Thursday, 26 April 2012

Our Lady of Good Counsel.

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 Image of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Genazzano, Italy.

"O Holy Virgin, to whose feet we are led by our anxious uncertainty in our search for and attainment of what is true and good, invoking you by the sweet title of Mother of Good Counsel, we beseech you to come to our assistance, when, along the road of this life, the darkness of error and of evil conspires towards our ruin by leading our minds and our hearts astray. 

O Seat of Wisdom and Star of the Sea, enlighten the doubtful and the erring, that they be not seduced by the false appearances of good; render them steadfast in the face of the hostile and corrupting influences of passion and of sin. 

O Mother of Good Counsel, obtain for us from your Divine Son a great love of virtue, and, in the hour of uncertainty and trial, the strength to embrace the way that leads to our salvation. If your hand sustains us, we shall walk unmolested along the path indicated to us by the life and words of Jesus, our Redeemer; and having followed freely and securely, even in the midst of this world's strife, the Sun of Truth and Justice under your maternal Star, we shall come to the enjoyment of full and eternal peace with you in the haven of salvation. Amen."

Prayer to Our Lady of Good Counsel composed by Pope Pius XII 

This is a particularly Augustinian remembrance of the BVM. The the veneration of the Blessed Virgin under the title of "Mother of Good Counsel", springs from the fact that there is a miraculous picture in the Augustinian church at Genazzano near Rome. Which doubtless appeals to the current Pope, who is deeply Augustinian in his theology, and to us Anglicans - whom the late Martin Thornton in his "English Spirituality" noted were essentially Augustinian (Jesuit and Franciscan spirituality never really entered our marrow in the same way allegedly).  It is the appeal for divine wisdom in an uncertain age that strikes me in the prayer of the Pope who had to lead a Church through the horrors of Fascism.  A prayer for today really.  and perhaps especially for world leaders.

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