The Immaculate Conception

 

 ....and Other Truths of Mary

 

 

 

 

THE FIAT OF MARY

 

"Be it done unto me according to thy word."

 

(Lk1:38)

 

 

 

  

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Introduction

 

"There is no other way to know Mary than to first know Christ"

as..."All That is Mary is in Christ"

 

 

At the beginning of His public life, when Jesus announced that the Kingdom of God was at hand (Cf. Mk 1:15), there had not been a king of Israel from the Davidic line in 500 years. The kingdom of Israel divided around 900 B.C. (Chronicles I & II) into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. King Jeroboam took 10 tribes of the Kingdom of Israel and departed from Canaan northward, towards the lands of Zebulun and Naphtali. King Rehoboam took 2 tribes, Judah and Benjamin, and settled in the southern part of The Promised Land and named his kingdom Judah.  From Judah came David and from David came Christ, The Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Rev 5: 5). Being that the people of Israel knew their history---when they found out that Jesus was a descendent of King David---they wanted to make Him King of Israel. Jesus really is the King of all Israel, descended from the Davidic line; as were His mother, the Most Blessed Virgin Mary and His foster father, St. Joseph.

 

However, instead of becoming the earthly King of Israel, Jesus had another mission:

 

Jesus came to earth to save humanity through His preaching of His Gospel, the Good News, and the Paschal Mystery of His Death and Resurrection; He came to give to man the Gospels and the New Covenant in His Blood.

 

There is a Biblical corollary between Jesus and Moses that leads up to the New Covenant in the Blood of Christ.  Moses brought one* of the "Old Covenants" to the Israelites. Moses fasted 40 days and climbed Mount Sinai and received the Ten Commandments (part of the Deuteronomical Covenant) from the Holy Spirit of God appearing as God the Father, Yahweh.  Jesus fulfilled this prefiguration by also fasting 40 days and then, at the end of His earthly life, He gave mankind His "New Covenant of the Blood of Christ".

 

*(Noah, Gen6:8; Abraham, Gen17:8; Moses, Lev26:12; Aaron, Num18:20)

 

 

When we consider the Old Covenant and the New Covenant, we discover that the Bible reveals that all things are completed in Christ. St. Paul sums it up for the divinity of Jesus Christ:

 

"For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for "he subjected everything under his feet." But when it says that everything has been subjected, it is clear that it excludes the one who subjected everything to him. (God, the Father-ed.) When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all."  (1Cor15:25-28 RSV)

 

 

Ascending and Descending Christology

 

In presenting some knowledge of Christ, this dissertation assumes mainstream Christian doctrine.  Various seminaries, both Catholic and non-Catholic, teach "ascending and descending Christology"; either as contrasted Christology or grounded Christology. 

 

 

Ascending Christology

 

Ascending Christology:  This is not the truth about Christ, and, in teaching it, we put God to the test. (Cf.Mt4:7) When we teach Ascending Christology, we are saying that Christ - at His conception - was not immutably God Himself.  It is the firm conviction expressed in the Magisterium of the Catholic Church (CCC:469) that ascending Christology, that is; Christ changing ('morphing') from humanity to divinity by an unrevealed process is heretical:  It is man, not God, who becomes enamored of becoming a god: in Jesus Christ, God was, God is always, and God will evermore, be God.

 

Further, as an illustration of the limitation of men's minds, Ascending Christology, taught erroneously in liberal seminaries and churches teaches that the humanity of Christ gradually matured into His divine Personhood.  Nothing could be further from the truth. The Church teaches that Christ was, at conception, at once and always fully and completely human and divine---fully embracing His proprietary divine natural and divine supernatural traits.

 

IThe liberal public's favoring of the theological concept of "ascending Christology" (like Arianism*) stands in the way of articulating a just doctrine of extolling the salvific contribution resulting from Mary’s perfect cooperation and participation in the Passion and Death of her Son. In other words, if the concept of "ascending Christology" prevails in a liberal and "politically-correct" society, a new doctrine which appropriately extols Mary’s meritorious virtues that she exhibited during the Passion and Death of her Son---and the graces she earned and was merited---might be taken as a collision-course with the merits of Christ. 

 

*(A third century heresy from the monk, Arius, that effectively preached a created human origin for Christ's existence. First battled by Constantine after 300 AD and defeated by St. Athanasius at the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., it has reappeared throughout history and is represented in modernity by the plague of relativism so prevalent in our societies today. Relativism's heretical philosophy says that one concept of Christ's divinity is as good as any other, and "my" god is as good as "your" god.)

 

 

Descending Christology

 

 

1. The Anointed One: In Christ, a born man did not become God, but God the Eternal Word, the Second Person of the Family of the Trinity of One God, essentially and substantially assumed the human nature of Jesus Christ, Who, concurrent with His human conception (The Incarnation), became---eternally--- the Anointed (Christ, Cristou - Gr.; means "Anointed One) One of God; anointed by the Father with His Own Divinity.

 

2. The Begotten One: The Second Person of the Trinity, by the Power of His Holy Spirit, incarnated (He became man/flesh but remained God) Himself into the Humanity of Christ. Jesus Christ, now the Eternal Word, was thus begotten* of the Father (Cf.Acts 13:33).

 

*(The first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that the Son of God is "begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father..."(CCC:465)

 

3. Jesus, from the first instant of His conception, became Jesus Christ the Eternal Word of the Family of the Trinity of One God. His humanity, which, normally, could be considered temporal---became eternal; possessing all the Divine Characteristics of the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity. This is why we say that Jesus is eternally co-equal and indivisible with the Most Holy Trinity.

 

4. Jesus has only God as Father and was begotten from the Divine Will of the Father. He, at once, possessed an indivisible and complete human and divine nature; co-equal and indivisible with the Father and the Holy Spirit.

 

5. In the mystery of His Persona, He is the only begotten Son of God, the Eternal Word; and at the same time, Jesus, only Son of Mary.

 

6. While on earth, Christ was subjected not to His humanity; but He was, in His human nature the embodiment of the Will of the Father in His Self-emptying--His sense of Self-sacrifice. (Cf. Phil 2:6-8)

 

7.Christ is also Truth Itself; as only God is the Source of Truth. Only God the Father in the Trinity can beget Christ. Christ’s earthly mission in the work of the Holy Trinity, the work of Redemption, was fulfilled with the completion of the Pascal Mystery of His Death and Resurrection. (Cf. Jn4:34; 5:17)

 

8. The work of the Father and the Son in the Redemption of man is continued until the end of the era in the coming--at Pentecost--of the the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, the Third Person of the Family of the Trinity,   (Cf.Jn5:17; 14;26)

 

 

 

Support for the Theological Concept of Descending Christology

 

Descending Christology : This is the truth about Christ that says the human Christ was always God---from the first moment of His conception by the action of the Holy Spirit of God in the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate. (Lk.1:35)  

 

In the words of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

 

"He "came from God," "descended from heaven," and "came in the flesh." For "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. . . And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace." (Jn1:1-16) Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus and confess: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." On the rock of this faith confessed by St. Peter, Christ built his Church." (CCC:423,424)

 

Descending Christology is the correct theological concept where Christ’s divinity was always in full possession of the human aspect of His Personhood---His humanity being surrendered in an act of self-giving to the will of His Father:

 

“This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father."  (Jn10:17-18 NAB)

 

Sometimes Bible readers mislead themselves about the Divinity of Christ when reading the following scriptural verses (and others):

 

"And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.'" (Mk10:18)

 

"Though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men." (Phil2:6-7 RSV)

 

The truth about defending the concept of Descending Christology is that Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word “emptied Himself” (Phil2:7, directly above) of His human will in His humanity, through His immutability with God the Father.  Suffering this abandonment in His humanity, He accomplished the Redemption of man in the Paschal Mystery of His Death and Resurrection.

 

From St. Peter:

 

"He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten; instead, he handed himself over to the one who judges justly. He him self bore our sins in his body upon the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed." (1 Pe2: 22-24 NAB)

 

"But the LORD was pleased to crush him in infirmity." (Is 53: 10 NAB)

 

 

 

Biblical Support

 

 

Biblical support for the theological concept of Descending Christology includes St. John, the Evangelist:

 

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.  (Jn17:4-5 KJV)

 

St. Paul, in Hebrews, agrees with the above quotations:

 

"He reflects the glory of God and bears the very stamp of his nature, upholding the universe by his word of power. When he had made purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high..." (Heb1:3 RSV)

 

St. Paul, in Ephesians speaks of Christ, the Way to the Holy Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit: (our underline and parentheses)

 

".....for through him (the Son, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word-ed.) we both have access in one Spirit to the Father."  (Eph2:18 RSV)

 

St. Augustine concurs: (our underline and italics)

 

“It was necessary to know the only Son of God, who would come among men to assume man and to become man through the assumed nature: He would die, rise and ascend into Heaven and be seated at the right hand of the Father and would carry out among people all that He had promised. All this, therefore, had to be prophesied and announced beforehand, pointed out as destined to come , so that He would not cause fright by coming unannounced, but rather be accepted with faith and expectation.  This Psalm is inserted in the ambit of these promises; it prophesies, in both certain and explicit terms, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in which we cannot doubt for a moment that Christ was announced.” (St. Augustine, Commentaries on the Psalms III, Rome, 1976, pp.951-953, Wanderer Vol. 137, No. 6, 9-2-04)

 

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC):

 

“Jesus has only God as Father. ‘He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed . . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.’“ (Catechism of the Catholic Church: (CCC:503) ; Council of Friuli (796)

 

 

The Body of Jesus Christ was Always God

 

In His essence, the Body of Jesus Christ, in the Incarnation, is referred to as as "begotten"--- not created; therefore, no limited human intellectuality can be applied to the "begetting" action of the Father. 

 

Because of the Nature of the Holy Trinity, the complete human nature of Christ cannot be partitioned in any degree from His divinity. Again, this is due to the incomprehensible mystery of the "begetting" action of the Father. The Father's begetting action is reflected in the Magisterial utterance of CCC:503, above: ".....but properly Son of the Father in both natures", which places the divine begetting action of the Father as complete and mysteriously immutable; super-operable to any other action, occurrence or event perceived in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ.

 

If we can say the above, we can also say that the Identity of the Complete Human Nature of Christ (as He knows Himself, and, as we know Him) was chosen to be eternally God, Himself, at the moment of His begetting.

 

It was as if God had said:

 

"I shall Myself become man in My Eternal Word and die for them; this to satisfy for their offenses against Me."

 

 

 

 

Linked Table of Contents

 

 

 Part One: The Divinity of Christ

 Part Two: The Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ

 Part Three: Mary, The Immaculate Conception, the Dawn from on High

 Part Four: Mary, The Immaculate Mother of God and the Mother of the Redeemer

Part Five: Mary, The Immaculate Perpetual Virgin

Part Six: The Assumption of Mary into Heaven

Part Seven: Mary, Mediatrix of all Grace

Part Eight: Mary, the Co-Redemptrix of the Human Race

Part Nine: Mary, Seat of Wisdom

Part Ten: Honoring Mary

Part Eleven: Mary, Queen of the Divine Will

 

 

 

Part One: The Divinity of Christ

"Although the Eternal Word retains His full Human Nature,

There is nothing of Jesus Christ that is not God."

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Biblical Foundation

         

 

The below quotations from Sacred Scripture reflect the Divinity of Christ resonating within the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ; the action of the Holy Spirit through the Incarnation Fiat of the Father, begetting the Humanity of Jesus Christ as fully divine.

 

"It happened in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized in the Jordan by John. On coming up out of the water he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit, like a dove, descending upon him. And a voice came from the heavens:
 

"You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased." (Mk1:9-11)

 

"For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell."   (Col.l:19 RSV)

 

“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power.”  (Acts10:38 RSV)                                                                 

 

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities--all things were created through him and for him.  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross."         (Col.1:15-20)

 

“Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  (Philip2:9-11)

 

“And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."  (Mt3:16,17)

 

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made." (Jn1:1-3)

 

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father.”  (Jn1:14)

 

"No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him."  (Jn6:44)

 

“Your father Abraham rejoiced that he was to see my day; he saw it and was glad." (Jn8:56)

                                                                                                                            

“Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM." (Jn8:58)

 

“I and the Father are one." (Jn10:30)

 

 "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.  (Jn14:6)

 

"But when the Counselor comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness to me.” (Jn15:26)

 

"No one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit."  (1Cor12:3)

"For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth." (Eph1:9-10 RSV)

At the end of His Messianic Reign, Jesus will deliver all creation to the Father:

"Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power."  (1Cor15:24 RSV)

 

Then He will subject Himself to the Father:

 

“When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.”  (1Cor15:28 NAB)

 

In the Gospels, the Son, Jesus Christ, identifies Himself:

 

"I and the Father are one." (Jn10:30)

 

At the end of the Bible, Jesus identifies Himself once again:

 

"I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty."(Rev1:8 KJV)

 

 

 

 

 

The Fathers of the Church

 

 

St. Ignatius of Antioch (50-117) wrote:

 

“There is one Physician who is possessed both of flesh and spirit; both made and not made; God existing in flesh; true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first possible and then impossible, even Jesus Christ, our Lord.” (Letter to the Ephesians, Chapter 7)

 

St. Justin Martyr (100-165) wrote:

 

“Jesus Christ is the only proper Son who has been begotten by God, being His Word and first-begotten, and power; and, becoming man according to His will, He taught us these things for the conversion and restoration of the human race.” (Justin Martyr, First Apology, par. 23)

 

St. Irenaeus (130-200) wrote:

 

“Now the Scriptures would not have testified these things of Him, if, like others, He had been a mere man. But that He had, beyond all others, in Himself that pre-eminent birth which is from the Most High Father, and also experienced that pre-eminent generation which is from the Virgin, the divine Scriptures do in both respects testify of Him.” (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Book 3, Chapter 29)

 

Tertullian, African Church Father (160-225) wrote:

 

“The origins of both his substances display him as man and as God: from the one, born, and from the other, not born.” (Tertullian, The Flesh of Christ, Chapter 5)

 

Gregory Thaumaturgies, Greek bishop of Pontus (213-270) wrote:

 

“There is only one Lord, Only of the Only God of God, Image and Likeness of Deity, Efficient Word, Wisdom comprehensive of the constitution of all things, and Power formative of the whole creation, true Son of true Father, Invisible of Invisible, and Incorruptible of Incorruptible, and Immortal of Immortal, and Eternal of Eternal.” (Gregory Thaumaturgies, Declaration of Faith)

 

(Above 5 quotes: The Da Vinci Hoax: Exposing the Errors in The Da Vinci Code, Carl E. Olson and Sandra Miesel, Ignatius Press, 2004)

 

 

 

 

The Holy Trinity and the Word of God

 

St. Athanasius wrote:

 

“In the Trinity we acknowledge one Godhead and thus one God, the Father of the Word, is proclaimed in the Church.”  (St. Athanasius, Epist. Ad Epictetum, 5-9 PG 26, 1058, 1062-1066)

 

How the Catechism of the Catholic Church views the Person of God the Father:

 

“By calling God "Father," the language of faith indicates two main things: that God is the first origin of everything and transcendent authority; and that he is at the same time goodness and loving care for all his children.” (CCC: 239)

 

In the mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Eternal Word possesses the entire divinity of the Father and the Holy Spirit, so when God says "I AM" (Ex3:14), it is also the Jesus Christ the Eternal Word Who says: "I AM" or, "I AM WHO AM."

 

 

An Approximate Schematic of the Incarnation

 

 

The Second Person of the Holy Trinity, the Eternal Word, is God within the Trinity, and the Humanity of Jesus Christ the Eternal Word is also God within the Trinity. Thus, the One Person, Jesus Christ, cannot be divided into two persons because the Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity have perfect co-equality and are indivisible from Each Other. All things are possible for God except changing or acting against His Divine Nature. 

 

Christ's being begotten of the Father means that His Humanity, upon creation, became eternally uncreated.  In other words, concurrent with His conception was His resultant Human Nature becoming divine, but remaining a complete Human Nature.

 

In the Incarnation, God became man but remained unchanged from being God. Concurrent in the Incarnation, a Man was assumed into the Divinity, and became God without losing his humanity, but becoming uncreated, forever---without relinquishing It's creature accidents*.

 

*("accident"...as an attribute, property or quality not belonging to the essence or specific character of a thing." Webster's Encyclopedic Dictionary)

 

 

Additional Theological Considerations

 

In the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit conceived Jesus Christ in the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate. At one and the same instant, the Eternal Word assumed Christ from Mary's flesh, but was:

 

"....unchanged from being God."  (Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)

 

So, the Person assumed by the Eternal Word was God; conceived by the Power of the Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ in the womb of Mary. (Cf. Lk1:35)

 

St. Thomas Aquinas (1227-1274) gives insight into how the Church considers the Eternal Word, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity:

 

"Word is the only term related to knowledge that names a person, since it alone names something as issuing from another. The person who issues as word in God's knowing is called the Son. Because the Son is begotten God, he is also unbegotten Creator. The Son comes forth as a word, and a word is by definition like in kind to its source. The Son is God's image in the first way."  (Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas, A Concise Translation, p.74, Timothy McDermott, Christian Classics, Box 30, Westminster, Maryland 21157)

 

On the term "begotten" (past tense of "beget"):

 

1"beget: 2. To procreate as the father. (Webster's Third New Int. Dictionary, Unabridged, 1954; p. 168)

 

Agreeing with St. Thomas, we could also say:

 

Every Word spoken by God is the Eternal Word, and the Word has the Presence of the Living God. Therefore, the Words of Jesus in the Gospel are Living Words; They are the Presence of God in His Holy Spirit of the Most Holy Trinity.

 

Jesus gave the following message to the visionary, Nancy Fowler: (For complete texts of messages to Nancy Fowler, go to www.ourlovingmother.org )

 

"Read and reflect on upon My holy Word as My Spirit guides you. My Word is no less alive than I am. As I resurrected from the dead, let the holy Word of God resurrect in your soul." (No Number, partial message, October 13, 1998)

 

 

The Holy Spirit of God

 

 

St. Thomas gives another insight into how the Church considers the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity:

 

"...if love names what comes forth in love then love is a personal name; and if loving means breathing out such a love, it characterizes a mode of coming forth like saying and begetting do. When interpreted in this way, to love is to breathe out a love, just as to say, is to produce a word, and to bloom, is to produce a flower. And as the tree blooms in its flowers, so the Father says of himself and his creatures in his Word or Son, and Father and Son love both themselves and us in the Holy Spirit, the love coming forth in them. The Father loves not only the Son but himself and us in the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit comes forth as a love of the primal goodness with which God loves himself and all his creatures."

 

(Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas, A Concise Translation, p.75, Timothy McDermott, Christian Classics, Box 30, Westminster, Maryland 21157)

 

We can now proclaim that:

 

The Holy Spirit is the Breath of God: He is the Living Spirit of the Father and the Son---breathing Love to us in the awesome Self-giving of God. (Cf. Pope John Paul II's Dominum et Vivificantem, 1986)

 

 

 

Dynamic Divine Mission

 

 

The mission of Christ 2000 years ago was the Redemption of the world and it is the mission of the Holy Spirit of Christ today. In a most complete way, the following quotation describes the graces of the Redemption earned by Christ as the only begotten Son of the Father:

 

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him."  (Eph1:3-4 RSV)

 

As founded on Sacred Scripture, we say that Christ's divine mission on Earth began with the manifestation of His divinity at His conception. Mary, as daughter of God the Father, mother of God the Son, and spouse of the Holy Spirit, was present from the beginning:

 

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanu-el" (which means, God with us).” (Mt.1:23; Is7:14 RSV)

 

"And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." (Lk1:35 RSV)

    

"And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth."  (Jn1:14 DRV)

 

No act of God surpasses the greatness of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity as the God-man Jesus Christ.  He is the Son, Word, Image and Likeness of the Father.  The Incarnation is God’s love for us and the Bond of Love in the Most Holy Trinity is the Holy Spirit of God. 

