Memorial of The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church
Today the Church celebrates the “memorial” of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church. In the May issue of the monthly publication of Give Us This Day, I discovered a wonderful reflection by the late English Catholic laywoman and spiritual writer Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) that truly nourishes the soul.
Houselander invites us to imagine the last moments of the crucifixion of Mary’s son, Jesus when the soldier’s lance pierces his side. At that moment when her own heart was feeling the pain of that lance, she says that Mary knew that that stream of blood was her own blood. And that the spray of water from his side was the mysterious breaking of the waters of birth. It was the birth of Christ within us.
Houselander continues her meditation, they took his body down from the cross and laid it in His Mother’s arms, and she held it upon her heart, and in it all those Christs to come to whom she was Mother now – His mother and our mother, the Mother of the Church.
We need to pause and imagine this scene with Mary, our Mother, to whom we now belong, having been given spiritual birth from the waters of his side. Mary leads us from the altar of Calvary, where we were spiritually born anew, and she now invites us to the altar-table of the Eucharist to be fed into adulthood as her daughters and sons.
Let Us Pray:
Grant, we pray, that with her (Mary’s) loving help, your Church may be more faithful day by day and, exulting in the holiness of her children, may draw to her embrace all the families of peoples. (From the Collect)