Friday, January 09, 2009


This is thy gift - oh, give it to us!
To make God better known,
O Mother! make Him in our hearts
More grand and more alone - Fr Faber.

Hail, full of grace (Luke 1:28)
Grace is poured forth from her lips (Ps 44:3)
I am the mother of fair love, and of fear, and of knowledge, and of holy hope...Come over to me, all you that desire me, and be filled with my fruits. For my spirit is sweet above honey and my inheritance above honey and the honeycomb (Ecclus 24: 24, 26, 27).
My fruit is better than gold and the precious stone, and my blossoms than choice silver (Prov 8:19).

How Mary must have rejoiced when the shepherds and Magi drew near to hear divine son, the source of all grace! How she would make them feel that He was all theirs as well as all hers! There would be nothing exclusive in her love of Jesus. She loved Him so dearly that she wanted every one else to love him. She would gladly have seen all the world approach to his feet to receive of His gifts. We can imagine passages of the Psalms which were so familiar to her welling up in her heart, if they did not actually reach the lips, such as: "Oh magnify the Lord with me: let us extol His name together...Come ye to Him and be enlightened...Oh, taste and see that the Lord is sweet, blessed is the man that hopeth in Him...They that seek the Lord shall not be deprived of any good."

Again, to the Apostles our Lady's presence and help must have been a source of untold graces, as it was, we may believe, to the good thief on Calvary. And through all succeeding ages had she not beenthe Mother of Divine Grace to countless souls? St Bernard tells us that all graces come to us through Mary, and the Church puts into her mouth these words: "I am the mother of fair love, fear, knowledge and holy hope." Are we then lacking in these graces, let us fly to her, imploring her to kindle in our hearts a burning love for Jesus, a holy fear of displeasing Him, a profound knowledge of Him, His ways, His infinite goodness, and a boundless trust in the greatness of His generosity. No matter what is the grace of which we stand in need, be it humility, purity, mortification or charity, let us ask it of the "Mater divinae gratiae."Is she not the Mother of the Source of all graces, and does she not say: "Come over to me, and be filled with my fruits (Ecclus 24). In me is all grace of the truth and of the life, that I may enrich them that love me and fill their treasures" (Prov 8).

The picture I have chosen to adorn this post is Melkite icon "Peekaboo Jesus"