She presents him in the Temple and accompanies him on his mission. She submits herself to the laws of purification even though she does not need to be purified.

We are in need of interior purification. However, our pride often seeks to exempt us from the law. We make excuses. Often we falsely believe that parts of the law of God just do not pertain to us.

According to the law, Mary was to go to the Temple forty days after the birth of her son and participate in the purification rite. She brings the child with her. This is the first time Jesus, the Light of the World, enters the Temple.

Candles are blessed on this day by the Church. These lit tapers symbolize the life of a Christian – a life of grace that is filled with faith. Since Jesus is the Light of the World, or as Simeon proclaimed, “a light to the revelation of the Gentiles”, these candles should be a reminder to us that we too must be a light for others revealing Christ in us.

Mary is always united to her Son. We too should always be united to Jesus. Our union with him is proportional to our purity. For this Feast of the Presentation let us ask the Immaculate Heart of Mary for that pure love, free of sin and detached from all created things, and for a heart directed towards God and always tending toward him.


Suffering, the way to heaven

“From the crib to the cross, suffering, poverty and lack of appreciation were his lot. He had directed his whole life to teaching people how different is God’s view of suffering, poverty and lack of human appreciation from the foolish wisdom of the world. After sin, suffering had to follow so that, through the cross, man’s lost glory and life with God might be regained. Suffering is the way to heaven. In the cross is salvation, in the cross is victory.
God willed it so. “ (From the writings of Blessed Titus Brandsma)

Blessed Titus Brandsma was born in the Netherlands in 1881. As a young man he joined the Carmelite Order and was ordained in 1905. He studied in Rome earning a doctorate in philosophy. He taught in Holland at various schools and was a professor of philosophy and history of mysticism at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. He was also a journalist. He fought against Nazi ideas and for the freedom of Catholic education and the Catholic press for which he was arrested in 1942. While in various prisons and concentration camps he was able to bring comfort and peace to the other prisoners. He was killed in Dachau after much suffering and humiliation at the hands of his tormentors.

Through the intercession of Blessed Titus Brandsma, may God grant us the courage to proclaim the dignity of every human being and the freedom of the Church.