Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
DAY FIVE – 4 December
Mary, Mother of Fair Love
“I am the Mother of fair love and of fear and of knowledge and of holy hope.” These are he lessons which Mary reminds us of today. The lesson of fair love, of living a clean life, of having a sensitive and passionate heart, so that we may learn to be faithful in our service to the Church. This is no ordinary love. It is Love itself. There is no room here for betrayal, or calculation, or forgetfulness. It is a fair, a beautiful love, because its beginning and end is God, who is thrice Holy, who is all Beauty, all Goodness and all Greatness.
But there is also a reference to fear. For myself, the only fear I can imagine is that of turning away from Love. God Our Lord, certainly does not want us to be inhibited, timid or lukewarm about our dedication to Him. He wants us to be daring, courageous and refined. When the sacred text speaks of fear here I am reminded of a complaint we find elsewhere in Scripture, “I searched for my heart’s love but found him not.” This can happen, if one has not yet fully understood what it means to love God. Then our hearts can be swayed by things which do not lead to Our Lord and so we lose sight of Him. At other times it may be Our Lord who hides Himself. He knows the reason why. In such cases, He will be encouraging us to seek Him more earnestly and, when we find Him, we shall be able to cry out with joy, “I took hold of Him and I will never let Him go.” (Friends of God, 277)
The spotless purity of John’s whole life makes him strong before the Cross. The other apostles fly from Golgotha: he, with the Mother of Christ, remains. Don’t forget that purity strengthens and invigorates the character. (The Way, 144)
This heart of ours was born to love. But when it is not given something pure, clean and noble to love, it takes revenge and fills itself with squalor. True love of God and consequently purity of life, is as far removed from sensuality as it is from insensitivity and as far from sentimentality as it is from heartlessness or hard-heartedness. (Friends of God, 183)
Why don’t you give yourself to God once and for all… really…, now? (The Way, 902)
Mary, the holy Mother of our King, the Queen of our heart, looks after us as only she knows how. Mother of mercy, throne of grace, we ask you to help us compose, verse by verse, the simple poem of charity in our own life and the lives of the people around us; it is “like a river of peace.” For you are a sea of inexhaustible mercy: “ All streams run to the sea, but the sea is never full.” (Christ is Passing By, 187)
Let us Pray:
At this very moment, you should trustingly beg
Our Lady, as you accompany her in the solitude
of your heart, without saying anything out
“Mother, this poor heart of mine
rebels so foolishly!
If you don’t protect me…”
Holy Mother, come to my aid,
help me here and now.
Help me always to love with a pure heart,
to love my Lord and my God,
to seek Him always!
For you, who I dearly love,
are my Mother,
And she will help you,
to keep it pure and to follow the
way to which God has called you.
(Friends of God, 180)