08 September 2014

Happy Nativity!

Of Mary, that is. Today we celebrate the birth of the Mother of God! When I told Little Bear this morning, he asked, "Cake? Candle?" so I may be making a little cake for dessert tonight. Oh, wait; I have cream cheese and blueberry pie filling in the fridge. Cheesecake with warmed blueberry sauce? That sounds perfect.

Tonight, if the wood gets stacked this afternoon and I can keep the wiggly boy still long enough, I'm hoping to add the Akathist to the Theotokos to our evening prayers in honor of her birthday.


In the Church's calendar, we only celebrate the births of three people: Christ, of course, on Christmas; St John the Baptist, on June 24; and the Mother of God today, September 8. St John the Baptist was the cousin of Christ, the last prophet to prepare the hearts of the Israelites for the Messiah's coming, and the one who announced Him when he began His public ministry. 

Mary had an even more central role: she carried God within her for nine months, gave Him physical form from her own body, nourished Him as a baby, cared for Him as a child, brought Him up according to the law of Moses, continued to love and support Him through his public ministry, stood by Him in His death, received His Body from the cross. No other created being has been so intimately connected to Christ as Mary was to her son; it is fitting that she is honored more than any other creature, and recognized for her role in pointing us toward Christ!

Celebrating her birth today reminds us that if Mary had never been born, the Gospel as we know it would not exist; without her fiat, her "Let it be done unto me according to your word," there would have been no Jesus of Nazareth. Certainly God could have chosen another way to bring salvation into the world, but it would have been different: Not only did Christ's physical being, appearance, DNA, come from Mary specifically, but due to fetomaternal microchimerism (an exchange of immune cells between mother and child through the placenta), Christ carried actual cell lines from Mary—her DNA, not His—within Him, and she carried cells from Him. Even at a cellular level, Mary is uniquely connected to Him.

Hail, Infant Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou forever, and blessed are thy holy parents Joachim and Anne, of whom thou was miraculously born. Mother of God, intercede for us.

We fly to thy patronage, holy and amiable Child Mary; despise not our prayers in our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, glorious and blessed Virgin.

V. Pray for us, holy Child Mary.

R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us Pray: O almighty and merciful God, Who through the cooperation of the Holy Ghost, did prepare the body and soul of the Immaculate Infant Mary that she might be the worthy Mother of Thy Son, and did preserve her from all stain; grant that we who venerate with all our hearts her most holy childhood may be freed, through her merits and intercession, from all uncleanness of mind and body, and be able to imitate her perfect humility, obedience, and charity. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

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