Sunday, December 14, 2014

Before Her True Image

Advent is always a Marian season, but never more so than in the week we celebrate two of her great feasts.  Last Monday we contemplated our Immaculate Mother, patroness of our Country, our Poor Clare Federation and our Franciscan Order.  Then on Friday we celebrated Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of all the Americas and of our own monastery.  She is truly “ours” by many titles.  Yet, most precious of all her names is that of “Mother”.  We love to call upon her as we look at her miraculous picture imprinted on St. Juan Diego’s tilma and reproduced in countless pictures throughout the world.  Almost every room in our home is graced by her lovely face.  Here is a poem by one of our Sisters who has a tender Marian devotion:

Before Her True Image

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rose of Paradise,
We thirst for healing waters of your grace
And find compassion flowing from your eyes.
Generations have longed to see your face.

            That men might know your love you came.
            We have no need to search beyond the skies:
            Your image here makes our exile home,
            Our Lady of Guadalupe, Rose of Paradise

No art of human hands that could reveal
All that this portrait speaks, these features trace:
A mother-with might of God at your appeal.
We thirst for saving waters of your grace.

            Fountain of life and hope of humankind,
            You hold in fold of hands and vigilant gaze
            Your children, all who turn in trust to find
            That warm compassion flowing from your eyes.

Fairest flower of earth and Queen of Paradise—
Alone Immaculate of all our sinful race—
Bring us to the fullness reflected in your eyes.

Happy the generations who see your face.

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