Birthday of Our Lady

Who is she? A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads. Its tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”[a] And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne” (Apocalypse 12).

   “The Most Blessed  T rinity receives and showers honors on the Daugh ter, Mother, and Spouse of God…

And so great is our Lady’s majesty that the Angels exlaim: Who is she?” (4t h Glorious Mystery of Escriva’s “Holy  Rosary”),

The gospel of the liturgical feast is the geneology of Christ commented on by Joseph  Ratzinger: : “What kind of history must it have been  that truly created at last the ‘space,’ the condition, for the incarnation of God! What kind of human beings must they have been who traveled the final stretch of the journey? What integrity and maturity of spirit must have been attained at the point at which this supreme transformation of man and the world could take place? But if we approach the text with these kinds of expectations, we shall find ourselves disappointed. The history of which Jesus becomes a part is a very ordinary history, marked by all the scandals and infamies to be found among human beings,  all the advances and good beginnings, but also all the sinfulness and vileness – an utterly human history.

               “The only four women named in the genealogy are all four of them witnesses to human sinfulness: Among them is Rahab the harlot who delivered Jericho into the hands of the migrating Israelites. Among them, too, is the wife of Uriah, the woman whom David got for himself through adultery and murder. Nor are the males in the geneology in the geneology any different. Neither Abraham nor Isaac nor Jacob is an ideal human being; David certainly is not, nor is Solomon, and finally we meet such abhorrent rulers as Ahaz and Manasseh, whose thrones are sticky with the blood of innocent victims. It is a somber history that leads to Jesus: it is not without its moments of light, its hopes and advances, but on the whole is a history of shabbiness, sin, and failure.

               “We are tempted to ask: Is that the context into which the Son of God could be born? And the scriptures answer: Yes. But all this is a sign for us. It tells us that the incarnation of God does not result from an ascent on the part of the human race but from the descent of God. The ascent of man, the attempt to bring forth God by his own efforts and to attain the status of superman – this attempt failed wretchedly back in Paradise. The person who tries to become God by his own efforts, who highhandedly reaches for the stars, always ends up by destroying himself. Thus the wretched course of Israelite history is a sign for us: a sign that it is not through arrogance and self-exaltation that human beings are delivered, but through humility, self-surrender, and service.           

               “Consequently, too, it may be a very good thing that the supreme religious personalities have lived and live today outside the Old Testament and even outside Christianity entirely. For, in Christianity, the focus is not on great religious figures; Christianity represents rather the dethronement of religious figures. The thing that counts .

in Christianity is obedience, humility in the face of God’s word… because salvation does not come from man’s greatness but from God’s gracious mercy.[1]

So as blogger, let me jump to the large Point of Our Lady. Her “Yes” is the total gift of herself mimicking the Trinitarian divine Persons in their gift to each Other. She is unimpeded to do this since she has no inherited original sin which would have her turned toward herself.  By the unique grace (Divine Love) given to her that empowers her to freely make the gift (she is a free agent, not merely an instrument of the Incarnation), she  enters into the Trinitarian engendering of the Son by the Father. [And so does Joseph by his obedience in taking Mary (pregnant) as his wife. He too obeys the divine command].

               And so can we.  “He who hears the Word of God and does it is my brother and sister and mother.” Christ’s becoming you depends on your acceptance of the vocation to obey in giving yourself  –  to communicate Christ in the world by work and ordinary life.

               So, what is a birthday gift to Our Lady? Our struggle to obey, our failures, and beginnings again. Not quitting.  How to practice it” Pray acts of contrition, over and over during the day: “I advise you while you work, without doing anything strange, to have the custom of filling the day with acts of contrition. Perhaps on some days this is the best gift you can offer our Lady: my mother, for all the wretchedness in my life, tell our Lord ‘Never again… [St. Josemaria] Although it happens again and again.

[1] J. Ratzinger, “Dogma and Truth” Ignatius (

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