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Thoughts for the Week


Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost

Thoughts for the Week - Fr R Taouk 
27th August 2017

The Immaculate Heart of Mary by St. Alphonsus Liguori

It was becoming that the Eternal Father should preserve Mary from the stain of Original Sin, because she was His Daughter, and His first-born daughter, as she herself declares: "I came out of the mouth of the Most High, the first-born before all creatures" (Ecclus. 24:5). For this text is applied to Mary by sacred interpreters, the Holy Fathers, and by the Church on the solemnity of her Conception. For be she the first-born inasmuch as she was predestined in the Divine decrees, together with the Son, before all creatures, or be she the first-born of grace as the predestined Mother of the Redeemer, after the prevision of sin, according to the Thomists; nevertheless all agree in calling her the first-born of God. This being the case, it was quite becoming that Mary should never have been the slave of Lucifer, but only and always possessed by her Creator; and this she in reality was, as we are assured by herself: "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of His ways" (Prov. 8:22). Hence Denis of Alexandria rightly calls Mary "the one and only daughter of life". She is the one and only daughter of life, in contradistinction to others who, being born in sin, are daughters of death.


Besides this, it was quite becoming that the Eternal Father should create her in His grace, since He destined her to be the repairer of the lost world, and the mediatress of peace between men and God; and, as such, she is looked upon and spoken of by the Holy Fathers, and in particular by St. John Damascene, who thus addresses her: "O Blessed Virgin, thou wast born that thou mightest minister to the salvation of the whole world". For this reason St. Bernard says, "that Noah's ark was a type of Mary; for as, by its means, men were preserved from the deluge, so are we all saved by Mary from the shipwreck of sin: but with the difference, that in the ark few were saved, and by Mary the whole human race was rescued from death". Therefore, in a sermon of St. Athanasius, she is called "the new Eve, and the Mother of life"; and not without reason, for the first was the Mother of death, but the most Blessed Virgin was the Mother of true life.


St. Augustine says, "that the Son of God never made Himself a more worthy dwelling than Mary, who was never possessed by the enemy, or despoiled of her ornaments". On the other hand, St. Cyril of Alexandria asks, "Who ever heard of an architect who built himself a temple, and yielded up the first possession of it to his greatest enemy?" Yes, says St. Methodius, speaking on the same subject, that Lord Who commanded us to honour our parents would not do otherwise, when He became man, than observe it, by giving His Mother every grace and honour: "He Who said, Honour thy father and thy mother, that He might observe His Own decree, gave all grace and honour to His Mother".