Mary Mother of Christ - Mother of the Church
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH
BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
What The Church Teaches
is the Mother
Christ - Mother of the Church C.C.C.#963
♥ New ♥
Themes: spirituality and prayer mariology and marian devotion
Indexed key words: rosary
Miraculous Medal Marks 100 Years [2008-07-08]
Vincentians Proclaim Jubilee to Foster Devotion to Mary
ROME, JULY 8, 2008 (Zenit.org).- ( Excerpts only ) The Association of the Miraculous Medal was given pontifical approval 100 years ago today, and a centenary is beginning to mark the anniversary.
Vincentian Father Gregory Gay, superior-general of the association, announced the centenary that will run through Nov. 20, 2009, when the group will have its third international meeting.
The association, established after the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to St. Catherine Laboure, was recognized formally on July 8, 1909. The miraculous medal was manifested by the Blessed Virgin to St. Catherine in Paris in 1830.
The medal shows Our Lady standing on a globe with her arms outstretched and with the rays of light streaming from her fingers. Framing the figure is the inscription: O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee. The back of the medal has 12 stars encircling a large "M" from which arises a cross. Below are two hearts with flames arising from them. One heart is encircled in thorns and the other is pierced by a sword.
Brown Scapular: a "Silent
Carmelite Recounts Mary's Promise to St. Simon Stock
WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 16, 2008 (Zenit.org).- ( Excerpts only ) On the Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, we present here an article written by Discalced Carmelite Father Kieran Kavanaugh, on the devotion of the brown Carmelite scapular.
Father Kavanaugh is the English translator of the writings of both St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. He is a member of the Institute of Carmelite Studies and was the vice postulator for the canonization of St. Edith Stein.
With regard to the scapular as a conventional and sacred sign, the Church has intervened at various times in history to clarify its meaning, defend it, and confirm the privileges.
From these Church documents there emerges with sufficient clarity the nature and meaning of the Carmelite scapular.
1. The scapular is a Marian habit or garment. It is both a sign and pledge. A sign of belonging to Mary; a pledge of her motherly protection, not only in this life but after death.
2. As a sign, it is a conventional sign signifying three elements strictly joined: first, belonging to a religious family particularly devoted to Mary, especially dear to Mary, the Carmelite Order; second, consecration to Mary, devotion to and trust in her Immaculate Heart; third an incitement to become like Mary by imitating her virtues, above all her humility, chastity, and spirit of prayer.
Christian Unity - A Step Forward Date: 2005-05-18
Mary Document Advances Anglican-Catholic Unity
Interview With Co-secretary of Joint Commission
SEATTLE, Washington, MAY 19, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Excerpts The statement on Mary released by the Catholic-Anglican commission marks a step forward in unity between the two churches, according to the Roman Catholic co-secretary of the commission.
Father Donald Bolen, Roman Catholic co-secretary of the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and assistant for the Western section of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, released the following answers to some common questions regarding the joint statement entitled "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ."
Q: What does the text say about Marian devotion?
Father Bolen: The final major section of the document (64-75) addresses the place of Mary in the life of the Church, touching on questions pertaining to Marian devotion. The section begins with a strong affirmation: "We together agree that in understanding Mary as the fullest human example of the life of grace, we are called to reflect on the lessons of her life recorded in Scripture and to join with her as one indeed not dead, but truly alive in Christ" (65). The text stresses that Marian devotion and the invocation of Mary are not in any way to obscure or diminish the unique mediation of Christ.
It concludes: "Affirming together unambiguously Christ's unique mediation, which bears fruit in the life of the Church, we do not consider the practice of asking Mary and the saints to pray for us as communion dividing ... we believe that there is no continuing theological reason for ecclesial division on these matters."
The conclusion (76-80) pulls together what the dialogue commission is convinced that it has achieved in "Mary: Grace and Hope in Christ." After reaffirming the agreements that were set forth in the 1981 document referred to above, the text concludes by expressing ARCIC's conviction that "the present statement significantly deepens and extends these agreements, setting them within a comprehensive study of doctrine and devotion associated with Mary" (76).
What The Church Teaches
Mary Is - Mother of Christ - Mother of the Church
C.C.C.#963 Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church.
"The Virgin Mary is ....acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the redeemer.... She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ' .... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head."500 "Mary, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church."501
Pope John Paul II - HOMILY Tuesday, 1 January 2002
If Jesus is Life, Mary is the Mother of Life.
If Jesus is Hope, Mary is the Mother of Hope.
If Jesus is Peace, Mary is the Mother of Peace, Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Mary, Mother of God!
