Mary | Rosary

I came across two great piece of readings by accident tonight. One on the Importance of Mary and the other on Rosary. The first one mentions about the intercessory power of Mary, which is also mentioned in Fr. Dan’s homily.

 Why Is The Virgin Mary Considered So Important?

Should She Be Considered co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix Of All Graces?

Indeed She Can and Should, Because She Is!

In Summary

Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, thus, the Mother of God.

This is clearly stated in several places in the Holy Scriptures as well as in the Holy Qur’an. By way of example, in the Gospel of St. Luke (1:32) we hear Gabriel the Archangel telling Mary about the son that She is about to conceive through the action of the Holy Ghost: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the most High…".

As the Secret Concept of the Holy Trinity  (1) is understood, the reality of  Her Divine Motherhood (2) can almost be expressed mathematically. It is no longer an ethereal and elusive manifestation of piety;

Recognition of the importance of Mary may also be traced to the earliest days of Christianity – even before the Patriarchate of Rome unilaterally claimed absolute supremacy over the other Catholic Patriarchates. The Holy Orthodox Catholic Church (Church of the East) has addressed Her as "Theotokos" [Mother of God] since the early days of Christianity and gives Her a preeminent role in the Divine Liturgy.

This recognition is not limited to those whom the world know as Christians – The Holy Book of Islam, The Qur’an, gives Mary a preeminence that not even the Christian Scriptures accord Her. (3)

About Her Immaculate Conception, thus, Her Immaculate Heart

The Holy Qur’an proclaimed Mary’s Immaculate Conception almost 1200 years before the Roman Catholic Church proclaimed the Dogma defining it.

Behold! The angels said: "O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee – chosen thee above the women of all nations."  [Surah III. 42]

The Roman Catholic Church, through Pope Alexander VII (1661), teaches that:

Concerning that Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, ancient indeed is that devotion of the faithful based on the belief that her soul, in the first instant of its creation…. was, by a special grace and privilege of God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ her Son and Redeemer of the human race, preserved free from all stain of original sin.

This was underscored by the Apostolic Letter, issued by Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, December 8, 1854, to wit:

And hence the very words with which the Sacred Scriptures speak of Uncreated Wisdom and set forth His eternal origin, the Church, both in its ecclesiastical offices and in its liturgy, has been wont to apply likewise to the origin of the Blessed Virgin, inasmuch as God, by one and the same decree, had established the origin of Mary and the Incarnation of Divine Wisdom.

These pronouncements by Popes Alexander VII and Pius IX was confirmed by Heaven when the Blessed Virgin appeared to Bernardette in Lourdes, France, on March 25, 1858, identifying Herself as "The Immaculate Conception".

With this, Heaven had confirmed the way of secure refuge for the times that were to come (4): Her Immaculate Heart. This was thereafter confirmed in a number of Apparitions of Our Lady and of Our Lord, to the point where Her Immaculate Heart has been referred to as the Noah’s Ark of these times (5).

Mary and The Gospel

Until the time that Jesus started His public Ministry, He lived a life hidden from the world. Therefore, essentially all that appears in the New Testament pertaining the pre-public life of Jesus had to come, by necessity, through Mary. She was the only one that could have provided such intimate information to the Evangelists.

Mary’s importance cannot be dismissed without dismissing the validity of a significant portion of the New Testament.

On The Infinite Intercessory Power of Mary

"Power" really means ability to "get things done"; it does not require that one "owns" the power. It means the ability to engage the power needed at a particular time.

Monotheistic religions agree that man was created in the Image of God. Thus, if we take the virtues that man exhibits and take them to perfection, we will then see and begin to understand the real attributes of God. It then follows that the power at Mary’s command is essentially limited by the power of The Most Holy Trinity, which is Infinite. How is this possible? Allow this writer to walk you to that Truth.

What human father, as imperfect as they are, would deny anything to a good and devoted daughter? None! What human son, as imperfect as they are, would deny anything to a loving, devoted and self sacrificing mother? None! What human spouse, as imperfect as they are, would deny anything to his obedient, loving and devoted spouse? None!

If we then realize that Mary’s father is God the Father; her son, is God the Son; and her spouse is God the Holy Spirit, what would the Most Holy Trinity deny Mary? Absolutely nothing! Whatever She will ask of that uncreated and Awesome Creator, She will obtain. Even when God may not be inclined to do so, He Will do it – just for Her.

Our Lord left us with such a concrete example – the Wedding Feast at Cana [John 2:1-10]. Jesus showed no intention of remedying the situation when the wine ran out. Mary thought otherwise and This was the first of Jesus’ signs: it was at Cana in Galilee [John 2:11] A sign worked at Her request.

The Importance of a Woman in Redemption

We should acknowledge the very special and primordial role that the female of the human species, the Woman, plays in the ongoing history of humanity, with Mary being the foremost example.

This writer, without regretting his manhood, must acknowledge that God has shown favor toward the female member of the species. After all, the greatest human that has ever lived was a woman: Mary. Jesus Christ is God-man. He cannot be grouped into the category of "rank-and-file" human. However, although Mary was conceived without the stain of the original sin upon Her soul, She was all human – body and soul. Thus, regardless of how our feelings may have been conditioned about Mary, Her role was and is essential to the redemption of humanity.

