(Part 1 of 3 volumes) by Rev. Ildefonso R. Vilar, SDB. Kolbe Publications, 2018. Pp. 190
It is not easy to write well on Our Lady. Ste. Thérèse de Lisieux said in one of her last saying that “all the sermons on Our Lady that she had heard left her cold… If a sermon on the blessed virgin is to bear fruit, it must present her real life, as the Gospels let it appear not her supposed life”. The volume under review by a Salesian priest – originally written in Spanish – presents exactly that. And it succeeds in giving the reader a glimpse of the real life of Our Lady. This is what God had in his mind and it is precisely what we must imitate. This book will help you with that.
“We are dealing with a mystery. Therefore we cannot plumb the depths of it since we would be lost in its immensity. Nevertheless, it is sweet and consoling to ponder, as far as in us lies, over those reasons for which Mary… had to be our Mother” (p.24). This is what the author intends to present in 40 meditations.
After presenting who Mary is (meditation #1,2) he presents the points for meditation on the Immaculate Conception (#3-9), the name of Mary (#13,14), the Presentation of Our Lady (#15-17), the Espousal of Our Lady (#18), the Annunciation (#18-28), the Visitation (#29-31), Magnificat (#32-38), the Expectation of Christ’s Birth (#39) and on the road to Bethlehem (#40).
“Think deeply what is means. Try to be penetrate deep and deeper into this mystery. You will derive much advantage from it”. (p. 21). Indeed. What strikes one much is the fact that there is a perfect chord between doctrine & piety. This book is neither over-pious nor too complicated.
Each meditation has three (or four) points where the author presents the mystery in a simple term for our consideration. The last points are usually for practical purpose. For example, on Annunciation, “Learn prudence of Mary. How easily we believe something to be God’s business, seeing it as easily as a suggestion from an angel when it resounds to our own profit or glory. How readily we sprint towards those things that please us. And how often we afterwards realize that the inspiration did not after all come from the Angel of Light but from the Angel of Darkness, and what we thought to be a divine whisper was in reality a temptation! Examine, meditate, take advice, so that you may always be right in your choice and resolves, thereby imitating the prudence of your Heavenly Mother” (p. 129).
We do notice few misslips. p. 23 ‘that’ should be read “than” P. 74: ‘heart’ is misspelled and on p. 76: ‘Blessed Lady’, p. 150 ‘Mary’… Some phrases sound awkward like p.15 ‘Be confused in God’s love for Mary’. These are just a few slips which does not take away the essential soundness of the rest of the work.
This book may be warmly recommended to priests, but they should not expect to find readymade sermon; they will find better than that, if only they can afford the unhurried and meditated reading it requires to let the central idea of the book to sink in. They will acquire an insight into the Marian dogmas and a conviction of the meaning of her mission which may well prove the secret of fruitful preaching.
It is equally and highly recommended to laity alike. They cannot afford to miss it. This book will prove of practical use to its reader and a joy to them as well.
Kolbe Publications have done a wonderful job. The printing and color pictures throughout the book are very attractive. With these new volumes the publishers have doubled the debt of gratitude the English speaking traditional world owes them.
Fr. Therasian Babu SSPX
Size : A5
Total Weight: 365 GM
Price : $15 for set of 3
MARIAN MEDITATIONS - Part ll
In the second volume of his “Marian Meditations”,
Father Idelfonso Villa, SDB makes us contemplate the
Mother of God from Christ’s cradle to His burial.
At long last, Mary sees the face of the Word
Incarnate, Her divine Son. A few adore Him in His
manger and in the Temple of Jerusalem. And yet,
how true the words of Simeon that “this child shall
be a sign of contradiction”. Exiled in Egypt, He then hides Himself at Nazareth. Mary and Joseph silently marvel at God’s wisdom, goodness and beauty.
The Woman of Genesis obtains the start of Christ’spublic mission and the gift of faith for His disciples.
She now remains quiet in the background. And yet, while His disciples hide, She openly side with
Jesus during His salvific Passion. The Woman of the Apocalypse suffers the pangs of childbirth and becomes
the Mother of Christ’s many brethren and their Co-Redemptrix. When “all is consummated”, the
Sorrowful Mother longs for the Resurrection of Her divine Son.
Fr. Benoit Wailliez, SSPX
MARIAN MEDITATIONS -Part lll
In the third volume of his “Marian Meditations”,
Father Idelfonso Villa, SDB makes us contemplate
the Mother of God from Christ’s Resurrection to Her
coronation in heaven.
Our Lady’s faith is rewarded by the Resurrection
of Her divine Son and His visit to Her in the early hours of Easter Sunday. How She must have longed
to go with Him to heaven right away, on Ascension Day! But She is the Mother of the Church and She
ought to be present at Pentecost with St. Peter and the other apostles. St. John faithfully takes Mary to his own. And while on earth, Our Lady keeps giving way to Her Son and His representatives. But from heaven which She triumphantly enters, body and soul, Christ’s power, wisdom and love are given Her to act outrightly as universal Mediatrix of all graces. “To
know Mary, you must know Her Heart”, Father Villa concludes. “The more you study Her love, the more complete your knowledge of Her will be. A sweet consideration indeed and a sweet devotion too.”
Fr. Benoit Wailliez, SSPX