Ave Maria Meditations
St. John Damascene is one of the Doctors of the Church, often called “The Doctor of the Assumption” for his writings on the Dormition of Mary. St. John was also a valiant defender of icons in an iconoclastic age. He died December 4, 749 and is considered the last of the Fathers of the Church.
From his writings:
There was need of her who in childbirth had preserved intact, be preserved incorrupt after death. There was need that she who had carried her Creator as a babe on her bosom, would linger lovingly in the dwelling of her God. There was need that the bride whom the Father had betrothed to Himself should live in the bridal chamber in heaven, that she who had looked so closely upon her own Son on the Cross, and who there felt in her heart the sword-pangs of sorrow which in bearing Him she had been spared, should look upon Him seated with His Father. There was need that God’s Mother should enter into her Son’s possessions, and as a Mother of God and handmaid, be reverenced by all creation.
No one stands between Son and Mother. … Accept, then, my good-will, which is greater than my capacity, and give us salvation. Heal our passions, Cure our diseases, Help us out of our difficulties, Make our lives peaceful, Send us the illumination of the Spirit.
Inflame us with the desire of thy son. Render us pleasing to Him, so that we may enjoy happiness with Him, seeing thee resplendent with thy Son’s glory, rejoicing forever, keeping feast in the Church with those who worthily celebrate Him who worked our salvation through thee, Christ the Son of God, and our God.
To Him be glory and majesty, with the uncreated Father and the all-holy and life-giving Spirit, now and forever, through the endless ages of eternity. Amen.