Marian Poetry for Ordinary Time (2001)


 


WANDERING THROUGH A VINEYARD
By Francesca M. Franchina

Wandering through a vineyard
Mary, Miriam of Nazareth approaches...
"Welcome to my vineyard
The place where good things grow.
Not only beautiful, full flavored
Deep colored red grapes,
But hearty, delectable, food for life giving.
Food for thought,
Food for absorption,
Food for digestion.
Food for full growth.
JOY lives here
As does Peace.
Faith, Hope, and Charity, dwell here
As do Tolerance, Prudence,
Fortitude and Temperance,
Piety and Fear of the Lord.
Come, let us explore together
The good things Yahweh
Has prepared for you.
Let's take a little walking tour,
And get acquainted.
My name is Miriam,
Miriam of Nazareth.
I am the wife of Joseph the Carpenter,
The Mother of Jesus of Nazareth.
You might of heard of my Son
Yeshua, Meschiach
Yeshua, The Carpenter's Son.

We live in Nazareth
But we did move around a bit.
Yeshua was born in Bethlehem
We had to go down to Bethlehem
At the time to register for the census.
That's census, not senses 

Yes, like it didn't make a lot of "senses"
To me either, to be riding a donkey
To a distant place
When my time to deliver the infant
Was about to be fulfilled.

But who knew?
At these times
We waited with child...
We waited, and prayed.

And one time we lived in Egypt,
And Galilee, and Nazareth.
And of course, Jerusalem.
Jerusalem always loomed large. I can take you on a walking tour of Jerusalem,
Of all these places really, if you like.
"I've seen a picture, Mother, thousands of pictures of these places...
Posters, Movies."
Yes, my child, you have seen pictures
Posters, movies,
There are many, many things to share Welcome to our Vineyard
Where all good things grow.
Yeshua grew up here.
Come into His Vineyard
And partake of all things good.
I will feed you raisin cakes, with nuts and figs
Eat of the grape, the beautiful, bountiful red grape,
The Bread that I just baked
The Bread offered for you,
Made of finest wheat
Crushed for you The Bread is set on the windowsill to cool...
If you see Jesus
Tell Him you were here
And He will ask you if you enjoyed yourself,
If you helped yourself to some great grapes today
From His Vineyard And if you saved a soul today
By sharing your bounty with others,
By inviting them to share in the Wheat and the Grape,
Crushed and Pressed down. ...
The Bread of Finest Wheat
And the Juice of the Finest Grape
Tell them of the mystery
Of My Son, the Bread and Wine
Broken and Pressed...
His Body and Blood,
Offered for the salvation of many.
Bring souls into our Vineyard,
Where all good things grow. ..
We' II be waiting !


Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes

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PRE-VIEW OF TOMORROW
By Brother Peter Daino, SM


In the night it is the moon
which reflects
tomorrow's light.

In the night it is the moon
which shows a preview
of day twelve hours away.

Thus the names of Mary:
Capax Novi,
Hope of Change.

Listen to the shouting moonbeams
those light-rebels piercing the night:
Change, Change, Change...

A message passed on from the sum.
In this she shows us what passion is:
the capacity to be affected; to reflect...

Oh Mary, secret agent of New,
Capax Novi,
may I be an agent, too?

Full of Grace, let me sing with you:
"I magnify the Lord," and with you
proclaim new day even at midnight!

In the night it is the moon
which reflects
tomorrow's light.

-Capax Novi, means Capable of New
 Miriam means Hope of Change

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IN THE STILL SHADOWLESS RING OF LIGHT
By Unknown

    In the still shadowless ring of light
Round which a still limp form was laid
Casting a shape that held fast
A pair of languished eyes,
And nailed a" woman's heart torn apart from self -
To the still Form
That once was vibrant with life.

Those haunting eyes looked long and deep
And tried to fathom the mystery of sorrow
And of anguished love in portions unmixed
Which the heart could almost not take
But yet grasped the incomprehensible thought,
And caused the will to move the lips
To speak a faint uttered "Yes!"

