Growing up as a Catholic i have come to realize that one of the problems some catholic faithfuls have is the problem of the doctrine on Mary, especially when they are been challenged by some of our separated brethren.
Of all of the obstacles littering their path toward the doctrine on Mary is, why we honour and regard Mary as the Mother of God?
It is sad indeed that there exists so much misunderstanding regarding the love and reverence that Catholics and even other Christians have for the Mother of Jesus. Thus, this problem stems from the fact that the Blessed Virgin Mary is not regarded by some as a personal and spiritual mother.
We call Mary the Mother of God because, on the cross of calvary, When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved, standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home. There Jesus Christ committed us to the care of the Virgin Mary.
The Greek word for the title is Theotokos, which literally means “God-bearer.” That title is one of the oldest and most commonly used titles for Mary, with Christians using it in the very first centuries of the Church. The title also appears in one of the oldest known Christian prayers, the Sub Tuum Praesidium (“Beneath Your Protection”), an early form of the Memorare that dates to the third century.
The Catholic Church taught that Mary was only a creature; however, she was the only mother whose Son created her. She was sinless because her Son saved her from sin from the moment of her conception. Mary’s gift of sinlessness was not a matter of pride for her, but one of deep humility. She owed her entire salvation, as we do, to the mercy of God. She did not exalt herself; rather, the Lord is the One who exalted her for our benefit.
At the beginning of the third session of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI announced that Mary would be honored under the title ‘Mother of the Church.’ Hence, Mary is known by many different titles such as:
- Blessed Mother
- Our Lady
- Star of the Sea
- Queen of Heaven
- Cause of Our Joy
- Mother of Mercy etc.
All these titles refer to the same individual. Many of the titles given to Mary are dogmatic in nature. Other titles are poetic or allegorical and have lesser or no canonical status, but form part of popular piety, with varying degrees of acceptance by the clergy.
When Catholics say, “Mary is our Mother,” these are not just empty words. They mean rather that we recognize Mary for who she is and also for her role in the plan of God. That Mary was the mother of Jesus the God-Man is almost universally accepted among all Christians and probably many non-Christians as well.
Once we have established that Mary is our true Spiritual Mother, we must ask what this means for us in our everyday lives? What is a mother, anyway? What does a mother do? Why did God arrange it so that every human person would come into the world through a mother? There must be a reason.
Does a mother simply give birth to a child only to abandon him or her? Of course she does not. A mother not only gives birth, but she also is given by God so that she might nurture, feed, teach, guide, and protect her child. God entrusts her with these tasks. In the human family, a mother is not optional. So too, in the spiritual family of the Mystical Body of Christ, Mary, our Mother is not optional.
In order to get to her, our blessed mother has provided us a means to reach her and that is ‘the rosary.’ The saints tell us Mary brings with her graces when we recite the Rosary. Through the Blessed Mother’s intercession, people have returned to the faith, recovered from illness and found the strength necessary to bear the burdens of ordinary life.
Mary remains for us, in all things, our mother. Like a mother, she offers us her hand whenever we reach out with the Rosary — whether we make it through the whole of it, or a single bead. She is ever offering to be present, and never tires of our coming to her and asking.
We must continue to honour our lady through the rosary although sometimes people find it difficult to go through a decade of the rosary. If you don’t get through a whole decade of a Rosary, try again the next day, and ask her to help.
Take the rosary with you. Snatch ten in the shower, and ten more in traffic, ten more during lunch, and ten inside the house, and ten with your spouse or children. Take her to your exercise at the gym, or with you to adoration.
She’ll always walk you through it. Don’t worry if you drift off in the midst — she’ll bring you along as far as you’re willing. Just keep at it, and it will grow easier. She won’t scold you. Just keep asking her to hold your hand, and the graces will abound. She will rejoice to bring you to her Son.
“Oh Blessed Mother, pray for us, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”