Advent Journal: Day 6–The Immaculate

 

Shields, Frederick James, 1833-1911; The Annunciation

Cantate Domino canticum novum, quia mirabilia fecit.    -Psalm 98:1

And the angel said to her in reply,
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore the child to be born
will be called holy, the Son of God.
And behold, Elizabeth, your relative,
has also conceived a son in her old age,
and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren;
for nothing will be impossible for God.”
Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.         -Luke 1:29-38

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Saviour of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.    -From a Sermon by St. Anselm, Bishop

We are constantly striving for our own “authenticity” these days, for what will distinguish us from others.  We want to be original, creative; I know I do, at any rate.  But God is the one, the true Creator.  We all participate in his divine life, his creative power, by analogy.  But do we in any sense create?  It seems to me we are rather better at destruction.  Before the coming of Christ, there was no way to create; all was lost to sin, and death.  But through Mary, our Blessed Mother, God gave us a way to re-create the world with Him, through the body and blood of Christ–which he took from Mary.  Through her flesh, our flesh was ennobled, since it bore the Son of God.  We have it in our power to make the world anew–so said Thomas Pain of the American Revolution.  Truth be told, we don’t–not apart from God, not apart from Christ, and not apart from Mary.  God has in Christ through her, really and truly sanctified our “body” our “flesh”–not only our physical being but the “flesh” which Paul says we must strive against.  That “flesh’–those earthly longings, not only for sexual pleasure but for security, driven by the anxiety that we are being degraded, disrespected, humiliated–all that fear and anger which clashes with our desire to do good, to trust.  God has by his Providence taken this up, and made it part of his plan for our redemption.  Just as Mary recreates the drama of Eve’s temptation in the Garden, by submitting to God’s word–so may we hope to recreate the drama of our sin, through her intercession and the power of Christ.  Through her most Immaculate Conception, and the glorious fruit of her womb, who was Christ, the Son of God, we may, too, re-create our deathly flesh into a living flesh, capable of creating and giving life.  Then will we be able to act our true selves before God, giving him thanks and praise, then will we be able to turn away from the monotony of sin and sing to him a new song, a song of love we have learned from our Mother, who did not refuse to serve him, but graciously accepted His word when it came, no matter frightened she was.  Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

~ by Alypius on December 9, 2017.

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