Thought for the Day – 8 December – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
The IMMACULATE CONCEPTION
“Let us remember that Mary was not only preserved free from sin and endowed with every supernatural gift but, she never, in her whole life, committed the slightest fault and, she advanced daily in holiness. It is true that we do not possess the privileges accorded to the Blessed Virgin but, we have, nevertheless, received many favours from God and continue daily to receive them!
Let us promise, therefore, that we shall not be unworthy children of so great a Mother. Let us promise to remain free from the slightest taint of sin, in order to please God and our Blessed Mother.
Let us promise, finally, to make daily progress towards that level of sanctity which God requires of us, in the particular state in which He has placed us.”
Quote/s of the Day – 8 December – Feast of the Immaculate Conception and “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception”
“Mary is the new Tree of Life, who, instead of the bitter fruit picked by Eve, gives to mankind that Sweet Fruit on which the whole world is fed.”
St Ephrem (306-373) Father and Doctor of the Church
“The very fact that God has elected her, proves, that none was ever holier than Mary; if any stain had disfigured her soul, if any other virgin had been purer and holier, God would have selected her and rejected Mary.”
St Jacob of Sarug (c 451-521) Bishop, Theologian, Poet, Writer
“Today humanity, in all the radiance of her Immaculate nobility, receives its ancient beauty. The shame of sin had darkened the splendour and attraction of human nature but when the Mother of the Fair One par excellence, is born, this nature again, regains in her person, its ancient privileges and is fashioned according to a perfect model, truly worthy of God…. The reform of our nature begins today and the aged world, subjected to a wholly divine transformation, receives the first fruits of the second creation.”
St Andrew of Crete (c 650-c 740) Bishop, Theologian, Hymnist
“He Who is Infinite, Limitless, came to dwell in your womb; God, the Child Jesus, was nourished by your milk. You are the ever virginal Doorway of God; your hands hold your God; your lap is a throne raised up above the Cherubim… You are the wedding chamber of the Spirit, the “city of the living God, gladdened by the runlets of the stream” that is to say, the waves of the Spirit’s gifts. You are “all fair, the Beloved” of God.”
St John Damascene (675-749) Father and Doctor of the Church
(Homily on the Nativity of the Virgin, # 9 ; SC 80
One Minute Reflection – 8 December on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – Proverbs 8:22-35, Luke 1:26-28 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“Hail, full of grace!” – Luke 1:28
REFLECTION – “The degeneration caused by sin had obscured the beauty of our original nobility. But when the mother of supreme Beauty is born, our nature finds its purity once more and sees itself moulded according to the perfect model, worthy of God (Gn 1,26)… We had all preferred the world below, to that above. There no longer remained any hope of salvation. The state of our nature cried aloud to Heaven to come to the rescue… Then at last, in His good pleasure, the world’s Divine Artificer determined to make a new world appear, a different world full of harmony and youth.
Now was it not fitting, that a most pure virgin without stain, should place herself at the service of this mysterious plan first of all?… And where was this virgin to be found, if not in this woman, alone of her kind, chosen by the world’s Creator before all generations? Yes, she indeed is Mother of God, divinely named Mary, whose womb gave birth to God Incarnate and whom, He Himself had supernaturally prepared, as His Temple…
In this way, then, the design of the Redeemer of our race was to bring about a birth and, as it were, a new creation to replace the one that went before. Therefore, just as in Paradise, He had taken a little clay out of the pure and spotless earth, to fashion the first Adam (Gn 2,7), so, at the moment of bringing about His Own Incarnation, He made use of another earth, so to speak, namely, this Pure and Immaculate Virgin, chosen from among all other beings He had created. It is in her that He, Adam’s Creator, has remade us in our very substance and become a new Adam (1Cor 15,45), that the old might be saved by the new and eternal.” – St Andrew of Crete (660-740) Bishop (Sermon 1 for the Nativity of the Mother of God ; PG 97, 812).
