Mother of God

Mother of God – Year abc

-From the beginning of salvation history God had ceaselessly engaged patriarchs, kings, prophets, and all manner of insignificant people like ourselves to collaborate with him in mankind’s salvation. Above all “in the fullness of time,” he involved a whole cast of characters in the drama of redemption – from John the Baptist, Zechariah, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, the Magi, the shepherd, and Joseph, to the apostles and disciples and holy women of his entourage. Each of these had a special and irreplaceable part to play in helping to communicate God’s grace to the human race..

-God, it would appear from Sacred Scripture, chose to redeem us, not out of a radical divine solitariness, but by involving many persons as collaborators with his divine purpose.

-If God chose to redeem us by appointing many collaborators in his mission – what shall we say of the Mother, the obedient Virgin full of grace made by God in his providence to be the sheer and perfect ground out of which would grow the flower of our redemption, the fruit that would nourish us unto life everlasting?

-Mary was so receptive to the Word of God that she conceived him in her womb and gave Him birth here in our midst. She was already pregnant with the Word of God in her heart before she conceives Him in her womb. “A heart pregnant with the Word” is the expression applied by Blessed Guerric of Igny to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to the monk. He sees the monk as conceiving the word in his heart by prolonged contact with the word. For nine months the Word of God slowly matured in the womb of the Virgin Mary.

-As God once leaned down with infinite tenderness to the Virgin Mary, so today he leans down with the same love to those hearts in which the word is on the point of bearing fruit. These are the hearts in which the word is sown and grows.

-Those hearts are filled with the desire of God and even now his infinite love waits patiently for them.

-The Blessed Virgin Mary held a very important place in Cistercian spirituality. The Order placed itself under her patronage from its beginning, and dedicated all its churches to her. The Cistercian writers of the 12th century sang of the Holy Mother of God with a filial piety matched only by the theological exactitude of their language. St. Bernard, supreme among all the others, merited the title “Litanist of Mary.”

-In the mystery of the Virgin Mary, Cistercian monks have recognized certain traits peculiar to their way of life. From the beginning they have felt drawn to her as to a source of life and example. When we try to speak of the role of Cistercian monks in the Church the image of the Virgin Mary comes irresistibly to mind.

-The word which the monk receives is not destined just for himself. Not that he must necessarily speak it to others. If the word remains deep in his own heart, it is, so that taking root there it will give rise to new life. And that life is the beginning of the new world which will be reborn when the figure of this world will have passed away.

-Like the Virgin Mary, the monk makes his heart and his body ready for it. He is entirely given up to waiting and listening. He looks forward to it in hope, knowing that his vocation is to nurture the seed of life.

-As a mother watches over the fruit she carries in her womb near her heart, so the monk nurtures the word in his heart. Little by little, the life of God takes possession of him. Expressed in him inwardly by God it seeks to express itself outwardly, in his body, in his psyche, in his very attitude. This work is not done without pain. It hurts in his very depths and even lacerates his body. The rebirth in the spirit cannot takes place without the pain of childbirth, without a strange mixture of suffering and joy.

-Sometimes there is suffering caused by the weight of the new life which presses heavily upon us as we struggle towards the perfection to which we are called. It is the pain, if pain it be, of the bud which opens under the pressure of the life it contains.

-Mary is the first living tabernacle where the Father enclosed His Son. Her Immaculate Heart is the monstrance which held Him. Her lap and arms were the first altar and the first throne on which the Son of God made man was worshiped. There the angels, the shepherds and the wise men adored Him.

-Motherhood and filiation are two congruent terms, and congruent terms usually have concurrence. Thus, Christ was predestined from all eternity as the son of God and head of all humankind by the same decree by which Mary was predestined to become His Mother. Thus, Mary is inseparably united to God.

-Just as any small child go to his mother, so do we go to our Mother in Heaven, like children, we look for protection and refuge to her.

-Love for the Virgin Mary is the shortest and safest way to go to Christ. How easy it is to love the Son if we contemplate the heart of His Mother!

-As Christ came to us through Mary, we go to Christ through Mary. As Mary mothered His physical body, she also mothers all the members of His Mystical Body. Both Mary and the Church is the spiritual mother of Christian souls, enabling them ever more pleasing to God.

-Finally, through the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, “may the Lord bless us and keep us, may the Lord shine His face upon us and be gracious to us, and may the Lord uncover His face to us and grant us peace.”

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We are a community of monks of the Cistercian Order. Monks first came to Ava, Missouri from New Melleray Abbey in Iowa in 1950 to establish the monastic life here.

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Ava, MO 65608

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