 

Pope John Paul II agrees:

 

"The deepest truth about God and the salvation of man is made clear to us in Christ, Who is at the same time the mediator and the fullness of all revelation."  (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, No. 36, 25 March 1987)

 

An enlightening observation:

 

When Jesus left His mother's arms for the first time, she placed Him in the wood of the manger.  Wood was His first contact with earthly life away from His Mother. 

 

For thirty years Jesus worked as a carpenter; shaping wood. For the last three years of His earthly life, He shaped the wood of our souls by leaving us the Gospels and offering His Life for us.

 

When Jesus left His mother's arms for the last time, He laid down on the wood of the cross. Wood was His last contact with earthly life away from His mother.

 

A mention of the Holy Mass:

 

The divine power of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ, through the Pascal Mystery of His Death and Resurrection, has been proceeding-forth from the Most Holy Trinity through the Holy Spirit; this since the first Mass at the Last Supper, the second Mass on the road to Emmaus and at all Masses until the end of time.

 

 

 

Part Two: The Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

"The human nature of God's Son, not by itself but by its union with the Word,

knew and showed forth in itself everything that pertains to God."

 

(St. Maximus the Confessor, Qu. et dub. 66: PG 90, 840A; Cf. Colossians 1:19)

 

 

ODE TO THE INCARNATE GOD

 

The God Whom earth and sea and sky

Adore and laud and magnify,

Whose might they own, Whose praise they tell,

In Mary, He did deign to dwell.

 

O Mother blest! The chosen shrine

Wherein the Creator divine

Whose hand contains the earth and sky,

Vouchsafed in human form to lie.

 

Blest in the message Gabriel brought;

Blest in the work the Spirit wrought;

Most blest to bring to glorious birth

The long desired of all the earth.

 

O Jesus, born of Mary, to Thee

Eternal praise and glory be,

Whom with the Father we adore

With Holy Spirit, for ever more!

 

(Venantius Fortunatus, 530-609 A.D.)

 

In the Incarnation, Mary's cooperation was participatory as it was voluntary in the giving of her "fiat" (Lk1:38): "Let it be done to me according to Thy Word." With  this, the Holy Spirit instantly, and in concurrent action with the new existence of the Humanity of Christ, arranged the genetic material required to bring about the Humanity of the Eternal Word of God as Jesus Christ. This completely human and completely divine issue was also instantly and concurrently assumed by the Eternal Word of the Holy Trinity by action of the Holy Spirit, at the behest of the Divine Will of the Father.

Therefore, the Eternal Word assumed Christ's Humanity into Himself by the action of the Holy Spirit. This was, for all eternity, the greatest event in creation, for, in this assuming, Jesus was instantly begotten of the Father.

This means that Jesus has only God as Father and only Mary as Mother. The creation of the entire material universe was as nothing compared to the greatest of God's acts: the Incarnation. Mary's total cooperation and participation in the Incarnation, via her fiat (Lk1:38), elevated her systematically to Mother and Queen of the Incarnation. She is mother, for Jesus has only Mary as mother. She is queen, because she is the Queen Mother of the King of Heaven and Earth, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ.

 

 The Biological Aspects of Human Creation

 

"Human existence begins at conception when the haploid ovum (egg containing the mother's half of the DNA) is fertilized by the haploid sperm (gamete containing the father's half of the DNA).  The resultant single-cell, *conceptus, the *zygote, has within it all the now diploid (complete human DNA) genetic characteristics that are manifested in the adult human being." *(Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 26th Edition, W. B. Saunders Co., 1985)

 

The human DNA molecule is composed identically to a computer program; with God, of course, as the Programmer. A computer program is composed millions of zeros and ones: binary notation (0110011011010101001). A human DNA molecule is composed of more than 3 Billion combinations of four nucleic acids: Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Tyrosine (AGCT). The AGCT combinations act directors of the four basic building blocks that compose the human body; Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen and Nitrogen (COHN). A human being, in its essence, is composed of: Soul (infused by God), Mind, Heart and Body (formed by DNA). The following system applies in God's creation of a human being:

33 Billion Inherited Combinations of AGCT + COHN →

Soul (infused by God as its Creator), Mind (intellect), Heart (decisions, feelings), Body (physical aspects)

or

One human person= 33 x109 (~AGCT)  + COHN → SMHB

 

At the instant the haploid genetic characteristics fall into place to form human diploid DNA within the zygote, the soul is infused by the Holy Spirit to create a human person. This is called human conception. A single-celled human being, the zygote soon matures into a  blastocyst and then into a multi-celled embryo and requires only growth in the womb for nine months to be born into the world. Therefore, human personhood/existence begins at conception. God the Father intended this, His plan, from all eternity.

 

The Plan of God in the Incarnation

 

God, with His Plan of God, exist in the eternal present.  God acts according to His will at the present moment of an event---not before it, not after it.  Therefore, due to His Plan in the eternal now, God gives the human zygote a soul at the same instant that the diploid (complete) human DNA is formed.  The soul, plus the diploid human DNA make the zygote a human person. 

Jesus Christ, the Divine Person, was infused with His divine and eternal attributes concurrently and immediately with the event of the existence of the diploid (complete) DNA of the zygote and instantly existed as One Divine Person with a Human and Divine Nature; Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity.

Elucidated at another level, this act was not a human fertilization-conception; but the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ; the only begetting  ever by God the Father, by His Holy Spirit,  In the whole divine process of the Incarnation, Mary was the only human involved other than the resultant human nature of Christ Who instantly was assumed by the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ the Eternal Word---and God became God Who walked among us as man, but "was unchanged from being God". (Cf. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)  

 

Some would be scandalized and say---how could we know this?  The answer is: Because we have the science to understand human biological reproduction as it was created by God---and why would God abandon what He had created?  He would not, but He would and did use His existing and in-place reproductive structures for the completion of the Divine Act of the Incarnation.

 

 

The Divine Aspects of the Incarnation

 

 

How could God assume a man and remain a pure spirit---He Who existed from all eternity and is totally complete in Himself?  For God said to Moses:

 

 "I Am Who I Am."  (Exodus 3:14 NKJ, RSV, NAS, NAB)

 

In the mystery of the Incarnation, the Humanity of Christ was assumed by and into the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity (by the Power of the Holy Spirit (Lk1:35)) at the moment of His conception in the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate. Christ's persona became human and divine at the same time--eternally and forever. The Source of His divinity did not change; the Eternal Word remained the Eternal Word, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity; but, concurrently, with the assumed humanity of Christ.  At this "begetting action of the Father", Jesus Christ instantly received His full name: Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word.

 

Metaphysics of the Incarnation: From and for all eternity, at one and the same instant, Christ's humanity takes on the property of the divinity of God while the divinity of God assumes the humanity of Christ. This is from and for all eternity as Jesus Christ, God, is from and for all eternity.

 

To put it another way: When the Eternal Word assumed the Humanity of Christ at the moment of His conception, the Holy Spirit animated Jesus with the fullness of the divinity of God--"the fullness of God"---as St. Paul says: "For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell." (Col.1:19 RSV)  Therefore, Christ's Humanity is Divine. Christ is all Divinity, with only God as His Father and Mary as His mother.

 

In similar words, we can say:

 

In the virgin birth, God, in His Eternal Word, came as Mary's Son and therefore the Son of Man is God.

 

There is no way to humanly explain the impact of this mystery upon mankind.  The following words of Jesus in the Gospel may be, for us, the one understanding of the divine nature of Jesus Christ the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity:

 

"I am the light of the world; he who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  (Jn8:12)

 

When we follow Jesus, we become a reflection of Him--our humanity will not be a Godless humanity walking in darkness; but a humanity that reflects His divine humanity---we become imbued with the Light of Christ.  The first after Christ "in the proper order" (Cf.1Cor15:23) is Mary, who is the perfect reflection of her Son.

 

With what we have discussed, we can now say:

 

In belief in Christ, the natural becomes supernatural. This is supernatural transformation. It truly reflects the following biblical quotation:

 

"....His grace, which hath superabounded in us, in all wisdom and prudence, that he might make known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in him, in the dispensation of the fullness of times, to re-establish all things in Christ, that are in heaven and on earth, in him." (Ephesians 1:7-10 DRV)

 

It is obvious that Jesus Christ has only God as Father.  But because Mary was chosen by God the Father to carry Him from zygote to embryo to fetus to neonate; Jesus Christ has only Mary as Mother.   Common biological male humans have only the air of learned common male behavior. Jesus Christ manifests only the air of Divine Truth because, with His divinity, He is the only truly perfectly human man; He is the "begotten" God-man. Additionally, only God is most truly human, because God created humans from His own image. Therefore, Jesus Christ, as God; is the only perfect man. (Cf.Gen1:27)

 

We repeat the following from "Biblical Support for Descending Christology" (Introduction):

 

The Body of Jesus Christ was Always God

 

In His essence, the Body of Jesus Christ, in the Incarnation, (the concurrent point-of-existence/assumption of Christ's human nature into the Eternal Word) was accidental to His divinity. (In this context we mean "accident"...as an attribute, property or quality not belonging to the essence or specific character of a thing, just as we say that the bread and the wine are "accidents" of the Most Holy Eucharist.)  If is commonly accepted  theological terminology to refer to Christ as "begotten", and not created; therefore, no human intellectual limit can be attributed to the "begetting" action of the Father.  Because of the Nature of the Holy Trinity, the complete human nature of Christ cannot be partitioned in any degree from His divinity. This is due to the incomprehensible mystery of the "begetting" action of the Father. This divine action is reflected in the Magisterial utterance of CCC:503, above: ".....but properly Son of the Father in both natures", which places the divine begetting action of the Father as complete and mysteriously immutable; super-operable to any other action, occurrence or event in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ.

 

If we can say the above, we can also say that the Identity of the Complete Human Nature of Christ (as He knows Himself, and, as we know Him) was chosen to be eternally God, Himself, at the moment of His begetting.

 

Mary in the Incarnation

 

In the divine act of the Incarnation, Mary was truly the Spouse of the Holy Spirit of God,* as God the Father truly begot, by His Holy Spirit, a man in His own image. God had become man but remained unchanged* from being God:

* (This Marian title complements Mary's other titles of Daughter of God the Father and Mother of God the Son. The Marian relationships to the Most Holy Trinity are ineffably beautiful mysteries of divine proportions.  No man is able to utter words to adequately describe them.)  *(Cf. Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom)

 

The CCC says:

 

"In no way is God in man's image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit." (CCC:370) (Cf.Is49:14,15;66:13;Ps131:2,3;Hos11:1-4;Jer3:4-19)

 

From Sacred Scripture:

 

"And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."   (Lk1:35 RSV)

 

St. Athanasius, bishop and doctor of the Church concurred:

 

"Even when the Word takes a body from Mary, the Trinity remains a Trinity, with neither increase or decrease.  It is forever perfect." (St. Athanasius: Ad Epictetum,5-9;pg.26,1606)

 

Pope St. Leo XIII, Leo the great, wrote about Elizabeth and Mary:

 

“God has enabled a barren woman to be with child. He must be believed when He makes the same promise to a virgin.”  (Sermo 1 in Nativitate Domino 2. 3: PL 54, 191-192; Cf. Lk1:31, 41)

 

Mary is truly human, without the absolute divinity that characterizes her Son.  Because of her Immaculate Conception, Mary never has and never will ; experience sin.  Add to this the gift of her divine gift of the motherhood of the Redeemer--and truly, when the Eternal Word descended into the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate, and assumed the humanity of Jesus through the Power of the Holy Spirit (Cf.Lk1:5)---He found in her the spiritual richness of His Celestial Paradise.  As a result, Mary, the person, manifests exclusively, her purity in her motherhood of Jesus Christ. (Cf.Lk1:49)  She is the most exquisitely-created human being in the Plan of God.

 

Jesus told Nancy Fowler the visionary:

 

"My Mother is one with Me.  Above all creatures she has been raised to the throne of God. No creature surpasses My Mother." (#76, partial message, December 4, 1990; Cf. Lk 1:35; CCC: 366, 464, 470,472-4; CCC:503)

 

Two biblical proofs of Mary's virginity during the Incarnation and Birth of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ:

 

Isaiah 7:14: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel."  Biologically, it is impossible for a human female virgin to conceive (conception: the union of an ovum and a single sperm in the fallopian tube) because when a human female conceives, it is after intercourse that conception takes place; about a day after ovulation. At the onset of intercourse for the first time, the virgin female loses her virginity as the hymen is pierced and torn aside. From that event onwards, for the rest of her life, she is no longer a virgin. So, even before the sperm is deposited in the vagina, female virginity ceases to exist. Therefore, since conception takes place as long as a day after intercourse, it is impossible for a virgin to conceive. It happened only one time, with Mary the Mother of Jesus, at the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. (Lk 1:35)

 

Luke 1:31: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus." In these clearly constructed words, the Archangel Gabriel, in his announcement of the coming of the Messiah, purposely left out any reference to the cooperation of a male in the conception of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ in the most pure womb of Mary. He said something biologically impossible: "YOU, Mary, shall conceive in YOUR womb," rather than in the colloquial of the time which would have meant the common reproduction of humans reflected as we understand it: "You will become pregnant." In other words, MARY is a CLOSED CIRCLE in this one-time-only conception of Jesus Christ the Eternal Word by the Holy Sprit of God. (Lk 1:35)

Matthew 1:18-24:

Mary, the virgin, is found to be pregnant. (She probably took a leap of faith and, to be perfectly honest, told Joseph.) The father is not Joseph-being that the Father is God. Joseph, not knowing this yet, initially decided to divorce her quietly to keep his honor. If the community had found out, Mary would have been stoned to death:

"Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife." (As Mary became Joseph's wife at betrothal.)

 

We can now say with certainty that:

 

“All that is Mary is in Christ."

 

 

Mary is the human person most conformed to Christ. Therefore, consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary conforms us more perfectly to Christ.

 

 

 

 

 Part Three: Mary, The Immaculate Conception, the Dawn from on High

 

"Hence Yahweh will abandon them only until she who is in labour gives birth,
and then those who survive of his race will be reunited to the Israelites.

(Micah 5:3 NJB)

Table of Contents

 

Mary, the Dawn, in the Canticle Zechariah

 

As Mother of the Redeemer, Mary gives us Jesus; revealed in the Canticle of Zechariah as the dawn of the new day of Jesus Christ:

 

"And you, child, (St. John, the Baptizer) will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."  (Canticle of Zechariah, Lk1:78-79 RSV)

 

As a perfect scriptural correlation to the above, the below Song of Songs scriptural quotation prefigures Mary as: the dawn (of the new day of Jesus Christ); the moon (classical representation of Mary in relationship to Christ, the Sun); clear as the sun (another correlation of Mary reflecting Christ); terrible as an army with banners (Mary is the Immaculate Conception, a pure and shining army in the battle against corrupt Satan:

 

"Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?" (Song of Songs 6:10 KJV)

 

Our Transformation and Mary's Transformation

 

In the process of our daily lives, we are continually being transformed  and perfected, so as to acquire salvation. It is a most grace-filled work of the Holy Trinity, as Jesus says in the Gospels:

 

"My Father is at work until now, so I am at work." (Jn5:17 NAB)

 

In the Gospels, Jesus explains the mystical process of spiritual transformation:

 

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.  He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and every one that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit." (John 15:1,2 NAB)

 

Transformation is a precious gift from God; so that our souls, healed from original sin and actual sin, will someday enter Heaven. It is a process that is our destiny from the time of our conception.  In the Messages of Conyers, concerning a person Nancy was concerned about, Jesus said to her:

 

"I want to transform [the person], remake [the person]." (May 13, 1995)

 

As for her transformation, Mary was totally transformed at conception as conformed to Christ (Cf. Ro8:29; CCC:966) As the moon is illuminated by the sun, Mary, in her Immaculate Conception and in her graces of Divine Motherhood, is the perfect reflection of Christ.  From all eternity, she was prepared by the Father in order for His Son, Jesus Christ the Eternal Word, to come through her, to us.

 

The Holy Spirit of the Most Holy Trinity sent His most holy spouse, Mary, down onto the earth some 15 years before Christ. She is prefigured in the above scriptural verses as the dawn---the morning of the day when Christ, the Light of the noonday sun, came for those who sat in the darkness of a pagan world. (Cf. Mt4:15,16 NAB) She is the predominant woman of Sacred Scripture (Gen3:15; Judith13:15; Song6:10; Jn2:4; Jn19:26; Gal4:4; Rev12:1) and is illuminated to the fullest extent in purity by the graces of Christ as His first tabernacle as Seat of Wisdom. She radiates this purity and appears as a terrible and shining army to the eyes of Satan and his legions of the world. (Cf. Song6:10, above)  Mary’s Purity comes from the Purity of God, Who is Purity Itself, and the Source of all Purity.

 

Mary has all the virtues granted to creatures, except those that are the property of the Most Holy Trinity---as the Trinity Themselves---for Mary is marked and suffused with the graces necessary to be the Mother of the Divine Redeemer, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords---Who is Virtue Itself. The Church teaches this to us in this manner: Mary is kecaritwmenh---"kecharitwmehne", "one having been highly favored"; or as St. Jerome interpreted it: "gratia plena"---"full of grace."

 

As the perfect reflective human image of Jesus, Mary was born without original sin, and, because of her graces, never committed the slightest moral imperfection.  Jesus, Who is divine, is the Perfect Image of God---His only Father. However, Jesus in His Humanity of is also the Son of Mary.  We cannot fully comprehend this as Mary does, because our ears do not touch God’s lips as Mary's do.

 

We do know that the divine magnificence of the Immaculate Conception of Mary---a human conception, was made the only Immaculate Conception, by God, for the sake of the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ. This mystery of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is so reflective of her celestial gifts, that it places her on such a celestially-high plane of virtue rendering the mystery itself as incomprehensible to us.

 

The Father gave His Fiat of the Immaculate Conception so that the Eternal Word could descend into the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate, at the moment of the Incarnation; finding in her the kingdom of His divine grace.  Mary has Christ's kingdom of divine grace within her because, (unlike Adam and Eve who were permitted to fall) as Christ's Mother, she is closest to Him in grace. (Cf. 1Cor15:23)

 

Mary, with her Immaculate Conception, is the creature "in proper order" and in whom "God is All in All" (1Cor15: 20-28), and is thus the dominant human creature in all of creation.

 

We must consider the defense of the above truths and by asking this question:

 

Could He Who came to deliver us from sin--He Who was divine and without sin--could He be born of a woman who was with sin?

 

The answer, of course, is no. However, in His human nature, Jesus was like us---but did not know sin:

 

"For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."  (Cf.2Cor5:21 RSV)

 

 

The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception

 

Mary's persona, of which the Flesh of Christ was formed (Cf. Lk1:35), could not be contaminated by the presence of sin; neither original sin nor actual sin. Because Jesus is God Incarnate and Mary gave of the flesh and blood of her persona in cooperating in the the Incarnation, the greatest act God can do, she was created without sin. Thus she merits on earth and in heaven the title of the Immaculate Conception. The dogma of the *Immaculate Conception:

 

"The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of Almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin." (CCC:491)

 

*[Note: Proclaimed on December 8, 1854 A.D., by Pope Pius IX.  Four years later, on March 25, 1858, on the feast of the Annunciation of the Lord, the Immaculate Virgin confirmed the theological expression formulated by His Holiness Pius IX, entrusting Bernadette of Lourdes with the secret of her identity, "I am the Immaculate Conception";  something Bernadette, a child of fourteen years, had never heard of.]

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) illustrates the above doctrine of the Immaculate Conception:

 

The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son."  The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love."  (CCC:492;LG53,56;Cf:Eph1:3-4)

 

The above illustrations of Mary's Immaculate Conception are why the Eastern Rite Catholic Church calls Mary "God-bearer”......in Greek: QeotokoV  ("Theotokos").

