Saturday, April 14, 2018

Saturday of the Second Week After Easter

℣. In resurrectione tua Christe, alleluia.

℣. In thy resurrection, O Christ, alleluia.

℟. Cœli et terra lætentur, alleluia.

℟. let heaven and earth rejoice, alleluia.

This being Saturday, let us once more think of Mary, and of the joy she feels at the Resurrection of her Son. She had been his companion in his Sufferings; there was not one that she had not endured and suffered as far as a mere creature could suffer: so too, there is not a single glory or gladness of the Resurrection in which she is not now made to participate. It was meet that She, to whom God had granted the grace and merit of sharing in the work of the Redemption, should take her part in the prerogatives which belong to her Jesus, now that he is Risen. Her soul is raised to a higher state of perfection; grace loads her with new favors; her actions and sentiments become more than ever heavenly.

She was the first to receive a visit from Jesus after his Resurrection—the first, consequently, to receive from him his own New Life. Can we be astonished at her receiving it, when we remember that every Christian who, being purified by his having compassionated with Jesus in his Passion, unites himself, afterwards, with holy Church in the sublime mystery of the Pasch—becomes a sharer in the Life of his Risen Lord? This transformation, which, in us, is weak, and often, alas! of short duration, was perfect in Mary, for her high vocation and her incomparable fidelity deserved that it should be so; of her, then, far more truly than of us, it may be said that she was indeed risen in her Jesus.

The thought of these forty days, during which Mary still possesses her Divine Son on this earth, reminds us of those other forty of Bethlehem, when we paid our affectionate homage to the young Virgin-Mother, who fed her divine Babe at her Breast; we heard the Angels singing their Gloria, we saw the Shepherds and the Magi; all was exquisite sweetness. What mainly impressed us then was the humility of our Emmanuel; we recognized him as the Lamb, that had come to take away the sins of the world; there was nothing that betokened the Mighty God. What changes have happened since that dear time! What sorrows have pierced Mary’s heart before her reaching this blissful season of Paschal joy! The Sword foretold by Simeon is now, indeed, sheathed, yea, broken forever—but oh! how sharp and cruel have been its thrusts! Well may Mary now say with the Psalmist: According to the multitude of my sorrows in my heart, thy comforts, O Lord, have given joy to my soul! The Lamb, the gentle little Lamb has become the Lion of the tribe of Juda; and Mary, the Mother of the Babe of Bethlehem, is equally the Mother of the glorious Conqueror.

With what delight does he not show the glories of his victories to his Mother! His work is done, and now he is the beautiful crowned King of Ages: yes, this is He whom she held for nine months within her womb, whom she fed at her breast, and who, for all eternity, will honor her as his Mother. He honors her during these his last Forty Days on earth, with every possible mark of affection; he satisfies her maternal love by frequently visiting her. How admirable must not these interviews be between such a Son and Mother! How delightedly must not Mary look upon her Jesus now? the same dear one, it is true, but oh! so changed from what he was a few days ago! That face, so familiar to Mary, beams with a light which is new even to her. The Wounds that remain upon his Hands, Feet and Side, dart forth a brightness which effaces every recollection of sadness. But how shall we speak of the joy wherewith Jesus gazes upon Mary, his Immaculate Mother—his Companion in the work of man’s salvation—the Creature who is more perfect and more worthy of love than all other creatures put together? Who could describe the conversations of such a Son with such a Mother during these days preceding his Ascension, when another long separation is to follow? Eternity will tell us what they were; but even now, if we love the Son and the Mother, we can imagine some little of what passed between them. Jesus would offer to Mary some compensation for the prolongation of her stay on earth, which is required of her by her ministry as Mother of men; more privileged than was heretofore Martha’s sister, she hears his every word, and feeds on its sweetness in an ecstasy of love. O happy hours, to be followed by long years of absence, flow slowly by! Give this Blessed Mother time to satiate her love with the sight and caresses of this dearest and most beautiful of the sons of men!—O Mary! by these hours of joy, which repaid thee for those long bitter ones of thy Jesus’ Passion, pray to him for us, that he permit us to feel and relish his presence in our hearts during this our exile, wherein we are absent from him. Thus shall we persevere in our devoted service until the arrival of that blissful moment, when we are to be united with him in heaven, never again to be separated from him.

