“They have no wine.”
With those words Mary speaks a truth about our lives, a truth that at some point we all experience. There comes a day when the wine gives out. The glass is empty. The party is over. On that day life seems empty and dry. There is no vibrancy or vitality. Nothing is growing or fermenting within us. Our world is colorless and tasteless. The bouquet of life is absent and we are living less than fully alive.
Mary’s words hold before us some some serious questions and wonderings. Where has the wine of our life given out? What relationships have run dry? What parts of us remain empty?
Each one of us could tell a story about the day the wine gave out. Continue reading
“Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”
When I look at the various situations and circumstances of my life, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures, the hopes and the disappointments, the struggles and the accomplishments, I so want to find hidden within them a fulfillment of something spoken to me by the Lord. I don’t think I’m alone in that. I don’t think I am all that different from you or anyone else. I think we all want that, even if we don’t know it. We want to believe.
We want to believe that our life and existence are more than our circumstances. We want to discover a value and meaning that is lasting and not situational. We want to know and experience God is with us. We long for something beyond the circumstances. It’s not about denying or ignoring our circumstances. It’s about believing through the circumstances rather than in the circumstances. It is a different way of believing than what we are used to.
Most of the time we take the facts of a situation, as we see them, and, using reason, come to a conclusion. That’s our usual way of believing. It’s characterized by rational thought, deductive analysis, and scientific thinking. We allow the circumstances of our lives to determine or at least strongly influence what we believe about God, the world, others, and our selves. Continue reading
“You see that Mary did not doubt but believed and therefore obtained the fruit of faith. ‘Blessed … are you who have believed.’ But you also are blessed who have heard and believed. For a soul that has believed has both conceived and bears the Word of God and declares his works. Let the soul of Mary be in each of you, so that it magnifies the Lord. Let the spirit of Mary be in each of you so it rejoices in God. She is the one mother of Christ according to the flesh, yet Christ is the Fruit of all according to faith.”
- St. Ambrose, The Exposition of the Gospel of Luke 2.26
With the Easter season the Regina Caeli is now the Marian anthem following compline. It also replaces the Angelus throughout the Easter season.
O Queen of heaven, be joyful: Alleluia
For he who was born of your body: Alleluia
Has arisen as he promised: Alleluia
Pray for us to the Father: Alleluia
V: Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, Alleluia.
R: For the Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia.
Let us pray.
O God, who by the resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ gave gladness to the world: Grant, we pray, that we, aided by the prayers of the Virgin Mary his mother, may attain to the joys of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Other Marian hymns:
+ Alma Redemptoris Mater
+ Ave Regina Caelorum
+ Salve Regina