 

When the Angel Gabriel greeted Mary, he said that she was:

 

  kecaritwmenh  (Greek)

"ke-'char-i-too-meh-ne" (phonetic)

"(one) receiving grace" ..word-for-word Greek

"(one) having received grace".....literal Greek

"full of grace".............(DRV-from Latin Vulgate)

"gratia plena".............(Latin Vulgate by St. Jerome)

"(thou that are) highly favored"...(KJV,Auth)

                                                              

(Luke 1:28, The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, Layfayette, IN); Douay-Rheims v.; Latin Vulgate (Biblia Sacra Vulgata--Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart); Authorized King James, 1611 v.)

 

We can now understand why St. Jerome, writing of of Mary’s Immaculate Conception in Luke 1:28, said that she was “full of grace".  She, rendered sinless at conception, retained at one and the same instant of her conception, all the sacramental graces which were to be dispensed by Christ to man.  Instead of waiting for a later period in her life to be “born again” or “to receive the Holy Spirit into her life” (Cf. Heb6:4), Mary was, at the moment of her conception, completely filled with Sanctifying Grace; the Light Who is God the Holy Spirit, her Spouse. (Cf. Lk1:35) This was, of course, to conform her to the graces befitting her as Mother of God; graces completely drawn from the superabundant merits of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, the Redeemer of man. 

 

Therefore, we can conclude that, in man, the Holy Spirit, as Wisdom, has His most pre-eminent position---seated in Mary. In Mary, Jesus Christ was first seated upon His throne. In considering Christ and His relationship to the Holy Spirit, the mystery of the Holy Trinity says that Christ is equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit.

 

Even though it is established that "All that is Mary is in Christ", it can be additionally said that the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, celebrated annually on December the 8th, is precisely focused on Mary's Immaculate Persona at the instant of her human conception. With this feast, we celebrate the God-given glory of her undefiled purity.

 

Pope John Paul, in his encyclical Mother of the Redeemer, says this profoundly and, probably, in unequaled words: (our underline)

 

“The Letter to the Ephesians, (Eph1:3) speaking of the "glory of grace" that "God, the Father...has bestowed on us in his beloved Son," adds: "In him we have redemption through his blood" (Eph. 1:7). According to the belief formulated in solemn documents of the Church, this "glory of grace" is manifested in the Mother of God through the fact that she has been "redeemed in a more sublime manner." By virtue of the richness of the grace of the beloved Son, by reason of the redemptive merits of him who willed to become her Son, Mary was preserved from the inheritance of original sin. In this way, from the first moment of her conception--which is to say of her existence--she belonged to Christ, sharing in the salvific and sanctifying grace and in that love which has its beginning in the "Beloved," the Son of the Eternal Father, who through the Incarnation became her own Son. Consequently, through the power of the Holy Spirit, in the order of grace, (1Cor15:23) which is a participation in the divine nature, (Cf.2Pet1:4) Mary receives life from him to whom she herself, in the order of earthly generation, gave life as a mother. The liturgy does not hesitate to call her "mother of her Creator" and to hail her with the words which Dante Alighieri places on the lips of St. Bernard: "daughter of your Son." And since Mary receives this "new life" with a fullness corresponding to the Son's love for the Mother, and thus corresponding to the dignity of the divine motherhood, the angel at the Annunciation calls her "full of grace." (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, Number 10, 25 March 1987)

 

Meditating on the above, we confirm, again, the following about Mary:

 

“All that is Mary is in Christ.”

 

St. Jerome (c.460 A.D.), universally accepted by Christian mainstream Bible scholars as the translator of the New Testament, spoke Hebrew and Greek and also knew Aramaic, the language of Jesus and His Mother.  He interpreted the Greek "kecharitwmehne", "(one) having received grace", as the Latin “gratia plena”, or “full of grace”.  (Cf. Publisher's note, Douay-Rheims v., TAN Books, Rockford, IL)

 

 

Adam and Eve

 

Adam and Eve were born “immaculately-created”, ie. without sin.  However, they were born without the superabundance of Christ's graces that Mary would be born with as the future Mother of God, as Adam and Eve listened to the Serpent and committed the original sin. By doing so, they destroyed the sinless aspect of their creation.  Sin thus entered the family of man through Eve, and God created Mary as the Mother of God through an immaculate conception to obtain The Immaculate Conception  to cooperate in the Incarnation of The Eternal Word as Jesus Christ.   That’s why the proper noun "Immaculate Conception" is really only Mary, the Mother of God.

 

The conception of Christ in Mary's womb was not a human conception as was Mary's.  At the instant of Christ's conception, by a once-only action of the Holy Spirit (Cf. Lk1:35), the Eternal Word assumed the human nature of Christ and sealed it with an immutable bond which reflected the condition of homoousios.* Consequently, Jesus Christ and the Eternal Word became the One Person, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Father, Who possessed two complete natures: human and divine.

 

*(From the Greek meaning the same (homo) in substance (ousia) or, as it is sometimes translated, "consubstantial", or "hypostatic". The word was first used by the Council of Nicaea in 325.)

 

The Immaculate Conception of Mary flows from the power and merits of the Incarnation; and the Incarnation is about Jesus Christ.  Knowing this, we can say again:

 

“All that is Mary is in Christ.”

 

 

Mary's Immaculate Conception and her Titles, Doctrines and Gifts

 

 

Mary's Immaculate Conception is the first realization of God's fullness of grace in her: it is the quintessential precursor to her other titles and gifts.

 

Mary's Immaculate Conception supports her other doctrines as: Mary, Mother of God, and Mary, Perpetual Virgin, and her Assumption into Heaven. Conversely, these three Marian doctrines confirm the Immaculate Conception of Mary:

 

Mary cannot be Mother of God (her highest office--cf.Lk1:35) without being Immaculately prepared for it. (Cf.Gen3:15; Lk1:28)

 

Mary cannot be Perpetual Virgin without the ineffable purity of the Immaculate Conception; instilled into every fiber of her personhood as an eternal precondition, created by God in her for the Father's Fiat of the Incarnation and Redemption. (Cf.Is7:14; Jer31:22; Lk1:35)

 

Mary's body was assumed into Heaven because the Holy Spirit, with Mary's flesh, conceived the "Incorruptible One". The earth, with its corruption, could not hold her, for she is the "thrice immaculate one", the "Immaculata", the mother of the "Incorruptible One." (Cf. Ps 16:10)

 

St. Germanus of Constantinople agrees:

 

“Nor could you, as the vessel which contained God, waste away to dust in the destruction of death.”  (St. Germanus of Constantinople; In Dormitionem B. Mariae I: PG 98, 345-348)

 

To conceptualize consigning Mary's body to the corruption of the grave undoes all the understanding of God's preparation of her body in its contribution to the greatest act of God: The Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ. (Cf. Heb4:15; 1Peter1:19; 1Jn1:1,2)

 

Incidentally, if Mary’s remains were anywhere on this planet, they would be a cause of perpetual pilgrimage. Large populations of Christians and other believers would constantly be embarking and returning from visiting such a holy site.  Of course, there is no such site because the Blessed Virgin Mary was assumed, body and soul, into heaven.

 

 

The Christology of Mary

 

The key Marian doctrine of the Immaculate Conception is why the Archangel Gabriel called Mary the "(one) having been highly favored", or "full of grace". Because she had just become the Mother of God; Elizabeth addressed Mary in the following manner:

 

".....blessed art thou among women"   (Lk1:42 KJV)

 

And:

 

".....blessed is the fruit of thy womb"  (Lk1:42 KJV)

 

And:

 

"But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Luke 1:43 NKJ)

 

God became man, only once, in Mary. God came to us, only once, through Mary.  By her cooperative role in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ, Mary is next to Christ in His humanity; but she is not divine.  She is the first of our race of creatures--- the one created person God the Father chose to cooperate fully in the divine act of the Incarnation.  It is because of her divine maternity that Mary embodies the highest state of human enmity between man and Satan. She is the New Eve, the mother of not only the living, but the mother of the Light of the World, Jesus Christ the Eternal Word, and---Our Loving Mother.

 

It is because of her divine motherhood and because she is first and foremost in the order of grace in creatures that Mary possesses the humility and purity that places her, by the fiat of God the Father, on earth as a precursor to Christ to crush the head (pride) of Satan. 

 

Mary was the only human “full of grace” in the world before Christ.  She was "....the white dawn announcing the rising of the Sun of Justice". (Cf. Liturgy of the Hours)

 

 

Enmity Against Satan

 

The mystical war with Satan for the souls of men begins in the Book of Genesis and ends in the Book of  Revelation.  Mary’s cooperation and participation at the start of the struggle is prophesied by God the Father in Genesis 3:15. 

 

Genesis: I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: *she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel." (Gen3:15 DRV)  *(the pronoun is "she" as Mary is the woman with the emnity towards the deceiver, by nature of her Immaculate Conception and her "fiat"---steeped in humility. Satan is the reverse, being the father of sin and pride.)

 

The Triumph of Mary’s Immaculate Heart in the struggle is prophesied by St. John the Evangelist in Revelation 11:19; 12:1:

Revelation: “And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars”  (Rev11:19; 12:1 KJV)

 

 

The Ark of the New Covenant

 

Mary, because she is Mother of the Redeemer and therefore, the Ark of the New Covenant of the Blood of Christ, is also the "new Eve". God the Father clearly indicated this when He addressed the Serpent in Genesis 3:15. To Eve, God said:

 

"I will greatly multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you."  (Genesis 3:16 RSV)

 

As the "New Eve", Mary, with her graces of being the Mother of the Redeemer, "changed Eve's ("EVA" in Latin) name" to "AVE" in the Angelic Salutation, "Ave Maria" or the "Hail Mary" of the Archangel Gabriel. (Lk1:28).

            

English and Latin comparisons of Genesis 3:15:

 

"I will put    enmities    between thee  and  the woman,  and thy      seed     and  *her seed;

"ponam      inimicitias  inter     te    et    mulierem,   et   tuum    semen   et     semen illius;

 

  **she   shall crush   thy  head,    and thou        shalt  lie in wait for   her heel."

     ipsa   conteret     tuum  caput   et    tu         insidiaberis           calcaneo eius."

 

(English: Gen3:15; Douay-Rheims  Tan Books, Rockford, IL)

(Latin: Gen3:15;Biblia Sacra Vulgata v. DeutscBibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart.)

Translation notes:

1.  * "her seed" (semen illius): illius, a bi-gender pronoun, refers to Christ, the seed of Mary.

2. **"she shall crush"(ipsa conteret); "ipsa" is feminine because it refers to "the woman" (mulierem), Mary; "ipsus" would be masculine.  Always, it is by her humility and by her seed, Jesus Christ, the woman" (ipsa) crushes the head of Satan.  (Cf. Footnote on Gen3:15, Douay- Rheims v.)  

3. In Latin, his or her, “when expressed, it is represented by eius, illius”; Cassell's Latin Dictionary, D.P. Simpson, M.A., MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, NY; p. 727.

 

 

Crushing the Head of Satan

 

In the book of Judith*, (apocryphal book in non-Catholic bibles) Judith’s beheading of  Holofernes, the commander-in-chief of the Assyrian armies is a pre-figuration of Mary's role of crushing the head of Satan---by the fact of her divine motherhood in the divine act of the Incarnation A dramatic set of events leads up to Judith's action and she becomes a heroine in the eyes of the desperate Israelites who were about to be bartered into slavery in the terms of surrendering to the overwhelming Assyrian army. In decapitating Holofernes, Judith is praised by the Jewish leaders:

 

"Blessed are you, daughter, by the Most High God, above all the women on earth; and blessed be the Lord God, the creator of heaven and earth, who guided your blow at the head of the chief of our enemies. Your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God.  May God make this redound to your everlasting honor, rewarding you with blessings, because you risked your life when your people were being oppressed, and you averted our disaster, walking uprightly before our God." And all the people answered, "Amen! Amen!"    (Judith13:18-20 NAB)

 

*(Note well: The Book of Judith, in the Latin Vulgate, Douay-Rheims and NAB Bibles, was ratified in the Canon of Sacred Scripture at the Fourth session of the Council of Trent in 1546.  For centuries before, it appeared with five other books included in the Catholic bible of 72 books.  These books are: Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, and Maccabees.  These six books are given apocryphal (legendary) status in non-Catholic bibles.)

 

 

 

Discipleship of Mary

 

Mary's strength is her humility and obedience before God.

 

 

Mary's humility is exemplified in her "fiat" ("let it be done") as she proclaimed to the Archangel Gabriel:

 

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord, be it done to me according to thy word." (Lk1:38) 

 

In uttering these words, Mary became the fulcrum of God’s plan for man; her fiat tipped the balance of God’s mercy towards man. She did this actively by her faith, which solidified into absolute trust by hope.  After her ascent, her "fiat", Mary was transformed by God, the Father, through the Holy Spirit into the Mother of the Messiah; Christ the Redeemer. (Cf. Lk1:35)  As such, she is a universe of Purity unto herself. However, Mary’s Purity is second only to Christ’s since Christ is Purity Itself.  Therefore, we say again that: 

“All that is Mary is in Christ”

                                                                  

 

 

Messages from Jesus

 

The following messages from Jesus to the visionary, Nancy Fowler, reveal the nature of Mary's fiat which was nothing less than her complete submission to the will of God, and the glorification bestowed upon her in her "fullness of grace".  (For complete texts of the following messages, go to www.ourlovingmother.org)

 

Jesus said to Nancy (#938, partial message):

 

"....abandon, surrender your will to Mine. A soul cannot come to God unless the soul has surrendered its will to God's will. God takes you deeper into Him. You abide with God and God abides with you."  (# 938, partial message, April 5, 1995)

 

And:

 

"When the will is merged, the heart is merged.  All become one in perfect union with Me, every action, every thought, every word." (# 915, partial message, August 27,1994)

 

And:

 

“The Spirit of God, My Holy Spirit, is the gift that I have given to mankind to live in My Will. The more you desire My Will, the more I desire to have you in Me.” (#915, partial message, August 27,1994)

 

From Sacred Scripture:

 

"If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."  (Jn14:23)

 

"He has granted to us his precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature."  (2Pet1:4) 

 

 

In another message to Nancy, Jesus reveals His mother's first and foremost position, as a creature, in the order of grace:

 

"My Mother is one with Me.  Above all creatures she has been raised to the throne of God.  No creature surpasses My Mother."  (#76, partial message, December 4, 1990)

 

Jesus gave Nancy an illustration of His above message.  As she was looking at the four points of the cross (crucifix) on the wall, Jesus said to her:

 

"Look at the four points on the cross. I will explain. See the Holy Trinity of God in three points. See in the other point My Mother, part of the Holy Trinity of God." (#22, partial message, August 14, 15, 1990)

 

After this, in the following two messages, Jesus reveals that we are also included in the Holy Trinity of God:

 

"The Trinity of God is the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.  As branches are part of the tree, My Mother and all of mankind are part of the Trinity of God.  As long as the branch remains joined to the tree, it receives nourishment. Some branches may become dry and brittle, crooked and fall off. It is that way with man when he sins. His soul withers and dies.  Only My Life will sustain, nourish his soul. One branch was selected from all branches. This branch is the most pure, the most delicate, the most perfect of all branches. My Mother is above all creatures and She is elevated to the Throne of God. Remember the branch and the tree and see how you are joined to the Trinity of God."  (No Number, entire message, July 11, 1991)

 

And:   

 

"I am in you.  I am one with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  You are not separate from the Trinity of God." (#938, partial message, April 5, 1995)

 

The above messages from Jesus resonate in the following quotation from the CCC:

 

"Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love.  (CCC: 2000)

 

 

From Sacred Scripture

 

Mary’s interrelationship with the Most Holy Trinity is scripturally represented in Luke 1:35: 

 

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called Holy, the Son of God.”  (Lk1:35 NAB)

 

Returning again to the enmity to Satan in Mary: In addition to the humility of her fiat, the enmity to Satan in Mary is also her purity---her freedom from sin---as she is the Immaculate Conception.  Therefore, the chosen human creature Mary possesses humility and purity versus the pride and sin of Satan. 

 

Mary's fiat is the perfect prescription for discipleship in Jesus Christ for all Christians:

 

"Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word."  (Lk1:38 DRV)

 

What we have shown so far is that Jesus Christ is the Source of Mary's virtue. As a human creature, Mary was created to bear Jesus Christ as her Son; in Whom the divine humility and divine purity of the Trinity exist (Cf.Col.1:19). The Catechism of the Catholic Church agrees:

 

"The Blessed Virgin's salutary influence on men flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely upon it, and draws all its power from it. No creature could ever be counted along with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer; but just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by his ministers and the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is radiated in different ways among his creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude, but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source." (CCC:970; LG 60,62)

  

When Mary joined her will to God's will by the leap of faith in her "fiat", (Lk1:38) she decided to cooperate with God, the Holy Spirit, in the Incarnation of the God-man Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word. (Lk1:35) She then more fully began to "share in the divine substance of God" (2Pe1:4).  It was also at the point of her "fiat" (Lk1:38) that Mary became the Mother of God and the only human cooperator in the Incarnation.

 

Mary rejoiced at these things done by God to her. In her Magnificat. the Mother of God proclaimed:

 

"Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me (done to me great things); and holy is his name."  (Lk1:49, Douay-Rheims v.) ; (Lk1:49. KJ-1611v.)

 

Note: Regarding the prepositional phrase "to me" in Luke 1:49:

 

1. The Latin Vulgate says "fecit mihi", which means in Latin, “He (the Father) did to me”.) (Biblia Sacra Vulgata--Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart)

 

2. In the Greek-English New Testament Lk1:49 says: epoihse moi (epoi'hse moi') in Greek, which means: "did to me." (The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, Layfayette, IN)  The Douay Rheims v. and the King James 1611 v. say in Luke 1:49: ".. ..mighty hath done great things to me", and  "…mighty hath done to me great things", respectively.]

 

 

Mary as Model

 

 

Mary as the Immaculate Conception is a model of faith.  Since all men are sinners and she has no sin, how is it possible that we can model after her?  In a message in which Jesus was addressing Nancy about her vocation as a witness. He told her:

 

"From all the women on earth, I have chosen you. My Mother has come many times to you. Model after her. Model after Me...”  (#361, partial message, May 11, 1993)

 

We can model after Mary because she is the perfect Christian and the perfect apostle.  As everything of and in Mary is conformed to Christ, when we partake in the "school of Mary", which is the "school of faith", we become more like Christ.

 

In his epistles St. Paul encouraged Christians to model after him, their spiritual father. He did not hesitate to impart an advisory to “imitate me”:

 

"For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me."  (1Cor4:15,16 RSV)

                                                                                                                                   

 

 

Part Four: Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer

 

Table of Contents

 

Evolution of the Motherhood of God in the Plan of God

 

Due to the original sin of Adam and Eve, the graces of a sinless existence that God gave to the family of man were lost in the Garden of Eden.  In the fullness of time (Cf.Gal4:4) the Father gifted the fullness of these graces to His "highly favored one" (Cf.Lk1:28); to Mary.  It was through this one creature, a woman, that He would give man the ultimate gift of Himself in Jesus Christ the Redeemer. 

 

Mary's Greatest Earthly Title

 

In the Plan of God, when Mary's flesh was created, God created the flesh from whence would come His Own Flesh. The Eternal Word received His untainted human flesh from Mary, the Immaculate Conception. That Flesh is Jesus' Flesh, the new Flesh of the Eternal Word of the Trinity, which, as the Redeemer of man, He offered for the life of the world. (Cf.Jn1:14) In this way and in ways already presented in this dissertation, the Humanity of Jesus became the Eternal Word and the Eternal Word became the Humanity of Jesus. This is why we call Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God.

 

As Mother of God in the Incarnation (the "begetting" of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word), Mary is at the highest point of all creation. For this reason, we call her the "Queen of All Creation". Since all creation comes from the Will of God, we also call Mary the "Queen of the Divine Will"---for she has suppliant omnipotence and is the highest creature in God's Will. All this because she was chosen as Mother of the God-man, Jesus Christ, Whose divine merits are infinite.

 

From Mary's human position, however---because of her fiat (Lk1:38)---"in doing the Will of God perfectly, Mary was closer to Jesus than her being His mother and He being her Son."*   Obedience then, brings us closest to Christ. and is the most opportune spiritual state in which to earn our salvation.

