Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary| Mary the Mother of God| Pope St. John XXIII| Daily Meditation| Daily Quote by S. Padre Pio| Divine Mercy Reflection
Today in the Latin Calendar we celebrate the Feast Day of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. A story about this Feast Day can be found by Clicking Here.
Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The feast of the Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Double of the Second Class and its liturgical colour is white. The feast was instituted in the Universal Calendar in 1932 by Pius XI in honour of the fifteenth centenary of the Council of Ephesus where Mary was defined as Mother of God. The feast had been granted to Portuguese dioceses in the eighteenth century. By the time of the 1911-13 reform the feast was being kept in almost all local calendars for celebration on the second Sunday of October (with the introit Salve sancta parens otherwise textually the same). The Gospel is St. Luke's account of finding the young Christ in the Temple debating with the doctors of the law. The twentieth Sunday after Pentecost, and second Sunday of October, is commemorated at Vespers, Mattins, Lauds and Mass.
At Vespers yesterday the antiphons Beata es, etc, proper to the feast, were sung doubled with Pss. 109, 112, 121, 126 & 147. The Office hymn was Ave, maris stella. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday was sung (the antiphon on the Magnificat was Refulsti sol for the Saturday before the second Sunday of October). The Suffrage was omitted as were the Dominical preces at Compline. At Compline Te lucis was sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation, Jesu, tibi sit gloria etc.
At Mattins the invitatory is Maternitatem beate Marie Virginis celebremus * Christum Filium adoremus Dominum and the Office hymn is Caelo Redemptor praetulit. In the first nocturn the antiphons Benedicta tu etc are sung with Pss. 8, 18 & 23 from the Common. The lessons in the first nocturn are from the Book of Ecclesiasticus. In the second nocturn the antiphons Specie tua etc are sung with Pss. 44, 45 & 86. The fourth and fifth lessons are from a sermon by St. Leo on the Nativity of the LORD and the sixth lesson is from the writings of Pius XI. In the third nocturn the antiphons Gaude, Maria Virgo etc are sung with Pss. 95,96 & 97. The lessons are from a homily by St. Bernard, the ninth lesson is of the commemorated Sunday.
At Lauds the antiphons Beata es etc are sung with Pss. 92, 99, 62, Benedicite and 148. The Office hymn is Te, Mater alma Numinis. After the collect of the feast a commemoration of the Sunday is sung.
At Prime and the Hours the antiphons from Lauds are sung in the usual order. The hymns are sung with the melody and Doxology of the Incarnation. At Prime (Pss. 53, 118i & 118ii) the verse in the short responsory is Qui natus es and the lectio brevis is In plateis.
Mass is sung after Terce. The Gloria is sung, the second collect is of the Sunday. The Creed is sung, the preface is of the BVM (Et te in Festivitate) and the last Gospel is of the Sunday.
At Vespers all is sung as at first Vespers except that the antiphon on the Magnificat is Maternitas tua etc. After the collect of the feast of commemoration of the Sunday is sung.
In the 'liturgical books of 1962' Vespers on Saturday were of the Sunday without any commemoration of the feast. The 'green' Sunday takes precedence over the feast. Sunday Mattins is cut down to a single nocturn of three lessons. The feast is commemorated at Lauds and Low Masses only. The Marian Doxology is not sung, Prime's psalms are as on Sundays, there is no Qui natus es. Vespers are of the Sunday without any commemorations.
Mary, Mother of God
Mary’s divine motherhood broadens the Christmas spotlight. Mary has an important role to play in the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity. She consents to God’s invitation conveyed by the angel (Luke 1:26-38). Elizabeth proclaims: “Most blessed are you among women and blessed is thefruit of your womb. And how does this happen to me, that the mother of my Lordshould come to me?” (Luke 1:42-43, emphasis added). Mary’s role as mother of God places her in a unique position in God’s redemptive plan.
Without naming Mary, Paul asserts that “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). Paul’s further statement that “God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out ‘Abba, Father!’“ helps us realize that Mary is mother to all the brothers and sisters of Jesus.
Some theologians also insist that Mary’s motherhood of Jesus is an important element in God’s creative plan. God’s “first” thought in creating was Jesus. Jesus, the incarnate Word, is the one who could give God perfect love and worship on behalf of all creation. As Jesus was “first” in God’s mind, Mary was “second” insofar as she was chosen from all eternity to be his mother.
The precise title “Mother of God” goes back at least to the third or fourth century. In the Greek form Theotokos (God-bearer), it became the touchstone of the Church’s teaching about the Incarnation. The Council of Ephesus in 431 insisted that the holy Fathers were right in calling the holy virgin Theotokos. At the end of this particular session, crowds of people marched through the street shouting: “Praised be the Theotokos!” The tradition reaches to our own day. In its chapter on Mary’s role in the Church, Vatican II’s Dogmatic Constitution on the Church calls Mary “Mother of God” 12 times.
Other themes come together at today’s celebration. It is the Octave of Christmas: Our remembrance of Mary’s divine motherhood injects a further note of Christmas joy. It is a day of prayer for world peace: Mary is the mother of the Prince of Peace. It is the first day of a new year: Mary continues to bring new life to her children—who are also God’s children.
“The Blessed Virgin was eternally predestined, in conjunction with the incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. By decree of divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving mother of the divine Redeemer, an associate of unique nobility, and the Lord’s humble handmaid. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ” (Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, 61).
