Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Tuesday, September 8, 2020
Today, in God’s Lavish Mercy, on our Blessed Mother’s birthday, we pray with the beautiful final verses of Psalm 13.
These verses embody an immense shift in form from the psalm’s early lines. Early on, the psalmist cries out four times, “How long, O Lord?”.
- Will you forget me?
- Will you hide your face from me?
- Must I carry sorrow in my soul?
- Will my enemy triumph over me?
Referring to these early verses reminds us that Mary’s life was full of sorrow as well as joy. On a feast like today, we think of Mary in her heavenly glory. But in her lifetime, Mary suffered many sorrows. She was an unwed mother, a refugee, and a widow. She was the mother of an executed “criminal” and a leader of his persecuted band.
What was it that allowed Mary to transcend sorrow and claim joy? Our psalm verses today help us to understand. They show the psalmist turning to heartfelt prayer., trusting God’s abiding protection.
Look upon me, answer me, LORD, my God!
Give light to my eyes lest I sleep in death,
Lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed,”
lest my foes rejoice at my downfall.
That deep trust ultimately yields not only peace,
Mary, singer of the Magnificat,
is the quintessence of that holy joy.
But I trust in your mercy.
Grant my heart joy in your salvation,
I will sing to the LORD,
Who has dealt bountifully with me!
Today, in our prayer, we ask Mary to love and guide us through the challenges of our lives.
Poetry: Three Days – Madeleine L’Engle
Friday: When you agree to be the mother of God you make no conditions, no stipulations. You flinch before neither cruel thorn nor rod. You accept the tears; you endure the tribulations. But, my God, I didn't know it would be like this. I didn't ask for a child so different from others. I wanted only the ordinary bliss, to be the most mundane of mothers. Saturday: When I first saw the mystery of the Word made flesh I never thought that in his side I'd see the callous wound of Roman sword piercing my heart on the hill where he died. How can the Word be silenced? Where has it gone? Where are the angel voices that sang at his birth? My frail heart falters. I need the light of the Son. What is this darkness over the face of the earth?
Dear God, He has come, the Word has come again.
There is no terror left in silence, in clouds, in gloom.
He has conquered the hate; he has overcome the pain.
Where, days ago, was death lies only an empty tomb.
The secret should have come to me with his birth,
when glory shone through darkness, peace through strife.
For every birth follows a kind of death, and only after pain comes life.
Music: Magnificat – Daughters of Mary
(To see Latin and English verses, click the little arrowhead just below the picture on the right.)