Was the Immaculate Heart of Mary the only human who purely loved Jesus?


#1

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

In True Devotion to Mary (ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm) by St. Louis Mary de Montfort, St. Louis Mary de Montfort writes along the lines that even though he has written so many wonderful things in this book about the Blessed Virgin Mary, all the wonderful things and praise to be given to her hasn’t even yet been revealed. A thought struck me - let me know if it makes sense or if I seem to be going down the wrong path… Could the Immaculate Heart of Mary be the only human being who truly loved Jesus, who would have loved him had he performed not one miracle, not one sign, if he had even refused to die on the Cross (Of course, he never would have!) The disciple, whom Jesus loved, was the one and only disciple to follow him to the Cross. But, wouldn’t it be true that the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s love surpassed this disciple’s love, since this disciple would not have followed him had he not said - “Come follow me” and shown himself worthy of being followed.

And wouldn’t she have had the faith in him that she had even if he had just lived and died? no miracles, no crucifixion, no nothing except spiritually that we can’t see with our human eyes? Is that why she is the purest and best expression of human faith?

Thank you for your thoughts! Please keep me in your prayers. :slight_smile:

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#2

I would say every sin is an act of not loving the Lord; so yes, Mary would have loved Him perfectly. That is why the famous penitential Psalm 51 says “Create in me Lord a clean heart.” When we sin we need our heart purified. Mary’s heart was and is always pure–it is immaculate.


#3

Not actually correct. Yes that applies to mortal sins but not venial sins.

CCC 1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul’s progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God’s grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."


#4

I believe the question is not as clear as the OP had hoped. If we ask if the Mary, because of her Immaculate Heart, is the only human who purely loved Jesus, the answer would have to be a resounding no. You have a simple example of someone like Francis of Assisi whom St. Bonaventure’s theology says loved Jesus so perfectly that he became like Jesus in all things: life, work, word, prayer, even physically. He is the only stigmatist who actually had nails through his wounds.

Then you have other venerable, blesseds and saints like Mother Teresa, John Paul II, the many martyrs of the Church and so forth. Get the idea?

Let’s restructure the question. Was Mary the only person who could love Jesus perfectly because she was the Immaculate Conception? That raises another interesting point. If we follow the tradition of the Church, we notice that the Church speaks of Mary as exemplar. She is the model to which we all aspire. A model of what?

She is a model of true love of God, without being part of the Trinity. If she is the model and the Church encourages us to follow her example and aspire to love her Son as she loved him. Then the answer has to be, she is not the only person capable of pure love of God.

Whether others achieved the intensity of love that she achieved or not, that’s another question and we will have to wait until we get to Heaven to find out.

The fact that her heart is immaculate means that it was conceived without sin. It does not mean that no one can love as she loved. There is a difference. It’s like the difference between possible and probable.

Mary was conceived without sin. We were not. Mary’s heart was in a perpetual state of sanctifying grace from the moment of conception. But as someone cited from the CCC, we too have a share in sanctifying grace through the sacraments and the life of virtue. It is the same grace that Mary had from the moment of conception.

The difference between her heart and our heart has to do with conception, not the ability to love. Obviously, a heart filled with sanctifying grace can love more intensely than one that is weakened by sin. That’s what made some Christians great saints. They remained in a state of sanctifying grace and died in that state. As long as their heart was filled by sanctifying grace, they were able to love God as Mary loved him. What remains is the question of intensity, not probability.

Whether they achieved the same intensity of love and intimacy with God is a question that can be offensive to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s gifts to individuals are not to be compared and measured against each other.

We just have to accept that Mary is our model of love and it is possible for us to love as she loved. Otherwise, she would be a very useless model.

Fraternally,

JR :slight_smile:


#5

No saint, no person, can ever equal or exceed Mary on any level of virtue whatsoever, including the Pure Love of Christ.