 

*(Fr. Dominick Mary, EWTN Daily Mass, 11-21-2005)

 

In Sacred Scripture Jesus confirms the above statement about obedience:

 

"While he was speaking, a woman from the crowd called out and said to him, 'Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed.' He replied, 'Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.'"   (Lk11:27,28 NAB)
 

Sophronius, Bishop of Constantina wrote about Mary:

 

“Truly, you are blessed among women. For you have changed Eve’s curse into a blessing; and Adam, who hitherto lay under a curse, has been blessed because of you. Truly, you are blessed among women.  Through you the Father's blessing has shone forth on mankind, setting them free of their ancient curse. Truly, you are blessed among women, because through you, your forebears have found salvation.  For, you were to give birth to the Savior who was to win them salvation. Truly, you are blessed among  women, for without seed you have borne, as your fruit, him who bestows blessings on the whole world and  redeems it from that curse that made it sprout thorns.  Truly, you are blessed among women, because, though a woman by nature, you will become, in reality, God's mother.  If he whom you are to bear is truly God made flesh, then rightly do we call you God's mother.  For you have truly given birth to God.“  (Sophronius, c. 560-638; Cf.Lk1:28,45)

 

St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1155) wrote about Mary's incomparable purity, and, more than realized by us, her essential humility:

 

"If you cannot equal Mary's absolute purity, at least imitate her humility.  The virtue of chastity is admirable, but humility is essential.  A simple invitation calls to the first:  "He that can take, let him take it", for the second,  we have an absolute command:  "Unless you become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."  Chastity, therefore, will be rewarded; humility will be demanded.  We can be saved without virginity, but not without humility.  Even Mary's virginity would not have been pleasing to God without humility.  Mary certainly pleased God by her virginity, but she became His Mother because of her humility."

 

 

The Incomparable Self-giving of God

 

 The Incarnation and Redemption are about the Self-giving of God for us; and through this matchless divine generosity, we become the righteousness of God in Christ: 

 

"For our sake he made him to be sin who did not know sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in him." (2Cor5:21)

 

And:

 

“For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb4:15)

 

And from St. John, Jesus tells us of the sinless condition of His humanity:

 

"Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me."  (Jn14:30 RSV)

 

Additionally from St. John:

 

“You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin.  No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.  Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous. He who commits sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1Jn1:5-8)

 

St. Peter expands this concept of the divine mercy of the Father:

 

"His divine power has bestowed on us every thing that makes for life and devotion. Through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and power, through these he has bestowed on us the precious and very great promises, so that through them you may come to share in the divine nature. (2Pet1:3,4)

 

So, if in Christ we become the "righteousness of God" (2Cor5:21) and "share in the divine nature" of God (2Pet1:4), these gifts must certainly be exceeded in being given to the Blessed Virgin Mary by God---being that she was the first *"alter-Christus" ("other-Christ") of the "common priesthood" of the Church---her flesh and blood becoming the flesh and blood of Christ through her fiat of self-sacrificing love for God; even to the offering of her Son to the Father on Calvary. (Cf.Lk1:35,38; Jn19:26). 

 

*(term applied to the ordained Roman Catholic Priest, along with his acting "in personna Christi" (in the person of Christ). The Church also teaches that, through Baptism, we share in the life of the Trinity and in the "common priesthood" of the Church. (CCC: 265, 1141, 1268, 1273)

 

 

 

The Mother of the Redeemer in Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church

 

 

The Old Testament speaks of Mary, the Mother of the Messiah:

                          

"Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."   (Is7:14) 

 

The Old Testament also says the following about what is Mary's perfect cooperation and participation in the Incarnation of the Messiah, Jesus Christ: 

 

“A WOMAN SHALL COMPASS A MAN” (Jeremiah 31:22 KJ 1611v.).

 

A translation of the above verb "compass", in this instance, means that a woman will *"encompass accomplishments"---in her male child as the above quotation implies.  This happened only once and was accomplished in Mary by The Holy Spirit of God. (Cf.Lk1:35) *(Webster's Third New Int. Dictionary, Unabridged, 1954; p. 462, 2a, 4a)

 

Mary cooperated in her divine motherhood as Mother of the Redeemer (the Ark of the New Covenant) through grace and by never losing sight of her divine Son, always focusing on Him.  She was created for Him and He was virgin-born of her. God is His only Father and Mary is His only mother.  Mary is spouse of the Holy Spirit in God's greatest act, the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ (Cf. Lk1:35). 

 

Pope Saint Leo the Great says of the Incarnation:

 

"Mary conceived in her soul before she conceived in her body.  A royal virgin of the house of David is chosen. She is to bear a holy child, one who is both God and man.  She is to conceive him in her soul before she conceives him in her body. In the face of so unheard of an event she is to know no fear through ignorance of the divine plan; the angel tells her what is to be accomplished in her by the Holy Spirit. She believes that there will be no loss of virginity, she who is soon to be the mother of God. Why should she lose heart at this new form of conceiving  when she has been promised that it will be effected through  the power of the Most High? She believes, and her faith is confirmed by the witness of a previous wonder: against all expectation Elizabeth is made fruitful. God has enabled a barren woman to be with child; he must be believed when he makes the same promise to a virgin."  (Saint Leo the Great, Pope Sermo 1 in Nativitate Domini, 2. 3: PL 54, 191-192)

 

Pope John Paul places the divine virgin motherhood of Mary into the Covenant of the Blood of Christ, and, through Mary, names human motherhood as part of it:

 

"Motherhood has been introduced into the order of the Covenant that God made with humanity in Jesus Christ.   Each and every time that motherhood is repeated in human history, it is always related to the Covenant which God established with the human race through the motherhood of the Mother of God."  (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater)

                                                                                       

And St Anselm said:

 

“God, then, is the Father of the created world, and Mary the mother of the re-created world.  God is the Father by Whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life.  For God begot the Son, through Whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to Him as the Savior of the world.  Without God's Son, nothing could exist.  Without Mary's Son, no one could be redeemed. (St. Anselm, Bishop, (955 A.D.), Oratio 53: pl 150)

 

And St. Aelred said:

 

"We owe her honor for she is the mother of Our Lord. He who fails to honor the mother, clearly dishonors the son.  Also, scripture says: 'Honor thy father and thy  mother'. She is more our mother than the mother of our flesh. Our birth from her is better, for from her is born our Holiness, our Wisdom, our Justice, our sanctification and our redemption. 'Praise the Lord in his holy ones', say the Scriptures. If Our Lord is to be praised in those holy ones through whom He brings to being deeds of power and miracles, how much more is He to be praised in her in whom He fashioned Himself, Who is wonderful beyond all wonders." (St. Aelrod, Abbot, Sermo 20 Nativitate beate Mariae: PL 195, (322-324 A.D.); *Cf. Psalm 89:5)

 

And St. John Crysostom (347-407 A.D.), Bishop of Antioch and a doctor of the Church wrote:

 

“Believe what we say about the Virgin and do not hesitate to confess her to be both servant and Mother of God; both virgin and mother.  She is a servant as the creature of Him Who was born of her; she is the Mother of God inasmuch as of her God was born in human flesh.  She is a virgin because she did not conceive from the seed of man; she is a mother because she gave birth and became the mother of Him Who before all eternity was begotten of the Father.” (St. John Crysostom, (347-407 A.D.), Orientalia Christiana, vol. 32 [1966]) 

 

From Sacred Scripture:  

 

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father." (Jn1:14 RSV)

 

When the Eternal Word descended into the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate, He found in her the graces of the Father's kingdom.  As the Eternal Word, Jesus preached about His Father's Kingdom:

 

"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done." (Mt6:10 RSV)

                                                                                          

"This is the time of fulfillment, the Kingdom of God is at hand." (Mark1:15 NAB)

 

The Archangel Gabriel spoke about the soul of the Blessed Virgin Mary who was "full of grace":

 

"Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed art thou among women."  (Lk1:28 DRV)

 

Jesus has revealed to Nancy Fowler, the visionary:

 

"My kingdom on earth is My Life in the human soul." (#240, complete message, April 6, 1991)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Five: Mary, the Immaculate Perpetual Virgin

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Establishment of Mary's Most Holy Perpetual Virginity

 

 

When the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Mary (Luke 1:28) and proceeded to tell her that she would conceive a male child in her womb, she replied:

 

"How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?" (Lk1:34 KJV)

 

Mary replied in this way because partly because she was amazed at what was being spoken to her and partly because she was naturally inclined to defend her virginity.   To reassure her and to reveal the theology of the Incarnation, the archangel then said to her:

 

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."  (Lk1:35 RSV)

  

Reassured that it would be God the Holy Spirit Who will bring fecundity to her, Mary surrendered to the Will of God and said:

 

"Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word."  (Lk1:38 RSV)

 

With the words of Mary's Fiat ("Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.") the Eternal Word of the Holy Trinity descended into the most pure womb of Mary, Immaculate, and assumed the humanity of Jesus Christ which had been concurrently created at the one and the same instant by the Holy Spirit at the Fiat of the Father.

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) speaks of the virgin birth of Jesus Christ as the source of the doctrine of Mary's perpetual virginity:

 

"Mary's virginity manifests God's absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has only God as Father.  He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature which he assumed. He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of his mother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures.  (CCC:503;Council of Friuli (c.796); Denzinger-Schonmetzer (1880)

 

"The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary's real and *perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. In fact, Christ's birth did not diminish his mother's virginal integrity but sanctified it.  And so the liturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as  Aeiparthenos ("Aparthenos" Greek), the "Ever-virgin." (CCC:499;Lumen Gentium,57; Denzinger-Schonmetzer (1880) *(Proclaimed at the Lateran Council of 649 A.D., by Pope Martin I)

 

The Incarnation of the Eternal Word as the God-man Jesus Christ pre-destined the character of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the mind of the Father.  Since God does all things perfectly, the divine design of the Blessed Mother's character did not permit her to be separated, at any point in her life on earth, from her highest office as Mother of God, the Mother of the Redeemer*. Also by the fiat of the divine design of the Father, Mary, through her Immaculate Conception and divine motherhood, was not subject to the rigorous natural condition of childbirth due to original sin. Since she had no sin and was giving birth to the divine Redeemer, Mary did not suffer the usual pains of childbirth. What she experienced instead is of God the Father, and will remain a mystery until eternity. Various private revelations have contributed some synthesis of knowledge regarding this revelation.

 

* “And I, in order to fulfill the Supreme Volition, deprived Myself of my innocent joys, beginning, with works and sacrifices, the office of Mother, of giving Jesus to all.”  (The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will, Day 22, Luisa Piccarreta)

 

The official Roman Catholic Church position is that of St. Augustine's:

 

“He was born of a virgin. A virgin conceived, a virgin bore, and after the birth was a virgin still.”  (St. Augustine on the Creed: A Sermon to the Catechumens, No. 6)

 

The quote from St. Augustine supports the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity, in that:

 

During the physical birth of Jesus Mary remained a virgin.  That this phenomenon was truly from God the Father more than gives credence to a supernatural process being responsible for the delivery of the neonatal infant Jesus.

                                

However, the overarching consideration supporting the doctrine of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is her status and title as Mary, Mother of the Redeemer, and the following applies:         

 

It is a fact that Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, Who has: "only God as Father". Jesus was always more from Heaven than He was from Earth.(Cf. CCC: 503)

 

(We reapeat:) Two biblical proofs of Mary's virginity during the Incarnation and Birth of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ:

 

Isaiah 7:14: "Behold a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel."  Biologically, it is impossible for a human female virgin to conceive (conception: the union of an ovum and a single sperm in the fallopian tube) because when a human female conceives, it is after intercourse that conception takes place; about a day after ovulation. At the onset of intercourse for the first time, the virgin female loses her virginity as the hymen is pierced and torn aside. From that event onwards, for the rest of her life, she is no longer a virgin. So, even before the sperm is deposited in the vagina, female virginity ceases to exist. Therefore, since conception takes place as long as a day after intercourse, it is impossible for a virgin to conceive. It happened only one time, with Mary the Mother of Jesus, at the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit. (Lk 1:35)

 

Luke 1:31: "Behold thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and shalt bring forth a son; and thou shalt call his name Jesus." In these clearly constructed words, the Archangel Gabriel, in his announcement of the coming of the Messiah, purposely left out any reference to the cooperation of a male in the conception of the Eternal Word, Jesus Christ in the most pure womb of Mary. He said something biologically impossible: "YOU, Mary, shall conceive in YOUR womb," rather than in the colloquial of the time which would have meant the common reproduction of humans reflected as we understand it: "You will become pregnant." In other words, MARY is a CLOSED CIRCLE in this one-time-only conception of Jesus Christ the Eternal Word by the Holy Sprit of God. (Lk 1:35)

 

Matthew 1:18-24:

Mary, the virgin, is found to be pregnant. (She probably took a leap of faith and, to be perfectly honest, told Joseph.) The father is not Joseph-being that the Father is God. Joseph, not knowing this yet, initially decided to divorce her quietly to keep his honor. If the community had found out, Mary would have been stoned to death:

"Now the generation of Christ was in this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost. Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately. But while he thought on these things, behold the angel of the Lord appeared to him in his sleep, saying: Joseph, son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife, for that which is conceived in her, is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son: and thou shalt call his name JESUS. For he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which the Lord spoke by the prophet, saying: “Behold a virgin shall be with child, and bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife." (As Mary became Joseph's wife at betrothal.)

 

*      *      *

 

Of the graces, virtues and divine endowments showered by God the Father upon Mary in her divine motherhood, she shares preeminently in the righteousness and divine nature of God (Cf.2Pe1:4) by means of her faith and personal purity. In her faith, Mary took the most fortunate leap of faith for mankind in her "fiat" (Lk1:38), following the revelation of her divine Spouse, the Holy Spirit of God through St. Gabriel the Archangel.

 

By means of her personal purity, Mary never acquired carnal knowledge (Cf.Lk1:34). And following the decree of God which chose her to be the perpetual virgin Mother of the Redeemer, she never did acquire it.  Mary is, after Christ the God-man, the immaculate creature of God, the immaculate one of our race---the "Immaculata"---the Immaculate Conception.

 

In the eyes of God Who lives in the forever present, the Blessed Virgin Mary is always at the peak of her purity; never changing from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. Her purity has never changed from that which the Father instilled into her, preparing her for the moment when the Eternal Word would descend into her most pure womb during the Incarnation.

 

If the Blessed Virgin Mary had even original sin on her soul as we have, some darkness would have been part of the persona of Mary.  In assuming her flesh, the Eternal Word would have assumed part of the darkness of her fallen human nature. This is impossible for God to do.  In His divinity, all things are possible for God except changing or acting against His divine Nature----it is not God's nature to assume any trace of sinfulness whatsoever into His divinity.

 

 

 

Mary's Only Child Was Jesus

 

 

One of the most challenging concepts to the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is the erroneous view that Jesus had biological brothers, or even sisters.   Christians who believe thusly, point to scriptural passages that say so.  There are scriptural passages that "say" that Jesus had "brothers" and at least one that "says" that He had sisters.  However:

 

There are Biblical quotations supporting the truth that Jesus had no siblings:

 

In St. Matthew 10:2, St. Mark 3:17, and St. Luke 6:15, Christ chooses His twelve apostles.  Despite the fact that the following quotations identify sibling brothers, never is an apostle called the sibling brother of Jesus: 

 

1. Simon Peter and Andrew are called brothers .

2. James the greater and his brother John, the "sons of thunder" are called the "sons of Zebedee" (Mk3;17). 

3. James the lesser (brother of Joses--Mt27:56; Mk15:40,47) is  called the "son of Alphaeus" in (Lk6:15. (Alphaeus is also Clopas)

4. Levi (Matthew) is also called the son of Alphaeus in Mk2:14.

 

Of the above men, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas are called the brothers of Jesus in Mark 6:3 and in Matthew 13:54.  However, these men are not called brothers of Jesus, in the Gospels, at the time He chose His Apostles. So, of the times that the Apostles of Jesus were called His "brothers" in the Gospels; from the above we know that Peter, Andrew, James the greater, John, James the lesser and Levi (Matthew)---six (6) of Jesus' Apostles---had biological fathers who were not the father of Jesus.

 

In the Gospel of St. John, Chapter 19, verse 25, there are named three persons who stood faithfully beneath the cross of Christ:

 

"His mother Mary, and His mother's sister, the wife of Clopas (the "other" Mary of Mt28:1), and Mary Magdalene."

 

If Jesus had sibling brothers and sisters, would they not be standing beside His and their mother Mary at the cross of their Brother?  One would think so.  Would not St. John, who was a witness to the crucifixion, know well who Jesus' siblings were; and would he not have named them in his Gospel?  Would not Mary raise the Son of God in her own home and instill in her other children the same devotion and loyalty to Jesus that she knew?  One would obviously be convinced that this would be so.  Would not the Lord God Messiah, Jesus Christ, by His very Presence in the midst of His family, inspire undying love and loyalty in His siblings that He inspired in His Mother Mary? 

 

In the Gospel of John, Jesus, crucified and dying on the cross, gives His mother to His apostle, John:

 

"When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!"  Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."  (Jn19:26-27 RSV)

 

If Jesus, in reality, had sibling brothers or sisters, why would He give His mother to His apostle, John, the son of Zebedee, who was not His sibling?  Would He not know that His "brothers and sisters" would care for His mother? Of course, but, as previously stated, Jesus had no other natural siblings.

 

In another part of the Gospel, two of the men mentioned below are called the "brothers of Jesus".   The fact that they are identified both as "brothers of Jesus" and also as sons of other fathers sets up conflicting parental origins for them---- thus dispelling the erroneous notion that they are actually the sibling brothers of Jesus:

James the lesser and Joseph (Joses) are called brothers of Jesus in Mk6:3, despite James the lesser being called the son of Alphaeus in (Mk3:18).

 

Therefore, James and Joses are not the sibling brothers of Jesus; they and other men are called such because of the fact that Jewish patriarchal clan titles for relatives has a range of terminology.  The Hebrew term for "kinsman", or "relative" is applied throughout the Old Testament to mean brothers, sisters, and other family members of the same patriarchal father: (our underline)

                                   

"The Jewish-Aramaic word "ahyana" means "kinsman". Another more widely-used Aramaic term "aha" literally means "brother", but is also frequently used in the sense of "relative", "kinsman", "cousin." There is no term in Aramaic for the word "cousin". The Aramaic word brona d- 'ammeh, is a circumlocution used for the word "uncle" and literally means "the son of his uncle." "Qariwa" means "close relation", and "nasha" and "ahui" means "relative." There is no word in Aramaic for the word "cousin", and there is none that isolates a man as a biological sibling. The closest language in use in the time of Christ (not withstanding the language of Roman citizens) that was used instead of Aramaic, the language of Jesus, was Greek. There is a word in the Greek that means "brother": adelfouV (adelphos), and a Greek word for "cousin": anepsioV (anepsios), but there are no such words in Aramaic. But the Evangelists of the Gospels who were close to Jesus spoke and wrote in Aramaic, a language with no term for "sibling brother" or "cousin".  (Jimmy Akin, ­The Brothers of Christ, Catholic Answers, http://www.catholic.com/; Substantiated by Hershel Shanks, The Brother of Jesus, Biblical Archaeology Review.)

