Who is Mary?
Why Do We Need Her?
She is our Mother, given to us by Jesus Christ Himself!
At the foot of the Cross, as Jesus came to His last moments, He looked at Mary and said, as she stood next to St. John, ‘Woman, behold your son’. And to St. John He said, ‘Behold your Mother’. (John 19: 26-27) It was at this moment, with St. John representing all of us, that Jesus entrusted humanity to the Blessed Virgin Mary. We ARE her children. She IS our Mother.
Why did Jesus give Mary to us to be our Mother? And why is it so important for us to know her as our Mother? The Blessed Virgin Mary is the bridge between earth and Heaven. Jesus Christ chose to enter this world through a woman, Mary. Through her fiat, ‘Be it done to me according to Thy will,’ The Holy Spirit overshadowed her and Christ became incarnate within her womb. She carried God, safely within her, for nine months. She IS the Mother of God.
At the foot of the Cross Jesus expands Mary’s Motherhood to be spiritual and universal, to be Mother to each and everyone of us. It is through Mary, with her Motherly help and protection, that we find Jesus as our path to Heaven. Jesus put us ‘…under the protection of His Blessed Mother. He addresses the Church and all its members in the person of John, and says to each of us: ‘Behold your Mother.’ That is why He addressed her not as ‘Mother’ but as ‘Woman.’ She has a universal mission, to be not only His Mother, but to be the Mother of all Christians. She had been His Mother; now she was to be the Mother of His Mystical Body, the Church. And we were to be her children.’ (Sheen, 'Calvary and the Mass', pgs. 42-43).
‘Jesus came to us through Mary; it is only right that we return to Him through her as well. As the eighteenth century Mariologist Father Chaminade said, ‘we do not go to Mary as our God, but we go to God through Mary, as faith tells us He came to us through Her.’ Jesus’ whole life, from Mary’s first ‘yes’ until His Ascension into heaven, has Mary as a central figure. To eliminate Her from scripture is to deform the story---to not tell it correctly---and actually dishonors Jesus.’ Consider how much the common man honors his own mother. How much more so does a perfect Man honor His perfect mother? Certainly not through neglect but also not through worship, which is a distortion of what the Church has always known Mary to be: human. But as the Mother of God and a woman created with the fullness of grace, she ought to be honored.
When we come to Mary, she brings us to Christ: whenever she is honored, Christ is honored. As Pope Paul VI pointed out, ‘the sun will never be dimmed by the light of the moon.’ (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg. 105-106).
In speaking of Karol Wojtyla…. ‘Like Cardinal Mindszenty before him, the future pope saw that ‘veneration of Mary belongs of necessity to Christianity, as Christ belongs to it. For Mother and Child cannot be separated.’ (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg. 107).
‘Pope St. John XXIII is reputed to have said, ‘The Madonna is not pleased when she is put above her Son.’ (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg. 107).
‘…..genuine Marian devotion always leads a devotee to a deeper relationship with Christ.’ (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg. 107).
‘Since Mary is the faithful Spouse of the Holy Spirit, it is through her that all graces flow to earth. This is why she is called…the Mediatrix of all graces. This happens not out of necessity but…as a part of God the Father’s loving plan of salvation: ‘God wills to do so. And God wills to do so for a reason: Jesus, the Source of all grace, came through Mary via the work of the Holy Spirit; therefore it is fitting that all grace continue to come through Mary by the work of the Holy Spirit.’ (Campbell, ‘Holy Spirit and Mary', quoted in Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg.123).
The Most Powerful Woman in the World!
The Blessed Virgin Mary has been hailed as the most powerful woman in the world: the most painted, photographed, and prayed to throughout human history. For centuries, children were named for her, songs were sung for her, gardens were grown for her, battles were fought for her, sacrifices made for her.’ (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pgs. 118-119). There is a reason she has so clearly been looked up to through the ages. Her power is in her perfect surrender to God through the virtues of her God-given femininity. She is the example to all women. From her virtues comes love, goodness, and harmony in relationships. She was given to us by God, and everything that is good comes from God.
