[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.Many sins stem from fear: thieves fear poverty, the violent fear weakness, liars fears truth, cowards fear suffering, adulterers fear loneliness.But Mary’s “perfect love casts out fear” (1 Jn 4:18).Mary is so in love with Christ and with us that she forgets herself, and her fears, and so is liberated from fear into joy.There is no reason to keep her secret secret!Her faith.Faith also casts out fear, and Mary’s faith is perfect because it is simple: her “faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard” [from God], “because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment” (CCC 144).“The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith.By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that ‘with God nothing will be impossible.’ [Lk 1:37-38; cf.Gen 18:14].It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed [cf.Lk 1:48]” (CCC 148).“ ‘Nothing is more apt to confirm our faith and hope than holding it fixed in our minds that nothing is impossible with God.Once our reason has grasped the idea of God’s almighty power, it will easily and without any hesitation admit everything that [the Creed] will afterwards propose for us to believe—even if they be great and marvellous things, far above the ordinary laws of nature’ 11 ” (CCC 274).Her simplicity.It is hard to be as saintly as Mary only because it is hard to be as simple as Mary, simply to say (and five) Yes to God and nothing more no qualifications, no “ifs, ands, or buts”.The secret of all the saints is in Mary’s single word: her Fiat, her Yes, her Amen.The word islam, which means “submission”, or “the peace that comes from submission to God”, expresses that simplicity (In the religion of Islam, by the way, Mary is also held in very high esteem as its exemplar and embodiment.)There is nothing more to be said about Mary as the perfect moral example.She is the perfect example precisely because there is nothing more to be said.10.Devotion to Mary“ ‘The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship’ 12 ” (CCC 971).It is “home-grown”, not an alien addition, an imitation of paganism.It is authentically Christian and incarnational.“The Church rightly honors ‘the Blessed Virgin with special devotion From the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of “Mother of God,” to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs.This very special devotion.differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit’ [LG 66]” (CCC 971).We revere all saints with dulia (human reverence and devotion) and Mary with hyperdulia (the greatest human reverence and devotion), but worship and adoration (latria) are given to God alone.There is only a difference in degree between Mary and us but a difference in kind between Mary and Christ Therefore there is also a difference in degree between the reverence paid to Mary (hyperdulia, supreme human respect) and the reverence paid to other saints (dulia), but there is a difference in kind between our reverence given to Mary and our worship (latria) of Christ.The same is true of their work: her intercession, the saints’ intercession, and the intercession of our friends who pray for us on earth are different only in degree; but there is a difference in kind between Christ’s unique intercession and any human’s.Ours—and Mary’s—is totally dependent on him.Devotion to Mary fosters and purifies our adoration of God rather than polluting it.Devotion to idols does not foster adoration of God, but devotion to his saints does.For a saint is like a stained-glass window that makes us more aware and appreciative of the divine light.And the holier the saint, the better the window, the more our devotion to that saint fosters our adoration of God.Thus devotion to Mary “ ‘greatly fosters this adoration’ [LG 66]” (CCC 971).11.The prayers of Marya.Mary’s most essential prayer is her simple response to the angel.“She whom the Almighty made ‘full of grace’ responds by offering her whole being: ‘Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word.’ ‘Fiat’: this is Christian prayer: to be wholly God’s” (CCC 2617).b.“The Gospel reveals to us how Mary prays and intercedes in faith.At Cana [cf.Jn 2:1-12], the mother of Jesus asks her son for the needs of a wedding feast; this is the sign of another feast—that of the wedding of the Lamb where he gives his body and blood at the request of the Church, his Bride” (CCC 2618).c.“[T]he Canticle of Mary [cf.Lk 1:46-55], the Magnificat.is the song both of the Mother of God and of the Church” (CCC 2619).It is truly “magnificent” because it “magnifies” the Lord, who has magnified his lowly saints, who magnify not themselves but him.12.The prayer to Mary: The Ave Maria (Hail Mary)The Church has addressed Mary trillions of times with the most repeated prayer in human history, the Hail Mary and its “string of roses” in the Rosary.“Hail Mary.” “[T]he greeting of the angel Gabriel opens this prayer.It is God himself who, through his angel as intermediary, greets Mary.Our prayer dares to take up this greeting”13 (CCC 2676) and, by standing with the angel, becomes angelic.We say, not “hello” (or “hi!”), but “hail”; our speech is high and holy as we hail her, meek and lowly.“Full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” She is not just “graced”, but “full of grace”, 100 percent, up to the brim, to the creature’s limit.Why? Because Christ the Lord himself is with her, wholly in her soul and wholly in her womb.“These two phrases of the angel’s greeting shed light on one another.Mary is full of grace because the Lord is with her.The grace with which she is filled is the presence of him who is the source of all grace.‘Rejoice.O Daughter of Jerusalem.the Lord your God is in your midst’ [Zeph 3:14, 17a].Mary, in whom the Lord himself has just made his dwelling, is the daughter of Zion in person, the ark of the covenant, the place where the glory of the Lord dwells” (CCC 3676).“Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.” “After the angel’s greeting, we make Elizabeth’s greeting our own” (CCC 2676).Not a word of the prayer so far is our invention, only Scripture’s.When we say to Mary “blessed are you”, we bless God, for he is the one who blessed her.And then, as soon as we bless her, we immediately turn to Christ: “ [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]