**Catholic Catechism - 967 **

By her complete adherence to the Father’s will, to his Son’s redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the Church’s model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "

[quote]preeminent

and . . . wholly unique member of the Church"; indeed, she is the “exemplary realization” (typus) of the Church.
[/quote]


#6

JReducation

I believe the question is not as clear as the OP had hoped. If we ask if the Mary, because of her Immaculate Heart, is the only human who purely loved Jesus, the answer would have to be a resounding no. You have a simple example of someone like Francis of Assisi whom St. Bonaventure’s theology says loved Jesus so perfectly that he became like Jesus in all things: life, work, word, prayer, even physically. He is the only stigmatist who actually had nails through his wounds.

Could you give teh actual quotation from St. Bonaventure, please, JR? Also, “Like Jesus” is a very broad range indeed.

Then you have other venerable, blesseds and saints like Mother Teresa, John Paul II, the many martyrs of the Church and so forth. Get the idea?

No, I am sorry, I dont get what you are saying. If you are saying many have loved Jesus to the full extent of their particular capacity, then I could agree. But I am not too sure at all what you are saying?

Let’s restructure the question. Was Mary the only person who could love Jesus perfectly because she was the Immaculate Conception? That raises another interesting point. If we follow the tradition of the Church, we notice that the Church speaks of Mary as exemplar. She is the model to which we all aspire. A model of what?

She is a model of true love of God, without being part of the Trinity. If she is the model and the Church encourages us to follow her example and aspire to love her Son as she loved him. Then the answer has to be, she is not the only person capable of pure love of God.

Undoubtedly each person has a different capacity, and gift of God, for each of the virtues, including Charity. Mary was the most gifted of all human beings.

Whether others achieved the intensity of love that she achieved or not, that’s another question and we will have to wait until we get to Heaven to find out.

According to The Church Mary stands as “preeminent” in The Church, hence the answer is simply and that no person can love God with an equality or exceeding quality of that of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

The fact that her heart is immaculate means that it was conceived without sin. It does not mean that no one can love as she loved. There is a difference. It’s like the difference between possible and probable

I dont understand what you are saying here. It is impossible which eliminates “probable” that any person can or will exceed the pure love of Mary for God who stands in The Church as preeminent in all the virtues.

Mary was conceived without sin. We were not. Mary’s heart was in a perpetual state of sanctifying grace from the moment of conception. But as someone cited from the CCC, we too have a share in sanctifying grace through the sacraments and the life of virtue. It is the same grace that Mary had from the moment of conception.

Absolutely it is the precisely the same Grace, but not all receive Grace in equal quantity according to The Church.

The difference between her heart and our heart has to do with conception, not the ability to love. Obviously, a heart filled with sanctifying grace can love more intensely than one that is weakened by sin. That’s what made some Christians great saints. They remained in a state of sanctifying grace and died in that state. As long as their heart was filled by sanctifying grace, they were able to love God as Mary loved him. What remains is the question of intensity, not probability.

Undoubtedly all our saints have loved God with an imitation of the love of Mary for God but not equal to her love of God. And Mary’s love of God was in imitation of the Love of her Son for God. She is preeminent.
Love of God is that quality and it cannot change, its degree can.

Whether they achieved the same intensity of love and intimacy with God is a question that can be offensive to the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit’s gifts to individuals are not to be compared and measured against each other.

I find this surprising and it led me to answer your post. I think this whole thread and also your Posts are about measuring and comparing. Certainly to state that Mary is preeminent in all virtue in The Church is not offensive to The Holy Spirit, rather it is a great compliment and praise, thanksgiving. For it is the praise and thansgiving of Truth.

We just have to accept that Mary is our model of love and it is possible for us to love as she loved. Otherwise, she would be a very useless model.

This seems to me to be like saying that our ideals are useless unless one can achieve them? It begs the question - “What do you define “model” as being?”. I am here defining it as being an “ideal of love” (Mary as).