Those soulful eyes looked further still
And dimly saw at a distance - a mutiny
Of figures blending in the approaching night
Men with smoky beady Eyes and gnarled hands
Uncouth forms and shapes
That slowly faded into the vast horizon
That separated eternity and earth.

The monotone hum of moments passed by
Like ceaseless marching of thousand feet
To the tuned beat of a bongo drum...
And then, the sorrowed woman's hands
Gently lifted up the lifeless Form
And veilding it with unshed tears and unspoken anguish
Offered the total Oblation to the Father.

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MARY
 By Sister Mary of the Holy Spirit

I think of her
The Mother of God
Oh! who could describe her
What is she like?
The beauty of her face
This Lady full of grace?
Her eyes deep pools of azure blue
And in them other colors too
A bit of gray and green and brown
A mixture of all colors known?
Their shining like the rising son
Luminous mirrors of incarnate grace

They radiate
With her love upon each one.
Your shining Mary beyond our telling
Your hair spun gold
Your face like ivory
Touched by rose.
Your body lithe
Or small of size
Were you tiny, Mary?
When you walked or talked
Was your step like angels dancing?
Your voice like music soaring?
O Mary, full of grace.

Ne'er in you a trace
Of negativity
But only sensitivity
To will of God.
Vessel shaped by hand of God
Mary, Virgin, for your part
You spoke your simple word -'Fiat'
With your submission, your consent
You would present your Giftfulness to God
That silent Center
And grow beneath your heart
What joy, O Mary
To have been chosen
To be the Mother of God.

Throughout the years
Your song we hear: 'Magnificat.'
We honor you, O Mary
Loving mother of our God
Inexpressible Beauty
Shimmering Brightness
Reflection of His Grace
Sublimity beyond compare.
You are so fair
Angels pale before your face.
His Majesty's most perfect work.
Paradox:
Littleness yet Greatest of the Great
Mary full of grace
You render speechless
All His creatures.
In oils and song we laud
In earthly tones of ecstasy
That we might somehow see
The facets of your grace.
To trace sublimity, humility
Fathomless gracefulness
As ocean's depths.
Though calm in our effort
We are still desperate
To find the words that might express
E'en small part of your Loveliness.
Full of grace, of our race
Our nature's solitary boast
Through you the Host, your Son
Was for us won.
We thank you, Mary.
By your side we wish to rise
Beyond the earth
To give Him birth anew.
O Mary keep us true
That your children too might be
Reflections of your son,
Upon our lips your words and His
"Father, may Your Will be Done."

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Queen of the May
By Unknown

Queen of May--the days grow long,
The woods are all alive with song,
In every clime, on every shore,
The quickening buds burst forth once more,
And leaf and flower, and blossom sweet
Long to do homage at thy feet.

Queen of May--within thy hands
Thou holiest of all the scattered strands
From souls that burn and bleed, and ache,
Of eyes that weep, and hearts that break,
For, save the touch of Love Divine,
'there is no charity like thine.

Queen of May--there is one spot,
Where thousands mourn, but murmur not,
And they who dwell in that dread place
Yearn for a glimpse of thy dear face,
One hopeful promise from those eyes
That soon they may win paradise.

Queen of May--enthroned in bloom--
They wait in patience and in gloom,
Wait for the magic or thy mane,
To light the darkness, quench the flame;
Ah!  bear them upward, while "We pray"
Sweet Mother, Mary, Queen of May.

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Mary
By Dorothea Costello

The shy loveliness of a spring violet,
The beauty of a rose in silhouette,
A white orchid, so exquisite,
Queen of May and love's requisite .

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To Crown the Queen of May
By Thomas H. Cosgrove

We hunted through the mountains,
The meadows and the town
To find some shining jewels
To make our queen a crown.

We dug the earth for diamonds
And polished them with care;
But vanquished was their lustre
When laid within her hair.

The seven seas we sounded,
And strained the densest sands
To find a pearl to rival
The whiteness of her hands.

The glowing gold was blackened
When brought before her feet.
And silver in her shadow
was sordid as the street.

