The lives of the saints are not limited to their earthly biographies but also include their being and working in God after death. In the saints one thing becomes clear: those who draw near to God do not withdraw from men, but rather become truly close to them. In no one do we see this more clearly than in Mary. The words addressed by the crucified Lord to his disciple—to John and through him to all disciples of Jesus: “Behold, your mother!” (Jn 19:27)—are fulfilled anew in every generation. Mary has truly become the Mother of all believers. Men and women of every time and place have recourse to her motherly kindness and her virginal purity and grace, in all their needs and aspirations, their joys and sorrows, their moments of loneliness and their common endeavours. They constantly experience the gift of her goodness and the unfailing love which she pours out from the depths of her heart. The testimonials of gratitude, offered to her from every continent and culture, are a recognition of that pure love which is not self- seeking but simply benevolent. At the same time, the devotion of the faithful shows an infallible intuition of how such love is possible: it becomes so as a result of the most intimate union with God, through which the soul is totally pervaded by him—a condition which enables those who have drunk from the fountain of God's love to become in their turn a fountain from which “flow rivers of living water” (Jn 7:38). Mary, Virgin and Mother, shows us what love is and whence it draws its origin and its constantly renewed power. To her we entrust the Church and her mission in the service of love:Maria: Pope Benedict XVI on the Mother of God
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
you have given the world its true light,
Jesus, your Son – the Son of God.
You abandoned yourself completely
to God's call
and thus became a wellspring
of the goodness which flows forth from him.
Show us Jesus. Lead us to him.
Teach us to know and love him,
so that we too can become
capable of true love
and be fountains of living water
in the midst of a thirsting world.
Pope Benedict XVI
This glorious volume is a lavishly illustrated coffee-table book with dozens of inspirational and famous color paintings, sculptures and artwork of the Blessed Virgin Mary from all over the world. The beautiful pictures are
accompanied by the profound writings and homilies of Pope Benedict XVI on the person of Mary, and her unique role in human history and in the plan of God for salvation history.
The gorgeous paintings and artwork are from many different centuries, some very famous and others less well-known. Many of these artworks are located at popular Marian shrines that Pope Benedict has visited and honored with special events, prayers and homilies, depicted throughout this volume. Some of the famous Marian images include Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Czestochowa (the "Black Madonna"), Queen of the Holy Rosary, Our Lady of Loreto, Queen of Carmel, and many others.
Pope Benedict offers in-depth, inspirational reflections on the unique spiritual role Mary has as the Mother of the Savior, showing her to be the universal "woman" that Jesus calls her in the Gospels, his mother that God made the spiritual mother of all mankind. Using Biblical references of Mary as "full of grace" and the "woman clothed with the sun", Pope Benedict emphasizes that Mary's main role is to lead us to union with Jesus, to help us know and love him much better and to be his true followers.
A lovely gift book as well as one to use for inspiring spiritual reading, meditation and reflection. Continue reading...