‘In 2015, National Geographic called her the most powerful woman in the world. Journalist Maureen Orth explained:
Mary is everywhere: Marigolds are named after her. Hail Mary passes save football games. The image in Mexico of Our Lady of Guadalupe is one of the most reproduced female likenesses ever. Mary draws millions each year to shrines such as Fatima, in Portugal, and Knock, in Ireland, sustaining religious tourism estimated to be worth billions of dollars a year and providing thousands of jobs. She inspired the creation of many great works of art and architecture (Michelangelo’s ‘Pieta,’ Notre Dame Cathedral), as well as poetry, liturgy, and music (Monteverdi’s Vespers for the Blessed Virgin). And she is the spiritual confidante of billions of people, no matter how isolated or forgotten.
'Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty said of her, 'Veneration of Mary is the great genius which gives Christianity its power, courage, and victoriousness.'
Not just another saint, she is the saint. It was only through her fiat, her yes in willingly accepting the motherhood of God, that Jesus was able to come into the world. Anglican convert Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman [said]..... by leading her children to her Son, the Blessed Virgin helps 'them to regain that which has been lost through the fall and sin. She rids us of false teaching.... Mary burns through the vices of the cynic, the jaded, the angry, the agitated and the hopeless. In their place, she plants the gifts of peace, order, hope, strength, goodness, and creativity.' (Gress, 'The Anti-Mary Exposed', pg. 119).
'The Blessed Mother is a kind of safeguard to help Christians remain close to Christ..... Far from an obstacle to her Son, she is the portal through whom so many faithful have been brought closer to Him. Saint Bridget of Sweden was told by the Blessed Virgin, 'My Son and I redeemed the world as with one heart.' To embrace her Immaculate Heart is to simultaneously embrace His Sacred Heart. (Gress, 'The Anti-Mary Exposed', pg. 120).
"Motherhood has a unique quality of self-giving built into it....Women understand (either as biological or as spiritual mothers) that their life has the most meaning when they are living it for someone or something else. While this is not exclusive to women, it is deeply rooted in the female soul. (Gress, 'The Marian Option', pg. 148). When women look to the Blessed Virgin as the example of how they are to be as women and mothers, they begin to understand their God-given beauty and the virtues needed for strong, well ordered relationships. Mary's influence helps correct disordered relationships, and brings both men and women into the order of grace. These virtues and grace are the key to happiness within families, and produce the dynamics for well ordered family life, of which our greatest example is the Holy Family; Jesus, Mary, and St. Joseph.
Why Do We Need Our Mother Back?
'All of the defects in a man's nature which cause him to fail in his original vocation are rooted in a perverted relationship with God.
Unfortunately, the disordered ways of the devil, through the ‘toxic femininity’ ideology, has been wildly successful in wrecking havoc in our world today, and he has been overwhelmingly destructive . We don't have to look very far in our own lives, nor in the lives of others to recognize the devastation that has occurred. This toxic-femininity is anti-God, anti-Mary, anti-life, anti-society, anti-family, anti-children, anti-men, and, yes, anti-woman. The devil has been incredibly successful. But there is hope. We can look to scripture and it's promise to us that says, ‘And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it.’ (Matt. 16:18, RSV Catholic Edition). We need to turn back to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Blessed Mother, our Mother given to us by Jesus Christ, will help to lead us back to Him. We need their divine intervention!
In our hearts, in our minds, in our everyday living, we have lost our Mother. We no longer look up to her, or even know of her greatness, love, and beauty. We need to get to know her once again because we desperately need her back.
We as humans, have a longing in our souls. We are searching for a deep joy and peace. This deep joy and peace does not exist in the lies and deceptions of toxic femininity. It exists only in that which God can give to us.
