The Festival of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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The Festival of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

by Leonard Goffine, 1871

This festival is thus named, because the Church on this day celebrates the commemoration of the day ever memorable in the Book of Life, upon which the holy, angelically pure Virgin Mary received the glorious announcement, that she was chosen to be the Mother of the Redeemer. The Church in the Introit exclaims: All the rich among the people shall entreat thy countenance: after her shall virgins be brought to the king: her neighbors shall be brought to thee in joy and gladness. My heart hath uttered a good word: I speak my words to the king. Glory be to the Father, &c. Continue reading

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

This great festival takes its name from the happy tidings brought by the Archangel Gabriel to the Blessed Virgin, announcing the Incarnation of the Son of God. It commemorates the most important embassy that was ever known, an embassy sent by the King of kings, and performed by one of the chief princes of His heavenly court, and directed, not to the great ones of this earth, but to a poor, unknown virgin who, being endowed with angelic purity of soul and body, and perfect humility and submission to God, was greater in His eyes than the mightiest monarch in the world. Continue reading

Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas – Wednesday After the Fourth Sunday

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Meditations for Each Day of Lent by St. Thomas Aquinas

Wednesday After the Fourth Sunday

The Divine Friend

His sisters sent to Him saying : Lord, behold, he whom
Thou lovest is sick.–John xi. 3.

Three things here call for thought.

1. God’s friends are from time to time afflicted in the body. It is not, therefore, in any way a proof that a man is not a friend of God that he is from time to time sick and ailing. Eliphaz argued falsely against Job when he said, Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished being innocent? or when were the just destroyed? (Job iv. 7).

The gospel corrects this when it says, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick, and the Book of Proverbs, too, where we read, For whom the Lord loveth, He chastiseth: and as a father in the son He pleaseth himself (Prov. iii. 12).

2. The sisters do not say, “Lord, come and heal him.” They merely explain that Lazarus is ill, they say, he is sick. This is to remind us that, when we are dealing with a friend, it is enough to make known our necessity, we do not need to add a request. For a friend, since he wills the welfare of his friend as he wills his own, is as anxious to ward off evil from his friend as he is to ward it off from himself. This is true most of all in the case of Him who, of all friends, loves most truly. The Lord keepeth all them that love him (Ps. cxliv. 20).

3. These two sisters, who so greatly desire the cure of their sick brother, do not come to Christ personally, as did the centurion and the man sick of the palsy. From the special love and familiarity which Christ had shown them, they had a special confidence in Him. And, possibly, their grief kept them at home, as St. Chrysostom thinks. A friend if he continue steadfast, shall be to thee as thyself, and shall act with confidence among them of thy household (Ecclus. vi. 11).