Saturday, May 10, 2014

JMJT! Praise be Jesus Christ! Now and Forever!

Tomorrow we celebrate Mother's Day and give thanks to God for the gift of life and for our earthly mothers. I am eternally grateful for the loving mother that Our Lord gave to me, and know that I am tremendously blessed with her loving presence and guidance in my life. My mother's love for her family and for others is truly striking and an inspiration to all who know her and come into contact with her.  I know for some others, there might not be as many feelings of endearment, due to emotional pain or various forms of separation that sometimes occur between mothers and their children.  Sometimes this celebration of Mother's Day can be bittersweet with mixed emotions. Regardless of our family circumstances, we were in the womb of each of our mothers, where she housed us and shared her very blood and nourishment with us.  This initial act was one of love as it is sacrificial in nature from the outset, as pregnancy begins to teach mothers about selfless love and about letting go of our own desires and wants for the needs of our baby in the womb.

As we grow and mature as Catholics, it is inevitable that we begin to develop a deeper relationship with Our Lady who is our Celestial Mother. She comes to us exactly where we are at, and loves us unconditionally. She brings the love of Her Son, Jesus, and the entire Holy Trinity to us in a special way.  As the Immaculate Conception, she is able to provide us with her maternal care and guidance that is truly perfect in every way. She embodies the Beatitudes and virtues of meekness, patience, gentleness, peacefulness, humility, mercy, and kindness.  By being the mother of Christ, She is the Mother of Divine Mercy and Divine Love. 

St. Augustine asks the following, " Tell me how Mary became the mother of Christ, if it was not by giving birth to the members of Christ? Of whom were you born? You became sons of this mother at your baptism, you came to birth then as members of Christ. You became sons when you were born there yourselves, and now by bringing others to birth in the same way, you have it in your power to become the mothers of Christ." [The Virgin Mary, the Church, and Evangelization] 

The last thing that Jesus instructed us on the Cross was to, "Behold your Mother'. As we celebrate Mother's Day weekend, let us behold her and thank her, along with our earthly mothers. Let us honor both and recognize God's infinite love for us in giving us the Blessed Virgin Mary who we can go to for any need or reason.  Let us have confidence that she is with us always and everywhere. Just as the psalmist cries out in Psalm 139, regarding Our Lady's Divine Spouse, 
Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.

So Our Lady is at the side of the Holy Trinity at all times and therefore perpetually with us, interceding for us and bringing her maternal warmth and love to us. Just as God never leaves us orphans, so it can be said about Our Mother. 

As the psalm continues, the psalmist further recognizes God's Divine Presence from his time in the womb:
13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts,[a] God!
    How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand    when I awake, I am still with you. 
It is in the womb of our biological mothers that our physical beings and DNA are fashioned together in a most miraculous way. According to St. Louis de Montfort in True Devotion to Mary, he references St. Augustine's belief that our spiritual beings are fashioned in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. 

Jesus is still as much as ever the fruit of Mary, as heaven and earth repeat thousands of times a day: "Blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." It is therefore certain that Jesus is the fruit and gift of Mary for every single man who possesses him, just as truly as he is for all mankind. Consequently, if any of the faithful have Jesus formed in their heart they can boldly say, "It is thanks to Mary that what I possess is Jesus her fruit, and without her I would not have him." We can attribute more truly to her what Saint Paul said of himself, "I am in labour again with all the children of God until Jesus Christ, my Son, is formed in them to the fullness of his age." Saint Augustine, surpassing himself as well as all that I have said so far, affirms that in order to be conformed to the image of the Son of God all the predestinate, while in the world, are hidden in the womb of the Blessed Virgin where they are protected, nourished, cared for and developed by this good Mother, until the day she brings them forth to a life of glory after death, which the Church calls the birthday of the just. This is indeed a mystery of grace unknown to the reprobate and little known even to the predestinate! (#33)

Let us then give Our Beloved Mother of God permission to form and mold us in Her Immaculate Womb, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.