Ave Maria Meditations
OUR LADY’S FAITH
Saturday is traditionally dedicated to honoring our Lady; a weekly opportunity to meditate on her virtues.
For hundreds of years Christians have given special attention to Mary on Saturdays. Throughout history and in our own times as well, theologians and ecclesiastical writers have explained some of the reasons that make this devotion particularly appropriate. Thus, Saint Peter Damian writes that Saturdays commemorate the completion of God’s work of creation. God rested on the seventh day, and Mary is the one in whom, through the mystery of the Incarnation, God made for himself a holy resting-place.
Saturday, the Sabbath of the Old Law, is also an anticipation of the Lord’s Day, a symbol and sign of heaven. Christ, risen from the dead, is the gateway to eternal life in heaven; and the Blessed Virgin is our way to Jesus, just as she was his way for coming into the world. Saint Thomas, also, points out that Saturday is dedicated to Mary because on that day she kept faith in the mystery of Christ after his death. In any case, we Christians need a special day to honor our Lady and show her our love in a special way.
And so, since ancient times, special Marian devotions have been held on Saturdays in churches, chapels and shrines throughout the world. Many Christians make a special effort to honor the Blessed Virgin in some special manner on this day. Some choose one favorite aspiration to repeat often throughout the day. Others pay a, visit to a sick person, or to a poor family, or to someone who is lonely or suffering, in honor of our Lady. Still others visit a church or shrine dedicated in her honor, or simply make a special effort to be attentive in reciting the Rosary, the Angelus, or the Hail Holy Queen.
There are many good Marian devotions. There is no need to practice every single one of them. But anyone who doesn’t live some of them, who doesn’t express his love for Mary in some way, does not possess the fullness of the faith. Those who think that devotions to our Lady are a thing of the past seem to have lost sight of the deep Christian meaning they contain. They seem to have forgotten the source from which they spring – faith in God the Father’s saving will and love for God the Son, who really became man and was born of a woman, and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who sanctifies us with his grace.
If you look for Mary, you will necessarily find Jesus; and you will learn, in greater and greater depth, what there is in the Heart of God Let us consider how our own lives reflect this ancient Christian practice of special devotion to our Lady on Saturdays.