Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Blessed Virgin Mary: She Really Is Your Mother

The Blessed Virgin Mary; the simple, poor and humble virgin of Nazareth who accepted
the role of mother of Jesus Christ and became mother of all He redeemed (Rev 12:17.)
Joe writes:    Among the most misunderstood teachings of the Church is ‘this thing about Mary’. A lot of people find it hard to accept her and many accusations are levelled at the Catholics for ‘inventing’ a goddess and use Mary’s name. Some say, Catholics confuse Jesus with Mary. In the latter accusation people cite such things as “*Immaculate conception”, “*Core-redemptrix and *Mediatrix of all graces”, “Mother of God” and “*The Hail Mary prayer – The Ave”.

Mary is the second Eve 
Mary is the woman that was promised by Almighty God in the Garden of Eden, the new Eve who with her seed was to do battle with the serpent. When God passed judgement on the serpent He said in Genesis 3:15 “I will put enmities between you and the woman, and your seed and her seed: she shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for her heel.” The woman being referred to here is a totally new creation, as prophesied in Jeremiah 31:22, “… For the Lord has created a new thing upon the earth: a woman shall compass a man”. So not only is God declaring war on evil but He is also creating ‘a thing’, which is the second woman that shall correct what Eve the first woman wronged. If we quickly pass over  to Revelations 12:4 where we see now the battle lines being drawn “… And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered: that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.” This the dragon tried to do by murdering all the children two years and younger just after Jesus was born. Thus she becomes a warrior woman as described in the Canticle of canticles (Song of songs) 6:9-10; “... my perfect one is but one, she is the only one of her mother, the chosen of her that bore her. The daughters saw her, and declared her most blessed [Lk 1:42]: the queens and concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that comes forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array?"

That she is the second Eve is developed very well in the Pauline epistles. St Paul refers to Jesus as the second Adam in 1 Corinthians 15:45 & 47 “The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last  [second] Adam into a quickening spirit … The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man, from heaven, heavenly” So where does it say she is the new Eve? In John 2:4 Jesus refers to His mother by the term woman, the title that Eve was given by the first Adam before the fall in Genesis 2:23. Just as the first Eve was the mother of all the living, the second Eve becomes the mother of all those redeemed by Jesus Christ (the second Adam); those that accepted the new life in Him. Two passages affirm this, firstly John 19:26-28 says "When Jesus therefore had seen his mother and the disciple standing whom he loved, he says to his mother: Woman, behold your son. After that, he says to the disciple: Behold your mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own. Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst". If we believe that all scripture is inspired inerrant, then the last sentence suggests that it was indeed the plan to affirm Mary as the mother of all those who are redeemed by Jesus Christ;  in Revelations 12:17 we read, "And the dragon was angry against the woman [who brought forth the man child]: and went to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ".

Mother of God and Queen of Heaven
Mary is not only the second Eve, in the flesh she is the mother of Jesus Christ. Christians believe that Jesus Christ is God, the only begotten Son of God, who is truly man and truly God as taught in the hypostatic union. This is where Mary thus becomes the mother of God, because in Jesus Christ there is no separation of God from man. Thus Jesus Christ is her Lord and God and she is His mother. She becomes thus the mother of her Lord, hence the mother of God. She is not mother of God in that she generates God since she remains a creature. Secondly, we are told that, Almighty God the Father gave Jesus a name above all other names and proclaimed Him King of kings (Psalm 2:6). In human tradition the mother of the reigning king is queen consort over all that he surveys. The queen consort is mediator for the king’s subjects and she intercedes for them before the king, not because they can’t go directly to him but because her proximity and intimacy of the relationship makes it hard to reject the plea. Indeed Jesus Christ as King of kings and God ascended to Heaven with the body borne of Mary and is till her son. As son He honours the fourth Commandment and as God He does it more perfectly because He is just and He is the Truth.

Why do we say "to Jesus Christ through the Virgin Mary"?
Intercessory prayers are a Biblical concept that is clearly referred to and encouraged by St Paul and the first Christians and developed from Jesus Christ’s teaching in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have love you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” In Matthew 5:44 Jesus Christ says directly “But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you…” Why would He ask us to pray for any one else, wouldn’t it be said here that He is encouraging this practice? St Paul understood this and under inspiration of the Holy Spirit he says in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 “I desire therefore, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for all men: 2 For kings and for all that are in high station: that we may lead a quiet and a peaceable life in all piety and chastity.” This we see also in Romans 15:30–32, Colossians 4:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:25, 2 Thessalonians 3:1, Ephesians 6:18 and Galatians 6:2; and in 2 Thessalonians 1:11 he assures them for his prayers for them. In Revelations 5:8 we see the four living creatures around the throne of God offering incense, which is said to be the prayers of the saints. In Revelations 8:3-5 the angels are said to do the same thing. This means those in Heaven hear the prayers said in words and in silence from the earth and they offer it at the golden Altar of God in Heaven. In Revelations 8:5 we see the symbol of God responding through thunder and lightning.

Why we love the Blessed Virgin Mary
Catholics thus believe that Mary who is the mother of God, Queen of Heaven (mother of the King of kings) and mother to all who accept Jesus Christ and follow the commands of God mediates for her human family. She does not intercede between God the Father and man because it is only Jesus Christ who can do that (1 Timothy 2:5). She is the sinless mother of God chosen to bear the only begotten Son of God and offered to the human family at the foot of the cross and in the words of St James 5:16 “… the continual prayer of a just man avails much.” The mediation of the Blessed Virgin Mary is only possible because of her Son Jesus, she does not act apart or above or alternative to Him but only through Him just as she did at Cana when the wedding was about to be ruined because of shortage of wine. In symbolic terms, the wedding at Cana symbolizes the wedding of the Lamb to His Bride the Church and the wine is the Holy Spirit, where Jesus Christ prays to the Father for the gift of the Holy Spirit to guide the Church in when their hope is about to run out and this came through the plea od the Blessed Mother.

The Church is the bride of Christ, and the mystical body of Christ. Recall that Eve came from Adam’s rib and when he saw her he proclaimed that this is flesh of my flesh and bone of my bones. The Blessed Mother then mystically the mother of the Church that is why we have at the base of the Rosa Mystica statues the message “Mater ecclesia, ora pro nobis”, “Mother of the Church, pray for us” Indeed any Christian can pray for themselves and are encouraged to do so, but at the foot of the cross we were given a mother, not symbolically but in reality. This mother cries out for us because we are her seed by virtue of the life we receive in Christ her Son. Her mediation and participation in the passion of Christ, is by the grace of God and through that grace we gained an advocate, who plays the role of Queen mother.

*There is more detailed and inspired writings to explain the role of our Beloved mother Mary; Pope Pius XII wrote on the Immaculate Conception in Fulgens Corona (1953), a number of the Fathers wrote on "Mary mother of God"; there has been a number of writings and conferences on her role as Core-redemptrix, Mediatrix and Advocate and it is now up to the Holy Father and the Sacred Magisterium of the Church.
**It is the Love of Almighty God that sends her to us through apparitions, to nurture us and defend us her seed from the wrath of the ancient serpent, her sworn enemy. Let us follow her advice and listen to her every word in all Church approved apparitions.

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