Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith Fournier

9/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The faith of Mary precedes us and accompanies us as a brightly burning lamp and as a model of the Christian fullness and maturity

In the Church this communion of men with God, in the "love [that] never ends," is the purpose which governs everything in her that is a sacramental means, tied to this passing world. "[The Church's] structure is totally ordered to the holiness of Christ's members. And holiness is measured according to the 'great mystery' in which the Bride responds with the gift of love to the gift of the Bridegroom." Mary goes before us all in the holiness that is the Church's mystery as "the bride without spot or wrinkle." This is why the "Marian" dimension of the Church precedes the "Petrine." (Catechism of the Catholic Church #733)

Mary, Mother of the Lord and Mother of the Church

Mary, Mother of the Lord and Mother of the Church

Article Highlights

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/12/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Mary, Church, Marian, Petrine, Castel Gandolpho, Pope Benedict XVI, year of Faith, Deacon Keith Fournier


CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy (Catholic Online) - On Saturday, September 8, 2012, the Feast of the Nativity of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, Pope Benedict XVI addressed representatives from an International Marian Congress.

He spoke to them of the profound connection between the mystery of Mary, the mystery of the Church, the hopes he has for the upcoming commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and the importance of the upcoming Year of Faith which begins on October 11, 2012.
 
Below we offer some excerpts from the Holy Father's inspired talk for the prayer, education, edification and reflection of our readers. We also remind you of the special virtual pilgrimage site we offer entitled Mary Mother of God which can be visited daily by clicking here:

******

Dear brothers and sisters,

With great joy I welcome all of you here to Castel Gandolfo as we near the conclusion of the 23rd International Mariological Marian Congress. It is quite appropriate that you are reflecting on the topic "The Mariology from Council Vatican II: Receipt, result and perspectives" since we will soon be remembering and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the opening of that great assembly on October 11, 1962.

Blessed John XXIII wanted the Vatican Ecumenical Council II to open precisely on October 11, on the same day in which the Council of Ephesus proclaimed Mary "Theotokos" Mother of God in 431 (cf. AAS 54, 1962, 67-68). On this occasion he began his address with significant and programmatic words: "Gaudet Mater Ecclesia quod, singulari Divinae providentiae munere, optatissimus iam dies illuxit, quo, auspice Deipara Virgine, cuius materna dignitas hodie festo ritu recolitur, hic ad Beati Petri sepulchrum Concilium Oecumenicum Vaticanum Secundum sollemniter initium capit."

["Mother Church rejoices because, through a special gift of divine Providence, there has now come the greatly desired day in which - under the protection of the Virgin Mother of God, whose maternal dignity is celebrated with joy today - here at the tomb of St. Peter, there solemnly begins the second Vatican Ecumenical Council."]

As you know, on October 11, to remember that extraordinary event, there will be the solemn opening of the Year of Faith, which I wished to announce with the motu proprio "Porta fidei," in which, presenting Mary as an exemplary model of faith, I invoke her special protection and intercession in the Church's journey, entrusting to her, blessed because she believed, this time of grace. Today too, dear brothers and sisters, the Church rejoices in the liturgical celebration of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, the All Holy, dawn of our salvation.

The meaning of this Marian feast is explained to us by St. Andrew of Crete, who lived between the seventh and eighth centuries in his famous Homily for the Feast of the Nativity Mary in which the event is presented as a precious piece of the mosaic that is the divine plan for the salvation of humanity:

"The mystery of the God who becomes man, the divinization of man assumed by the Word, represent the most supreme good that Christ has granted us, the revelation of the divine plan and the defeat of every presumptuous human self-sufficiency. God's coming among men, as the brilliant light and clear and visible divine reality, is the great and marvelous divine gift bestowed upon us.