The emeralds lost their greenness
Like plants that know not rains.
And rubies paled like warriors
Who fall with bursting veins.

'Twas then that we remembered
How men were once in awe
To see a babe of beauty,
Whose jewels were some straw.

So we went and robbed a manger,
And crowned the Queen of May
With a wreath that we had woven
From homely strands of hay.

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MARIA
By Uknown

Maria.
Name Which has been spoken
by the l, might in year long past,
long before the world existed.
the universe was void and vast.

Name which is a benediction
and a sound most wondersome.
Joyful the angels sang it
when your earthly days began.

Name by which in reverent prayer
Gabriel once greeted you
when announcing  vocation.
"Full of grace, God is with you."

And Elizabeth, the blessed,
jubilantly praised the bride
when you, Temple of the Spirit,
lovefilled, hurried to her side.

Then in highest exultation.
holy Maiden, you proclaim,
"Blest unto times never-ending,
blest forever is my name."

Yes, we praise your name forever,
sing it loudly in joy and pain.
When we speak our final AMEN
let us find strength in your name:
MARIA.

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Hortus Conclusus
By Unknown

Mary was a well-closed garden,
closed to Satan and to sin,
but wide open to God's angels
from her blessed origin.

Mary was a well-closed garden,
closed to darkness and to death.
But to grace she was wide open,
open wide to God's brightness.

Mary was a well-closed garden,
closed to every ugliness,
But wide open to all beauty
that a human heart may bless.

Mary was a well-closed garden,
closed to mortal feet and eyes,
but wide open to the Maker
of earth's second paradise.

Mary was a well-closed garden,
closed to every vain desire,
but wide open to the warm rays
of the Holy Spirit's fire.

Mary was a well-closed garden.

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Assumpta Est Maria en Coelum
By Unknown

"Clothed with the Sun," with crescent 'neath thy feet
And the fair star-gems glistening in thy crown,
"Salve Regina!" clement, loving, sweet!
"Salve!" on "exiled children" now look down
.

Harkl! "Quae est ista?" chant the angel-bands.
"Who is this flow'ret from the desert-place?
Glad the responses to their blest demands:
This is God's "handmaid," full of every grace.

White as untrodden drifts of Alpine snow;
Lovely as lilies in the wooded vale;
Purer than crystal streamlets as they flow;
Softer than star-light or the moonbeams pale.

Nature is robed in festal garbs today;
Tinged is her beauty, as with golden hue;
And the unfolding buds--(like hearts that pray)
Gleam with the "chaliced sweetness" of bright dew.

Glorious indeed, this harvest "Lady Day!"
Gladly we greet thee, Daughter, Mother, Bride!
Plead for us now like Esther!--Far away
Still
in this "vale of tears" we must abide.

Shine, o thou Star of guidance, o'er life's sea!
Meet us with welcome on the silvery shore.
Show us our Saviour's Face externally,
Then we shall praise His love for ever more.

In bliss I shall be singing,
Before my Queen so mild:
I'm Mary's child forever,
Forever Mary's child.

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The Assumption
By Blanche Yvonne Mosler

He knew that through the long and bitter years
One heart was there beside Him to the end;
No matter what, her arms were there to lend
Surcease from all the sadness...all the tears.
Even to the cross and Calvary, He, the Son,
Had found her ever near Him. It was she
Who held his broken body tenderly,--
Holding Him close...even after life was done.

Never did He forget. One glorious hour
The Virgin Mother went to Him again;
Lifted from all the sorrow and the pain
To be the Queen of Heaven! Heaven's flower!
Exalted above the angels!  Nothing shall sever
The Two Who shared life's bitterness awhile;
She shines with eternal beauty, and her smile
Wraps Him in wondrous tenderness...forever.

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Assumpta Est Maria
By Anne Cabell

What shall we offer her whose candid eyes
Are filled with heaven? Those who man call wise
Have still no gift, but only kneel to her
Who bears God's message, and His messenger.

