We Catholics love the Mother of Christ simply because Christ loves and reveres her as His own mother. "Honor thy father and mother." Even more, Catholics recognize that the Blessed Virgin is not merely the means of Christ's incarnation. She is the "Woman" of Genesis 3:15 who is at everlasting war with Satan.
Her silent place under the cross demonstrates her willingness to conform to Simeon's prophecy about her: "A sword shall pierce your heart as well" (Lk 2:25). Mary experienced a piercing of the heart as her Divine Son was also pierced upon the cross of our salvation. This mystery further confirms that God has mystically associated the Holy Virgin with the infinite work of Christ's redemption. This is why she is sometimes called the "Co-Redemptrix" (more on this controversy in a later post). So then, since the Mother of the Redeemer is not merely one of the saints, but rather has a unique role in God's purpose and plan, the Catholic Church has proclaimed the "Four Marian Dogmas," which are:
1. Theotokos - Mother of God as testified by St Elizabeth: "And how has it happened to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?" (Lk 1:43).
2. Ever Virgin - Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant since she contained the Word made flesh within her sacred womb. Consequently, she is set apart and inviolate.
3. Immaculate Conception - Mary was pre-redeemed in sight of the merits of Christ's cross so that she was preserved from the stain of original sin from her very first moment. This derives from Lk 1:28 where St Gabriel addresses her as κεχαριτωμένη - which is the Greek perfect passive participle of the verb related to noun "grace." It entails the completion of an act in the past. For the reason, the phrase has been historically translated as gratia plena or "full of grace." One full of grace is empty of sin!
4. Bodily Assumed into Heaven - The Mother of our Lord, since she is without original sin or personal sin, experiences the glorification of her body prior to the Last Judgment. As the Ark of the New Covenant she carried up by her Divine Son into Heaven in order to inaugurate the Kingdom of God: "Arise, O Lord, and go to thy resting place, thou and the ark of thy might" (Ps 132:8). As the Hebrew Gebirah or Queen Mother. For more details, read this: "Mary as the Davidic Gebirah."
Look for more posts today and this week focusing on titles, privileges, and prerogatives of our Immaculate Lady, such as Co-Redemptrix, Mediatrix, Advocate, Spouse of the Spirit, Seat of Wisdom, and Exterminatrix of All Heresy.
Please also read:
- The Virgin Mary inspires U2's Bono
- The Virgin Mary's Womb as Ezekiel's Closed Gate of the Messiah
- Demons unable to curse Blessed Virgin Mary
- St Augustine on Mary and our Becoming "His Mother"
- If Mary Had No Sin, Is Christ Her Savior?