O Stella Maris!, Mary: Day 160

O Stella Maris!In darkness and in doldrums, in storms and in shallows, we cry out to Our Lady Stella Maris, Star of the Sea, for safety and certainty in our voyage home to her Son.O brilliant star above the sea, our beacon to eternity, whose beams beyond the surging wave draw all to him who came to save: To heaven’s harbor, through the night, O Stella Maris, be our light!When darkness deepens, storms assail, when charity and courage fail, when hope gives way to doubt and fear, with d … [Read more...]

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Mary, Star of the Sea, Mary: Day 159

Mary, Star of the SeaOur Lady has long been called by the title “Star of the Sea.” Just as ancient mariners navigated by the stars, St. Bernard observes, Christians can find their way safely home to heaven if they follow her lovely, shining example of holiness and faith.Mary is the distinguished and bright shining star, lifted up above this great broad sea, gleaming with merits, giving light by her example. If you’re caught between storms and tempests, tossed about in the flood of this wo … [Read more...]

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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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