Today's celebration honors the birth of the Mother of God. But the true meaning and purpose of this event is the incarnation of the Word. In fact, Mary is born, nursed and raised to be the Mother of the King of the Ages, of God" (Discourse 1, PG 97, 806-807). This important and ancient witness brings us to the heart of the theme upon which you are reflecting and that Vatican Council II wanted to underscore in the title of chapter 8 of the dogmatic constitution on the Church "Lumen gentium":

"The Blessed Virgin Mary Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church." This is the "nexus mysteriorum" of the intimate connection among the mysteries of the Christian faith that the Council indicated as the horizon for the understanding of the individual elements and the different statements of the patrimony of the Catholic faith.

In the Council, in which I took part as an expert when I was a young theologian, I had a chance to see the various ways of dealing with the questions about the figure and role of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the history of salvation. In the second session of the Council a large group of the fathers asked that Our Lady be treated in the constitution on the Church, while a group of similar size supported the necessity of a specific document that adequately shed light on the dignity, the privileges and the singular role of Mary in the redemption wrought by Christ.

With the vote on October 23, 1963, it was decided to opt for the first proposal and the schema of the dogmatic constitution on the Church was enriched with the chapter on the Mother of God, in which the figure of Mary - reinterpreted and reproposed in the context of the Word of God, the texts of the patristic and liturgical traditions, as well as a broad theological and spiritual reflection - appears in all of its beauty and singularity, well inserted in the fundamental mysteries of the Christian faith.

Mary, whose faith is the focus, is situated in the mystery of the love and communion of the Most Holy Trinity; her cooperation in the divine plan of salvation and in the unique mediation of Christ is clearly affirmed and properly highlighted, making it thereby a model and point of reference for the Church, who recognizes herself, her vocation and her mission in Mary. Popular piety, ever turned toward Mary, is in the end nourished by biblical and patristic references.

Naturally, the conciliar text does not exhaust all the issues connected with the figure of the Mother of God, but it constitutes the essential hermeneutic horizon for every subsequent reflection of a theological or more purely spiritual or pastoral character. Moreover, it represents a precious point of balance that is always necessary between theological rationality and believing affectivity.

The singular figure of the Mother of God must be developed and studied from diverse and complimentary perspectives: while the "via veritas" (way of truth) is always valid, we not forsake the "via pulchritudinis" (way of beauty) and the "via amoris" (way of love) to discover and contemplate still more profoundly Mary's crystalline and solid faith, her love for God, her indestructible hope.

For this reason, in the apostolic exhortation "Verbum Domini" I proposed that we follow the line traced by the Council (cf. 27). This is also an invitation that cordially address to you, dear friends and scholars. Offer your expert contribution of reflection and pastoral proposals, so that the upcoming Year of Faith might represent for all believers in Christ a true moment of grace in which the faith of Mary precedes us and accompanies us as a brightly burning lamp and as a model of the Christian fullness and maturity to which we can look with confidence and from which we can draw enthusiasm and joy to live our vocation as children of God, brothers of Christ and living members of his body that is the Church with ever greater commitment and consistency.

I entrust all of you and your research efforts to Mary's maternal protection and I impart to you a special apostolic benediction. Thank you.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Europe

Pope Francis on the Resurrection: Why Do You Seek the Living Among the Dead? Watch

Image of Pope Francis: Today this question is also addressed to us.

By Pope Francis

This week is the week of joy, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. It is a true, profound joy, based on the certainty that Christ is now risen, He is dead no more, but is alive and active in the Church and in the world . This certainty dwells in the hearts of ... continue reading


Pope Francis Easter Vigil Homily: Where is My Galilee? Encountering Jesus Watch

Image of Pope Francis: To return to Galilee means above all to return to that blazing light with which God's grace touched me at the start of the journey. From that flame I can light a fire for today and every day, and bring heat and light to my brothers and sisters. That flame ignites a humble joy, a joy which sorrow and distress cannot dismay, a good, gentle joy.

