Thought for the Day – 1 May – Devotion for May – the Month of Mary
“God wills that all his gifts should come to us through Mary” (St Bernard)
It was in Rome, towards the end of the eighteenth century, one fine evening in May. A child of the poor gathered his companions around him and led them to a statue of Mary, before which a lamp was burning, as is the custom in that holy city. There, these fresh young voices sang the Litany of our Lady. The next day, the little group, followed by other children, again gathered at the feet of the Mother of God. Next came their mothers, to join the little assembly. Soon, other groups were formed and the devotion rapidly became popular. Holy souls, troubled by the disorderly conduct which always increases and becomes graver at the return of the pleasant springtime, saw in these growing practices the hand of God and they co-operated with the designs of Providence by approving and promoting this new devotion, as a public and solemn act of reparation. The Month of Mary was founded….A Carthusian, A Month with Mary
“This is the month in which, in the churches and individual homes, the most affectionate and fervent homage of prayers and devotions from the hearts of Christians are raised to Mary. It is also the month in which from His throne descend upon us the most generous and abundant gifts of the Divine Mercy.”….St Pope Paul VI, The Month of Mary,1967.
In our own times, we Catholics, wanting to be close to her always, offer her special presents in May – pilgrimages, visits to churches dedicated to her, little sacrifices in her honour, periods of study and well-finished work offered up to her and a more attentive recitation of the rosary….
MARY: THE MOTHER OF GOD
“When the Blessed Virgin said yes, freely, to the plans revealed to her by the Creator, the divine Word assumed a human nature — a rational soul and a body — which was formed in the most pure womb of Mary. The divine nature and the human were united in a single Person – Jesus Christ, true God and, thenceforth, true man, the only begotten and eternal son of the Father and from that moment on, as man, the true son of Mary. This is why our Lady is the mother of the Incarnate Word, of the second person of the Blessed Trinity, who has united our human nature to Himself forever, without any confusion of the two natures. The greatest praise we can give to the Blessed Virgin is to address her loudly and clearly by the name that expresses her very highest dignity: ‘Mother of God’.”
Let us offer to our Mother today:
Brief but frequent prayers of love, such as:
“Mother of God, your petitions are most powerful.”
St Josemaria Escriva – “Mother of God and Our Mother,” Friends of God, 274.
Poem by Fr Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ (1844-1889)
May is Mary’s month and I
Muse at that and wonder why:
Her feasts follow reason,
Dated due to season—
Candlemas, Lady Day
But the Lady Month, May,
Why fasten that upon her,
With a feasting in her honour?
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her?
Is it opportunest
And flowers finds soonest?
Ask of her, the mighty mother:
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?—
Growth in every thing—
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together,
Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within,
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathising
With that world of good,
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
How she did in her stored
Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this:
Spring’s universal bliss
Much, had much to say
To offering Mary May.
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
And thicket and thorp are merry
With silver-surfed cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
And magic cuckoocall
Caps, clears, and clinches all—
This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
To remember and exultation
In God who was her salvation.