Blessings…Barb:)

JR :slight_smile:


#7

Maybe I’m not understanding the question. But my thinking is that Mary’s place in Salvation History and the Chuch is not part of the question. If I’m undersanding the question correctly, it asks whether we can love Jesus as Mary loved him.

The question is tricky, because the Church prays that we will love him as she loved him. Therefore, the Church must obviously believe that such love is possible and that Mary herself can lead us to love her son as she loved him.

The question of probability is quite different. Is it probable that any human being will love him as she did? That’s a mystery.

Have there been people who have been led to love him so much that their lives were transformed? Yes. Did Mary have anything to do with this? Yes.

Fraternally,

JR :slight_smile:


#8

**Catholic Catechism -492 **

The

[quote] “splendor of an entirely unique holiness”

by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.

The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person

“in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” and chose her “in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love”.

[/quote]


#9

“Love of God” is the noun and a quality that cannot change, degree can change. In other words we all love God with the same love since Charity (Love of God) has its alpha and omega in God…but not all love to the same degree and Mary loved most of all human beings that ever have or ever will exist no matter the degree of personal sanctity gifted by God.
**773 **

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.”

[quote]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.”
[/quote]

Blessings and regards…Barb:)


#10

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

Thank you for all of your responses. The question is really: did the fact that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was a Mother profoundly change the nature of her love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, emphasizing the fact that if God had chosen some other way for Jesus to live and die, so that he hadn’t called his disciples and had been crucified, although God in his infinite wisdom chose the way he chose, her love for him would still have been so strong? The reflection comes from my perception that in some sense, the rest of us love him for what he did for us, often it takes getting broken down as happened to St. Paul or St. Francis of Assisi, or we have an intellectual understanding first before we can love - while she may have been the only human being to ever truly love him without needing to get a single thing back in return, no intellectual understanding of the benefits of this love or getting broken down. Would she have been the only one willing to suffer and lay down her life for him without knowing or understanding the benefits of loving him because she was his Mother?

As for the question, can we love as she loved, I believe the answer is no. St. Louis Mary de Montfort writes in **True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin **(ewtn.com/library/montfort/truedevo.htm)::slight_smile:
**35. ** When Mary has taken root in a soul she produces in it wonders of grace which only she can produce; for she alone is the fruitful virgin who never had and never will have her equal in purity and fruitfulness…

**. 42. ** I could tell many stories in evidence of what I have just said. 1) One is recorded in the chronicles of St. Francis. The saint saw in ectasy an immense ladder reaching to heaven, **at the top of which stood the Blessed Virgin. This is the ladder, he was told, by which we must all go to heaven. **

**. 43. ** Mary alone found grace before God without the help of any other creature. All those who have since found grace before God have found it only through her. She was full of grace when she was greeted by the Archangel Gabriel and was filled with grace to overflowing by the Holy Spirit when he so myseteriously overshadowed her. From day to day, from moment to moment, she increased so much this twofold plentitude that she attanined an immense and inconceivable degree of grace. So much so, that the Almighty made her the sole custodian of his treasures and the sole dispenser of his graces…

**. 45. ** **To Mary alone God gave the keys of the cellars of divine love and the ability to enter the most sublime and secret ways of perfection, and lead others along them. **…

** 214… ** Her faith on earth was stronger than that of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and saints…

(Quote of St. Bonaventure by St. Louis Mary de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary) "Dear Mother of saving grace, I will do everything with confidence and without fear, because you are my strength and my boast in the Lord.- excerpt from **216. **)

From **The Secret of the Rosary, **http://www.catholictradition.org/Classics/secret-rosary52.htm by St. Louis Mary de Montfort, the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Excerpt from 52th Rose: **From this Saint Gertrude learned that the Blessed Trinity has allowed Our Lady to be the most powerful next to God the Father, the wisest after God the Son, and the **most loving after God the Holy Ghost. She also learned that every time the Angelic Salutation is said by the faithful the three mysterious streams surround Our Lady in a mighty, swirling current and rush into her heart. After they have completely bathed her in happiness they gush back into the bosom of ALmighty God. The saints and angels share in this abundance of joy as do the faithful on earth, who say this prayer. For the Angelic Salutation is the source of all good for God’s children.
This is what Our Lady herself said to Saint Gertrude:
“Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself.”

