“Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.”
Pope Francis has chosen December 8th, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, as the opening of the Holy Jubilee Year of Mercy, “because of its rich meaning.” “After the sin of Adam and Eve, God did not wish to leave humanity alone in the throes of evil. So he turned his gaze to Mary, holy and immaculate in love (cf. Eph 1:4), choosing her to be the Mother of man’s Redeemer. When faced with the gravity of sin, God responds with the fullness of mercy.” Pope Francis (Face of Mercy)
Mary was “Blessed in Christ with every spiritual blessing,” (cf. Eph 1:3) chosen by God from all eternity to be the Mother of the Redeemer. It is she who leads us to Jesus, so that we may contemplate, together with her, the Face of Mercy. As the Immaculate Conception, Mary bears in herself the most perfect reflection of the face of God. Pope St. John Paul II wrote, “The Blessed Virgin saw shining upon her, as no other creature, the face of the Father, rich in grace and mercy.”
As the Jubilee Year of Mercy begins, let us fix our gaze on Mary rather than on the profane things of the world. We keep Mary before our eyes in order to contemplate in her everything that is good and true and beautiful. “She is the proclamation of a merciful God who does not surrender to the sin of his children,” Pope St. John Paul II tells us “in Mary shines forth God’s sublime and surprising tenderness for the entire human race. In her, humanity regains its former beauty and the divine plan is revealed to be stronger than evil…” In Mary “the Creator has kept the original beauty of creation uncontaminated” so that in the Immaculate Conception, “the Father’s original, wondrous plan of love was reestablished in an even more wondrous way.”
A Little Litany by G.K.Chesterton
When God turned back eternity and was young,
Ancient of Days, grown little for your mirth
(As under the low arch the land is bright)
Peered through you, gate of heaven – and saw the earth.
Or shutting out his shining skies awhile
Built you about him for a house of gold
To see in pictured walls his storied world
Return upon him as a tale is told.
Or found his mirror there; the only glass
That would not break with that unbearable light
Till in a corner of the high dark house
God looked on God, as ghosts meet in the night.
Star of his morning; that unfallen star
In the strange starry overturn of space
When earth and sky changed places for an hour
And heaven looked upwards in a human face.
Or young on your strong knees and lifted up
Wisdom cried out, whose voice is in the street,
And more than twilight of twiformed cherubim
Made of his throne indeed a mercy-seat.
Or risen from play at your pale raiment’s hem
God, grown adventurous from all time’s repose,
Of your tall body climbed the ivory tower
And kissed upon your mouth the mystic rose.