Wednesday, November 18, 2009

[MaryVitamin] fiery furnace

Mary Vitamin for November 17th
Topic: The Fiery Furnace as a symbol of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Princeton University Chapel: John Damascene

Image by AKMA via Flickr

Doctor of the Church, St. John Damascene praying to the Blessed Virgin Mary,
"Is it not true that this furnace, [mentioned in the Book of Daniel 3:12-100]  filled with a fire at once burning and refreshing, was a faithful image of thee and an excellent picture of the divine and eternal fire dwelling with thee?"
St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary, (Loreto Publications), 99.
The witness of the three Hebrew youth who would not worship a false god even when threatened with burning in the fiery furnace is an important Old Testament expression of faith. King Nebuchadnezzar, (spelling varies). one of the great villains of the OT, ordered the creation of a remarkably hot fire. The fire was so hot (heated seven times) that when the three young men were bound and cast into it, the men keeping the fire were incinerated. However, the faithful youth with their confidence in the True God were left not only unharmed but comfortable within the fires of this furnace. The young men broke into praise of God and their prayer is remembered on each Solemnity in Morning prayer of the Breviary. (Sunday Week I, Morning Prayer, Second Canticle)
The final episode in this great story, when the King heard the songs of worship he had to look into the oven himself. He not only saw the three young men but also one  'who was like the Son of God!"
St. John Eudes offers this spiritual interpretation of the story:
"It is a great miracle to witness fire and water subsisting side by side in the furnace of Nabuchodonosor. The fire did not turn the cooling water into steam nor did the water quench the burning heat of the fire. What manner of fire is this? It is the fire of divine love burning in the virginal heart of Mary. What is the cooling dew? It is the water of tribulation, which so often flooded the holy heart of the Mother of Sorrows. The fire of love did not dry up the waters of affliction; and the waters of tribulation were unable,  I shall not  say to extinguish, but even to diminish in the least degree the divine ardor of that heavenly fires
We also notice that the three young men were bound hand and foot when thrown into the furnace, but immediately their bonds were consumed by the fire and they were freed within the furnace. … These flames will not harm you; instead they will destroy your fetters and establish you in the holy liberty of the children of God and of His loving Mother. They will inflame your hearts with the fire of heavenly love, they will transform them into divine fire itself. Your hearts will become holy furnaces heated seven times with the fire and flames that leap from the heart of your heavenly Mother."
St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary, (Loreto Publications), 101, 102.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary

Image by Susan WD via Flickr

Today I will entrust my most stubborn fault to Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and beg her to burn away the fetters which hold me bound.
I will pray, "Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for me."
Marian Vow:
St. John Eudes
"Only three Hebrew boys were thrown into the furnace of Babylon, but all children of the admirable Mother of God can enter the furnace of her heart and dwell there as in a paradise of delights where they praise and glorify God forever in company with their heavenly mother, and their hearts are filled with joy and consolation."
St. John Eudes, The Admirable Heart of Mary, (Loreto Publications), 101.
I give this resolution to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Thanks be to God for graces received.

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