Blessed Virgin Mary: March 2013 Archives

Ecce Mater Tua

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As His last will and testament, Jesus committed to His beloved heir the care of His mother in whose debt He knew Himself to be. So Christ divided His inheritance between Peter who loved the most and John who was loved the most. To Peter fell the Church; to John, Mary. (Blessed Guerric of Igny, Fourth Sermon for the Feast of the Assumption)

Today is the Great and Holy Sabbath. All is silent. Today belongs to Mary, Virgin Mother of Him whose Sacred Body lies shrouded in the sepulchre. This morning after Prime, I invited the brethren to spend today in Mary's company, close to her sorrowful and immaculate Heart, just as Saint John must have spent that first Holy Saturday in her company, sharing in the sorrows of her sword-pierced soul, and entering into her silence.

On that first Holy Saturday, the hope of the Church was enclosed in Mary's Heart, burning there like a fragile flame in a world suddenly grown cold and empty. One who remains close to Our Lady in the Holy Saturdays of life will never be without hope.

In the Garden

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In the garden,
His Face was unseen,
for the eyes of His friends had grown heavy with sleep,
and there was none to meet the gaze of the Sorrowing Son
other than the Sorrowing Father
and the Consoling Angel whom He had sent
to wipe His brow,
to caress His head
and, for a moment, to hold His hand.

This the Sorrowing Mother would have done
had she been there,
but even that was denied her.
The Mother was replaced by an Angel!
The consolation that only she could have given
was given by another,
and yet He knew the difference:
though sweet, it was an angel’s, not a mother’s.

Weeping like Eve outside the garden,
she consented to the bitter Chalice:
“Be it done unto me as to your Word!”
Chosen for this, she elected to remain
cloistered in the Father’s Will,
hidden and veiled in grief,
to drink there of the Chalice of her Son, the Priest,
and savour it, bitter against the palate of her soul,
for nought can taste a child’s suffering
like a mother’s palate.

Then the Angel too was gone
and the Father hid behind the veil of blood and of tears,
leaving the Son alone with His sorrow
and with His fear,
to proceed with the Sacrifice:
the priest on the way to the altar
with the chalice already in his hands.

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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