Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mother of God Czestochowa and Spiritual Invasion

It is said that the icon of the Mother of God ~ Czestochowa was painted by Saint Luke in the home at Nazareth. It is further said that Saint Helena discovered the icon in 326 A.D. and brought it to Constantinople. From there it made its way to Poland in about the year 600.  On the other hand, art historians date the icon to somewhere between 500-800 A.D. and that the first real documentation of its monastery connection at Jasna Gora (Bright Mountain) is 14th century. The long and short of it: it is a very old icon, full of history and great spiritual energy such that people continue to pilgrim to it by the many thousands every year.

The Czestochowa Mother of God is Poland's defender against invaders. Hussites stormed the Pauline Monastery in 1430 at which time her face was slashed by the one who carried her away in the pillage. Again she saved the Pauline Monks in the Swedish invasion of 1655. Poles rallied around after Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 and then again in the pained Soviet decades which sought to crush Polish Catholicism.

The Czestochowa icon was even "arrested" by Soviet police as she was carried throughout the country on pilgrimage and sent back to the monastery of Jasna Gora under house arrest! The pilgrims completed the long journey, escorting her empty frame from parish to parish as an act of defiance. 

She seems to take invaders and invasion seriously. And so must we. But we must move beyond the accounts of geo-political invasion and understand the word spiritually, lest she be robbed of her real purpose, power and significance. We don't want to be just admirers but participants. And so...

O Lady Czestochowa, defend us,
From the invasion of despair to hope,
From the invasion of bitterness to joy,
From the invasion of prejudice to hospitality,
From the invasion of personal dissatisfaction to surrender.

O Lady ~ Virgin Mary,
That we would be invaded with love ~ even for our enemies,
That we would be invaded with Holy Spirit,
That we would be invaded by a changed consciousness,
That we would be invaded with a personal knowledge of Christ,
That we would be invaded by a desire for peace.

O Czestochowa, Mother of God,
invade our thoughts,
invade our feelings,
invade our politics,
invade our church-life,
invade our families.

O Lady of the Bright Mountain,
stand against our war-making mentality,
stand against the gun-fetish and our atrocities,
stand against our life-denying choices,
stand against our grabbing self-interest,
stand against all the lies,
stand against the power-lust,
stand against the deepening hatred,
stand against our violence and depravity.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your good prayer direction Fr. Stephen. O Lady Czestochowa, I pray that many will read this and be spiritually invaded by these words of faith filled wisdom.