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#11

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, one of the 33 Doctors of the Church, says of her in the Glories of Mary, catholictradition.org/Mary/glories1.htm, "Think of what the Saints have done for their neighbor because they loved God. But what Saint’s love for God can match Mary’s? She loved Him more in the first moment of her existence than all the Saints and angels ever loved Him or will love Him.

Our Lady herself revealed to Sister Mary Crocifissa that the fire of her love was most extreme. If Heaven and earth were placed in it, they would be instantly consumed. And the ardors of the seraphim, compared with it, are like cool breezes. Just as there is not one among all the Blessed who loves God as Mary does, so there is no one, after God, who loves us as much as this most loving Mother does. Furthermore, if we heaped together all the love that mothers have for their children, all the love of husbands and wives, all the love of all the angels and Saints for their clients, it could never equal Mary’s love for even a single soul.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori also quotes St. Bonaventure, “My Lady, my Mother - or rather, my heart and my soul!" and also "Blessed are they who have the good fortune to be faithful servants and lovers of this most loving Mother. Blessed are the hearts of those who love Mary; blessed are they who are tenderly devoted to her**.”

And I think that, unless I am understanding things poorly, which often happens, I also have an answer from St. Alphonsus de Liguori, was the Immaculate Heart of Mary’s love for Jesus so much the greater because she would have loved him had she not known what he would do on earth, is yes. Luckily, I found excerpts of his book online for the first time in the past few days. From the Introduction to the Glories of Mary: *"I may be allowed to make a short digression and give my own sentiment here. I would say that when an opinion tends in any way to the honor of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, when it has some foundation and is not repugnant to the Faith, nor to the decrees of the Church, nor to truth, to refuse to hold it, or to oppose it because the reverse may be true, shows little devotion to the Mother of God.

I do not choose to be counted in that company, nor do I wish my reader to be. I wish rather to be in the company of those who fully and firmly believe all that can without error be believed of the greatness of Mary.

If there were nothing else to take away our fear of going too far in the praises of Mary, St. Augustine’s opinion would be enough. He declares that anything we may say in praise of Mary is little in comparison with what she deserves, because of her dignity as Mother of God." *catholictradition.org/Mary/glories.htm#INTRO

St. Louis Mary de Montfort suggests a way to model ourselves after Mary in True Devotion to Mary **219. ** Please note that I say that saints are moulded in Mary. There is a vast difference between carving a statue by blows of hammer and chisel and making a statue by using a mould. Sculptors and statue-makers work hard and need plenty of time to make statues by the first method. But the second method does not involve much work and takes very little time. St. Augustine speaking to our Blessed Lady says, “You are worthy to be called the mould of God.” Mary is a mould capable of forming people into the image of the God-man. Anyone who is cast into this divine mould is quickly shaped and moulded into Jesus and Jesus into him. At little cost and in a short time he will become Christ-like since he is cast into the very same mould that fashioned a God-man.

** 220 ** I think I can very well compare to sculptors some spiritual directors and devout persons who wish to produce Jesus in themselves and in others by methods other than this. Many of them rely on their own skill, ingenuity and art, and chip away enlessly with mallet and chisel at hard stone or badly-prepared wood, in an effort to produce a likeness of Our Lord. At times, they do not manage to produce a recognisable likeness either because they lack knowledge and experience of the person of Jesus or because a clumsy stroke has spoiled the work. But those who accept this little known secret of grace which I offer them can rightly be compared to smelters and moulders who have discovered the beautiful mould of Mary, where Jesus was so divinely and so naturally formed.
They do not rely on their own skill but on the perfection of the mould. They cast and lose themselves in Mary where they become true models of her Son.