By Pope Francis

Galilee is the place where they were first called, where everything began! To return there, to return to the place where they were originally called. Jesus had walked along the shores of the lake as the fishermen were casting their nets. He had called them, and ... continue reading


Urbi Et Orbi: Pope Francis Gives Easter Message to the City and the World Watch

Image of The message flows from his entire pontificate of loving service.True and lasting peace comes through reconciliation and love. God is Love. He sent His Only Son to offer all of us the path to peace and the plan of loving salvation.

By Pope Francis

The message which Christians bring to the world is this: Jesus, Love incarnate, died on the cross for our sins, but God the Father raised him and made him the Lord of life and death. In Jesus, love has triumphed over hatred, mercy over sinfulness, goodness over ... continue reading


LOCH NESS MONSTER - FOUND? Amazing new photos appear Watch

Image of Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Cutting-edge technology may have just added credence to a long-standing legend in Scotland's Loch Ness. A satellite orbiting Earth and using Apple's satellite map app may have provided proof that there's a Nessie to be found in the Scottish Highlands. The ... continue reading


UFO caught on film in England, but it's not a spacecraft... Watch

Image of This mysterious ring lasted for about three minutes in the air before dissipating, according to the eyewitness.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A bizarre black ring is baffling experts in England, after it was filmed by a sixteen year old girl in Warwickshire. The ring apparently hung in the sky for three minutes before dissipating. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Nick Pope, a former adviser to the ... continue reading


Russia continues to devour Ukraine Watch

Image of Russia's Prime Minister, and former president of Russia, Dmitry Medvedev said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Vladimir Putin has continued his land grab in Ukraine, making it ever more apparent that the Russian president wants to reunite the old Soviet republics and from a new Soviet Union, even at the risk of causing a major war. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Russia ... continue reading


Immune to poison, GIANT rats terrify Great Britain Watch

Image of Nationwide, councils have reported a rise in the number of rats being reported. Birmingham has the highest number of call-outs with 5,100 in the past year.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Rats -- the size of cats" is a lyric in David Bowie's classic rock hymn "Diamond Dogs." It's a terrifying, dystopian vision that unfortunately coming true in Great Britain today, with rodents as large as two feet in length. Even worse, these monster rats have ... continue reading


Pope appoints Lady Margaret Scotford Archer to head Pontifical Academy Watch

Image of Lady Margaret Scotford Archer was born in Grenoside, U.K., and holds a Ph.D. from the University of London. She is currently a professor at l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland. She previously taught for many years at the University of Warwick in Great Britain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lady Margaret Scotford Archer has been appointed by Pope Francis to be President of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences." The group consists of scholars dedicated to studying issues in the social sciences in order to offer reflection and advice to the ... continue reading


Dissenting Priest Defies Church of England's Teaching on Marriage, 'Marries' his Homosexual Paramour Watch

Image of An Anglican priest has defied the Church of England's insistence that marriage is between one man and one woman by openly dissenting from the Scripture and Christian tradition and wedding his longtime homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed 51-year-old Laurence Cunnington this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A practicing homosexual priest has defied the Church of England's ban on homosexual and lesbian clergy marrying by wedding his longtime male homosexual companion. The 58-year-old Canon Jeremy Pemberton, a divorced hospital chaplain, wed his long-term homosexual ... continue reading


Who Am I? Homily of Pope Francis on the Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

This week begins with the festive procession with olive branches: all the people welcome Jesus. The children, the young people sing, praising Jesus.But this week proceeds into the mystery of Jesus' death and his resurrection. We've heard the Passion of the Lord. ... continue reading


All Europe News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:11-26
11 Everyone came running towards them in great ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 8:2, 5, 6-7, 8-9
2 even through the mouths of children, or of babes in ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:35-48
35 Then they told their story of what had happened on ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 24th, 2014 Image

St. Fidelis of Sigmaringen
April 24: Franciscan Capuchin martyr. He was born Mark Rey is Sigmaringen, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter