Marian thought for the Day – 21 May 2018 “Mary’s Month!” – The First Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church
“Mary Mother of the Church, Mater Ecclesiae
our new Universal Memorial today!
Blessed Pope Paul VI explicitly proclaimed Mary Mother of the Church and asked that she be honoured and invoked with this title by all the Christian people.
The title “Mother of the Church” thus reflects the deep conviction of the Christian faithful, who see in Mary not only the mother of the person of Christ but also of the faithful. She who is recognised as mother of salvation, life and grace, mother of the saved and mother of the living, is rightly proclaimed Mother of the Church.
Pope Paul VI would have liked the Second Vatican Council itself to have proclaimed “Mary Mother of the Church, that is, of the whole People of God, of the faithful and their Pastors”. He did so himself in his speech at the end of the Council’s third session (21 November 1964), also asking that “henceforth the Blessed Virgin be honoured and invoked with this title by all the Christian people” (AAS 1964, 37).
In this way, my venerable Predecessor explicitly enunciated the doctrine contained in chapter eight of Lumen gentium, hoping that the title of Mary, Mother of the Church, would have an ever more important place in the liturgy and piety of the Christian people.” – St Pope John Paul II (1920-2005)
“We need to meditate frequently on the fact that the Church is a deep, great mystery, so that we never forget it. We cannot fully understand the Church on this earth. If men, using only their reason, were to analyse it, they would see only a group of people who abide by certain precepts and think in a similar way. But that would not be the Church.
In the Church we Catholics find our faith, our norms of conduct, our prayer, our sense of fraternity. Through it we are united with all our brothers and sisters who have already left this life and are being cleansed in Purgatory—the Church suffering—and with those who already enjoy the beatific vision and love forever the thrice holy God—the Church triumphant. The Church is in our midst and at the same time transcends history. It was born under the mantle of our Lady and continues to praise her on earth and in heaven as its Mother (“The Supernatural Aim of the Church,” 28 May 1972).
If we become identified with Mary and imitate her virtues, we will be able to bring Christ to life, through grace, in the souls of many who will in turn become identified with him through the action of the Holy Spirit. If we imitate Mary, we will share in some way in her spiritual motherhood. And all this silently, like Our Lady; without being noticed, almost without words, through the true and genuine witness of our lives as Christians, and the generosity of ceaselessly repeating her fiat, which we renew as an intimate link between ourselves and God.” – St Josemaria Escrivá (1902-1975) – Friends of God, 281-283
“….We have spoken about Mary, about Jesus. What about us? We who are the Church? What kind of love do we bring to others? Is it the love of Jesus that shares, that forgives, that accompanies, or is it a watered-down love, like wine so diluted that it seems like water? Is it a strong love, or a love so weak that it follows the emotions, that it seeks a return, an interested love? Another question: is self-interested love pleasing to Jesus? No, it is not because love should be freely given, like His is. What are the relationships like in our parishes, in our communities? Do we treat each other like brothers and sisters? Or do we judge one another, do we speak evil of one another, do we just tend our own vegetable patch? Or do we care for one another? These are the questions of charity!
And briefly, one last aspect: Mary as the model of union with Christ.
The life of the Holy Virgin was the life of a woman of her people: Mary prayed, she worked, she went to the synagogue… But every action was carried out in perfect union with Jesus. This union finds its culmination on Calvary, here Mary is united to the Son in the martyrdom of her heart and in the offering of his life to the Father for the salvation of humanity. Our Lady shared in the pain of the Son and accepted with Him the will of the Father, in that obedience that bears fruit, that grants the true victory over evil and death.
The reality Mary teaches us, is very beautiful: to always be united with Jesus. We can ask ourselves: do we remember Jesus only when something goes wrong and we are in need, or is ours a constant relation, a deep friendship, even when it means following him on the way of the Cross?
Let us ask the Lord to grant us His grace, His strength, so that the model of Mary, Mother of the Church, may be reflected in our lives and in the life of every ecclesial community. So be it!”...Pope Francis 23 October 2013