Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother

Today's feast celebrates the incredible victory of the Catholic armies of Christendom, particularly the decisive charge of King Jan Sobieski of Poland into the Ottoman lines(which inspired Tolkien's Rohirrim charge at Pelennor Fields in the Lord of the Rings).  Fr Z has more.  The Mother of God continues to intercede for us today, if we request it of her. 

From a homily by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
(Homilia 2 super “Missus est”: PL 183, 61-71)

Call on Mary whose name means “Star of the Sea”

The Gospel says: And the virgin’s name was Mary. We should speak a little this name which is said to mean “star of the sea”. It is most fitting for the Virgin Mother who may well be compared to a star; for, as a star beams forth its rays without any diminution of its own luster, so, too, the Virgin gave birth to a Son with no loss to her virginity. The departing rays do not lessen the star’s brightness, nor Mary’s Son her inviolate maidenhood. She is, therefore, that noble star risen from Jacob, whose rays give light to the whole world, whose splendor shines in the heavens and penetrates to the lowest places of the earth. She gives light to the earth and warmth to minds more than to bodies. She encourages virtues and stamps out vices. She is, therefore, that illustrious and noble star raised by nature above the wide sea of life. She shines with merits, she enlightens with her example.

You, all of you, who are cast about upon the sea of time, amidst storms and tempests, more than those who walk on life’s solid ground, keep your eyes fixed on the brightness of that star if you do not wish to be overwhelmed by those storms. If the winds of temptation arise, if you run aground on the reefs of affliction, look to the star, call upon Mary. If you are upset by the immensity of your sins, confused by the corruption of your conscience, terrified by the thought of judgement, overtaken by great sadness or deep despair, think of Mary.

In danger, anguish and doubt, think of Mary, call upon Mary. Do not let her name leave your lips nor your heart. In order to obtain the help of her prayers, do not abandon the company of her presence. Following her, you will not be lost; calling on her, you will not despair; thinking of her, you will not err; holding to her, you will not fall. Under her protection, you will not fear; under her guidance, you will succeed, so that you may experience for yourself how fittingly it was said, and the Virgin’s name was Mary.
Office of Readings

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