Saturday, December 07, 2013

Let's prepare today to honor the Immaculate Conception ...

Let's start today.

Today is the First Saturday of Our Lady and this evening the traditional vespers for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception would normally take place, although the feast day is transferred to Monday since tomorrow is the Second Sunday of Advent.  Privately we can enter deeply into the grotto of the Immaculata and keep vigil, as if the feast has been graciously extended to assuage our longing to honor the Holy Virgin.  How much the Blessed Virgin loves us!  This week is her week.  The Immaculate Conception is patroness of the United States.  Within the 'octave' the Immaculata is again honored on the 10th as Madonna of Loreto.  On the 12th she is highly honored as the Virgin of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas.  Advent is Our Lady's season.

Fr. Mark of Vultus Christi posts edifying meditations on the Blessed Virgin ... I'll excerpt a couple for today.  The first is on hope - and a holy priest Fr. Mark knew.  The photo from Lourdes at top is from father's post. 
From Hopes to Hope 
Many years ago, as I was standing in the rain in front of the grotto at Lourdes on a cold February morning, Chanoine Croset, the saintly old priest whose anniversary of death occurs today, told me that it was time for me to pass from having hopes to having hope. Passer des espoirs à l’espérance. He said something like, “Little brother, now it is time for you to let go of your hopes so as to live in hope.” It is a fearful thing to die to one’s cherished hopes, to pass from clinging to one’s own hopes so as to practice unconditionally the theological virtue of hope.
Darkness and Light 
Father Croset practiced the virtue of hope to an heroic degree.  As a young priest, successful in his diocesan ministry and full of promise, he was maligned by an unbalanced person. Overnight, his reputation was ruined. Without being given a hearing, he was exiled from his diocese and told never to return. Thus did he enter into years of profound moral suffering and, paradoxically, an extraordinary fecundity in the care of souls who sought him out for spiritual direction. Fifty years after the shame of being banished from his diocese, his case was reviewed by the bishop then in charge. The old accusations were proven false and Father Croset was declared innocent. Father Croset was invited to return to his diocese on 7 October 1986 in order to concelebrate with Pope John Paul II who was there on pilgrimage. - Vultus Christi

 I love how Fr. Mark notes Fr. Croset 'was maligned by an unbalanced person'.  How often that must happen in cases involving priests today?  I often reflect on posts I've written - how unbalanced was my point of view?  How subjective my opinion on certain situations?  How distorted by my own failures were my observations on the vocation and conduct of others?  What did the Pope say about such people?  "Those who live judging their neighbours, speaking badly of them, are hypocrites because they don’t have the strength, the courage to look at their own defects.”  Who can heal me?

 "Where Mary is present there will always be joy. Where Mary is absent there cannot but be sadness and gloom." - Fr. Mark

Sadness and gloom makes us mean.  With Our Lady there is hope for healing and purification - and balance - Our Lady is the Cause of our Joy.  "Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates, and waiteth at the posts of my doors. He that shall find me, shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord." - Proverbs 8: 34-35

Draw me!

“Thou art all fair, O Mary, there is no spot of original sin in thee.” (Ct 4, 7).

Let's start today!  Daily!

"Blessed is the man that heareth me, and that watcheth daily at my gates,
and waiteth at the posts of my doors." - Proverbs 8:34

Mary, a Garden Enclosed - "I am a Wall: and my Breasts are as a Tower" Canticles 8:10 -
by LOCHNER, Stefan - from Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne


1 comment:

  1. A beautiful, wonderful post, Terry! Thank you very much and a happy and blest Immaculate Conception feast-day to you and all yr. readers..


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