 

Indeed, in Psalm 68(69) verse 8, the writer does not use a term for biological brother, but the term "brethren" is used for relationships other than siblings:

 

"I am become a stranger unto my brethren, and an alien unto my mother's children."  (Ps69:8 KJV)

 

"I have become a stranger to my brothers, and an alien to my mother's children." (Ps69:8 NKJV)

 

"I have become a stranger to my brethren, an alien to my mother's sons."  (Ps69:8 RSV)

                                                                                                                                   

"I have become a stranger to my brethren, and an alien to the sons of my mother."  (Ps68:9DRV)

 

Likewise, in Ezekiel 11: 15, there is a clear assignment of the word “brethren” as not sibling brothers.  Indeed, the word “brethren” is interposed with the word “exiles” in following (RSV) quotation and “kinsmen” in the following (DRV) quotation:

 

“Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, are they unto whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord: unto us is this land given in possession.”  (Ez11:15 KJV)

 

"Son of man, your brethren, your relatives, your kinsmen, and all the house of Israel in its entirety, are those about whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, `Get far away from the Lord; this land has been given to us as a possession.”  (Ez11:15 NKJV)

 

"Son of man, your brethren, even your brethren, your fellow exiles, the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, 'They have gone far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.'”  (Ez11:15 RSV)

 

“Son of man, thy brethren, thy brethren, thy kinsmen, and all the house of Israel, all they to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said: Get ye far from the Lord, the land is given in possession to us.”   (Ez11:15 DRV)

 

 

 

 

Additional Scriptural Quotations Defending the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

 

 

In Sacred Scripture, the Archangel Gabriel identifies Jesus as the son of David when he uses the words: "...his father, David." (Lk1:32)

 

The Archangel Gabriel said: ".....his father, David" when he knew that God was the only Father of Jesus.  The Archangel addressed Mary this way, in an 'earthly' manner, because she was of the lineage of King David-----as would be her Son. This fits in perfectly with the Old Testament custom of calling members of the same patriarchal family "kinsmen"------and not eliciting the biological relationship of the family member.   This custom evolved into the New Testament custom of calling men "brothers" and women "sisters"---in Christ.

 

In like manner, Jesus is relatively called "son of Joseph" in Luke 3:23, and in John 1:45; 6:42.  Jesus is properly called the Son of God by the Archangel Gabriel in Matthew 1:19 and Luke 1:35.

 

In the Gospel of John, Chapter 20, Verse 17, Jesus instructs Mary Magdalene concerning her assignment of notifying His disciples of His Resurrection. He plainly refers to the apostles, who are not His siblings, as brethren:

 

"Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God."

                                   

In another observation, in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus uses the word "brother" *12 times, distinctly using the term not as a sibling brother.  *(Matthew 5:22,23,24; 7:3,4,5; 10:2,21; 12:50; 18:15,21,35 RSV)

 

In the book of Acts and the Epistles of St. Paul, the word "brother" is used dozens of times without indicating a sibling relationship. 

 

The above considerations are also valid for the term "sister", as in John 19:25 when Mary is called the sister of Mary Clopas (Alphaeus). The fact that there are no words for cousin in the Aramaic language, supports the ancient Jewish tradition of calling such persons a "kinsman" ,"brother", or "sister".

 

The following scriptural quotations show that ancient fellow Christians  addressed each other as "brothers and sisters":

 

"For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren."  (Ro8:29)

 

And:                              

 

"For both he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one.  For which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying: 'I will declare thy name to (unto) my brethren; in the midst of the church will I (sing) praise thee.'" (Heb2:11,12; Ps21:23 Douay-Rheims v.; Authorized King James, 1611 v).

 

The Latin for above verse:

 

"qui enim sanctificat et qui sanctificantur    ex uno omnes   propter quam  causam non  confunditur  fratres

" He that   sancitifieth  and  they who  are santcified  of  one  are all    for       which  cause      not  he is ashamed  brothers 

 eos    vocare dicens: "nuntiabo    nomen tuum  fratribus meis; in  medio ecclesiae    laudabo      te."

 them  to call,   saying:   "I will declare   name    thy   brethren  to my; in  the midst of the church  will I praise  thee." (Biblia Sacra Vulgata v. Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart)

 The Greek for the above verse:

o te gar agiaxvn kai oi agiaxomenoi ex enoV  pantes ' di hn aitian ouk epaiscunetai adelfiouV

He both For sanctifying  and they being sanctified of one all (are);   for which cause  not  He is ashamed   brothers

                      

autouV kalein legwn: Apaggelw to onoma sou  tois adelfoiV mou en mesw  ekklhsiaV   umnhsw se.

  them  to call  saying:  I will announce the name of you to the  brothers of Me, in amidst (the) church I will hymn  you."

 

(Heb2:11,12 The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, P.O. Box 4998, Lafayette, IN 47903)

 

In the following scriptural quotation, Jesus defines, once and for all, the words "brother", "sister", and "mother":

 

"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother."  (Mt12:50)

 

The following quotation from Sacred Scripture reveals God's divine sense of the union of relationships. The most minimal of the relationships implied is that of biological:

 

"When everything is subjected to him, then the Son himself will [also] be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all."  (1Cor15:28)

 

If, as Jesus says, we are His brothers and sisters because we try to do the will of the Father, (Cf. Mt.12:50) then Mary, His Mother, is also our Mother; as she is second only to Jesus in doing the will of the Father.  Jesus confirms this from the cross, to both Mary and St. John who did not shirk from the will of God but followed Jesus to His death on Calvary:

 

"Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother!" And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home."    (Jn19:27)       

                                                                                      

In John 19:27, Jesus did not say: "Take care of my mother."  He did not say to Mary:  "Mother: Stay at my disciple's home."  He created a new relationship between Mary and St. John----mother and son. 

 

The reason that Sacred Scripture says that the Apostle John was the one that "Jesus loved" (Jn13:23), is because Jesus always knew that He would give His mother, His closest companion, to St. John from the cross.  Jesus also knew that He did not have any sibling brothers or sisters to which he could give His mother, so He gave her to St. John---and thus to us. Theologically speaking, Jesus would not limit the gift of His Mother to one man, because it would not be consistent with an act of God----Whose acts have infinite worth and scope.

 

Testifying to the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ is a scriptural passage, Matthew 1:25.  It is most relevant to the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.  It has been altered in many modern Bible translations from the original Latin and Greek. The passage refers to St. Joseph as spouse of Mary:

 

"And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son."  (Mt1:25 Douay Rheims v.Tan)

                                                                      

"And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son." (Mt1:25 Authorized King James,1611,v.)

                                                     

"et    non  cognoscebat    eam   donec  peperit            filium suum  primogenitum."                         

"and   not   he knew        her    until   she brought forth  son    her    firstborn."    

           

Mt1:25, Biblia Sacra Vulgata v., Deutsch Bibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart)

 

 kai ouk  eginwsken authn ewV ou eteke ton uion authn ton prwtotokon

“and  not   did  know    her   until  she bore the  son   of her  the   First-born"

 

(Mt. 1:25, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, P.O. Box 4998, Lafayette, IN 47903)

 

[Note: The Latin "non cognoscebat" describes a cognitive process of “not knowing” and does not specifically have a sexual connotation.) "[cognosco - to know (perfect tense); to know again, recognize (in certain special senses)". In contrast, the Latin word concubitus means “sexual intercourse”.  This word or its root is not present in the translation. The Gospel passage proclaims the virgin-birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the usage protects the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.] (Cassell's Latin Dictionary, D.P. Simpson, M.A., MacMillan Publishing Company, New York, NY] 

 

[In the Greek, we can say that Joseph had an epiphany of Mary, his wife (epifanhV- Gr. made prominent). In contrast, the Greek word sunousia  (soon-'oosia) means “sexual intercourse”. This word or its root is not present in the translation. For the same reason, the Gospel passage proclaims the virgin-birth of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the usage protects the Perpetual Virginity of Mary.] (Greek: Greek Dictionary, © Wm. Collins Sons Ltd. 1987, Harper/Collins, Glasgow).

 

As stated above, in Matthew 1:25, the principle verb “knew not” has a dual meaning: “knew not”, used with the word “until” supports both the celibate and completely chaste relationship between Joseph and Mary (and thus the virgin birth of Jesus Christ), and also Joseph’s new intellectual awareness of just who this young wife of his happens to be---as he discerns the Nature of the Divine Child that Mary now cradles in her lap.  Therefore the dogma of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary is concurrently and linguistically defended with the dogma of the Virgin Birth of Jesus Christ. 

 

In any case, the word "until" does not, by itself, denote any action that might be suggested to happen before or after the event that is used in conjunction with the word "until" itself.  In other words, interpreting the word "until" is completely dependent on how the particular Bible passage or any other usage is interpreted.  For example, in Matthew 28:20 (NAB) Jesus said to His disciples concerning His Presence among them: "I am with you always, until the end of the age." This does not mean that Jesus will not be with His disciples after the end of the age. He would, of course be with them forever, in heaven.

 

[Note: Certain translations of the Bible give the reader the impression that Mary had other children by St. Joseph after Christ was born.  For a more complete examination of Matthew 1:25, including quotations from several Bibles, visit the Your Bible page on this web site.  (Colossians 1:24-25 is also examined.)]

 

 

 

Additional Apology for the Perpetual Virginity of Mary

 

 

The Betrothal of Mary to Joseph

 

There is some misunderstanding about the “betrothal”of Mary to Joseph. (Mt1:18; Lk1:27)  To add to the situation, the term “espoused”, when used in the Bible, infers, but does not necessarily designate, an actual married state.  The two terms are basically interchangeable depending upon the translation.  In the following verse the misunderstanding arises about the state of the “betrothal period”, as St. Joseph is called Mary’s husband:

 

"Whereupon Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing publicly to expose her, was minded to put her away privately." (Mt. 1:19 DRV)

 

However, the implication of a marital state comes from the highly contractual and obligatory nature of a Jewish betrothal, which, in reality does bind the betrothed couple in a future marriage.  All sources utilized show that Jewish law took the betrothal period very seriously, hence the reference to Joseph being the “husband” of Mary during their betrothal period.  Of this, Pope John Paul says: (our underline)

 

“According to Jewish custom, marriage took place in two stages: first, the legal, or true marriage was celebrated, and then, only after a certain period of time, the husband brought the wife into his own house. Thus, before he lived with Mary, Joseph was already her "husband." Mary, however, preserved her deep desire to give herself exclusively to God. One may well ask how this desire of Mary's could be reconciled with a "wedding." The answer can only come from the saving events as they unfold, from the special action of God himself. From the moment of the Annunciation, Mary knew that she was to fulfill her virginal desire to give herself exclusively and fully to God precisely by becoming the Mother of God's Son. Becoming a Mother by the power of the Holy Spirit was the form taken by her gift of self: a form which God himself expected of the Virgin Mary, who was "betrothed" to Joseph. Mary uttered her fiat. The fact that Mary was "betrothed" to Joseph was part of the very plan of God. This is pointed out by Luke and especially by Matthew.” (Pope John Paul II, REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS, Guardian of the Redeemer, Rome, August 15, 1989, The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, No. 18)

 

There are many verses in the Old Testament that show that there was indeed a “betrothal” period before the man had “taken” the woman for his wife.  Before the “taking” of the woman in a betrothal period, there was no cohabitation.  After man had “taken” his “betrothed” woman, only then did they cohabitate as man and wife.  Of the many verses available, one from Deuteronomy illustrates the concept:

 

“And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her?  Let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.”  (Deut20:7)

 

As pointed out by Pope John Paul II, above, a very good New Testament illustration of the chastity of the betrothal period is from St. Matthew: (our underline)

 

"When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child, of the Holy Ghost." (Mt.l:18 DRV)

 

And in the following verse from St. Luke, the evangelist infers directly that when the Archangel Gabriel was sent “into Galilee”, the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Joseph lived---not in the same house---but apart.

 

"And in the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent from God into a city of Galilee, called Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David: and the virgin's name was Mary." (Lkl:26, 27 DRV)

 

Indeed, when Mary is told by St. Gabriel that she will be with Child, she confirms that her betrothal period with Joseph was completely pure and chaste:

 

"How can this be, since I do not know man?" (Lk 1:34 DRV)

 

The Old Testament depicts betrothal as a non-sexual union:

 

 "And if he have betrothed her unto his son, he shall deal with her after the manner of daughters." (Ex21:9 KJV)

 

"If a damsel that is a virgin be betrothed unto an husband, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die; the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbour's wife: so thou shalt put away evil from among you." (Deut22:23 KJV)

 

Betrothal was the initial step to marriage in a Jewish community. From The Catholic Encyclopedia:

 

“The Jewish laws of marriage, and consequently of betrothal, were based in a great measure on the supposition that it was a purchase. In the law of Moses there are certain provisions respecting the state of the virgin who is betrothed, but nothing particularly referring to the act of betrothal. Selden's Uxor Hebraica gives the schedule of later Hebrew contracts of betrothal. Where the contract was in writing, it was written out by the man before witnesses and delivered to the woman, who must know its import.” (From “betrothal”: The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume II, Copyright © 1907 by Robert Appleton Company  Online Edition Copyright © 2003 by Kevin Knight)

 

 

 

 

The Marriage of Mary to Joseph

 

 

The cohabitative marital state for Mary and Joseph began when Joseph “took Mary into his own home”. (Cf.Mt.1:24)  Joseph did this at the command of the Angel of the Lord:

 

"Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit; she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."  (Mt1:20-21 RSV)

 

Pope John Paul writes about this: (our underline)

 

“The words spoken to Joseph are very significant: "Do not fear to take Mary your wife, for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit" (Mt 1:20). These words explain the mystery of Joseph's wife: In her motherhood Mary is a virgin. In her, "the Son of the Most High" assumed a human body and became "the Son of Man.”  What took place in her through the power of the Holy Spirit also confirmed in a special way the marriage bond which already existed between Joseph and Mary. God's messenger was clear in what he said to Joseph: "Do not fear to take Mary your wife into your home." Hence, what had taken place earlier, namely, Joseph's marriage to Mary, happened in accord with God's will and was meant to endure.”  (Pope John Paul II, REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS, Guardian of the Redeemer, Rome, August 15, 1989 (The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary), No. 18)

 

And about Joseph’s vow of virginity resonating within Mt1:20-21, above:

 

“Joseph not only heard the divine truth concerning his wife's indescribable vocation; he also heard once again the truth about his own vocation.” (Ibid. No. 19)

 

And about the reason that God required of Joseph the higher state of celibacy:

 

“Inserted directly in the mystery of the Incarnation, the Family of Nazareth has its own special mystery. And in this mystery, as in the Incarnation, one finds a true fatherhood: the human form of the family of the Son of God, a true human family, formed by the divine mystery. (Ibid. No. 21)

 

About the elevated state of the marital union between Mary and Joseph---meant for all Christian marriages:

 

“This love of God also molds-in a completely unique way-the love of husband and wife, deepening within it everything of human worth and beauty, everything that bespeaks an exclusive gift of self, a covenant between persons, and an authentic communion according to the model of the Blessed Trinity.” (Ibid. No. 19)

 

From various translations, the Bible tells us how Joseph obeyed the angel's command:

 

diegerqeiV de o Iwshf apo tou upnou epiohsen wV jprosetaxen autw o aggeloV Kuriou kai parelabe

“being aroused   And  Joseph from  the  sleep he did   as  commanded    him    the angel of (the) Lord and took

thn gunaika autou

(as)the wife of him"

 

(Mt. 1:24, The Interlinear Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, P.O. Box 4998, Lafayette, IN 47903)

 

“exsurgens autem      Ioseph  a  somno,     fecit sicut praecepit            ei    angelus     Domini   et   accepit

“rising-up    Moreover,  Joseph    from sleep,    did   as     had commanded  him   the angel  of the Lord  and  took unto him

 coniugem  suam.”

  wife          his."

 

(Mt1:24, Biblia Sacra Vulgata v., DeutscBibelgesellschaft, Stuttgart)

 

 

“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife.”  (Mt1:24 KJB)

 

"And Joseph rising up from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him, and took unto him his wife." (Mtl:24 DRV)

 

When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home.”  (Mt1:24 NAB)

 

“When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do: he took his wife to his home.”   (Mt1:24 NJB)

 

“When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel commanded, and brought Mary home to be his wife”  (Mt1:24 LVB)

 

After the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to tell him that the Child of Mary had been conceived by the Holy Spirit, he obeyed the Angel of the Lord and “took” Mary as his wife.  At this point in his betrothal to Mary, Joseph understood that God Himself was qualifying Mary’s virginal state.  His obedience to the angel confirms his willingness to recognize her virginity as a condition from God---a condition not to be changed.  Roman Catholic private revelation relates that Joseph, before he met Mary, took for himself a vow of virginity.  If he had not taken for himself a vow of virginity he would not have accepted that his future marriage to Mary would be virginal in nature. If he had not embraced virginity for himself, it is reasonable to say that he would not have proceeded with the marriage. 

 

Pope John Paul says of this verse:

 

"Through his complete self-sacrifice, Joseph expressed his generous love for the Mother of God, and gave her a husband's "gift of self." Even though he decided to draw back so as not to interfere in the plan of God which was coming to pass in Mary, Joseph obeyed the explicit command of the angel and look Mary into his home, while respecting the fact that she belonged exclusively to God.” (Pope John Paul II, REDEMPTORIS CUSTOS, Guardian of the Redeemer, Rome, August 15, 1989, The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, No. 20)

 

“On the other hand, it was from his marriage to Mary that Joseph derived his singular dignity and his rights in regard to Jesus. ‘It is certain that the dignity of the Mother of God is so exalted that nothing could be more sublime; yet because Mary was united to Joseph by the bond of marriage, there can be no doubt but that Joseph approached as no other person ever could that eminent dignity whereby the Mother of God towers above all creatures. Since marriage is the highest degree of association and friendship involving by its very nature a communion of goods, it follows that God, by giving Joseph to the Virgin, did not give him to her only as a companion for life, a witness of her virginity and protector of her honor: he also gave Joseph to Mary in order that he might share, through the marriage pact, in her own sublime greatness.’"(33) (Ibid. No. 20; (33) Leo XIII, Encyclical Epistle Quamquam pluries (August 15, 1889): loc. cit., pp. 177f.)

 

In defending the virgin-birth of Jesus Christ, and a perpetual state of virginity in the lives of Mary and Joseph, we also quote again the scriptural verse of Matthew, Chapter 1: 25:

 

"And he knew her not till she brought forth her first born son."     (Mt1:25 DRV)

 

"And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son."     (Mt1:25 KJV)

 

This above verse has been examined before in this dissertation in the defense of the Perpetual Virginity of Mary and is also utilized for the following: 

 

For no other reason than the Will of God and existing vows of virginity on both parts, the Bible tells us in Matthew, Chapter 1: 25 that Mary and Joseph remained celibate until the birth of Jesus.  One thing is certain: the behavior of Mary and Joseph in pointing to virginity confirm that there were vows of virginity taken individually by them before they considered marriage.  There would be absolutely no reason for a Jewish couple to take vows of virginity after marriage.

Vows of virginity in Judeo-Christian traditions are personal arrangements with God Himself---and are for life.

