Saturday, December 08, 2007

Our Lady's Immaculate Conception

Regina sine Labe Originali Concepta - Ora pro nobis!

'And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars'. (Apocalypse 12:1)

'Behold, thou art fair, O my love; behold, thou art fair'. (
Cant. 1:14)

'Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day of thy creation.'
Ezec. 28:15

'Thou wast in the pleasures of the paradise of God, and every precious stone was thy covering: the sardius, the topaz and the jasper, the chrysolite, and the onyx, and the beryl, the sapphire, and the carbuncle, and the emerald; gold the work of thy beauty...Thou wast a cherub stretched out, and protecting, and I set thee in the holy mountain of God'
(Ezec. 13:14)

'Thou art all fair, O My love, and there is not a spot in thee' (Cant. 4:7).

"We knew thee to be free from the stain
As is the sun's white beam;
We knew God's Mother must be great
Above what we could dream" -
Fr Faber

What a joy it must have been to the angels and the whole heavenly court to see Mary's soul, which had gone forth radiantly fair from the hand of its Creator, return to Him, after a sojourn of sixty or seventy years in this wicked world, not only unspotted by a single stain, but with its beauty and brilliancy increased to an almost incredible degree! And might not Mary have said, what Judith said to the ancients of Israel: "As the same Lord liveth, His angels hath been my keeper both going hence and abiding there, and returning from thence hither; and the Lord hath not suffered me, His handmaid, to be defiled, but hath brought me back to you without pollution of sin, rejoicing by His victory for my escape and for your deliverance"? Yes, dearest Mother, thy joy is threefold. Thy sinlessness is a triumph for God's power and goodness, an honour for thyself, and a glory for the whole human race. Thou art indeed the glory of thy people. Though we were not, it is true, conceived without sin, did we not receive a spotless robe of grace at our baptism? Have we not had one of God's angels ever at our side throughout life? Shall we be able to give back our souls unstained to their Creator, and adorned with many graces? O sinless Mother, obtain for us that, at any rate, they may be washed in the Blood of the Lamb, and purified by tears of contrition. God has said that, though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow, if we cease to do evil and learn to do well. So, Queen conceived without sin, pray for us that we, as children of the Church, Christ's spotless Bride, may have a holy emulation to keep our souls unsullied by actual sin, wilful sin. Help us to conquer our evil inclinations, to do penance for the past, that when invited to the marriage feast of the Lamb in the heavenly kingdom, we may be found clothed with the nuptial garment and adorned with the virtues befitting our state.

O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us.

Text from "My Queen and my Mother" by R.G.S. with Preface by Bishop of Salford, 1904