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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Salve Regina, Mother of God...

Mary Mother of God...
So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. (Rv. 12:17)

I remember an exchange I once had with a cousin, who had left the faith of her childhood for a non-denominational Christian tradition, vividly. She said to me, “Mary is not my mother.”

For me, a freshly minted revert, at the time, who, in my fervor, was trying to evangelize the world (this was years before starting to blog, and, believe me, for your sake, thank goodness because, as little as I know now, I knew less then!), it was disheartening.

Not my mother? Just the thought was too foreign for me to wrap my mind around. I mean, being raised Catholic, like the rest of our family, albeit, in my case, more for cultural reasons than convictions, loving the Blessed Mother; the new Eve, who accepted God’s plan willingly and, from the beginning, God promised to put enmity between her and the devil, and his offspring and hers; was as natural as the air I breathe. I had never come across an objection of her motherhood and from my own cousin?

As you can see, it made a lasting impression.

Today, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary; Mother of God, as Elizabeth said, "Mother of my Lord."

It is a Holy Day of obligation and despite going to sleep in the wee hours of the morning, after celebrating New Year’s with my family and friends, I enthusiastically (ok, maybe sluggishly was more like it) got up early enough to make it to 8am Mass, since I couldn't go later with my family because I had to work (one of the benefits of working in TV News!).

But, as a son of Mary, as it states in the verse I started this blog with, who, like every one of us, is in a spiritual war against the forces of evil and trying desperately to keep the commandments and holding fast to the testimony of Jesus (as best as I could), is it too much to ask?

I don’t think any loving son (with possible exception of Adam Lanza) would deprive their mother, including the greatest Son of all, which is why Catholics love Mary. We aspire to imitate Christ!  As I heard once said, we can never love or revere her as much as Christ does.

If you think about it, Mary was the human tabernacle that carried the salvation of humanity to term within her womb; whose blood intermingled with His Royal Blood, whose breasts provided nourishment, once born, and who consoled Him when He was crying and held Him tight when He needed comforting.

As the early 5th century Council of Ephesus established, "If anyone does not confess that Emmanuel is God in truth, and therefore that the holy virgin is the mother of God (for she bore in a fleshly way the Word of God become flesh), let him be anathema." (no disrespect to my cousin intended!)

In Mary, all mothers are raised up in the dignity bestowed upon them as child bearers, nurturers, spiritual guides and teachers.

Moreover, in a deeper sense, as Mother of the Lord, who’s Body, according to the Gospel, is the Church, she is our mother too. Hence, as she herself prophesied “From this day, all generations will call me blessed.”

Therefore, despite my cousin’s unintentional misunderstanding, as one of my favorite authors and former Presbyterian Minister, Dr. Scott Hahn, once wrote, “At the foot of the cross, Jesus’ Home became our home. His Father became our father. And, His Mother became our Mother.”

Hail full of grace, the Lord is with thee…

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