“And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit” (Luke 1:41)
If God’s own messenger, the Archangel Gabriel, hadn’t called Mary by the descriptive title, “Hail, full of grace” (Luke 1: 28).
And if Mary had not been covered by the Holy Spirit’s “unspeakable shadow” (see Luke 1:35).
And if St. Luke, in describing Mary’s visitation to Elizabeth, hadn’t drawn a stunning comparison between the Virgin Mary and the all-holy Ark of the Covenant (see link below); and if Mary’s visit (with Jesus in utero) to Elizabeth hadn’t unleashed a veritable explosion of grace; and if, at the sound of Mary’s voice, Elizabeth had not been filled with the Holy Spirit and boldly proclaimed Mary to be “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:41-45); and if Mary, so uniquely full of grace, did not proclaim that “my soul does magnify the Lord” (Luke 1:46).
And if Simeon the prophet had not peered down through the decades to see that Mary, who had brought the baby Jesus to the Temple, was predestined to share closely in Jesus’ passion, saying to Mary, “And a sword will pierce your own soul too” (Luke 2: 35).
And if Mary’s role as a powerful intercessor hadn’t been so clearly manifested at the wedding at Cana when she moved her Son to work His first public miracle against His own will since His “hour had not yet come” (John 2:1-12).
And if the Lord Jesus Himself hadn’t bequeathed Mary to us (from the cross) as our spiritual Mother as He was meriting our very salvation, saying, “Behold, your mother” (John 19: 25-27) as she stood faithfully at the foot of the cross in fulfillment of Simeon’s prophecy.
And if Saint Luke hadn’t specifically pointed out that Mary was present with the Apostles in the Cenacle in preparation for Pentecost” and the “birth of the Church” (quotations from Pope John Paul II; see Acts 1:14).
And if Saint John hadn’t seen Mary in a vision of heaven, “clothed with the sun” and wearing her Queenly crown of twelve stars (Revelation 12:1-2); and if Old Testament typology and New Testament fulfillment didn’t point to Mary as the New Eve and Queen Mother (see especially Scott Hahn’s masterful book, Hail Holy Queen).
And if the testimony of the Catholic saints didn’t overwhelmingly verify beyond all peradventure the amazing assistance Mary provides to those who accept her spiritual motherhood (which Jesus merited for us), leading them to greater union with Jesus, perhaps then you could persuade me not to accept all of the beautiful and sublime teachings about her by the Roman Catholic Church, the only church in Christendom which can trace its origin directly back to Jesus and the apostles (and thus to Mary herself, Mother of the Savior).
“This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into the happiness of their true home” (Lumen Gentium, 62, Documents of Vatican II).
Tom Mulcahy, M.A. (on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima)
P.S. Perhaps, gramatically, each paragraph should end with a semicolon, since I originally wrote this as one entire sentence.
Various Scott Hahn tapes including “Mary: Holy Mother,” and his book, Hail Holy Queen; various Father Faber books (I believe he used the beautiful phrase, “unspeakable shadow,” quoted above); internet article Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant (This Rock: October 2005); and other Catholic apologetic materials. See also, Ignatius Catholic Study Bible; Dictionary of Mary; and by Pope John Paul II (click on link ): Mary’s presence in the Upper Room at Jerusalem – Totus2us
Image: Visitation, from Altarpiece of the Virgin (St Vaast Altarpiece) by Jacques Daret c. 1434 – 1435. Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Public Domain, U.S.A.
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