 

Quotations from the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Douay-Rheims Bible footnotes follow:

 

The higher spiritual order of celibacy is explained by the CCC: (our underline)

 

By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of children adopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?" (Cf. Lk1:34) Participation in the divine life arises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God." (Jn1:13) The acceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirit's gift to man. The spousal character of the human vocation in relation to God is fulfilled perfectly in Mary's virginal motherhood.” (CCC: 505)

 

The writers of the Douay-Rheims version of the Bible comment on Mt.1:25:

 

'Till she brought forth her firstborn son.”  From these words Helvidius and other heretics most impiously inferred that the blessed Virgin Mary had other children besides Christ; but St. Jerome shews, by divers examples, that this expression of the Evangelist was a manner of speaking usual among the Hebrews, to denote by the word until, only what is done, without any regard to the future. Thus it is said in Genesis 8: 6 and 7 that Noe sent forth a raven, which went forth, and did not return till the waters were dried up on the earth. That is, did not return any more. Also Isaias 46: 4 God says: “I am till you grow old.” Who dare infer that God should then cease to be: Also in the first book of Machabees 5: 54: “And they went up to mount Sion with joy and gladness, and offered holocausts, because not one of them was slain till they had returned in peace.” That is, not one was slain before or after they had returned. God saith to his divine Son in Psalm 109: 1: “Sit on my right hand till I make thy enemies thy footstool.” Shall he sit no longer after his enemies are subdued? Yea and for all eternity. St. Jerome also proves by Scripture examples, that an only begotten son, was also called firstborn, or first begotten: because according to the law, the firstborn males were to be consecrated to God: Sanctify unto me, saith the Lord. every firstborn that openeth the womb among the children of Israel, etc. Ex. 13. 2."  (Douay-Rheims v. footnote on Mt1:25)

 

 

 

 

 

Part Six: Mary's Assumption into Heaven

 

Not until her work was done after Pentecost, nurturing the

Mystical Body of Christ, was Mary brought home to her glory.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

Establishment of the Dogma

 

 

Because of her cooperation and participation in the Incarnation and the Redemption, Catholics believe that God the Father decreed that Mary's body, like the body of her Son, (the Holy Incorruptible One, Cf. Ps16:10; Acts2:27) would not suffer corporal decay:

 

"For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy one to see corruption."  (Ps16:10)

 

Following is what the Catholic Church teaches about Mary's life leading up to her assumption into heaven:                                                                                                   

"After her Son's ascension, Mary aided the beginnings of Church by her prayers.  In her association with the apostles and several women, we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, Who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation."  (CCC:965; Cf.Acts1:14;Lk1:35)

 

Then, the dogma of the assumption of Mary : (our emphasis)

 

"The Immaculate Virgin, preserved free from all stain of original sin, when the course of her earthly life was finished, was taken up body and soul into heavenly glory and exulted by the Lord as Queen over all things so that she might be the more fully conformed to her Son, the Lord of Lords and conqueror of sin and death. The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin is a singular participation in her Son's resurrection, and an anticipation of the resurrection of other Christians." (CCC:966; Proclaimed on November 1, 1950 A.D., by Pope Pius XII.)

 

The following explains:

 

 "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30 RSV)    

 

A most eloquent writing on the Assumption of Mary by Pope Pius XII:

                                                                             

"The august Mother of God was mysteriously united by divine decree from all eternity with Jesus Christ in one and the same decree of predestination; immaculate in her conception, a virgin inviolate in her *divine motherhood, the wholehearted companion of the divine Redeemer who won complete victory over sin and its consequences. Thus, she gained at last the supreme crown of her privileges: to be preserved immune from the corruption of the tomb, and, like her Son, when death had been conquered, to be carried up body and soul to the exalted glory of heaven, there to sit in splendor at the right hand of her Son the immortal King of the ages." (Pope Pius XII, Munificentissimus Deus, AAS 42, 1950, 760-762 *( Proclaimed Mother of God at the Council of Ephesus in 431A.D., by Pope Celestine I)

 

 The above quotation from Pope Pius XII is supported by the following quotations from Sacred Scripture which reveals the respect that the Israelites had for the mother of a king---and for a queen herself:

 

“So Bathsheba went to King Solomon, to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah.  And the king rose to meet her, and bowed down to her; then he sat on his throne, and had a seat brought for the king's mother; and she sat on his right.” (1Kings2:19)

                       

“My heart overflows with a goodly theme; I address my verses to the king; my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe..……your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia. From ivory palaces stringed instruments make you glad; daughters of kings are among your ladies of honor; at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir.”  (Ps45:1,8-9 RSV)

 

Taking from the above quotation from Pope Pius XII, we can say:

 

The human natures of Jesus and Mary evolved mystically together from all eternity, united in the "in one and the same degree of predestination. They were inseparable, since the body of Jesus was taken from Mary and was assumed by the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity by the power of the Holy Spirit in the divine act of the Incarnation. (Cf. Munificentissimus Deus, Pope Pius XII)

 

 

 

Defense of the Dogma

 

 

Because of Christ's divinity and the immutable conformance of His human will to the Father's will, He is the "first fruits" of the divine act of the Redemption, and all the graces of the Redemption belong to Him and come from Him:

 

"But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.  For just as in Adam all die, so to in Christ shall all be brought to life, but each one in proper order; Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ." (1Cor15:20,22-23)

 

We can have confidence that when "in Christ all shall be brought to life", the Blessed Virgin Mary will be present in the "proper order":

 

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, gave God her fiat which, for her part, placed her in the "proper order" (Cf.1Cor15:23) as the principal human cooperator in the Incarnation and also as Mother of the Redeemer in the Redemption. (Cf.Lk1:35,38)

 

However, there must be no misunderstanding. The "proper order" of the will of the Father as to mediation places Christ ("the first fruits"; Cf.1Cor15:20) as the only "mediator between God and man" (Cf.1Tim2;5) .

 

"Mediator between God and man" means mediation before God the Father:

 

"God the Father is the first origin and transcendent authority of everything." (Cf. CCC 254,239; Jn14:6; 1Tim2:5)

 

Sacred Scripture says:

 

"For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." (1Tim2:5)

 

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life;  no one comes to the Father, but by me." (Jn14:6)        

 

It is Christ Who possesses all the divine graces of His Incarnation and His Redemptive suffering in the Paschal Mystery of His death and Resurrection.  Mary is the Mediatrix of the graces given to us from the cross by her Son and she acts as intercessor for us, before Him, as the mother of her Son.  Mary intercedes before her Son in our behalf, presenting to Him our prayers and petitions. 

 

Pope John Paul II, at a Wednesday audience, made a clear statement about Mary, the first Christian, being an example to us:

 

"Mary is on the path that all humans must take in order to go to the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit." (Cf:Eph2:18)  

 

Sacred Scripture agrees:

                                                                                            

"For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father."  (Eph2:18)

 

In the great mystical work of the seventeenth century, City of God, by the venerable Mary of Agreda (private revelation), the derivative compilation Words of Wisdom quotes the Blessed Mother as she exhorts Mary of Agreda to thank God for the graces given to her as the Mother of God:

 

"Magnify and praise the Omnipotent with fervent affection for the favors and riches which, beyond all human conception, the divine right hand showered upon me."  (City of God-Words of Wisdom; Mary of Agreda, (c.1645) Apostolate of Christian Action, Box 24, Fresno, CA 93707)

 

 

 

Mary's Magnificat

 

 

Speaking in the Holy Spirit during her visit to her cousin Elizabeth, Mary spoke her "Magnificat".

 

"And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.  For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.  And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.  He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.  He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.  He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy; As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever."  (Lk1:46-55 KJV)

 

When, in her Magnificat, Mary said: "My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior", she was testifying to the full Presence of God in her immaculate soul.  When she said: "For he that is mighty hath done to me great things" (Lk1:49 KJV, DRV), she was referring to her Immaculate Conception.

 

Pope John Paul II says of Mary's Magnificat:

 

"In these sublime words, which are simultaneously very simple and wholly inspired by the sacred texts of the people of Israel*, Mary's personal experience, the ecstasy of her heart, shines forth.  In them shines a ray of the mystery of God, the glory of His ineffable holiness, the eternal love which, as an irrevocable gift, enters into human history. *(1 Samuel 2:1-10)

 

“In her exultation, Mary confesses that she finds herself in the very heart of this fullness of Christ. (Cf. Col. 1:19)  She is conscious that the promise made to the fathers, first of all “to Abraham and to his posterity for ever”, is being fulfilled in herself.” (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, Number 36, 25 March 1987)

 

Mary's Magnificat has been remembered by the faithful ever since her words were written into the Gospel. During the First Council of Jerusalem, in 49 A.D., the Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 15, Verse 4 picks up a reflection of Mary's Magnificat:

 

 "And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them." (Acts 15:4)

 

 

 

 

 

Part Seven: Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace

 

Mary is Mediatrix of all grace because she is

the Seat of Wisdom, the Holy Spirit of God, in man.

 

Table of Contents

 

 

In the "fullness of time", God sent Mary to earth, who was "full of grace".

 

 

At the time of Christ's birth, except for the faithful of the Israelites, the entire earth was pagan---being that the entire population of the earth was under the influence of Satan.  This marked the "fullness of time" (Gal4:4) at which the Father chose to send to us His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, the Redeemer (Jn3:16).  In Christ’s absolute mediation for us, (Cf.1Tim 2:5) the Father’s fiat of the Redemption required the sacrifice of His humanity on the cross.  However, before He could do this for us, Jesus had to be born of Mary in His virgin birth. (Cf.Lk1: 35)

 

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, the one born without original sin, preceded the arrival of her Son on the earth by about fifteen years.  Mary, in her sinless purity, was seen from heaven as a solitary light in the darkness of sin that enveloped the earth. She was the “Morning Star” whose light illuminated the dawn that came before the rising noonday Sun of Justice, Who was her Son, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity.

 

Mary, the "one having been highly favored ", the one "full of grace", (Lk1:28) as the spouse of the Holy Spirit and in the order of grace the Mediatrix of all grace; had been filled with the graces of the Kingdom of God so that she might be fully conformed as a fitting receptacle into which the Eternal Word would descend to complete the divine acts of the Incarnation and Redemption, the Fiats of God the Father.

 

Revelation 11:19 and 12:1 read:

 

"Then God's temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars..."   (Rev 11:19; 12:1 RSV)

 

From the above quotation, special attention is paid to Mary's "crown of twelve stars".  This crown refers to Mary's various positions of royalty elucidated in the Hebrew culture of the Bible; but also apply to her own positions of heavenly royalty:

 

1. She is the 'Queen Mother' of humanity (Cf.Gen3:15) and, therefore, all creation is, in the human sense, subject to Mary. Mary's position in grace is "in the proper order" (Cf.1Cor15:23), the first after Christ. In the fall of Eve ("Eva" in Latin), Eve brought sin into the world. Mary changed "Eva" into "Ave", (Latin for "Hail" or "Greeting") in the Archangel Gabriel's greeting: "Ave Maria" (Cf. Luke 1:28), by bringing Christ, Who is Grace Itself, into the world. She is all of this by virtue of her title as Mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

 

2. As Queen Mother of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" (the tribe of King David), she is the Queen Mother of the twelve tribes Israel (Cf. Hos5:14; Is31:4; Rev5:5).

 

3. She is the Queen Mother of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings, and sits at His right hand in the Celestial Paradise (Cf. Neh2:6; Jer13:18, 29:2; Ps 45:10), and therefore, as Mother of Christ the Creator, she is Queen of Creation.

 

4. She is the Queen Mother of the Church by virtue of being the Mother of the Founder and Head of the Church, Jesus Christ. In an ecclesiastical sense, she sits also at His right hand in the Church.  As the Mother of Jesus, Mary was the first Eucharistic tabernacle, the first Eucharistic communicant, the first member of the Mystical Body of Christ, the first Christian, and the first Apostle. 

 

In summation of all of this, she was archetypically the first Christian Church. This is why the "school of Mary", which is the "school of faith", teaches us so much about Christ---the more you learn about Mary, the more you learn about Christ. There is nothing about Mary that does not lead to Christ. The following maxim now becomes even more clear and important:

 

"All that is Mary is in Christ."

 

 

Position in the Order of Grace for Mary

 

 

Because He exists as God, the Eternal Word could have manifested Himself as Jesus Christ without being “born of woman”.  Since this was not the case because of the Father’s fiat of the Incarnation, Mary, who, because of her role in the Incarnation, had to be in the highest state of conformity with the divine act (a divine necessity), and was infused “gratia plena” (full of grace) to reflect the word uttered by the Archangel Gabriel: “kecharitwmehne” (Gr.), or “(one) having received grace". (Cf. Lk1:28, The Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English New Testament, Sovereign Grace Publishers, Layfayette, IN)

 

In His earthly life, Jesus, the Incarnate Wisdom---Grace Himself---by God the Father's decree of the Redemption, brought His graces to us through His birth and earthly life and through the Paschal Mystery of His Death and Resurrection.  The role of His mother, the Mother of the Redeemer, conformed Mary to the role of Mediatrix of all graces; placing her closest to Christ and conduit and advocate of His grace for us. She intercedes for us ---before her divine Son, the Son of Mary---as any true mother would intercede for her children.  Christ is the Head---the Source; and Mary the neck---the channel of grace; in the icon of the mystical body of Christ. It is by her position in the order of grace that Mary is Mediatrix of all grace; all grace, because she is the Mother of Grace, the Mother of the Redeemer, the Mother of the Christ---God, Himself in the Flesh---Who is Grace Itself.

 

Seeing Mary as our Advocate before her Son and Mediatrix of His graces has everything to do with ultimately seeing Jesus in His divinity---with His humanity at the same time being joined in a filial way to His mother.  It is through her immutable role as Mother of the Redeemer by which Mary acquires the titles of Advocate and Mediatrix, thus passing graces down to us from her Son.  In this respect, Mary's title of Mediatrix of all grace is synonymous with her being entitled "Mother of All Grace".  She cooperated with God the Father in this role, for all time, by living her “fiat”---her “yes-to-God”---which continues from her first breath to her last. She lived the Divine Will of God moment by moment on earth, constantly offering her surrender to the Spirit of the Father and the Son.  When we contemplate Mary as Advocate and Mediatrix of all grace, we see that she is far above us in grace. Our reception of grace is intimately joined with Mary's divine mission as Mother of the Redeemer: advocating graces from her Son for us as Our Loving Mother.

 

As Mediatrix of all graces (the pathway of heavenly graces to us), Mary is referred-to anatomically as the "neck" in the Mystical Body of Christ .  The source of this analogy is from a message to Nancy Fowler from Jesus, given to her after she had heard a priest speaking about Mary, Mother of the Redeemer:

 

"Stand against My Mother and stand against Me.  If you do not accept My Mother then you are dismembered from Me.  Did you hear what (the priest who spoke) said of My Mother's position? He placed her in the neck. I like that position. Tell others about this. When they cut My Mother off, they are cutting the neck. Remove the neck; remove My Mother. Then you are dead. Then you are completely dismembered from My body. The peace of the world has been entrusted to My Mother."  (#75, complete message, December 4, 1990)

 

(In the above message to Nancy, the priest had put Jesus as the head of the mystical body, Our Loving Mother, Mary, as the neck of the mystical body and the faithful as the remaining members of the body.) (Cf.1Cor12:12)

 

 

Further Contemplation on Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace

                                                                                                                    

In contemplating Mary as Mediatrix of all graces, we can say:

 

Christ came to us through Mary and we come to Christ through graces that come to us through Mary.

 

A quote from an encyclical by Pope Leo XIII illustrates a basis for the Catholic Church's doctrine of Mary, Mediatrix of Christ's Redemptive graces:

 

"She who had been the cooperatrix in the sacrament of man's Redemption, would be likewise the cooperatrix in the dispensation of graces deriving from it."  (Pope Leo XIII, Adjutricem Populi,1895)

 

The Catechism of the Catholic Church speaks of Mary and mentions her intercessory role as Mother of the Redeemer: (our emphasis)

 

"This motherhood of Mary in the order of grace continues uninterruptedly from the consent which she loyally gave at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.  Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix." (CCC:969,LG62)

 

We can elucidate on the above words of the above quote from the Catechism by saying:

 

1. Incorporating her Christian destiny, Mary prefigured the first Christian Missionary to pagan Earth---being that she preceded the arrival of her Son on the earth by about fifteen years.

 

2. At the Annunciation of the Lord, Mary became the first Christian tabernacle*; the the first earthly home of the Eternal Word.  For this reason, the Church itself has always considered Mary as its archetype.

 

3.  Because she contained Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, Mary contained all the graces within the Church. She was the authentic prefiguring of the Mystical Body of Christ. She was also the first Eucharistic communicant; receiving into herself the actual Body and Blood of the Lord.

 

4.  A very important aspect of the Passion and death of Jesus Christ that has been often overlooked is the fact that the Mother of God, in her surrender to the will of the Father in her Son's passion, she truly stood by His cross and offered Him to the Father for the Redemption of man. In this, her unique cooperation and participation, we can say that Mary the Mother of God, offered, in concellebration, in personna Christi, Christ the Redeemer to the Father.  In other words, as Jesus Christ was the true Priest and Victim of the Sacrifice of Calvary---the first Sacrifice of the Mass---we can say that, in her complete cooperation and participation in the Passion and death of her Son according to the will of the Father, Mary concelebrated the first Sacrifice of the Mass with her Son, Jesus Christ. Mary was ordained, from all time---obviously by the will of the Father---to cooperate and participate thusly in the events of Calvary.

 

5. The Mother of the Redeemer is the archetype of the Church. She learned and retained perfectly all that her Son preached and taught**. It is easy to say that, because of the supernatural level of communication*** between the Mother of the Redeemer and her Son, she became a repository---the first magisterium---of the Christian faith. We can, with all support, make the following statement:

 

Mary survived the death of her Son, and with her complete knowledge of all that He had said and taught, became, through her Spouse, the Holy Spirit of God, a counselor to the infant Church.

 

Besides her knowledge of her Son, Jesus Christ, Mary was completely educated in Hebrew scriptures; apocraphal accounts (Apocrypha of James) places Mary as educated in the Temple of Jerusalem from age three. At any rate, St. Anne and St. Joachim, her parents, were very devout and had a great knowledge of Hebrew scripture.  One can ask: "With all of her incomparable graces, why did not Christ choose His mother to be the head of the Church?"  The answer is simple: Sacred Scripture reveals that Jesus chose common men to head His Church; specifically Peter. Jesus wanted His Church to survive through the action of the Holy Spirit upon common men---and so it has.

 

*(The priests of the Jewish temple kept the Torah in a tabernacle.)

 

**( "And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart." (Lk2:51RSV)

 

***(both Jesus and Mary lived the sinless life of the immaculately-conceived---the life in the Divine Will--- and were not encumbered by restrictive communication as we as mere creatures are. We quote as above, in what Mary said of herself: "Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name."  (Lk1:49, Douay v.; Lk1:49. KJ 1611v.)

 

 

Pathways of Grace through Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace

 

 

As He started His public life, Jesus honored His Mother at the wedding feast at Cana.  Despite His answer to her implied request, He complied and assisted the family of the wedding couple when they were faced with a humiliating social situation.....they had exhausted the supply of wine at their wedding reception:

 

"On the third day there was a wedding in Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.  When the wine ran short, the mother of Jesus said to him, 'They have no wine.'  [And] Jesus said to her, 'Woman, how does your concern affect me? My hour has not yet come.' His mother said to the servers, 'Do whatever he tells you.' Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings, each holding twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told them, 'Fill the jars with water.' So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, 'Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.' So they took it." (Jn2:1-8 NAB)

 

Notice in the above account that Mary said nothing when Jesus indicated (in the respectful vernacular of the day) that He was not necessarily interested in performing a multiplication miracle; especially when He indicated to her that He had not yet entered into His public life. 

 

Notice also that Jesus said nothing when Mary instructed the servants, but followed her lead and changed the water into wine in the above scriptural quotation when she instructed them to: "Do whatever He tells you."

 

In the Gospel story of the Marriage Feast at Cana, the God-man could not resist His Mother's request for His assistance directed towards the bride and groom hosts of the wedding reception.  This scriptural passage is patently revealing of Mary's intercessory power before her Son.

 

Considering the Gospel story of the wedding feast at Cana, can we chance not asking the Blessed Mother's help in our journey to the Father?  Concerning His mother and graces from Heaven, Jesus told Nancy Fowler: (For the messages from Our Lord and Our Loving Mother to Nancy Fowler, go to www.ourlovingmother.org )

 

"Look from where graces flow, where they start.  If there were no graces from Me, there would be no one on earth. My graces flow through My Mother.  Now I am giving you My graces.  Oh, what foolishness men speak.  Men think they are wise. They are foolish." (#73, complete message, August 26, 1990)

 

And:

 

"My Mother is one with Me.  Above all creatures she has been raised to the throne of God.  No creature surpasses My Mother.  So you see the priests, the religious, the laity, squeeze their own throats when they close themselves off from My Mother.  There are no coincidences.  From the very cross I gave the world My Mother, and from this very cross, I say, *refuse My Mother's help and refuse My help."  (#76, partial message, December 4, 1990)

 

*(Notice that Jesus says "refuse".  It is a strong term that is indicative of a person with an inflexible conscience.)

 

And:

 

"Come through My Mother on your journey back to Me.

