give birth to persons and not natures. In Our Lord Jesus Christ, both human and divine natures are united and inseparable in one person (hypostatic union): He is Perfect God and Perfect Man. Two natures inseparable in one person. So if Mary is the mother of Jesus, and Jesus is one Person with two natures and mothers give birth to just one person, and the person of Jesus is both divine and human at the same time, ergo, Mary is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Perfect God-Perfect Man, who is just one person!This is what the Christian Catholic Church teaches since the Council of Ephesus (431 AD), based on the Scriptures and against the Nestorian heresy which is the same as your stand. Mary is the Mother of Our Lord Jesus Christ who is just one person. This is what the Catholic Church teaches and we Catholics believe.”

IF MARY IS THE MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST IS GOD, the logical conclusion to this simple syllogism is that MARY IS THE MOTHER OF GOD. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches in n. 495 and 509:

495 Called in the Gospels “the mother of Jesus”, Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at the prompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as “the mother of my Lord”. In fact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father’s eternal Son, the second person of the Holy Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly “Mother of God” (Theotokos).

509 Mary is truly “Mother of God” since she is the mother of the eternal Son of God made man, who is God himself.

This, however, does not signify that Mary is older than God nor was she the source of Jesus’ divinity nor that God had a beginning. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God since she carried in her womb the human body of the Word, to which his rational soul was immediately united, thus giving rise to the human nature that was assumed by the Word at that very instant. MARY CARRIED IN HER WOMB AND GAVE BIRTH TO A ONE DIVINE PERSON WITH TWO NATURES UNITED IN ONE FLESH: JESUS CHRIST, PERFECT GOD-PERFECT MAN, who is the second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity. Remember: mothers do not give birth to natures but rather to a real person.

KNOWING THAT MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, IS ALSO OUR MOTHER LEADS US TO HAVE A FILIAL LOVE, TRUST AND AFFECTION TOWARDS HER WHO LIKE ANY OTHER MOTHER IN THE WORLD WANTS THE BEST FOR HER CHILDREN. “Mother! Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle (St. Josemaria, The Way, n. 516).”

Dear friends, let us thank God the Father Almighty for giving us Mary as our Mother and ask her intercession for the year which is about to begin. “O God, who through the fruitful virginity of Blessed Mary bestowed on the human race the grace of eternal salvation, grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son (Opening Prayer of the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God).”

MAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY HAVE A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR FILLED WITH DIVINE BLESSINGS OF GOOD HEALTH, MATERIAL AND ABOVE ALL, SPIRITUAL WEALTH AND HAPPINESS!

Cordially inviting you to like our FB page in http://www.facebook.com/CatholicsstrivingforHoliness
so we can have a wider apostolic reach and thus help more people in their Christian life. Thanks and may God shower you and your loved ones with the best of his blessings for 2017! Happy New Year!
Fr. Rolly Arjonillo.

AUDIO CREDIT: “Ave Maria (Lauridsen)” by the Philippine Madrigal Singers. With permission from conductor, Mark Anthony Carpio. Thanks, Mark!

PHOTOS SOURCES: All photos used here are for didactic and non-commercial purposes. No copyright infringement intended. Photos are from wikipedia.com, pinterest.com.

LORD JESUS, BLESSED IS THE WOMB THAT BORE YOU!

LORD JESUS, BLESSED IS THE WOMB THAT BORE YOU!

Blessed is the womb that bore you, Christ, and blessed are the breasts that suckled you, But he said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!”(Lk 11:27-28)

Blessed are you Christ, for you are the Lord and Saviour of the world. Blessed are you, Mary, for you are the Mother of God, and for fulfilling God’s will! Theotokos, pray for us!

Dec. 8: THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY. AV history and St. Anselm’s beautiful sermon!

December 8
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY.
AV history and St. Anselm’s beautiful sermon!

Pope Pius IX instituted this celebration when he proclaimed the dogma on December 8, 1854. In that definition, he expressed the exact meaning of the truth of Mary’s Immaculate Conception and affirmed the constant faith of the Church, that she was conceived free from stain of original sin. This feast has been celebrated in the East since the eighth century and later, in many places in the West. This privilege of Mary is the most beautiful fruit of her Son’s Redemption. Christ came to take away the sin of mankind; he did not allow sin to contaminate his Mother.

A sermon by St Anselm
O Virgin, by whose blessing all nature is blessed!

Blessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace. All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols. Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendour by men who believe in God.

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.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new. Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

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.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

Responsory                                                                                           

℟. Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord;* his love for me is great.

℣. From this day forward all generations will call me blessed;* his love for me is great.

Let us pray.

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin prepared a worthy dwelling for your Son, grant, we pray, that, as you preserved her from every stain by virtue of the Death of your Son, which you foresaw, so, through her intercession, we, too, may be cleansed and admitted to your presence. Through our Lord.

 

AUDIO CREDIT AND SOURCE: “Ave Maria” (Morten Lauridsen) sung by the world famous, Philippine Madrigal Singers at Castelfranco, Emilia, Chiesa di San Giacomo on Sept. 10, 2012, video recorded video by Sergio Pigo.
Its choirmaster is Mark Anthony Carpio, a world-renowned choirmaster and personal friend as well. He gave me permission to use the track for this video. Thanks a lot, Mark! And more power to all of the Philippine Madrigal Singers!

 

DEC. 7: MARY, OUR TEACHER IN EVERYDAY LIFE. 8th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 7:
MARY, OUR TEACHER IN EVERYDAY LIFE

8th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION

We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!

