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There are countless reasons to honour the Mother of our Lord and our blessed Mother:

  • The Archangel Gabriel honoured Mary.
  • St. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, honoured Mary.
  • Of all the people ever created, God choose Mary to bear His Son.
  • Thanks to Mary’s fiat, the gates of Heaven were opened for us.
  • Jesus gave us Mary as our spiritual mother.
  • The fourth commandment requires that we honour our mother.
  • Mary loves Jesus perfectly and also loves each of us perfectly.
  • No Mary, no Jesus. (Although Jesus, as God, always existed) 
  • By honouring Mary, we are imitating Jesus – who will honor his mother for all eternity.
  • From Mary came the Eucharistic Body and Blood.
  • God chose Mary as His way to come to us.
  • Mary helps defeat Satan.
  • The early Church Fathers offered high praise for Mary.
  • Mary was a part of the most significant events in Jesus’ life.
  • God entrusted His own Son to Mary.
  • God has honoured Mary above all creatures.
  • Mary’s consent was required to bring Jesus into the world – Her permission was essential to our redemption.
  • Mary worked and suffered for our salvation and it would therefore be ungrateful not to honor and reverence her.
  • Mary’s consent made reparation to God for the disobedience of our first parents.
  • Mary is a perfect example of obedience.
  • Mary is sinless.
  • Mary is full of grace.
  • Mary is blessed among women.
  • Mary is the mother of our Lord.
  • Mary has found favor with God.
  • Mary said all would call her blessed.
  • Mary is the greatest of all saints.
  • Mary is the Queen of heaven.
  • Mary underwent intense sufferings on our behalf.
  • Mary is our Mother by the Will of Christ.
  • Mary is the greatest example of virtue in a creature.
  • Surely someone worthy of being the mother of the Jesus – that is, God! – is worthy of our honor. 
  • Jesus’ humanity was drawn from Mary – without her, we could not be Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
  • If the Ark in the Old Testament which held the written words of God was to be so revered, how much more should the Ark which contained the living Word be revered?
  • If one would “carefully handle a plant that brought forth the choicest of flowers”, how much more ought one to show devotion to Mary, who brought forth Christ?
  • Mary is our best guide to Christ.
  • Without Mary there would be no: Christmas, Easter, Salvation, Eucharist, New Testament…
  • Without devotion to Mary, one loses out on knowing their Mother!
  • It’s a privilege to have Mary pray for us, and those who honor her may ask for this privilege.
  • Would a wise person show great honour to an earthly king, yet snub his mother?
  • When one loves God, one should also love those whom God loves. “For it is the nature of love, to love when it feels itself loved, and to love all things loved of its beloved. So when the soul has by degrees known the love of its Creator toward it, it loves Him, and loving Him, loves all things whatsoever that God loves.” (St. Catherine of Siena)
  • If someone you knew gave up their own child so that you and your loved ones could live, would you not honour that person? Wouldn’t it show much ingratitude to not honour such a person? Well, Mary did give up her Son so that you and your loved ones might live!
  • If you want Mary to be there for you at your death, as she was for Jesus, you should be devoted to Mary during your life.
  • Jesus’ body – without which we could not be redeemed – was taken from, nourished by, and cared for by Mary.
  • Jesus’ plan for our redemption was totally dependent upon the Blessed Virgin’s participation – Any chance we have of salvation was totally dependent upon the Blessed Virgin’s participation.

And, since Scripture commands us to honor our mother and father, how could we fulfill this commandment if we don’t honor Mary, our spiritual Mother? As Scripture says…

“A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth…. She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne… Then the dragon became angry with the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus.” (Rv. 12:1-2,5,17, emphasis added)

Humanae Vitae: Day 31 A Great work

We’ve finally arrived at the concluding paragraph of this great encyclical: 

A Great Work

31. Venerable brothers, beloved sons, all men of good will, great indeed is the work of education, of progress and of charity to which We now summon all of you. And this We do relying on the unshakable teaching of the Church, which teaching Peter’s successor together with his brothers in the Catholic episcopate faithfully guards and interprets. And We are convinced that this truly great work will bring blessings both on the world and on the Church. For man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature. These laws must be wisely and lovingly observed. On this great work, on all of you and especially on married couples, We implore from the God of all holiness and pity an abundance of heavenly grace as a pledge of which We gladly bestow Our apostolic blessing.

Given at St. Peter’s, Rome, on the 25th day of July, the feast of St. James the Apostle, in the year 1968, the sixth of Our pontificate.

