24 October 2011

The Follower of Christ Has to Be, Like Jesus, a Son of Mary

There is in the Scriptures an astonishing saying applied to Eternal Wisdom, to the Word of God: "My delight is to be with the sons of men." (Prov. 8:31)  Who would have believed that?  The Word is God: in the heart's-embrace of His Father He lives in infinite light; He possesses all the riches of the Divine perfections, He enjoys the fullness of all life and all beatitude.  And yet He declares, through the mouth of the sacred writer, that He finds His joy in living among men.

That marvel came to pass; for "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." John (1:1)  The Word desired to be one of us.  In an ineffable way He effected this Divine desire, and His effecting it seems (so to say) to have fulfilled all He wished.  When we read the Gospels we see, as a matter of fact, that Christ affirms His divinity often, as when He speaks of His eternal relationship to His Father:  "My Father and I are one," (John 10:30) or on the occasions of His confirming a profession of faith from His hearers.  "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona," He said to Peter who had just proclaimed the divinity  of his Master, "blessed are you... it is my Father in heaven who has revealed this to you." (Matt. 16:17)  Yet we do not see Him give Himself the title "Son of God" in so many words.

How many times, on the contrary, do we not hear Him call Himself the "Son of Man."  One might say that Christ is proud of this title that He is fond of giving Himself.  But He is careful never to separate it from His Divine Sonship or from the privileges of His divinity....

Perhaps nowhere in His words has our Divine Savior more strongly and clearly linked the fact of His being man with that of His being God than in the days of His Passion. ... Someone is no less in error if he rejects the humanity of Christ than if he denies His divinity.

Now, if Christ Jesus is the Son of God by eternal and ineffable birth, in the heart's-embrace of the Father-- "You are my Son...," He is the "Son of Man" by His birth in the sphere of time, in the womb of a woman: "God sent His Son, born of a woman...." (Gal. 4:4)

That woman is Mary, but that woman is also a virgin.  It is from her, and from her alone, that Christ takes His human nature.  It is to her that He owes His being the "Son of Man"; she is truly "mother of God."  Therefore, in actual fact, Mary occupies in Christianity a place which is unique, transcendent, essential.  Just as the fact of His being "Son of Man" cannot in Christ be separated from the fact of His being "Son of God," in that same way is Mary united to Jesus.  In actual fact, the Virgin Mary enters into the mystery of the Incarnation by a title that is due to the very essence of the mystery.

That is why we must pause a few moments to contemplate a marvel-- that a merely created being, Mary, has been associated, by ties so close, with the plan of the fundamental mystery of Christianity and consequently with our supernatural life; with that divine life which comes to us from Christ, the God-Man (and which, as I have told you, Christ as God gives us, but by making use of His humanity).  We must be, like Jesus, Son of God and Son of Mary.  He is completely the former and completely the latter.  If, therefore, we wish to reproduce His image in us, we must bear within us that twofold quality.

A soul's loving devotion would not be truly Christian if it did not include within its object the mother of the Incarnate Word.  Devotion towards the Virgin Mary is not only important but necessary, if we wish to draw abundantly from the source of life.  To separate Christ from His mother in our loving devotion is to divide Christ; it is to lose from sight the essential role of His sacred humanity in the conferment of Divine grace.  When one forsakes the Mother, one no longer understands the Son.  Is not this what has happened to the Protestant nations?  In having rejected devotion to Mary, on the plea of not derogating from the dignity of the one and only Mediator, have they not even ended up by losing faith in the divinity of Christ Himself?  If Christ Jesus is our Savior, our Mediator, our elder brother, because He has taken to Himself a human nature, how can we truly love Him, how can we resemble Him perfectly, without having a special devotion to her who is precisely she from whom He takes this human nature?

--from Christ, the Life of the Soul, by Blessed Columba Marmion

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How beautiful. Thank you.

--M