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Our Blessed Mother


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by Chris Storm, Guest Columnist

There are few subjects as needlessly divisive in Christian discourse as that of
the Church’s relationship with the Blessed Mother. All Christians agree that her role
in the salvation scheme was both essential and unique, and yet – sadly – the
Church’s devotion to her is sometimes misunderstood as worship – or worse. The
truth of the situation is that all Christians are bonded to Our Lady in a powerful way,
regardless of denomination or devotional practice. Her story is not just similar to
ours; we are mystically united together, our Mother and us, in struggles and
triumphs.

Consider, first, our roles in salvation history. By nature of her womanhood,
Mary was empowered to carry new life into the world; with her fiat, she
participated in carrying the Divine Life into human nature. The Church now follows
her example and strives to bring the Divine Life into the world both by being the
Body of Christ (1st Cor 12:27) and by sacramentally sharing it (1st Cor 10:16). In
this, both Mary and the Church are of common purpose.

We likewise share in safeguarding what we have brought into the world.
Mary, for her part, was entrusted with the Son of God’s physical well being. She
sought refuge for him in Bethlehem (Luke 2:7), searched for him in Jerusalem
(2:46), and accompanied his passion (John 19:25). The Church, for its part, can little
protect Christ as he is manifested today (either as the Eucharistic host or as itself,
the Body of Christ) but we stand diligent watch over his legacy (2nd Tim 4:3; Acts
20:28). Time and again the Church has stared down false messiahs and would-be
prophets who have twisted Christ’s teachings to their own misguided purposes. She
was the guardian of the boy; we are the guardians of his legacy.

And, as such, we have enemies. Mary and the Church are not just similar in
our combat, but scripturally identical. The Book of Revelation describes Satan’s last
offensive in his war against Heaven, one final objective that would make him
victorious: the destruction of the Woman in the Sky. She is one of the Bible’s most
brilliant symbols, simultaneously and flawlessly representing both the Virgin and
the Church in every key detail.

“The woman’s head is crowned by twelve stars; the top of the primitive
Church was the council of twelve apostles. The woman is clothed with the sun; the
Church is imbued both figuratively and ritually with the Light of the World. The
woman “wails aloud in pain as she labors to give birth” (Rev 12:4) the Church
struggles to manifest the glory of God in a world both hungry for and resistant to the
Divine Life. She gives birth to a son “destined to rule all nations” who is “caught up
to the throne of God” (12:5); the Church, as noted above, brings Christ into the
world through sacramental celebrations and through works of mercy. It is God’s
revelation of things to come and He himself reveals that her victory of Satan is
united with ours.

She shares our purpose; she shares our struggles; she shares our victory! For
those reasons, we can say with confidence that among all people we have no greater
supporter or ally. She cheers for us, and we for her. She introduced us to her Son;
now we are become his hands and feet. And we will stand together on the last days
– she, the mother, proud of her children; we, the children, proud of our Blessed
Mother.

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