PAUL VI

“Man cannot attain that true happiness for which he yearns with all the strength of his spirit, unless he keeps the laws which the Most High God has engraved in his very nature”.  Amen.  That is why this is the work of the whole Church and why Pope Paul VI called on all groups of individuals to witness to and defend God’s plan for marriage and the family.  God knew what He was doing when He created man and woman, marriage, sex, and the family.  Abortion, contraception, same-sex “marriages” – all of these things are contrary to God’s design and great troubles come when we ignore God’s will.  Therefore, the Church has an obligation to teach God’s plan for marriage to the world and to defend marriage and the family against all attacks.  The Church must be guaranteed the freedom to do this.  The well-being of the human race depends on it.

Signature of Pope Paul VI

Humanae Vitae: Day 30 To Bishops

To Bishops

30. And now as We come to the end of this encyclical letter, We turn Our mind to you, reverently and lovingly, beloved and venerable brothers in the episcopate, with whom We share more closely the care of the spiritual good of the People of God. For We invite all of you, We implore you, to give a lead to your priests who assist you in the sacred ministry, and to the faithful of your dioceses, and to devote yourselves with all zeal and without delay to safeguarding the holiness of marriage, in order to guide married life to its full human and Christian perfectionConsider this mission as one of your most urgent responsibilities at the present time. As you well know, it calls for concerted pastoral action in every field of human diligence, economic, cultural and social. If simultaneous progress is made in these various fields, then the intimate life of parents and children in the family will be rendered not only more tolerable, but easier and more joyful. And life together in human society will be enriched with fraternal charity and made more stable with true peace when God’s design which He conceived for the world is faithfully followed.

Bishops, in being zealous in their own defense of the sanctity of both marriage and life, make themselves a shining example for both priests and laity.  This is “one of your most urgent responsibilities at the present time” because the well-being of families and society as a whole depends on the faithful following of God’s plan for marriage.

Humanea Vitae: Day 29 Christian compassion

The Ichthus

Christian Compassion

29. Now it is an outstanding manifestation of charity toward souls to omit nothing from the saving doctrine of Christ; but this must always be joined with tolerance and charity, as Christ Himself showed in His conversations and dealings with men. For when He came, not to judge, but to save the world (cf. Jn 3:17), was He not bitterly severe toward sin, but patient and abounding in mercy toward sinners?

Husbands and wives, therefore, when deeply distressed by reason of the difficulties of their life, must find stamped in the heart and voice of their priest the likeness of the voice and the love of our Redeemer.

So speak with full confidence, beloved sons, convinced that while the Holy Spirit of God is present to the magisterium proclaiming sound doctrine, He also illumines from within the hearts of the faithful and invites their assent. Teach married couples the necessary way of prayer and prepare them to approach more often with great faith the Sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance. Let them never lose heart because of their weakness.

The Holy Father continues to speak toward priests about the importance of mercy.  He repeats what was said earlier about how preaching the truth is an act of charity when it is preached from a concern for souls.  In fact, it is uncharitable to fail to preach the truth when the opportunity arises.

But he also says that it must be done with compassion.  St. Peter talks about being “ready to give an explanation to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,but do it with gentleness and reverence” (1 Pet 3:15-16).  The word used here is tolerance, a word that I’m not a big fan of quite frankly.  That’s because today, “tolerance” is used to mean that we should look the other way or that we should just keep our mouth shut at all times.

Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia wrote about the meaning of tolerance in 2007 when he was the Archbishop of Denver.  He writes:

Actually, I think the word tolerance itself is a kind of problem. Tolerance comes from the Latin words tolerare, which means to bear or sustain, andtollere, which means to lift up. It implies bearing other people and their beliefs the way we bear a burden or a really nasty migraine headache. It’s a negative. And it’s not a Christian virtue.

As Catholics we have a duty to treat all people, regardless of their beliefs, with justice, charity, mercy, prudence, patience, and understanding. We’re not asked to “tolerate” them but to love them, which is a much more demanding task. Obviously, tolerance is an important democratic working principle. Most of the time, it’s a good and vital thing. But tolerating lies about the nature of the human person is a sin. Tolerating grave evil in a society is an equally grave evil. And using “tolerance” as an excuse for not living and witnessing Jesus Christ in our private lives and in our public actions is not an act of civility. It’s a form of cowardice (source).

In fairness, Humanae Vitae was originally written in Latin, so when Pope Paul VI used the word “tolerantia”, he had the classical meaning of the word in mind, not our diluted modern meaning.  The point is that we have to live and preach the truth with both firmness and patience.  We are convinced by what is right and we desire to lead others to that same conviction.  But we have to be patient just as our Lord is always patient with us.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)