Saturday, 12 December 2009

Mary in Advent: the “Royal Way”

The following is from a chapter entitled ‘Advent in the Spirituality of St Bernard’ from Seasons of Celebration by Thomas Merton OCSO (who died 41 years ago last Thursday).

“Mary is the “royal way” by which the King of Glory descended into the world in order to restore fallen mankind to its destined place in heaven…..
If we leave her out of the Sacrament of Advent we shall never fully penetrate its mystery, since we need to go forth to meet our Saviour on the same Road by which he came to us…..
…..This presence of God in Mary is itself the secret of Advent, the heart of the Mystery, for it is in Mary herself that the Son of God gave us the admirable Sacrament of Advent…..”

And this from the Anglican, Dom Bede Frost:

“The difference between our Lady and ourselves lies not so much in her Immaculate Conception as in her response to the word of God at the Annunciation. That which had been done by God in her now comes to the test. She is a free being, conscious, too, of what her acceptance of the message of the angel implies and will mean to her, the betrothed of Joseph under the law. So she chooses without hesitation, and her choice is one which, like our choices, is rooted in, and results from, all her past. Her Fiat is no new word upon her lips, she has learnt no other; for her to hear is to obey. She remembers what we forget, what and whose she is; it is the foundation of her sanctity and ours. True humility reveals itself in worship and obedience; in adoration and service we find at once the lowest and the highest place in both earth and heaven.”
‘The Mystery of Mary’ (Mowbray 1938)

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