Catholic Teachings - O'Brien: Holy Mary, Mother of God

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The Jesuit Fathers deserve special praise for fostering particular devotion to Mary in the month of May, with processions and crowning Mary, queen of heaven and earth, with the Rosary, the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

"That Mary is the mother of God is a revealed fact so closely linked to Christ's Salvation plan for men that since the Council of Ephesus in 431 its recognition has been the touchstone of Christian orthodoxy. If Mary is not truly the mother of God, then Christ is not true God as well as true man, and He is not the Redeemer of men. Mary is truly the mother of God if two conditions are fulfilled:that she is really the mother of Jesus and that Jesus is really God." (New Catholic Encyclopedia, 10, p. 21)

The above article shows that a woman conceives or generates a child at the very instant that God creates and infuses the soul into the properly disposed maternal ovum. There are three elements. 1. The mother generates the whole child. 2. The child receives a part of the very flesh of the parent. 3. The child must take its origin from the maternal ovum. Mary's motherhood is essentially different from other women's motherhood because her child is a Divine Person.

This fact is repeated each time we pray the Angelus (the announcement by the angel Gabriel: The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary, and she conceived by the Holy Spirit; Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done unto me according to your word; and the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us. Christ is not a human person. He is one divine person subsisting in two natures: the divine nature (the Word that always is God) and the human nature received in time from his human mother.

Every Sunday we repeat this truth: "We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man."

The Encyclopedia repeats:"Instead of giving human personality to be enshrined in Mary's womb, God gives the divine Person of His own Son as the term of Mary's maternal activity." (ibid., p. 21)

--May 9, 2000