The Annunciation by Waterhouse
A little collection of links and videos appropriate to the Holy Day:
Start with Deacon Greg, whose affection for Our Lady seems to have blossomed into one of his loveliest homilies:
. . . one of the women said, “We’re Jewish, from up in Orange County, and we just don’t have anything like these [stained glass windows]. They’re just magnificent.”
Well, she’s right. They are magnificent. But she was wrong about something else. The Jewish people do have something as beautiful as these windows – in fact, we share with them something even more wondrous.
I’m speaking of Mary – the Jewish peasant girl whose feast we celebrate today.
No window here can compare to Mary, who served as God’s window into the world.
Thomas Merton put it perfectly.
“Mary”, he wrote “was as pure as the glass of a very clean window that has no other function than to admit the light of the sun.” And he explained: “If we rejoice in that light, we implicitly praise the cleanness of the window.”
I can’t think of a more beautiful way of considering Mary on this feast of the Immaculate Conception. Looking around this church, named for our Blessed Mother, we see the light these windows cast, the ever-changing colors, and we see, too, the ever-deepening reminders of Mary’s devotion. The golden light of a mother’s love…the blue of her sorrow…the red of her son’s own passion. But through it all there is light. Radiant, limitless, streaming light.
The light of the world.
And Mary is the window through which that light shines.
My own podcast: on Bernadette Soubirous’ encounter with The Immaculate Conception – it relates to this post
Fr. James Martin and The God of Surprises:
Fr. Robert Barron brings us St. Anselm:
To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary. The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God. The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.
God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life. For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.
Getting into the biological exchanges between mother and child
Msgr. Charles Pope: On the Fittingness and Faithfulness of the Immaculate Conception:
The Gospel chosen for today may confuse some for it is the gospel that refers to Christ’s conception. However it is chosen for the fact of what the Angel Gabriel says to Mary: And coming to her, he said, “Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you (Lk 1:28). There is a Greek word underlying the translation “full of grace” and the word is κεχαριτωμένη (kecharitomene). The meaning of this term is much disputed since it is a hapax legomenon(a word that only occurs once in the whole of Scripture). The great scholar, Greek speaker and Father of the Church Origen said of this word: The angel greeted Mary with a new address which I could not find anywhere else in scripture….This greeting was reserved for Mary alone (Hom 6.7 on Luke).
Read it all, of course.
New Advent: the Dogma
Too Much Mary: or too little Jesus?
O Mary: O Eve!
Taylor Marshall: Who Crushes Satan’s Head?
New, New, New!
Happy Catholic: the end of the Novena
Pope Benedict XVI: God’s Mercy More Powerful than Evil
Lisa Graas: Is the Catholic Church Impeding Ted Turner’s Planet-Saving Agenda?
Fr. Steve: Solemnity Thoughts
The Divine Life: Enmity with Satan
John Zmirak: Stitching in Limbo
Mark Shea: Immaculate Conception and Eastern Orthodoxy
Peter Nixon: A Must Read and Keeper
David Mills: Delivered from All Stain
Pat McNamara: The Pope who proclaimed the Dogma
Catholic Key: Immaculate Conception of Guadalupe
Fr. Dwight Longenecker: on how he came to believe in the Immaculate Conception. Nicely done.