Not hers the argent beauty that upon
A night fired Ilium, nor this the grace
Theocritus once sang, in that far dawn
Before God's mercy had unveiled her face.

Yet we are blind with beauty--here is one
who is a light between us and the sun.

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The Angels Prepare the Assumption
By Thomas H. Cosgrove

We'll hew a highway through the skies
And pave it white with sheen
For pure must be the pathway
Where walks a stainless Queen.

We'll fuse the fairest rainbows
In one symphonic hue
And gaily tint the fabric
Of our Lady's avenue.

If Heaven's brightest beauties
Should dare her pathway bar
We'll cleave the sun in splinters
And shatter every star.

We'll drain the fresh new dawning
Of all its dewdrop spray
And with it soothe the roughness
That mars the maiden's way.

Then all the angel choirs
With anthems swelling sweet
Shall lead the lovely Lady
Along her spangled street.

A destiny of glory
This roadway shall complete
When at its end the Mother
And the Son of God shall meet.

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To Our Lady
By G. H. Harriott

Mary, I'm awkward at work or play--
And from the path of duty often do I stray.

Mary, Mother, guide me in all I do or say--
For I'm a willful child and often have my way,

Mary, make me gentle as the winds of May--
Mary, make me see the right and do it every day.

Oh Mary, hear an awkward--
Listen to her prayer--
Watch over her, dear Mother,
and keep her in your care.

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Mary's Child Forever
By Fredrick M. Lynk

Of all the happy hours
That ever came to me,
I cherish one most fondly
Within my memory.
The hour when lilies and roses
So sweetly sang and smiled:
I'm Mary's child forever,
Forever Mary's child.

In loving trust I journey
E'er onward to my goal;
Through night and day there lingers
Deep joy within my soul.
Though grim foes may molest me
And tempests may rage wild,
I'm Mary's child forever,
Forever Mary's child.

And when at last I enter
God's own eternity,
My heart will still remember
Life's dearest gift to me;
In bliss I shall be singing,
Before my Queen so mild:
I'm Mary's child forever,
Forever Mary's child.

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.
Mary's Little Troubadour
By Fredrick M. Lynk

Would that a seraph came to me
With burning coal to clean
My sinful lips that I might be
A worthy singer of my queen.

Would that my dormant harp might wake
To melodies devout and rare,
To praise until my eyes shall break,
The Virgin-Mother pure and fair.

She is so wonderful and great,
Both human and divine,
That I must linger at her gate
And sing forever at her shrine.

Yet, while I sing, my heart grows sad,
My best songs are so poor;
0 Queen, forgive the shepherd lad
And bless thy little troubadour.

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Queen of May
By Sister M. Reynoldine

From her throne in woodland shrine
Mary smiles on springtime's glow;
Dew-dropped lilies nod and shine,
Silver reeds pipe soft and low.
Sun-kissed messengers of spring
Melodies of welcome sing,
Queen of May.

Better far than nature's pearls
Mary loves the charming strain
Of the Aves boys and girls
Offer her with love's refrain:
"Holy Mary, holy Maid!
At your feet our hearts we've laid,
Queen of Mayl"

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May Time
By Mary A. Lucey

'Tis quiet, early May time,
When carpets on the walk
Are formed by drifting petals
Who'd say, if they could talk:

"This is the month of Mary,
To honor her we spread.
Soft, velvety, white carpets
Where passersby must tread."

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To the Queen of May
By Fredrick M. Lynk

If all the flowers of earth were mine,
I'd bring them all to thy dear shrine;
Ah, what a nosegay it would be,
'0 heavenly Queen of May, for thee.

If all the songbirds in the wood
I could call to this solitude,
Ah, what a concert it would be,
O heavenly Queen of May, for thee.

If all the human hearts that beat
I could assemble at thy feet,
Ah, what a wealth of love  'twould be,
O heavenly Queen of May, for thee.

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Anticipation
By Denis A. McCarthy

Oh, softly blow, ye breezes,
Ye breezes of the spring,
Till every blossom breaks to hear
The joyful news you bring,
The news that winters dreary reign
Is dead and passed away,
That now the sun will shine upon
Our Lady's month of May.

