Beginning Our Lady's Month

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For the first day of the month of Mary, ponder this beautiful passage from the Sermon of Saint Germanus on the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God. I have added a few comments in italics.

Just as Our Lady was in communion with heaven during her life on earth, so too is she in communion with the earth -- that is, with her children in this valley tears -- from her place in the glory of heaven. Saint Germanus says that Our Lady continues to communicate with us spiritually.

Could it ever happen, most holy Mother of God, that heaven and earth should feel honored by your presence, and that you, with your departure, would leave man deprived of your protection? No. It is impossible to think of such a thing. In fact when you were in the world you did not feel that the things of heaven were foreign; in the same way, after having emigrated from this world, you do not feel removed from the possibility of communicating in spirit with men.... In fact you have not abandoned those to whom you have guaranteed salvation ... indeed your spirit lives eternally, nor has your flesh suffered the corruption of the tomb.

The holy patriarch emphasizes the Mother of God's closeness to her children. He goes so far as to say that she "lives in the midst of us" and makes herself present "in the most varied of ways."

You, O Mother, are close to everyone and protect everyone, and even though our eyes cannot see you, we completely know, O One on high, that you live in the midst of all of us and that you make yourself present in the most varied of ways ... You are she who, as it is written, appears in beauty, and your virginal body is all holy, all chaste, entirely the dwelling place of God, so that it is henceforth completely exempt from dissolution into dust. Though still human, it is changed into the heavenly life of incorruptibility, truly living and glorious, undamaged and sharing in perfect life.

The Blessed Virgin Mary, says Saint Germanus, "continues walking with us." There is immense comfort in that affirmation. It is the experience of the saints through the ages.

Truly it was impossible that that which had been converted into the vessel of God and the living temple of the most holy divinity of the Only Begotten would be enclosed in the sepulcher of the dead. Again we believe with certainty that you continue walking with us. (PG 98, coll. 344B-346B, passim)

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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