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제목 The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the Antidote to Modern Sins
작성자 관리자 작성일 2016-08-16

 





The Immaculate Heart of Mary:Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

- Need of reparation

- The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the antidote to modern sins
- Commentary on the Litanies of our Lady


My dear brethren,


Today we celebrate the reward of the Blessed Virgin Mary. All her life on earth was so faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ, that she deserved and merited the highest reward. Yet God rewards beyond the merits, because He cannot be overcome in generosity: first He himself is the source of the merit, because He gives the grace by which we merit; then He gives the reward of the merit and goes beyond! Truly blessed are they who serve God faithfully, like our Lady.


The first grace of our Lady was her Immaculate Conception: and the first grace is always unmerited, as St Paul says: “who hath first given to him, and recompense shall be made him?” (Rom. 11:35) She was perfectly faithful to that first grace, cooperating fully with the grace of God, and thus deserved the perfect reward! Now that life-long perfect cooperation of Mary with the grace of God is what we call “the Immaculate Heart of Mary”: hence you see the intimate connection between the feast of the Assumption and the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which Pope Pius XII fittingly set on the octave day of the Assumption.


Now Bishop Fellay is launching a one-year Crusade in honour of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from today to the feast of the Immaculate Heart next year, which will be the 100th anniversary of her apparitions at Fatima. You are very strongly encouraged to say every day the Rosary (5 mysteries) and if possible the full Rosary (15 mysteries, or even more if you can!) and to make sacrifices in reparation for sins, especially those sins that are particularly offending the Immaculate Heart of Mary.


When we see the evils of this world multiplying to a frightful degree, the Islamic violence, the corrupt morals to the most unnatural levels, even asking for a “right” to be perverse, the spread of abortion which is somehow the epitome of modern immorality, and even the sale of aborted baby body-parts, we ask ourselves: what can we do? When our Lord Jesus Christ came into this world to save us from sin, how did He do it? He offered Himself as the perfect victim on the Cross! Faced with the corruption of the modern world, our Lord calls us to imitate Him and to make reparation for all these sins. Indeed St Paul says: “Be ye therefore imitators of God, as most dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness” (Eph. 5:1-2)  To imitate our Lord Jesus Christ, precisely in the love He practiced in offering himself as Victim for our salvation, this is what we ought to do. We do this by making sacrifices in reparation for sins.


Some people have difficulty to understand how God could be offended by sin, since God is perfectly happy. But it is not difficult to understand that our Mother is sad for our sins: a mother wants her children to be good; she is extremely sad when she sees them being criminals and perverts. Now our Lady is our mother, because she is the mother of all men, because our Lord Jesus Christ shed his Blood for the salvation of all men. And today she is extremely sad because of all the sins of the modern world. So her good children will strive to console her by making reparation by their sacrifices. In so doing, they will call for mercy on the sinners, so that our Lord Jesus Christ may grant them the grace of conversion (and penance!) so that they too may be saved.


The Immaculate Heart of Mary is the opposite of the modern sins: it is the sanctuary of the most beautiful purity, virginity in all domains; she never even started the least on the path of sin. She is also meek and gentle, so opposed to the violence of the modern world. She is the best of all mothers, giving life, the opposite of those murders of babies in the womb. Hence devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary is an antidote to these sins. Hence our Lord Jesus Christ wants to establish devotion to the Immaculate Heart of His mother in the world. Let us respond generously to such beautiful divine plan.

To know better the Heart of Mary, I will give a short commentary on the Litanies of our Lady.


“Holy Mary”: we honour here the holy name of Mary, which the Son of God has chosen for His earthly mother!


“Holy Mother of God”: we honour here her unique mission, that to become the Mother of Jesus, Who is true God and true man from the first moment of His conception by the Holy Ghost in her most pure womb. Hence she fully deserves the title of “Mother of God”: motherhood is a relation between persons, and the person of her Son is the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity. All her other titles flow from this first one.


“Holy Virgin of virgins”: this is a Hebrew superlative, similar to “king of kings”, meaning the most perfect virgin. Indeed she is virgin before, during and after the birth of Jesus, virgin for ever. She is virgin in her body and in her soul, having never stained her soul in any domain.