Oh, sing ye birds of springtime
In every glade and glen,
Let every warbler of the wood
Take heart and sing again,
Until your chorus far and wide
Makes musical the day;
From hill and dale, oh sing and hail
Our Lady's month of May.

Oh, softly flow, ye streamlets,
By wood and meadow flow,
And whisper to the grasses all
So timidly that grow,
Yea, whisper to them all, and call
Them forth without delay,
For vale and lea must verdant be
In Mary's month of May.

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The Month of May
By Unknown

Green are the leaves, and sweet are the flowers,
And rich the hues of May;
We see them in the gardens round,
And market panniers gay:
And e'en among our streets and lanes ,
And alleys we descry,
By fitful gleams, the fair sunshine,
The blue transparent sky.

Green is the grass, but wait awhile,
'Twill grow, and then will wither,
The flowerets, brightly as they smile ,
Shall perish altogether:
The merry sun, you sure would say,
It ne'er could set in gloom;
But earth's best joys have all an end
And sin, a heavy doom.

The green, green grass, the glittering grove,
The heaven's majestic dome,
They image forth a tender bower,
A more refulgent home;
They tell us of that paradise
Of everlasting rest,
And that high Tree, all flowers and fruit,
The sweetest and the best.

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May Blessing
By Fredrick M. Lynk

Above the sin-drenched marts of men,
Above the ocean's ceaseless roar,
Above the mist of glade and glen,
Above the loftiest mountains' floor,
Mary the Queen of Heaven stands
And holds up in her virgin hands
Her little Son Divine,--
And, mother of the true high-priest,
She blesses with this living host
The high, the low, the great, the least,
Until all earth feels innermost,
It has become her shrine;
Her shrine, where all hearts sing her praise,
And where all flowers bloom for her,
Where every tree in rapture sways,
And each bird is her harbinger,
Until the Saviour's holy peace
Reigns fondly over lands and seas .

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Lady Mary
By Fredrick M. Lynk

Lady Mary, through the airy
Realm of Eden sang a flute;
Sang the power of the flower
Sprung from Jesse's noble root.

Lady Mary, the unwary
World has blessed thy motherhood,
For the Son has in love's oneness
With thee saved Eve's hapless brood.

Lady Mary, luminary,
Walkest still thy starry path,
Ever praying for the straying
To appease the Godhead's wrath.

Lady Mary, God's own fairy,
On eternity's green shore,
Let us meet thee, let us greet thee
In the kingdom evermore.

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Another Maytime
By Alice E. Byrnes

Is it years since the Mayday was joyous
With decking of Mary's dear shrine,
And our hopes like the bud, turning blossom--
Our hearts all attuned to the thine?

Let us banish the years for a moment,
And as children kneel at her feet,
All our love and devotion renewing,
That to Mary must ever be sweet.

Let us gather the blossoms for Mary;
They'll not be less pleasing than when
In childhood we sought out the choicest
From hillside and meadow and glen.

All  the fond hopes that May then awakened
Are waiting and promise still more--
'Tis not that the years are less joyous
lf our hearts only love as of yore.

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The May Queen
By Marie Fischer

She wears sunlight in her hair
And violets in her eyes
And her cheeks are the petals of a rose.
She bears Love on her arm,
And lilies are her feet,
And they carry life wherever she goes.
There are graces on her lips
And rainbows on her robes
And her wreath is the coronet of May.
She is Fairy Queen of earth--
The wand at her heart
Is a bud from the triune Bouquet.
She is Mother, Queen and Maid,
And God is her child,
And her courts are the meadows where they play
And her Courts forever and for aye.
She is Mary full of Grace.
She is Queen of Eternal May. 

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Maria, Let Us Honor
By Unknown

Maria, let us honor
you and your holy name.
To sing your praise forever
be our joy and fame.

Your name, Maria, calls you
the ruler of the Earth.
The world proclaims your Queenship;
you're noble from your birth.

