Thought for the Day – 1 May – Tuesday of the Fifth Week of Eastertide, the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker and the 1st day of the Month of Mary
May, The Month of Promise
Why is May chosen as the month in which we exercise a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin?
The first reason, is because, it is the time when the earth bursts forth into its fresh foliage and its green grass, after the stern frost and snow of winter and the raw atmosphere and the wild wind and rain, of the early spring. It is because the blossoms are upon the trees and the flowers are in the gardens. It is because the days have got long and the sun rises early and sets late. For such gladness and joyousness of external Nature is a fit attendant on our devotion to her, who is the Mystical Rose and the House of Gold.
A man may say, “True but in this climate, we have sometimes a bleak, inclement May.” This cannot be denied; but still, so much is true that at least it is the month of promise and of hope. Even though the weather happen to be bad, it is the month that begins and heralds in the summer. We know, for all that may be unpleasant in it, that fine weather is coming, sooner or later. “Brightness and beauty shall,” in the Prophet’s words, “appear at the end and shall not lie: if it make delay, wait for it, for it shall surely come and shall not be slack.”
May then is the month, if not of fulfillment, at least of promise and is not this the very aspect, in which we most suitably regard the Blessed Virgin, Holy Mary, to whom this month is dedicated?
The Prophet says, “There shall come forth a rod out of the root of Jesse and a flower shall rise out of his root.” Who is the flower but our Blessed Lord? Who is the rod, or beautiful stalk or stem or plant out of which the flower grows but Mary, Mother of our Lord, Mary, Mother of God?
It was prophesied that God should come upon earth. When the time was now full, how was it announced? It was announced by the Angel coming to Mary. “Hail, full of grace,” said Gabriel, “the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” She then was the sure promise of the coming Saviour and, therefore, May is, by a special title her month…. taken from Meditations for the Month of May, by Blessed John Henry Newman (1801-1890)