Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Immaculate Heart of Mary

"What man, unless secure in a divine oracle, may presume to speak with impure, indeed with polluted lips, anything little or great about the true Parent of God and of man, whom the Father before all ages predestined a perpetual Virgin, whom the Son chose as his most worthy Mother, whom the Holy Ghost prepared as the dwelling place of every grace?  With what words shall I, a lowly man, give expression to the highest sentiments of the virginal Heart uttered by the holiest mouth, for which the tongues of all the Angels do not suffice?  For the Lord saith: A good man bringeth forth good things from the good treasure of his heart; and this word can also be a treasure.  Among pure mortals who can be conceived of as better than she who was worthy to be the Mother of God, who for nine months had as a guest in her heart and in her womb God himself?  What better treasure than the divine love itself, which was burning in the Heart of the Virgin as in a furnace?

And so, from this Heart as from a furnace of divine ardour the blessed Virgin brought forth good works, that is, words of the most ardent charity.  For as from a vessel full of the richest and best wine only good wine can be poured; or as from a furnace of intense heat only a burning fire is emítted; so indeed from the Mother of Christ no word can go forth except of the greatest and most intense divine love and ardour.  It is also the mark of a wise woman and matron to speak few words, but words  that are effective and full of meaning; and so seven times, as it were, seven words of such wonderful meaning and virtue are read as having been uttered  by the most blessed Mother of Christ, that mystically it may be shewn she was full of the sevenfold grace.  To the Angel twice only did she speak; to Elizabeth also twice; with her Son likewise twice, once in the temple, and a second time at the marriage feast; and once to the attendants.  And on all those occasions she always said very little; with this one exception that she spake at length in the praise of God and in thanksgiving, namely, when she said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.  But here she did not speak with man, but with God.  Those seven words were spoken in a wonderful degree and order according to the seven courses and acts of love; as if they were seven flames from the furnace of her Heart."

-- From a sermon by St Bernardine of Siena

** The Traditional Liturgical Calendar observes this feast day in honor of Our Lady today.

Mater Immaculata, ora pro nobis!

No comments: