But I do not here speak of this sensible sweetness, since it is not commonly granted to all, but I speak of the salutary sweetness of consolation, love, joy, confidence, and strength, which the Name of Mary universally gives to those who, with devotion, pronounce it. Speaking on this subject, Francone the Abbot says, that next to the holy Name of Jesus, the Name of Mary is so rich in blessings, that no other name is uttered on earth or in heaven from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness . For the Name of Mary, he goes on to say, contains in itself something admirable, sweet, and divine, which, when it meets a friendly heart, breathes into it an odor of holy sweetness. And the wonder of this great Name is, he concludes, that if heard a thousand times by the lovers of Mary, it is always heard as new, the sweetness they experience in hearing it spoken being always the same. ~ St. Alphonsus Liguori, The Glories of Mary
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
by Rev. Fr. Leonard Goffine, 1871
Why does the Church celebrate this festival?
Because the day of the blessed Virgin’s birth, which was so holy and immaculate, is one of universal joy to the whole world.
Why then does Mary’s birth cause such great joy?
To this the Church answers beautifully with the Antiphon of the Magnificat, which says: “O Virgin, Mother of God, Thy birth has announced joy to the whole world, for from Thee, has proceeded the Sun of justice, Christ our Lord, who, by taking away the curse, has shed benediction and, who by confounding death, has given us everlasting life.” This curse, caused by our first parents’ sin in paradise, burdened the whole earth and especially mankind, for “sin, having come into the world by one man, it passed upon all, since all have sinned in this one.”
It was in consequence to original sin, that mankind was covered with such a darkness, that led men to ignore their Creator, whilst they on the other hand prostrated themselves to creatures and adored idols of their own construction.
Finally the hour of redemption had come. The infant was born, who was predestined by God to become the mother of the promised Savior, and who was consequently to crush the head of the serpent. How then ought this festival to spread joy through the world, since after such ardent desires salvation is at last about to appear! For Jesus, the Savior, our Lord and God, the Light of the world, the Sun of Justice, is to come forth from Mary; that darkness, which had overshadowed all nations is about to disappear, the knowledge of God shall abound, the bonds of sin, in which mankind lay fettered, shall be loosed, the curse so long resting upon creation shall be taken away,–in a word, the fulness of benediction shall reign upon earth. To-day even death is put to shame, for she is born, from whom shall come forth the Conqueror of death, who, depriving death of its sting, shall guide us unto perpetual life. Such are the glorious hopes, that Mary’s birth awakes in us, promising at the same time the speedy fulfillment of them.
Then, as St. Peter Damian says, let us rejoice in Mary, the most blessed Mother of God, for she bears a new message unto the world, being the beginning of man’s salvation; let us rejoice in the day, on which was born the Queen of the World, the Gate of Heaven, the Portal of Paradise, the Tent of God, the Star of the Sea and the Ladder of Heaven, upon which the Supreme King in infinite humility deigned to descend to us, and upon which we may rise from our dust to heaven. Today the most glorious Virgin is born, from whom shall proceed, as a bridegroom from his chamber, the most beautiful of the sons of man; to-day she leaves her mother’s womb, who deserves to be the temple of God.
All images depicting the birth of Mary were found on this post at the Ad Imaginem Dei blog.
Sept. 5. ST. LAURENCE JUSTINIAN, from Character Calendar by Sr. Mary Fidelis and Sr. Mary Charitas
Refusing the offer of a brilliant marriage, he fled secretly from his home at Venice and entered a religious Order. He induced a friend, who had come to persuade him to return home, to remain and enter the monastery.
Behold a great priest who in his days pleased God. There was not found the like to him, who kept the law of the Most High. — Gradual: Ecclesiasticus 44.
The greatest saints shunned the company of men when they could, and chose rather to live unto God in secret. — Imitation: Book I.
Ideal: A rich nobleman, St. Laurence was wise enough to recognize the greater riches of God’s love. He put by his paltry chests of gold and silver to plunge into the very treasure house of wealth by becoming a religious and making all the glory of heaven more surely his.
Today: For five consecutive minutes sometime today, think this over: Nothing goes with me to the Judgment Seat of God, to insure heaven, but a good life.
Slogan: What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but suffer the loss of his soul?
Are you pulling your hair out in frustration? Muttering under your breath? Giving snappy retorts to innocent questions?
Fr. Zepeda continues his First Saturday conferences for The Confraternity of Christian Mothers today with a live stream on the topic of patience. Tune in at 12:30 Eastern/11:30 Central for Father’s special blend of Church teaching, practical wisdom, and delightful humor that refreshes as it enlightens.
Oh, if we only learned to realize that the Blessed Sacrament is our God, what a sense of joy and protection would enter into our lonely lives! God living here with me; God living here for me. We would haunt our altars at every untoward circumstance, at every grief and trial that crossed our path. ~ Fr. Lasance, Visits to the Blessed Sacrament