May 20, 2009 § 1 Comment
Jeff at Secret Harbor quotes the book of Wisdom to reveal the graces that come with greeting our Mother Mary, a breath of fresh air in Creation as pure and glittering as the dawn, in the morning:
[She] is easily seen by them that love her so that she first shows herself unto them. He that awakes early to see her shall not labor, for he shall find her sitting at his door. To think, therefore, upon her is perfect understanding, and he that watches for her shall quickly be secure. For she goes about seeking such as are worthy of her, and she shows herself to them cheerfully in the ways, and meets them with all providence. ~ Wisdom 6:13-17
I have many cozy memories from back in my homeschooling days of waking up early in the morning to the sound of my mother already moving around downstairs, preparing for the day. She usually had some quiet music playing, and the smells of coffee and freshly baked wheat bread wafted up the stairs and beckoned the children to hurry down for breakfast, followed closely by morning Mass and schoolwork. The experience is one that continues to offer feelings of security, love, and happiness to this very day, when (whether I like it or not) I have to be one of those people who are up and making the coffee.
In the same way, Mary is always up before us her children. Morning is one of the best times, I believe, to talk to her. Invite her into your heart first thing after you wake up (or even before you wake up…I have mumbled many a half-awake Hail Mary as I climbed out of bed). Invite her into your heart so she can prepare it for her Son to dwell there throughout the day. She can “make the coffee”, clean the cobwebs out of the corners, and put fresh flowers on the table of your heart and soul to make it a suitable dwelling place, for Mary best knows what pleases her Divine Son and makes Him feel welcome.
Here is a beautiful morning prayer to Mary Theotokos from an Orthodox prayer book:
I sing thy grace, O Sovereign Lady, and pray to thee to grace my mind. Teach me to step right in the way of Christ’s commandments. Strengthen me to keep awake in song and dispel the dream of despondency. Release me, bound with bonds of sin, O bride of God, by thy prayers. Guard me by night and also by day, and drive away my foes who defeat me. O Bearer of God, the Giver of Life, enliven me who am deadened by passions. O bearer of the unfailing Light, enlighten my blinded soul. O Marvellous Palace of the Master, make me a house of the Divine Spirit. O Mother of the Healer, heal the perennial passions of my soul. Guide me to the path of repentance, for I am tossed in the storm of life. Deliver me from eternal fire, from wicked war and from hell. Expose me guilty as I am of many sins. Renew me, grown old from senseless sins, O most Immaculate One. Present me untouched by all torments, and pray for me to the Lord of all. Grant me to receive the joys of Heaven with all the Saints. O most holy Virgin, hear the voice of thy unprofitable servant. Grant me torrents of tears, O most Pure One, to cleanse my soul from impurity. I offer the groans of my heart to Thee unceasingly. Strive for me, O Sovereign Lady. Accept my service of supplication and offer it to compassionate God. O thou who art above the Angels, raise me above this world’s confusion. O Light-bearing heavenly Tabernacle, direct the grace of the Spirit in me. I raise my hands and lips in thy praise, defiled as they are by impurity, O All-Immaculate One. Deliver me from soul-corrupting evils, and fervently intercede to Christ to Whom is due honour with adoration, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
[The above is scanned from an 18th century Marian prayer book illustrated by an Austrian artist. There are beautiful illustrations for each Marian advocation, and you can see them all here.]