Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meditations on the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary (I)

Mater Christi, Mater Ecclesia, Ora pro nobis!!!

“The recitation of the rosary allows us to fix our gaze and our hearts upon Jesus, just like his Mother, the supreme model of contemplation of the Son. Meditating upon the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries as we pray our Hail Marys, let us reflect upon the interior mystery of Jesus, from the Incarnation, through the Cross, to the glory of the Resurrection; let us contemplate the intimate participation of Mary in the mystery of our life in Christ today, a life which is also made up of joy and sorrow, of darkness and light, of fear and hope. Grace invades our hearts, provoking a wish for an incisive and evangelical change of life so that we can say with Saint Paul: “For me to live is Christ” (Phil 1:21) in a communion of life and destiny with Christ”. (Pope Benedict XVI, Fatima, May 12, 2010)
The Philippines has always been termed as pueblo amante de María, a nation whose people has always been in love with one of the loves of Jesus our Savior. It is one that we have willingly received from the Spanish evangelizers, Spain being another land deeply devoted to the Mother of God. Our childlike candor and ingenuity as a people have made this devotion truly Filipino; all throughout the islands one could see many representations of Mama Mary in her many titles, all expressing the one love that we have for the Woman who humbly gave us the Word Incarnate. This devotion is expressed in the most popular Marian devotion that we know of, the Rosary. In this month of October, month of the Rosary of Our Lady and Mother, we are invited once again to rediscover the richness that this devotion, tested and tried by Tradition, encouraged by the Magisterium of the Church and the example of the saints. We are reminded once again that, far from being just a mere and tedious repetition of prayers and invocations, the Rosary is an invitation to enter into the very contemplation of the very life of Christ, seen through the eyes of His Mother, of our Mother. So let’s accompany our Mother each day, starting today, being in October, as we relive in our hearts, through the eyes and heart of Mary of Nazareth, the life of Christ, so that receiving the graces that her Son may give to us, through her intercession, we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church
In the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary we invoke her as the Mother of Christ and  Mother of the Church. Though they be separate invocations, as we pray the Litany we could see that there is an intimate connection between the two. The divine maternity of Mary—that Mary is the Mother of Jesus Christ, the only Begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from True God, as the Nicene Creed would profess it—is at the very heart of all of the privileges that she has received from the Lord. This is the very reason why, as she herself has said, all nations shall call me blessed (Lk. 1:48). This is what we call her all throughout the Rosary: she is blessed among women, because blessed is the fruit of her womb. She is the Mother of the Redeemer who, because of her humility, conceived and gave birth in her womb the eternal Son of God.
But because of her vocation to be the Mother of God, she also becomes the Mother of all who are begotten of God, in Jesus Christ, who give to all who receive him and who have believed in his name the power to become children of God (cfr. Jn 1:12). This motherhood became even more manifest on the Cross when the Lord entrusted all of us in the person of His beloved Apostle to His beloved Mother: “behold your Mother” (Jn 19:27). It was also on the Cross that the Church was born, and over this new family of God, this Body of Christ, that Mary exercise her maternity, for how could one be mother of the Head without being Mother of the Body, the Church?
Let us ask Mary, the Mother of the Church, to grant us the grace and the strength to be faithful to the charisms and the vocation that we have received within the Church. We earnestly believe that each of us has a part to play in humbly helping build up the Church, edified by Christ alone. We aid in this work of Christ first and foremost by being FAITHFUL, serving the Church in the way she wants to be served; and in serving the Church, we serve her head, who is Christ.

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