Monday, January 01, 2007

Mary, Mother of God +

Much to the discomfiture of my evangelical family members, I did not come with the requisite circuitry to rail and tut-tut at the phrase, Mother of God. For Catholics, it is simple logic. If Jesus is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; and if Jesus was born of the virgin Mary; then Mary is the Mother of God. Go figure.

As Scott Hahn has said (and said better), if I were the Creator of the universe without whom nothing was made that was made, what kind of mother would I make for myself? A mother tarnished, blotted and stained with the guilt of Original Sin? Or, a beautiful, spotless, sinless maiden most fair? Indeed, "full of grace?" Well, to stoop to an apt phrase in less than lofty phrases of high discourse, it's a no brainer.

The Catholic Church in no way promotes worshiping Our Lady. Never has, never will. But it does promote devotion to her for obvious reasons (if one doesn't have that knee-jerk anti-Catholic rant reaction, that is).

The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him in whom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" [Col. 2,9] should herself be "full of grace." She was, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capable of welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabriel to greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice" [Zeph.3,14; Zech. 2,14]. It is the thanksgiving of the whole People of God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle [Lk 1,46-55] lifts up to the Father in the Holy Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.
-- Catechism of the Catholic Church, #722

So the Mother of Jesus is also the Mother of the Church, Jesus's chosen instrument for providing grace today, and even "until the end of the age" [Mtt 28,20]. There are no orphans, no outcasts for those who are within Christ's "one holy catholic and apostolic Church." Fall in love with Our Lady. She is our Mother too.

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