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Published 12-21-09
Welcome To The Religion Network!

I'm Lisa Bowman, editor of The Religion Network, a multi-faith Web site. This site provides inspirational quotes through an
exploration of a new spiritual theme every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The Religion network is offered with the
conviction that inspiration can be found in all spiritual faiths, and furthermore, that finding the commonalities
among the world's religions is more healing than pointing up their differences.

Religion as an institution is a precious gift, blessing individuals and uplifting communities. However you choose to
worship, I hope this site enhances your journey. If you'd like to know my story, click on biography.

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ON TODAY'S SITE:

Jean-Pierre de Caussade, Book of Luke, Martin Luther, Bartolo Longo

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Dear Readers,

In four years, I've not done a site on the Virgin Mary. It has taken me a while to see her
in a fresh, human way...as the young girl she was, flesh and blood and stunned when
the Archangel Gabriel suddenly appeared before her. Because I don't care how pious a
teenager may be, if an angel appears out of thin air in the room, there's surely going to
be some panic involved! What's amazing is how quickly Mary recovered her composure.
Hearing out the angel, she focused on the import of the news and not how inconvenient
his prophesy might prove to be. She truly showed herself to be "full of grace." Mary said
"Yes." She didn't have to, but if she hadn't, what might have then happened? Who knows.
However, she trustingly agreed and further, sang God's praises. It made me think about
how often I groan over something the Lord asks me to do, though it may be something
only affecting one day of my life! Indeed, Mary's immediate acquiescence to the Lord's
will presages a line in the prayer her son would later give the world; a line that reads,
"Thy will be done, thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven."

- Lisa

1478_Madonna_Benois_DAVINCI
"Madonna With A Flower" (La Madonna Benois)
1478, Leonardo Da Vinci

(Mary's) reply to the angel, when she was content to say,
"Be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38), summed
up the whole mystical teaching of her ancestors. Everything
was reduced, as it is now, to the purest and simplest commit-
ment to the will of God in whatever form it might present itself.
That exalted and beautiful disposition which was the essence of
Mary's soul shines out wonderfully in those simple words. How
perfectly it accords with what our savior wishes us to have un-
ceasingly on our lips and in our hearts - "Thy will be done."...

It was this divine will that ruled her life. Whether her occupations
were exalted or lowly, in her eyes they were but shadows, more
or less luminous, in which she found it possible both to worship
God and to recognize the works of the Almighty. Her spirit,
ravished with joy, looked upon everything that she was called
upon to do or suffer each moment as the gift of God, who
always fills with blessings a heart that is nourished
neither by the world nor by fantasy, but by him alone.


Excerpted from "The Sacrament of the Present Moment,"
by Jean-Pierre de Caussade (1675-1751)
HarperSanFrancisco, 1982


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In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from
God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin
betrothed to a man named Joseph, of the house of David,
and the virgin's name was Mary. And coming to her, he
said, "Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you." But she
was greatly troubled at what was said and pondered what
sort of greeting this might be. Then the angel said to
her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor
with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and
bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus..."

...Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word."
Then the angel departed from her.



Luke 1:26-31,38
New American Bible




salvador_dali_The_Madonna_of_Port_Lligat
"The Madonna of Port Lligat"    Salvador Dali (1904-1989)
First version, 1949




One should honor Mary as she herself wished and as she
expressed in the Magnificat. She praised God for his
deeds. How then can we praise her? The true honor of
Mary is the honor of God, the praise of God's grace...
Mary is nothing for the sake of herself, but for the
sake of Christ...Mary does not wish that we come
to her, but through her to God.

Martin Luther (1483-1546)
Priest and theology professor;
instigator of the Protestant Reformation
From his "Explanation of the Magnificat"



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And Mary said:
"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;
my spirit rejoices in God my savior.
For he has looked upon his handmaid's
lowliness;
behold, from now on will all ages call
me blessed.

The Mighty One has done great things
for me,
and holy is his name."


Excerpted from The Canticle of Mary ("The Magnificat")
Luke 1:46-49
New American Bible


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The Last Word:

Behold, O my soul: the Angel has not been sent
to the great cities, to the palaces of princes, to
the king's daughters covered in gold, but to
Nazareth, a small town, to a Virgin...

It is not one's birth, therefore, nor the gifts of
nature which attract the eyes of God;
before him true merit is humility, modesty,
innocence of habit, love of purity.

From "The Fifteen Saturdays,"
by Blessed Bartolo Longo (1841-1926)
Shrine of Pompeii, 1993



 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Those who bring sunshine into the lives
of others cannot keep it from themselves.

J. M. Barrie (1860-1937)
Author of "Peter Pan"


 


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SEASON SPECIAL:

ADVENT & CHRISTMAS

With links to pages
full of inspirational
quotes, prayers, poems
and Bible quotes about
Christmas and Advent
previously published on
The Religion Network.

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