Mary, the second and better Eve, Mary: Day 158

Mary, the second and better EveSince ancient times, Christian teachers have noted both the parallels and the contrasts between Eve and Mary. Blessed John Henry Newman sums up the traditional teaching about Mary as the “second and better Eve.”Eve had a part in the fall of man, though it was Adam who was our representative, and whose sin made us sinners. It was Eve who began, and who tempted Adam. It was fitting then in God’s mercy that, as the woman began the destruction of the world, so w … [Read more...]

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Mary, Virgin Most Prudent, Mary: Day 157

Mary, Virgin Most PrudentWe know little of Mary’s everyday life. But Blessed John Henry Newman reminds us that she doubtless would have had numerous practical obligations, and in performing them perfectly, she would have needed that most practical of virtues, prudence.It may not appear at first sight how the virtue of prudence is connected with the trials and sorrows of Our Lady’s life. Yet there is a point of view from which we are reminded of her prudence by those trials. It must be rec … [Read more...]

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Mary, Vessel of Honor, Mary: Day 156

Mary, Vessel of HonorMary was a martyr, but in her soul, not her body. Blessed John Henry New- man observes that for the sake of her great honor, she was spared by her Son the bodily dishonor that he and other martyrs had to endure. St. Paul calls elect souls “vessels of honor”: of honor, because they are elect or chosen; and vessels, because, through the love of God, they are filled with God’s heavenly and holy grace (see 2 Tim 2:20–21). How much more, then, is Mary a Vessel of Honor by rea … [Read more...]

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Mary, Vessel of Devotion, Mary: Day 155

Mary, Vessel of DevotionBlessed John Henry Newman illustrates the meaning of devotion, and shows how Our Lady overflowed with devotion to her son.To be devout is to be devoted. We know what is meant by a devoted wife or daughter. It is one whose thoughts center in the person so deeply loved, so tenderly cherished. She follows him about with her eyes; she is ever seeking some means of serving him; and if her services are very small in their character, that only shows how intimate they … [Read more...]

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Prayer to Mary, Queen of Martyrs, Mary: Day 154

Prayer to Mary, Queen of MartyrsThis popular traditional prayer asks for the grace to become a companion of Our Lady’s sorrowful heart at the foot of the Cross.Mary, most holy Virgin and Queen of Martyrs, accept the sincere homage of my filial affection. Into your heart, pierced by so many swords, you welcome my poor soul. Receive it as the companion of your sorrows at the foot of the Cross on which Jesus died for the redemption of the world. With you, O sorrowful Virgin, I will g … [Read more...]

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Mary, the Mystical Rose, Mary: Day 153

Mary, Queen of Martyrs Though Mary never suffered a bodily martyrdom, Blessed John Henry New- man insists that her soul suffered a worse sort of martyrdom. Why is Mary called the Queen of Martyrs? She never had any blow, or wound, or other injury to her consecrated person. How can she be exalted over those whose bodies suffered the most ruthless violence and the keenest torments for our Lord’s sake? She is, indeed, Queen of All Saints, of those who “walk with Christ in white, for they are wor … [Read more...]

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