"From this very cross I give the world My perfect love. I give the world, I give everyone in the world, My dear, Holy Mother. Please, if you accept My love, then how can you reject, ignore, not honor, not love My Mother. I come through My Mother and I want you, dear children, to come through My Mother on your journey back to Me.

"I choose the word 'Come' intentionally, not past tense. I still come through My Mother. Graces are poured forth through My Mother, the Graces come from Me." (#80, complete message, February 10, 1991)

Jesus was appearing to Nancy superimposed upon her wall crucifix.  Juxtaposing the Cross and the Holy Trinity, Jesus said to her:

 

"See the Holy Trinity of God in three points. See in the other point My Mother, part of the Holy Trinity of God. The Trinity of God is the Father, the Son and Holy Ghost.  As branches are part of the tree, My Mother and all of mankind 1 are part of the Trinity of God."  (#22, partial message, July 11, 1991)

 

Mary, the Mother of the Lord, is the Mother of all mankind.

Should not we honor her as Elizabeth did; as the 4th commandment honors all mothers?

(Cf.Lk1:42)

 

The Mother of God gave Nancy Fowler two messages on her position in the order of grace:

 

"It is the will of the Father that I be honored as He has declared. I am the Medaitrix of all graces.  The world does not want to proclaim this. It is a very important doctrine from God.  The children of the world do not understand the graces that flow through me.  They are pushing many graces away.  Obedience and humility are the virtues that are lacking in many of my children.   (#659, complete message, December 13, 1993)

 

And:

 

"I am the Mediatrix of all graces, the spouse of the Holy Spirit.  To God alone do I give homage." (#635, complete message, June 13, 1992)

 

In saying that Jesus is the Head of His Church, we can also say that, in her continuing spousal relationship with the Holy Spirit---Who is the Soul of Christ’s Church---Mary is the Mother of the Church.

 

Two prelates of the Church agree:

 

"The Virgin Mary . . . is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and of the Redeemer. . . . She is 'clearly the mother of the members of Christ', since she has by her charity joined in bringing about the birth of believers in the Church, who are members of its head.”1

 

"Mary Mother of the Church, that is, of the whole People of God, of the faithful and their Pastors". "

 

(1CCC: 963, LG: 53, cf. St. Augustine, De virg  6:PL 40, 399; 2Pope Paul VI,  Second Vatican Council at the end of the Council's third session, 21 November 1964)

 

 

 

 

 

Part Eight: Mary, Co-Redemptrix of the Human Race

 

 

Table of Contents

 

Biblical Introduction

 

The first corruptible mother (Gen3:13), Eve, was issued-forth by God the Father, (Gen2:21-22) from the first Adam ---the first corruptible man (Gen3:12). The first incorruptible mother*, the new Eve, Mary, (Gen3:15) gave issue by the Holy Spirit to the second Adam, the first incorruptible Man, the Divine Incorruptible One (Acts2:27,31), Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word (Lk1:35; Jn1:1-3).  Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant (Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary) of the Blood of Christ that He made with all men (Rev11:19,12:1; Jer31:31-33). From the side of Christ on the cross issued forth the Incorruptible Bride of Christ, Holy Mother Church (Cf.Eph1:4); commissioned by Christ to Peter (Mt16:18) and given birth in man by the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts2:4).

 

Mary was destined to be the first Eucharistic communicant (at the Incarnation), the first Christian, the first Apostle, and, after the death of her Son, the Mother of the Church. She is thus indisputably placed as Mother of the Redeemer in the 'Eternal Plan of God'.  Based on her Immaculate Conception, Mary's divine, mystical and immutable bond with Jesus Christ, her Son, insured that her silent suffering was complete in her perfect participation and cooperation with His sufferings.  Mary's first sacrifice of love, in complete faith, contained in her Fiat (Lk1:38), was the giving of her flesh and blood to become the flesh and blood of Christ in the Incarnation. Through her self-sacrificing love for God and man, she became the first **"alter-Christus" ("other-Christ")- in the offering of her Son, in concelebration with His Sacrifice of Himself, to the Father on Calvary. (Cf.Lk1:35,38; Jn19:26). 

 

*Note: In Ephesians 1:3-4 St. Paul speaks of Christ's intent for the faithful (the Church) to be "holy and blameless before Him." Who can say that Christ did not intend for His most holy mother to be the first, as such, before Him?

 

From the Early Fathers of the Church on "holy and blameless" Mary:

 

"...as the mother of prudence and purity; (yet) being a pure, and immaculate, and stainless image herself, she shrank not in terror from the angelic apparition, like most of the prophets, as indeed true virginity has a kind of affinity and equality with the angels..."

 

"...He Himself, who is Lord of all the heavenly powers and of all creation, has selected thee as the holy one and the wholly fair; and through thy holy, and chaste, and pure, and undefiled womb the enlightening Pearl comes forth for the salvation of all the world..."

 

"...And when this word," Hail, thou that art highly favoured," reached her, in the very moment of her hearing it, the Holy Spirit entered into the undefiled temple of the Virgin, and her mind and her members were sanctified together..."

 

"And the name given to the holy Virgin was one that became her exceedingly. For she was called Mary, and that, by interpretation, means illumination.

Thus the holy Virgin, while still in the flesh, maintained the incorruptible life, and received in faith the things which were announced by the archangel..."

 

(ST. GREGORY THAUMATURGOS, FOUR HOMILIES, THE SECOND HOMILY: ON THE ANNUNCIATION TO THE HOLY VIRGIN MARY, DISCOURSE SECOND,

Early Fathers of the Church, Harmony Media)

 

**Note: term applied to an ordained Roman Catholic Priest, along with his acting "in personna Christi" (in the person of Christ). The Church also teaches that, through Baptism, we share in the life of the Trinity and in the "common priesthood" of the Church. (CCC: 265, 1141, 1268, 1273.

 

 

The following maxim forms the basis from which is approached the recognition of 'Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ':

 

 

"Only Christ saves. Mary's salvific graces are only in Christ. All that is Mary is in Christ."

 

Correlative meditation:

 

The mystics* tell us, reasonably, that Mary gave birth to Jesus without pain  (Cf. Eve in Gen3:16) . However, we know that after relinquishing, with incomprehensible anguish, the sacrifice of her Son to the Father for the good of humanity, Mary was given the strength to grieve, while, concomitantly and with heroic virtue, she kept witness beneath the cross. Her only Son was taken from her in the most appalling act of graphic torture and violence. As the only Immaculate Mother, she suffered beyond human comprehension. Because of this once-only experience, she, who is the first fruits after Christ, (Cf.1Cor15:23) suffered also in the first place after Christ. Mary's superabundance of the graces of Christ, coupled with her superabundance of innocence, produced in her a superabundance of suffering, drawn from her perfect participation and cooperation in the Passion and Death of her Son, Jesus, the Christ. Thusly, Mary, being the Mother of Jesus Christ, Who is Salvation Himself, is Mother of Salvation in Christ. Mary is the one and only Mother of Salvation in Christ who gave birth to the Church, in pain, through the death of her Son on Calvary.

 

*(Venerable Mary of Agreda, Venerable Ann Catherine Emmerich, Luisa Piccaretta)

 

 

 

Historical Perspectives and Quotations

 

 

 

Vatican Response to Devout Catholics Declaring Mary, Co-Redemptrix

 

  

In the late 1990s, millions of Catholics world-wide petitioned the Vatican for a Fifth Marian Doctrine of Mary, "Co-Redemptrix". The following is the Vatican's response:

 

"I do not think there will be any compliance with this demand, which in the meantime is being supported by several million people, within the foreseeable future. The response of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith is, broadly, that what is signified by this is already better expressed in other titles of Mary, while the formula "co-redemptrix" departs to too great an extent from the language of Scripture and of the Fathers and therefore gives rise to misunderstandings." (Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith; TCRnews.com 10-05-2002)

 

Semantics , Papal and Biblical Considerations

 

 

One of the Chruch's difficulties with the term co-redemptrix is that it starts with the prefix "co", and this is what we know about it in the English language:

 

co- perfective, associative and collective prefix.

1: with: together: joint: shared: mutual.

2: in or to the same degree.

3: fellow: partner: having a usually lesser share.

(Webster's 3rd Unabridged Int. Dictionary, p.431)

 

Considering the above multiple meanings to this prefix, it is understandable that a doctrine of Mary, Co-Redemptrix would have to be lucid in transmitting a quantization of Mary's salvific contribution.  This may be why the Church has made the above statement regarding the non-issuance of a fifth Marian doctrine.

 

Notwithstanding this situation, veneration of Mary has always been encouraged in the Catholic Church, and Pope John Paul II has dedicated his pontificate to Mary under the personal consecration: "Totus Tuus" ("totally yours"). He was true to his personal devotion to the Mother of God.

 

A note on the word veneration:

 

Veneration is directed at a person who is venerable:

 

venerable:

1: deserving to be venerated: worthy of honor and respect usually by reason of prolonged testing (as of character or in office). (Ibid, p. 2540)

 

If there is any human being that has undergone "prolonged testing in office", it is Mary, the Mother of God.  

 

Pope Leo XIII gives a reason for the veneration of Mary in her salvific role:

 

"When Mary offered herself completely to God together with her Son in the temple, she was already sharing with Him the painful atonement on behalf of the human race. It is certain, therefore, that she suffered in the very depths of her soul with His most bitter sufferings and with His torments." (Pope Leo XIII, Adjutricem populi, 1895) (Cf. Lk2:34-35:Jn19:25-27)

 

From Pope John Paul II comes perhaps the most complete description of Mary's contribution to the Redemption:

 

"However applied to Mary, the term "cooperator" acquires a specific meaning.  The collaboration of Christians in the work of salvation takes place after the Calvary event, the fruits of which they endeavor to spread by prayer and sacrifice.  Mary, instead, cooperated during the event itself and in the role of mother; thus her cooperation was associated in this way with the redemptive sacrifice that merited the salvation of all mankind.  In union with the Christ and in submission to Him, she collaborated in obtaining the grace of salvation for all humanity.

 

"The Blessed Virgin's role as cooperator has its source in her divine motherhood.  By giving birth to the One Who was destined to achieve man's redemption, by nourishing Him, presenting Him in the temple and suffering with Him as He died on the Cross, 'in a wholly and singular way she co-operated....in the work of the Savior' (LG:61).  Although God's call to co-operate in the work of salvation concerns every human being, the participation of the Savior's Mother in humanity's Redemption is a unique and unrepeatable fact." (Pope John Paul II, General Audience, April 9, 1997 L'Osservatore Romano, English edition.)

 

More Church Positions and Considerations

 

In retrospect, the Roman Catholic Church has proclaimed two Marian Dogmas in modern times. Proclaimed on December 8, 1854 A.D., by Pope Pius IX, was the Marian Dogma of Mary, the Immaculate Conception. Proclaimed on November 1, 1950 A.D., by Pope Pius XII, was the Marian Dogma of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. Therefore, it is not outside the reach or function of the Church to proclaim Mary as Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race.

 

Proceeding with Our Thesis

 

Having the above in mind, the following is an attempt to present some additional positions that exist in the Church, comprised of existing thought that surround what is now a controversy among some of the faithful of the Catholic Church regarding Mary as Co-Redemptrix of the Human Race.

 

It is not that Mary does not retain the divine rights, privileges, and graces to bear a title that adequately describes her salvific contribution within the act of the Redemption---for she, after her Son, is the archetypical example of suffering innocence in the human race---it is that a doctrine quantifying the description of Mary's contribution to the redemption of man does not yet exist; so much so, that the term "co-redemptrix" is feared within the Church to imply an equalization of the absolute salvific contribution of Christ Himself.

 

In respect to her actual contribution to redemptive graces, Mary represents the quintessential archetype of what God can evolve in a creature of human origin.  As our sufferings are offered to Heaven in expiation for our sins, God also applies to the graces of salvation the merits and graces earned by the Mother of God during her heart-felt perfect cooperation and participation in the Life, Passion and Death of her Son. Although the sacrifice of Jesus was complete and total atonement for our sins, Mary’s position in the order of salvific graces designates her as being the principal human cooperator and participatory representative of the human race in the divine fiat of the Redemption. (Cf. Col.1:24)

 

In aspiring to declare Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ, thus placing a new Marian title into the Magisterium of the Church, we see that Pope John Paul II cautioned the Church at a 2001 Wednesday Papal audience:

 

"We cannot systematically assign the prerogatives of Christ to Mary."

 

It is not that a doctrine of Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ, would be so contrary to Christ---as the divine holiness of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, cannot be threatened by the holiness Mary received from Him---it is much more the incapability of men’s minds to articulate it and accept a proposed new Marian Dogma of these theological proportions.  In the final consideration, it must be the Holy Spirit of the Trinity that reveals and confirms this prospective doctrine.

 

 

 

The Unique Pain: The Spear to the Heart of Mary

 

"And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed." (Luke2:35 DRV)

With the words of Simeon in the scriptural quotation, above, we realize that Mary, at least in the Bible, felt the first pain of the Passion and Death of her Son at the time of His Presentation in the temple. When the spear of the Roman Centurion pierced the side and heart of Our Savior, only Mary felt the last pain of the Passion of her Son. Only Mary, Our Loving Mother, experienced the physical pain of the spear thrust. As she kept vigil at the body of her Son, hanging lifeless on the cross, Mary undoubtedly became transfixed in horror as the Centurion, taking a combative stance, drove his lance into the side of her precious Child. Who would dare say, that, as the most intimate mother, Mary would not have felt the spear thrust in her own body? Who, also, would not declare that Mary, in experiencing this pain, did not offer to God the Father this final pain sacrificed for the Redemption of man?

 

St. Bernard, who wrote the monastic rule most adopted by the Church (“Labor et Ora”---“Work and Prayer”), also wrote the following about the suffering innocence of the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

 

“Truly, O blessed Mother, a sword has pierced your heart.  For only by passing through your heart could the sword enter the flesh of your Son.  Indeed, after your Jesus---who belongs to everyone, but is especially yours ---gave up his life! The cruel spear, which was not withheld from his lifeless body, tore open his side.  Clearly it did not touch his soul and could not harm him, but it did pierce your heart.  For surely his soul was no longer there; but yours could not be torn away. Thus the violence of sorrow has cut through your heart and we rightly call you more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.” (St. Bernard, Abbot, Sermo in dom. Infra. Oct. Assumptionis,  14-15:  Opera omnia, Editl Cisterc. 5 [1968], 273-274)

 

Subjective meditation:

 

In her divine motherhood and suffering innocence, Mary suffered poverty, estrangement, profound disappointment, tragedy, and witnessed graphic violence perpetrated upon her Son. She alone bore the physical pain of the spear thrust to the side of Christ, as Jesus' soul had already left His body, now in dormition*. Her tears certainly joined the serum (water) that flowed from His side. By accepting these profound sufferings in her heart, Mary was the first and always most perfect example of acquiring the redemptive merit spoken of in Colossians 1:24:* ("For Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt Thou suffer Thine holy one to see corruption." - Ps16:10 KJV)
 

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church." (Col.1:24 KJV)

 

"Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ in my flesh, for his body, which is the church."  (Col. 1:24 Douay-RheimsV)

 

 

Mary's Realization of Her Role in the Redemption of Man

 

It is now reasonable to postulate that it was the sublime revelation of Christ through her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, that revealed to Mary the will of the Father in the sacrificing of her Son as the Divine Sacrifice to the Divine Justice.  The Divine Magnanimity of the Family of the Trinity in One God, in the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father, is encapsulated in the fact that God, Himself, through the inseparable Humanity of Christ, suffered and died on the cross with Mary's complete cooperation and participation. Only in this way---with Mary's full participation and cooperation (in full league with her fiat (Cf. Lk1:38)---was the completed the divine act of the Redemption. 

 

Pope John Paul II says of Mary's role in the Redemption:

 

"She is thus aware that concentrated within herself as the mother of Christ is the whole salvific economy, in which 'from age to age' is manifested in He, Who, as the God of the Covenant, 'remembers His mercy'". (Redemptoris Mater, No. 36, March 25, 1987; Cf. The Magnificat, Lk1:46-55)

 

Knowing about Mary’s sufferings in the Passion of her Son is enough for most of the faithful to proclaim her Mother of Salvation in Christ. Through the sufferings of the cross with her Son, Our Loving Mother earned the manifest veneration that is given her throughout the ages.  Therefore, the faithful can be assured that Mary knows all about suffering; we should not hesitate to bring our crosses to Mary for consultation on how to carry them. She will tell us to join her in walking behind her Son. From a message to Nancy Fowler from Our Loving Mother:

 

"Pray, children, pray. With our hearts joined, let us walk behind my Son. The time has come now for you ..........to walk in faith." (#718 May 13, 1994 partial)

 

Mary continues to exercise her divine rights, privileges and graces in behalf of  us as Our Loving Mother, Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race. As the Second Vatican Council says:

 

“In her whole life this virgin mother showed herself as an example of that motherly love that must animate all who share in the apostolic mission of the Church for the  regeneration of mankind.”  (Lumen Gentium, nn. 63-65) See Light of the Nations, on this Website.

 

The Redemption of man and Mary's part in it is reflected in Jesus' words:

 

"My Father is working still, and I am working."   (Jn5:19)

                                                                                

St. Paul reveals the reality of the possibility of human cooperation and thus Mary's cooperation with God in carrying on the work of the Redemption through the Holy Spirit:

 

"For we are all God's fellow workers."  (1Cor:3:9)

                                                                   

 St. Bernard said of Mary's cooperation in Christ's Passion and Death as she experienced them in her heart:

           

“We rightly call you (Mary) more than martyr, since the effect of compassion in you has gone beyond the endurance of physical suffering.”

 

One of the greatest descriptions of Mary as Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race:

 

"He died in body through a love greater than anyone had known. She died in spirit through a love unlike any other since His."  (St. Bernard; Sermo in dom. infra. oct. Assumptionis, 14-15.)

 

The Unbloody Continuation of Christ's Passion in the Mass

 

We know and accept that Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross is mystically commemorated in every Sacrifice of the Mass. In the Mass, the Paschal Sacrifice is mystically continued, in an unbloody manner, by the High Priest Himself, Jesus Christ, through an ordained Catholic priest, acting 'in personna Christi'.

 

Mary’s graces earned at Calvary are also present at the Mass.  Because the Sacrifice of the Mass is a mystical continuation of the singular event of Calvary, the sufferings of Mary’s Immaculate Heart at Calvary are also mystically continued. We are able to discern this because, if the graces of Mary’s suffering innocence and perfect participation and cooperation were included in the graces of Calvary, certainly they are mystically included in the Mass; as Christ, the One High Priest would certainly include them.

 

Conclusion

 

In descending Christology (Introduction), Jesus Christ is always and forever the Eternal Word, Whose superabundant merits could never be equaled or affected in any way by whatever salvific contributions are attributed to Mary. Mary's salvific contributions leading to her recognition as Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race flow from her attributes as Mother of God, as she is Mother and Queen of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word. Flowing from these obvious graces is Mary, Mother and Queen of the Redemption of Man as achieved by her Son on Calvary. Being the Mother and Queen of the Redemption implicitly places Mary in The Plan of God as Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race.

 

Concluding our thesis of Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race, we can say that the above postulations subscribe perfectly to our all-inclusive statement about Mary:

 

 

"All that is Mary is in Christ."

 

 

Jesus said to Nancy Fowler:

 

"My mother walked the passion perfectly with Me, in her heart."  (#72, complete message, September 25, 1989)

 

And:   

 

"When you honor My Mother, you honor Me.  Remember those words."  (#658, complete message, December 8, 1993)

 

(For the complete messages of Our Lord and Our Loving Mother to Nancy Fowler, go to Nancy's official web site: www.ourlovingmother.org)

 

 

 

Post Thesis:

 

 

In 'other words', we present segments of the above thesis on Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ:

 

 Ultimately, it is Mary's position as Mother of the Redeemer in the divine plan of the Redemption that contains Mary's divine rights, privileges, and graces which graced her to bring forth her everlasting fiat.(Cf.Lk1:38) By means of it, she was incorporated into a divine victimhood second only to Christ's. His sufferings throughout His life were mirrored in His Mother's Immaculate Heart.  As the sun illuminates the moon, so is the light of Christ reflected in Mary.  Because of her Immaculate Conception there was no impedance to the completeness of Christ’s graces---and sufferings---within her.

