Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 13: Mary Hidden in Advent-Ruth

Summer, or Ruth and Boaz, Nicholas Poussin, Louvre Museum

Day 11: Ruth

     Read The Jesse Tree, pp. 42-45.  Hang ornament (ear of corn).
     Ruth follows Naomi to the Promised Land and cares for her there.  She meets and marries Boaz, and becomes the ancestor of King David and of Jesus.

     Scripture reference: Ruth 1-4

     Comment:  Ruth loves her mother-in-law Naomi so much that she is willing to travel to a foreign land and remain there with her, comforting her and caring for her.  She is rewarded for her great love by being chosen by God to be the ancestor of the Messiah.  Mary, whose love for God is greater than any other human person's love, is known as a comforter of the afflicted.  She prays for and cares for all who are in distress, remaining with them as she remained with Jesus as He suffered on the Cross.

Related Title:  Mary, Comforter of the Afflicted

Even when the Mother of God lived in this valley of tears, she was inexpressibly loving and merciful toward the afflicted; how much more compassionate is she now since she reigns happily in Heaven! Now she realizes human misery more fully, and therefore manifests her mercy and assistance more generously. She is, indeed, our Mother; and could a mother forget her children? Bonaventure

Excerpt from a Prayer to Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted

Immaculate Virgin Mary,
Mother of God and our most compassionate Mother,
we present ourselves in thy sight in all humility,
and with full confidence
we implore thee for thy maternal patronage.

Thou hast been proclaimed by Holy Church
the Comforter of the Afflicted,
and to thee constant recourse is had
by the sorrowful in their afflictions,
the sick in their maladies,
the dying in their agony,
the poor in their straitened circumstances,
those who stand in all manner of need
in both public and private calamities;
and from thee they all receive consolation and strength.

Our dearest Mother,
turn upon us also,
wretched sinners that we are,
thy merciful eyes,
and graciously accept our humble and confident prayers.
Aid us in all our spiritual and temporal necessities,
deliver us from all evil
and especially from sin,
which is the greatest evil,
and from all danger of falling into it;
obtain for us from thy Son Jesus
every blessing of which thou seest we stand in need
both in soul and body,
and especially the greatest blessing of all,
which is Divine grace.

And I want to add one more lovely quote from Caryll Houselander's book, The Reed of God:
     [Mary] is not wearied with our littleness; her smile comes down to us like a benediction through the sea of flickering candles, and she blesses our wildflowers withering at her feet.  For each of us is "another Christ";  each one, to Mary, is her only child.  It is therefore not tedious to her to hear trifles that we tell her, to look at the bruises that we bring her, and, seeing our wound of sin, to heal it.
For more wonderful quotes from the Fathers of the Church, see this site, from which the above St. Bonaventure quote was excerpted.
For more Advent meditations on the typology of Mary in Old Testament women, visit the Mary Page Advent Calendar.

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