Night Office, file from past years.
Monastic Lectionary of the Divine Office
MARY, THE CAUSE OF OUR JOY
FROM A SERMON BY ST.LAURENCE OF BRINDISI
Mary bore within herself the Light of the world and is the cause of all consolation and of all joy. In this we may discover a similarity between Mary and Queen Esther: for her own Jewish people Esther’s appearance was 'the dawning of a day of light of gladness and joy and honour'. What gave the Jews so great a cause for joy was to know that at the right hand of the greatest of kings and most powerful of emperors they had as queen, Esther a Jewess. For the Safety of her people, she was ready and willing to put her own life in jeopardy. Because of her closeness to this powerful prince~ and so greatly did he love her for her unmatched charm and the almost divine radiance of her beauty that there was nothing that she could not achieve.
What a cause of joy it is for us, then, to have Mary intimately present to the Sovereign King, close to almighty God, the everlasting Ruler of all things. In the presence of the Divine Majesty, Mary is infinitely more powerful than ever Esther was in the presence of Ahasuerus, indeed, there is nothing that Mary cannot do from her place beside God. But that is not all. The love Mary bears towards each one of us is not simply a love inspired by belonging to the same nation - for she is indeed of our flesh
and blood - but is a mother's love. a deep affection, true and heartfelt like that of parents for their children.
And has not Mary also put her life in danger for our sake when she was standing by the cross of Jesus'? Like Abraham in total and overflowing generosity of spirit Mary truly sacrificed her Son to God in spirit; with genuine love she offered him up for the salvation of the world. She was 'standing by the cross of Jesus' strengthened and sustained by the power of the Holy Spirit.
How great a cause of joy and happiness it is for the whole world to have such a patroness and advocate in the presence of God the almighty! Since she is in his presence, there is nothing beyond her power. no good thing for which she doesn't strive and desire to gain for us, with her mother's care and love.
Sermon 3 on the 'Hail Mary' Orval's "Lectures Mariales" 1968
(Text prepared by Mt. St. Bernard Abbey, 1971)