Saint John XXIII
Although few people had as great an impact on the 20th century as Pope John XXIII, he avoided the limelight as much as possible. Indeed, one writer has noted that his “ordinariness” seems one of his most remarkable qualities.
The firstborn son of a farming family in Sotto il Monte, near Bergamo in northern Italy, Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli was always proud of his down-to-earth roots. In Bergamo’s diocesan seminary, he joined the Secular Franciscan Order.
After his ordination in 1904, Fr. Roncalli returned to Rome for canon law studies. He soon worked as his bishop’s secretary, Church history teacher in the seminary, and as publisher of the diocesan paper.
His service as a stretcher-bearer for the Italian army during World War I gave him a firsthand knowledge of war. In 1921, Fr. Roncalli was made national director in Italy of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith. He also found time to teach patristics at a seminary in the Eternal City.
In 1925, he became a papal diplomat, serving first in Bulgaria, then in Turkey, and finally in France. During World War II, he became well acquainted with Orthodox Church leaders. With the help of Germany’s ambassador to Turkey, Archbishop Roncalli helped save an estimated 24,000 Jewish people.
Named a cardinal and appointed patriarch of Venice in 1953, he was finally a residential bishop. A month short of entering his 78th year, Cardinal Roncalli was elected pope, taking the name John after his father and the two patrons of Rome’s cathedral, St. John Lateran. Pope John took his work very seriously but not himself. His wit soon became proverbial, and he began meeting with political and religious leaders from around the world. In 1962, he was deeply involved in efforts to resolve the Cuban missile crisis.
His most famous encyclicals were Mother and Teacher (1961) and Peace on Earth (1963). Pope John XXIII enlarged the membership in the College of Cardinals and made it more international. At his address at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, he criticized the “prophets of doom” who “in these modern times see nothing but prevarication and ruin.” Pope John XXIII set a tone for the Council when he said, “The Church has always opposed… errors. Nowadays, however, the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.”
On his deathbed, Pope John said: “It is not that the gospel has changed; it is that we have begun to understand it better. Those who have lived as long as I have…were enabled to compare different cultures and traditions, and know that the moment has come to discern the signs of the times, to seize the opportunity and to look far ahead.”
“Good Pope John” died on June 3, 1963. Saint John Paul II beatified him in 2000, and Pope Francis canonized him in 2014.
Throughout his life, Angelo Roncalli cooperated with God’s grace, believing that the job at hand was worthy of his best efforts. His sense of God’s providence made him the ideal person to promote a new dialogue with Protestant and Orthodox Christians, as well as with Jews and Muslims. In the sometimes noisy crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica, many people become silent on seeing the simple tomb of Pope John XXIII, grateful for the gift of his life and holiness. After his beatification, his tomb was moved into the basilica itself.
The Sooner The Better:
God wants us to be whole and at peace, and he has provided the means. It may take years of prayer and the sacraments, but that shouldn't deter anyone from beginning as soon as possible.
Quote by S. Padre Pio:
Only truly serious matters can trouble a strong and generous heart.
Divine Mercy Reflection
Reflections on Notebook Five: 263-326
As we begin Notebook Five, Saint Faustina’s understanding of the Mercy of God should be more alive to you. Hopefully you have a deeper understanding of the infinite love of God and His burning desire to embrace you, free you from the burden of sin, and shower you with His grace.
It should also be clear that God is silent at times so as to strengthen you, purify you and deepen your trust in Him. God’s wisdom and His ways are beyond what we could ever imagine. He is perfect in His love and you must have full confidence in the direction He gives to your life.
As we enter into this notebook, try to believe and live all that you have read so far. It’s one thing to believe it intellectually, it’s quite another thing to believe it with your actions. You must believe in the Mercy of God with your actions. You must let all that you have read take hold of you and direct the way you live. One way to do this is to go back to any reflections that have stood out so far. If something has stood out, be it a particular reflection or a general theme, pay attention to that. The Message of Mercy is broad and all encompassing, but it’s also particular to you. Let the Lord speak directly to you revealing the specific truths that you need to embrace the most.
Reflection 284: Living in the Moment
One common temptation that many face is that of living either in the past or in the future, and failing to live in the present moment. You live in the past when you remain controlled by past events, sins, hurts, etc. The past must be healed and your sins of the past must be forgiven. Once that is done, you must let go of the past and not allow it to affect you in a negative way. The past can affect you for good when 1) you learn from the mistakes you have made, 2) you are strengthened by the healing of past hurts, 3) you continue to rejoice in all that God has done for you. You are affected negatively by the past when you dwell on your past sins and hurts, failing to seek forgiveness and healing. You live in the future when your mind is constantly obsessed with that which is out of your control. It’s easy to fear the future or to be anxious about it, but you must remember that the future is not yet here and you ought not allow fears or worries about it to cause undue stress. All we have is the present moment. Therefore, it must be your constant goal to live each moment, day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. Be present to the present moment. Embrace it, live it and encounter the love and Mercy of God as He is present to you here and now (See Diary #1400).
Do you struggle letting go of the past or trying to control the future? Seek to embrace this present moment and all will be well. Reflect upon this tendency and especially look at what God wants of you today. Keep your focus upon this present moment and seek to meet our Lord in it. His Mercy awaits you here and now.
Lord, I offer to You all the events of my past and entrust to Your care all that will happen in the future. Free me from past hurts and sins, and alleviate my worries about the future. Help me to meet You and Your abundant Mercy in this present moment alone. Jesus, I trust in You.