Monday, December 8, 2008

Immaculate Mother

Catholics observe today the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. I had always been under the impression that this Holy Day of Obligation marked what the angel had told Mary, “The holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Lk 1: 35

The Immaculate Conception refers to one of the four Marian Dogmas: Mary was conceived without original sin. She didn’t have to do anything heroic, saintly, extraordinary. She was completely undeserving of the honor bestowed upon her by a God who has a master plan of salvation. “In him we were also chosen, destined in accord with the purpose of the One who accomplishes all things according to the intention of his will, so that we might exist for the praise of his glory.” Eph 1: 12

The four Marian declarations of doctrine include Mary, Mother of God (431 AD); Mary, Ever Virgin (649 AD); Immaculate Conception of Mary (1854); Assumption of Mary (1950).

After the Reformation, there was severe criticism leveled at the Church for promoting the purported worship of Mary. Until today, many protestants continue to hold onto this misconception. Catholics are taught to honor Mary because of the exceptional grace endowed to her by God, as earlier stated not because of anything she did but because she was God’s choice.

My grandfather Jose S Bautista (1894-1996) was a lifelong devotee of Mary. His mother died when he was 2 years old, photography was not yet available then so he never even had an idea of his mother’s likeness. He longed all his life for just a fleeting vision of his mother. Growing up an orphan, he understood his life could have taken many wrong turns but he always turned to Mary for guidance. He was a prosperous landowner, a respected Judge and he made it known that he attributed his blessings to the intercession of his mother Mary.

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue
(Mary Dixon Thayer)

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!

Did you lift Him up, sometimes, Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way Mother does to me?
Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?

Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things -------Little things that happen? And
Do the Angels' wings
Make a noise?
And can He hear
Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me -------for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue -------
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

1 comment:

azron said...

Not being of Catholic persuasion, I was mislead as to the role of Mary in Catholic teaching, I was mercifully delivered in the past 10 years working in a Catholic instiution where I have learned the beauty of Marian devotion and its proper role and understanding in Catholic theology. Interestingly to me, I think some lay Catholics are to fault for some of the errors - some treat Mary like a good luck charm or in a role more significant than her Son.