Author: Pope John Paul II Larger Work: L'Osservatore Romano Vatican, January 14, 2004
Description: At the General Audience on January 7, 2004, the Holy Father reflected on the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God, celebrated on January 1. Quoting St. Augustine, the Pope said that Mary, as well as being Mother of God, is also Mother of the Church since "she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church".
1. "Alma Redemptoris Mater... The Virgin Mother of the Redeemer... ". In the Christmas season we invoke Mary using an ancient, evocative Marian Antiphon which continues with the words: "Tu quae genuisti natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem — to the wonder of all creation, you have brought forth your Creator".
Mary, Mother of God! The liturgy of the first day of the year, the Solemnity of Mary, Most Holy Mother of God, places a special emphasis on this truth of faith which is closely bound to the Christmas festivities. Mary is the Mother of the Redeemer; she is the woman whom God chose to carry out his saving plan centered on the mystery of the Incarnation of the divine Word.
2. A humble creature conceived the Creator of the world! The liturgical season of Christmas renews our awareness of this mystery, presenting to us the Mother of the Son of God as sharing in the crowning events of the history of salvation. The age-old tradition of the Church has always considered the birth of Jesus and the divine motherhood of Mary as two aspects of the Incarnation of the Word. "In fact", the Catechism of the Catholic Church says of Mary, citing the Council of Ephesus, "the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Son according to the flesh, was none other than the Father's eternal Son, the second Person of the Holy Trinity. Hence, the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God' (Theotokos) " (n. 495).
3. All the other aspects of Our Lady's mission derive from the fact that she is "Mother of God". They are clearly indicated by the titles with which the community of Christ's disciples honors her in every part of the world. First of all, those of "The Immaculate" and "Our Lady of the Assumption", since the One who was to bring forth the Saviour could obviously not be subject to the corruption that derived from original sin.
The Virgin is also invoked as Mother of the Mystical Body, that is, of the Church. Referring to the patristic tradition as it was expressed by St Augustine, the Catechism of the Catholic Church says that she "is clearly the mother of the members of Christ... since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head" (n. 963).
4. Mary's whole life was very closely connected to that of Jesus. At Christmas, it was she who offered Jesus to humanity. On the Cross, at the supreme moment of the accomplishment of his redeeming mission, it was Jesus who bequeathed to everyone his own Mother as a precious legacy of the Redemption.
The words of the crucified Lord to John, his faithful disciple, constitute his testament. He entrusts John to his Mother, and at the same time consigns to Mary's love the Apostle and every believer.
5. In these last days of the Christmas season, let us pause to contemplate in the Nativity scene the silent presence of the Virgin beside the Baby Jesus. She lavishes on us the same love, the same care that she lavished on her divine Son. Let us therefore allow her to guide our steps in this new year that Providence has granted us to live.
This is the wish that I express to
you all at this first General Audience of 2004. Sustained and comforted by her
maternal protection, we will be able to contemplate the face of Christ with a
renewed gaze, and walk more swiftly on the paths of good. Once again, a Happy
New Year to you who are present here, and to your loved ones!
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MANE NOBISCUM DOMINE
OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN
PAUL II TO THE BISHOPS, CLERGY
FOR THE YEAR OF THE EUCHARIST
OCTOBER 2004–OCTOBER 2005
Contemplating with Mary the face of Christ (Excerpts) 8. The fruits of the Great Jubilee were collected in the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio Ineunte. In this programmatic document, I suggested an ever greater pastoral engagement based on the contemplation of the face of Christ, as part of an ecclesial pedagogy aimed at “the high standard” of holiness and carried out especially through the art of prayer.(5) How could such a programme be complete without a commitment to the liturgy and in particular to the cultivation of Eucharistic life? As I said at the time: “In the twentieth century, especially since the Council, there has been a great development in the way the Christian community celebrates the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. It is necessary to continue in this direction, and to stress particularly the Sunday Eucharist and Sunday itself, experienced as a special day of faith, the day of the Risen Lord and of the gift of the Spirit, the true weekly Easter”.(6) In this context of a training in prayer, I recommended the celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, by which the Church sanctifies the different hours of the day and the passage of time through the liturgical year.
9. Subsequently, with the proclamation of the Year of the Rosary and the publication of the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, I returned to the theme of contemplating the face of Christ, now from a Marian perspective, by encouraging once more the recitation of the Rosary. This traditional prayer, so highly recommended by the Magisterium and so dear to the People of God, has a markedly biblical and evangelical character, focused on the name and the face of Jesus as contemplated in the mysteries and by the repetition of the “Hail Mary”. In its flow of repetitions, it represents a kind of pedagogy of love, aimed at evoking within our hearts the same love that Mary bore for her Son. For this reason, developing a centuries-old tradition by the addition of the mysteries of light, I sought to make this privileged form of contemplation an even more complete “compendium of the Gospel”.(7) And how could the mysteries of light not culminate in the Holy Eucharist?