Your name proclaims to mankind;
you are the ocean's star,
a star which brightly illumines
the countries near and far.

The stars which shine and shimmer
in our firmament,
they praise your name forever,
its greatness without end.

The stars are never losing
their brilliance when they shine.
Thus you remained a virgin
when bore the Divine.

Your name means also, Mother,
an ocean, limitless.
From it flow streams of graces
in times of peace and stress.

O Star, give us your brilliance.
Ocean, pour out your grace.
Help they we meet the Father
in Heaven's holy place.

Your name is a sign of peace for
all those who wander restlessly
on the shores of suffering, those
who weep bitterly on the shores
of disappointment.

For all those who strive in the 
kingdom of their souls, your name
is a constant call: Rise!

Your name has always a pure sound;
Heaven and Earth bow in reverence
before it, before the ever-ready,
joyful "Yes" to the wishes, desires,
and actions of the Lord.

Your "Yes" is your greatest greatness,
MARIA!

Let it become our greatness, too;
Let it stand the fire-ordeal in the 
battles of life.

Let us resemble you, MARIA!

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Maria
By Unknown

MARIA, your name is like a glow
which brilliantly breaks through
the darkness of our earthly days,
like a shadow of flames
from spotless heights.

Your name is comparable to
pure wells which give endless
waters in selfless streams, 
overthrowing the limits of time.

Your name is a song of love for us,
a song which sounds in all rooms,
jubilently proclaiming the abundance of eternal mercy.

Your name is joyous happiness;
it is praise and joy
and gratefulness.

MARIA, you are the tenderly
light sound of a harp;
but only the knowing hand of
the Almighty may quietly touch you.


You are the snowy-pure chalice
of the blossom of a wondrous
flower, open only for the sun
of divine grace.

You are the star which shows
the way to complete perfection
and whose victorious brilliance
drives away need and harassment.

Your name tells of heights and
depths, of the well of joys,
and of the limitless ocean
of pain.

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Ave Maria, Amen
By Unknown

A song ascends from vale to heights,
from town to town a hundred times:
Ave Maria, Amen.

In every place the earth around,
at every bells resound:
Ave Maria, Amen.

All creatures, be they low or high,
send joyous songs up to the sky:
Ave Maria, Amen.

Stars near each other in their rays
and greet each other on their ways:
Ave Maria, Amen.

the angels at the throne of God
with harps and flutes the Highest land:
Ave Maria, Amen.

And all the blest in paradise
to joyous, happy praise give rise:
Ave Maria, Amen.

Thus praises sound through space and time
in everlasting, glorious rhyme:
Ave Maria, Amen.

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Untitled
By Unknown

AVE MARIA!
Hail to you, Empress,
powerful Queen,
Star of the Ocean,
and Mother mild,
Hail, Mediatrix,
you blessed portal,
you open the Heavens
for us with your Child.

GRATIA PLENA!
Filled with all graces,
filled to the brim,
Woman, overflowing
with God's divine light.
You could not contain
more of God's glory.
A frail human being
Illumines the night.

DOMINUS TECUM.
God is with you;
He has Himself given
to you, a small creature
in bridal love.
You are His beloved,
His chosen treasure,
His bride forever,
spouse of the Dove.

BENEDICTA TU IN MULIERIBUS.
You are blest among women,
the crown of creation,
the glory of women
that sin can't destroy.
The eye of the Father
looks upon you with pleasure;
His loving glances
rest upon you with joy.

ET BENEDICTUS FRUCTUS VENTRIS TUI, JESUS.
Jesus, reflection
of the Eternal Father
is the fruit of your womb.
Mother mine,
oh bearer, oh carer,
oh Mother, no other
could foster like you
this life divine.

ORA PRO NOBIS, DEUM.
Free from all sin,
pray for us sinners.
Mother we come
now with our guilt to you.
All powerful beggar,
intercede for the sinner
the mercy of the Father.
He listens to you

ET IN HORA MORTIS NOSTRAE.
Let us encounter
your goodness, your kindness.
We strife for the goal:
Eternity with God.
And when in the end
our eyes close in dying,
then lead us home
into the Father's heart.

