I was talking with a wonderful guest we had here for a retreat last week. We talked about many things and one of the subjects she brought up was the Blessed Mother. She told me that she loved the Blessed Mother, but did not understand the relationship that Catholics and other Christians from the older Churches had with her.
Praying with Mary
My soul magnifies the Lord
And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
Because He has regarded the lowliness of His handmaid.
As we talked, I brought up the differences in how Catholics and many non-Catholics look upon the Body-Of-Christ. I believe that Catholics have an understanding of the Mystical-Body that is deeper and broader, in the sense of our understanding about the continuing role those with the Lord play in the church, as well as in individual lives. Those who die, and love God, do not go anywhere since they are already part of the Body-Of-Christ. You could say that they go higher up and deeper in, that C.S. Lewis liked to state in his Narnia books.
Those deeper in and higher up, have also put on the “Mind-Of-Christ” fully. They no longer struggle to love God and others and to do the will of God, which is to Love God, Love Others, and Love self. They are free, and in union with the Infinite. So they to, will seek to do what Christ Jesus is doing, to tend to the needs of their brothers and sisters, to bring them to the fullness of life in Christ Jesus.
So to ‘pray’ to a saint, is not worship, since only God can be worshipped, Just as we on earth, tend to the needs of the church, so do those who have passed on. They love more deeply, and in that they still share in the suffering of Christ. Yet suffering that differs for the most part in how we experience suffering on earth. They suffer because they love, as Christ Jesus loves. The closer they are to Christ, the deeper that suffering, yet it does not take away joy, nor does it cause bitterness. They love with the love of Christ Jesus, because, again, they have put on the Mind-Of-Christ. They pray with us, and for us, being part of that cloud of witnesses as stated in the book of Hebrews.
On the Cross, Jesus looked Mary and told her to take John as her child saying “Behold your son”. Then Jesus looked and John and said: “Behold your mother”. Because these are among Jesus’s last words, the church takes them seriously and continues to reflect on this mystery, something that we can dive deeper into for an eternity and never reach the bottom.
Because of her deep love of God, and her deep humility, and understanding more than any other creature of her ‘nothingness’, she is deeper in and higher up, more than anyone else. Her self-knowledge is so profound that she sees herself as less than others, because of the graces given to her.
Her greatness, being above all saints, comes from her deep humility, her understanding of the truth of God’s mercy, compassion, and love, shown to her without any merit on her part.
She by the grace of God is gifted to mankind as ‘Mother’. She prays with us and for us. All are her children. We are called, like her, to be pregnant with God, to bring Christ Jesus into the world, by allowing Christ to incarnate through our humanity, bringing us deeper into the mystery of sacrificial love.
Those who are devoted to Mary will never apostatize, since they know that she is the ‘Mother-Of-God’, she brings us to her son.
I love the Rosary, for me it is not a boring prayer, nor a mere repetition of words, but a way to become still before God, allowing the life of Christ Jesus to grow in me, and to flow through me. It can be said slowly, or fast, just as long as it is the right way to pray for the one saying the Rosary. It leads to deep meditation on the Gospels, as well, as calming the mind, relaxing the body, allowing the one praying, to enter deeply into the embrace of God.
Did I convince the beautiful, loving, soul, who asked me about Catholics, and Mary? Well, she told me that she understood a little better, but no, I did not convince her really. Which is OK, she listened and respected what I had to say. We are both brothers and sisters in Christ after all.
So let us not fear to draw close to the Blessed Mother, her only desire is to bring us to her Son.—Br.MD
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