From the Year of the Rosary to the Year of the Eucharist
10. In the midst of the Year of the Rosary, I issued the Encyclical Letter Ecclesia de Eucharistia, with the intention of shedding light on the mystery of the Eucharist in its inseparable and vital relation to the Church. I urged all the faithful to celebrate the Eucharistic sacrifice with due reverence, offering to Jesus present in the Eucharist, both within and outside Mass, the worship demanded by so great a Mystery. Above all, I suggested once again the need for a Eucharistic spirituality and pointed to Mary, “woman of the Eucharist”,(8) as its model.
The Year of the Eucharist takes place against a background which has been enriched by the passage of the years, while remaining ever rooted in the theme of Christ and the contemplation of his face. In a certain sense, it is meant to be a year of synthesis, the high-point of a journey in progress. Much could be said about how to celebrate this year. I would simply offer some reflections intended to help us all to experience it in a deeper and more fruitful way.
Celebrating, worshiping, contemplating
!7. During this year Eucharistic adoration outside Mass should become a particular commitment for individual parish and religious communities. Let us take the time to kneel before Jesus present in the Eucharist, in order to make reparation by our faith and love for the acts of carelessness and neglect, and even the insults which our Saviour must endure in many parts of the world. Let us deepen through adoration our personal and communal contemplation, drawing upon aids to prayer inspired by the word of God and the experience of so many mystics, old and new. The Rosary itself, when it is profoundly understood in the biblical and christocentric form which I recommended in the Apostolic Letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae, will prove a particularly fitting introduction to Eucharistic contemplation, a contemplation carried out with Mary as our companion and guide.(17)
This year let us also celebrate with particular devotion the Solemnity of Corpus Christi, with its traditional procession. Our faith in the God who took flesh in order to become our companion along the way needs to be everywhere proclaimed, especially in our streets and homes, as an expression of our grateful love and as an inexhaustible source of blessings.***
The Lord's Day
23. In a particular way I ask that every effort be made this year to experience Sunday as the day of the Lord and the day of the Church. I would be happy if everyone would reflect once more on my words in the Apostolic Letter Dies Domini. “At Sunday Mass, Christians relive with particular intensity the experience of the Apostles on the evening of Easter, when the Risen Lord appeared to them as they were gathered together (cf. Jn 20:19). In a sense, the People of God of all times were present in that small nucleus of disciples, the first-fruits of the Church”.(21) During this year of grace, priests in their pastoral ministry should be even more attentive to Sunday Mass as the celebration which brings together the entire parish community, with the participation of different groups, movements and associations.
The way of solidarity
27. The Eucharist is not merely an expression of communion in the Church's life; it is also a project of solidarity for all of humanity. In the celebration of the Eucharist the Church constantly renews her awareness of being a “sign and instrument” not only of intimate union with God but also of the unity of the whole human race.(25) Each Mass, even when celebrated in obscurity or in isolation, always has a universal character. The Christian who takes part in the Eucharist learns to become a promotor of communion, peace and solidarity in every situation. More than ever, our troubled world, which began the new Millennium with the spectre of terrorism and the tragedy of war, demands that Christians learn to experience the Eucharist as a great school of peace, forming men and women who, at various levels of responsibility in social, cultural and political life, can become promotors of dialogue and communion.
At the service of the least
28. There is one other point which I would like to emphasize, since it significantly affects the authenticity of our communal sharing in the Eucharist. It is the impulse which the Eucharist gives to the community for a practical commitment to building a more just and fraternal society. In the Eucharist our God has shown love in the extreme, overturning all those criteria of power which too often govern human relations and radically affirming the criterion of service: “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all” (Mc 9:35). It is not by chance that the Gospel of John contains no account of the institution of the Eucharist, but instead relates the “washing of feet” (cf. Jn 13:1-20): by bending down to wash the feet of his disciples, Jesus explains the meaning of the Eucharist unequivocally. Saint Paul vigorously reaffirms the impropriety of a Eucharistic celebration lacking charity expressed by practical sharing with the poor (cf.1Cor 11:17-22, 27-34).
Can we not make this Year of the Eucharist an occasion for diocesan and parish communities to commit themselves in a particular way to responding with fraternal solicitude to one of the many forms of poverty present in our world? I think for example of the tragedy of hunger which plagues hundreds of millions of human beings, the diseases which afflict developing countries, the loneliness of the elderly, the hardships faced by the unemployed, the struggles of immigrants. These are evils which are present—albeit to a different degree—even in areas of immense wealth. We cannot delude ourselves: by our mutual love and, in particular, by our concern for those in need we will be recognized as true followers of Christ (cf. Jn 13:35; Mt 25:31-46). This will be the criterion by which the authenticity of our Eucharistic celebrations is judged.
