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With recent input on Mary the Mother of God and new people on the forum I ask - Where does she fit in our faith?
-- Jean Bouchard (email@example.com), May 13, 2002
She leads us to her Son. And our Father. Quite simply. :)
There have been many times when I don't think I can quite live up to this role of mother. But her example always gives me strength.
There have been times when I have been angry or have had my doubts...and always her loving, maternal hand gently leads me straight to her Son.
I can not love one without loving the other. I can not think of one without thinking of the other. They are as entertwined as the vines that grow on the trees outside of my window. They say a mother and son share a very special bond. Fathers and daughters, too. I know this as I watch my husband with our daughters. And I know this from the strong connection I feel with my own son. Truly, they are two hearts beating as one.
There are things that I could share but I'm quite certain you would all think me a complete whack job. :) So, I will simply say this. She is a loving mother that will lead you to her Son and together they will save you.
Just my 2 cents. :)
-- Jackiea (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 13, 2002.
Wonderful in indeed Jackie.
-- Jean Bouchard (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
Thank you, Jean. :)
How does she fit in our faith for you?
-- Jackiea (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 14, 2002.
This is one of the hardest parts of my Catholicism. I keep my mouth shut these days, but honestly, so much is said about Mary that is unfounded.
Everything that Christ Said and everything that Christ said is at odds with the idea that his followers should chant prayers to His mother.
-- Windy (AttBMORE215@yahoo.com), May 14, 2002.
Jackiea, I think you are a beautiful Mother. If the world had more Moms like Jackiea, than the world would be a lot better place to live in. I know the love I feel for my daughter, and I couldn't love anyone any more. I am crazy about her, and my wife to, and my Mom. I am a three woman man.(As I told a great friend of mine before). And all three are born in different Country's.
God bless you.
-- David (David@excite.com), May 14, 2002.
"Everything that Christ Said and everything that Christ said is at odds with the idea that his followers should chant prayers to His mother."
I'm not clear on what you're saying. Are you saying that Christ told His disciples that they could not pray for eachother? With regard to "what Christ said," refer to St. Johns Gospel (John 19:26,27):
"When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, 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 to his own home."
What a beautiful gift...
-- (MattElFeo@netscape.net), May 14, 2002.
David, I feel very blessed that you say as such. I sometimes think I'm not so great in the mom department but I do try. And I guess that's better than some, huh? :) Thank you very much for what you said. You are a lucky man, indeed, with your lady loves.
Windy~I wasn't aware we chanted anything to Mary. Actually, the ONLY thing I chant is "this too shall pass" but that's about it. We say the rosary but that's a meditation on the life of Jesus Christ so, I don't see the problem there, either. What chanting exactly do you mean?
-- Jackiea (email@example.com), May 14, 2002.
How do, David Sully?
I remember when you told me that you are a three-woman man.
But I soon realized that you are actually a four-woman man (all born in different countries) --- mom, wife, daughter, and ... Our Lady.
-- Me (U@No.Hoo), May 14, 2002.
I messed up on my typing earlier. I wanted to express my view that Jesus did nothing that leads me to understand why we should pay so much attention to His mother. Early on in my Catholic school education, I was taught about making 9 First Fridays for a guarantee of heaven (I forget the exact promise, now. Don't get on me about that.) But I was probably only 9 years old and knew that that was bogus. Ever since, I have been skeptical about all of the attention to Mary that all the other Catholics go on and on about. I DON'T GET IT! Know doubt some of you (maybe all of you) think this means I'm not a real Catholic. I am. I'm a Catholic who is not devoted to Mary and who thinks the whole Mary thing is way over blown. The rosary is a chant. It may help everybody else meditate, but not me. And now there's talk of making Mary ... what? "Co-redemtrix"? That's weird.
-- Windy (AttBMORE215@yahoo.com), May 15, 2002.
Windy - AS i recall the " promise " was for First Fridays - we shall not pass away from this earth without a priest at our last hour. Not to be taken literally but to know there is a priest there for us.
-- Jean Bouchard (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2002.
It is GOD who gave his LOVE to MARY and she is honored by all Catholics for her faith in him and for bringing him into the world. She is the MOTHER of GOD and OUR MOTHER.
-- Fred Bishop (email@example.com), May 15, 2002.
