Mary Page News

October 14, 1997

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Special Synod for America: The Marian Paragraph in the Working Paper
Therese and the Blessed Virgin Mary
Constant Catechesis on Mary
Mary, Icon of Consecrated Life

Special Synod for America: The Marian Paragraph in the Working Paper

The September 11th issue of Origins published the Working Paper in preparation for the Special Synod for America. The final paragraph of the paper leads to reflect on a Marian perspective for the Americas. We invite you to reflect on this proclamation and join in prayer for this synod:

69. Just as the apostles together with Mary persevered in prayer and received strength from the Holy Spirit to begin the proclamation of the good news (cf. Acts 2:1-13), in the same manner the pastors of the people of God in all American, gathered together in faith with the successor of Peter under the protection of the mother of god and mother of the church, invoke the outpouring of the Holy Spirit so as to continue with renewed effort the mission of announcing the message of salvation in the midst of the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the men and women of this time in all America.

Holy Mary of Guadalupe, star of the first and the new evangelization, guide the steps of those who are in pilgrimage in this American Hemisphere toward the encounter with the living Jesus Christ, the Lord of time and eternity: "the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and end" (Rv. 22:13).

Therese and the Blessed Virgin Mary

The 100th anniversary of the death of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and the proclamation of Therese as a Doctor of the Church, calls forth the question: What makes a "doctor"? That is, what it is in Therese that encourages the Church to present her as a teacher of the faith? Bishop Patrick Ahern, Auxiliary Bishop of New York, has spoken on this topic on numerous occasions. This following is an excerpt from an article, "St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church: A Saint for These Times:" [St. Therese]

Therese and the Blessed Virgin Mary

St. Therese's Mariology coincides with that of the council. She rebelled against the distortions of her age, which exaggerated Mary's privileges to the point of nearly denying her humanity. She saw Mary as the quintessential little soul. It was not Mary who was great; rather it was the incomparable grace of the immaculate conception that was great, with a greatness that did not raise her above the church but plunged her into its very depths. She is, said Therese, "more a mother than a queen." The Second Vatican Council said the same thing. The fathers of the council declined to accept a separate schema on the Virgin Mary, preferring to place its treatment of the Blessed Virgin within the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium, precisely where she belongs, devoting Chapter 8 of that great conciliar document to Mary and declaring her to be the mother of the church and its model. What kind of a mother would she be, Therese had asked sensibly, if her children did not look like her and could not imitate her?

Certainly Therese herself imitated Mary. A priest who knew her well called her "A ravishing miniature of the Virgin Mary," a delightful description. How she loved the mother of Jesus! With a hand that trembled and could no longer dip her pen in the inkwell, she picked up her pencil for the last time, and this is what she wrote: "O Mary, if I were the queen of heaven and you were Therese, I would want to be Therese so that you might be the queen of heaven." Famous last words, worthy of a doctor of the church, easy to understand and easy to remember and such an astonishing thing to think of saying!

[Source: Origins Vol 27,12 (Sept 4, 1997)]

Constant Catechesis on Mary

Since the beginning of the church year, Pope John Paul II has spent the majority of his Wednesday general audiences on Marian catechesis. The catechetical instructions cover a wide range of Marian topics. These instructions are well suited to homilies on Mary for various memorials and liturgical feastdays.

You will find these texts published in the Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano.

Mary, Icon of Consecrated Life

Are vocations still viable lifestyles today? Is there anyone who wishes to be consecrated to God and serve the Church for a lifetime commitment? The Servite community offers Mary as an example of this total commitment.

58. Today the expression "Mary, icon of consecrated life" is often used. Here we want to offer a warrant for this usage in terms of the major forms of consecrated life-eremetic, monastic, missionary and apostolic. The Blessed Virgin Mary is in fact:

Quoted from Servants of the Magnificat: The Canticle of the Blessed Virgin and Consecrated Life, 210th General Chapter of the Order of Servants of Mary:

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