Mary as Disciple
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By Deacon Keith Fournier
Madonna of the Magnificat (Madonna del Magnificat) - Sandro Botticelli - 1480-81
Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." Then the angel departed from her. Mary's profound Prayer, her "Fiat" (Let it be done) in response to the visitation from the messenger of heaven, the angel, provides a pattern of prayer and a way to live for every Christian. It issues forth in her song of praise, her "Magnificat." This song begins with the words "Magnificat anima mea Dominum" "My soul doth magnify the Lord" (Luke 1:46-55). However, the "Fiat" is more than a prayer and the "Magnificat" more than a hymn of praise. Together they reveal the Way of the first disciple, Mary, and together they constitute a lesson book, a guide, for this journey called life that we all walk.
Our lives, so real and human, with all of the blessings and all of the pain, can be packed with meaning, purpose and destiny, if we have eyes to see, ears to hear and hearts to respond with the kind of voluntary surrender that was so beautifully expressed by the Virgin of Nazareth in her continuing surrender to God's invitation. This lesson book is desperately needed by Christians, indeed all people of good will, in this age so characterized by pride and arrogance.
The pattern of that prayer and song was the pattern of Mary's entire life. She continues, in her place within that great communion of saints, to invite us to follow Her Son. Mary the disciple lived a trajectory of surrendered love. As it was with her, so it can be with us. It begins with Gods gift and invitation, invites our response, leads to praise and is intended to bear the fruit of a meaningful life.
Virgin and Child with Sts Simon and Jude (Madonna di San Simone) - Federico Fiori Barocci - 1567
She said "Yes" to the invitation to love and she humbled herself. She confronted her own fears and she entered into a new way of living, the Way of Discipleship. All of this was in a continued response to the original invitation of love, which was a gift and a special vocation, initiated by a loving God. Through this continuing response, she assumed a life's posture of receiving and giving, she became a fruitful woman, a "God-bearer" or "Mother of God". She brought forth the Word of God! This is a prototype of the vocation of every human person to bear the fruit of our surrendered love to the living God.
It touches the inner core of the meaning of life for all men and women who are children of the one Creator. We were made to give ourselves away to the Lord and, in Him, for others. Mary's choice, her response to the invitation of a God who always respects our human freedom, is a singularly extraordinary event in all of human history. However, it is meant to be much more. It is an invitation to each one of us to explore our own personal histories and to write them anew in Him.
More Mary, Mother of God
Appearances of Mary
The term "appearance" has been used with Marian apparitions and visions of Jesus Christ. The Church will confirm an apparition as worthy of belief, but belief is never required by divine faith. Read More
Mary as Mother
From antiquity, Mary has been called "Theotokos", or "God-Bearer". The word in Greek is "Theotokos". The term was used as part of the popular piety of the early first millennium church. Read More
Mary was there at the Incarnation, Birth, Crucifixion, and Resurrection of God Incarnate. She was there throughout the often called "hidden years" in Nazareth. In the life of the Redeemer... Read More
Since the Virgin Mary's role in the mystery of Christ and the Spirit has been treated, it is fitting now to consider her place in the mystery of the Church. She is acknowledged as... Read More
Mary as Model
Christian Scripture calls the "more excellent way", the way of Love. Mary understands this Way and walked on it with extraordinary humility. Follow her in journey through the Scriptures. Read More
A Bishop named Nestorius objected to the title of Theotokos, Mother of God or God Bearer for Mary. The Council of Ephesus met in 431AD and affirmed Mary was the "Mother of God"... Read More
Devotion to - and love for . Mary, the Mother of God, is a foundational part of the Christian Church both East and West. The Eastern Christian emphasis, both doctrinally and devotionally, is... Read More
Mary as Disciple
Way of Mary
And Mary said, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." And the angel departed from her. (The Gospel of Luke 2:34-37) Read More
Mary's Prayer teaches us to stay afloat in the ocean of life, with all of its undertows. Mary's way is to become an ark within, where the same God who became incarnate within her... Read More
Mission of Mary
In a beautiful apostolic exhortation entitled the Sacrament of Love, issued in 1997, Pope Benedict XVI wrote these words under a section entitled The Eucharist and the Virgin Mary... Read More
Before they were called Christians (Acts 11:26), at Antioch, they were referred to as "the Way". A Rabbi named Saul spoke of persecuting "the way" (Acts 22:4) before he was profoundly converted... Read More
"Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother... When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, Woman, behold, your son." Read More
Message of Mary
Devotion of Mary
When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them... Read More
But at daybreak on the first day of the week they took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb; but when they entered... Read More
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