Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mediatrix Mystery

The standing tradition of the Catholic Church which we may find in the Holy Rosary litany shows that this aspect of Mary's intercessory role as channel of all graces coming from God has already withstood the test of time. There are several Churches with the title of Mary Mediatrix as patroness. She has titles such as Immaculate Conception or Queen conceived without original sin, Mother of divine grace, Holy Mother of God, Mother of the Church, Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Ark of the Covenant, Gate of Heaven, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of Apostles, Queen of Prophets, Queen of Martyrs, Queen of all Saints, etc. This is not an impossibility because all we desire to say is that being the Mother of God she merited these other titles. God chose her from all eternity to be the Mother of His Beloved Son Our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of grace. God is the source, she is the channel, she the humble maid of Nazareth. Jesus, the Son of God and Second Person of the One Triune God, in obedience to God the Father, deigned to become man by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She, the Sorrowful Mother, accompanied the Redeemer at the very foot of the cross. The prayer of the Angelus runs thus: Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.

At the foot of the Cross Mary was given to us as our mother. Such is the very Catholic tradition has understood the episode at the cross: "Near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother, his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and Mary Magdalene. Seeing his mother there with the disciple whom he loved, Jesus said to his mother, 'Woman, there is your son.' In turn he said to the disciple, 'There is your mother.' From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care." (Jn. 19: 25-27).

Certainly we might have heard one common opinion or saying of the people that says:" The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world." This shows the distinction and dignity of motherhood. So God's word that can't lie nor be mistaken describes thus: "Mary then set out for a town in the Hills of Judah. She entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby suddenly moved within her. Elizabeth was filled with holy spirit and, giving a loud cry, said, 'You are most blessed among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb! The moment your greeting sounded in my ears, the baby within me suddenly moved for joy" (Lk. 1: 39-45). Thus many pray to Mary (Memorare of St Bernard): "O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petition but in your mercy hear and answer me. Amen."

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