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. ***


#12

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

**221. ** You may think this is a beautiful and convincing comparison. But how many understand it? I would like you, my dear friend, to understand it. But remember **that only molten and liquified substances may be poured into a mould. That means that you must crush and melt down the old Adam in you if you wish to acquire the likeness of the new Adam in Mary. **

St. Louis Mary de Montfort writes of many other wonderful truths about God and the Immaculate Heart of Mary in True Devotion to Mary as well as describes the most perfect devotion, to the best of my horribly imperfect knowledge, to Mary.

May Jesus and Mary bless us all with humility, love, discernment, understanding, hope, trust, perseverance, and faith, especially myself being more in need of these gifts probably than any one of you. For the glory of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary!!

Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse. Come Holy Spirit, come by means of the powerful intercession of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, your well beloved spouse.

*Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou among women and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen. *


#13

Thank you for all of your responses. The question is really: did the fact that the Immaculate Heart of Mary was a Mother profoundly change the nature of her love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus, emphasizing the fact that if God had chosen some other way for Jesus to live and die, so that he hadn’t called his disciples and had been crucified, although God in his infinite wisdom chose the way he chose, her love for him would still have been so strong? The reflection comes from my perception that in some sense, the rest of us love him for what he did for us, often it takes getting broken down as happened to St. Paul or St. Francis of Assisi, or we have an intellectual understanding first before we can love - while she may have been the only human being to ever truly love him without needing to get a single thing back in return, no intellectual understanding of the benefits of this love or getting broken down. Would she have been the only one willing to suffer and lay down her life for him without knowing or understanding the benefits of loving him because she was his Mother?

Undoubtedly, Mary loved Jesus in a unique way because of the very fact that she was His mother and brought Him into the world, nursed and cared for Him, probably worried over Him, from birth to adulthood. This puts Mary in an entirely unique position of having a mother’s human heart for an only child. None of us have ever had that precise experience of Jesus, nor ever will.

That is the human side of Mary.

On the spiritual side, her love burned with the consuming fire of Charity - a pure and unsullied Charity, crowned as Mary’s loving Charity is by The Holy Spirit to the full extent of all virtue.

In relationship to Jesus, Mary is thus humanly and spiritually unique in every way.

Other than those comments, I think probably the rest of your question is open to speculation and differing opinions.**Catholic Catechism -492 **

The Quote:“splendor of an entirely unique holiness” by which Mary is “enriched from the first instant of her conception” comes wholly from Christ: she is “redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son”.


#14

St Joseph
St. Gertrude the Great


#15

I really am not understanding your question.

Fraternally,

JR :slight_smile:


#16

I am not too sure, JR, that a question was implied in the quote you give rather that it is a statement, but I am sure that will be responded to, but under the terms of the OP, the question (to break it down) is: Would Mary of have loved Jesus if He was not the Son of God and the Messiah…which latter has drawn all saints down the ages.
The answer is that yes she would have loved Him as she loved him the biological heart of his biological mother and hence unconditionally on a strictly human level as his mother. Saints being drawn to Him has always been through His Sonship as The Second Person of The Blessed Trinity.
Over and above that, all our saints have been canonized because of their heroic virtue. No virtue in any saint at any point in time can exceed that of the heroism and heroic sanctity of Mary. Nor has any saint at any point in time ever been perfected in virtue to the same degree as Mary including the full virtue of discipliship - this is simply impossible because Mary was conceived free of original sin. Jesus points this out in the response to the statement that Mary His mother would like to speak with him - meaning his biological mother. In this statement:

Then his mother and brothers came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you.” He said to them in reply, "My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.
(Luke 8:19-21)

…Jesus is pointing out that Mary’s status with Him is that she hears the word of God and acts on it … and more perfectly than any other saint down the halls of time to the end of time.
There should never be any hint in the devotion to any saint that that saint is equal to or exceeds the saintliness and therefore holiness of The Mother of God. Mary is Queen of Heaven and Queen of all the saints and angels and occupies a regal and holy place far surpassing the greatest of our saints. In Mary is produced the perfected discipleship of Christ, therefore the perfect reflection of her Son. Undoubtedly, for example, St. Francis was perfected as a perfect disciple insofar as St. Francis could be perfected, Mary exceeds that. To mark this in a totally unique way in the annals of our saints, Mary is assumed body and soul into Heaven, declaring so holy and sanctified was not only her soul, but her body also. It had never been marred nor marked in any way by sin, including her quite human senses.

