Spiritual crusade – Day 8

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This is day 8 of Voice of the Family’s spiritual crusade. 

Intention: to obtain from God, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, that Ireland may be entirely delivered from the evil of abortion and that the bishops may be granted the grace to preach the gospel fearlessly and to defend unborn children with all their strength.

Prayer: Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary

Daily Spiritual Reflection

“Blessed art thou amongst women”

“The Blessed Virgin exceeds the angels in purity. She is not only pure, but she obtains purity for others. She is purity itself, wholly lacking in every guilt of sin, for she never incurred either mortal or venial sin. So, too, she was free from the penalties of sin. Sinful man, on the contrary, incurs a threefold curse on account of sin.

“The first fell upon woman who conceives in corruption, bears her child with difficulty, and brings it forth in pain. The Blessed Virgin was wholly free from this, since she conceived without corruption, bore her Child in comfort, and brought Him forth in joy: ‘It shall bud forth and blossom, and shall rejoice with joy and praise’ [Is 35:2].

“The second penalty was inflicted upon man in that he shall earn his bread by the sweat of his brow. The Blessed Virgin was also immune from this because, as the Apostle says, virgins are free from the cares of this world and are occupied wholly with the things of the Lord [1 Cor 7:34].

“The third curse is common both to man and woman in that both shall one day return to dust. The Blessed Virgin was spared this penalty, for her body was raised up into heaven, and so we believe that after her death she was revived and transported into heaven: ‘Arise, O Lord, into your resting place, Thou and the ark which Thou hast sanctified’ [Ps 131:8].

“Because the Blessed Virgin was immune from these punishments, she is ‘blessed among women.’ Moreover, she alone escaped the curse of sin, brought forth the Source of blessing, and opened the gate of heaven. It is surely fitting that her name is ‘Mary,’ which is akin to the Star of the Sea (“Maria — maris stella”), for just as sailors are directed to port by the star of the sea, so also Christians are by Mary guided to glory.”

– St Thomas Aquinas, Exposition on the Angelic Salutation