The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

Thursday, January 1, AD 2015

You have heard, O Virgin, that you will conceive and bear a son; you have heard that it will not be by man but by the Holy Spirit. The angel awaits an answer; it is time for him to return to God who sent him. We too are waiting, O Lady, for your word of compassion; the sentence of condemnation weighs heavily upon us.

The price of our salvation is offered to you. We shall be set free at once if you consent. In the eternal Word of God we all came to be, and behold, we die. In your brief response we are to be remade in order to be recalled to life.

Tearful Adam with his sorrowing family begs this of you, O loving Virgin, in their exile from Paradise. Abraham begs it, David begs it. All the other holy patriarchs, your ancestors, ask it of you, as they dwell in the country of the shadow of death. This is what the whole earth waits for, prostrate at your feet. It is right in doing so, for on your word depends comfort for the wretched, ransom for the captive, freedom for the condemned, indeed, salvation for all the sons of Adam, the whole of your race.

Answer quickly, O Virgin. Reply in haste to the angel, or rather through the angel to the Lord. Answer with a word, receive the Word of God. Speak your own word, conceive the divine Word. Breathe a passing word, embrace the eternal Word.

Why do you delay, why are you afraid? Believe, give praise, and receive. Let humility be bold, let modesty be confident. This is no time for virginal simplicity to forget prudence. In this matter alone, O prudent Virgin, do not fear to be presumptuous. Though modest silence is pleasing, dutiful speech is now more necessary. Open your heart to faith, O blessed Virgin, your lips to praise, your womb to the Creator. See, the desired of all nations is at your door, knocking to enter. If he should pass by because of your delay, in sorrow you would begin to seek him afresh, the One whom your soul loves. Arise, hasten, open. Arise in faith, hasten in devotion, open in praise and thanksgiving. Behold the handmaid of the Lord, she says, be it done to me according to your word.

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

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2 Responses to The Whole World Awaits Mary’s Reply

  • As an unfortunate result of the institution of the Missal of Blessed Paul VI, it is a rare occurrence when the Gospel readings coincide between the Extraordinary Form and the Ordinary Form. It was not enough to suppress the EF. The calendar that went with it was suppressed as well. January 1 is the Circumcision of Jesus.

    The best two remaining ways to reform the OF are to adopt the OF to the EF calendar for feasts, solemnities and observances and to use the order of the EF readings for the OF. Having said that, the EF calendar needs updated for the saints canonized after 1962.

  • The Whole World waits Mary’s Reply….and all of Heaven waits for your reply.

    Marys fiat is a foreshadowing of disciples to come. They too must say yes and bring Christ into the hearts of souls unaware of Truth.

    Heaven is waiting.

Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary

Wednesday, January 1, AD 2014

And again the name, ‘Mary’ befits her, which is (also) interpreted as ‘Star of the Sea,’ for as by this star seafarers are directed to port, so are Christians guided to glory by Mary.

Saint Thomas Aquinas


There are three things contained in this (angelic) salutation. The first part comes from the Angel, Gabriel, namely, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.” The second part comes from Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, namely, “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb.” The Church adds the third part, to wit, “Mary,” for the Angel did not say, “Hail, Mary,” but rather, “Hail, full of grace.” Still, this name ‘Mary,’ according to its meaning, befits the Angel’s words, as we shall see.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee”

With respect to the first part, consider that in ancient times it was exceedingly great for an Angel to appear to men, or, that men might offer them reverence was held to be a great honor. Hence, to the honor of Abraham it is written that he received angelic guests and showed them reverence. That an Angel reverence a man, however, was never heard of until the Angel reverently greeted the Blessed Virgin, saying, “Hail.”

That in ancient times the Angel did not reverence man, but rather man reverenced the Angel comes from the fact that the Angel is greater, and greater with respect to three things. First, with respect to dignity, since the Angel is a spiritual nature: “You make your Angels to be spirits, etc.” (Ps. 103,4). Man, indeed, is corruptible by nature, for which reason Abraham said: “I am speaking to the Lord, I, who am but dust and ashes” (Gen 18,27). Second, with respect to their familiarity with GOD, for the Angel belongs to the household of GOD (‘familiaris’) inasmuch as he assists Him. “A thousand times a thousand minister to Him, and ten thousand myriads assist Him.” (Dan 7,10). Man, though, is like a stranger, set off from GOD by sin: “I withdrew in flight” (Ps 54,8). Therefore, it was fitting that man should reverence the Angel as one on close and familiar terms with the king (‘propinquum and familiarem regis’!). Third, the Angel took preeminence on account of the plenitude of the splendor of divine grace. The Angels, namely, participate in the light of divine grace itself in the very highest degree. “Is there any number to His armies upon whom His light does not arise?” (Job 25,3). And this is why they always appear with light. But men, even though they participate somewhat in the light of grace, do so only slightly and in obscurity.

Consequently, it was unfitting that men be shown reverence until someone should be found in this (human) nature who exceeds the angels in these three points. And this was the Blessed Virgin. In order to indicate that she exceeded them in these three points the Angel wished to offer her reverence, saying “Hail.”