29. O Sacrum Convivium, in quo Christus sumitur! The Year of the Eucharist has its source in the amazement with which the Church contemplates this great Mystery. It is an amazement which I myself constantly experience. It prompted my Encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia. As I look forward to the twenty-seventh year of my Petrine ministry, I consider it a great grace to be able to call the whole Church to contemplate, praise, and adore in a special way this ineffable Sacrament. May the Year of the Eucharist be for everyone a precious opportunity to grow in awareness of the incomparable treasure which Christ has entrusted to his Church. May it encourage a more lively and fervent celebration of the Eucharist, leading to a Christian life transformed by love.
There is room here for any number of initiatives, according to the judgement of the Pastors of the particular Churches. The Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will not fail to provide some helpful suggestions and proposals. I do not ask, however, for anything extraordinary, but rather that every initiative be marked by a profound interiority. If the only result of this Year were the revival in all Christian communities of the celebration of Sunday Mass and an increase in Eucharistic worship outside Mass, this Year of grace would be abundantly successful. At the same time, it is good to aim high, and not to be content with mediocrity, since we know we can always count on God's help.
30. To you, dear Brother Bishops, I commend this Year, confident that you will welcome my invitation with full apostolic zeal.
Dear priests, who repeat the words of consecration each day, and are witnesses and heralds of the great miracle of love which takes place at your hands: be challenged by the grace of this special Year; celebrate Holy Mass each day with the same joy and fervour with which you celebrated your first Mass, and willingly spend time in prayer before the tabernacle.
May this be a Year of grace also for you, deacons, who are so closely engaged in the ministry of the word and the service of the altar. I ask you, lectors, acolytes and extraordinary ministers of holy communion, to become ever more aware of the gift you have received in the service entrusted to you for a more worthy celebration of the Eucharist.
In particular I appeal to you, the priests of the future. During your time in the seminary make every effort to experience the beauty not only of taking part daily in Holy Mass, but also of spending a certain amount of time in dialogue with the Eucharistic Lord.
Consecrated men and women, called by that very consecration to more prolonged contemplation: never forget that Jesus in the tabernacle wants you to be at his side, so that he can fill your hearts with the experience of his friendship, which alone gives meaning and fulfilment to your lives.
May all of you, the Christian faithful, rediscover the gift of the Eucharist as light and strength for your daily lives in the world, in the exercise of your respective professions amid so many different situations. Rediscover this above all in order to experience fully the beauty and the mission of the family.
I have great expectations of you, young people, as I look forward to our meeting at the next World Youth Day in Cologne. The theme of our meeting—“We have come to worship him”—suggests how you can best experience this Eucharistic year. Bring to your encounter with Jesus, hidden in the Eucharist, all the enthusiasm of your age, all your hopes, all your desire to love.
31. We have before us the example of the Saints, who in the Eucharist found nourishment on their journey towards perfection. How many times did they shed tears of profound emotion in the presence of this great mystery, or experience hours of inexpressible “spousal” joy before the sacrament of the altar! May we be helped above all by the Blessed Virgin Mary, whose whole life incarnated the meaning of the Eucharist. “The Church, which looks to Mary as a model, is also called to imitate her in her relationship with this most holy mystery”.(26) The Eucharistic Bread which we receive is the spotless flesh of her Son: Ave verum corpus natum de Maria Virgine. In this Year of grace, sustained by Mary, may the Church discover new enthusiasm for her mission and come to acknowledge ever more fully that the Eucharist is the source and summit of her entire life.
To all of you I impart my Blessing as a pledge of grace and joy.
From the Vatican, on 7 October, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary, in the year 2004, the twenty-sixth of my Pontificate. IOANNES PAULUS PP.II
MARY'S MOTHERHOOD WITH REGARD TO THE CHURCH
Catechism of The Catholic Church
Wholly united with her Son . . .
C.C.C.#964 Mary's role in the Church is inseparable from her union with Christ and flows directly from it. "This union of the mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to his death"; 502 it is made manifest above all at the hour of his Passion: . . .
Thus the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross. There she stood, in keeping with the divine plan, enduring with her only begotten Son the intensity of his suffering, joining herself with his sacrifice in her mother's heart, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this victim, born of her: to be given, by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross, as a mother to his disciple, with these words: "Woman, behold your son."503 C.C.C.#965 After her Son's Ascension, Mary "aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers." In her association with the apostles and several women, "we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."
