Mary Mother of God
…continued from previous lesson, Christ Jesus is “True God and True Man” with full humanity in order to be our representative and full divinity in order to repay the infinite debt of our sins.
In focusing on the title of Mother of God, it is a great opportunity for us to reflect on who Jesus Christ is. Mary is Mother of God because Jesus is God.
In confronting heresy, the title “Mother of God” emphasizes HIM, who He is, not her.
Since Jesus is God, and one person, not two, she is properly called Mother of God. Thus this title comes to her on account of Jesus Christ. In theology, the “hypostatic union” and it is an essential teaching of Christ.
Mary is the first disciple. She said yes to God. A total yes to what God had planned for her (and for us). We too, must answer yes, in humility. Her “yes”, her “fiat,” marks her total surrender to God’s will. Fiat. one word that changed the world.
“Fiat” in Latin means “let it be done.”
Mary said to the Angel “Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum”
“Be it done to me according to Thy word”
Mary surrenders herself completely to God’s will – her will does not differ from the will of God. When the Angel, Gabriel, visited Mary in the Annunciation, he calls her “favored one.”
This special favor is expressed in two beliefs:
- of her perpetual virginity
- and in her Immaculate Conception.
Immaculate – meaning without stain, without the stain of Original Sin.
Mary was in a perfect state of grace – her relationship with God was not marred by sin. She had the perfect freedom to cooperate with God’s plan for our salvation.
Mary, as are all who are saved, was saved by the blood of Christ. She is the Immaculate Conception who was filled with grace from her first moments, she is the Ark of the New Covenant & the New Eve.
She says, Her soul magnifies the Lord (Luke 1:46-55) – Think of what that means for just a moment. (Definition of magnify.) What does magnify mean? (To bring closer, think of a magnifying glass.)
Everything about Our Lady points straight back to the Father: Whose faithful daughter she is; to the Son, Whose mother she is; and to the Holy Ghost Who overshadowed her.
There is no one in all of History whose relationship with God is as complex, fulfilled, and achingly beautiful as Mary’s. In honoring her, we honor Him — and imitate Him.
(Commandment to honor our parents, Jesus kept the Commandments)
Mary Just Wants You To Share In Her Life With Jesus. She can only bring you closer to God.
Mother Mary, is not content to have us focus on her. Rather she, with motherly tenderness, carries us, as she carried Christ, to a covenant relationship with the heavenly Father.
Jesus, her tiny infant Son, did not need to form this relationship, He already had it.
But we, mystically in Him, do need it. And thus she carries us, in Jesus, to the Father and says, “Behold your Father, who loves you, your Abba, who makes his face to shine upon you.”
Mary acts as a Mother, and shows us our Father, through Christ her son and our Lord.
“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
“Mary, who is the Virgin Most Pure, is also the Refuge of Sinners. She knows what sin is, not by the experience of its fall, not by tasting its bitter regrets, but by seeing what it did to Her Divine Son.”
Our mother wants nothing more for us than to pray for us and show us her Son.
Originally, the rosary was called “The Psalter of Jesus and Mary” because it consists of the prayer Jesus gave us (The Our Father) and the prayer the Angel Gabriel gave us (The Hail Mary).
The word Psalter refers to the Book of Psalms in the Bible, which has 150 psalms. When prayed completely, the original rosary (Joyful, Sorrowful, and Glorious Mysteries) has 150 “Hail Mary” prayers. The word “Rosary” comes from the Latin word rosarium, which means a garland or bouquet of roses. Each of the prayers of the rosary is an offering of a rose to Jesus through Mary.
The use of beads or knots when praying dates back to the early days of Christianity. String or heavy cord was tied with knots and used to help focus and keep track of the prayers. The word “bead” comes from biddan – an Old English word which means “to entreat” or “to pray”.
This prayer combines two very strong currents within the spirituality of the Church. First, the Rosary desires one to meditate on the significant events of Christ’s life.
Second, this prayer also hopes to emphasize the unique role of Mary, Mother of God in the plan of salvation. These two currents of Roman Catholic theology are meditated on by the recitation of the following prayers within the Rosary itself: the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, the Hail Mary, the Doxology, the recitation of the Joyful, Sorrowful, Glorious, and Luminous Mysteries.
Our Lady of Fatima
Praying the Rosary was part of the message of Fatima of 1917. It’s interesting to realize that the span of time covered by Mary’s appearances at Fatima, from May 13th to October 13th, adds up to 153 as well―153 days. You may do the addition of the days yourself: May (18); June (30); July (31); August (31); September (30); and October (13).
Fatima Pardon Prayer:
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I ask pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”
When Mary Appears, Conversions Happen & Divisions Disappear
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady appeared to Juan Diego
“My dear little son, I love you. I desire you to know who I am. I am the ever-virgin Mary, Mother of the true God who gives life and maintains its existence. He created all things. He is in all places. He is Lord of Heaven and Earth. I desire a church in this place where your people may experience my compassion. All those who sincerely ask my help in their work and in their sorrows will know my Mother’s Heart in this place. Here I will see their tears; I will console them and they will be at peace. So run now to Tenochtitlan and tell the Bishop all that you have seen and heard.”
Go to the top of the hill and cut the flowers that are growing there. Bring them then to me. Arranges the flowers.