‘Mary’s power is truly that of a mother, but a perfect mother whose will is directly aligned with God’s perfect will. Our Lady, Pope John Paul II wrote, ‘participates maternally in the tough fight against the powers of darkness that unfold during the whole of human history.’ How would a mother do this? Through fierce protection of her children, but also through order, discipline, education, love, assistance, and particularly by being present to them and suffering with them.
There is a unique testimony to Mary’s witness at Calvary to which every maternal heart can relate. It came from an unusual source: a demon, commanded to tell the truth about Mary by a priest during an exorcism (which is why some of the grammar is odd). Speaking of what he saw at Calvary, the demon said:
That One was always there with tears that flowed without stopping and with eyes turned toward the face of her son to collect every little, every little, every little suffering. She lived his passion in her heart. The sword was piercing her heaaaart! The blood of the Son and the heart of the Mamma flowed. She was always there, tormented by pain but most beautiful in her suffering. Ahhh! She shone with pain and prayer: ‘May your will be done. May your will be done.’ Never did she lower her face. Only when he died [did she lower it] when the whole world moved. She [in that moment] was firm. She did not move. She knew what was happening. She knew that it would happen that God would feel her pain for her son. Her eyes were fixed on those of the Son, fixed. And she looked at him, all his wounds, looked at the blood that was flowing from his head. And she wanted to clean his face, caress his hair, kiss his wounds, that broken nose, that swollen face. And she said, ‘What have they done to you, my dear? You who have loved everyone! May your will be done, Father! Your will, Father! Father, the nails! Those most beautiful hands have prayed, have healed, have blessed. Father, those holy hands! Poor hands! And the arms… See Father, what pain! He who is your Son, sooooon… Father, may your will be done! Those feet that have walked so much, those feet that have walked so much, walked so much, how they were beautiful when they were so little! How many times I kissed them! How many times I kissed them! Make me kiss them also as they are! Full of blood, Father! Tell him that I am here! Tell him that I love him! That I understand him! That I am with him, that I suffer with him!
….The demons tell us much more: ‘There is no tongue to praise the Mother of God as she merits. There is no creature who can understand her greatness, her goodness, her power. Mary has more power herself than all the angels, all the creatures, all the saints together. There is nothing comparable to Mary.’
Despite her splendor, Our Lady does not make herself a celebrity, she does not draw attention to herself, but is always saying. ‘Do whatever he tells you’ (Jn 2:5). She isn’t seeking to be worshiped, but only to bring her spiritual children to her Son.’ (Gress, 'The Anti-Mary Exposed', pgs. 129-131).
Yes, Our Lady’s role is to bring us, her children, every moment ever closer to her Son. To Jesus through Mary. Mary is not all about herself. She is all about helping to save us eternally by bringing us to her Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
How Do We Get Her Back?
Simply ask her and she will be there for you. Ask her to teach you to love as she loves. And then pay attention. She will show you. Through her ‘yes’ and her complete surrender to God, she will lead you to God by your complete surrender to Him. It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen. Be patient, attentive, and follow.
We must accept who we are, who God created us to be: women. Women with beautiful attributes. Women’s beauty….. ‘is meant to reflect the goodness and love of God and also draw those around us to Him through our gifts.’ (Gress, 'The Anti-Mary Exposed', pg. 158).
We need to ask Mary for her help. We as women need to emulate Mary! She is our example of virtue.
‘As Edith Stein points out, when it comes to womanhood, Mary is our model. We have already looked to Eve in order to understand God’s original plan for women, but we also noted the ways in which Eve messed up that plan, by rejecting the will of God, and the ways in which we continue to do the same. To more fully understand God’s plan for women, we should look to the example of someone who did not mess up at all: Mary, the Mother of Jesus.
As Edith Stein further notes, ‘As woman was the first to be tempted, so did God’s message of grace come first to a woman, and each time woman’s assent determined the destiny of humanity as a whole.’
'Eve said no, but Mary said yes.’ ( Bean, 'Manual for Women', pgs. 13-14).