20 Our Lady

"Hail Mary!"
I pronounce these words,
    so simple
    and simultaneously so wonderful,
    with immense love and reverence.
No one can ever greet you
    in a more splendid way
    than the manner in which the Archangel did one day.
Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum!
I repeat these words
    treasured by many hearts
    and pronounced by many lips all over the world.
All of us here present repeat them in unison,
    knowing that these are the words with which God himself,
    through his messenger,
    greeted you,
    the Woman promised in Eden
    and chosen from all eternity as Mother of the Word,
    Mother of Divine Wisdom,
    Mother of the Son of God.
"Hail, Mother of God!"
(John Paul II, Discourse, (Mexico) 27 Jan 79)

"Mary's greatness
    consists in the fact that she wants to magnify God,
    not herself.
She is lowly:
    her only desire
    is to be the handmaid of the Lord (cf. Lk 1:38, 48).
She knows that she will only contribute to the salvation of the world if,
    rather than carrying out her own projects,
    she places herself completely at the disposal of God's initiatives.

"Mary is a woman of hope:
    only because she believes in God's promises
    and awaits the salvation of Israel,
    can the angel visit her
    and call her to the decisive service of these promises.

Mary is a woman of faith: “Blessed are you who believed”,
    Elizabeth says to her (cf. Lk 1:45).
The Magnificat—a portrait, so to speak, of her soul—
    is entirely woven from threads of Holy Scripture,
    threads drawn from the Word of God.
Here we see how completely at home Mary is with the Word of God,
    with ease she moves in and out of it.
She speaks and thinks with the Word of God;
    the Word of God becomes her word,
    and her word issues from the Word of God.
Here we see how her thoughts are attuned to the thoughts of God,
    how her will is one with the will of God.
Since Mary is completely imbued with the Word of God,
    she is able to become the Mother of the Word Incarnate.

"Finally, Mary is a woman who loves.
    How could it be otherwise?
As a believer who in faith thinks with God's thoughts and wills with God's will,
    he cannot fail to be a woman who loves.
We sense this in her quiet gestures,
    as recounted by the infancy narratives in the Gospel.
We see it in the delicacy with which she recognizes the need of the spouses at Cana
    and makes it known to Jesus.
We see it in the humility with which she recedes into the background during Jesus' public life,
    knowing that the Son must establish a new family
    and that the Mother's hour will come only with the Cross,
    which will be Jesus' true hour (cf. Jn 2:4; 13:1).
When the disciples flee,
    Mary will remain beneath the Cross (cf. Jn 19:25-27);
later, at the hour of Pentecost,
    it will be they who gather around her
    as they wait for the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1:14)."
(Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 41)

"As a merciful Mother,
    Mary is the anticipated figure
    and everlasting portrait of the Son.
Thus, we see that the image of the Sorrowful Virgin,
    of the Mother who shares her suffering and her love,
    is also a true image of the Immaculate Conception.
Her heart was enlarged
    by being and feeling together with God.
In her, God's goodness came very close to us.

Mary thus stands before us
    as a sign of comfort, encouragement and hope.
She turns to us, saying:
    'Have the courage to dare with God!
    Try it!
    Do not be afraid of him!
    Have the courage to risk with faith!
    Have the courage to risk with goodness!
    Have the courage to risk with a pure heart!
Commit yourselves to God,
    then you will see that it is precisely by doing so
    that your life will become broad and light,
    not boring
    but filled with infinite surprises,
    for God's infinite goodness never runs out!". "
(Benedict XVI, Homily, 8 December 2005)

"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."
(Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 41)

"O Virgin Immaculate,
    Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!
You, who from this place
    shows your clemency and pity
    on those who seek your protection,
listen to the prayer
    which we address to you with filial confidence,
    and present it before your Son Jesus, our only Redeemer.
Mother of mercy,
    Mother of the hidden and silent sacrifice,
    today we consecrate to you
    -- who comes to meet us sinners --
    all our being and all our love.
We also consecrate to you
    our life,
    our words,
    our joys,
    our sickness
    and our sorrows.
Grant our peoples peace, justice and prosperity,
    since we place all that we have and are
    under your care, our Queen and Mother.
We want to be totally yours
    and to walk with you the path of full fidelity to Jesus Christ in his Church:
    do not let go of your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas,
    we ask you for all Bishops,
    so that they may lead the faithful
    through paths of Christian life, of love and humble service to God and to souls.
"See this immense harvest,
    and intercede
    so that God may infuse the hunger for holiness in the whole people of God,
    and so that he may grant abundant priestly and religious vocations
    who are strong in faith and zealous dispensers of God's mysteries.
Grant our homes the grace of loving and respecting incipient life,
    with the same love
    with which you conceived the life of the Son of God in your womb.
Holy Mary Virgin, Mother of Fair Love,
    protect our families so that they may always be united,
    and bless the education of our children.
Our hope,
    look upon us with compassion,
    teach us to go continuously to Jesus,
    and should we fall,
    help us to get up,
    to return to Him,
    through the confession of our faults and sins
    in the Sacrament of Penance, which brings tranquility to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a very great love for all the Holy Sacraments,
    which are like the footsteps which your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother,
    with God's peace in our conscience,
    with our hearts free of evil and of hatred,
    we can lead everyone to the true joy and to true peace,
    the one which comes from your Son,
    our Lord Jesus Christ,
    who with the Father and with the Holy Spirit,
    lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen."
(John Paul II, Mexico Jan 97)