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Mary our Mother.

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We need to give special honor to Mary who is not only the Mother of our Lord, but our Mother as well.

In the Gospel of John, we listen to Jesus’ words as He hung upon the Cross: “Then he said to the disciple, ‘Behold, your mother’” (Jn 19:27).  Jesus was speaking to John at that point, but it is commonly understood that John stands in proxy for us.  That is to say, in speaking to John, Jesus was speaking to all disciples when He pointed to His Mother and said, “Behold, your mother.”  And so, Mary is our Mother.  The Mother of the Head (Jesus) is also the Mother of the Body (us), and as John took Mary into her home, we must take her into our hearts.

Like all mothers, Mary gives us life.  By the sin of Eve, death was brought into the world.  By her obedience, Mary brought life into the world making it possible for life to be restored to our souls.  That’s why we say that Mary is our Mother in the order of grace (Lumen Gentium, 61).  Mary gave the world not just life, but Him who is Life itself.

Like all mothers, Mary is a teacher.  When she said “yes” to the angel Gabriel’s message, she taught us how to have faith.  She taught us the importance of obedience to the will of God.  She taught us that we must always be willing to say “yes” to God even when we might not understand what He is asking of us.  She taught us that being humble doesn’t mean that you are weak.  In fact, it takes great strength to live a humble life.

Like all mothers, Mary guides us along the right path.  At the wedding in Cana (John 2), when they ran out of wine, it was Mary who brought this problem to Jesus.  Mary said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”  Mary’s whole purpose is to guide us to Jesus.  This is why we draw close to Mary – she will always bring us to Jesus.

In 2006, Pope Benedict explained to the world Mary’s role as mother and teacher:

In the days that followed the Lord’s Resurrection, the Apostles stayed together, comforted by Mary’s presence, and after the Ascension they persevered with her in prayerful expectation of Pentecost.  Our Lady was a mother and teacher to them, a role that she continues to play for Christians of all times.

Every year, at Eastertide, we relive this experience more intensely and perhaps, precisely for this reason, popular tradition has dedicated to Mary the month of May that normally falls between Easter and Pentecost.  Consequently, this month…helps us to rediscover the maternal role that she plays in our lives so that we may always be docile disciples and courageous witnesses of the Risen Lord.

May we allow Mary to be our Mother so that she can nurture, teach, and guide us on the way to Salvation.

Another opportunity to learn, but it’s painful..

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Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid, and that all truth is relative to the individual.  This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual.’ (Definition from http://carm.org)

For some time now I’ ve been exposed to someone on a daily basis who seems to sit on the fence pretty much all of the time. The boundaries move constantly. Nothing is set in stone, and everything is questioned. It’s exhausting being around this way of thinking. It’s draining.  I think that this situation is so overwhelming to me because I am a Christian with definitive and TRUE beliefs, providing me with boundaries, answers and something to hope for. My understanding of the world around me is governed by my Faith and the structure that it provides. So my convictions remain steadfast, and I aim to make the best decisions in the moment based on my knowledge of what  I understand the Lord expects of me. In this way I hope my acquaintances get to respect me as someone true to my word.

A Relativist outlook on life seems to be one where indecision reigns, partnered with quick ‘get-out-quick’ clauses releasing one from all responsibility, sporting little backbone while walking the tight-rope called, ‘I’m OK if you’re OK’ gingerly, in the hope that neutrality will win favour with all. Slowly but surely have I noticed the unravelling of hidden knots release a ball of string that never seems to end.

I have a problem: I am to be around this world view for a long time to come yet, and I ‘m not coping very well. I have bottled things inside to a near bursting point. By nature, I say it as it is, but equally, I’m a Vanguard for keeping the peace. I do not like ‘rocking the boat’. It’s in my genetic make-up and if it means keeping quiet, then I am the first one to back away. A close friend said that ,’Being a Christian does not mean you need to be a doormat’. That hit hard. I do not see myself as a doormat, I just know that I don’t have the confidence to speak up, because I may say something I will regret later. A catch 22 situation.

I have found myself in a similar situation before, and I have yet to learn how to deal with a bully at the moment an infringement upon my basic right to be respected as a fellow human being, takes place. This is crunch-time. I have to make an assertive stand, against put-downs and undermining behaviour, in the name of ‘acceptance ‘ and ‘fairness’  to others. As a way of getting things done in order not to ‘offend’ anyone concerned, with the sole purpose of remaining in ‘everyone’s favour’.

I know I have to be honest to my Faith every time, by challenging relativist notions, and drawing a line in the sand that cannot be crossed. I need to trust my Saviour in the Holy Spirit. I know the journey is going to be unpleasant, but it’s one I have to take.