Saturday, July 28, 2007

Saturday - Day of Our Lady!

Gate of Heaven, pray for us!

In Church's prayers Our Immaculate Lady is venerated as 'Gate of Heaven'. She indeed is heaven's gate for us because of her sanctity and holy fear of God that ultimately led to union with Him. Her union with God allowed us to have a glimpse of Heaven. In the sixth Beatitude Christ says: "Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God" (Matt 5:8). 'Clean heart' is the heart free from dangerous attachments to earthly things and other human beings. This invocation also points the fact that through Our Lady came the One who opened Gates of Heaven to us, for He said: "I am the door" (John 10:9). Our Blessed Lord came to us through Mary, with her consent and abandonment to God's Will, therefore it is well justified to venerate Our Lady with this invocation. We know Our Immaculate Mother with her constant prayers and intercessions leads countless souls to Heaven! Let us rejoice, for she is our pledge for eternal happiness in Heaven. Let us offer ourselves, our families and all we have to her protection, prayers and intercessions without reserve and with confidence and in union with Church's prayer: "Hail, thou Star of ocean! Portal of the sky! Ever Virgin Mother of the Lord Most High! Oh! by Gabriel's Ave, utter'd long ago, Eva's name reversing, establish peace below. Break the captives' fetters; light on blindness pour; All our ills expelling, every bliss implore. Show thyself a Mother; offer Him our sighs, Who for us Incarnate did not thee despise. Virgin of all virgins! to thy shelter take us: Gentlest of the gentle! Chaste and gentle make us. Still, as on we journey, help our weak endeavour, till with thee and Jesus we rejoice for ever. Through the highest heaven, to the Almighty Three, Father, Son and Spirit, One same glory be. Amen. (Ave Maris Stella)

The image is my favourite for it shows beautifully mutual affection of mother and her Child. It is one of more than 200 of crowned Madonna's one can find in Poland's Churches. This one is from Kalwaria Zebrzydowice Sanctuary of Our Lady.