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The Eve of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary 2017 ; Mary is "Deserving of All Praise"

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There is no shortage of Saints who can confirm for us at least somewhere in their writings that Mary is deserving of all praise. But I wasn't looking in any particular Saint's work(s) when I felt moved to write just a little bit about our Blessed Mother  being deserving of all praise. Actually, I was having a very difficult time trying to prepare the music and practice singing for tomorrow morning's Mass of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Father V. has been regularly coming to me to specifically ask if I could animate the singing elements of the Mass on feasts and memorials of Our Blessed Mother.

It's a lot of work. I'm way out of practice on the guitar, but the most difficult, is proving to be trying to get the rusty old singing voice back into shape. When it comes to singing, the body is an instrument. If we don't give it the proper maintenance, it doesn't perform well. The guitar is also an instrument, and in my limited opinion, a badly or noisily played guitar during Mass, can destroy the spirit of the Liturgy and the sense of holiness which should accompany every Mass, and/or the air of reverence which is due to our Lord, more quickly than a morning slumber can be destroyed by a bugle blasting in the ear of the one sleeping. 
doh
But a guitar is still easier to control than a poorly maintained voice - We can't go down to the music store and buy a new set of vocal cords, or a new set of lungs. No
 
At any rate, working with one ear (the other not functioning presently due to impacted ear wax) , I was figuring out a chord progression for the Gospel Acclamation for tomorrow's Mass, when the words "Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise" struck a chord deep within me

The entire Gospel Acclamation for tomorrow morning's Mass goes this way:

Alleluia. Alleluia.
Blessed are you O holy Virgin Mary, deserving of all praise;
from you rose the sun of justice, Christ the Lord.
Alleluia.

Our Blessed Mother never receives praise by herself, or because of herself. In her Immaculate Heart the Most Holy Trinity is forever glorified in a way which, in some respects, surpasses our own understanding. Some people still get all wrapped around the axle thinking that we are "worshiping" Mary if we praise her. Father John Hardon S.J., actually rates "praise" less formally than "veneration" ; and we do venerate the Saints, but again, God is always glorified in this veneration. Here are Father Hardon's definitions of Praise,Worship, Veneration :


PRAISE. To speak well of someone's good qualities or deeds. It implies awareness of someone's excellence, internal approval, and manifesting approbation of that which is praised. Strictly speaking, praise refers to activity, especially holiness in God and virtuous conduct in people. But the term is also applied to the character or nature of the one whose actions are praiseworthy.



WORSHIP.  Acknowledgment of another's worth, dignity, or superior position. In religion, worship is given either to God, and then it is adoration, or to the angels and saints, and it is called veneration. Divine worship actually includes three principal acts, namely adoration (or the recognition of God's infinite perfection), prayer or the asking for divine help, and sacrifice or the offering of something precious to God. Worship as veneration also has three principal forms, whereby the angels and saints are honored for their sanctity, asked to intercede before the divine Majesty, and imitated in their love and service of God. (Etym. Old English weorthscipe, honor, dignity, reverence: weorth, worth +ship.)

VENERATION OF SAINTS. Honor paid to the saints who, by their intercession and example and in their possession of God, minister to human sanctification, helping the faithful grow in Christian virtue. Venerating the saints does not detract from the glory given to God, since whatever good they possess is a gift from his bounty. They reflect the divine perfections, and their supernatural qualities result from the graces Christ merited for them by the Cross. In the language of the Church’s liturgy, the saints are venerated as sanctuaries of the Trinity, as adopted children of the Father, brethren of Christ, faithful members of his Mystical Body, and temples of the Holy Spirit.



In The Secret of the Rosary, St Louis de Montfort writes in the Introductory Prayer of his method for reciting the Holy Rosary:


". . .  I unite myself with Thee, my Jesus, in order to praise Thy Holy Mother worthily and to praise Thee in her and by her."

There is no danger of "worshiping" the Blessed Virgin Mary with the worship which is due to God alone.. In Mary, at the foot of the Cross, Jesus gave us a Mother and an intercessor par excellence - not a God. And She remains the surest, most secure way to the Heart of Christ.


The "sun of justice" mentioned in the Gospel Acclamation , is also mentioned in the book of Malachi (some bibles divide the book of Malachi into 4 Chapters . . . others, 3 Chapters - we are quoting the NAB version which divides Malachi into 3 chapters ) :


Malachi 3:20  
"But for you who fear my name, there will arise the sun of justice with its healing rays; And you will gambol like calves out of the stall."




Some versions render this passage "healing wings"- as opposed to "healing rays." In the healing rays, one might easily be reminded of the image of the Divine Mercy. However the principal theme of the sun of justice, is "healing."  Jesus came to call and heal sinners, to cure the sick and the lame - both physically and spiritually. And our Blessed healing Lord (the sun of justice) "rose" from the Virgin Mary.


So we really should honor Mary. When we honor Mary, we honor Jesus. It's that simple. And one of the most powerful ways of honoring Mary, is to pray the Holy Rosary. 


Here, once more, a final quote from St. Louis de Montfort's Secret of The Rosary , illustrating the power of one Hail Mary - even one which is said quickly and without great fervor:



Blessed Alan says that a nun who had always had a great devotion to the Holy Rosary appeared after death to one of her sisters in religion and said to her: "If I were allowed to go back into my body, to have the chance of saying just one single Hail Mary - even if I said it quickly and without great fervor - I would gladly go through the sufferings that I had during my last illness all over again, in order to gain the merit of this prayer." (Blessed Alan de la Roche, De Dignitate Psalterii, Chapter LXIX) This is all the more compelling because she had been bedridden and had suffered agonizing pains for several years before she died.






http://www.therealpresence.org/dictionary/adict.htm



http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary50.htm


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    " . . . you should know that there is present with you the angel whom God has appointed for each man . . . This angel, who is sleepless and cannot be deceived, is always present with you; he sees all things and is not hindered by darkness. You should know, too, that with him is God " . . .   - St. Anthony the Great   

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