How could it then be wrong to show respect for the Mother of God? We are taught to walk in the imitation of Christ. That works fine for men, because He is a man. Is it then wrong for any Christian woman to try to walk in imitation of Mary?

We cannot expect to reach the height of perfection of Jesus and Mary, but instead of becoming discouraged by it, we should look to the holy men and women of history as a reminder of the level of holiness that may be attained by striving to imitate Jesus and Mary.  Jesus and Mary are Whom we should strive to imitate – the role models, so to speak, of humans – and not the holy men and women of history.

In Conclusion

Summarizing and concluding

+ Mankind fell through disobedience to God.
+ Only God-made-man could pay the price of the redemption of humanity.
+ Only a woman, by Divine Decree in accordance to the Universal Laws of Nature, could generate God-made-man. A man could not.
+ The woman had to give her consent ["Be it done to me according to thy word."] as an act of her free will.

Thus, without a female of the human species willful assent to mother the Incarnate Word of God, there would not have been Redemption of mankind nor the outpouring of Graces at the time of Pentecost.

Her active Collaboration in our Redemption and unlimited Mediating power before the Throne of God is a reality and not an exercise in piety.

  + By the Will of God, She was invited to be His Own Mother thus Her role as CoRedemptrix and Mediatrix was ordained from all eternity.
  + Exercising Her freedom of choice we have Her willful acceptance to cooperate in the Divine Plan of Redemption.
  + At the instant of Hypostatic Union, Mary became the Mother of God-made-man, Jesus Christ, thus, CoRedemptrix.
  + On the cross, Jesus Christ, in His last instruction before His death, gave Mary to us as our own Mother through John the Evangelist. Thus Her role as  Mediatrix, at that instant, became manifest through its confirmation by God Himself.

We must then acknowledge that Mary is indeed the co-Redemptrix of mankind and the Mediatrix of all Graces.
Her role has been beautifully and truthfully summed up thus: Who is the Gate (of Heaven) if not Mary? Mary is the Gate through which Christ entered the world! (4)

In recent years there has been an increased interest in the meditative practices of the eastern religions. Many have found that the study of other ways to God has enriched their own. We know that Jesus meditated, and in the centuries since His death Christians have continued to meditate.
For about a thousand years, a widely used meditation among Christians has been the rosary. The rosary is a complex and beautiful combination of prayers and mediations on specific events in the life of Jesus. Like chess, it can be learned in a few hours, but takes a lifetime to master.
Prayer and mediation go naturally hand in hand. Prayer is a matter of talking to God, while mediation can be described as listening to God. Meditation, then, is quite a subtle thing. How do I listen to God? This requires great patience and great humility, but even the beginner will find the benefits well worth the effort.
There are a number of techniques for disciplining the mind so that God may speak to us. Some methods seek to empty the mind completely. In others, a theme is held loosely in the mind and God is invited to speak to us through this theme. The latter one is the technique used in the rosary. You will know when God speaks to you, because you will have great love for Him and a strong desire to serve Him.
In the rosary, we meditate and pray at the same time. Beads are used to keep track of the prayers. Prayer beads are used by the faithful of many persuasions. The beads turn the prayers into an almost unconscious pattern, so that the mind is free to meditate. This takes a little practice, but eventually you will find that the prayers are in the background and the meditations are in the foreground.
Following a medieval practice revived in recent years, the scriptural practice revived in recent years, the scriptural rosary has a verse from scripture to be used with each Hail Mary.
Excerpts from Pope John XXIII’s Pastoral Letter on the Rosary, which grew out of his own meditations, are used to provide a springboard for meditation. Pope John loved the rosary and toward the end of his life he prayed all fifteen mysteries, or decades, every day. The common practice is to pray five.
Although the structure of the rosary is formal, with set prayers and specific topics for mediation, meditation itself is quite informal and may differ every time you say the rosary. On one occasion you may have an insight into the events of a particular mystery; another time you may get an idea about what you should be doing with your life or a new way to deal with some problem; a third time you may begin to perceive the structure of God’s reality more clearly. Don’t be so intent on saying the beads that you miss the message! And don’t get discourage when you seem to get nothing.
At first, you may have difficulty concentrating. Many times you will start the Our Father with the intention of meditating on Jesus’ ascension into heaven, only to find, when you finish the last Hail Mary, that you have spent the entire time worrying about the electric bill. Or you may have embarrassing or uncomfortable thoughts. Don’t be disturbed by this. When you catch your mind wandering, simply bring it back to the mystery, being patient with yourself. Eventually you will be able to concentrate for long periods of time. John XXIII, a very saintly man, worked at it for years before he was able to remain recollected consistently.
How often should you pray the rosary? This depends on what else you are called to do in life. You may want to pray it once a day or you may want to pray it once a week. The important thing is to have a regular but flexible program. If you are interrupted in the middle of your rosary accept the interruption. If you can’t pray your rosary today, pray it tomorrow. Remember, it is not how perfectly you offer your prayers, but how well you live your life that counts.

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