PRAYER – O God, Who by the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin, prepared a worthy dwelling for Thy Son, and Who, by Thy Son’s death, foreseen by Thee, preserved her from all taint, grant, we beseech Thee, through her intercession that we too, may come to Thee, unstained by sin. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).
Our Morning Offering – 8 December – Feast of the Immaculate Conecption and “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception”
I’ll Sing a Hymn to Mary By Father John Wyse (1825-1898) Irish Priest and Hymn writer
I’ll sing a hymn to Mary, The Mother of my God, The Virgin of all virgins, Of David’s royal blood. O teach me, Holy Mary, A loving song to frame, When wicked men blaspheme thee, To love and bless thy name.
O Lily of the Valley, O Mystic Rose, what tree, Or flower, e’en the fairest, Is half so fair as thee? O let me, tho’ so lowly Recite my Mother’s fame. When wicked men blaspheme thee, I’ll love and bless thy name.
O noble Tower of David, Of gold and ivory. The ark of God’s own promise, The gate of Heav’n to me. To live and not to love thee Would fill my soul with shame. When wicked men blaspheme thee, I’ll love and bless thy name.
When troubles dark afflict me In sorrow and in care, Thy light doth ever guide me O beauteous Morning Star. Lo, I’ll be ever ready Thy goodly help to claim, When wicked men blaspheme thee, To love and bless thy name.
The saints are high in glory, With golden crowns so bright; But brighter far is Mary, Upon her throne of light. Oh that which God did give thee, Let mortal ne’er disclaim; When wicked men blaspheme thee, I’ll love and bless thy name.
But in the crown of Mary, There lies a wonderous gem, As Queen of all the Angels, Which Mary shares with them; No sin hath e’er defiled thee, So doth our faith proclaim; When wicked men blaspheme thee, I’ll love and bless thy name.
And now O Virgin Mary My mother and my Queen, I’ve sung thy praise so bless me, And keep my heart from sin. When others jeer and mock thee, I’ll often think how I To shield my Mother, Mary, Would lay me down and die.
Saint of the Day – 8 December – Saint Romaric (Died 653) Married French noble layman, Abbot, Founder of the renowned Remiremont double Monastery in north-eastern France. Died in 653 of natural causes. He was Canonised on 3 December 1049 by Pope Leo IX. Also known as – Romaricus, Romary or Remire.
The Roman Martyrology reads today: “In the Monastery of Luxeuil, St Romericus, Abbot, who left the highest station at the Court of King Theodebert, renounced the world and surpassed all others in the observance of monastic discipline.”
Romaric was a Count Palatine, that is a Count attached to the Royal Court, operating there as an official or administrator. He lived at the Court of King Theodebert II. His parents were killed by Queen Brunhilda,and because of the enmity of his family with this Queen, he wandered without a home. However, with the fall of the Queen, he was received at the Court of Chlothar II and his lands were restored to him.
Disenchanted with life as a Courtier, Romaric experienced a religious conversion through the missionary efforts of St Amatus of Grenoble (c 560-c 627), a Monk of Luxeuil Abbey.
Romaric entered Luxeuil and trained in the ways of monastic life. With the approval of Abbot Eustace, Romaric and Amatus founded a double Monastery for men and women, later given the name of Remiremont (Romariki Mons). The Monastery was built on land belonging to Romaric. St Amatus served as the first Abbot with Romaric as the Prior. One of the earlier Monks in Remiremont was St Romaric’s friend St Arnulf (c 580-640), later the Bishop of Metz. See here:https://anastpaul.com/2021/07/18/saint-of-the-day-18-july-saint-arnulf-of-metz-c-580-640/
In around 625, Romaric succeeded Amatus as Abbot, a position he would hold for 30 years.. Many people were attracted to the holy life he established there and many they came to join him, including several members of his family who embraced religious life . tTwo of his daughters, Ozeltruda and Zeberga, his granddaughter Gebetruda and his grandson Adelphus.
Romaric died in 653 while on a mission to the Frankish Court to petition for Dagobert to receive the crown. Romaric’s Relics were enshrined at the Altar of Remiremont in 1051but both Church and Relics were destroyed in the French Revolution.