. . . also in her Assumption
C.C.C.#966 "Finally the Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory, and exalted by the Lord as Queen over all things, so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of lords and conqueror of sin and death."506 The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's Resurrection and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians:
In giving birth you kept your virginity; in your Dormition you did not leave the world, O Mother of God, but were joined to the source of Life. You conceived the living God and, by your prayers, will deliver our souls from death.507
. . . she is our Mother in the order of grace
C.C.C.#967 By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and . . . wholly unique member of the Church" indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" (typus)508 of the Church.
C.C.C.#968 Her role in relation to the Church and to all humanity goes still further. "In a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope, and burning charity in the Savior's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace."509
969 "This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation .... Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix."510 —————
C.C.C.#970 "Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men . . . flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it, and draws all its power from it."511 "No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source."512
II. DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN
C.C.C.#971 "All generations will call me blessed": "The Church's devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship."513 The Church rightly honors "the Blessed Virgin with special devotion. From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of 'Mother of God,' to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs. . .This very special devotion . . . differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration."514 The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an "epitome of the whole Gospel," express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.515
III. MARY - ESCHATOLOGICAL ICON OF THE CHURCH
C.C.C.#972 After speaking of the Church, her origin, mission, and destiny, we can find no better way to conclude than by looking to Mary. In her we contemplate what the Church already is in her mystery on her own "pilgrimage of faith," and what she will be in the homeland at the end of her journey. There, "in the glory of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity," "in the communion of all the saints,"516 the Church is awaited by the one she venerates as Mother of her Lord and as her own mother.
In the meantime the Mother of Jesus, in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come. Likewise she shines forth on earth until the day of the Lord shall come, a sign of certain hope and comfort to the pilgrim People of God.517
C.C.C.#973 By pronouncing her "fiat" at the Annunciation and giving her consent to the Incarnation, Mary was already collaborating with the whole work her Son was to accomplish. She is mother wherever he is Savior and head of the Mystical Body.
C.C.C.#974 The Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when the course of her earthly life was completed, was taken up body and soul into the glory of heaven, where she already shares in the glory of her Son's Resurrection, anticipating the resurrection of all members of his Body.
C.C.C.#975 "We believe that the Holy Mother of God, the new Eve, Mother of the Church, continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ" (Paul VI, CPG # 15).
Vatican Council II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church
Excerpts from CHAPTER VIII: OUR LADY, from sections 50-60
Mary's Role in the Church
Mary's function as mother of men in no way obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows its power. But the Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men originates not in any inner necessity but in the disposition of God. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on his mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. It does not hinder in any way the immediate union of the faithful with Christ but on the contrary fosters it.
The predestination of the Blessed Virgin as Mother of God was associated with the incarnation of the divine word: in the designs of divine Providence she was the gracious mother of the divine Redeemer here on earth, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth, and nourished Christ, she presented him to the Father in the temple, shared her Son's sufferings as he died on the cross. Thus, in a wholly singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Savior in restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is a mother to us in the order of grace.
This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix. This, however, is so understood that it neither takes away anything from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficacy of Christ the one Mediator.
No creature could ever be counted
along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of
Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and
as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his
creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but
rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary, which it constantly experiences and recommends to the heartfelt attention of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more closely adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer.
Mary, type or figure of the Church
By reason of the gift and role of her divine motherhood, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with her unique graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united to the Church. As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity, and perfect union with Christ. For in the mystery of the Church, which is itself rightly called mother and virgin, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother. Through her faith and obedience she gave birth on earth to the very Son of the Father, not through the knowledge of man but by the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit, in the manner of a new Eve who placed her faith, not in the serpent of old but in God's messenger without wavering in doubt. The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first born among many brethren (Rom. 8:29), that is, the faithful, in whose generation and formation she cooperates with a mother's love.
The Church indeed contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother. By preaching and baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in its entirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps intact faith, firm hope and sincere charity.
But while in the most Blessed
Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she exists
without spot or wrinkle (cf. Eph. 5:27), the faithful still strive to
conquer sin and increase in holiness. And so they turn their eyes to Mary
who shines forth to the whole community of the elect as the model of
virtues. Devoutly meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of
the Word made man, the Church reverently penetrates more deeply into the
great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her spouse.
