Sale on canvas prints! Use code ABCXYZ at checkout for a special discount!
Mother of Holy Hope :
“Be thou then, O thou dear Mother, my atmosphere...”
“...A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must be our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man’s mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.
Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere...”
Gerard Manley Hopkins, SJ (28 July 1844 - 8 June 1889) from his poem
“The Blessed Virgin compared to the air we breathe”
And once again...!
“There was a child named Bernadette
I heard the story long ago
She saw the Queen of Heaven once
And kept the vision in her soul
No one believed what she had seen
No one believed what she heard
But there were sorrows to be healed
And mercy, mercy in this world...”
(21 September 1934 - 7 November 2016)
“Be that as it may, meetings with the Blessed Virgin are so numerous and so well-attested that one must certainly at least admit their objective reality. I say at least, because this does not satisfy the demands of my conscience. In fact, I would not be entirely honest or frank with you, dear Unknown Friend, if I were not to say what is an absolutely sure result (in the inner forum of my consciousness) of more than forty years of endeavour and experience. It is the following:
One meets the Blessed Virgin when one attains a certain intensity of spiritual aspiration, when this aspiration is authentic and pure...just as the experience of having a mother belongs naturally to human family life on earth. It is therefore as natural for the spiritual domain as the fact of having a mother is natural in the domain of one’s terrestrial family. The difference is that on earth one can certainly be motherless, whilst in the realm of the spiritual this can never happen. Therefore, the thesis that I am advancing with one hundred percent conviction is that every Christian Hermeticist who truly seeks authentic spiritual reality will sooner or later meet the Blessed Virgin.”
from the book “Meditations On The Tarot : A Journey into Christian Hermeticism” by Anonymous (translated from the French Edition by Robert Powell 1985)
I have yet to write about this book which was truly a life-changing school for me personally, (sometime I might try) at the same time, unlike the Holy Scriptures, it is not for everyone, and not necessary to read. It’s just one of the almost infinite variety of spiritual schools the Catholic Church offers to people. The late Cistercian, Fr Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O said this,
“It is without doubt the most extraordinary work I have ever read. It has tremendous spiritual depth and insight.”
With that said, Mary seems most often, to pick the most uncomplicated and truly innocent souls to come to. But I have to say, also, at times in our history, some formidably intellectual souls too. In other words, just about everyone !
I read somewhere, maybe it was St Louis de Montfort, that true devotion to Mary began with Jesus. My relationship with Mary began just by watching my Mom set up a May altar with a statue of Mary. Mom did not preach about Mary or try to convince us about this love; just watching the two Mothers together was enough to convince me. You all know the accusations about Catholics worshipping saints etc. I don’t think you can convince or force anyone to see or love Mary, so I don’t try. I just share or offer my love through these words, quotes, and my illustrations and icons. It’s really very simple to me. God is our Father, Jesus is our brother and Saviour, the Holy Spirit is infinitely creative and whispers to you “the secrets of the kingdom, among other things too many to list here, Mary is the Mother of God and our mother, the saints are our sisters and brothers. The beautiful poetic titles given to Mary in the ancient Litany of Loreto are like the titles of Mary in Icons; rich reminders of her many aspects. Let me finish by giving you another favorite quote about Our Mother in her aspect as “Our Lady of Perpetual Help” (feastday 27 June)
“...Mary has such faith in his ultimate belief and faith in his ultimate redemption that she can calmly hold and reassure her son. If God himself can go to Mary for refuge, then anyone should be able to approach her. Her ultimate belief and faith extends to every one of us, no matter how harshly we may judge ourselves. Our Lady of Perpetual help is said to never refuse a request for help, great or trivial. Despite their reticence to invoke her aid, many have reported hearing Mary’s calm voice saying,
‘Why don’t you just ask ?’ “
A most blessed and happy Mother’s Day to all our Mothers - living or those who have passed into God.
May 2020 * Fr Bill McNichols
Mother of Holy Hope 263 by William Hart McNichols