Friday, September 08, 2006

Happy Birthday To Our Blessed Mother

Rejoice, Adam, our father, and above all you, Eve, our mother. You were parents to all of us and at the same time our murderers. You who doomed us to death even before we were born, be comforted now. One of your daughters and what a daughter! will comfort you. So come, Eve, run to Mary. May the mother run to the daughter. The daughter will answer for her mother and will wipe away her fault. For the human race will now be raised up by a woman.

What did Adam say in times past? The woman whom you put here with me she gave me fruit from the tree, and so I ate it. Those were nasty words, which increased his fault rather than wiping it away. But divine Wisdom triumphed over so much malice. After vainly trying to give birth to the opportunity to forgive by questioning Adam, God now finds that opportunity in the treasure of his inexhaustible goodness. He gives the first woman a substitute, a wise woman in the place of the one who was foolish, a woman who is as humble as the other was proud.

Instead of the fruit of the tree of death, she offers to humankind the bread of life. She replaces this bitter and poisonous nourishment with the sweetness of an eternal food. So Adam, change your unjust accusation to an expression of gratitude and say: Lord, this woman whom you gave me offered me the fruit of the tree of life. I ate of it; its flavor was sweeter than honey from the comb, because by means of this fruit, you gave me back life. So that is why the angel was sent to a virgin. Oh admirable Virgin, worthy of all honors! Woman whom we must venerate infinitely among all women, you repair the fault of our first parents, you give life back to all their descendants.

-Saint Bernard

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