Having entered deeply into the history of salvation, Mary, in a way, unites
in her person and re-echoes the most important doctrines of the faith: and
when she is the subject of preaching and worship she prompts the faithful to
come to her Son, to his sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking
after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her lofty type, and
continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the
will of God in all things. The Church, therefore, in her apostolic work too,
rightly looks to her who gave birth to Christ, who was thus conceived of the
Holy Spirit and born of a virgin, in order that through the Church he could
be born and increase in the hearts of the faithful. In her life the Virgin
has been a model of that motherly love with which all who join in the
Church's apostolic mission for the regeneration of mankind should be
animated. View full text:
( cf. Vatican II, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen gentium. Nov.2, 1964)
SOLEMNITY OF MARY, MOTHER OF GOD- XXXV WORLD DAY OF PEACE
HOMILY OF JOHN PAUL II Tuesday, 1 January 2002 1. ( Excerpts ) "Hail, holy Mother! The Child to whom you gave birth is the King of heaven and earth for ever" (cf. Entrance Antiphon). With this ancient greeting, today, the eighth day of the Octave of Christmas and the first of the year 2002, the Church greets the Blessed Virgin Mary, invoking her as Mother of God. In her the eternal Son of the Father took our very flesh and through Her became "son of David and son of Abraham" (Mt 1,1). Thus Mary is his true Mother: the Theotokos, Mother of God!
If Jesus is Life, Mary is
the Mother of Life.
If Jesus is Hope, Mary is the Mother of Hope.
If Jesus is Peace, Mary is the Mother of Peace, Mother of the Prince of Peace.
Entering the new year, let us ask this holy
Mother to bless us. Let us ask Her to give us Jesus, our full Blessing,
in whom the Father blessed all history once and for all, making it
become the history of salvation.
2. Hail, holy Mother! I have placed The World Day of Peace under Mary's motherly gaze. Let us reflect on peace in this climate of widespread anxiety on account of the recent tragic events that have shaken the world.
5. "Salve, Madre santa"! Virgin Daughter of Zion, how deeply must your Mother's heart suffer for this bloodshed! The Child you embrace has a name that is dear to the peoples of biblical religion: "Jesus", which means "God saves". So the Archangel named him before he was conceived in your womb (cf. Lk 2,21). In the face of the newborn Messiah, we recognize the face of all your children, who suffer from being despised and exploited. We recognize especially the faces of your children, to whatever race, nation or culture they may belong.
For them, O Mary, for their future, we ask you to move hearts hardened by hatred so that they may open to love and so that revenge may finally give way to forgiveness. Obtain for us, O Mother, that the truth of this affirmation - No peace without justice, no justice without forgiveness - be engraved on every heart. Thus the human family will be able to find the true peace, that flows from the union of justice and mercy.
Holy Mother, Mother of the
Prince of Peace, help us!
Mother of Humanity and Queen of Peace, pray for us!
By Professor Georges Cottier, O.P. http://www.voxpopuli.org/cottier.php
Thank You, Dr. Mark Miravalle and assistant Jonathan Baker for granting permission and for asking God's blessing on my work.
The following is a presentation given by Father Cottier, Theologian of the Papal Household, on behalf of the Congregation of the Clergy during a world video conference held in Rome on May 29, 2002.
In the beautiful final Chapter of the Dogmatic Constitution of the Church Lumen Gentium, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, we read «After this manner the Blessed Virgin advanced in her pilgrimage of faith, and faithfully persevered in her union with her Son unto the cross, where she stood, (see John 19:25) in keeping with the divine plan (294), grieving exceedingly with her only begotten Son, uniting herself with a maternal heart with His sacrifice, and lovingly consenting to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: "Woman, behold thy son." (see John 19:26-27)» (no. 58). These very intense lines are the echo of a long tradition authenticated by the Magisterium. The Mother of the Son of God made man is consecrated, at the foot of the cross, the Mother of His Mystical Body.
She was then proclaimed Mother of the Church by Paul VI. This title enlightens the meaning of Mary’s «intimate union» with the Church, where she occupies, «in an eminent and singular way» the «first place» (see no. 63). It is in her person that the Church has already achieved that perfection which makes her without stain or wrinkle (see Eph 5:27). She is the model of the Church (typus). One must perceive that Mary is not outside the Church, since she is its eminent and exemplary member, and that she exercises a maternal function for the Church. The Church’s mystery and Mary’s mystery include and enlighten each other reciprocally.
How can this be explained? The Council, after remembering the words of the apostle (1 Tim 2:5-6): «Since there is only one God, there is only one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, who is a man, and gave Himself as a ransom for them all,» and added that «The maternal duty of Mary toward men in no ways obscures or diminishes this unique mediation of Christ, but rather shows His power» (n.60).
A life of grace, participation in divine life, exists in principle and in fullness with Christ, the Head of the Mystical Body, so as to be communicated to His Body, which is the Church. With this communication Christ attracts the Church and all its members to be assimilated in Him, to conform to Him and to participate in the gift of Himself to the Father, through whom He saved mankind. The only Mediator: the gift of Himself is totally and infinitely sufficient for the redemption of the world. Allowing His Church to participate in this is the mark of His love and the depth of the union to which He introduces her. Like all lives, a life of grace is fruitful, it brings its fruits in abundance. There is a law here both for the Church and for Mary, in proportion to the singular privileges.
