Who's our mother: God or Mary?
Your January/February 2001 issue contained two reviews of the book The Holy Longing: The Search for a Christian Spirituality, by Father Ronald Rolheiser, OMI. I would like to write something about Fr. Rolheiser's credal statement, "One Lord, One baptism, and One God who is Father and Mother of all."
First, the Church does not teach that God is our mother.
Jesus, as every Christian knows, called God "Father" and He commanded us to do likewise: "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come" (Luke 11:2).
At the foot of the Cross
Yet God did not leave His children Motherless. While dying on the Cross for our sins, our Lord presented his beloved disciple to His Mother as her child. Likewise, the Blessed Virgin Mary was presented as St. John's Mother. That extraordinary gesture was perhaps given because of St. John's great faith, in that he was the only one of the twelve apostles to obediently and courageously follow Jesus to His death. Or as Pope John Paul II stated, "To those who strive to know and love Him, Christ reveals His mother as He revealed her to His disciple John, from the Cross." And although Saint John was the first of Jesus' disciples to know Mary as Mother, saints throughout the ages have also attested to that fact.
The 1994 Catechism (#968) confirms that Mary is our Mother: "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 Saviour's work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason she is mother to us in the order of grace.
Blessed Juan Diego
Church-approved private revelations help us live more fully Christ's definitive Revelation and they seem to do so at periods of history when they are most needed. On December 9, 1531, in an area where much human sacrifice was then being practiced, the Virgin Mary said the following to Blessed Juan Diego: "I am your merciful Mother, the Mother of all who live united in this land, and of all mankind, of all those who love me, of those who cry to me, of those who have confidence in
So it's not accidental that during Lent of 1923, and shortly before her death at the age of 33, Sister Josefa Menendez was taught by Jesus how we should pray to our Mother. "Never," said Josefa, "had I seen His Heart so resplendent, nor heard in His voice such burning enthusiasm!" He said to her, "Now, Josefa, praise the Mother with the words of the Son, and the Son with those of His Mother." Here follow just a few sentences of that beautiful prayer:
"O tender and loving Mother, most prudent Virgin, Mother of my Redeemer; I come to salute you today with all the love that a child can feel for its mother. Yes, I am indeed your child, and because I am so helpless I will take the fervour of the Heart of your Divine Son; with Him I will salute you as the purest of creatures, for you were framed according to the wishes and desires of the thrice-holy God. 0 incomparable Virgin! Immaculate Virgin! Delight of the Blessed Trinity, admiration of all angels and saints, you are the joy of heaven. Morning Star, Rose blossoming in springtime, Immaculate Lily, tall and graceful Iris, sweet-smelling Violet. Garden enclosed kept for the delight of the King of heaven...you are my Mother, Virgin most prudent, Ark most precious containing every virtue! You are my Mother, most powerful Virgin, Virgin clement and faithful! 0 Refuge of sinners! I salute you and rejoice at the sight of the gifts bestowed on you by the Almighty, and of the prerogatives with which He has crowned yo u!
Seven years later, in May of 1930 Our Lord explained to Sister Lucia of Fatima that souls offend and blaspheme against the Immaculate Heart of Mary by refusing to accept her as the Mother of all mankind. That is one of the five reasons our Lord requested the Five First Saturdays' prayers of reparation: "Here, my daughter, is the reason why the Immaculate Heart of Mary causes Me to ask for this small reparation, and because of it to move my mercy to forgive souls who had the misfortune of offending her."
It's frightening to consider the grave consequences inherent in those words of Our Lord to those who (and especially those who are supposed to be working for the salvation of souls) "offend and blaspheme" by rejecting Immaculate Mary as their Mother.
God is not our mother. Our Mother is the Great Mother of God, Mary Most Holy. Our Lord has revealed it, the Church teaches it, the entire heavenly court lives it, and I rejoice in loving gratitude and will (hopefully) forever honour it. Blessed be God and Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||May 1, 2001|
|Previous Article:||Letters to the Editor.|
|Next Article:||Talk-show science.|