Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Holy Year, Holy Day
When we were in school, one of the most important novenas was to prepare for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. We were then allowed to carry a lily in the procession on the day of the Feast and present it to Our Lady saying, "O Mary, I give thee the lily of my heart; be thou its guardian forever." (I think I have that right as it is something that I think stays in the memory of all the children of the Sacred Heart who were pre-Vatican II when novenas were one way we were taught to honor devotion to Mary and the saints. We also had a pre-Christmas novena where, in the primary grades, each had a little lamb with her name on it; if you were good, your lamb was able to climb one of the nine steps up to the crib with the Infant Jesus. It would have been terrible for one of my little ones not to reach the top before Christmas so I would invent ways in which great goodness could then raise the lamb several steps if the child had misbehaved earlier in the novena.
I hope all were able to celebrate this Feast with Mary today and also to have seen the opening of the Holy Year in Rome. Mary was conceived without sin, but she understands human nature and intercedes for us with her Divine Son. Every time we say the "Hail Mary" we are asking Mary to "pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death."