A Child is Born

Jan Oliver’s Art

This video entitled “A Prayer for Peace” is filled with beautiful Marian images by artist Jan Oliver.  Check out the goal she has set for herself at the end of the video!

Today at Contemplative Haven I also posted two other videos of art by Jan Oliver, one entitled “A Celebration of Faith” and the other is of Jan telling us a bit about herself and showing some time-lapse photography of when she painted her picture called “Renewal”.  Enjoy!

A Prayer for Peace: Paintings by Jan Oliver

Feast of the Immaculate Conception

The Immaculate Conception, celebrated December 8th, is a Solemnity in the Catholic Church.  This feast is one of only three Solemnities, and thus is one of the highest ranking Marian celebrations in our liturgical year (the other two being the feast of Mary, Mother of God on January 1st and the feast of the Assumption on August 15th.)

God’s preservation of Mary not only from personal sin but from original sin from the moment of her conception is a dogma of faith in the Catholic Church.  It wasn’t always so, and from the 7th century through to St. Thomas Aquinas and on to Blessed John Duns Scotus right up to Pope Pius IX the discussions continued.

Since the entire Marian month of December is devoted to the Immaculate Conception, I would like to delve a little more deeply into this topic in a few upcoming posts, to follow the discussion as it evolved through the centuries and to highlight subject matter such as Mary’s pre-redemption.

But for today, on Mary’s beautiful feastday, I leave you with this passage from Henri Nouwen’s, “The Genesee Diary” – an entry he wrote on the feast of the Immaculate Conception in 1974:

In this feast it seems that all the quiet beauty of Advent suddenly bursts forth into exuberance and exultation. In Mary we see all the beauty of Advent concentrated. She is the one in whom the waiting of Israel is most fully and most purely manifested; she is the last of the remnant of Israel for whom God shows his mercy and fulfills his promises; she is the faithful one who believed that the promise made to her by the Lord would be fulfilled; she is the lowly handmaid, the obedient servant, the quiet contemplative. She indeed is the most prepared to receive the Lord.

It seems that there is no better time to celebrate this feast than during these Advent days. It is the celebration of the beauty of her who is ready to receive the Lord. It is like admiring the palace where the King will enter, the room to which the bridegroom will come, the garden where the great encounter will take place.

[Henri J.M. Nouwen, The Genesee Diary, pg. 174]

Two Years Already

Today marks the second anniversary of my having started this blog, Consecrated to Mary.  I cannot tell you the joy it has brought me.  I’ve learned so much in terms of Mariology over the last two years while reading and researching for my posts, and have discovered so many beautiful Marian songs, videos and artwork; but even better, I know I have grown closer to Mary herself.

I am privileged to know that since starting this blog, three people for certain have already been consecrated to Mary, while one is making her consecration to Mary this very day, and one is in the wings for this upcoming February.  This was the main reason, I believe, that Mother Mary inspired me to start this site, and I so appreciate the gentle way she has of entering people’s hearts, placing within them the desire for a closer relationship with her.

Apart from the consecration material on this site, I have noticed over the months (from statistics made available to me on my dashboard) that the three posts that consistently receive the most visitors are the Prayer to St. Gabriel the Archangel, the Feastday of Our Lady of Fatima and St. Catherine of Siena’s Prayer to Mary.

So, dear readers, thank you for making my last two years here such a pleasure.  Thank you, Carol, for your faithful comments and support; thank you to all the commentors during the past two years, and to those who emailed me from time-to-time to send info/suggestions or just to chat.  You have all blessed my life with encouragement and prayer, for which I am deeply grateful.