Happy New Year!
I am not feeling too well these few days, and so I “cheated” on my sermons today. I used my BC Catholic newspaper article for January 4 for my sermons today. But during the sermons, I inserted a good number stories not found on the article.
Let’s entrust this new year to the loving care of Our Lady.
Here is my article for the BC Catholic (January 4):
Hail Mary, full of grace
We have just celebrated the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God on January 1. Catholics the world over have devotion to Mary. According to spiritual writer, Father Adolphe Tanquerey, the word devotion means devotedness and that means gift of self. We give ourselves to Our Lady and, through her, to God. Tanquerey teaches us to give her our intellect, will, heart, and whole being.
We honour Our Lady with our intellect by profoundly revering her. The dignity of the Mother of God is the foundation of veneration for Mary. When we pray the Hail Mary, we address her, “Holy Mary, Mother of God.”
In these words, we express our firm faith in the doctrine of the Catholic Church that she is truly the Mother of God. Mary brought forth Jesus Christ, who, in virtue of the hypostatic union, is true God and true man. St. Alphonsus urged, “May the two names so sweet and so powerful, of Jesus and Mary, be always in our hearts and on our lips.”
We give our will to Mary by an absolute confidence in her. This confidence is founded on two facts: the power and the goodness of Mary.
As Mother of God, she is powerful over the heart of her divine Son. As our Mother, she has deep affection for us, and she is devoted to our well-being. In fact, the foundations of our devotion to Mary are her titles of Mother of God and Mother of men.
Our confidence to Our Lady should be firm and universal. It must be firm in spite of our sins and miseries. We call Our Lady “Refuge of Sinners” and “Comforter of the Afflicted.” Our confidence must be universal. According to Tanquerey, confidence to Mary “must extend to all the graces we need for conversion, for spiritual growth, for final perseverance, for preservation amidst dangers, trials and difficulties.”
The faithful invoke Our Lady with the titles “Mother of Perpetual Help” and “Mother of Divine Grace,” St. Alphonsus said, “Such is the compassion, such is the love which Mary bears us, that she is never tired of praying for us.”
We use our heart to honour Mary by the gift of a tender and childlike love. Tanquerey points out that our love for Mary should be complacent, benevolent, and filial.
Complacency is delighting in her greatness, virtues, and privileges.
Benevolence is the sincere desire she be better known and better loved.
Filialness is tenderness without reserve.
St. Alphonsus exhorted, “After the love which we owe Jesus Christ, we must give the chief place in our heart to the love of His Mother Mary.”
We honour Mary with our whole being by copying, as much as humanly possible, all her virtues. St. Louis de Montfort teaches us to perform all our actions “through Mary, with Mary, and in Mary.” Through her intercession, we ask the grace to imitate her. We consider her as a model and a helper.
We should ask ourselves, ‘what would Mary do in this situation?’ We should ask her to help us to do the right thing. In her, we do things with dependence on Our Lady. We take her point of view and enter her plans, doing things as she did them for God's glory and honor. St. Alphonsus exclaimed, “Blessed are the actions enclosed between two Hail Mary’s.”
Let us enter this New Year under the maternal care of Our Lady, and resolve to practice devotion to her each day. St. Alphonsus promised, “If you persevere until death in true devotion to Mary, your salvation is certain.”
當我們竭能效法聖母和她的德行, 就是以整個人來敬禮聖母。聖類斯.蒙福Louis de Montfort指出：我們的操守要「藉着聖母、偕同聖母、在聖母內」。「藉着聖母」：藉聖母的轉禱，得賞效法她所需的聖寵；「偕同聖母」：以聖母為我們的楷模與扶祐者；要常撫心自問『聖母在這情况下會如何處理？』祈求她幫助我們的行為，是無可指責；「在聖母內」：在任何事情上依賴聖母，尋求她的觀點和意願，全以光榮天主、敬愛天主為目的。