Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Guardian Angel: Advocate, Mediatrix, Co-Redemptres

All generations will call me blessed (Luke 1:48).

As I have thought on writing about the Dogma on Mary, it has taken me longer than my first two books. Mary lived through the life, passion, death and Resurrection of the Savior of Mankind, JESUS. To answer questions for Catholics to better defend their faith, and also hopefully present it in such a way that our non-Catholic brothers and sisters can be drawn closer to the Mother of God is not a task I take lightly. How can I in my finite being ever express the fullness of the gift that Mary is to us, the most beautiful creation that God ever made. I will seek many of the words of those much greater than myself, and only repeat them in a way that you might understand. Understand that God alone is Adored, but Mary is indeed Venerated and honored.

Mary has shared intimately in the redemptive work of Jesus, by suffering with Him and offering Him up to the Eternal Father. But the fact that Mary was associated with Jesus in the redemption as it actually took place, adds nothing to HIS sacrifice. We can become friends of God solely because of the merits of Jesus Christ. This is what the Catholic Church always has taught and believed. Mary was Co-Redemptrix, which is translated “Woman with the Redeemer.” At the Annunciation, Mary cooperated with the Redeemer by giving the 2nd person of the Trinity His human body.

The Virgin with her maternal heart suffered with Jesus at the foot of HIS Cross, fulfilling the prophecy of Simeon, “and the sword will pierce your heart too.” Recognizing that the Virgin Mary participated in a unique though subordinate way in the work of the redeemer, beyond any other creature, but never places her on a level of equality with Jesus Christ or His Divinity. She is central in the plan of salvation as Mother of the Redeemer. Mary is an example to the Church that suffering is redemptive, it is not valueless, look at Mary’s suffering as Mother. This shows us that there is supernatural value in suffering by freely and profoundly accepting the Crosses given in our life. Suffering is Redemptive. So Mary had a unique participation in the work of redemption by Jesus Christ, as She suffered with her son at the foot of the Cross. The Agony of her Immaculate heart is joined completely with the Agony of her Son.

Confided by Our Lord to Berth Petit:
“Teach souls to love the Heart of My Mother pierced by the very sorrow which pierced Mine.” (Dec. 25, 1909)

“The Heart of My Mother has the right to be called Sorrowful, and I wish this title placed before that of Immaculate because she has won it herself. The church has defined in the case of My Mother what I Myself had ordained—Her Immaculate Conception. This right which My Mother has to a title of justice is now, according to My express wish, to be known and universally accepted. She has earned it by her identification with My sorrows; by her sufferings; by her sacrifices and her immolation in Calvary endured in perfect correspondence with My grace for the salvation of mankind…” (Sept. 8, 1911)

Mary freely and deliberately co-operated in giving the Redeemer to the world. Instructed by the angel Gabriel as to the person and task of Her Son she freely assented to be Mother of God. Luke 1:38, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done unto me according to thy word.” The Incarnation of the Son of God, and the Redemption of mankind by the vicarious atonement of Christ were dependent on her assent. In this significant moment in the history of Salvation Mary represented humanity. By her obedience the Virgin Mary became a cause of her own salvation and the salvation of the whole human race.

As Mediatrix, “Go Between”, Mary became the Mother of those reborn to new life. Mary presents our desires and petitions to Christ and transmits the divine gifts to us, interceding continually on our behalf. Although Christ is the Sole Mediator between God and man as stated in 1 Timothy 2:5, since He alone, by His death on the Cross, fully reconciled mankind with God, this does not exclude a secondary mediatorship, subordinated to Christ. "To unite men to God perfectively appertains to Christ according to 2 Corinthians 19. Therefore Christ alone is the perfect mediator between God and man, inasmuch as He reconciled mankind with God by His death…But there is nothing to prevent others in a certain way from being called mediators between God and man, in so far as they, by preparing or serving, cooperated in uniting men to God.” St. Ephrem says of her: “After the Mediator you are the mediatrix of the whole world”

Mary is the Mediatrix of all graces in two ways: 1. Mary gave the Redeemer, the Source of all graces, to the world, and in this way she is the channel of all graces., which was dependent upon her consent. 2. Since Mary’s Assumption into Heaven no grace is conferred on man without her actual intercessory co-operation. The graces flowing from the Father and Son through the Holy Spirit flow through the Virgin Mary as the Holy Spirits Spouse.

Consider this, Mary is the Daughter of God the Father! Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ the Son! And Mary is the Bride of the Holy Spirit. When the Angel showed up, her assent was needed, not commanded. Do you know how much importance Mary commands? Realize this, the third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Spirit, made Mary the first and most beautiful of all tabernacles, a living tabernacle! Mary would contain in Her womb, Jesus Christ—Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity for the first nine months of His earthly life. Mary is the Father’s best creation, the Father’s Masterpiece, God’s creative best. Her stainlessness in Immaculate Conception, which is a singular privilege and grace that is the foundation of everything else she does. “…because He who is might has done great things to me.” Luke 1:48

Next to God Himself, have you ever heard of a power like God speaks to Satan about Mary in Genesis 3:15, “I will put enmity between you and the Woman, between your seed and Her seed; She shall crush your head, and you shall lie in wait for Her heel.”

