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제목 The Reasons Why we Love the Blessed Virgin Mary(2014-09-12)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2014-11-04

 



The reasons why we love the Blessed Virgin Mary(12th September 2014) 

 

Today the feast of the Holy Name of Mary is one of the many feasts of Our Lady, which the Church gives us to foster in all her faithful a deep devotion to the Holy Mother of God. Indeed though devotion to the Saints in general is necessary, yet devotion to particular saints is optional: thus there is a little saint near my city called St Austreberthe. You probably never heard of her, and don’t really need to have a devotion to her in order to go to Heaven. Yet it is good and useful to have devotion to the saints with whom we are somehow connected: our patron saints, the patron saints of our country, city, chapel, etc. Yet above all of them, devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is necessary. One cannot really love our Lord Jesus Christ if one does not share the deep love He had for His mother!

Indeed this is the first reason why we must be devoted to our Lady: that Jesus Himself had such love for her, and according to St Paul, “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:” (Phil. 2:5). Our Lord Jesus Christ as true God heaped upon His mother ineffable graces and privileges that surpassed all what He gave to anyone else. Yet as a man, our Lord Jesus Christ had the tender love that a child has for his mother; we see this love in the Gospel, for instance at Cana: she had just said to Him, “They have no wine” (Jn. 2:3). His answer seemed to put her somehow off, “Woman, what is that to me and to thee? My hour is not yet come” (Jn. 2:4).


Yet, what do we see right away: she tells the stewards to do whatsoever Our Lord would direct them to do; and Jesus does not want to hurt the confidence she just showed in Him and performs His first miracle, to please His mother! We see again that same filial devotion when Our Lord was dying on the Cross: He saw His mother there, faithful to the end at the foot of His cross; she was a widow, and she was seeing her only son dying in the depth of sufferings of all kinds: and He forgets about himself in a certain way and provides for her, entrusting her to the care of his beloved St John the Apostle: “he saith to his mother: Woman, behold thy son. After that, he saith to the disciple: Behold thy mother. And from that hour, the disciple took her to his own” (Jn. 19:26-27).

Our Lady was certainly following our Lord Jesus Christ with the group of holy women who were helping him and the apostles with material care (Lk 8:3), as we see her at the head of that group at the foot of the cross. So the apostles could see how Our Lord was honouring her, fulfilling the fourth Commandment. Now if our Lord Jesus Christ honoured Our Lady and had a devoted love for her, and if we should have this mind in us that was in Christ Jesus, if follows logically that we too should honour Our Lady and have a devoted love for her.

This conclusion had been practiced by the Apostles and the early Church, where we see that, every time Our Lady is mentioned, she is always mentioned with great reverence, esteem and honour. Some of the earliest testimonies about Our Lady, such as in St Justin or St Ireneus’ writings, contrast her fidelity to the infidelity of Eve, presenting her as the New Eve whose fidelity repairs the infidelity of the first Eve, the New Eve united with the New Adam, our Lord Jesus Christ. We already see her very title of “Advocate” in these pristine testimonies: Our Lady was acknowledged by the early Church as interceding for all of us.

A second reason why we should honour Our Lady is founded on the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ. St Paul is very explicit, that by Baptism we are members of our Lord Jesus Christ. Now a mother does not give birth to a head without a body! Thus Our Lady is the mother of Christ, head and body, that is, including all the “members of Christ”. She is at the same time part of that Body of Christ, being the most eminent member of the Church, and at the same time Mother of the Church, because of her unique position with regards to our Lord Jesus Christ as His mother!