I cannot imagine any suffering worse than for a mother to stand by and watch her son suffer and then dying in the most horrible way imaginable. And this is only one way that Mary would have suffered denied any other human person to the end of time, simply because she was His biological mother and loved with the heart of a mother perfected by her holiness.
Like her Son, Mary was intelligent. She had seen what happened to her nephew, John The Baptist, for speaking out and doubtless once she realized that her Son intended to do the same thing and speak out also, her heart would have daily been in a state of near dread. Certainly mine would have been had I been His mum. And in the end her worst fears came to be realized in an appalling way - far worse than His cousin.
Mary is said to be the first of the spiritual martyrs.

My understanding based on available research:
[/FONT]http://www.catholic-pages.com/bvm/perfdisc.asp
…and in previous posts with quoted reliable authorities.

Barb:)


#17

I have lost my edit facility!

Re spiritual martyrdom of Mary from “Revelations of Divine Love” - Julian of Norwich :
ccel.org/ccel/julian/revelations.ix.iii.html

CHAPTER XVIII

HERE I saw a part of the compassion of our Lady, Saint Mary: for Christ and she were so oned in love that the greatness of her loving was cause of the greatness of her pain. For in this [Shewing] I saw a Substance of Nature’s7070 i.e. Natural. Love, continued by Grace, that creatures have to Him: which Kind Love was most fully shewed in His sweet Mother, and overpassing; for so much as she loved Him more than all other, her pains passed all other. For ever the higher, the mightier, the sweeter that the love be, the more sorrow it is to the lover to see that body in pain that is loved.

Hence, by virtue of the mother of Jesus staying with her Son until His horrific death, a capacity for love is eked out in the human heart and soul of Mary far beyond the capacity of any human being who ever has or who will ever live.

.


#18

[quote=JReducation]I believe the question is not as clear as the OP had hoped. If we ask if the Mary, because of her Immaculate Heart, is the only human who purely loved Jesus, the answer would have to be a resounding no. You have a simple example of someone like Francis of Assisi whom St. Bonaventure’s theology says loved Jesus so perfectly that he became like Jesus in all things: life, work, word, prayer, even physically. He is the only stigmatist who actually had nails through his wounds.
[/quote]

Let’s not put St. Francis in equal realm with Christ, JR, and above all other saints. This is not the first instance of your inference in this regard.

Regarding Mary’s love, your words to the OP are not stated as being your personal opinion, which it IS, but as officially representing that of our Church, and this is NOT truth. I would hope that you do some further research of papal encyclicals on Mary at the Vatican website.

She is a model of true love of God, without being part of the Trinity. If she is the model and the Church encourages us to follow her example and aspire to love her Son as she loved him. Then the answer has to be, she is not the only person capable of pure love of God.

The Church has always reserved a special word for Mary when referring to veneration due to her, called “hyperdulia” and differentiates this from “dulia” which is rendered to the saints.

In her status as “Immaculate Conception” pure and undefiled, and Spouse of the Holy Spirit, there is no possibility of comparison with the purity of her love, nor its intensity. Yes, as mortals conceived under original sin, we may arrive at pure love as far as possible with the aid of sanctifying grace, but it is virtually false [and I might add, heretical] to equate our finite capacity to love God on a par with Mary’s.

Whether others achieved the intensity of love that she achieved or not, that’s another question and we will have to wait until we get to Heaven to find out.

