Marian Devotion (Day 12)
May 12, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 12
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Galatians (4:4-7,11)
Brothers and sisters:
When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son,
   born of a woman, born under the law,
   to ransom those under the law,
   so that we might receive adoption.
As proof that you are children,
   God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts,
   crying out, “Abba, Father!”
So you are no longer a slave but a child,
   and if a child then also an heir, through God.
From a sermon in Assumptione beatae Mariae by Guerric of Igny
Mary bore only one Son. In heaven, he is the only-be-gotten of the Father; on earth, likewise, he is the only-begotten of his mother. She is the only virgin mother and glories in having borne the only-begotten of the Father, embracing that same only-begotten of hers in all his members. Therefore, she is not confused when she is called the mother of all in whom she recognizes her Christ brought to full stature, or in whom she knows he is continually growing.
The first Eve is not so much a mother as a stepmother, since she handed on to her children an inheritance of certain death rather than the beginning of light. She is indeed called the mother of all the living, but she is more truly the destroyer of the living or the mother of the dead, since the only fruit of her child-bearing was death. And as Eve was incapable of fulfilling the vocation of her title, Mary consummated the mystery. She herself, like the Church of which she is the type, is a mother of all who are reborn to life. She is in fact the mother of the life by which everyone lives, and when she brought it forth from herself she in some way brought to rebirth all those who were to live by that life.
Thus the Blessed Mother of Christ, knowing that she is the mother of all Christians by reason of this mystery, shows herself a mother also by her care and loving attention. For her heart is not hardened against these children as if they were not her own; her womb carried a child only once, yet it remains ever fruitful, never ceasing to bring forth the fruits of her motherly compassion.
If the servant of Christ by his care and heartfelt tenderness gives birth to his little children again and again until Christ be formed in them, how much more is this true of the very mother of Christ? Paul begot his children by preaching the word of truth through which they were born again; but Mary, in a manner far more holy and godlike, begot them by giving birth to the Word himself. I do indeed praise the ministry of preaching in Paul, but far more do I admire and venerate the mystery of generation in Mary.
Then again, is it not true that her children seem to recognize her as their mother? They manifest a kind of instinctive devotion which faith gives them as second nature, so that first and foremost in all their needs and dangers they run to call upon her name just as children run to their mother’s breast. So I think it is quite reasonable to understand of these children the promise of the prophet to her: Your children shall live in you, provided that the prophecy is always understood to refer principally to the Church.
Actually we already dwell in the help of the mother of the Most High; we do live in her protection, as if under the shadow of her wings. And afterward by participating in her glory we shall be cherished as if we were in her bosom.
Then a single cry of rejoicing and thanksgiving will be heard addressed to this mother: The dwelling place of all of us who rejoice and are glad is in you, holy Mother of God.
Musical Selection (St. Hidlegard of Bingen)
O nobilissima viriditas,
que radicas in sole,
et que in candida serenitate
luces in rota
quam nulla terrena excellentia
Tu circumdata es
amplexibus divinorum misteriorum.
Tu rubes ut aurora
et ardes ut solis flamma.
Tu circumdata es …
O noblest greenness,
who have your roots in the sun,
and who shine in bright serenity
on the wheel,
whom no earthly excellence
You are held all around
by the embraces of the divine mysteries.
You glow red like the dawn,
and you burn like the sun’s fire.
You are held all around …
O God,
through the fruitful virginity of blessed Mary
you offered to the human race
the treasures of eternal salvation.
Let us experience the power of her prayers,
for through her we have received the author of life, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen. (Roman Missal; Common of BVM; Christmas Season)