September 15th, 2019
24th Sunday in Ordinary Time
“…because your brother was dead and has come to life again, he was lost and has been found.”
The Most Holy Name of Mary
This past Thursday was the memorial of the Most Holy Name of Mary. The reflection in the Magnificat devotional book gave the following reflection about this day:
“Saint Louis de Montfort wrote that ‘the salvation of each individual is bound up with the Hail Mary.’ Why? Because it was when the archangel greeted Mary that our Savior became flesh in her womb. To be Christian is to carry on that Annunciation unceasingly by repeating the Hail Mary. This prayer, which names the holy name of the Mother of God, ‘brought to a dry and barren world the Fruit of Life. It will cause the Word of God to take root in the soul and bring forth Jesus.’ The holy name of Mary bears such power because of the unique bond between Mother and Son. ‘When God sent his Son born of a woman, he instituted a once and for all order of salvation in which the union of Mother and Child stands at the center’ (R. Cessario). To accept the divine privilege of speaking the name of Mary is to participate in that saving union.”
There is a beautiful prayer to Mary called the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (also known as the Litany of Loretto). Let me quote from the EWTN website:
“This litany to the Blessed Virgin Mary was composed during the Middle Ages. The place of honor it now holds in the life of the Church is due to its faithful use at the shrine of the Holy House at Loreto. It was definitely approved by Sixtus V in 1587, and all other Marian litanies were suppressed, at least for public use. Its titles and invocations set before us Mary’s exalted privileges, her holiness of life, her amiability and power, her motherly spirit and queenly majesty.”
Each of the titles of Mary in this litany has an important meaning which sheds light on Mary’s role in the life of Christ, her role in our lives, and her dignity and honor received from God.
Since there isn’t space here to print the entire litany, I have included it on the back of today’s advertiser page in the bulletin.
And since we are discussing the name of Mary, did you know that the Church teaches us that we should bow at the names of Jesus and Mary when they are spoken during the sacred liturgy?
“A bow of the head is made when the three Divine Persons are named together and at the names of Jesus, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of the Saint in whose honor Mass is being celebrated.” (GIRM, 275)
Perhaps you have noticed that during Mass, when I say the names of Jesus or Mary, I make a slight bow of my head. I encourage all of you to make this a habit as well. It takes a while to remember to bow the head every time, but the more you do it, the more it becomes second nature, and over time you find yourself naturally bowing your head whenever you hear the names of Jesus and Mary.
You are in my daily prayers.
God bless you,