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Who is Mary?
by Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
I would then like to briefly repeat what I said before. I would like to speak on who is Mary; why we should love Mary; and third how we should show our love for Mary.
Who is Mary? Mary as we know from the New Testament is the one to who the angel Gabriel appeared and invited her to become the mother of Jesus, who the angel said would then be the Son of the Most High, the Son of God. Who then is Mary? Mary is the Mother of God. What do we mean when we say, Mary is the Mother of God? Does God have a Mother? All of us had a mother, right? Every human being in this world has a mother. Now God, as God, existed from all eternity. God never began to be. God always was, is and ever will be, but God became man. God wanted to become like us. To become like us however, He had to have a mother, and He chose Mary to be His mother. Mary then, is the mother of Jesus, and since Jesus is God, Mary is the Mother of God.
Who is Mary? Mary is not only the Mother of God, Mary is our mother. What do you mean Mary is our mother? Dont we all have a human mother? Yes, we have a human mother who brought us into the world as human beings, but Mary, because she gave us Jesus, is our mother as children of God.
May I ask how many in chapel today have been baptized? Well, if I may suggest I have been teaching at universities most of my priestly life. I keep telling my priest students, Never talk to people without telling them to do something. Hope you wont be sorry that you came, I am going to tell you certain things that I would like to have you do. I am going to pray that all of you will one day be baptized. Is that a fair suggestion? You should all get baptized, and if I can help in any way, let the sisters know, and I will be here to baptize you.
Mary is our mother therefore, because we are children of God. We were born twice over. Once when our mothers gave us birth, and once again when we were baptized. Who is Mary? Mary is the mother of Jesus who is Mother of God. Mary is our mother.
Third, who is Mary? Mary is the Mother of the Church. Every one who believes in Jesus whether they realize it or not, believe in Mary. Mary is the Mother of the Church. Let me finish up that first question: who is Mary? Mary is the Mother of God, our mother and Mother of the Church. Mary is watching over us. She is caring for us. Mary loves us.
Second question: why should we love Mary? Well that is easy, we should love Mary because Jesus loves Mary. When we tell Him we love Him, He tells us love Me, love My mother. Can you imagine anyone saying that they believe in Jesus and love Him and not believe and love His mother? Impossible.
Why should we love Mary? Because God so loved Mary that He chose her to be His mother. None of us (I hope you agree) chose our mother. You didnt choose your mother did you? You should be grateful to God that your mother chose you. If our mother didnt choose to bring us into the world we wouldnt be here. But God chose His mother when He wanted to become man, He chose to be conceived and born of Mary.
Why should we love Mary? First because Jesus who is God loves His mother. But a second reason why we should love Mary is because by loving her we can expect to obtain from Jesus through her (am I clear?). We Catholics of course believe that Jesus is God, but we also believe that we are to go to Jesus through His mother. So that for us Catholics we can say we pray to Jesus through Mary.
Why should we love Mary? Because if we love her she will obtain for us, from her son whatever we need, and you name it and we need it. I am so used to teaching class- do you mind if I ask questions? How would answer this yes or no? Do we always want what we need, yes or no? No! Do we always need what we want? No!
Why should we love Mary? That by loving her we will obtain from Jesus (watch this) not what we want, finish the statement, but what we need. And Mary knows what we need. She is so close to Jesus, He tells her about all of our needs. Am I correct in saying that some of you have found a home with the Missionaries of Charity? Is that correct? Mary knew that you needed a home. We need so many things. What is the most important thing (oh, how I like to ask this question hoping that you will answer it) what is the most important thing we all need. We need love. Oh, thank you! You are so right! We need love, and Mary is the one who can obtain from her divine Son what we most need. We need love. Love from whom? Love from God, love from everyone whose life we touch. What do we most want in this world? We most want to be loved, but not only by God, we want to be loved by other people. The most important thing that you people need, let me tell you it is not food, not something to drink, not a bed, not clothing, not shelter. What do we most need? Love! That is what we most need. And this is when we love Our Lady. We ask her to obtain for us from her Son that we might by loving Mary obtain from her Son (how important this is) that we might obtain from Jesus the power to love every one whom Jesus puts into our lives.
Why should we love Mary? Because by loving her we will grow in our love for everyone else. My last question: How can we grow in our devotion for, or devotion to and love of Mary?
I am in the right company! You are absolutely right. How do we show our love for Mary?
By praying. Question: If we love somebody do we talk to that person?
Are you sure?
You better be sure. If we love somebody we want to talk to them, and if somebody loves us they talk to us. Our Lady wants us to talk her, and this is the most important thing I want to share with you when talking to you about the Blessed Virgin. I didnt even have to tell you. One of your own members told me. Say it again.