In Matthew 7:20, Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.” Since Jesus Christ is the Fruit of Mary’s womb, what more need be said of Mary. She voluntarily devoted her whole life to the service of the Redeemer, and, under the Cross, suffered and sacrificed with HIM.

Under the title Advocate, Mary presents our petitions to Jesus the King in her role of queen Mother of Heaven, intercessor for God’s people. All of us are called to be mediators, instruments of grace and instruments of Christ one to another. “The blessed Virgin participates like no one else in the one mediation of Jesus Christ. That is why She is Mediatrix, subordinate, supportive, sustained by the power of the grace of Christ. She is a handmaid of Jesus in the mediation of Graces and through Him the human family. She intercedes for the whole human family, our common Mother. Bishop Fulton J. Sheen said, “Our Lady is the only person who looked down on Heaven---when She held the Christ-Child in Her arms.”

St. Bernard speaks to this in the magnificent Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious virgin Mary, that NEVER was it known, that ANYONE who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

There have been over 260 Popes since Christ, but just over 30 great theologians that were called Doctors of the Church, and they all had a burning love for the Mother of God, as stated by some of the Doctors that were Saints:

St. Liguori said, God would refuse Mary nothing, and that, “A true child of Mary will never be lost.”

St. Bonaventure, “It is the privilege of the glory of Mary, that after God, our greatest happiness is from Her.”

St. Augustine, “If all the tongues of men were put together, and even if each of their members was changed into a tongue, they would not suffice to praise Her as much as She deserves. “

St. Robert Bellarmine, “And who would ever dare to snatch these children from the arms of Mary when they have taken refuge there. What power of hell or what temptation can overcome them if they place their confidence in the patronage of this great Mother, the Mother of god, and of them?”

St. Catherine of Siena, “Mary is a most sweet bait, chosen, prepared, and ordained by God to catch the hearts of men.”

St. Teresa, “The devotions we practice in honor of the glorious virgin Mary, however trifling they may be, are very pleasing to Her Divine Son, and He rewards them with eternal glory.”

Cardinal O’Conner, to define the Dogma of Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, and Advocate, so that other Christians would lose their anxiety that we do not distinguish adequately between Mary’s unique association with the redemption, and the redemptive power exercised in Christ alone.

Scripture states very clearly (1 Timothy 2:5) that Christ is the Mediator. Everyone of us is a mediator, when you ask me to pray, I become your mediator, your advocate. We are advocates to Christ for one another. Then when we view Mary as Gods’ most perfect creation we see her as the model for us. The way that God chose to reach us through His Son was through his Mother, and through her accepting of God’s will in her life. That’s what it means to share in her role in the redemptive act by saying “yes” to God.

Intercessor to the Son, who is the one mediator between God and man. She wants her children to come back to God before it is to late. Calling us back to Christ and fundamental doctrine of fasting, prayer, conversion and peace.

All the Saints that have gone before us, were born for their moment in time, we are here at this moment in time with Mary. It is a call of Grace and great Responsibility in cooperating with the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

It has been said, the love that all Mothers have for their children is but a shadow in comparison with the love that Mary bears to each one of us. She loves each one of us more than all the Angels and Saints put together. She is easily found by those who seek Her. How easy it is for those who love Mary to find Her, and to find Her full compassion and love, as she continues to point us to Her Son with the words that can take us to heaven, “Do whatever HE tells you to do.”

And one final gift from St. Louis De Montfort, First to Priests, “ I beg of you to beware of thinking of the Rosary as something of little importance—as do ignorant people and even several great but proud scholars. Far from being insignificant, the Rosary is a priceless treasure which is inspired by God".

Almighty God has given it to you because He wants you to use it as a means to convert the most hardened sinners and the most obstinate heretics. He has attached to it grace in this life and glory in the next. The saints have said it faithfully and the Popes have endorsed it.

When the Holy Spirit has revealed this secret to a priest and director of souls, how blessed is that priest? For the vast majority of people fail to know this secret or else only know it superficially. If such a priest really understands this secret he will say the Rosary every day and will encourage others to say it. God and His Blessed Mother will pour abundant grace into his soul, so that he may become God’s instrument for His glory; and his word, though simple, will do more good in one month than that of other preachers in several years. And to all of us, “Jesus began to do and to teach.” We ought to pattern ourselves on Our Blessed Lord, Who began by practicing what He preached. We ought to emulate Saint Paul who knew and preached nothing but Jesus Crucified. This is really and truly what you will be doing if you preach the Holy Rosary. It is not just a conglomeration of Our Fathers and Hail Marys, but on the contrary it is a divine summary of the mysteries of the life, passion, death and glory of Jesus and Mary. And best of all, they will feed upon the tree’s fruit, which is none other than our adorable Jesus, to Whom be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. So be it.

Say the Rosary, to mediate and advocate to your father in Heaven. Mary is our example, because God does nothing by chance. She was in God’s mind from the beginning. When She came into existence, it was to be the Mother of God, and when God gives anyone a work to do, HE gives the wherewithal (graces) to do it right. So God then, who chose Mary to be the Mother of God, gave her grace, blessedness, and holiness that made her worthy of that dignity. She was fit to be the mother of God and to receive God himself into her bosom. So I repeat Her appeal to each of us, “Say the Rosary”.

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