Sep 8 – Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary announced joy and the approaching salvation of a lost world. Mary was brought into the world not like other children of Adam, infected with the contagion of sin, but pure, holy, beautiful, and glorious, adorned with all the most precious graces fitting for the one predestined to be the Mother of the Saviour. Never did she have the slightest inclination towards anything other than the absolute and immediate Will of God.
She appeared indeed in the weak condition of all mortals, but in the eyes of Heaven she already transcended the highest seraphim in purity, humility, charity, and the richest ornaments of grace. God had created her in the original grace, as in the beginning Adam and Eve had enjoyed that ineffable privilege; after original sin, it was lost for all Adam’s posterity, until the time of the Redemption dawned in Mary. (Cf. I Cor. 15:21-23)
The nations celebrate, often too noisily, the birthdays of the great ones of this earth. How then ought we, Christians, to rejoice in that of the Virgin Mary, Mother of our Salvation, and to present publicly to God the homage of our best praises and thanksgiving for the great mercies He has shown in her, imploring her mediation with her Divine Son!
Jesus of Nazareth will not reject the supplications of His most holy Mother, through whom He chose to descend from Heaven; she, the Spouse of the Canticle, is all beautiful and is the one He was pleased to obey while on earth. Her love, care, and tenderness for Him, the title and qualities which she bears, the charity and graces with which she is adorned, and the crown of glory with which she is honoured, incline Him readily to receive her recommendations and petitions.
…the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream…
Much like me, you are probably not getting as much sleep as you should. So many things get in the way of the eight hours of rest that we need for our mind and body’s healing. With poor sleep, we are not able to experience the multiple REM cycles necessary for dreaming. And we are missing out, because God can communicate to us in dreams.
There are at least twenty accounts of dreams recorded in the Bible. Dreams differ from visions, because visions take place while we are awake. Some of the more commonly recounted dreams are the ones Joseph had about the one sheaf of grain that stood straight while eleven others bowed to it, and of the sun, moon and stars bowing to him. The Lord also appeared to Solomon, the new king of Israel, in a dream and offered him anything from which he chose wisdom.
Not every dream we have is revelatory. Some dreams are the outcome of our minds processing the day’s events. There is still much to be determined about the purpose dreams serve but in my personal experience, I always feel very refreshed and clear headed when I dream intensely at night. The nights without dreams signify that my body is in dire need of rest. Using the sleep tracking feature on my Fitbit, I notice long periods of deep sleep which are essential for physical repair and rejuvenation.
In order to discern which dreams are from God, we need to reflect and closely examine them. Consider starting a dream diary and see if any recurring themes or messages keep surfacing. See how you feel after the dreams — do you feel rested and calm? Or anxious and shaken? Most importantly, pray and ask God for the wisdom to understand their true meaning, and how those dreams can translate to actions. Dreams rarely take place in a vacuum and if God really wanted to send you a message, there would be other signs in your life with regard to his intentions for you.
Taken together, we might all be able to better hear God’s will for us in our lives and have the reassurance that He is in control, leading us to where we need to be. Just as Joseph trusted the dream he had and went on to be an instrumental figure in Jesus’ life, may we all have a vibrant dream life and a closer relationship with God as a result.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Gregory Mathew)
Prayer: Abba Father, we pray that you will keep us healthy and secure so that we can serve you tirelessly in our lives.
Thanksgiving: Thank you dear Lord, for the wonderful ways that you choose to speak to us. We are eternally grateful for our family, friends, circumstances and dreams that make life so mysterious and well worth living.