Mary, Mother of the Church
Mother of the Church (in Latin Mater Ecclesiae) is a title, officially given to Mary during the Second Vatican Council by Pope Paul VI. The title was first used in the 4th century by Saint Ambrose of Milan, as rediscovered by Fr. Hugo Rahner. Hugo Karl Erich Rahner, S.J. was a German Jesuit, noted theologian, and Church historian,. Fr. Hugo Rahner showed that Mariology was originally ecclesiology; the Church is like Mary. The Church is virgin and mother, she is immaculate and carries the burdens of history. She suffers and she is assumed into heaven. Slowly the Church learns that Mary is her mirror, that she is a person in Mary. Mary, on the other hand, is not an isolated individual, who rests in herself. She carries the mystery of the Church.
Pope Benedict lamented that this unity of the Church and Mary, brought to light by Rahner, was overshadowed in later centuries. A Marian view of the Church and an ecclesiological view of Mary in salvation history leads directly to Christ. It brings to light what is meant by holiness and by God being human.
The title "Mother of the Church" was used by Pope Benedict XIV in 1748 and then by Pope Leo XIII in 1885. The title was also used by Pope John Paul II, and is also found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Pope John Paul II stated that overall the title indicates the Blessed Virgin Mary's maternity of Christ's faithful, as deriving from her maternity of Christ in that "Mary is present in the Church as the Mother of Christ, and at the same time as that Mother whom Christ, in the mystery of the Redemption, gave to humanity in the person of the Apostle John. Thus, in her new motherhood in the Spirit, Mary embraces each and every one in the Church, and embraces each and every one through the Church.
The Church has traditionally portrayed the Blessed Virgin Mary together with the apostles and disciples gathered at that first Pentecost, joined in prayer with the first members of the Church. She is invoked as Mother of the Church and the teacher and Queen of the Apostles. Following the title's usage by Leo XIII, it was later used many times in the teachings of Pope John XXIII, PopePaul VI, PopeJohn Paul II, and PopeBenedict XVI. 1
Mary, Mother of the Church in the Catechism
Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
Saint Thomas Aquinas once said “Quarrels arise more frequently when there is no division of the things possessed." However, it would be erroneous to interpret these words as relating only to physical boundaries or personal property. More importantly, they refer to personal, psychological, and spiritual boundaries. Walls exist because sin and disorder exists. Scandals arise, and evil flourishes, where God given rights and societal norms are violated; where the attraction for our passions overrides the respect and love our neighbor is due. As the conservative social historian, Russel Kirk, once said, "Order is the first need of the soul." In the beginning, prior to all creation, God brought order out of chaos. Where there are no boundaries, where rights are violated, where laws are trampled, freedom is destroyed and chaos and evil reigns. And where walls are damaged, and in need of repair, neighbors need to work together to mend those fences and restore proper respect and boundaries.
Pope Francis Institutes New
Celebration of Mary
“Mother of the Church”
Pope Francis has decreed that the ancient devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of Mother of the Church, be inserted into the Roman Calendar.
Hebrew: "Blessed be the Name of the Lord."
Vision Amid Scandal
As I reflect on the challenges in the Church this past year, it easily draws me to sorrow. Even so, I see a powerful light piercing through the dark clouds onto the valley floor. This light is the light of Christ that no cloud of corruption can permanently obscure. This is a light that never ceases to pierce and dispel the darkness. This is a light that has a name, His name is Jesus. His name and His Church are the reason I exist. He is my purpose, our purpose, our salvation.
As we enter into Advent, the dawn of our salvation, we are reminded of the Light that once came and comes again at every Mass. This Light shined in the darkness then, and it does so now. It breaks the darkness of broken hearts and minds ... It ignites the minds of future priests. It is the light that beckons the hearts of all Christians to noble and holy vocations. These are the lights of God that He has given us to give to the world. 3
See something different
In a time when the Church is plagued by scandal and attacked from all sides, it is clear that these men see something different, something noble, something worthy of their lives. 4
'I am wounded by love'
What, I ask, is more wonderful than the beauty of God? What thought is more pleasing and wonderful than God’s majesty? What desire is as urgent and overpowering as the desire implanted by God in a soul that is completely purified of sin and cries out in its love: I am wounded by love? The radiance of divine beauty is altogether beyond the power of words to describe.
- Saint Basil the Great