Mary Mother of God
Happy New Year! Let us end this year 2012 in thanksgiving. We are still alive. End of the World did not come as predicted and life goes on. Let us entrust this year to God as we pray for more blessings and graces for ourselves and our family members. We start this New Year with the Solemnity of Mary – Mother of God. We allow Mary to accompany us & teach us:
On June 14, 2011: TV Patrol reports that Mommy Dionesia showed to the media her P1-million Hermes bag. The orange Hermes bag was a gift from boxing champ and Saranggani Congressman Manny Pacquiao and his wife Jinkee for Mommy D’s 62nd birthday last May 15. Those were happy times!
When Manny lost to Juan Manuel Marquez recently, she was so upset! Boxing experts have many explanations of his defeat. Some say it was a “lucky punch.” Others – lack of preparation; lack of sleep. Mommy D’s explanation is the most unique: “He forgot his roots when he left behind his rosary.. We cannot live without a Mother!” This is, of course, her personal opinion; not the official teaching of the Church.
It is clear, though that she is special to Manny simply because she is his mother. Sya ra jud maka-kasaba kang Manny. Kay mama lagi! (Only she can scold him. Just because she is his mom).
Mary has a role far greater. She is a chosen vessel. In the words of John Paul II (Redemptoris Mater): “Mary has a special and precise place in the plan of salvation.” She is truly blest! In the words of the English poet, William Wordsworth describes Mary as “Our tainted nature’s solitary boast” (Poem – The Virgin)
Why give so much importance to Mary? Protestants claim: we are making her a “goddess” – we are worshiping her! Let us make a Basic Theological Distinction:
Adoration, known as latriain classical theology, is the worship and homage that is rightly offered to God alone. It is the worship of the Creator that God alone deserves.
Veneration, known as duliain classical theology, is the honor due to the excellence of a created person. This refers to the excellence exhibited by the created being who likewise deserves recognition and honor: Example – awarding of academic awards for excellence in school or the awarding of the olympic medals for excellence in sports. There is nothing contrary to the proper adoration of God when we offer the appropriate honor and recognition that created persons deserve based on achievement in excellence
St. Thomas Aquinas points out: to give honor to the saint who excelled in loving union with God is to honor God himself. We give glory to God when we honor the saints (who gave them the grace to be holy).
A special level of veneration, classically called hyperdulia, is ascribed to the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a special veneration of Mary and remains completely different and inferior to adoration that is due to God alone but it is superior and higher than devotion given to all other saints and angels.
“Mariolatry” or Marian idolatry: Adoration to Mary has never been and will never be part of authentic Catholic doctrine
3 Reasons why Mary deserves a unique & higher devotion than all Saints & Angels:
First of all, Mary was granted by God afullness of grace. From the greeting of the Angel Gabriel in the words, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you” (Lk 1:28), we get an indication of God’s special gift to Mary at the moment of conception. Mary received God’s gift of being free from Original Sin from the first instant of her conception, preparing her to be the fitting Mother of the Word made flesh. This unique gift was given only to her; the rest of us have fallen nature. Hence we declare her Immaculate Conception.
Note: When 14 year old Bernadette Soubirous in 1858 asked the “small young lady” wearing white with a blue girdle around her waist what her name was, she answered: “I am the Immaculate Conception.” This was 4 years after Pope Pius IX declared this as a dogma in December 8, 1954.
All the other saints, have their limits due their fallen nature. Even St. John the Baptist, who was sanctified in the womb (according to tradition), started with a fallen nature. But St. John was not conceived with a nature like the Blessed Virgin’s nature, a nature free from all stain of sin. Mary’s fullness of grace rightly calls for special recognition and devotion
Secondly, and most significantly, Mary alone had the privilege of being Mother of God the Son, Jesus Christ. The theological term is theotokos, which is Greek for “the God-bearer.”Giving flesh to the “Word made flesh” grants Mary an excellence and a dignity beyond any other creature. We can imagine the intimate union and the spiritual effects of having God physically present in us for nine months and of giving Jesus His human nature. Because Mary as true Mother gave to Jesus what our mothers gave to us, a nature like her own, she is rightly the Mother of God. Because she is full of grace and Mother of God, we have always believed in her perpetual virginity. She is the ever-virgin.
The third reason for an exalted devotion to the Mother of Jesus is Mary’s perfect obedience to the will of God throughout her life on earth. Mary’s fiat,her YES to the will of God, was her response to God’s will and not only at the Annunciation (cf. Luke 1:38) but throughout her earthly life. Her most dramatic YES was when she was standing at the foot of the Cross of her Son (Jn 19:25f). Obedient until the END..
In Luke 11:27-28 a woman in the crowd (filled with amazement kang Jesus) exclaimed: Kabulahan sa imong Mama – blest is the womb who nursed. But Jesus instead pointed out: Mas bulahan si Mama because She listened and obeyed God’s Word.
She is the perfect model of all Christian virtue. She is the model of Christian discipleship. Thus we say: Ad Jesum per Mariam (To Jesus through Mary)!
Since God has willed that the Blessed Virgin has such an important role in the work of God becoming man and saving the human family, devotion to Mary then is not arbitrary nor is it extraordinary. Devotion to Mary is, rather, an ordinary part of the Christian journey to Christ and eternal salvation (St. Louis de Monfort).
Last Story: I was told that Msgr. Sonny Ramirez brought a group of Filipinos for pilgrimage in Medjugorje on May 1986. It was some months after the EDSA Revolution in the country. Oone of the visionaries told him that when Mama Mary appeared to them, she scan the great crowd of pilgrims. When she saw the Filipino group, she stopped. Then she was told by the Blessed Mother: “Tell the Filipinos that they have a special place in my heart!”
If we have a special place in the heart of Mary, don’t she deserve to have a special place in our hearts also? In this Year of Faith – we allow Mama Mary to accompany us and teach us!
Happy New Year everyone!