For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live.
-St. Josemaria, Christ is Passing By, 48

PRAYER

We turn to Our Lady for protection, because we can be quite sure that each of us, in our own state in life – priest or lay-person, single, married or widowed – if we are faithful in the daily fulfilment of our duties, will achieve victory on this earth, the victory of being always loyal to Our Lord. And afterwards we will reach Heaven and rejoice forever in the friendship and love of God, with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Prayer before Our Lady of Guadalupe, 24 May 1970

 

Dec. 6: MARY, OUR REFUGE AND OUR STRENGTH. 7th day of the Novena to the immaculate Conception.

Dec 6:
MARY, OUR REFUGE AND OUR STRENGTH
7th day of the Novena to the immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION:

When it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, ‘Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God’.” Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to him in his suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son, and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp-edged sword.

Jesus is comforted anew by the quiet, loving presence of his Mother. Mary does not shout; she does not run about frantically. Stabat: she is there, standing next to her Son. It is then that Jesus looks at her, and then turning his gaze to John he exclaims, “Woman, this is thy son.” Then he said to the disciple, “This is thy Mother.” In the person of John, Christ is entrusting all men to his Mother, and especially his disciples: those who were to believe in him.

Felix culpa the Church sings. Happy fault, that has brought us so great and wonderful a Redeemer. Happy fault, we could add, which has merited that we should receive Mary as our Mother. Now we are safe. Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God. Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother.
-St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 288-

PRAYER.
Say to her: Mother, my Mother – yours, because you are hers on many counts – may your love bind me to your Son’s Cross: may
I not lack the Faith, nor the courage, nor the daring, to carry out the will of our Jesus.
-St. Josemaria, The Way, 497

DEC. 5: HOLY MARY, OUR HOPE. 6th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 5
 HOLY MARY, OUR HOPE
6th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION

Mary teaches us to hope. She proclaimed: “All generations will call me blessed.” Hu- manly speaking, how could she hope for such a thing? Who was she, in the eyes of the men and women of her time? The great heroines of the Old Testament – Judith, Esther, Deborah – won a measure of human glory even here on earth, for they were acclaimed and exalted by the people. Mary’s throne, by contrast, like that of her Son, is the Cross. During the rest of her life, until she was taken body and soul into Heaven, what most impresses us about her is her quiet presence. St Luke, who knew her well, describes her as being close to the first disciples, in prayer. This was the way she lived to the end of her days on earth, she who was to be praised by all creatures for all eternity.

What a contrast between Our Lady’s hope and our own impatience! So often we call upon God to reward us at once for any little good we have done. No sooner does the first difficulty appear than we start to complain. Often we are incapable of sustaining our efforts, of keeping our hope alive. Why? Because we lack faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing; the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.”
St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 286

PRAYER

Let us ask Holy Mary, Spes Nostra, our hope, to kindle in us a holy desire that we may all come together to dwell in the house of the Father. Nothing need disturb us if we make up our minds to anchor our hearts in a real longing for our true fatherland. Our Lord will lead us there with his grace, and he will send a good wind to carry our ship to the bright shores of our destination

St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 221

DEC. 4: MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE. 5th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception

DEC. 4
MOTHER OF FAIR LOVE
5th day of the Novena to the
Immaculate Conception

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION
“I am the Mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge and of holy hope.” These are the lessons which Mary reminds us of today. The lesson of fair love, of living a clean life, of having a sensitive and passionate heart, so that we may learn to be faithful in our service to the Church. This is no ordinary love. It is Love itself. There is no room here for betrayal, or calculation, or forgetfulness. It is a fair, a beautiful love, because its beginning and end is God, who is thrice Holy, who is all Beauty, all Goodness and all Greatness.

But there is also a reference to fear. For myself, the only fear I can imagine is that of turning away from Love. God Our Lord certainly does not want us to be inhibited, timid or lukewarm about our dedication to him. He wants us to be daring, courageous and refined. When the sacred text speaks of fear here I am reminded of a complaint we find elsewhere in Scripture, “I searched for my heart’s love, but found him not.”

This can happen, if one has not yet fully understood what it means to love God. Then our hearts can be swayed by things which do not lead to Our Lord and so we lose sight of him. At other times it may be Our Lord who hides himself. He knows the reason why. In such cases, he will be encouraging us to seek him more earnestly and, when we find him, we shall be able to cry out with joy, “I took hold of him and I will never let him go.” St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 277

PRAYER
At this very moment, you should trustingly beg Our Lady, as you accompany her in the solitude of your heart, without saying anything out loud: “Mother, this poor heart of mine rebels
so foolishly! If you don’t protect me…” And she will help you to keep it pure and to follow the way to which God has called you.
St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 180

Dec. 3: MARY, WOMAN OF FAITH. 4th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

Dec. 3: MARY, WOMAN OF FAITH
4th day of the Novena to the Immaculate Conception.

SPIRITUAL CONSIDERATION
She teaches us to have faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing,” were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when Our Lady went up into the hill country to visit her. Mary’s act of faith had been a wonderful one, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” When her Son was born she contem- plated the greatness of God on earth: a choir of angels was present, and not only the shepherds, but also important men of this world came to adore the Child. Afterwards, however, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt, to escape Herod’s murderous intent. Then, silence; thirty long years of simple, ordinary life, just like that of any other home in a small village in Galilee.
-St. Josemaria, Friends of God, 284-

PRAYER
“Mother!” Call her again and again. She is listening, she sees you in danger perhaps, and with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the tenderness of her embrace. Call her, and you will find yourself with added strength for the new struggle.
The Way, 516