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home : from the bishop : from the bishop January 22, 2019

5/1/2018 1:28:00 PM
A message from Bishop O'Connell: 'Behold Your Mother'

Bishop David M. O'Connell, C.M.

Love for Mary, the Blessed Mother of the Lord Jesus Christ, is as natural to the Christian as love for one’s own mother.  Mary is, after all, the Mother of the Lord and he is, at once, our Savior and our Brother.  “We never give more honor to Jesus than when we give honor to his Mother and we honor Her simply and solely to honor Him all the more perfectly.  We go to Her only as a way leading to the goal we seek, Jesus Her Son (St. Louis Marie de Montfort).”  We worship him as God.  We love her as his Mother.

In our own time, Blessed Pope Paul VI encouraged us, writing:  “Mary remains ever the path that leads to Christ.  Every encounter with her can only result in an encounter with Christ himself.”  This is so natural an experience because it is so true.

Christianity has loved Mary since the Lord Jesus’ final moments on the Cross when he said to John the Beloved Disciple, “’Behold your Mother.’  From that hour onward, the disciple took her into his care (John 19: 27).”  And so he did.  And so have we.  Mary was God’s most precious, most perfect gift to Jesus, and Jesus’ most precious, most perfect gift to the Church.

The entire month of May has been set aside by the Church for loving devotion to Mary the Mother of God for centuries.  The darkness of winter has passed, beautiful flowers are in bloom, the Easter Season is well underway and new life is all around us.  What better time could there be for loving and honoring the one who was given to us because she has given us her Son — the Light of the World, the Source of all Beauty and Goodness and Truth, the Newness and Fullness of Life.  Mary is the Mother of God and, as the Second Vatican Council proclaimed, she is the “Mother of the Church.” 

A mother’s love is unconditional and total.  It is only natural, then, that we return such love with true devotion.  “If you put all the love of all mothers into one heart, it still would not equal the love of the heart of Mary for her children (St. Louis Marie Montfort).” 

And so, we call upon her from the deepest parts of our being in all the moments of our lives: “Mary, Mother of Jesus, please be a mother to me now (St. Teresa of Calcutta).”  And, “If you are in danger, if your hearts are confused, turn to Mary.  She is our comfort, our help.  Turn towards her and you will be saved (St. Frances Xavier Cabrini).”




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