“Mother of Christ”: “Christ” means the Anointed One, the Messiah in Hebrew, the one the whole chosen nation was expecting for so many centuries. She was of the tribe of Judah and of the family of David. She was the one chosen by God to receive “the Christ” in her womb, fulfilment of the expectation of these generations of holy Patriarchs and prophets, who longed for Him and saw Him from afar (Heb. 11:13)

“Mother of the Church”: because our Lord Jesus Christ is inseparable from His Church, which is His Body (Col. 1:24) She could not be the mother of the head without being the mother of the body at the same time! Those who reject this motherhood of our Lady practically try to separate Christ from His Church, the head from the body, and that cannot please our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us pray for their conversion. Today there are many, even among Catholic theologians, who are willing to accept that Christ is necessary for salvation, but who reject that the Church is necessary for salvation. But how could they be united with Christ without being part of His Body, the Catholic Church? How could they live of the life of Christ without being in the Body of Christ, the Catholic Church? Today more than ever we need to pray our Lady for the Church, to restore the beauty of the Church by a true renovation of its members.


“Mother of divine grace”: sanctifying grace is the life of Christ in us. As a Mother, she is the one through whom we receive life, through whom we receive grace. And as a good mother, she has no greater desire for us but that we may live of the life of Christ fully: so we can pray to her to obtain graces in abundance.


“Mother most pure, most chaste, inviolate and undefiled”: all these titles sing with great joy the purity of our Lady, and the admirable union of that perfect virginity with her motherhood. Truly one finds in her the model of purity so much needed in the modern world; she reminds us also that purity is not merely for consecrated virgins, but also for all mothers, at their own level. Married faithful must avoid the corruptions of the world, and practice the chastity of their state, being faithful to one another and shunning all abuse.


“Mother most lovable”: what kindness in our Lady for us, her children! As children, we are happy to be with her, close to her, because she is so lovable.


“Mother most admirable”: admirable in her chastity, admirable in her love for Jesus even to the foot of the Cross, admirable for the extraordinary gifts our Lord has given her, culminating in her Assumption: we admire her going up to heaven! Truly today we sing to her “Mother most admirable!”


“Mother of good counsel”: her good counsel was the one given to the waiters at Cana: “Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye” (Jn. 2:5) To do always what Jesus wants is truly the right rule of life. To follow not only His commandments, but also his Counsels, the Evangelical Counsels, is the short way to Christian perfection.


“Mother of the Creator”: as a good Son, our Lord Jesus Christ is “subject to her”(Lk. 2:51) But Jesus is the Creator, the Almighty: so she can somehow dispose of that almighty power to save us, to obtain all kinds of graces!


“Mother of the Saviour”: He paid for our sins and merited all graces on the Cross, and being his Mother, Mary can obtain all these graces from Him for us. So we should come to her with great confidence in the power of her intercession.


“Virgin most prudent”: her prudence is manifested in her question to the Angel Gabriel: “How shall this be done, because I know not man?”(Lk. 1:34)


 She wanted to make sure the messenger was from God, and to test this, she checked that he would not ask her to break her vow of virginity. To keep one’s purity, one must be prudent and avoid all occasion of sin. This is most necessary today, when such occasions have multiplied. Our Lady teaches us the virtue of prudence, to shun all such occasion of sin, without compromise.


“Virgin most venerable”: the world despises virginity, but the Church – taught by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself – holds virginity in very high esteem. Veneration for his Mother, the Virgin of virgins, is dear to all good Catholics and a constant reminder of the importance of purity.


“Virgin most renowned”: no one, after our Lord Jesus Christ, has been so honoured, so loved in history as the Blessed Virgin Mary. And even among her enemies, in their very opposition to her, they cannot but know her!


“Virgin most powerful”: she is powerful by her prayers. Because she has always done what pleased Jesus, she can ask him anything she wants (but she never wants anything that would displease Him!) Thus she can obtain for us all the graces we need for our salvation, she can obtain the conversion of sinners, and the sanctification of the faithful and the deliverance of souls in Purgatory…

“Virgin most merciful”: the Latin has “most clement”. Clemency is the virtue by which punishment is diminished to the repentant sinner.

