11 October 2010

"He Who Wants Jesus Must Seek Him in Mary's Arms": the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The Feast we celebrate today honors Mary under her most beautiful title and in her most glorious prerogative: Mother of God.  This title and prerogative were solemnly proclaimed by the Council of Ephesus, to oppose the Nestorian heresy.  Today the Church congratulates Mary for this supreme dignity, which raises her above all other creatures, even to the threshold of infinity, and makes her Queen, not only of men, but also of angels.  This is the dominant theme throughout the Mass.  The Introit repeats the prophecy of Isaias which, even in the Old Testament, had foretold the sublimity of our Blessed Lady, "Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and His Name shall be called Emmanuel" (Is 7,14), that is, God with us.  The Epistle (Sir 24, 23-31), applying to Our Lady an extract from the book of Wisdom, sings the praises of her divine maternity: Mary is the fruitful vine which bore the fairest fruit, Jesus.  Mary is "the mother of fair love" in whom is "all grace of the way and of the truth... all hope of life and of virtue," since through her alone men have had their Savior.  He who wants Jesus must seek Him in Mary's arms; he who wishes to propitiate the Savior must have recourse to her who is His Mother.  How sweetly, then, does her maternal invitation sound in our ears: "Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits."  Yes, let us go to Mary and we shall not be deceived; in her we shall find all we can desire, because Mary gives us Jesus, the Redeemer, Father and true Food of our souls.  Not only does she give Him to us, but, by the example of her wonderful life, she teaches us to love Him, to imitate Him, to follow Him, and to profit as much as possible from His redemptive, sanctifying work.  thus Mary extends her maternity to us too, fulfilling toward us the duties of a Mother, and we can repeat with full confidence the prayer which the Church puts on our lips today:  "O Lord... grant that we who believe her to be indeed the Mother of God may be aided by her intercession with Thee" (Collect).

--from Divine Intimacy,
by Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

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