Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Much Ado About Mary

Once upon a time there was an old priest who became rather forgetful and tired of giving sermons at Mass on Sunday.

He used to write down his sermons and then read them at Mass; but more often than not he used to forget bringing his sermons to church; so at sermon time he had nothing to read anyway.

He reasoned that if he had to write down his sermons in order to remember them, then how could the congregation be expected to remember them after leaving church.

With such impeccable logic he decided to do something about it.

One Sunday morning at Mass he announced: “I’m getting old and forgetful. I really can't be bothered anymore with writing sermons I instantly forget. So from now on there will be no more sermons at Mass!”

His congregation was very disappointed and some even complained to the Bishop.

The Bishop called the old priest in for an explanation. Somewhat pensively the old priest explained that he could no longer remember what to say in his sermons, and even though he prepared sermons in writing, he often forgot to bring his writing to church, which meant he had no sermon to deliver.

The Bishop sympathized with the elderly colleague and said: “Here's something you could try. Next time you have to give a sermon say in a loud voice ‘I have an announcement to make!’

“This will ensure you have everyone’s attention. They will hang on to your every word.

“Then say just as loudly ‘I have fallen in love with a woman’.

“Now this will certainly have them all listening very carefully and remembering your every word.

“And then calmly tell them about the Virgin Mary, and all the good she did for us. It will be easy. Just speak from the heart of your love for Our Lady”.

The old priest was overjoyed and the following Sunday he stood proudly at the lectern and said loudly:

“I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT TO MAKE!”

And sure enough everyone sat up in their pews to listen very carefully. The old priest then continued just as loudly:

“THE BISHOP HAS FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A WOMAN …”

As the congregation stirred in their seats the old priest went on:

“I can’t for the life of me remember her name …”

Many non-Catholics perhaps don't understand our devotion to Mary, the Mother of God, and often believe that our love for her is wrong and somewhat sacrilegious. They quote bits of the Bible like: 
 
"Christ said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one goes to the Father except by me.’

Or Paul message in his letter to Timothy when he says, "there is one God, and there is one mediator who brings God and mankind together, Christ Jesus."

To pray to Mary, or any other Saint for that matter, must seem like idolatry or blasphemy to many.

I suppose I understand this viewpoint on the surface of it. But let's consider it some more.

When someone is ill, or in some difficulty, we often pray for them and ask God to come to their aid. This is right and proper and it shows our charitable loving intentions on our part; it shows our generosity of spirit and caring.

Prayers are the greatest gifts we can give to or receive from someone. God loves to hear our prayers on behalf of someone else.

When we pray for others we are mediating for them. We are saying "God ... you know our friend X is a good chap really. He is not well right now. Please help him." Or words to that effect.

When we pray to Mary and asking her help we are doing no different. We are asking her, or any other Saint, to put in a good word for us with God. We are not worshipping her, but asking her to mediate in the same way as we do ourselves when we pray for someone.

It is significant perhaps that Christ's first miracle, turning water into wine at the Wedding in Cana, was indeed done through the mediation of His Mother. She was a guest there. She was not in charge of proceedings. She noticed that wine was running short and asked Her Son to help. Is this a clear signal from Christ Himself that there is nothing wrong in asking Mary to mediate or intercede for us?

When we light candles in front of Mary's statue, or place flowers, this is not idolatry. We are not worshipping the statue made of stone, or whatever material. The statue is a mere representation of what Mary might look like; it is to help us imagine who we are praying to. It is no different to us having a picture of our loved ones in our wallet or purse, or on our desk at work. We don't love the picture, but the individuals it portrays. It is a reminder of our loved ones.

Let's look at this another way.

God chose Mary to be the Mother of His only Son. He obviously had, and still has, high regard for her. Do you think that when I get to meet God face to face He will punish me for daring to love Mary? Or Joseph? Or any of the other Saints?

When we pray to Saints we do not worship them. We merely ask them to mediate for us. To put in a good word for us with God. Just as we do when someone asks us for a reference for a job, or club membership.

And God knows ... we need all the help and good words we can get!

I know I do. So please pray for me. It won't do you any harm and might do me a lot of good.

Thanx and God bless.

8 comments:

  1. Victor #1, this is a very moving post and many statue pictures went through my mind as I read your story... to try and explain while summing IT" UP with some of my remaining brain cells... it reminded me of a box of children puzzle that I once found for our young daughters at a lawn sale. This box had many separated single large pictured puzzles.... anyway, they were not that hard for an adult with all his/her faculties to put together.

    I just want to talk about a couple of spiritual puzzles that I see in this post and the first one is of the Wedding in Cana where our Blessed Mother Mary is asking Her First born Son "Jesus" to perform a miracle for her... what I also imagine seeing and hearing is that Mother Mary quietly told Her Son through her husband Joseph who had passed on, that it was time for "Jesus" to start His Mission with The Blessing of His Heavenly Father... most certainly won't imagine that Joseph' step Son "Jesus" was once a teenager and that some singular black hole singles spiritual reality cells followers had convince "Jesus" that He was ready to start His Mission back then as a teen... three days later after "Joseph" had a good talk telling GOD His Lord that they were really hurt not knowing this in advance... long story short... GOD told His Only Begotten Human Son that He should wait until He was officially told which was about 30 years of age... longer story shorter, GOD (Good Old Dad) through a black hole in "TIME" told His Son that His Mother was telling the truth and so He should change the water into wine.

    Let's just skip the next picture which is of Christ's first miracle where He eventually turns water into wine because I'm sure that most if not all people are having problem swallowing this imaginary spiritual story about Mary... probably as much if not more that "Jesus" now wants His Priest married...lol


    I hear YA! Yes God knows that we need help and all the good words we can get and I also know that I will keep praying for you. It certainly won't do you any harm and "IT" might also do me a lot of good if YA get my drift? :)

    Thanx and God Bless

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your prayers.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. Much does Mary! A good mother always wants to help...
    And the Blessed Mother always helps in getting me where I need to be---back centered on Jesus! ...and I am grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wise words Eileen. It's great to see you visiting here. Thanx.

      God bless.

      Delete
  3. Hi Victor! Such a lovely, no nonsense way to explain devotion to Mary. Or to any saint really. I know that I have asked for her help in my recovery, as well as St. Stanislaus Kostka. That doesn't mean I don't know where my healing comes from...but that I know they can intercede for me.
    I remember reading that Christ's body came from Mary. If we are a part of his body, then Mary is our Mother too. Who doesn't need a mother's prayers?
    You write so well about faith my friend. Such a pleasure to read!
    Wednesday blessings,
    Ceil

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support, Ceil.

      When the Saints were alive on earth - e.g. Peter and the disciples, they performed miracles in the name of Christ. It was not their power that performed miracles but the power of God through them. Why is it though, that now, a lot of people cannot understand/accept that the Saints can still perform mircales whilst in Heaven - e.g. Lourdes, Fatima etc...

      Of course St Stanislaus and the Virgin Mary would heal you and help you recover. I have after all been praying long enough!

      God bless.

      Delete
  4. Very well written, Victor. There are many that need to read this.

    God Bless you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Michael; and for your support.

      God bless you.

      Delete

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