Again, all I can do is pray and beg of you all, your prayers too. My country is in chaos, power is being ‘loadshedded’ on and off all day across the land. Damage control is all we can do. Much trauma to many systems and appliances. The software I use to make my pics has also corrupted along with some other software. I know others who have lost their telephone connections due to corrupted and burnt out telephone cables, etc etc. Sorry! Mary, our refuge and our strength!
Novena in Preparation for the Solemnity of The Immaculate Conception
By St Josemaria Escriva (1902-1975)
DAY SEVEN – 6 December
Mary, our refuge and our strength
When it comes to the scandal of the Sacrifice of the Cross, Mary is there, hearing with sadness how “the passers-by blasphemed against him, tossing their heads, ‘Come now, they said, you would destroy the temple and build it up in three days, rescue yourself; come down from that cross, if you are the Son of God’.” Our Lady is there listening to the words of her Son, united to Him in His suffering, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” What could she do? She united herself fully with the redemptive love of her Son and offered to the Father her immense sorrow, which pierced her pure Heart like a sharp-edged sword.
Jesus is comforted anew by the quiet, loving presence of His Mother. Mary does not shout; she does not run about frantically. Stabat: she is there, standing next to her Son. It is then that Jesus looks at her and then turning His gaze to John He exclaims, “Woman, this is thy son.” Then He said to the disciple, “This is thy Mother.” In the person of John, Christ is entrusting all men to His Mother and especially His disciples: those who were to believe in Him.
Felix culpa the Church sings. Happy fault, that has brought us so great and wonderful a Redeemer. Happy fault, we could add, which has merited that we should receive Mary as our Mother. Now we are safe. Nothing should worry us now, because Our Lady, the crowned Queen of heaven and earth, is omnipotent in her supplication before our Father God. Jesus cannot deny anything to Mary, nor to us, who are children of his own Mother. (Friends of God, 288)
Marvel at Mary’s courage: at the foot of the Cross, with the greatest of human sorrows – there is no sorrow like her sorrow – filled with fortitude. And ask her for that same strength, so that you too can remain beside the Cross. (The Way, 508)
Don’t let discouragement enter into your apostolate. You haven’t failed, just as Christ didn’t fail on the Cross. Take courage!… Keep going, against the tide, protected by Mary’s Immaculate and Motherly Heart: Sancta Maria, refugium nostrum et virtus!, you are my refuge and my strength. Hold your peace. Be calm… God has very few friends on earth. Don’t yearn to leave this world. Don’t shy away from the burden of the days, even though at times we find them very long. (The Way of the Cross, 13th Station, 3)
We can’t forget that Mary spent nearly every day of her life just like millions of other women who look after their family, bring up their children and take care of the house. Mary sanctifies the ordinary everyday things – what some people wrongly regard as unimportant and insignificant: everyday work, looking after those closest to you, visits to friends and relatives. What a blessed ordinariness, that can be so full of love of God!
For that’s what explains Mary’s life – her love. A complete love, so complete that she forgets herself and is happy just to be there where God wants her, fulfilling with care what God wants her to do. That is why even her slightest action is never routine or vain but, rather, full of meaning. Mary, our mother, is for us both an example and a way. We have to try to be like her, in the specific circumstances in which God wants us to live
(Christ is Passing By, 148)
Let us Pray
Say to her:
Mother, my Mother – yours,
because you are hers on many counts –
may your love bind me to your Son’s Cross,
may I not lack the Faith,
nor the courage,
nor the daring,
to carry out the will of our Jesus.
The Way, 497