The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Mystical Rainbow

Canisius | 26 February, 2006 04:32

IV, 175 has one of my favorite Marian images so far. I've seen the burning bush before, and Gideon's fleece, and the gate of the Temple, but the one in this prayer to Mary is new for me:

"If the flood-gate of His just indignation burst upon the face of our earth, millions of souls that have been redeemed by the Blood of thy divine Son would be lost eternally. If the sweet dove of peace bring her olive-branch only when that terrible justice is appeased, it would be too late for thy loving heart. Come before the deluge, O beautiful rainbow of our Father's reconciliation!"

Mary is here seen as the rainbow that appeared in the sky as God's pledge that he would never again destroy the world by a flood. This is a striking portrayal of Mary, given that she is in fact a kind of radiance or glow of Jesus' redemption that gives us hope when we think on her. I find myself saying thanks to God that a person such as Mary ever existed, especially when my own sins have gotten me down; the mere fact that Mary is out there brightens my outlook, almost like discovering that the realm of faerie is real. She is a pledge to us of what God intends to accomplish eventually in all of us.

But Gueranger looks especially to her power of intercession against divine wrath. (Again, I can't help but think he would have made great hay with the Fatima revelations.) He asks this rainbow to appear before rather than after the catastrophe: give us the pledge of peace before disaster strikes; intercede to stave off God's anger rather than simply encouraging us after we have borne the brunt of it.

And to that I can only say--Amen!


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