“Virgin most faithful”: she was always faithful to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ; she was always faithful to her duty. She is also a most faithful friend, the model of fidelity!

“Mirror of Justice”: in the Scriptures, the word “justice” is often synonymous of “holiness”. She is the perfect mirror of the virtues and holiness of our Lord Jesus Christ, beautiful mirror in which we get to know Jesus, and especially his love for humility and purity.


“Seat of Wisdom”: our Lord Jesus Christ is the Incarnate Wisdom. He came into this world as a child, sitting on His mother’s lap, as a King on His throne! Our Lady is indeed filled with this Wisdom of Jesus, deep knowledge of the mysteries of God.


“Cause of our joy”, because she gave us Jesus Who is the source of all our joy, and will be eternally the object of our beatific vision, eternal beatitude.


“Spiritual vessel”: that is, recipient of the most beautiful spiritual gifts, the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost, for the most elevated spiritual life. And she can give them to us.


“Vessel of honour”: that is, all that which is honourable, virtuous, praiseworthy can be found most excellently in her. Truly God has made of her the showcase of His generosity, the marvel of Redemption.


“Singular Vessel of devotion“: who could ever describe the devotion of our Lady, how much she loved to pray, the elevation of her prayers and affection to God the Father, to her Divine Son, to the Holy Ghost – her Divine Spouse? If we want to learn to pray, let us ask our Lady!


“Mystical Rose”: white because of her purity, red because of her sorrow at the foot of the Cross, gold because of her glory in her Assumption!


“Tower of David”: this is a reference to the Canticle of Solomon, in which it is said to the Bride: “Thy neck, is as the tower of David, which is built with bulwarks: a thousand bucklers hang upon it, all the armour of valiant men” (Cant. 4:4)
Our Lady is described also in this Canticle as “strong as an army in battle array” (Cant. 6:3) All this shows her strength against the Devil and his followers: she said an absolute NO to the Devil, NO to sin, with no compromise at all. She can strengthen us in our fight against temptation. Then in gratitude to her, the victorious souls offer her their shield, which thus decorates her as the Tower of David was decorated by all the shields of all the valiant soldiers of David.


“Tower of Ivory”: this is another reference to the Canticle of Solomon: “Thy neck as a tower of ivory” (Cant. 7:4)  It describes in this figurative way, the beauty of our Lady, the beauty of the perfect Bride of Christ – since our Lady is not only the mother, but also the New Eve, perfect helper of the New Adam. She stood at the foot of the Cross in this quality of New Eve, model of the Church, Bride of Christ.


“House of gold”: the gold of pure charity, spiritual riches, true “treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal” (Mt. 6:20)


It also refers to “the house of the holy of holies [in the Old Testament temple built by Solomon, who] overlaid it with plates of gold, amounting to about six hundred talents” (2 Chron. 3:8) This inner “house of gold” signifies the interior sanctuary of the soul, in which dwells the Holy Ghost: because of her purity and holiness, Mary is called in a special way by the Church “Temple of God, Sanctuary of the Holy Ghost” Office of our Lady on Saturdays, antiphon at Laudes. All who live in the state of grace are also “temples of the Holy Ghost” but far from being as beautiful as our Lady was. She is the model of us all: house of gold!


“Ark of the Covenant”: in that inner tabernacle, there was the ark built by Moses, in which he had put the manna and the Tables of the Law. The manna symbolised our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the true Bread coming down from Heaven, but which precisely was put in the most pure womb of our Lady; also by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ she perfectly obeyed the Law, especially the Law of charity: hence she deserves to be called the “Ark of the Covenant”. The ark too was completely covered in golden plates, making it most beautiful, as is the soul of the blessed Virgin, completely adorned by charity and all virtues.


“Gate of Heaven”: that refers to the Eastern Gate of the new Temple, seen by Ezechiel: “And the Lord said to me: This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it: because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it, and it shall be shut”(Ez. 44:2) St Jerome tells us that this gate symbolises our Lady, through whom the Lord God entered into this world: the closed door is the sign of her perpetual virginity. But we can go to Heaven through her, by true devotion to her.

