Posted by: fvbcdm | September 8, 2011

Feast of the Birth of Saint Mary (8 Sept 2011)

Exactly nine months ago today, on December 8, the universal Church celebrated the Immaculate Conception of Our Blessed Mother.  Since there is ordinarily a nine-month period between human conception and birth, we now celebrate the birth of the little girl who had been immaculately conceived nine months previously.
 
This is a unique day in the calendar and liturgy of the Church; it is one of the three—and only three—times each year when we celebrate births.  We humans are usually born without grace, or as we say, “in the state of original sin.” The saints die in grace. So the death of God’s holy ones is more to be celebrated than their birth.  However, we know of three human beings who were born in the state of grace: Our Blessed Mother who had been filled with grace from the first moment of her conception, then Saint John the Baptist who was sanctified by the Holy Spirit in his mother’s womb, when he “leaped for joy” at the close proximity of the unborn Christ in the womb of Our Lady, and finally Our Divine Lord himself, who is not only “full of grace” but is the very source of grace for every man, woman, and child ever brought into being.
 
The most frequently used prayer to Our Lady is the “Hail Mary” which ends by asking the Mother of our Lord, “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.”  Our Lady was conceived, was born, and ended her life on earth “full of grace.” We are not conceived nor born in God’s grace, but we certainly do hope to end our life in that happy state, so we ask for the prayers of her who is immaculate.  Look back over your life.  How often do you think you have said to Our Lady: “pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death”? Fifty, every time we pray the Rosary.  That comes to about a million in the course of 55 years. Can the “clement, and loving, and sweet Virgin Mary” ignore all of that supplication addressed to her?
 
So today, let us who want to die in grace continue to ask her who was born in grace for that tremendous favor. Thank you for seeking God’s truth.  God bless you.  Father Victor Brown, O.P.

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