St. Ildephonsus of Toledo, Spain, was proclaiming the joy of being “a servant of Mary” already in the 7th century. In one of his prayers he brings to full light the idea of Mary’s virginal Motherhood as a model of spiritual life for the Christian.
Mary must obtain for us from the Holy Spirit the grace for Christ to be formed spiritually in us just as she, through the power of the same Spirit, fashioned Christ according to the flesh.
Holy Virgin, I beg you: enable me to receive Jesus from the Spirit, according to the same process by which you bore Jesus.
May my soul possess Jesus thanks to the Spirit through Whom you conceived Jesus.
May the grace to know Jesus be granted to me through the Spirit Who enabled you to know how to possess Jesus and bring Him forth.
May my littleness show forth the greatness of Jesus in virtue of the Spirit in Whom you recognized yourself as the handmaid of the Lord, desiring that it be done to you according to the word of the Angel.
May I love Jesus in the Spirit in Whom you adored Him as your Lord and looked after Him as your Son.
~ St. Ildephonsus of Toledo
~ From the book “Prayers to Mary” by Most Rev. Virgilio Noe
My mom is always near even though we live miles apart. She lives in my heart. She is with me all the time. . . In my daily walks around the neighbourhood. She is the music I enjoy listening, that brings me calm and peace.
She is the joy and the sunshine when I contemplate the beauty of God’s creation. She is the fragrance of fresh flowers. She is in my mind when I’m not feeling well. She holds my hand and reassures me that all will be well.
She is my warmth and my rest. She is the sound of the birds chirping at dawn when I awake. She is the colors of the rainbow, reminding me of the promises of God. She is in the clouds that are slowly passing by.
She is in the day and the night. She is in my heart, you know. She is the place where I came from, my first home, my childhood memories.
She is the one leading me into Mary, Our blessed and heavenly Mother. She placed me under Her care and protection. She is my first love, my first friend. She is my mom! ❤
~ My personal reflection
Wishing you all a very Happy & Blessed Mother’s Day! ⚘
When a sister, born for each strong month-brother, Spring’s one daughter, the sweet child Mary, Lies in the breast of the young year-mother With light on her face like the waves at play, Man from the lips of him speaketh and saith, At the touch of her wandering wondering breath Warm on his brow: lo! where is another Fairer than this one to brighten our day?
We have suffered the sons of Winter in sorrow And been in their ruinous reigns oppressed, And fain in the springtime surcease would borrow From all the pain of the past’s unrest; And May has come, hair-bound in flowers, With eyes that smile thro’ the tears of the hours, With joy for to-day and hope for to-morrow And the promise of Summer within her breast!
And we that joy in this month joy-laden, The gladdest thing that our eyes have seen, Oh thou, proud mother and much proud maiden — Maid yet mother as May hath been — To thee we tender the beauties all Of the month by men called virginal. And, where thou dwellest in deep-groved Aidenn, Salute thee, mother, the maid-month’s Queen!
For thou, as she, wert the one fair daughter That came when a line of kings did cease, Princes strong for the sword and slaughter, That, warring, wasted the land’s increase, And like the storm-months smote the earth Till a maid in David’s house had birth, That was unto Judah as Mary, and brought her A son for King, whose name was peace.
Wherefore we love thee, wherefore we sing to thee, We, all we, thro’ the length of our days, The praise of the lips and the hearts of us bring to thee, Thee, oh maiden. most worthy of praise; For lips and hearts they belong to thee Who to us are as dew unto grass and tree, For the fallen rise and the stricken spring to thee, Thee, May-hope of our darkened ways!
~ A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins (1844-89) , S.J.
Happy Mother’s Day Blessed Virgin Mary, my heavenly Mother! Ora pro nobis!
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 everything —
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather, Grass and greenworld all together; Star-eyed strawberry-breasted 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, Nature’s motherhood.
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.
When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple 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.
~ A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ
“Mother of God, tell me your mystery; of how your earthly life was spent: the way, right from the time of ‘Fiat – how you’d be buried in adoration, Mary! Say how – in a peace, a silence – you could enter in to deeps that none but you could do – bearing the gift of God within. Secure in God’s embrace keep me I ask. In me his imprint may He place – For wholly love is he.”
How did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God’s spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured, and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste, or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment. According in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful an more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husbandman.
All that God has made speaks of its Maker; the mountains speak of his eternity, the sun of his immensity, and the winds of his almightiness. In like manner flowers and fruits speak of his sanctity, his love, and his providence; and such as are flowers and fruits, they are found in a garden, therefore a garden has also excellences which speak of God, because it is their home. For instance, it would be out of place if we found beautiful flowers on the mountain crag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. As then by flowers and fruits are meant, in a mystical sense, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, so by a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, and delight.
Our first parents were placed in “a garden of pleasure” shaded by trees, “fair to behold and pleasant to eat of,” with the Tree of Life in the midst and a river to water the ground. Thus our Lord, speaking from the cross to the penitent robber, calls the blessed place, the heaven to which he was taking him, “paradise,” or a garden of pleasure. Therefore, St. John, in the Book of Revelation, speaks of heaven, the place of God, as a garden or paradise in which was the Tree of Life giving forth its fruits every month.
Such was the garden in which the Mystical Rose, the Immaculate Mary, was sheltered and nursed to be the mother of the All Holy God, from her birth to her spousal to St. Joseph, a term of thirteen years. For three years of it she was in the arms of her holy mother, St. Anne, and then for ten years she lived in the Temple of God. In those blessed gardens, as they may be called, she lived by herself, continually visited by the dew of God’s grace, and growing up a more and more heavenly flower, till at the end of that period she was suitable for the inhabitation in her of the Most Holy. This was the outcome of the Immaculate Conception. Excepting her, the fairest rose in the paradise of God has had upon it blight and has had the risk of canker-worm and locust. All but Mary; she from the first was perfect in her sweetness and her beautifulness, and at length when the angel Gabriel came to her he found her “full of grace,” which had, from her good use of it, accumulated in her from the first moment of her being.
Mary is the most beautiful flower that ever was seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the queen of them. She is the queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful.
~ A Meditation by John Henry Newman
THERE is no rose of such virtue As is the rose that bear Jesu: Alleluia.
For in this rose contained was Heaven and earth in little space: Res Miranda.
By that rose we may well see There be one God in Persons Three: Pares forma.
The angels sang, the shepherds too: Gloria in Excelsis Deo: Gaudeamus.
Leave we all this worldly mirth And follow we this joyful birth: Transeamus.
~ A Poem by an unknown Medieval Author
Res Miranda, thing to be marvelled at. Pares forma, equal in nature. Gaudeamus, let us rejoice. Transeamus, let us go hence.
A Prayer Mystical Rose, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, I venerate thee that I might honor thy Divine Son and thereby win His mercy. I ask for thy help in the clemency of thy Maternal Heart in all confidence that I will be heard.