The Council’s text, which we have quoted, strongly emphasises this: Beneath the cross, Mary suffers deeply with Her only born Son, she joins in His sacrifice with maternal love; lovingly consenting the immolation of the victim generated by her: what could these words mean if not that Mary plays an active role in the mystery of the Passion and the work of the Redemption? The Council itself clarifies this: the divine Redemptor’s mother was «and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate»: «(...) was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she co-operated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls. Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace» (n.61). «Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.» For this reason «the Virgin is invoked by the Church under the titles of Advocate, Auxiliatrix, Adjutrix, and Mediatrix» (n. 62).
Can we add to the title Mediatrix that of co-redemptrix? In the light of the above, the answer is affirmative. In fact the Council itself, so as to avoid any false interpretation, adds that the use of these titles is legitimate. But it must be understood «that it neither takes away from nor adds anything to the dignity and efficaciousness of Christ the one Mediator» (ibid.).
You will notice that this title of co-redemptrix does not appear in the Council’s texts. One might envisage that this intentional absence was the answer to a ecumenical reason. The use of this term needed further development. It is true that, if the word co-redeemer was to evoke a juxtaposition and an addition to the Savior’s redeeming work, it should have been strongly rejected. It is as predestined, provoked, contained by Christ’s redeeming sacrifice, in a subordinated manner, participated, totally dependent on Him, that Mary’s co-redemption beneath the cross is meant, just as it is fully permeated by the intercession of the Son in glory, His mediation in interceding with heaven. The Council enunciated the principle that, translating an intuition of faith, regulates theological meditation in this field: «For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ» (n. 60). In the light of this principle, we understand in which sense Mary, and only Her, is the co-redeemer, and how proportionally the Church is also the co-redeemer. We also understand in which sense, the vocation of all who are baptised for sanctity leads them to participate in the mystery of Redemption. Each of these participations is like an epiphany of the fruitfulness of the cross of Jesus.
1 This of course also applies to the word mediatrix, but this word is covered by the authority of a liturgical tradition.
Sister Lucia and Mary Co-redemptrix
by Mark Miravalle
http://motherofallpeoples.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=366 Excerpts Many non-Catholic Christians today have difficulty with the Church's teaching of Our Lady as "Mediatrix of All Graces," (6) in their perceiving any mediation other than that of Jesus to be "competitive," or on a level of equality with the one Mediator (cf. 1 Tim. 2:5). But the Catholic Church also rejects all forms of parallel mediation that would seek to place any creature on the level of equality with Jesus Christ, the one Mediator between God and man. At the same time, the Church clearly teaches Mary's unique and subordinate participation in the one mediation of Jesus Christ in the role of salvation.
As the Second Vatican Council teaches, (7) the unique participation of Mary in the one mediation of Jesus Christ only adds to the glory of Christ the one Mediator in bringing to all humanity the "gifts if eternal salvation," (8) a distribution of grace from the Immaculate Heart of Mary that seeks to unite every human heart with the Heart of Jesus. As popes teach, and people believe, every grace of Redemption merited by Jesus our Redeemer at Calvary comes to us through the intercession of Our Mother Mary (cf. Jn. 19:26-27).
In her commentary on "A Remarkable and Powerful Prayer" (Chapter 34), Sister Lucia beautifully explains this powerful intercessory role of Our Lady, which takes place by reason of her prior participation in the mission of Jesus as the Co-redemptrix:
There is, thus, only one divine Mediator: Jesus Christ; but as supplicant intercessors we have Mary, the Saints, and each one of us, if we so wish. St. Paul himself, in various passages in his letters, asks people to pray both for him and for one another: "To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that utterance may be given in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph 6:18-20).
So if the Apostle tells us to pray for one another, we have much more reason to ask Mary to pray for us, because her prayer will be much more pleasing to the Lord in view of her dignity as Mother of God and her closer union with Christ, true God and true Man, by reason of her mission of Co-redemptrix with Christ as well as of her great sanctity. (9)
In seeking to assist us in a deeper penetration into the bottomless mysteries of the Rosary, our Fatima visionary guides the soul through a meditation on the Fourth Joyful Mystery, The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple, in Chapter 35, "Contemplation of the Joyful Mysteries." Here she explains that the Mother of Jesus does not simply offer her Son to the perfect will of the Father, but she offers herself with Christ to God, and specifically as the Co-redemptrix with Christ for the salvation of all humanity:
Mary knows that this prophecy is to be fulfilled in the person of her Son; she knows that He has been sent by God to carry out the work of our redemption. And far from wanting to save Him from such pain and suffering, she takes Him in her pure arms, brings Him to the temple with her virginal hands and places Him on the altar so that the priest may offer Him to the eternal Father as an expiatory victim and a sacrifice of praise.
