Marian Devotion (Day 20)
May 20, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 20
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (23:27-31)

A large number of people followed Jesus, among them many women who were mourning and lamenting over him.

But he turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me. Weep rather for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore children and the breasts that never nursed.’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’  For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

From The Showings of Bl. Julian of Norwich

God brought our Lady St. Mary to my understanding. I saw her spiritually in her bodily likeness, a simple, humble maiden, young in years, grown a little taller than a child, of the stature which she had when she conceived. Also God showed me part of the wisdom and the truth of her soul, and in this I understood the reverent contemplation with which she beheld her God, who is her Creator, marvelling with great reverence that he was willing to be born of her who was a simple creature created by him. And this wisdom and truth, this knowledge of her Creator’s greatness and of her own created littleness, made her say very meekly to Gabriel: Behold me here, God’s handmaiden. In this sight I understood truly that she is greater, more worthy and more fulfilled, than everything else which God has created, and which is inferior to her. Above her is no created thing, except the blessed humanity of Christ, as I saw.
As I understand, our good Lord showed our Lady St. Mary…. to signify the exalted wisdom and truth which were hers as she contemplated her Creator. This wisdom and truth showed her in contemplation how great, how exalted, how mighty and how good was her God. The greatness and nobility of her contemplation of God filled her full of reverent fear; and with this she saw herself so small and so humble, so simple and so poor in comparison with her God that this reverent fear filled her with humility. And founded on this, she was filled with grace and with every kind of virtue, and she surpasses all creatures.
I [also] saw part of the compassion of our Lady, St. Mary; for Christ and she were so united in love that the greatness of her love was the cause of the greatness of her pain. For in this I saw a substance of natural love, which is developed by grace, which his creatures have for him, and this natural love was most perfectly and surpassingly revealed in his sweet mother; for as much as she loved him more than all others, her pain surpassed that of all others. For always, the higher, the stronger, the sweeter that love is, the more sorrow it is to the lover to see the body which he loved in pain. And so all his disciples and all his true lovers suffered more pain than they did at the death of their own bodies. For I am sure, by my own experience, that the least of them loved him so much more than they did themselves that it surpasses all that I can say.
After myself she is the greatest joy that I could show you, and the greatest delight and honour to me, and she is what all my blessed creatures most desire to see. And because of the wonderful, exalted and singular love that he has for this sweet maiden, his blessed mother, our Lady St. Mary, he reveals her bliss and joy through the sense of ‘these sweet words, as if he said, do you wish to see how I love her, so that you could rejoice with me in the love which I have in her and she has in me?
Musical Selection (Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles)
O YE who pass along the way 
All joyous, where with grief I pine, 
In pity pause awhile, and say, 
Was ever sorrow like to mine?
See, hanging here before my eyes, 
This body, bloodless, bruis'd, and torn,--- 
Alas! it is my Son Who dies, 
Of love deserving, not of scorn. 
For know, this weak and dying Man 
Is Son of Him Who made the earth 
And me, before the world began, 
He chose to give Him human birth. 
He is my God! and since that night 
When first I saw His infant grace, 
My soul has feasted on the light, 
The beauty of that heavenly face. 
And now behold this loving Son 
Is dying in a woe so great, 
The very stones are moved to moan 
In sorrow at His piteous state. 
Eternal Father! God of love! 
Behold Thy Son! ah! see His woe!
Canst Thou look down from Heaven above 
And for Thy Son no pity show? 
But, no-----that Father sees His Son 
Cloth'd with the sins of guilty men; 
And spares not that Beloved One, 
Though dying on His cross of pain. 
My Son! my Son! could I at least 
Console Thee in this hour of death, 
Could I but lay Thee on my breast. 
And there receive Thy parting breath!
Alas! no comfort I impart; 
Nay, rather this my vain regret 
But rends still more Thy loving heart 
And makes Thy death more bitter yet. 
Ah, loving souls! love, love that God 
Who all inflamed with love expires; 
On thee this life He has bestowed; 
Thy love is all that He desires.
Lord our God,
you placed at the side of your suffering Son
his Mother to suffer with him,
so that the human race,
deceived by the wiles of the devil,
might become a new and resplendent creation.
Grant that your people may put aside their inheritance of sin
and put on the newness of life won
by Christ the Redeemer.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen. (BVM at the Foot of the Cross II)