Notre Dame, our Mother
Tender, strong and true,
Proudly in the heavens
Gleams thy gold and blue.
Today the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. Occasionally this dogma is confused for the doctrine of the Virgin Birth of Jesus. According to the Catechism, the dogma of the Immaculate Conception pertains to the “splendor of an entirely unique holiness” that, among humans, belongs only to our Blessed Lady, because she is “enriched from the first instant of her conception”—a singular grace coming wholly from Christ. Mary is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son” (CCC, §492).
The memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows directs our attention to sorrows of Mary. Traditional devotion has identified seven moments of sorrow, seven sorrows or “dolors,” chosen to concentrate our attention on the suffering of Mary. Contemplating these sorrows exposes our hearts to the wellspring of continuous interior conversion, namely, the Passion of the Lord. For, in contemplating the sorrows of Mary, all of which arise from that same wellspring of conversion, we see the Passion as it came to dwell in a mother’s heart.
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In times of stress or confusion, the beauty of music can provide a much-needed balm for a weary heart. Sadly, most if not all public music performances have been canceled these past few months, a pattern that is likely to continue in the months ahead. While nothing compares to the gift of attending a live concert, through the gift of technology, we are still able to discover and enjoy and benefit from listening to music.