Still-life with Open Bible, Van Gogh, October 1885
Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam [Web Gallery of Art]

Sincerely I learned about her, and ungrudgingly do I share—
    her riches I do not hide away;
For she is an unfailing treasure;
    those who gain this treasure win the friendship of God,
    being commended by the gifts that come from her discipline. [NABRE]

~ Wisdom 7:13-14 ~



Mitch Albom [Wikipedia]

But there's a story behind everything. How a picture got on a wall. How a scar got on your face. Sometimes the stories are simple, and sometimes they are hard and heart-breaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother's story, because hers is where yours begin.

~ Mitch Albom, For One More Day  ~



Madonna of the Magnificat, Botticell, 1480-81
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence [Web Gallery of Art]

Mary is the morning star preceding the Light of the World, Christ. The only difference is that all her light is derived from the Son she heralds. By God’s eternal decree Mary has been associated with highest mysteries of the Christian religion, being the very instrument of the Incarnation of the Eternal Son of God, and, therefore, of our redemption. We have devotion to her both because of our admiration of her, and because of her interest in our eternal welfare. When we honor Mary, of course, we are but honoring Christ in her. Without Him, she would be nothing, and she would be the first to admit it. And the honor we show her cannot displease Christ. He was the best Son who ever lived, and would rather be displeased were His Mother ignored or slighted. Remember the bootblack’s answer to the parson. Whilst having his boots polished, the parson saw a medal of the Virgin Mary hanging from the boy’s neck on a string. ‘Sonny,’ he said, ‘why do you wear that?’ ‘She is the Mother of Christ,’ said the boy. ‘But,’ objected the parson, ‘she’s no different from your own mother’. ‘No,’ replied the boy, ‘but there’s a hell of a difference between the sons’. We owe love and devotion to the Mother of Christ.

~ Fathers Rumble and Carty, Radio Replies – Volume III ~



Magnificat by John Rutter

Magnificat anima mea Dominum:
et exsultavit spiritus meus 
in Deo salutari meo. 
Quia respexit humilitatem ancillae suae:
ecce enim ex hoc beatam me dicent omnes generations.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:46-48).



Statue of St Columban, Bobbio

Be submissive to good, unbending to evil, gentle in generosity, untiring in love, just in all things.
Be respectful to the worthy, merciful to the poor.
Be mindful of favours, unmindful of wrongs. Be a lover of the ordinary man, and don’t wish for riches, but cool down excitement and speak your mind.

~ St Columban, Letter to a young disciple ~



St Teresa of Avila, Jusepe de Ribera, 1644
Private Collection [Web Gallery of Art]

Peace, peace, the Lord said, my Sisters; and He urged His apostles so many times. Well, believe me, if we don’t obtain and have peace in our own house we’ll not find it outside. Let this war be ended. Through the blood He shed for us I ask those who have not begun to enter within themselves to do so; and those who have begun, not to let the war make them turn back.

~ Spiritual Counsels of Saint Teresa of Jesus ~


Paperwork, cleaning the house, dealing with the innumerable visitors who come all through the day, answering the phone, keeping patience and acting intelligently, which is to find some meaning in all that happens – these things, too, are the works of peace.

Source: The Catholic Worker, December 1965. Thanks to www.plough.com for this quotation through its Daily Dig.