Sunday, December 31, 2006

Mary, Mother of God


Today, January 1st, is the feast of Mary, the Mother of God. For those who don't quite understand why we Catholics venerate Mary as much as we do, let me say first and foremost that the title of Mary was not given to her by the Church because of who she is, but rather because of who her son is.

In defending the faith against heresies, the Magisterium of the Church delared Jesus to be true God and true man. True man because there were some who thought that Jesus was only God and not really human (and these were the first heresies, which goes to show that the belief in Jesus's divinty was from the beginning). Then there were those, like Arius, who said that Jesus was only man and not at all God. Against these, the Church proclaimed that Jesus is in fact true God. Therefore at the counsel of Ephesus, Mary was given the title Theotokos, God bearer, because the one whom she bore, Jesus, was truly God. This makes her "Mother of God," since she is mother of the One Who is true God and true man. This does not mean that she is the origin of Christ's divinity, as if she were the principle from which God came into being... no, she is not "mother" of God in this sense, but rather in being mother of Jesus Christ, in whom the human and divine natures were unified though not intertwined or confused, she is mother of God.

Today is also the world day of peace. And so... (let us pray a bit of the Great Litany from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom... not only as a prayer for peace, but a reminder of our lady and her role in our walk of faith as teacher and example).

In peace let us pray to the Lord.

Lord have mercy.

For peace from on high, the salvation of our souls, let us ask of the Lord.

Lord have mercy.

...

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

To you, O Lord!

Happy Feast of Mary the Mother of God!

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