“Morning star” indicating the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ, called the “Sun of justice”: “unto you that fear my name, the Sun of justice shall arise, and health in his wings” (Mal 4:2). His wings are the extended arms of our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, from which our soul is healed.


“Health of the sick”: all those wounded by sin can come to her and she will lead them to our Lord Jesus Christ who will heal them. He entrusted to her all those beautiful healing graces. She is the “dispensatrix of all graces”, the one who distributes all the graces of our Lord Jesus Christ.


“Refuge of sinners”: those who are overwhelmed by their sins, their gravity, their frequency, and want to get out of them, they can all come to her and obtain through her the grace of a true conversion, solid conversion. She will not push them away.


“Consoler of the afflicted”: all those who suffer, physically, spiritually, can come to her and find grace of healing, grace to bear their sufferings in union with our Lord Jesus Christ crucified, grace of consolation and strength. Queen of Angels, of Patriarchs, of Prophets, of Apostles, of Martyrs, of Confessors, of Virgins and of all the Saints”: all these beautiful Saints, all Saints honour her as their Queen, because of the excellence of her position with our Lord. In the Old Testament, the one who was queen was not the wife of the king (he usually had several wives), but rather the mother of the king, as is seen with Solomon (1 King 2:19) The Scriptures mentions all the mothers of the kings of Judah, ancestors of our Lord and themselves “sons of David”, because they were all figures of the Mother of the Son of David, the Queen of all Saints. She is Queen because she is the mother of the King, our Lord Jesus Christ.


"Help of Christians": a child can always call upon his mother; he knows she is not going to abandon him. Our Lady is the best of all mothers; she is not going to abandon all those who call upon her, but rather is prompt to come to their help. There are many shrines in Christendom that give her that title under this or another form, because of some special help that had been granted there through her intercession.


In particular she is Queen of the Patriarch because she is the last and most illustrious ancestor of Christ, the immediate one, His very Mother. To the most illustrious patriarchs, Abraham and David, had been promised that Christ would be their "descendant", in the singular as St Paul notes so that the prophecy applies to Christ rather than to the Hebrew people as a whole. Now she is the "Rod out of the root of Jesse," that is, the shoot from the long line of descendants of Abraham and David, on which at last Christ as the flower blossomed.


She is the Queen of the Prophets, because many of them prophesised about her.


She is the Queen of the Apostles, because they knew her and esteemed her, after our Lord, as the most perfect model of Christians and as their mother. Indeed we find in the very next century Fathers of the Church such as St Irenaeus presenting our Lady as the New Eve, a lesson he must have learnt from St Polycarp who himself learnt it from St John, the Apostle to whom the Virgin was entrusted.


She became the Queen of the Martyrs, especially when she was standing at the foot of the Cross, model of excellent fortitude even until death!


She is the Queen of the Confessors, that is, of all the Saints who gave testimony to our Lord by the excellence of their heroic life, because her life was even more perfect than that of all of them.


She is the Queen of the Virgins in a very special way, because of her most perfect innocence: she is The Immaculate!


“Queen conceived without original sin”: this is her singular privilege, which places her above all the other saints. It reminds us also of our need of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, because of the wounds of our nature, due to the original sin with which we were born.

“Queen assumed into heaven”: she alone was assumed into heaven body and soul before the end of the world. This privilege at the end of her life corresponds to the privilege of her Immaculate Conception at the beginning of her life.


“Queen of the most holy Rosary”: this is the great mean of devotion to her, which she gave to St Dominic, and has sanctified countless generations of faithful. It is the means through which she will again establish the devotion to her Immaculate Heart, and obtain thus the graces for the conversion of the world.


“Queen of peace”: she obtains peace on earth, but even more she leads us to everlasting peace in Heaven!

May the reign of our Lord Jesus Christ come through the reign of Mary, by establishing devotion to her Immaculate Heart! Amen!   


 Fr. Laisney(sspxasia)