Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
DAY FOUR – 3 December
Mary, Woman of Faith
She teaches us to have faith. “Blessed art thou for thy believing,” were the words of greeting uttered by her cousin Elizabeth when Our Lady went up into the hill country to visit her. Mary’s act of faith had been a wonderful one, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done unto me according to thy word.” When her Son was born she contemplated the greatness of God on earth: a choir of angels was present and not only the shepherds but also important men of this world came to adore the Child. Afterwards,however, the Holy Family had to flee to Egypt, to escape Herod’s murderous intent. Then, silence, thirty long years of simple, ordinary life, just like that of any other home in a small village in Galilee. (Friends of God, 284)
Lord, I do believe! I have been brought up to believe in You. I have decided to follow You closely. Repeatedly during my life I have implored Your mercy. And repeatedly too have thought it impossible that You could perform such marvels in the hearts of Your children.
Lord, I do believe but help me to believe more and better!
Let us address this same plea to Our Lady, Mother of God and our Mother and Teacher of faith: “Blessed art thou for thy believing. the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfilment.” (Friends of God, 204)
The Virgin did not merely pronounce her fiat, in every moment she fulfilled that firm and irrevocable decision. So should we. When God’s love gets through to us and we come to know what He desires, we ought to commit ourselves to be faithful and loyal and then be so in fact. Because “not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (Christ is Passing By, 173)
Don’t forget: if God exalted His Mother, it is equally true that He did not spare her pain, exhaustion in her work or trials of her faith. A village woman one day broke into praise for Jesus, exclaiming: “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts that nourished you!” Jesus said in reply: “Rather, blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it.” It was a compliment to His Mother on her fiat, her “be it done.” She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day. (Christ is Passing By, 172)
Let us Pray
“Mother!” Call her again and again. She is
listening, she sees you in danger perhaps and
with her Son’s grace she, your holy Mother
Mary, offers you the refuge of her arms, the
tenderness of her embrace. Call her and you
will find yourself with added strength for the
The Way, 516
Hail Mary, Holy Mother!
I cry unto you,
help and assist me,
lead me mother,
teach me and guide me.