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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Saint John Damascene

Mary opened to us the unspeakable abyss of God's love for us. Through her the old enmity against the Creator is destroyed. Through her our reconciliation with him is strengthened, peace and grace are given to us, men and women are the companions of angels, and we, who were in dishonor, are made the children of God. From her we have plucked the fruit of life. From her we have received the seed of immortality. She is the channel of all our goods. In her God was man and man was God. What more marvelous or blessed? I approach the subject in fear and trembling.

With Mary, the prophetess, O youthful souls, let us sound our musical instruments, mortifying our members on earth, for this spiritual music. Let our souls rejoice in the Ark of God; the walls of Jericho will yield, I mean the fortresses of the enemy. Let us dance in spirit with David; the Ark of God is at rest. With Gabriel, the great archangel, let us exclaim, "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you." Hail, inexhaustible ocean of grace. Hail, sole refuge in grief. Hail, cure of hearts. Hail, you through whom death is expelled and life is installed.