Let us offer to the Blessed Mother this beautiful Sequence, wherewith the Churches of Germany used formerly to celebrate her Seven Joys, and of which the Resurrection was one of the grandest.

Sequence

Virgo templum Trinitatis,
Deus summæ bonitatis
Et misericordiæ,
Qui tuæ humilitatis
Et dulcorem suavitatis
Vidit et fragrantiæ,
De te nasci nuntiatur,
Cum per angelum mandatur
Tibi salus gratiæ;
Modum quæris, demonstratur,
Dum consentis, incarnatur
Confestim rex gloriæ.

O Virgin! Temple of the Trinity! the God of all goodness and mercy, being pleased with the loveliness of thy humility, meekness and purity, is announced as having to be born of thee. The message is brought thee by the Angel, who hails thee Full of Grace. Thou askest how? and thou art told. Thou consentest: and the King of glory instantly becomes incarnate in thy womb.

Per hoc gaudium precamur,
Ut hunc regem mereamur
Habere propitium,
Et ab eo protegamur,
Protecti recipiamur
In terra viventium.

We beseech thee by this Joy, that we may deserve to receive mercy from this King, be protected by him, and, thus protected, be admitted into the land of the living.

De secundo gratularis,
Quod tu solem stella paris,
Velut luna radium;
Pariendo non gravaris,
Virgo manes, non mutaris
Propter puerperium.
Sicut flos propter odorem
Suum non perdit decorem,
Cum odor emittitur;
Sic nec propter creatorem
Virginitatis candorem
Tu perdis, cum nascitur.

Thy second Joy is that thou, the Star, givest birth to the Sun, as the Moon emits its ray. This birth injures thee not; thou remainest a Virgin as before. As a flower loses not its beauty by sending forth its fragrance; so neither losest thou the bloom of thy Virginity by giving birth to thy Creator.

O Maria, mater pia,
Esto nobis recta via
Apud tuum filium,
Atque pro tua gratia
Repelle nostra vitia
Per secundum gaudium.

O Mary, kind Mother! be to us the way that leads to thy Son; and, by thy second Joy, graciously intercede for us, that we be converted from our sins.

De tertio gratulari
Stella monet, quam morari
Vides super filio
Cum a magis adorari
Ipsum, cernis et ditari,
Munere tam vario.
Stella monet unitatem
Tresque regis trinitatem
Tresque regis trinitatem
In dicto sacrificio;
Aurum mentis puritatem,
Myrrha carnis castitatem,
Thus est adoratio.

A star tells thee of thy third Joy. Thou seest a star resting over thy Child, the Magi adoring him, and offering their varied gifts. The star expresses Unity; three Kings, Trinity: the gold signifies purity of soul; the myrrh, chastity of body; the incense, adoration.

O Maria, stella mundi,
A peccatis simus mundi
Per te, Virgo Maria,
Et virtutibus fœcundi,
Læti tecum et jocundi
Lætemur in patria.

O Mary, Star of the Sea! pray for us,t hat we may be cleansed from our sins, enriched with virtue, and united with thee in the happiness and bliss of the heavenly Country.

Quartum, Virgo, tibi datur,
Cum a morte suscitatur
Christus die tertia.
Per hoc fides roboratur,
Spes redit et mors fugatur
Per te, plena gratia;
Hostis victus captivatur
Amissa potentia;
Homo captus liberatur,
Et ab humo sublevatur
Sursum ad cœlestia.

The fourth Joy, O holy Virgin! was given thee, when Jesus rose from the Tomb, on the third day. By this Mystery, faith is strengthened, hope restored, and death put to flight; and thou, O full of Grace, hadst thy share in effecting these wonders. The enemy is conquered: he is imprisoned, and loses his power. Man, who had been made captive, is set free, and raised from earth to heaven above.