Connected with this second reason is the fact that there is one virtue that is absolutely essential for salvation, that is, the virtue of humility. Indeed “God resisteth the proud, but to the humble he giveth grace” (1 Pet. 5:5). How could anyone go to Heaven if God resists him? We absolutely need the grace of God in order to go to Heaven, and the required condition to receive grace is humility. In the Gospel, our Lord Jesus Christ teaches this necessity of humility in many ways, but in particular He said: “Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Mt. 18:3). Such truth is so important that He introduces it with the solemn oath: “Amen I say to you…” Now in order to be converted and become as little children, we need a mother! So our Lord Jesus Christ gave us the best of all mothers, His own Mother: “behold thy mother”, said He to the “beloved disciple” (see Jn. 19:26): in other words, this is not reserved to St John, but Jesus tells “behold thy mother” to every disciple who wished to be loved by Jesus! If we take her truly as our Mother, then this is a guarantee that we will be loved by Jesus. And indeed, in this matter of the necessity of humility, Our Lady is very well placed, since “he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid” and indeed “from henceforth all generations [did] call [her] blessed” (Lk. 1:48).

The proud heretics, who claim that they need not Our Lady and “can go straight to Jesus”, who refuse to honour her who had been so honoured by the Holy Ghost that He overshadowed her (Lk 1:35), these proud heretics are not “converted as little children”: they do need such conversion in order to go to Heaven.

Another reason why we need Our Lady is that we are in the midst of a terrible spiritual battle “against principalities and power, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph. 6:12). In such battle, we do need “she that cometh forth as the morning rising, fair as the moon, bright as the sun, terrible as an army set in array” (Cant. 6:9). In those words of the Wise in the Canticle of Canticles, the Church recognised Our Lady; indeed, who else could that be?

The battle between good and evil includes a battle for purity: in the modern world more than ever the Devil is trying to corrupt everything with a flood of impurity and of all kinds of perversions. With the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we can resist it and remain pure: in this battle we have the beautiful example of the Immaculate Virgin, the “Immaculata” as St Maximilian Kolbe loved to call her; her example is most inspiring and comforting. Yes indeed it is possible by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to be pure! See what beauty He has bestowed on His Mother! God loves purity; our Lord Jesus Christ loves innocence; and by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ it is possible to keep innocence; it is possible to recover the virtue of purity, and to practice it even in the higher degrees of consecrated virginity and perfect continence. If God’s grace is so powerful as to make Our Lady absolutely Immaculate, we must have confidence that it is possible – nay, very delightful – to practice the chastity of our state: to remain pure before the marriage, faithful in the marriage, and even more faithful in consecrated life when God calls to such life.
More deeply even than the battle for purity, there is a battle for the Faith: especially in the past fifty years, we do need her who is the “Guardian of the Faith, the Virgin most Faithful, and the Vanquisher of all heresies” as the Church sins in her antiphon: “Thou alone hast overcome all heresies in the whole world!”

But in that battle, we must hold these two truths: we CAN win with the help of Our Lord and we CANNOT win alone, by our own selves! That need – absolute need – of the help of God, of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the very foundation of prayer: we need to pray; it is the most fundamental need of the soul. And in our prayers, we need to have recourse to the Saints, and above all to our heavenly mother, to the Blessed Virgin Mary. She has been made so powerful, especially in her Assumption, in order to provide for our needs, in order to be a helper, an advocate always ready to protect us, to help us, to rescue us.


And today’s feast is just one more illustration of this truth: the feast of the Holy Name of Mary was instituted by Bl. Innocent XI in thanksgiving for the victory over the Muslims at Wien in Austria through her protection. Today the Muslims are even more fierce and violent against the Church: we need Our Lady! We need her, not merely for an earthly battle, but more importantly for the conversion of the Muslims: this is even more difficult, but remains quite possible with Our Lady’s help!

So, my dear brethren, let us love her tenderly as children love the best of all mothers! Let us pray faithfully to her daily and strive to imitate her examples and love Jesus with our whole heart as she did. In particular let us keep that beautiful virtue of purity and the Faith of all times without stain, without compromise in any way. And let us spread devotion to Our Lady, especially to her Immaculate Heart, confiding that with her help many souls will return to our Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.  Amen.

 Fr. Laisney (sspxasia)