Week 4, Day 1
Hail Holy Queen
Hail Holy Queen,
Mother of mercy,
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope.
To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping
In this valley of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
Thine eyes of mercy towards us.
And after this, our exile,
Show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement O loving O sweet Virgin Mary.
V. Pray for us O holy mother of God.
(This line is read by one person when the Hail Holy Queen is being recited in a group setting.)
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
(This line is the response given by the group.)
Mary, Gate of Heaven
Scripture Reading from Sirach 24:9-22 – Before all ages, He created me.
Who wrote the book of Sirach? The book of Sirach is a letter written by a father to his son, to prepare him for manhood. It is mostly advice taken from the book of Proverbs. Sirach is one of the seven books not included in most Protestant Bibles.
Citizens of Heaven
The Blessed Virgin’s life is mostly hidden from us in sacred scripture: her birth is not recorded, neither is her death. The Bible provides only a few glimpses: the Annunciation; the Visitation; the wedding feast at Cana; the finding in the Temple; a brief encounter when Jesus was preaching; during Christ’s Passion; and at Pentecost. Do you think this silence is surprising? Mary’s is not a story recorded in a history book, but one we will all know and appreciate in Heaven.
Do you speak more than you listen? What are some good times to be quiet and listen rather than speak?
Mary became the Mother of God. God, the creator of the universe, chose to live inside one of His creatures for nine months. He chose to be a baby and have one of His creatures feed Him and change His diapers. No one can fully explain or understand why God would choose to do this. What God did in Mary’s life is a mystery. Only by faith can we understand and come to know the depth of Mary’s life through God’s eyes. A history book could never fully explain what she lived and did. She was the Mother of God – God was her child, Jesus!
Do you know anyone who has a baby? Imagine yourself taking care of baby Jesus. How would that make you feel? It would be quite an honor and privilege to serve God in that way. This is what Mary and Joseph were called to do.
After Pentecost, we hear nothing more about Mary, but as any parent would understand, especially those who have buried a child, the longing in her heart to see her son once again would have been immense. She lived out the rest of her days desiring to be reunited with her Son in Heaven. We can be sure she prayed daily, speaking with God, the Father; with her spouse, the Holy Spirit; and with her Son, Jesus. She encouraged the early Church and St. John; and her yearning for God and for Heaven was an inspiration to all who met her.
Daily Pious Practice Reminder
- This week strive to let the Light of Christ shine in our world by evangelizing others.
Holy God, our Father, all of our hope is in you. The Church calls the Virgin Mary “Alma Mater” – “Mother most kind.” Help us to live in this world while not being of this world. Help us keep our gaze fixed upon the cross of Christ. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Reflection based on Totus Tuus: A Contemplative Approach to Total Consecration to Mary, edited by Fr. Nathan Cromly.