Friday, November 21, 2008

Presentation of Mary

Father Mark offers some history and thoughts to ponder on the feast commemorating Our Lady being taken to the Temple at the age of three by her parents.
The new Temple, the all-holy Virgin, is shaped and formed in the old Temple. She who is destined to be the living Temple of the Word dwells in the Temple of the Old Dispensation. She hears the chanting of the psalms, the prophets, and the Law. She smells the incense and the burnt offerings. She observes the faithful of Israel streaming towards Zion, filling the Temple, seeking the face of the Lord. Priest, altar, and oblation are not unfamiliar to the Virgin who will take her place at the foot of the Cross and, gazing upon her Son, recognize in Him the Eternal priest, the Altar of the New Covenant, the Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
This feast is a wonderful prelude to Advent. According to Dom Gueranger:
Mary, led to the Temple in order to prepare in retirement, humility, and love for her incomparable destiny, had also the mission of perfecting at the foot of the figurative altar the prayer of the human race, of itself ineffectual to draw down the savior from heaven. (From Abbot Gueranger's The Liturgical Year, Vol XV )


Mark said...

Thanks for the lovely quotations.

Here's another (not as good but still thought-provoking) from Henri de Lubac:

“When Mary was presented in the Temple as a young child her total self-offering to God was an offering of the Church too; and when the Word, becoming flesh in her womb, poured out all His treasures upon her, He was already wedding and endowing His Church in the person of His Mother. Mary’s fiat was an acceptance of the full realisation of promises on her own account but also for all - collectively - and that fiat was awaited as coming from all.”

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Mark, that is quite thought-provoking.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful icon!

Would it be presumptious of me to request the formality of citations crediting the origins (location, artistic period) as is conventional for other works in written form?

The Eastern Churches speak of "writing" such icons rather than merely painting a work of art in the creative sense, for the "authors" see themselves faithfully reproducing, co-creating if you will, a magesterial image of the Logos in material form for veneration, where conservation of form and content teaches adherence to the unchanging eternal values expressed therein. Its intriguing for me to follow the development of the visual doctrinal tradition in much the same way as the cateachisms of doctrine have grown and developed over two millenia!

elena maria vidal said...

I agree. Thanks for the explanation. But Clare, I have no idea who wrote the icon. Perhaps you could ask Fr, Mark; I lifted it from his site!

Anonymous said...

Today I'm thanking St. Anne for giving Mary to us---what is must have cost her to separate herself from so lovely a daughter!

Ann Murray said...

It is my understanding that icons are not signed - there may well be a common knowledge as to the writer is/ was but a name never appears on an Icon - as is often the case with common prayer.