Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Her birthday

Today the Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The opening antiphon for today's Office of Readings invites us to
"Come, let us celebrate the birth of the Virgin Mary, let us worship her Son, Christ the Lord."

As I was praying Morning Prayer I was taken with this antiphon.  The best way to celebrate Mary's birth is to assure her of our love and honor her by worshiping her Son.  Perhaps I have written about this in an earlier post but the antiphon reminds me of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, DC.  It is one of my favorite places to visit and to pray.

When you walk through the majestic front door you are confronted by a giant mosaic behind the main altar - an image of Jesus, the Teacher.  Signs of the Blessed Mother are no where in site!  But as you slowly walk down the side aisles you come upon lovely chapels on your left or on your right, dedicated to the Blessed Mother under her various titles.  She is hidden because she wants to draw your attention to her Son.  

Here is a link to the Basilica's web site.  
http://www.nationalshrine.com/site/c.osJRKVPBJnH/b.4719297/k.BF65/Home.htm    You can find pictures of the chapels under "tour".   If you ever get a chance to visit the Basilica (it is on the campus of Catholic University) I would encourage you to do so.  

In the meantime, find ways to celebrate Mary's birth today.  Here is the closing prayer for Morning Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours: 

Lor    Lord God, the day of our salvation dawned when the Blessed Virgin gave birth to your Son. As we celebrate her own nativity, grant us your grace and your peace. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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