“..this is the sign I am sending to the Bishop. Tell him that with this sign I request his greatest efforts to complete the church I desire in this place. Show these flowers to no one else but the Bishop. You are my trusted ambassador. This time the Bishop will believe all you tell him.”
… the miracle, flowers fall and Bishop is on his knees.
The next day, after showing the Tilma at the Cathedral, Juan took the bishop to the spot where he first met Mary. He then returned to his village where he met his uncle who was completely cured. His uncle told him he had met a young woman, surrounded by a soft light, who told him that she had just sent his nephew to Tenochtitlan with a picture of herself. She told his uncle:
“Call me and call my image Santa Maria de Guadalupe”.
It’s believed that the word Guadalupe was actually a Spanish mis-translation of the local Aztec dialect. The word that Mary probably used was Coatlallope which means “one who treads on snakes”!
the tilma was examined using infrared photography and digital enhancement techniques. Unlike any painting, the tilma shows no sketching or any sign of outline drawn to permit an artist to produce a painting. Further, the very method used to create the image is still unknown. The image is inexplicable in its longevity and method of production.
the tilma, a poor quality cactus-cloth, which should have deteriorated in 20 years but shows no sign of decay 480 years later and still defies all scientific explanations of its origin.
It apparently even reflects in Her eyes what was in front of her in 1531.
Mother of the Church:
As Mary gives birth to Jesus, she also gives birth to the Church because Jesus established the Church and it is His life that flows through it.
Her “yes” to God and embrace of His plan for her life gave birth not only to Christ, but to all believers
At the foot of the cross, Jesus gave us Mary as our mother, through John
By her cooperation with the redeeming work of Jesus, she is also a mother to us.
She is our spiritual mother whose sole desire is to see us grow closer to her Son.
Our Lady models an ideal relationship with God. Listen to her: “Do whatever He tells you.”
The Miraculous Medal
The story begins on the night of July 18-19, 1830. A child (perhaps her guardian angel) awakened Sister (now Saint) Catherine Labouré, a novice in the community of the Daughters of Charity in Paris, and summoned her to the chapel. There she met with the Virgin Mary and spoke with her for several hours. During the conversation, Mary said to her, “My child, I am going to give you a mission.”
Mary gave her this mission in a vision during evening meditation on November 27, 1830. She saw Mary standing on what seemed to be half a globe and holding a golden globe in her hands as if offering it to heaven. On the globe was the word “France,” and our Lady explained that the globe represented the whole world, but especially France. The times were difficult in France, especially for the poor who were unemployed and often refugees from the many wars of the time. France was first to experience many of those troubles which ultimately reached other parts of the world and are even present today. Streaming from rings on Mary’s fingers as she held the globe were many rays of light. Mary explained that the rays symbolize the graces she obtains for those who ask for them. However, some of the gems on the rings were dark, and Mary explained that the rays and graces were available but did not come because no one had asked for them.
The vision then changed to show our Lady standing on a globe with her arms now outstretched and with the dazzling rays of light still streaming from her fingers. Framing the figure was an inscription: O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.
The Meaning of the Front Side of the Miraculous Medal
Mary is standing upon a globe, crushing the head of a serpent beneath her foot. She stands upon the globe, as the Queen of Heaven and Earth. Her feet crush the serpent to proclaim Satan and all his followers are helpless before her (Gn 3:15). The year of 1830 on the Miraculous Medal is the year the Blessed Mother gave the design of the Miraculous Medal to Saint Catherine Labouré. The reference to Mary conceived without sin supports the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary—not to be confused with the virgin birth of Jesus, and referring to Mary’s sinlessness, “full of grace” and “blessed among women” (Luke 1:28)—that was proclaimed 24 years later in 1854.
The Meaning of the Back Side of the Miraculous Medal
The twelve stars can refer to the Apostles, who represent the entire Church as it surrounds Mary. They also recall the vision of Saint John, writer of the Book of Revelation (12:1), in which “a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of 12 stars.” The cross can symbolize Christ and our redemption, with the bar under the cross a sign of the earth. The “M” stands for Mary, and the interleaving of her initial and the cross shows Mary’s close involvement with Jesus and our world. In this, we see Mary’s part in our salvation and her role as mother of the Church. The two hearts represent the love of Jesus and Mary for us. (See also Lk 2:35).
OUR LADY OF THE PILLAR (October 12)
The first Marian apparition in history appeared to Saint James the Apostle, the brother of Saint John the Evangelist, on the bank of the river Ebro in Saragossa, Spain. Unlike every other recorded apparition, this one took place during the earthly life of the Mother of God.
According to tradition, she had promised Saint James that when he needed it most in his difficult mission to the pagans in today’s Spain, she would appear to him to encourage him.
In the year 40 A.D., while praying one night on the tobrt bank, the Virgin appeared with the Child Jesus standing on a pillar and asked Saint James and his eight disciples to build a church on the site, promising that “it will stand from that moment until the end of time in order that God may work miracles and wonders through my intercession for all those who place themselves under my patronage.”
The church of Our Lady of the Pilar in Zaragoza, is the first church dedicated to Mary in history and it remains standing to this day, having survived invasions and wars – in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-1939 three bombs were dropped on the church and none of them exploded.