Friday, July 10, 2015

Our Lady

The Blessed Virgin, as Queen of all hearts, deserve a reverence from us Catholics which is, I think, more obligatory than optional.  Many will counter that statement by saying that one does not need Our Lady or any of the saints in order to make it to heaven.  I find such counter arguments to be very tiring and tragic. How can one expect to survive and to merit from the sorrows of life without the assistance of the Blessed Virgin? How can souls which are deeply ingrained in sinful ways ever come out of their vices without the guidance of the Queen of Heaven?  How can a man who is addicted to pornography ever learn about the true dignity of women and to leave away his sinful past once and for all without the inspirations of The Theotokos?

You see, the glory of the Virgin is not truly comprehensible to us here on earth.  Even those who are the most devoted to Our Lady cannot fully fathom Her greatness and Her favor with God.  Think about this. The Second Person Of The Blessed Trinity, Our Lord Jesus Christ, was conceived in Her womb by Her consent and not by force.  St. Bernard gives a very moving meditation on the moment which echos in the sphere of eternity when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Our Lady asking for Her consent 

“If you consent, we shall immediately be set free. We all have been made in the eternal Word of God, and look, we are dying. In your brief reply we shall be restored and so brought back to life… My Lady, say this word which earth and hell and heaven itself are waiting for. The very King and Lord of all, He who has so desired Your beauty, is waiting anxiously for Your answer and assent, by which He proposes to save the world. Him whom You pleased by Your silence, You will please now even more by Your word. If You let Him hear Your voice, then, He will let You see our salvation.” 

I do not have the exact quote with me but Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his "Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives" wrote something like (either quoting St. Bernard or making his own reference) that it was as if Heaven and Earth took a deep breath waiting for Our Lady's response.  All of human history had found its pinnacle in this one moment.  The shame of the fall of our first parents. The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah. The regrettable and heart wrenching sin and shame of David.  Let us not forget all the sins that would take place after the Birth of Our Lord.  The sins that cheating spouses engage in that would result in broken families and broken lives.  Sins that are so dirty that one should not even talk about them for even thinking about them is too painful to ponder over.  All of these sins and this whole condition of spiritual poverty had its fingerprints on this world.  Yet, it was in this pinnacle (The Annunciation) where God entered the realm of human history.  He no longer wanted to accept sacrifices in His Throne in Heaven, He was to dwell amongst us.  However, to do this, being respectful of free-will, He decided to be born of the Virgin.  So when Our Lady was reflecting over the situation the Archangel brought before Her, it was in that silence which God, the Heavenly Angels, those in the Limbo of the Fathers and those in Hell were listening to with great attention.   No other silence would ever be as tense as this one.  Yet, as Our Lady opened Her mouth, at the first words of "Ecce ancilla Domini..." the Angels rejoiced and the walls of hell shock by the penetrating cry of Satan.

How could we ever say thank you, Our Lady?  

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