Monday, 7 December 2009

Mary, the most beautiful flower that has sprung up from the word of God

I have just seen this post at Blog-by-the-Sea, and link to it by way of marking the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. A full text of Pope Benedict's Angelus address can be found at ZENIT.

"Jesus the Divine Word; Mary the Most Beautiful Flower Germinated from the Word of God" - such delight in language is vintage Pope Benedict.

Dear friends, the most beautiful flower that has sprung up from the word of God is the Virgin Mary. She is the first fruits of the Church, garden of God on earth. But, while Mary is the Immaculate One -- as we will celebrate her the day after tomorrow -- the Church has constant need of purifying herself, because sin infects all her members. In the Church there is always a struggle taking place between the desert and the garden, between the sin that parches the earth and the grace that waters it so that it produces abundant fruits of holiness. Let us therefore pray to the Mother of the Lord that she will help us, in this Advent season, to "straighten" our ways, letting ourselves be guided by the word of God.

Whilst on the one hand a paragraph with a great felicity of language, we should recognise in it the richly Biblical source of the imagery. The desert and the garden, the earth that is parched compared to the waters that make earth fruitful; both of these pairings as representations of sin and grace.

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