Here, Mary does not simply offer her Son, she offers herself with Christ, because Jesus had received his body and blood from her; thus she offers herself in and with Christ to God, Co-redemptrix, with Christ, of humanity. (10)
The Proposed Marian Dogma: The "What" and the "Why"
The prefix "co" does not mean equal, but comes from the Latin word, "cum" which means "with." The title of Coredemptrix applied to the Mother of Jesus never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the divine Lord of all, in the saving process of humanity's redemption. Rather, it denotes Mary's singular and unique sharing with her Son in the saving work of redemption for the human family. The Mother of Jesus participates in the redemptive work of her Savior Son, who alone could reconcile humanity with the Father in his glorious divinity and humanity. (28)
Since Vatican II said (On the Liturgy # 10) that the Mass is the renewal of the new covenant, and since the Council of Trent (DS 1743) said the Mass is the sacrifice of Calvary represented, "only the manner or offering being changed", therefore we would expect Mary to have a role in the Mass parallel to that which she had on Calvary.
Pope John Paul II in an address in St. Peter's square on Sunday Feb. 12, 1984 (from English edition of Osservatore Romano, Feb. 20, 1984, p. 10) said: "Today I wish to dwell with you on the Blessed Virgin's presence in the celebration of the Liturgy.... Every liturgical action ... is an occasion of communion ... and in a particular way with Mary.... Because the Liturgy is the action of Christ and of the Church ... [and] she is inseparable from one and the other.... Mary is present in the memorial--the liturgical action--because she was present at the saving event.... She is at every altar where the memorial of the passion and Resurrection is celebrated, because she was present, faithful with her whole being to the Father's plan, at the historic salvific occasion of Christ's death."
A sacrifice consists of the external sign and the
interior dispositions which the sign expresses. In the Cenacle the
external sign was the seeming separation of His body and blood. On the
Cross, it was the physical separation. But in both cases, and on our
altars, the interior is the disposition of His Heart, most basically,
obedience to the Father (cf. Rom 5. 19 and Lumen gentium # 3).
His disposition on our altars is not a repeat of that which He had on
Calvary, it is the continuation, for death makes permanent the
attitude of soul with which one leaves the body. Mary shares in the
external sign of the Mass in that the flesh and blood are still those
He received from her. She shares in the interior dispositions of His
Heart, with which she is eternally united. Therefore the Mass is not
the time to stop thinking of her. Rather, the more closely one is
united with her, the more closely one is united with Her Son.
Therefore, let no one say we should forget her at Mass. Rather, the
more closely one is joined to her there, the more closely to
Jesus--and vice versa.
John Paul II's Homily at Mass With New Cardinals
In the College "Is Reflected the Universality of the Church"
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2003 (Excerpts) (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the homily John Paul II prepared for today's Mass in St. Peter's Basilica with the new cardinals.
This, dear brothers, is our strength. And it is also one of the reason why I desired that the 25th year of my pontificate be dedicated to the holy rosary: to stress the primacy of prayer, in a special way of contemplative prayer, made in spiritual union with Mary, Mother of the Church.
The presence of Mary -- desired, invoked and welcomed -- helps us to live this celebration also as a moment in which the Church is renewed in the encounter with Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Urges the Faithful to Walk With Mary in 2004
Points to "Paths of Goodness"
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 7, 2004 (Zenit.org).- ( Excerpts) During his first general audience of the year, John Paul II invited Christians to walk resolutely on "paths of goodness" with the Virgin Mary. "Christmastide renews our awareness of this mystery, presenting us the Mother of the Son of God as co-participant in the culminating events of the history of salvation."
"Mary's whole existence is profoundly connected to that of Jesus," he added. "It is she who offers Jesus to humanity at Christmas. On the cross, at the supreme moment of the fulfillment of the redemptive mission, it will be Jesus who will make a gift of his Mother to every human being, as a precious inheritance of redemption."
When on the cross he says "Woman, behold your son," Jesus "entrusts his Mother to John and, at the same time, entrusts the Apostle and every believer to the love of Mary," the Pope added. "In these last days of Christmastide, let us pause to contemplate in the crib the silent presence of the Virgin next to the Child Jesus," the Pope said.
"The same love, the same concern she has for her divine Son, she reserves for us," he continued. "Sustained and comforted by her maternal protection, we will be able to contemplate with new eyes the face of Christ and to walk more rapidly on the paths of goodness."
Mary's Maternal Martyrdom
This is so neat ...