Thursday, September 08, 2016

The Nativity of the Virgin Mary 2016

Look, o man, up the counsel of God, know the counsel of wisdom, the counsel of holiness. When He was to water the ground with heavenly dew, first He poured it upon the whole fleece (Judges 6, 37-40); when He was to redeem the human race, He conferred the whole price thereof upon Mary. Why was this? Perhaps so that Eve might be excused through her daughter, and the man’s complaint against the woman might be laid to rest. Say thou no longer, Adam, “The woman, whom Thou gavest me, gave me of the forbidden tree;” (Gen. 3, 12) say rather, “The woman, whom Thou gavest me, fed me with blessed fruit.” …

The Nativity of the Virgin, by Pietro Lorenzetti, 1335-42; originally painted for one the side-altars of the Cathedral of Siena, now in the Cathedral Museum.
Therefore from the depth our heart, with all the depth of our affection, and in all our prayers let us venerate this Mary; for such is the will of Him who willed us to have all through Mary. This, I say, is His will, but it is for our own sake. For indeed, in all things and through all things taking care for the wretched, He comforteth us in our alarm, stirreth up our faith, strengthens our hope, driveth away our diffidence, raiseth up our weakness. Thou didst fear to draw near to the Father, terrified at His voice, thou fled to (cover thyself with) leaves; He gave thee Jesus as an intercessor. What might such a Son not obtain from such a Father? He will indeed be heard for His reverence, (Hebr. 5, 7) for the Father loveth the Son. (John 3, 35) He is thy brother, and thy flesh, tempted in all things (like as we are, but) without sin, that He might become merciful. (Hebr. 4, 15 and 2, 17) Mary gave thee this brother.
- From St Bernard of Clairvaux’s Sermon on the Nativity of the Virgin Mary (P.L. 183, 0437D et seqq.)

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