Her Own

hail-holy-queen-st-alphonsus-liguoriExcerpt from:  Hail Holy Queen!, by St. Alphonsus Liguori, pgs. 44-45:

Mary is the Mother of sinners who wish to repent, and as a mother she cannot do otherwise than compassionate them; nay more, she seems to feel the miseries of her poor children as if they were her own.  When the Canaanitish woman begged Our Lord to deliver her daughter from the devil who possessed her, she said, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Thou Son of David, my daughter is grievously troubled by a devil.”  But since the daughter, and not the mother, was tormented, she should rather have said, “Lord, take compassion on my daughter:” and not, Have mercy on me; but no, she said, “Have mercy on me,” and she was right; for the sufferings of children are felt by their mother as if they were their own.  And it is precisely thus, says Richard of St. Laurence, that Mary prays to God when she recommends a sinner to Him who has had recourse to her; she cries out for the sinful soul, “Have mercy on me!”  “My Lord,” she seems to say, “this poor soul that is in sin is my daughter, and therefore, pity not so much her as me, who am her mother.”

Would that all sinners had recourse to this sweet Mother!  for then certainly all would be pardoned by God.  “O Mary,” exclaims St. Bonaventure, in rapturous astonishment, “thou embracest with maternal affections a sinner despised by the whole world, nor dost thou leave him until thou hast reconciled the poor creature with his Judge;” meaning that the sinner, whilst in the state of sin, is hated and loathed by all, even by inanimate creatures; fire, air, and earth would chastise him, and avenge the honor of their outraged Lord.  But if this unhappy creature flies to Mary, will Mary reject him?  Oh, no:  provided he goes to her for help, and in order to amend, she will embrace him with the affection of a mother, and will not let him go, until, by her powerful intercession, she has reconciled him with God, and reinstated him in grace. 

Songs for Mary

The latest episode of one of my favourite podcasts,  Catholic Praise Cast, is dedicated to Mary.  Just click on #22 in the sidebar of Catholic Praise Cast to listen, or you can download the podcast if you’d like.  I particularly like the last song, called “Come Hold My Son”, by Thirsting.

The Most Holy Name of Jesus

On this feastday, we continue with the theme of the last few posts – the nativity, the divine child, and the birth of Jesus within us.  Why, you may ask.  What connection is there between the Holy Name of Jesus and ourselves giving birth to Christ daily?

Well, the name of Jesus was given by an angel to Mary and Joseph before the birth of the Baby.  Must we not also receive His Holy Name into our hearts before we can birth Him? 

I’ve posted some reflections from Servant of God Catherine Doherty over at Contemplative Haven today, which help to explain the connection between the Holy Name of Jesus and His presence within us.  But here I’d like to share some thoughts from Father George A. Maloney, S.J., from his book entitled, Invaded by God.  Mysticism and the Indwelling Trinity” .

In his section on “The Jesus Prayer”, Father Maloney writes:

The name of Jesus Christ for us modern Christians is also more than a mere recall of our Lord who once lived on this earth and performed healings and miracles and died for love of us.  Allowing His name to be present not only on our lips but in our heart (pushing ourselves to be consciously present to Him), we can experience by the Spirit’s gifts of deeper infusion of faith, hope and love the presence of Jesus Christ.  (pg. 140)

Strikingly similar to the thoughts of Meister Eckhart posted recently, Father Maloney continues:

Jesus becomes more and more present to us, leading us into the presence of the Father through His Spirit of love.  We experience with Mary the growth of Jesus within our hearts.  We experience also the Heavenly Father begetting Him and us together in a new birth of His only begotten Son.  We experience the Holy Spirit pouring out His gifts that allow us to build up the body of Christ through contemplation and action.  (pgs. 140-141)

In the video I posted just recently where Father Schineller, S.J. tells us that the U.S. Catholic bishops took Meister Eckhart’s thoughts one step further, i.e., into the world, so too Father Maloney makes this point, and does so beautifully in the section entitled, “A Transfiguring Light”:

Above all, as we are bathed in the transfiguring power of the indwelling Jesus, we are able to release the same transfiguring presence of Jesus in the world in which we are present….  What a power a Christian contemplative has to call forth the transforming power of Jesus Christ into his modern world, one that groans so loudly in agony until the full Christ has been born….  “Come, Lord Jesus, Marana tha!”  (pg. 141)

Mary, the Holy Mother of God

immaculate-mary-mother-of-god

 

In, “The Mother of the Saviour and Our Interior Life”, Father Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange writes that over the centuries there has been theological debate as to “which was the greater of Mary’s prerogatives, her divine maternity (her motherhood of God) or her fulness of grace.” (pg. 17)  He presents some of the discussions on both sides, but ultimately tells us:  “To the problem so stated the great majority of theologians answer that tradition teaches that the divine maternity, defined in the Council of Ephesus, is higher than the fulness of grace, and that Mary’s most glorious title is that of Mother of God.” (pgs. 19-20)

“Thus, just as in Jesus the dignity of Son of God, or Word made flesh, surpasses that of the plenitude of created grace, charity, and glory, which He received in His sacred soul as a result of the hypostatic union of two natures in Him by the Incarnation, so also in Mary the dignity of Mother of God surpasses that of the plenitude of grace and charity, and even that of the plenitude of glory which she received through her unique predestination to the divine maternity.”  (pg. 21)