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제목 Following Maria's Path - The Holy Name of Mary(2015-09-12)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2015-09-14



Following Maria's Path  - The Holy Name of Mary(2015-09-12)


My dear brethren,


  “And the virgin's name was Mary” (Lk. 1:27). This simple word of the Gospel is full of beauties ad of grace and benefit for us. I want first to give you here a beautiful sermon of St Bernard, abbot of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church, on this word of the Gospel. You will appreciate the teaching of the Saint:


  “It is said: And the virgin's name was Mary. Let us speak a few words upon this name, which signifies, being interpreted, Star of the Sea, and suits very well the Maiden Mother, who may very fittingly be likened unto a star. A star gives forth her rays without any harm to herself, and the Virgin brought forth her Son without any hurt to her virginity. The light of a star takes nothing away from the star itself, and the birth of her offspring took nothing away from the Virginity of Mary.


  She is that noble star which was to come out of Jacob (Num. 24:17), whose brightness still sheds lustre upon all the earth, whose rays are most brilliant in heaven, and shine even unto hell, lighting up earth midway, and warming souls rather than bodies, fostering good and scaring away evil. She, I say, is a clear and shining star, twinkling with excellencies, and resplendent with example, needfully set to look down upon the surface of this great and wide sea.”

  “O you, whosoever you are, that knows yourself to be here not so much walking upon firm ground, as battered to and fro by the gales and storms of this life's ocean, if you would not be overwhelmed by the tempest, keep thine eyes fixed upon this star's clear shining. If the hurricanes of temptation rise against you, or you are running upon the rocks of trouble, look to the star, call on Mary. If the waves of pride, or ambition, or slander, or envy toss you, look to the star, call on Mary. If the billows of anger or avarice, or the enticements of the flesh beat against your soul's bark, look to Mary. If the enormity of your sins troubles you, if the foulness of your conscience confound you, if the dread of judgment appal you, if you begin to slip into the deep of despondency, into the pit of despair, think of Mary.”

  “In danger, in difficulty, or in doubt, think on Mary, call on Mary. Let her not be away from your mouth or from your heart, and that you may not lack the succour of her prayers, turn not aside from the example of her conversation. If you follow her, you wilt never go astray. If you pray to her, you will never have need to despair. If you keep her in mind, you will never wander. If she holds you, you will never fall. If she leads you, you will never be weary. If she helps you, you will reach home safe at the last and so you wilt prove in yourself how fittingly it is said: And the virgin's name was Mary.”


  Why this power in Mary to help us, and why should we have recourse to her? Because our Lord Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins, and “pride is the beginning of all sin” (Eccli. 10:15). So the way back to God is necessarily a way of humility. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ “humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). But some proud men say: “I need the help of no saint, I can go straight to Christ! Since He is true God, he is powerful enough to save, and since He is the good shepherd He cares for us and so I need no one else.”


  Now such attitude does not please our Lord Jesus Christ, because there is much pride in it. Our blessed Lord said: “Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). Now in order to become little children, we need a mother. So He gave us the best of all mothers, His own mother: “he saith to the disciple [whom He loved]: Behold thy mother” (Jn. 19:27).


 The Evangelist does not say: “He said to John”, but “He saith to the disciple [whom He loved]”, because what Jesus said was intended to ALL the beloved disciples, not merely to St John… So unless someone does not want to be a “beloved disciple”, then he must “take her into his own”, take her as his mother, so that she may make of  us “little children”, teaching us humility, without which we cannot be saved, because “God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (Jac. 4:6).

  She has been exalted above the others because she humbled herself more than anyone else (after Jesus). Whenever our Lord Jesus Christ was honoured in the Gospel, she hid herself; when He was rejected and crucified, there she comes forth and is the first at the foot of the Cross. She is thereby associated with the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over sin, and then over death in her Assumption. She has been given great power, power to lead souls to Jesus – and thereby to their salvation. She is Mother of Mercy, in charge of distributing all the graces of mercy on souls.

  As wounded children run to their mother for healing and care, so let all of us, sinners, run to our Lady so that she may clean our soul and teach us how to pray, to weep for our sins, to trust our Lord Jesus Christ and to become truly faithful to Him at her example. Mary Magdalen was not put off by our Lady, on the contrary. The sinner was drawn to the Innocent, Mary Magdalen to Mary the Virgin of Virgins, mother of Jesus, and we see them together at the foot of the Cross! By drawing Mary Magdalen after her at the foot of the Cross, the Blessed Virgin Mary secured her salvation.

  Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is particularly needed in our days, where impurities have multiplied, due to the development of films, cinemas, videos, Internet and then to the multiplication of vices, from contraception to anti-natural vices, and even further when vicious people claim a “right” for these vices, “right for abortion”, they claim “equality” between vices and virtue. How can people not see the difference between angels and devils, between Saints and reprobates, between the works of the spirit and the works of the flesh? Blindness has never been so spread!


  So we need the gentle light of the Virgin of Virgin to remind all people the beauty of virtue, in front of which the ugliness of vices is struck with shame. Faithful who have a tender love and true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary keep her example always in front of their eyes and shun from all what would offend her. They will not only avoid mortal sin, but even that which might lead to sin; they practice modesty, not only modesty in clothing, but also in looks, in conversation and behaviour. About modesty, do not even possess any immodest clothes, never buy immodest clothes: if you don’t buy them, you won’t have them; if you don’t have them you will never wear them! Is not the sin of immodesty already committed when you buy immodest clothes? Resist sin at the beginning: it is much easier and much more efficient.

  Devotion to our Lady is also a great encouragement to practice not only the Commandments, but even the evangelical counsels: the more we love our Lord, the more we want perfection, the more we are attracted to the practice of the evangelical counsels: poverty, chastity and obedience. “If thou wilt be perfect, go sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come follow me” (Mt. 19:21). “Concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful” (1 Cor. 7:25), and he advises to remain so for the Lord’s sake: consecrated virginity. “The unmarried woman and the virgin thinketh on the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit” (1 Cor. 7:34).


  And the counsel of obedience is given by the very example of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was “obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:8). Even the faithful who live in the bonds of marriage need to have esteem for the evangelical counsels: this will be a protection for them against the corruption of the world. Our Lady is a beautiful model of these evangelical counsels, being the Virgin of virgins, poor in Bethlehem, obedient to the word of God from the Annunciation to the Crucifixion.


 Today there is a dire need of good and holy vocations to the priesthood and religious life: the crisis of the Church caused by Vatican II had hurt very badly many religious congregations; the number of religious has gone very much down, and there is need to replenish the Mystical Body of Christ with many fervent vocations, who are “the most glorious portion of the Flock of Christ” as St Cyprian calls consecrated virgins.

  If anyone had a great love for the holy Name of Mary, for the Blessed Virgin, it was St Joseph! No one was as close as he was to her; no love loved Mary as much as he did: a wonderfully pure love, but very deep. And no one learnt from her as much as he did: he learnt to pray in silence, to adore our Lord Jesus Christ, to bear with patience poverty, rejection (from the inn), and exile in Egypt.


  He learnt humility, very visible when Jesus was found in the temple: though he was the father of the family, He dares not rebuke our Lord, not even ask him why He did this; he lets Mary speak! He learnt to love God, our Lord Jesus Christ, in a tremendous way so that he was deeply sorrowful when Jesus was lost in the temple. Let us pray to St Joseph that he may obtain for us a similar devotion to Mary, so that we may pray, love and serve our Lord Jesus Christ with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole strength until we be admitted to the Heavenly home with the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost for ever and ever!  Amen.


Fr. F. Laisney (SSPXASIA)