Mateo - Yes I agree totally with you a She is a gift then and now for God's children. I think of a song we sang when little - Be they yellow black or white - they are precious in His sight - Jesus loves the children of the world.
-- Jean Bouchard (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2002.
Stories of Mercy - The Mary Prayer The Mary Prayer
Recently-ordained, Fr. Larry arrived at his first pastoral assignment. The howling wind knifed through the cracks and crevices of the old rectory. The blizzard of 1890.
Fr. Larry would never forget that first night. There was no central heating, so he went to bed wearing socks, slippers, a pair of baggy pants and a heavy wool sweater; and then he snuggled under five blankets.
He was just dozing off when he heard a voice. "Get up, Father. Someone at 55 Water Street is in desperate need of you."
There was nothing mysterious about the voice. He knew that. In those days, long before electronics, there was a speaking tube that ran from the front door up to the bedroom. There was a megaphone at both ends. If there was an emergency during the night, the caller would speak into the megaphone. His or her voice would be heard upstairs.
It was so bitterly cold! Fr. Larry rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. The voice sounded again! But this time, it was like a trumpet blast. The urgency of it almost knocked him out of the bed.
He ran down the stairs, pulling his bathrobe around him. The frigid wind had drifted the snow waist-high against the door and the side of the building where the outdoor end of the tube and megaphone hung.
There was no one there. Not even footsteps in the snow. He was amazed. He couldn't understand what was happening. He knew that voice was real. It had thundered at him.
He dressed as fast as he could, took his little black bag and plunged into the midnight blizzard.
Fr. Larry remembered walking down the middle of the street. There was not a soul stirring. Water Street, he knew, was on the far side of town, the "wrong side of the tracks." What we'd call the "inner city."
It seemed like hours before he found the house. It was dilapidated and obviously deserted. Boards were nailed across the front door and the windows. Still, driven by the urgency of the message he had heard, he knocked and then pounded on the door. There was no answer. A couple of windows were shattered. He looked into the darkness and called. Nothing.
He began to think that maybe he had been dreaming, that he dreamed he heard a voice ordering him to this broken-down building. Still, he thought, I'd better try the back. The rear door was ajar, but stuck. He pushed it open finally and stepped inside.
In the white glare of moonlight seeping through the dirty windows, he could see a man's body huddled on what had been the kitchen floor. Fr. Larry knelt beside him. The man was dressed in rags. He was a bum, a derelict. The smell of stale beer was almost nauseating. The old man was conscious. He was trembling in the cold. Father wrapped him in his overcoat.
He was able to hear his confession. He gave him Holy Communion and Extreme Unction, as it was called then. Afterwards, he told the dying man how he happened to be there, how he was directed to this ruined house by a voice he heard in the middle of the night.
Then he asked the man, "You must have done something special in your life to gain this kind of extraordinary intervention. What was it?
"No. Nothing," the man mumbled. "I've never done anything. I've wasted away my whole life -- never did anything for anybody..."
"But you must have done something," Fr. Larry persisted. The old man just shook his head. "Nothing."
From the Padre Pio Foundation - MaryLu "I'll get help." Father started toward the door. As he reached it, he heard the man say, "Well, there might have been one thing..., `cept I don't like to talk about it, `cause, I didn't do it well or nothing."
"What was it?" Fr. Larry whispered.
"Aw Father, I don't like to mention it, `cause I did it when I was drunk, sometimes in bars, making fun of it. I'd do it when I'd go to sleep in boxcars with other hobos...but I did it all these years....badly though...."
"What? What did you do?"
"When I was a little kid, my mom told me that if I'd say the "Mary Prayer" every day as often as I would think of it, I wouldn't die alone...that I wouldn't die without having a priest to confess to and to give me the Last...Oh Father, I'm dying, ain't I? And what my mom said was true." He smiled. Then he sighed, "Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me, please, now and at the hour of my death." Then he went home to his Mother, both of them.
That happened a long time ago. It was told to me by one of our priests who is now in Alaska. It was told to him by Fr. Larry when he was a very old man. His visit to the dying derelict on that frigid winter night so long ago--what a precious "spiritual work of Mercy"!
And "The Mary Prayer." What a simple, hope-filled petition of love! For all of us. Everyday. As often as we think of it.
Allow me to put your personal Christmas intentions on our altar. We will join you in praying for them.
