Godzdogz

Godzdogz

The blog of the Dominican student brothers at Blackfriars, Oxford.

Built on the four pillars of our Dominican life – preaching, prayer, study, and community – Godzdogz offers many resources for exploring the Catholic Faith today.
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Litany of Loreto - Health of the Sick

Wednesday, March 02, 2011
St. Simon Stock call Mary "the medicine of sinners" but is it all a bit too much to call Mary "Health of the Sick"? Is this just an example of the overeager 'Marian worship' that the Catholic Church is often accused of? This doubt in the validity of the title brings St. Bonaventure's first Marian maxim to mind: One should carefully beware of decreasing, even in the slightest, the honor that is due to Mary. Rather than being an example of medieval-Marian-mania, this title has its roots in the early Church. St. Ephrem, writing in the fourth century, calls Mary "health itself ... Robust health for those who have recourse in her". Read more

Litany of Loreto - Morning Star

Tuesday, March 01, 2011
From ancient times we have looked in wonder upon the stars and other ‘heavenly bodies’, and used them, fruitfully, to guide us. In a world of growth and decay, the heavens seem to be enduring and unchanging, celestial constants suspended above an ever-changing world. Against the dark sky of night they shine bright and hold their steady, unchanging course. It is little wonder then, that in our awe and fascination for such things, and in our knowledge of their usefulness in safely guiding us, that we would employ their titles analogously to highlight the enduring qualities of Our Lady and Our Blessed Lord.

The Morning Star has always been a sign of the coming day. With it we know that the shades of night are soon to vanish; as such it is the herald of the coming day when we will once again feel the warmth of the sun and be able to see our way more clearly. Our Lady, as the Morning Star, goes ahead of Christ to announce the coming of His Light. Her loving purpose is to prepare the way for Our Lord and reflect His glory: “I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Rev 22:16). In reflecting the glory of the Lord, the title Morning Star, is truly apposite for this ‘star’ is not really a star at all, but the planet Venus. As such, it shines not of itself but reflects he brightness of the sun, just as Mary reflects the brightness and glory of Our Lord.

Our Lady then, as the Morning Star, precedes the Son whose radiance she reflects and by her presence she announces His coming. It is thus fitting to reflect upon just how Mary reflects this glory so that we can try to emulate her as a pattern of holiness. We should always be mindful of her presence in showing us the way to the Lord and let ourselves be so guided by her to Him. Ad Iesum per Mariam.
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