 

As the sufferings of Jesus emanated from Him, they found their home in Mary’s Sorrowful Immaculate Heart. Her complete empathy, perfect cooperation and participation in her Son’s Passion and Death allowed the Holy Spirit to communicate Christ’s sufferings to her heart in a perfect but most sorrowful way. When she was given to the human race by her Son from the cross, the merits of both His sufferings and her sufferings were passed down to us, her children. (Cf.Jn19:27) As the Mother of God, Mary is One Heart with Jesus; and this manifestly entitles her being called: "Mary, Mother of Salvation in Christ of the Human Race".

 

Mary did her work on earth by imitating the virtues of her Son.  She was the first tabernacle, the first Christian, the first Eucharistic communicant and the first Apostle.  As the first person to adore Christ on earth, Mary was the first Church.  Because there was no sin in her to impede the capitulation of her will, she shared, by perfect cooperation and participation in the physical and spiritual sufferings of her Son.  Therefore, not only by design from God, but also by her meritorious suffering innocence by her 'walking of the passion of her Son perfectly in her heart'---does Mary contribute to the graces of the Redemption of man.

 

Mary's contribution to the Redemption of man is archetypically exemplified by her greatest act of love, performed by her when she offered, within the suffering innocence of her Immaculate Heart, her only Child as Priest and Victim to the Father for the Redemption of mankind. Not only did she faithfully ascent to this in her “fiat” (Lk1:38) but she stood by His cross and measured-out His Sacrifice; breath by breath.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part Nine: Mary, Seat of Wisdom

 

"Ignorance of Sacred Scripture is ignorance of Christ."

 

(St. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah (Nn. 1.2: CCL 73, 1-3)

 

Table of Contents

 

Mary and the Holy Spirit

 

 

In Christ, His humanity is divine. In Mary, her humanity is human. In the humanity of Mary, Wisdom, revealed as the Holy Spirit of God, the Lord and Giver of Life in the order of Grace, rests as He does not rest in any other human creature. With this divine intimacy, Mary, upon her conception---becoming the Seat of Wisdom and in the order of Grace the Mediatrix of all grace and the spouse of the Holy Spirit, gave to the world the Son of God, Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity. At the Incarnation, Christ, Wisdom Incarnate, with the Holy Spirit, sat first upon His throne in Mary. Because the graces of the supreme Act of the Incarnation exist in perpetuity in Heaven, Mary, today and forever, possesses her particular graces in this Act as surely as she possessed them 2000 years ago. Therefore, Mary's unique holiness---graces coming from her complete cooperation in the Incarnation---derives itself from participation in the Life of God, from which all holiness is derived.

 

 

The Holy Spirit as Wisdom

 

 

Firstly, Wisdom, as the Holy Spirit of God, must be established for us in Sacred Scripture: (our underline and italics)

"Love justice, you that are the judges of the earth. Think of the Lord in goodness, and seek him in simplicity of heart: For he is found by them that tempt him not: and he sheweth himself to them that have faith in him. For perverse thoughts separate from God: and his power, when it is tried, reproveth the unwise:

For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins.

For the Holy Spirit of discipline will flee from the deceitful, and will withdraw himself from thoughts that are without understanding, and he shall not abide when iniquity cometh in.

For the spirit of wisdom is benevolent, and will not acquit the evil speaker from his lips: for God is witness of his reins, and he is a true searcher of his heart, and a hearer of his tongue.

For the Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world: and that which containeth all things, hath knowledge of the voice." (Wisdom, Chapter 1:1-7 DRV)

The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit are:

1. Wisdom; 2.Understanding; 3. Counsel; 4. Knowledge; 5. Fortitude; 6. Piety; 7. Fear of the Lord.

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit appear in Proverbs, Chapter 8, along with additional quotations establishing Wisdom as the Holy Spirit of God: (our underline and italics)

"Doth not wisdom cry? And understanding put forth her voice?  She standeth in the top of high places, by the way in the places of the paths. She crieth at the gates, at the entry of the city, at the coming in at the doors. Unto you, O men, I call; and my voice is to the sons of man. O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. Hear; for I will speak of excellent things; and the opening of my lips shall be right things.

 

For my mouth shall speak truth; and wickedness is an abomination to my lips. All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing forward or perverse in them. They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge. Receive my instruction, and not silver; and knowledge rather than choice gold. For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it. 

 

I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength. [Fortitude] By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me ; [Piety] and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

 

The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep: When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men.

 

Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whosoever findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord. But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. (Prov8:1-36 KJV)

 

 

 

Holy Spirit as Person

 

 

The Holy Spirit of the Trinity is a Real Person---in the Trinity---as is the Father and the Son. St. Thomas Aquinas continues for us:

 

"...and Father and Son love both Themselves and us in the Holy Spirit, the Love coming forth in Them.  The Father loves not only the Son but Himself and us in the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit comes forth as a love of the primal goodness with which God loves Himself and all His creatures."  (Summa Theologiae, St. Thomas Aquinas, A Concise Translation, p.75, Timothy McDermott, Christian Classics, Box 30, Westminster, Maryland 21157)

 

The Nicene Creed says of the Holy Spirit:

 

"We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. (Jn14:26; 16:7)  With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. (Jn14:16-17)  He has spoken through the Prophets."

 

Mary's spousal relationship with the Holy Spirit flows from only one Source, and that is from the Fiat of the Father in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word as Jesus Christ.  Mary is spouse of the Holy Spirit because she is Mother of the Redeemer, Who, as Christ, is God Himself. In the Plan of God, Mary must be called the Mother of God, because Who she gave birth to was the God-man, whose conception was accomplished by the Holy Spirit of the Most Holy Trinity. 

 

The Archangel Gabriel explained to Mary:

 

"The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."  (Lk1:35 RSV)

 

 

Trinitarian Relationships

 

 

The relationship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit to Each Other in the Most Holy Trinity is a mystery.  Pope John Paul II explains it best in his 1986 Encyclical on the Holy Spirit of the Most Holy Trinity, Dominum et Vivificantem, The Lord and Giver of Life:

 

"In His Last Supper discourse, Jesus reveals the bonds which unite the Father, the Son and the Paraclete to one another. thus "the Holy Spirit...proceeds from the Father"(JnI5;26) and the Father "gives" the Spirit.(JnI4:16). The Father "sends" the Spirit in the Name of the Son, (JnI4:26) the Spirit "bears witness" to the Son.(JnI5:26) The Son asks the Father to send the Spirit-Counselor.(Jn14:16) but likewise affirms and promises, in relation to His own "departure" through the Cross: "If I go. I will send Him to you."(Jn16:7)  (Pope John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem, The Lord and Giver of Life, II. FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT, 18 May,1986, the Feast of the Solemnity of Pentecost)

 

 

 

Mary's Anchor is Divine Motherhood

 

 

Mary is the Seat of Wisdom in man, Wisdom is the Holy Spirit of God. Because of God's Fiat of her divine motherhood in Christ, Mary was the receptacle in which the Divine Will of the Father accomplished the Incarnation of His Divine Image---therefore, His Son---in Mary. The Holy Spirit, Who proceeds eternally from the Father and the Eternal Word, accomplished the Incarnation---the conception of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, in the womb of Mary. Thusly, in no other human being has God seated Himself as He has seated Himself in Mary. Christ is God, and Mary, in the Incarnation, is His Throne. This is why Mary is the seat of Wisdom---God---in man. All this is eternally in the Plan of God.  Finally, in essence, God does not need a mother----but God needs a mother if God's Plan says He needs a mother.

 

The mystery of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, Seat of God in man, is encapsulated by our proven statement about Mary:

 

"All that is Mary is in Christ"...qualifies the position of Mary as seat of Wisdom in the Plan of God.

 

The following scriptural quotation reveals perfectly The Plan of God placing Mary directly after Christ as the first of human receptacles of the divine graces of the Incarnation:

 

"....in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ."  (1Cor15:22,23)

 

Who belongs more to Christ than Mary? Who more than Mary is first in grace, after Christ?

 

The Gospel of St. Luke says it perfectly, identifying Mary as the Mother of God:

 

"Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!  And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"  (Lk1:41,42,43 RSV)

 

Mary proclaims her majesty and her place in the flow of God's graces in the following message to Nancy Fowler.  Our Loving Mother told her:

 

"I am the Mediatrix of all graces, the spouse of the Holy Spirit. To God alone do I give homage." (#635, complete message, June 13, 1992)

 

 

 

 

Part Ten: Honoring Mary

 

"Honor your father and your mother."

 

(Exodus 20:12)

 

 Table of Contents

 

 

Being that Jesus is divine, Mary is the embodiment of everything that is God in a creature; a human being. She is this because of the immeasurable graces she retains as Mother of the Incarnate Godhead. Because He is God, no graces could be spared in creating the vessel in which He, Himself, became visible to man in Jesus Christ.  This is one reason why we say:

 

"All that is Mary is in Christ"

 

As all in Jesus Christ are brothers, St. John, who was at the cross with Mary, is our brother . Therefore, given to John by Jesus, Mary is our Loving Mother in the Lord.

 

Elizabeth said to Mary at the Visitation:

 

"And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she cried out with a loud voice, and said: Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk1:41-43 DRV), or, "Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk1:41-43 KJV)

 

If Sacred Scripture honors Mary thusly, then Heaven honors Mary thusly. If we fail to do so, we truly dishonor the Son as St. Aelred has written (Part IV) . For the Son has honored His mother; through her, He is God made visible to us. (Cf. 1Jn1:1)

 

Thus, as Mary "magnified" the Lord in her Magnificat, she relates to us the honor that God, Himself has given to her:

 

"And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord.  And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." (Lk1:46-48 KJV)

 

 

In honoring Mary we reflect the honor that Heaven has already given her.  The Archangel Gabriel honored Mary by addressing her: "Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" (Lk1:28 DRV), or, "Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women" (Lk1:28 KJV).

 

And we have honored Mary as Elizabeth did, as we have repeated countless times---the Angelic Salutation of the Archangel Gabriel (Lk1:28,32). We ask Mary to pray for us now, and at the hour of our death:

 

Hail Mary, full of grace,

The Lord is with thee,

Blessed art thou amongst women, and

Blessed is the Fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

 

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

Pray for us sinners, now, and

At the hour of our death, Amen.

 

 

 

Part Eleven: Mary, Queen of the Divine Will

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

 

There is a two-part thesis supporting the following discussion: There is only one Immaculate Conception and she is Mary. There is only one Incarnation and He is Jesus Christ the Eternal Word of the Holy Trinity.

 

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, Mother of God and the Queen of Creation

 

After establishing that Mary was born without the Original Sin , the Church has given her the title of the Immaculate Conception (Part Three). After the fall of Adam and Eve, Mary has been and will be, the only human creature born without the Original Sin. Theologically speaking, this places Mary at the top of the human spectrum as all other human creatures have been and will be, born with the Original Sin. Since God created all of creation to be at the service of man (Gen1:28), Mary, with her Immaculate Conception, is the creature "in proper order" and in whom "God is All in All"  (Cf.1Cor15: 20-28), and is thus the dominant human creature in all of creation.

 

Jesus, in His Gospels, represents Heaven as a kingdom. The Bible has many references to kingdoms. The Jewish custom for royalty was that upon the king's death, the son became king. The mother of the new king was then seated at his right hand*, for the queen mother alone bears royal blood, as with Solomon and his mother, Bathsheba:

 

"Bathsheba therefore went unto king Solomon, to speak unto him for Adonijah. And the king rose up to meet her, and bowed himself unto her, and sat down on his throne, and caused a seat to be set for the king's mother; and she sat on his right hand."  (1Kings2:19 KJV)

 

*(This unique position of the mother of the king is reflected in the following scriptural quotations: 1Kings2:19, 2Kings10:13, Jeremiah13:18, Jeremiah29:2, Psalm45:9/10)

 

Drawing from the above two paragraphs, it altogether fitting and proper that Mary retains, as one of her titles: Queen of Creation. (Cf. Gen.1:26-27) And, as Queen of Creation, Mary is the Queen of Heaven and Earth; as she is the Mother of God and Mother and Queen of the Incarnation. Because the Incarnation is God's greatest act, Mary's participation It via her fiat (Lk1:38), she is placed systematically as Queen of Heaven and Earth.

 

Mary, Queen of the Divine Will

 

After establishing Mary, the Immaculate Conception, as Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer (Part Four) , we confirm again that the Incarnation is the greatest act that God can do: God coming as His own Son to save mankind. This is correct and accurate, as, in Trinitarian theology, it is not possible to separate the Three Personalities of the Trinity; Father, Eternal Word Son and Image and Holy Spirit as to equality and unity. Indeed, we can say:

 

The Three Persons of the Most Holy Trinity are of Undivided Unity and Perfect Co-equality.

 

Therefore, all creation proceeded from nothing into its present form by a sheer act of the Divine Will. The Diving Will is a Person: Our Beloved and Almighty Father and we can accurately say that the Incarnation, the begetting of Christ, also proceeded from Him---being that there is no other source from which it could have proceeded---as the Father is the Curator of the Divine Will.

 

We place Mary in the Divine Act of the Incarnation as the human source from whom the Holy Spirit drew the Humanity of Christ (immediately-divine-at-conception). Mary thus became the Spouse of the Holy Spirit of the Most Holy Trinity, for in Mary was instantaneously-formed the human nature of Christ; begotten-not-created by the Father, Who was assumed by the Power of the Holy Spirit into the Eternal Word of the Most Holy Trinity (Part Two).

 

This divine prodigy, the Incarnation, places Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word as co-equal and indivisible with the First Person of the Most Holy Trinity: God the Father, the Generator (He Who begets)*: the Divine Will Source Itself.

 

*("It is the Father who generates, the Son who is begotten, and the Holy Spirit who proceeds." (CCC: 254) 

 

The Precursor of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, the Image of the Father, Who is begotten of the Father, and, being within the divinity of the Trinity, is co-equal with the Father (John 10:30). The Eternal Word, the Image of the Father is also the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who, as assumed by the Eternal Word (Lk1:35) is also begotten of the Father; and is co-equal with the Father---being, as we say: consubstantial with the Father.

 

With Mary now established as Queen of Creation, is, of course, firstly the Immaculate Mother of God, but, as such, is the Mother and Queen of the Incarnation, the Queen Mother of Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, Who is consubstantial with God the Father, the Divine Will Source Itself. And Jesus Christ is, as we have said (in other words): co-equal, indivisible and consubstantial with the First Person of Trinity: God the Father, the Generator, the Source of the Divine Will (Cf.CCC:254). Thusly, we may now make a statement about Mary as Queen of the Divine Will:

 

Mary is "kecharitwmehne"; "the highly-favored one", who is full of grace" (Lk1:28). As such, she is perfused with, and refulgent in, the Divine Will Itself. By virtue of this, she possesses suppliant omnipotence, and is Its little Queen.

 

In a Christological sense, by virtue of being created the Immaculate Conception and being proclaimed the Mother of God (Lk1:35,43), she is Queen of Creation, she is Mother and Queen of the Incarnation (Lk1:35) and Mother and Queen of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ the Eternal Word (Lk1:31); the Divine Will in the Person of the Son of Man and the Son of God. Therefore, she, Mary, is Queen of the Divine Will as she is the Queen Mother of the Son of God.

 

Now we may make a statement about how we, in our destiny, as children of God, relate to the Divine Will :

 

Because of the gift of her singular graces, Mary is "a singular vessel of devotion" (Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary), and we will never measure up to her; but, in our own celestial destiny, we, when made perfect to enter into Heaven, will also be perfused with the Divine Will of the Father.

 

Between Mary's first proclaimed title, the Immaculate Conception, and her last celestial title, the Queen of the Divine Will, are positioned some of her many titles: Queen and Mother of the Incarnation, Mother of God, Seat of Wisdom, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, Queen of Creation, and Our Loving Mother.

 

We must clarify that Mary's title of Queen of the Divine Will is not magisterial at this writing, that is, not taught as yet by the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church. The Magisterial facet of the Church teaches that Mary's title: Mother of God, is her highest title. (CCC: 466, 495, 509)  Mary, Queen of the Divine Will* is a celestial title that certainly exists in Heaven, as Mary is, as we have shown above, the Queen Mother of Jesus Christ, the Divine Will in Person---by nature of His Trinitarian consubstantiality. Therefore, it is fitting and proper that, devotionally speaking, we honor Mary with her highest celestial title: Queen of the Divine Will.

 

*(Source: The Writings of Luisa Piccaretta, the Little Daughter of the Divine Will. Luisa is currently undergoing the cause for beatification. When beatification is awarded to her, Luisa's writings will concomitantly be awarded the status of authenticity in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church.)

 

 

 

CONCLUSION

 

 

How best to conclude but to ponder the following:

 

 

 

Praise to Mary, Heaven's Gate,

Guiding Star of Christians' way,

Mother of our Lord and King,

Light and hope to souls astray.

 

When you heard the call of God

Choosing to fulfill his plan,

By your perfect act of love

Hope was born in fallen man.

 

Help us to amend our ways,

Halt the devil's strong attack,

Walk with us the narrow path,

Beg for us the grace we lack.

 

Mary, show your motherhood,

Bring your children's prayers to Christ,

Christ, your Son, Who ransomed man,

Who, for us, was sacrificed.

 

Virgin chosen, singly blest,

Ever faithful to God’s call,

Guide us in this earthly life,

Guard us lest, deceived, we fall.

 

Mary, help us live our faith

So that we may see your Son;

Join our humble prayers to yours,

Till life's ceaseless war is won.

 

Praise the Father, praise the Son,

Praise the Holy Paraclete;

Offer all through Mary's hands

Let her make our prayers complete.

 

From the 9th century hymn, Ave Maris Stella

 

 

 

 

 

Mary Immaculate, star of the morning,

Chosen before the creation began,

Chosen to bring, for thy bridal adorning,

Woe to the serpent and rescue to man.

 

Here in an orbit of shadow and sadness,

Veiling thy splendor, thy course thou hast run;

Now thou art enthroned in all glory and gladness,

Crowned by the hand of thy Savior and Son.

 

We sinners in awe of thy sinless perfection,

Fallen and weak, for thy pity we plead;

Grant us the shield of thy maternal protection,

Measure thine aid by the depth of our need.

 

Look down from thy throne at the voice of our crying,

Look down to this earth which thy footsteps have trod;

Extend thine arms to us, living and dying,

Mary Immaculate, Mother of God.

 

 

Text: F.W. Weatherell, 1679

 

 

 

 

“And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament:

and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun,

and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars” 

 

(Rev11:19; 12:1 KJV)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Α Ω

 

 

Compiled by Peter C. Holiday  2001 - 2009

 

 

Footnote

 

1This dissertation contains many statements of a theological or biblical nature. The author does not intend any such statements to be new revelation to amend or replace any teachings which suggest those of the Roman Catholic Church. The official sources of Catholic Church teaching and doctrine for the Catholic faithful in faith and morals is the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC); and for Sacred Scripture, the New American Bible (NAB). The Revised Standard Version (RSV-Catholic Edition) and the Douay Rheims Version (DRV) of Sacred Scripture, among others, are also authorized for use by American Roman Catholics.  Other versions of Sacred Scripture are used in this dissertation to enlighten the reader as to how they treat a certain subject.  Most of the scriptural quotations in this dissertation are taken from a digital copy of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible in the public domain.

 

 

Imprimatur

 

 The decree of the Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith A.A.S.58,1186 (approved by Pope Paul VI on October 14, 1966) states that the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur are no longer required on Catholic publications that deal with private revelations or inspirations, provided they contain nothing contrary to faith and morals.  The final authority regarding this dissertation, in the possibility of a future Episcopal commission investigation, for whatever purpose, rests with the local sitting Archbishop and ultimately the Holy See of Rome, to whose judgment we willingly submit.

 

 

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