Saturday, November 21, 2009

Feast of Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple

...In 1372, Gregory XI permitted the Feast of Presentation tobe kept for the first time by the Roman court at Avignon. Mary in return broke the chains of captivity that had bound the Papacy for seventy years; and soon the successor of St Peter returned to Rome. The feast of the Visitation, celebrated on July 2, was in like manner inserted in teh Western calendar to commemorate the re-establishment of unity after the schism which followed the exile....

....Mary, brought to the Temple to prepare herself - through a retreat, through humility and love - for her incomparable destiny, also received the mission to perfect, at the foot of figurative altars, the prayer of mankind, which was too weak to rain the Savior from the heavens.

She was, says Saint Bernardine of Sienna, the blessed crowning of all expectations and demands of the advent of the Son of God; in her, as in a summit, all the desires of the saints who preceded her found their end and consummation.
By her admirable intelligence of the Scriptures, by her daily and hourly conformity to the smallest teachings and prescriptions of the Mosaic rituals, Mary discovered and adored the Messiah under the letter everywhere; she united herself to him, immolated herself to him in each one of the victims immolated before her eyes; and thus she was paying the God of Sinai the homage - never rendered Him before - of a Law duly understood, obeyed, and as fruitful as the Legislator had planned for it to be.

Then Jehovah was able to say in complete truth: As the rain comes down from heaven and doesn't return to it, but inebriates the earth and causes it to produce its fruits; so will my word be: it will not come back to me barren, but it will have all the happy effects that I willed....

After Dom Gueranguer 'The Liturgical Year'