You could take my place here, I am sure you will do a better job.
I studied theology.
That is beautiful. So we are to show our love for Mary by talking to her, and listening to Our Lady talk to us. Now what kind of language, what kind of vocabulary does Our Lady use? How does she talk? What do I have to do if I want to start talking to Our Lady? What is the first thing I have got to do? Before I can talk to Our Lady We are on part three now, part one was what, part two is why, part three is how? And I am asking, how do we show our love for Our Lady, and we answered by praying.
Thanks, you are a little ahead of me.
What must we first do? We must first think of Our Lady. Does that make sense? Is it possible to talk to somebody without that person listening to us? Is it possible?
Yes. Is it possible for someone to talk to us without our listening?
When we pray to Mary we are to talk with her, but first we are to think of Mary.
My first recommendation remember was what? Those of you who are not baptized should get baptized. Dont forget. May 31, 1998 I am giving you (I dont want to say giving you orders) I am making a strong recommendation, those of you who are not baptized, may I beg you, to be baptized.
Secondly, I am asking all of you to show your love for Our Lady by thinking about Mary. Talking to Mary, that is my second recommendation. Talk to Mary.
Number three not only should we talk to Our Lady, but we should know what words we ought to use when we talk to Mary. What is the one prayer that everyone, Missionary of Charity or not, baptized or not, watch every person, every one in this room. I think Our Lady wants every one here to learn one prayer. What is it?
Now what I am going to ask the sisters if you dont have it yet. Have you people learned the Hail Mary by heart? Are there any people here who dont know the Hail Mary by heart? Well suppose we say the Hail Mary together.
Hail Mary full of grace
Now to make sure you all know the Hail Mary, before I go back to Georgetown this afternoon, I am going to tell the sisters, in fact I am telling already here because Sister Delores is right here. I want everybody here to learn the Hail Mary by heart. And I tell you what, today is the thirty first of May. How much time Sister Delores should we give the people to know the Hail Mary by heart?
Oh my goodness. Sister Delores I have taught for too long. No matter what you tell people unless you give them a test, you dont know if they know the matter. I repeat you may be sorry you ever came here. I would like to have all of you&3133; Well Sister Delores it is up to you and the sisters, have every person here know the Hail Mary. I would like to have you sisters sometime in the near future give them little cards and no help. Somebody should watch the people. Have them write out the Hail Mary.
That is the third recommendation. The first is those of you who are not baptized get baptized; second to pray to Our Lady, three know the Hail Mary by heart.
Number four: have a rosary and say it. How often, everyday at least five decades everyday.
My fifth recommendation you would never guess. Which day of the week is especially dedicated to Our Lord?
Which day is especially dedicated to the passion and death of Christ?
Which day is especially dedicated the Blessed Virgin?
I would like to have you for the rest of your lives. I am going to ask my guardian angel to bug you, so that every Saturday for the rest of your lives you are going to especially think about and talk to and do some thing for Our Lady. I seldom say this publicly but I think this is the occasion to say it. My mother was widowed when I was just a year old, I never knew my father. He was twenty-six years old when he was killed at work. Left just with me, she was twenty-seven and I was a year old. Mother never remarried. My mother had a great devotion to Mary. Every Saturday was a special day in our home. Mother and I had a little shrine to Our Lady. By the way we were very poor. So poor we very seldom had fresh milk on the table. You see I feel very much at home with you people. We never had a telephone; we never had a car, but my mother gave me a deep faith. Every Saturday for my mother and me was Our Ladys day. I am not suggesting that you do this, I just want to tell you what I was trained to do. I never remember from infancy eating meat on Saturday. Never, of course Friday too because Friday is Friday. Do something special on Saturday. At least say an extra prayer to Our Lady. Perform some act of charity in her honor.
Today is the Feast of Our Ladys Visitation. Right after Mary conceived Jesus, she was told by the angel that her relative Elizabeth was already with child and expecting. What did Mary do? She didnt walk to Elizabeths. Luke said what? She ran!
Especially, my final recommendation, to imitate Our Lady in the practice of charity so that from this Saturday on, every Saturday will have three names. It will be Our Ladys day it will be the day of charity. You do something special for someone else on Saturday, and every Saturday will be preparation for the last Saturday we are all going to have. Will there be a last Saturday for each one of us? That every Saturday will be a preparation for that everlasting Sunday, which is my favorite name for heaven. Heaven is eternal Easter Sunday. We are not made for this world. Do you agree? We are made for Heaven, and I hope that all of us will meet again in Our Ladys company in Heaven. And I hope you will all remember on this 31st of May in 1988 there was a priest, my name happens to be Father Hardon who told us, I remember that if we do five things:
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