May 2006 - Volume 10, Issue 10

Mary, The Mother Of The Church

By Rev. Mark Connolly

Painting of Mary, Mother of GodAbout a year ago a national survey was taken concerning American history and the American child. The survey proved that over 50% of our children were in total ignorance concerning the great historical episodes that have taken place in our land. Most of them had no reading knowledge of the First World War or the Second World War. Vietnam was a vague episode in their minds. When you think of people our age who can remember what Pearl Harbor meant to our country with the droppings of the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, when you think of the hundreds of thousands of men and women who lost their lives so that all people could have more freedom, this ignorance is a tragedy. History gives us the great stories of men and women who paid a price for the four freedoms we know have.

What is taking place concerning history in our country is also taking place concerning the realm of theology of many young people. The month of May has been traditionally set aside to honor Mary, the mother of Christ, the woman who saved the church in its early days after the death of Christ. When you think of how the twelve apostles were fragmented and scattered and then unified by Mary, the mother of God, it is a reminder of one of the greatest historical personalities of the past and so much of this has been forgotten.

When you think of our own upbringing of the people of our age, Mary, the mother of God, the Blessed Virgin, rosaries, novenas all honoring the most powerful personality in the kingdom of God, namely our blessed mother, think of what our children have lost by not having any association with this unusual personality. Every one of the great saints from St. Augustine to St. Thomas down to Mother Teresa and Thomas Merton have all written about the powerful personality whom we call Our Blessed Mother.

Photo of a mother holding her babyCardinal Newman many years ago mentioned that if devotion to our Blessed Mother is strong among Catholics, our Catholic Church will be strong in whatever society it is called to do the work of God. The Church runs smoothly if devotion to Mary is real and ardent. If you go back into your own training, the mother of Christ was considered a model for all mothers, both Mary, the mother of Christ, and your mothers were educators, teachers, imparted spirituality to others and taught us that God is in the heavens, all is right with the world.

This month we honor mothers all over the country not just with flowers or cards, but for the impact they have made on our lives. If we really believe that Mary, the mother of God, saved the church years ago, then we can really look forward to the fact that so many mothers of today have many of the qualities of our blessed mother and the church needs those qualities to become more operative. If there is anything that the Catholic Church needs today it is good mother's who can give direction, give help, give insight into a Church that is in much trouble today as it was after the death of Christ. This is not a plea for woman becoming priest or priest getting married, this is a plea to remind every mother that your family is lucky to have you and be grateful for the value system that mother's impart to all the members of our family. There is no question in any historians mind that the Catholic Church was saved by Mary, the mother of Christ, centuries ago. There is no question in any historians mind today that the mother's of our day cannot only salvage their families, but salvage the Church that needs their help.