Things are difficult for so many of us. It bothers me more than you know to ask you once again to help us. But I have to. We need your help if we are to do corporal and spiritual works of mercy in Padre Pio's name and yours and if we are to invite "all of America" to be his Spiritual Children as he requested. If you can sacrifice five or ten dollars so we can continue our work, I know Our Lady, Holy Mary Mother of God, will be pleased and so will her Son.
God bless you for helping us and keeping us in your prayers.
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Robert McQueeney
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for me please, now and at the hour of my death. Amen.
-- MaryLu (email@example.com), May 15, 2002.
Goofed again - inserted "From the Padre Pio Foundation - MaryLu in the wrong place - oh, well - must stop rushing!
Hope you enjoyed the beautiful story about the Hail Mary. MaryLu :)
-- MaryLu (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 15, 2002.
Though Mary plays an important role as the mother of Jesus, the Catholic Church directly condemns those who try to divinize her. She is a creature, just as we are. But, as I mentioned, Jesus gave Mary to St. John (and all of us) when he was crucified. The Early Church writers are quite clear in their writings concerning Mary.
If you would like some more information on Mary, check this link out.
Here's a little snippit from the page of the Rosary.
"Meditation the Key
First we must understand that they are meditations. When Catholics recite the twelve prayers that form a decade of the rosary, they meditate on the mystery associated with that decade. If they merely recite the prayers, whether vocally or silently, they’re missing the essence of the rosary. It isn’t just a recitation of prayers, but a meditation on the grace of God. Critics, not knowing about the meditation part, imagine the rosary must be boring, uselessly repetitious, meaningless, and their criticism carries weight if you reduce the rosary to a formula. Christ forbade meaningless repetition (Matt. 6:7), but the Bible itself prescribes some prayers that involve repetition. Look at Psalms 136, which is a litany (a prayer with a recurring refrain) meant to be sung in the Jewish Temple. In the psalm the refrain is "His mercy endures forever." Sometimes in Psalms 136 the refrain starts before a sentence is finished, meaning it is more repetitious than the rosary, though this prayer was written directly under the inspiration of God."
Also, check out this link at EWTN.
-- (MattElFeo@netscape.net), May 15, 2002.
Mateo - You stick with the Fathers of the Church I will stick with Mary as she is far more dependable. I have never heard such tripe.
-- Jean Bouchard (email@example.com), May 17, 2002.
Jean, please give us some quoted examples of "tripe" from the Fathers of the Church. I haven't come across yet.
-- ??? (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 18, 2002.
Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. He did not say, My mother and I are the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by us. Honor her because she was his mother. All mothers deserve special thanks, especially her because without Jesus there would be no us. Salvation through her though......refer to John 14:6 if you are ever feeling unsure.
-- Seth Andrew (email@example.com), May 21, 2002.
Why does Seth have to warn Catholics in such a negative way? If Catholics had ever entertained a notion that they could be saved by-- or because of-- or in -- Mary, then I would reject the Catholic faith. Our Saviour is Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the son of Mary as well.
Mary is His holy mother; but she has no power of her own to save or redeem us. She has only one great advantage over the rest of us believers. She is His mother; from the first holy day in Bethlehem to the last day when Jesus was brought down from the cross.
Even this was conceded her by God Almighty. Mary did not deserve it, nor have any divine right. Yet, the particular role she played, voluntarily and by GRACE-- was to become the first love of the Man Jesus; her Holy Son. --The love of a Son for his mother.
A man loves the mother who bore him. Jesus is no exception; and in Jesus' humanity is expressed and revealed as well His Divinity. He can't be separated in Person from the Godhead. Meaning, necessarily that God loves Mary as His own mother.
Who better for Christians to appeal to, as an advocate in her Son's immediate presence?
Holy Mary, mother of God-- PRAY for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.
To ask of His holy mother these favors, prayers on our behalf-- is not to worship her, as if she had power to save us and redeem us! Is it right for non-Catholics; repeating always stubbornly against all reason: to say that Catholics give Mary more than she deserves?
Is Jesus of this opinion, and against all our communications with her/ Out of some jealous, selfish motive? That notion is blasphemous; as if God saw Mary for a rival! God isn't stupid! --Catholics love her; but Catholics adore and worship only God. We know this, Mary knows this, and God knows it.
-- eugene c. chavez (firstname.lastname@example.org), May 22, 2002.