Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
DAY ONE – 30 November
MARY FULL OF GRACE
She is the one who is full of grace and the sum of all perfections and she is also our
Mother. Her power before God is such that she can obtain anything we ask for and,
like any mother, she wants to answer our prayers. Like any mother also, she knows and understands our weaknesses. She encourages us and makes excuses for us. She makes the way easy for us and, even when we think there is no possible solution for our worry, she always has one ready to offer us.
Perhaps some of you might be thinking that the ordinary comings and goings, of your
working day, are not going to help you much to stay close to someone, as pure as Our
Lady. But I would just ask you to reflect a little. What are we looking for all the time
in things we do, even without thinking about it especially? If we are motivated by the love of God and we work with a right intention, then we are seeking whatever is good and clean, whatever brings peace to our conscience and happiness to our soul. Yes, you might say but don’t we still have our faults? Indeed, but it is precisely by acknowledging our faults that we are able to see, more clearly than ever, just what our goal has to be. What we are looking for is happiness, not a momentary happiness but one that is deep and lasting and both human and supernatural.
There is one creature who achieved such happiness here on earth, because she is God’s masterpiece, our most holy Mother Mary. She lives now and is protecting us. She is
there, body and soul, with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Friends of God, 292)
Holy Rosary, 4th joyful mystery:
When the days of the Mother’s purification are accomplished, according to the Law of
Moses, the Child must be taken to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord (Luke 2:22).
And this time it will be you, my friend, who will carry the cage with the doves (Luke
2:24). Just think: She – Mary Immaculate! – submits to the Law as if she were defiled.
Through this example, foolish child, will you learn to obey the Holy Law of God, regardless of any personal sacrifice?
Purification! You and I surely do need purification! Atonement and more than atonement, Love. Love as a searing iron to cauterise our souls’ uncleanness and as a fire to kindle with divine flames the wretched tinder of our hearts.
Let us turn to her, tota pulchra! – all beautiful! – taking to heart the advice I gave many years ago to those who felt uneasy in their daily struggle to be humble, pure, sincere, cheerful and generous. “All the sins of your life seem to be rising up against you. Don’t give up hope! On the contrary, call your holy Mother Mary, with the faith and abandonment of a child. She will bring peace to your soul.” (Friends of God, 189)
Let us Pray!
Hail Mary full of grace!
It’s fair, gentle Lady,
for me to ask you for a present,
a proof of your affection –
contrition, compunction for my sins,
sorrow of love.
Hear me, O Lady, my life, my hope.
Take me by the hand
and if there is anything in me now
that is displeasing to my Father God,
make me see it,
and between the two of us,
we’ll tear it out.