Your speculative inference suggests the possibility of this being affirmative, whereas Church teaching does not open that door of probability. I invite you to read a beautiful Marian document from Paul VI for your studies. :slight_smile:

Peace,
Carole


#19

Hi Carole…thank you for the post above - for me it was informative and educational. I have certainly never heard of dulia and hyperdulia - I could not even say to myself that I had ever heard of them somewhere. Completely new words to me and very interesting ones. Having a look at what the web had to say about them, I learnt another new word for me - latria, which is the sacrificial worship and adoration reserved for God.
Its a sad day that will pass without learning something new. Thank you!

I am about to copy and print the Marian document link you have given and have another read.

Barb:)
If anyone else would like to read about latria, dulia and hyperdulia - I used the wikipedia:
[/FONT]here

Edit: I have just read the first page to discern whether I have read it before or not and I dont think that I have. I have only had this computer a few years and am still catching up on much reading.

I read once that if one was to look for a common denominator and criteria for sanctity and holiness, it was a devotion to Mary.

I found this paragraph particularly beautiful:

[size=3][FONT=Times New Roman]Indeed every authentic development of Christian worship is necessarily followed by a fitting increase of veneration for the Mother of the Lord. Moreover, the history of piety shows how “the various forms of devotion towards the Mother of God that the Church has approved within the limits of wholesome and orthodox doctrine”[5] have developed in harmonious subordination to the worship of Christ, and have gravitated towards this worship as to their natural and necessary point of reference. The same is happening in our own time. The Church’s reflection today on the mystery of Christ and on her own nature has led her to find at the root of the former and as a culmination of the latter the same figure of a woman: the Virgin Mary, the Mother of Christ and the Mother of the Church. And the increased knowledge of Mary’s mission has become joyful veneration of her and adoring respect for the wise plan of God, who has placed within His family (the Church), as in every home, the figure of a Woman, who in a hidden manner and in a spirit of service watches over that family “and carefully looks after it until the glorious day of the Lord.”[6][/size]
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#20

Hi Barb,

I’m so glad you were blessed by the information in my post. These words of yours also edified me, as they are so true: * “I read once that if one was to look for a common denominator and criteria for sanctity and holiness, it was a devotion to Mary.”* It has been a long document to read, but full of Marian teachings. Here is a paragraph toward the end that I thought was especially beautiful.

The Church’s devotion to the Blessed Virgin is an intrinsic element of Christian worship. The honor which the Church has always and everywhere shown to the Mother of the Lord, from the blessing with which Elizabeth greeted Mary (cf. Lk. 1:42-45) right up to the expressions of praise and petition used today, is a very strong witness to the Church’s norm of prayer and an invitation to become more deeply conscious of her norm of faith. And the converse is likewise true. The Church’s norm of faith requires that her norm of prayer should everywhere blossom forth with regard to the Mother of Christ. Such devotion to the Blessed Virgin is firmly rooted in the revealed word and has solid dogmatic foundations.

It is based on the singular dignity of Mary, “Mother of the Son of God, and therefore beloved daughter of the Father and Temple of the Holy Spirit—Mary, who, because of this extraordinary grace, is far greater than any other creature on earth or in heaven.”

This devotion takes into account the part she played at decisive moments in the history of the salvation which her Son accomplished, and her holiness, already full at her Immaculate Conception yet increasing all the time as she obeyed the will of the Father and accepted the path of suffering, growing constantly in faith, hope and charity. Devotion to Mary recalls too her mission and the special position she holds within the People of God, of which she is the preeminent member, a shining example and the loving Mother; it recalls her unceasing and efficacious intercession which, although she is assumed into heaven, draws her close to those who ask her help, including those who do not realize that they are her children.

It recalls Mary’s glory which ennobles the whole of mankind, as the outstanding phrase of Dante recalls: “You have so ennobled human nature that its very Creator did not disdain to share in it.” Mary, in fact, is one of our race, a true daughter of Eve—though free of that mother’s sin—and truly our sister, who as a poor and humble woman fully shared our lot.


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