Future Priests of the Third Millennium

A little insight into the life of seminarians from various dioceses preparing for ministry as Roman Catholic priests, including daily activities, personal interests, special events, the spiritual life, news from the seminary, and almost whatever comes to our minds!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Prayer to Christ through Mary reveals her to be a Divine Teacher

This is Part 3 of a multi-part series on the Alliance of the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Immaculate Heart of Mary as a Spiritual Devotion. Part 4 will post soon.

by James Lannan, Theology II - Saint Paul Seminary


Mary - Our Mother & Teacher:

One of the things I am learning more and more is that looking to Mary can help guide a person to following Jesus' call. This is particularly true in moments of tension and confusion.

1. Primarily, Mary stored up all her contemplations about responding to God's call in her most Sacred & Immaculate Heart. This life of spiritual devotion, contemplation and prayer is an example for us to follow. The key is to lean into her, as our Mother in Christ, as this can help build assurance and courage in times of confusion and doubt about following God's call.

2. Stemming from prayer, follow-through on resolutions made in prayer are important. We can see how Mary's life of holiness, filled with virtue and purity serves as the greatest example of Christian discipleship for us all. This is what God expects from us. Yet, it is very difficult and we will stumble repeatedly on the journey.

By starting to do these two things and sticking to them, we can only begin to see how Mary, Mother of the Church, our Mother, and Mother of Christ can "teach" us how to hear her Son's callings. This is a key notion - Mary is a teacher inasmuch she is our Mother. Where does Mary first teach us in the Gospels?

Take a look at the Gospel of John:

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; Jesus also was invited to the marriage, with his disciples. When the wine failed, the mother of Jesus said to him, "They have no wine." And Jesus said to her, "O woman, what have you to do with me? My hour has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you." Now six stone jars were standing there, for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, "Fill the jars with water." And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, "Now draw some out, and take it to the steward of the feast." So they took it. When the steward of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward of the feast called the bridegroom and said to him, "Every man serves the good wine first; and when men have drunk freely, then the poor wine; but you have kept the good wine until now." This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed in him. (John 2:1-11)

"Do whatever he tells you." - It is here that Mary lets the world get a picture of the deepest tunnels and channels and chasms and cliffs of her Immaculate Heart. The shiny smooth streams of love that pours out of that Immaculate Heart are most colored by one amazing truth - her life is a giant "YES" to God and his calling. Trying to live this life of saying "yes" can help bring about profound joy, and at last, a deep and content inner peace a person has been longing for.

She is basically saying, "do what Christ say, listen to him, pray and reflect on his Word, and follow-through on it.

On Friday September 12, 2008 our Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI's homily at the celebration of Vespers with priests, religious, seminarians and deacons ends with a nice summary of Mary's example of fidelity.

During his Apostolic Journey to France on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Lourdes, the Holy Father said,

Dear brothers and sisters, in Our Lady we have the finest example of fidelity to God’s word. Her great fidelity found fulfilment in the Incarnation; with absolute confidence, Mary can say: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word!” (Lk 1:38). Our evening prayer is about to take up the Magnificat, the song of her whom all generations will call blessed. Mary believed in the fulfilment of the words the Lord had spoken to her (cf. Lk 1:45); she hoped against all hope in the resurrection of her Son; and so great was her love for humanity that she was given to us as our Mother (cf. Jn 19:27). Thus we see that “Mary is completely at home with the word of God; with ease she moves in and out of it. She speaks and thinks with the word of God; the word of God becomes her word, and her word issues from the word of God” (Deus Caritas Est, 41). To her, then, we can say with confidence: “Holy Mary, Mother of God, our Mother, teach us to believe, to hope, to love with you. Show us the way to his Kingdom!” (Spe Salvi, 50). Amen.

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