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SpiritualDirection.com / Catholic Spiritual Direction

Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God

January 1, 2014 by  
Filed under Liz Estler, Mary, Praying Through Art, Solemnity

“At the beginning, at the center of the event of the Incarnation stands Mary, the perfect handmaid, who consents to become physically and spiritually the mother of her Son as well as of his work” (The Office of Peter and the Structure of the Church, Hans Urs Von Balthasar, 2007, Ignatius Press, San Francisco). It is no surprise, then, that our Blessed Mother, the New Eve, is so prominently featured in the Christmas story.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI wrote that “Mary becomes a mother through her ‘yes.' The Church Fathers sometimes expressed this by saying that Mary conceived through her ear–that is to say: through her hearing. Through her obedience, the Word entered into her and became fruitful in her. In this connection, the Fathers developed the idea of God's birth in us through faith and baptism, in which the Lógos comes to us ever anew, making us God's children” (Jesus of Nazareth-The Infancy Narratives, 2012, Libreria Editrice Vaticana). Let us pray that through Mary's intercession, Christ may be born in our hearts again and that we may truly be God's children.

“Father, source of light in every age, the virgin conceived and bore your Son who is called Wonderful God, Prince of Peace. May her prayer, the gift of a mother's love, be your people's joy through all ages. May her response, born of a humble heart, draw your Spirit to rest on your people. Grant this through Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”

(from Morning Prayer, Liturgy of the Hours, January 1)

Art: Detail of a stained glass window of the Holy Family, depicting Madonna and child (right part of the window), Andreas F. Borchert Photo, Location=Church of the Immaculate Conception, Ballymote, County Sligo, Ireland, 23 September 2010, CC, Wikimedia Commons.

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About Liz Estler

Editor, SpiritualDirection.com. Liz holds a Master of Arts in Ministry Degree (St. John's Seminary, Brighton, Massachusetts), Liturgy Certificate (Boston Archdiocese), and a BS degree in Biology and Spanish (Nebraska Wesleyan University - Lincoln). She has served as hospital chaplain associate, sacristan, translator and in other parish ministries. She was a regular columnist for a military newspaper in Europe and has been published in a professional journal. She once waded in the Trevi Fountain!

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  • Mary G

    Thank you, Liz. I was struck by the idea of conception through the ear, through hearing! Looking for the word “hear” in my concordance, this was the first entry I laid my eyes on: ( and it fits perfectly in this reflection!)

    Hear my voice in your love, O LORD; by your edict give me life.
    Ps 119;149

    Something to meditate on in the new year! A resolution!

    Happy, Holy New Year to yo!
    M

    • LizEst

      Nice tie-in Mgwps63. Thanks for that. A blessed and happy new year to you and your loved ones as well. God bless you!

  • I LOVE this image of Mary, Liz. Nicely chosen. 🙂

    • LizEst

      Thanks, Diana. All the glory to the Lord.

  • Liz, this is a beautiful write. I didn’t get to read it until just now and it touched me in a special way today. Love our Lady!! May God bless you and yours this year!

    • LizEst

      Thanks Donna Sue. You are most kind. All the glory to the Lord…and may He bless you and your loved ones this year as well.

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