Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary
This Tuesday, October 11th, is the Feast of the Motherhood of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We find the entire reason and meaning of this feast explained in the words of the Divine Office: “ Let us celebrate the motherhood of the Virgin Mary, and adore her Son, Who is Christ the Lord.”
Mary, Mother of God, and a Virgin Mother. And in saying this, we have said all that is possible in declaring the dignity and privileges of our Blessed Lady.
In preparing the body and soul of Mary for so exalted a dignity, we have seen that Almighty God enriched her with all the graces, blessings and privileges; bestowing upon her singular favor of her Immaculate Conception, so that when the Angel Gabriel was sent to her by God, he was authorized to address her: “ Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women.” As she was so holy even before the Incarnation, we can imagine what grace she possessed when the Lord was with her, not merely by His grace, but actually in His own divine personality in the relation of the child to his mother.
Difficult as it is to imagine the interior sanctity of Mary, it is still more difficult to realize Mary’s exterior dignity as the Mother of God, for we should understand the nature of Almighty God Himself, many to comprehend the infinity of His divine perfections.
According to St. Bonaventure, to be Mother of God is the greatest grace which can be conferred on a pure creature. She is so great that God cannot create greater. God can make a greater world, a greater heaven, but a creature greater than the Mother of God, He cannot make. And this is the reason assigned by spiritual writers for the brief references of the Gospel to Mary’s dignity and privileges, compared to their more lengthy description of the graces and favors of others.
Does all this mean as some Protestants accuse us Catholics, that we make the Blessed Mother the equal of God? Not at all!
Mary was and always will be infinitely inferior to God because she is a creature. But she always was and always will be superior to all other created beings both in grace and dignity. But even being that superior to all of us, Mary still is the best and most understanding of all mothers.
The love of a mother for her child is one of the most precious gifts of God to human nature. That love survives all shocks of sorrow and disappointment, conquers all difficulties. Overlooks all short comings and willingly consecrates itself to a life long sacrifice for the welfare of its beloved. Even the greatest criminals who have earned themselves the opprobrium of all human beings and have not an advocate even to say a good word for them, they are still the object of the love and anxious care of their mother’s love.
Now if the love of an ordinary mother is so great and so far reaching, what must be the depth of the love of our holy Mother Mary for her children. What must be her anxiety for the conversion and spiritual welfare of all poor sinners, and what consolation must not her love and protection be capable of affording, especially to those who need it most. The Church always has applied to Mary the words of the Bible: “ I am the mother of fair love…and of holy hope…can a woman forget her infant so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee.”
To you my dear Christian mothers, renew your devotion today to Mary, Queen of our Christian homes. Mothers understand each other. Go to Mary the best of all mothers whatever your trouble or need maybe. If you keep the devotion to Mary the center of your family life, you can rest secure. For Mary is not only the guardian of the Christian family in general, but she takes an individual interest in every single family. Just as Christ died, not only for all men in general but for each individual soul as if it alone were to be saved, so Mary watches over and provides for every single Christian home as if each were her sole and special care.
Always go to Mary. You need no formal invitation to come to her. You can come to her at any time and she will never hurry you away. Always, she will give you the answer and the solution to your problems. Please, never give up on your mother in heaven. And I know it might sound a little strange, but I have saints and theologians on my side when I say: even if you cease to walk with Our Lord because of sin, even then don’t give up Mary, keep on praying to her and I guarantee you she will come and find you, and bring you back to her Son and your Savior.
Therefore on her feast day this Tuesday, let us rejoice that we have a Mother of such infinite grace and dignity and power. Let us renew our love and devotion to her, and we can be sure that even more than before Mary will remain our Life, our Sweetness, and our Hope.