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8 Responses to Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Hail Mary

  • When we bless ourselves, and every person and the world around us, we give testimony to what already is. One Hail Mary

  • It is amazing to me that many people who refer to themselves as Bible Christians (I encountered an unpleasant one on the Internet yesterday) disregard this entire section of St. Luke’s Gospel. Nobody else in Scripture is referred to as Maria is by the angel St. Gabriel. “Hail, full of grace. The Lord is with you.” Fr. Pablo Straub put it very well. He stated, “Fullness of grace is total absence of sin.”

    It is a shame that Marian devotion has declined in the days after the Second Vatican Council. I remember seeing a picture on the Internet of the cathedral in St Louis completely filled for a novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help during WWII.

    Happy New Year to you and your family, Mr. McClarey. This item is well worth repeating on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25.

  • “Happy New Year to you and your family, Mr. McClarey. This item is well worth repeating on the Solemnity of the Annunciation on March 25.”

    Same to you and your family PF! I will do so. The reflections of the Angelic Doctor on the Hail Mary is definitely a keeper. A sign of Catholic orthodoxy has ever been a fervent devotion to the Mother of God.

  • I might be misreading this, but it seems as if Aquinas didn’t realize that it was still very rare for angels to appear to men. Could be a little insight into the man.

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  • “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.” I think I will stand with St Thomas A.’s interpretation (“full of grace”) over and against the a-traditional a-scriptural Raymond A. Brown-inspired translation in the “New” NAB, “Hail, most highly favored one.”

  • Lot of speculations in this article.

Saint Athanasius on Mary, Mother of God

Tuesday, January 1, AD 2013


O noble Virgin, truly you are greater than any other greatness. For who is your equal in greatness, O dwelling place of God the Word? To whom among all creatures shall I compare you, O Virgin? You are greater than them all. O Ark of the New] Covenant, clothed with purity instead of gold! You are the Ark in which is found the golden vessel containing the true manna, that is, the flesh in which divinity resides. Should I compare you to the fertile earth and its fruits? You surpass them, for it is written: “The earth is my foostool”. But you carry within you the feet, the head, and the entire body of the perfect God.
If I say that heaven is exalted, yet it does not equal you, for it is writen: “Heaven is My throne”, while you are God’s place of repose. If I say that the angels and archangels are great — but you are greater than them all, for the angels and the archangels serve with trembling the One Who dwells in your womb, and they dare not speak in His presence, while you speak to Him freely.
If we say that the cherubim are great, you are greater than they, for the cherubim carry the throne, while you hold God in your hands. If we say that the serphim are great, you are greater than them all, for the seraphim cover their faces with their wings, unable to look upon the perfect glory, while you not only gaze upon His face but caress it and offer your breasts to His holy mouth.

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5 Responses to Saint Athanasius on Mary, Mother of God

  • Delicious And Sweet these words of wonderment.

    The surest and most pleasing way to Jesus’ Sacred Heart is by the pure hand of Our Mother Mary. The Saints of old have it right!
    To Jesus through Mary. Humility and proper respect for Lady Poverty are footpaths leading to the crib most Holy. Immaculata teach us your ways to Holiness.

  • I think this is the full lyrics to the song, but I have seen other Latin versions:

    O Sanctissima O Piissima
    Dulcis Virgo Maria
    Mater amta intemerata
    Ora ora pro nobis

    Ora ora
    Ora pro nobis

    Virgo respice, Mater adspice
    Audi nos, O Maria!
    Sicut lilium inter spinas
    Sic Maria inter filias

    Jubilate, Cherubim,
    Exsultate, Seraphim!
    Consonante perpetim,
    Salve, salve Regina!

    O Sanctissima, O Piisima
    Dulcis Virgo Maria

    Ora, ora, ora Pro Nobis

    Sancta Maria, sancta Maria Mater Dei
    Sancta Maria, sancta Maria Mater Dei

    Jubilate, Cherubim,
    Exsultate, Seraphim!
    Consonante perpetim,
    Salve, salve Regina!

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  • Father McCartney’s sermon covered the Motherhood of Mary. She is not only Mother of God and of the Church. She is my Mother. Our Lord on His Holy Cross gave Her to St. John and St. John to Her, and through St. John Motherhood of the Church and to each of us.

    For a few years, each day I prayerfully read the “Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary” also known as the “Litany of Loreto.”

    I have it on a prayer card my Grandmother (RIP) gave me many years ago. In her lovely handwriting she wrote my name on it.

    The closing prayer says, “Father, you gave the human race salvation through the motherhood of the Virgin Mary. May we experience the help of her prayers in our lives, for through her we received the very source of life, Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

    I am compelled to report yet another (utterly unmerited) miraculous interevention by my Holy Mother in Heaven. Her intercession brought my wife and I through a dangerous traffic incident. That we were not injured and the car was unscathed can only be explained by the workings of Divine Assistance. The special intention of this day’s Rosary must be thanksgiving for this and all blessings.

    “Therefore, I fly to You O Virgin of Virgins, my Mother. […] before You I stand sinful and sorrowful.”

  • Our Lord gave us three wonderful gifts.
    He gave us Himself in the Eucharist
    He gave us His bride – the Church
    And He gave us His Mother to be our Mother.