- The Little Office
- 1 Mirror of Justice
- 2 The Saviour
- 3 The First Years
- 4 In The Temple
- 5 Nazareth
- 6 The Annunciation
- 7 The Visitation
- 8 The Magnificat
- 9 The Benedictus
- 10 Christmas
- 11 The Magi
- 12 At The Manger
- 13 Nunc Dimittis
- 14 The Presentation
- 15 Flight into Egypt
- 16 The Holy Innocents
- 17 Life at Nazareth
- 18 Jesus in the Temple
- 19 Jesus at labour
- 20 Death of St. Joseph
- 21 Baptism Of Jesus
- 22 Jesus In The Desert
- 23 Calling The Apostles
- 24 Marriage at Cana
- 25 Silence Of The Gospel
- 26 Start Of The Passion
- 27 Foot Of The Cross
- 28 Jesus Laid In The Tomb
- 29 Resurrection
- 30 Ascension, Pentecost
- 31 The Assumption
The World's First Love by Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. Part 10.
"Behold, from this day forward, all generations will count me blessed!' These are Miraculous words. How can we explain them, except by the Divinity of her Son? How could this country girl, coming from the despised village of Nazareth and wrapped in anonymity by Judean mountains, foresee in future generations how painters like Michelangelo and Raphael; poets, like Sedulius, Cynewulf, Jacopone da Todi, Chaucer, Thompson, and Wordsworth; theologians, like Ephrem, Bonaventure, and Aquinas, the obscure of little villages and the learned and the great would pour out their praise of her in an unending stream, as the world's first love, and say of their impoverished rhymes:
And men looked up at the woman made for the morning
When the stars were young,
For whom, more rude than a beggars rhyme in the gutter,
These songs are sung?
Her Son will later give the law explaining her immortal remembrance: "He that humbleth himself, shall be exalted." Humility before God is compensated for by glory before men. Mary had taken the vow of virginity and, seemingly, thus prevented her beauty from passing on to other generations. And yet now through the power of God she sees herself as the mother of countless generations, without ever ceasing to be a Virgin. All generations who lost the favor of God by eating the forbidden fruit will now exalt her, because through her they enter once again into the possession of the Tree of Life. Within three months Mary has had her eight Beatitudes:
1. "Blessed art thou because full of grace," said the Archangel Gabriel.
2. "Blessed art thou for thou shalt conceive in thy womb the Son of the Most High, God."
3. "Blessed art thou, Virgin Mother, for "the Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee."
4. "Blessed art thou for doing God's Will: "Be it done unto me according to Thy Word."
5. "Blessed art thou for believing" said Elizabeth.
6. "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb (Jesus)" added Elizabeth.
7. "Blessed art thou among women."
8. "Blessed art thou, for the message that was brought to thee from the Lord shall have fulfillment."
Lowliness and exaltation are one in her; lowliness because, judging herself to be unworthy of being the Mother of Our Lord, she took the vow of virginity; exalted because God, looking upon what Mary believed was her nothingness, once more created a world out of "nothing."
Blessedness is happiness. Mary had everything that could make a person truly happy. For to be happy, three things are required: to have everything one wants; to have it united in one person who is loved with all the ardor of one's soul; and to know that this is possessed without sin. Mary had all three.
If her Divine Son had not intended that His Mother should be honored where He is adored, He would never have permitted these prophetic words of hers to have had fulfillment. He would have nudged the hands of the artists at their canvas, would have stopped the lips of the poets, and would have frozen our fingers as we told our beads.
How quickly the great men and women are forgotten, and how few of their names are remembered at all! A guidebook is necessary for us to identify the dead in Westminster Abbey; few are the citizens who know their World War heroes, after whom the streets were named. But here in Mary is a young girl, obscure and unknown, in an outpost of the Roman Empire; she who affirms that the law of forgetfulness will be suspended in her favor, and she prophesies it before a single Gospel has been written, before the Son of God has seen the light of day in the flesh.
"He has mercy upon those who ear Him, from generation to generation; He has done valiantly with the strength of His arm driving the proud astray in the conceit of their hearts; He has put down the mighty from their seat, and exalted the lowly; He has filed the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty handed; He has protected His servant Israel, keeping His merciful design in remembrance, according to the promise which He made to our forefathers, Abraham and his posterity for evermore."
This part of the Magnificat is the most revolutionary document ever written, a thousand times more revolutionary than anything Karl Marx wrote. Relating these to the preceding verses, it is suggestive to compare Mary's Revolution with the Revolution of Marx and Communism.