Presented by Mary Lou Burke
September 9, 2002
MARY, OUR LADY
Mary, known by many titles, Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Mother of the Church, Queen of Peace, Mary conceived without sin, is still a topic of conversation when Catholics meet. Now 40 years after the Second Vatican Council, the debate goes n. Some people say Mary was thrown out at Vatican II but nothing could be farther from the truth.
The bishops at Vatican II decided to include its statement on Mary as one chapter in its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. The implications of this decision were significant. It indicated that the bishops wanted to emphasize the fact that in spite of her unique prerogatives, Mary was still to be regarded as a fellow member of the Church and not some kind of semi-divine being exalted above the Church.
The Council stated that Mary was deserving of special honor and reverence as Mother of God, and Mother of the Redeemer. She was honored as Mother of the Church since she co-operated out of love and embraced God's saving will with a full heart. She was hailed, venerated, and invoked ' as a preeminent and singular memberůmodel and excellent exemplar of the Church in faith and charity' free from sin and a model of holy virginity and motherhood.
Since Vatican II, there have been ecumenical dialogues between Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox. Important questions remain like papal primacy, Marian dogmas (Immaculate Conception and Assumption) and apostolic succession.
Some fundamentalist Christians say Catholic adore Mary, her statues and paintings. We do not worship Mary, we worship only God. We venerate Mary and the saints and adore only God, Christians have venerated Mary since the third century because she is the Mother of Jesus, she is found in the Bible, and is the best example we could have of a person of faith and peace. In Luke 1:28, the first words of the Hail Mary from the angel, Mary accepted and became Jesus' mother. In Luke, chapter 2, we have the infancy narratives and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Matthew speaks of the virgin birth and the Nativity. At the beginning of Jesus public life we read the wedding at Cana (Jn 2:1-12). Mary is also mentioned at the foot of the Cross, the Resurrection, the Ascension and Pentecost.
The Rosary, the Hail Mary, the Angelus, are Marian prayers.
From LUMEN GENTIUM
THE FUNCTION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN IN THE PLAN OF SALVATION.
# 55 The Old Testament brings forth the figure of a woman who shall bear a son and call him Emmanuel (Is 7:14; Mic 5:2-3)
# 56 "they know of Eve's disobedience was untied by Mary's obedience; what the virgin Eve bound through her disbelief Mary loosened by her faith"
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY AND THE CHURCH
# 62 The Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress and Mediatrix.
# 63 in the mystery of the Church, the Blessed Virgin stands out in eminent and singular fashion as exemplar both of virgin and mother.
# 64 Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps faith, firm hope and sincere charity.
CULT OF BLESSED VIRGIN IN THE CHURCH
# 66 Mary has by grace been exalted above all angels and men to a place second only to her Son, as the most holy mother of God who was involved in the mysteries of Christ. After the Council of Ephesus, 431, there was remarkable growth in the cult of the People of God towards Mary, in veneration and love, invocation and imitation. The various forms of piety towards the Mother of God ensure while the mother is honored, the Son through whom all things have their being (Col. 1:15-16) and in whom it has pleased the Father is rightly known, loves and glorified and his commandments are observed.
MARY SIGN OF TRUE HOPE AND COMFORT FOR THE PILGRIM PEOPLE OF GOD
# 68 The mother of Jesus in the glory which she possesses in body and soul in heaven is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected in the world to come.
POPE JOHN PAUL II and MARY
Pope John Paul II has been devoted to Mary since early youth. IN 1964 he wrote that 'having built up Christ's physical body as mother, continues this role in the mystical body." In 1987 his encyclical Redemptoris Mater, declared his Mariology. His key word is motherhood. Mary is the mother of the Redeemer, mother of Divine Grace and Mother of the Church. Mary's role in salvation history was not exempt from sorrow; the prophesy of Simeon, the agony of Calvary and the death of Jesus.
The three years leading to the millennium, were dedicated to each person of the Trinity, Mary is the virginal mother of the Son, the immaculate spouse of the Holy Spirit, the fairest daughter of the Father.