Ergo mater creatoris,
Funde preces cunctis horis,
Ut per istud gaudium,
Post cursum hujus laboris,
Beatis jungamur choris
Supernorum civium.

Do thou, therefore, O Mother of our Creator! pray hourly for us, that, by this Joy, we may be associated with the choirs of the heavenly citizens, after this life’s labors are over.

Quintum, Virgo, recepisti,
Ascendentem dum vidisti
Filium in gloria.
Tunc aperte cognovisti
Quod tu mater exstitisti,
Cujus eras filia.
In ascensu demonstratur
Via, per quam ascendatur
Ad cœli palatia;
Ergo surgat et sequatur
Istam viam, qui moratur
In mundi miseria.

Thou receivedst thy fifth Joy, O Mary! when thou wast present at thy Son’s Ascension into heaven. Then didst thou clearly know that He, whose Mother thou wast, was thy Creator. His Ascension shows us the path, whereby we are to ascend to heaven. Let us, then, who dwell in this miserable world, arise, and follow this path.

Per hoc gaudium rogamus,
Ne subjici valeamus
Dæmonis imperio:
Sed ad cœlos ascendamus,
Ubi semper gaudeamus,

We beseech thee, by this Joy, to pray that we may never be made subject to Satan’s power; but that we ascend to heaven, where, with thee and thy Son, we may rejoice for all eternity.

Sextum gaudium ostendit,
De supernis qui descendit
In linguis Paraclitus,
Dum confirmat et defendit,
Replet, mundet et accendit
Apostolos penitus,
Ignis in linguis est datus,
Ut per ignem sit sanatus
Homo linguis perditus,
Et per ignem emendatus
Qui fuerat maculatus
Per peccatum primitus.

The sixth joy was when the Holy Ghost descended, in the form of fiery tongues, from heaven, strengthening, defending, filling, cleansing, and inflaming the Apostles. The fire was given in tongues, that man, who owed his perdition to a tongue, might be saved by such fire; and that he who, at the beginning, had been defiled by sin, might, by fire, be purified.

Per hoc gaudium beatum,
Ora, Virgo, tuum natum,
Ut in hoc exilio
Nostrum deleat reatum,
Ne sit in nobis peccatum
In magno judicio.

We pray thee, O Virgin! by this holy Joy,—intercede for us to thy Son, that he pardon us our sins, now in this our exile, lest there be found guilt upon us at the great judgment.

Ad septimum invitavit,
Cum de mundo te vocavit,
Christus ad cœlestia,
Super thronos exaltavit,
Exaltatam honoravit
speciali gratia.
Sic honor tibi præstatur,
nemini reservatur
In cœlesti curia;
Nec virtutibus ditatur,
Nisi cui per te datur,
Virtutum custodia.

Jesus invited thee to the seventh Joy, when he called thee out of this world to heaven, placed thee on thy throne, and honored thee with special favors. Thus is honor given to thee, such as none of the blessed in heaven enjoy; nor can any mortal attain to the perfection of virtue, unless, by thine intercession, he receive the safeguard of virtue.

Virgo, mater pietatis,
Sentiamus bonitatis
Tuæ beneficia;
Et nos serves a peccatis,
Et perducas cum beatis
Ad æterna gaudia.

O Virgin Mother of Mercy! give us to feel the proofs of thy loving intercession, which will preserve us from sin, and lead us to eternal joys, in the company of the Blessed.

O Maria tota munda,
A peccatis nos emunda
Per hæc septem gaudia,
Et fœcunda nos fœcunda,
Et duc tecum ad jocunda
Paradisi gaudia.
Amen.

O Virgin most pure! we beseech thee, by these thy Seven Joys, pray that we may be purified from ouru sins; and, being made fruitful in good works, lead us, O Fruitful Mother, to the blissful joys of heaven. Amen.

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