The Eternal Mother


The Blessed Virgin was the gracious Mother of the Divine Redeemer, His associate more than others, and the humble servant of the Lord. In conceiving Christ, in bringing Him forth, in nourishing Him, in presenting Him to the Father in the Temple, in suffering with her Son as He died on the cross, she cooperated in the work of the Savior, in an altogether singular way, by obedience, faith, hope and burning love. The Council Vatican II tells us that she was His Mother also in sharing His work, as His associate, even to the extent of sharing the work of redemption.

We should really call her the eternal Mother – for her Motherhood of her divine Son was planned for from all eternity, as the Council tells us. When God decreed to send His Son to become man, the determination included the provision for His Mother. Hence it is evident: Mary was eternally called to be Christ’s Mother.

She did not suffer the physical pain of bringing Him forth, as ordinary Mothers do – a great work, fraught with danger of death, before the advances of modern medicine. “God did not diminish but consecrated her virginal integrity”. Yet she suffered an excruciating pain on Calvary.

Her suffering had begun years before, at the very day of the Annunciation. She would understand the terrible words of Isaiah in Chapter 53 about the lamb, bruised for our offenses, led to the slaughter. Mary committed herself to the great sacrifice when she presented Jesus in the Temple. “Behold, I come to do your will O God.” That dread pledge of consent was to continue, to exact its tremendous toll at the foot of the cross. The cost was beyond the comprehension of any creature.

A mother has a second role to fulfill: to take care of the new life, so long as she is willing, able, and needed. In ordinary human affairs, there comes a time when the Mother is not really much needed, for the child grows to adulthood. But in the spiritual life, we remain children in the need of grace as long as we have not reached Heaven. Every grace comes to us through her for Vatican II taught she is the Mediatrix.  She shared in earning all graces, and she shares similarly in giving out all graces. Therefore, our need of her never ends in this life.

An ordinary mother should give care as long as she is willing and capable. Some human mothers unfortunately stop being willing or capable, but the Blessed Mother is always willing and capable to her children. Pope Benedict XV called her “suppliant omnipotence” to our Heavenly Mother, since she may request and obtain God’s inherent power.

On June 19, 1947, Pope Pius XII sent a message to the Marian Congress of Ottawa, Canada. He said: “when the little maid of Nazareth uttered her fiat to the message of the angel…she became not only the Mother of God in the physical order of nature, but also in the supernatural order of grace she became the Mother of all who…would be made one under the Headship of her divine Son. The Mother of the Head would be the Mother of the members.” Her Son is the Head of the Mystical Body and we are the members.  She really could not become the Mother of the Head without becoming the Mother of the Members of Her Son. It began at the Annunciation and effected, with immense pain, on Calvary.  Any soul grows greatly coping with great suffering. Mary was full of grace from the start, and her capacity for grace grew all the days of her life.

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