THE JOY OF ALL WHO SORROW, THE HOPE OF ALL THE HOPELESS
Foreseen in the Sacred Scriptures, shown in prophetic imagery of the Old Testament, as the great golden lamp stand, as the temple, the ark of the covenant, the Apostles, the Fathers of the Church, the Martyrs all have the Blessed Lady, the Virgin Mary, the God Bearer, THEOTOKOS as she is called in ancient Greek, as their sweetness and strength.
She, Our Lady, the “Most Holy One,” PANAGIA as she is called in Greek, is the most blessed of all God’s works and creation.
Tender, full of compassion and love, the holiest and highest of creatures, more glorious than all the angelic powers, She alone bore within her the Son of God and became the living temple of the Word of God, of God Himself.
She as the Mother of Our Lord is the Mother of all Christians and intercedes for all of the human race with the boldness that only She has as a Mother to Her Divine Son.
At times when life’s trouble and the trauma of events is too much, when difficulties pile up high on your shoulders do not give up do not despair. Turn to the Blessed Lady in prayer, She understands and will visit you with unimaginable love and sweetness. She is called many things by the Fathers and Saints of the Church: the comfort of the comfortless, the hope of the hopeless, the joy of all who sorrow.” In Her person the Lord has provided a Mother for all orphans and those who yearn to feel the love of a mother beyond all others. Her face and Her eyes are the sweetness that gives strength to overcome all adversity and all difficulty. She expresses the very love of God, Who came down to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. If you have fears that no one else understands. If you face disappointments and personal failures do not despair, turn to the Blessed Virgin for help and support. If you have weaknesses that you can’t overcome and can’t share with anyone else, share them with the Most Blessed Mary. Don’t give into despair and hopelessness. Get up and go forward, reach out to Our Lady and She will hear, She is quick to hear, and will intercede to Our Lord and Her Divine Son on your behalf. Turn to Most Holy Mary and speak to Her as a child speaks to his/her Mother. If at times you feel like no one understands you, be assured that She does! Speak to Her honestly knowing that She forever stands at the throne of Her Divine Son our Lord Jesus Christ and prays for all of us ceaselessly. Do not fear to share you innermost thoughts, troubles, joys and hopes with Her. In Her person, the person of our Lady you will feel the grace of the Holy Spirit flow into your being filling you with hope and joy like drinking from a fountain of cool water on a hot sunny day. No matter how parched your lips may be from the struggle of life and the problems that assail you be assured of Her love and understanding.
One of the Most Holy Mary’s titles in the Eastern Orthodox Church is: She Who Is Broader Than The Heavens. The title is appropriate for the whole universe can not contain God and yet He came and dwelt in the womb of the Blessed Virgin and became a Man. The ONE became One of us! In the Person of the Blessed Virgin this mystery took place, She is the instrument of God’s Saving act in the most unique way. For this cause She looks upon all of us with unimaginable love and compassion since she above all other created beings knows what God did by becoming human and dying on the Cross for us all. She together with Her Divine Son desires not the death of any sinner but that we all live with Him in glory and unfathomable joy forever.
How to pray to our Lady? It is easy but there are various formulas that one can use too. Of course you can just say what is in your heart. If you need to warm up however there are various beautiful prayers that you can use to get you going.
Here are too very ancient and famous prayers that you can start with:Hail! Mary full of grace the Lord is with you, Virgin Mother of God: Blessed are you among women and blessed is He the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Savior of our souls.
O never failing Protectress of Christians and the ever-present intercessor before the Creator, despise not the voices of prayer of us sinners, but in your goodness, come now to our aid, as we call upon you with faith. Hasten Theotokos, (Bearer of God), to intercede for us, for you always protected those who honor you.
And of course Her own famous prayer:
”And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.
He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.”
So do not hesitate, the Blessed Virgin Mary is ready and quick to hear your words. Share with Her your troubles and joy, and you will feel the grace of the Holy Spirit fill your heart with gladness and strength.
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