On this Feast of the Annunciation -

How can Mary - and rightful devotion to Mary - not be integral to all Catholic evangelization?

Mary is mother and model of the Church.

She was chosen, embraced, graced by God for her part in salvation even before the Holy Spirit conceived Christ the Son within her. The angel of God said to her, “Hail, (or Rejoice!) kecharitôménê, the Lord is with you.” The angel did not call her “Mary” - the angel addressed her by her name written in heaven, (in Greek) “kecharitôménê” - that is,“‘one having been fully transformed by God’s grace." Then he said, "the Lord is with you.”

She is mother of Christ, the Head of the Church, and the Church is His Body. Thus:

  • The Mother of the Head is necessarily the mother of His Body. Thus: Mary is mother of the Church.
  • She is mother of the Church because God gave her to the Church, and the Church to her, from His Cross: to Mary He said, “Behold your son”; to the Beloved Disciple, He said, “Behold your mother.” And from that hour, he took her into his own.

She is model of the Church, the model disciple.

  • She gave herself into the will of the Father: “Let it be to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)
  • Even though she did not (yet) understand all that He said and did: She kept all in her heart.; she taught, “Do whatever He tells you.” (cf. Lk 2:19, 51; Jn 2:5)
  • All disciples are called to be “mother” for Him and His Body: “Whoever does the will of God is my brother, and sister, and mother.” (Mk 3:35)

On this Feast of the Annunciation - the Announcement to Mary of her sublime vocation from God, and His holy, virginal conception within her:

  • May all who profess love and obedience to Christ, also profess love and honor for His mother.
  • May all the beloved in His Church, proclaim Mary as His mother and as their mother in Him.
  • May all disciples of Christ embrace Mary as mother and model of His Church.
2 Likes

Dear Fide,

Thanks for posting this! I totally agree with you. It has been an increasing sorrow in my own heart to see how “neglected” Mary our Mother and Model has become to many Christians and even Catholics.
Mary is absolutely integral to all Catholic evangelization. Mary is a vital part of the Good News!

For centuries the Catholic Church has taught and practiced devotion to Mary, Mother of God. The Catechism of the Catholic Church has many references to Mary and concerning Devotion to her, most importantly:

CCC 971 “All generations will call me blessed”: “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” 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, and greatly fosters this adoration." The liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayer, such as the rosary, an “epitome of the whole Gospel,” express this devotion to the Virgin Mary.

People seem to ignore the word “intrinsic” even though the Catechism has printed it in italics to signify it’s importance. The word “intrinsic” means “essential”. The Church’s devotion to Mary is essential – we simply cannot do without it, if we are to to be truly Christ-like. Jesus did not wish to be without her in His Birth and in His Death. How can we born again in Baptism be without her in our birth and Death. How can we neglect to share her with others when Jesus gave her to us from His Cross?

Your points are all well-taken and need to be part of every Catholic’s outreach to those who do not know Mary truly. I hope many more will read what you have written and ponder the depth of all you shared.

This Feast of the Annunciation is a precious one as it celebrates both the humble Mary, giving herself totally to become Mother of the Incarnate Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and the incredible humility of God the Son who humbled Himself to become one of us. It is the beginning of New Life for all humanity.

I join you and hope many others will join you in your prayer today:

  • May all who profess love and obedience to Christ, also profess love and honor for His mother.
  • May all the beloved in His Church, proclaim Mary as His mother and as their mother in Him.
  • May all disciples of Christ embrace Mary as mother and model of His Church.
1 Like

This thread is infinitely important to all Christians. Throughout the Divine Liturgy we pray this way:

Commemorating our most holy, pure, blessed, and glorious Lady, the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, with all the saints, let us commend ourselves and one another and our whole life to Christ our God.

God bless all those who honor the Mother of God,
Deacon Christopher

3 Likes

Thank you, MariaChristi, for adding this important post to the conversation. “Intrinsic” is an extremely powerful word, linking Marian devotion to (not only “Catholic Christian,” but) Christian worship. The whole world of Christians, divided as we are in a spectrum of beliefs, need to see our common, universal bond in Mary our mother in Christ. Worship is not ours to invent or create, but rather to discover and receive as God has revealed worship to us. And our mother Mary is intrinsic in His revealed Truth.

1 Like

Thank you Deacon Christopher for joining the praise due our mother Mary, holy Mary. May the world hear the faithful praising her name - witnesses to her intrinsic part in the holy Gospel we are called to proclaim and live.

Let us become like children, and holding Blessed Mary, our spiritual mother, by the hand, be led to Jesus!

2 Likes

Thank you, Dan. Yours is simple advice, very hard to take except by the Lord’s surprising work of grace, that can humble the proud and make of them a little child. A very wise priest once said to me, “God loves to see a grey-haired “little one”.”

Dear Fide,

Yes, Mary was given to us ALL by Jesus from His Cross, as John His Beloved Disciple testifies in his Gospel:

Standing by the cross of Jesus were His mother and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom He loved, He said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.” And from that hour the disciple took her into his home. (Jn 19:25 - 27)

It seems to me, few of us have heard those words deeply enough with the ears of our hearts. Certainly Catholics used to honor Mary more, but today there has been a noticable decline in Marian devotion.

Jesus spoke first to His Mother telling her to look at John. Mary had been looking at Jesus, but her Son says to her : “Woman behold your son” and Mary becomes the new Eve, “mother of all the living”. Mary received in the person of John all of us as her children to “mother” as she mothered Jesus.

It seems, however, few are willing to accept Mary as Jesus’ Gift! How many dismiss her as merely one of the crowd, far from being “intrinsic” for Christian worship?

Then Jesus speaks to John, and to us saying: “Behold your Mother”. John already had a birth mother but he understood Jesus’ words and recorded them for us to hear. John also records the effect those words had on him for he adds:

“…And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.”

Literally in the Greek in which his Gospel was written it reads took her into his own which Pope St. John Paul II interpreted as John taking Mary “into his very being” that is into his life! How many today have taken Mary into their lives?

I agree with Defender Dan, we need to become like children:

“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mt. 18:3)

We need to obey Jesus as John did, taking Mary into our lives if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven where she awaits her children.

1 Like

May your zeal for our Mother Mary be “contagious”, MariaChristi, and help re-ignite a holy flame of true devotion in our Church! You are right to quote the Catechism here - that our need for her is “intrinsic” -

CCC 971 - … “The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is intrinsic to Christian worship.” [ Paul VI, MC 56] …

The Church of today is in a spiritual decline; our love for Mary and true devotion to her has been “cooling” for years now - decades. We seem to be so intent on courting evangelical protestant approval, that we are turning our backs on our Blessed Mother. We do not seem to realize that such a “cooling” and a “distancing” from her who is intrinsic to rightful Christian worship, will of necessity harm our relationship with God Himself. We cannot discard holy revealed Truth, and expect to hold our relationship with Father, Son and Holy Spirit unharmed!

Let us be true to Truth, no matter the cost. If we remain faithful, we can rest in confidence that God will do the rest - and I am referring to our call to evangelize.

1 Like
DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.