Saturday, June 07, 2008

Saturday - Day of Our Lady

The Blessed Virgin speaks to St Bridget of Sweden about the Immaculate Conception and the Birth.

And it is true that I was conceived without original sin, and not in sin; becasue my Son and I never sinned, so no marriage was more holy than that from which I was born (Lib. vi, c.49). A golden hour was my conception, for then began the priciple of the salvation of all, and darkness hastened to light. God wishes to do in His work something singular and hidden from the world, as He did in the dry rod blooming. But know that my conception was not known to all, because God wished that as the natural law and the voluntary election of good and bad preceded the written law, and the written law followed, restraining all inordinate notions, so it pleased God, that His friends should piously doubt of my conception, and that each should show his zeal till the truth become clear in its preordained time (Lib. vi, c. 55).

When I was born, it was not unknown to the demons, but speaking by a certain similitude, they thus thought: 'So a certain virgin is born, what shall we do? For it is evident that something wonderful is to take place in her. If we throw around her all the nets of malice, she will burst like a tow. If we examine all her heart, it is defended by a strong garrison. There is no spot in her for a spear to touch. Therefore, we may fear lest her purity be our torture. Her grace will crush all our strength; her constancy prostrate us beneath her feet.' But the friends of God, who were in long expectation, said by divine inspiration: 'Why grieve more? We should rather rejoice, for the light is born that is to dispel our darkness, and our desire shall be accomplished.' And the angels of God rejoiced, although their joy was always in the vision of God, saying: 'Something desirable is born on earth, and especially beloved by God, whereby true peace shall be restored to Heaven and earth, and our looses shall be made up.' Indeed, daughter, I assure thee, that my birth was the opening of true joy; for then came forth the rod from which that flower proceeded, whom kings and prophets desired. And when I had attained an age to know something of my Creator, then I turned to Him with my whole heart.

I was also preserved by wonderful grace, so that not even in my tender years did I consent to sin, because the love of God and my parents' care, good education, the preservation of good, and fervor of knowing God preserved with me. (Lib. vi, c.56). I am she, who from eternity have been in the love of God, and from my infancy the Holy Ghost was perfectly with me. And you may take an example from a nut, which, when grows exteriorly, increases in the interior, so that the shell is always full and there is no space to receive aught else. So I, from my childhood, was full of the Holy Ghost, and according to the increase of my body and age, the Holy Ghost filled me so copiously as to leave no room for the entrance of any sin. Hence I never committed a mortal or venial sin, for I was so ardent in the love of God, that nothing was pleasing to me except the perfect will of God; for the fire of divine love was enkindled in my soul, and God, blessed above all, who created me by His power, and filled me with the virtue of the Holy Ghost, had an ardent love for me. (Lib. iii, c.8).

credits: text from the book "Revelations of St Bridget on the Life and Passion of Our Lord and the Life of His Blessed Mother" TAN Books.
The upper picture portrayes Our Lady as the Immaculate Conception as a young maiden prior to the Incarnation as seen in the XVI century French Book of Hours. She is accordingly depicted there surrounded by her chief biblical emblems. At the top God pronounces the words from the Canticle of Canticles: "Thou art all fair my love, and there is no spot in thee." Surrounding the Blessed Virgin are her emblems and the biblical phrases, in medieval Latin, which they depict: Bright as the sun . . . fair as the moon . . . gate of heaven . . . star of the sea . . a lily among thorns . . . exalted cedar . . . rose plant . . . tower of David . . . fair olive tree . . well of living waters . . . blossoming rod of Jesse . . . spotless mirror . . . fountain of gardens . . . garden enclosed, and city of God.. To read more on the subject of Immaculate Conception and Birth of Our Lady please follow the link The History of the Liturgical Celebration of Mary's Birth"

The lower picture represents Saint Bridget of Sweden.