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Your Name Is Light
By Unknown

MARIA, you are admirable.
You name is light, more
spotless and more sparkling
Than the stars.

You are a harmonious song
sounding through space and time. 

Your essence is the tender fragrance
of the mystery of God.

You are the admirable being
in whose chalice the Spirit
found shelter.

You are the pure linen for God,
the Son of the Almighty,
whom you have carried and born,
and whom you carelessly bring
into the world.

By your miraculous power,
let us become a holy womb for the
children and heirs of your Son.

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Nativity of Mary
By Unknown

God said: Let there be.
And you existed, Mary.
More radiant than the
glorious light of the stars;
More beautiful than the
colorful splendor of the flowers;
sweeter than the honey of
the blossoms' chalice;
Purer than the eternal
light of the sun.

Then God said: Behold, I come.
And you rejoiced in your love,
More jubilantly than the angels
at the beginning of creation.

Then you became silent
and sacrificed yourself.
As serving maid, you,
most beautiful of all creatures.
became His own.

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To Our Lady of the Elderly

Source: Father Daniel Hogan of the Montfort Community in Liverpool translated the poem below which was written by a Montfort Father in France and published in the Livre D'Or, a devotional book of excerpts from the writings of St. Louis de Montfort.

Holy Virgin Mary, why don't I see you among people of my age?
How many years was it from the Feast of Pentecost to
Your own Assumption into heaven?
There is nothing in our records.
But John must have enjoyed your presence for many years.
I am sure, then, that you are one with us in our 'olden years'.

Perhaps your forehead was wrinkled ...
What would one expect? It is part of growing old.
In contact with the Mystery of your Son
who is born, lives and dies and rises again.
The mystery which leads to the eternal spring-time
in your heart ever remains ready to blossom
in the youth of an Assumption that has no end.

Holy Virgin, I ask myself..
"What am I doing, still here in this world?"
I feel oppressed by the weight of ill-spent years.
I, a sinner, can rightly say, "I am old."
Teach me, Holy Virgin, in the years that remain,
to free myself from all that is evil
and direct my life to Goodness Itself
to Him who waits for me in the joy of His forgiveness.

After Pentecost,
when your prayer helped to bring the Church to birth
you discreetly departed and left those younger than yourself to the task.
We don't even know what happened to you.

But, I think you were very much part of that first community,
as a simple Christian,
not putting people off by a show of importance.
Your prayer as an old lady
has never ceased to support the Church it helped to bring to birth.

Our Lady of the Elderly,
teach me not to criticize the Church in its work of renewal,
but to love it, supporting it by my prayer, suffering and obedience. Teach me to love the Church
in her bishops, sacraments and prayer.
to love her in all her members and to make her loved.

Our Lady of the Elderly,
teach me above all, how to remain united with your Son Jesus,
and all my sisters and brothers, who are all your children,
united with an undivided heart in the love of Jesus
who wishes to give Himself to all.

That is the way you have chosen to go to Heaven,
Virgin assumed into heaven.
Could I choose any other way than yours?
It is the Way your Saviour and mine has taken on the path to glory.

This glory He has given you to share.
He will give it to me as long as I am faithful
to the end of my third, and even my fourth age.
Teach me, Holy Virgin, to rise to the eternal youth of Heaven.

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Maiden, Woman, Mary

Maiden of Nazareth,
Your heart was open
To hear and embrace God's holy
       Word.
Teach us to listen and, with you, to
      pray:
Fiat! Magnificat! Glory to God.

Woman of Nazareth,
Your arms were open
To welcome the poor, to comfort the
       weary.
Teach us to be like you, humble and
       loving.
Fiat! Magnificat! Glory to God.

Mary of Nazareth,
Virgin and Mother,
Daughter of God and Spouse of the
       Spirit,
Teach us to learn from you
How to bring Christ to earth.
Fiat! Magnificat! Glory to God.

Agnes Cunningham, SSCM

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