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Behold Thy Mother
In God’s infinitely wise designs, He has given every mother a very great share in the creation and nurturing of other human beings made in the image and likeness of God Himself. In fact, the all-powerful Son of God chose to come into the world by being born of a woman, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Despite this awesome privilege of motherhood, the modern woman, with the help of modern man, has debased and forfeited her great God-given calling.
The purpose of this work is to help stem the great damage done to motherhood and womanhood and to help reestablish her on her rightful pedestal of innocence and queenly modesty as well as to provide a brief look at the numerous falsehoods of the modern atheistic sexual standards which undermine the true value and dignity of a mother and of a woman.
In this day and age it is difficult to realize our true God-given dignity as a man or as a woman especially since life has become so cheap and the basic spiritual realities of life have been disregarded or forgotten including the shortness of time, the length of eternity, the greatness of heaven, the horrors of hell, and man’s immortality. It is very difficult today to follow God’s laws especially regarding purity which safeguard and protect the value and dignity of life and all that pertains to creation itself. We are bombarded with an avalanche of filth from our media and modern environment which poisons our minds, befouls our imaginations, and sullies our hearts.
Thus, we need a reverse bombardment or at least a frequent or periodic taste of the true and lasting values of life to counteract today’s widespread perversions and moral blackout. We cannot appreciate something that we know little or nothing about. With the help of God through the intercession of the Immaculate Virgin and Mother and all the angels and saints, may this work provide a small taste of the greatness of the Mother of God and of all mothers throughout the world in all ages.
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BEHOLD THY MOTHER – (Motherhood)
God’s Greatest Creature
The greatest creature and masterpiece that Almighty God has ever created is the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of His only begotten Son. She was made perfect and complete, conceived without sin, for it was inconceivable that the mother of the infinite God Himself should ever give any part of herself to Satan through sin. St. Louis De Montfort tells us, "It was only through Mary that God the Father gave His Only-begotten to the world. Whatever sighs the patriarchs may have sent forth, whatever prayers the prophets and the saints of the Old Law may have offered up to obtain this treasure, for full four thousand years – it was only Mary who merited it and found grace before God (Luke 1:30) by the force of her prayers and the eminence of her virtues. The world was unworthy, says St. Augustine, to receive the Son of God directly from the Father’s hands. He gave Him to Mary in order that the world might receive Him through her" (True Devotion to Mary). For it was only after God asked Mary’s consent, her fiat’, by one of the first ministers of His court, did God the Son descend into her virginal womb, as the New Adam into His terrestrial paradise, to take His pleasure there, and to work in secret marvels of grace.
Who Is She?
Who is this woman with whom the infinite God spent nine months in her womb, thirty years with her hidden from the eyes of men, and only three years with the rest of the world? Who is this woman whose love of her Creator and Lord is so great that if her love of God was placed into a balance on one side and on the other side was placed the love of God of all the men throughout time and even the ardent and burning love of all the angels, hers would outweigh ours by far!? "For Mary alone found grace before God without the aid of any other mere creature; it is only through her that all those who have since found grace before God have found it at all; and it is only through her that all those who shall come afterward shall find it" (True Devotion to Mary).
Mary’s God-Given Role – On Our Behalf
Since Mary was the Mother of Jesus, the Head of the Mystical Body, in the physical order, she would be the Mother, in the spiritual order, of all those who form one body with Christ. Without Mary’s physical motherhood there would be no Incarnate God; without Mary’s spiritual motherhood there would be no elect among men.
Mary Our Way to "the Way, the Truth, and the Life"
Mary is our way to God’s unfathomable mercy and she is God’s way (excuse) to give us His infinite (undeserved?) mercy. Just as a child goes to his mother to obtain pardon or a favor, so too, the true children of God confidently go to Mary, their heavenly Mother, in true humility and love. For who are we as base and sinful creatures to think that we (or our offerings) are good and pure enough to go straight to Jesus, the infinite Son of God, before Whom even the stars are not pure? Our prayers and offerings are so often tainted, knowingly or unknowingly, with selfishness, pride, and other maladies of the soul. The true knowledge of realizing in honest humility who we are and who Jesus (our God!) is, will lead us to seek a go-between or intercessor to perhaps soften our just Judge and placate His just anger regarding our presumptuous pride or our despairing self pity. Thus as St. Louis De Montfort tells us, "let us pray, then, to our dear Mother and Queen, that having received our poor present, she may purify it, sanctify it, embellish it, and thus render it worthy of God. All that our soul possesses is of less value before God, the heavenly Householder, when it comes to winning His friendship and favor, than a worm-eaten apple presented to the king by a poor farmer in payment of the rent of his farm. But what would such a farmer do if he were wise, and if he were well liked by the queen? Would he not give his apple to the queen? And would she not out of kindness to the poor man, as also out of respect for the king, remove from the apple all that is worm-eaten or spoiled, and then place it in a gold dish and surround it with flowers? Would the king refuse to accept the apple then? Or would he not rather receive it with joy from the hands of the queen who favors that poor man? "If you wish to present something to God, no matter how small it may be", says St. Bernard, "place it in Mary’s hands, if you do not wish to be refused"." (The Secret of Mary, by St. Louis De Montfort)
Mary – Truly, Personally – Our Mother!
Thus it is important for each of us to have a frequent and spontaneous child-like trust and love of our heavenly "Mother of Perpetual Help"; not some kind of a vague idea of her as an adopted Mother or a mythical Mother whom we cannot see, or touch, or know directly. For Mary’s motherhood of each of us is far greater than even the motherhood of our natural mothers. Mary communicates to us the very life of God, supernatural life, throughout our lifetime to be born into eternity from the warm and secure womb of Mary; whereas our natural mothers can only give us natural help and comfort for part of our lives. A natural mother cannot restore life if her child dies. But Mary can restore supernatural life many times – as often as we her children pray to her for the grace of repentance and a good confession.
Unimaginable Suffering For Each of Us
But just as our natural mothers brought each of us into the world through the pains of natural childbirth, so too, Mary brought forth each of her children in the spiritual order amid far greater pain and anguish thus making every man a debtor to her in a special way. For her love for each of us was and is far greater than all of the love of all other human mothers for their children combined throughout time! The astounding price that Mary paid for each of us in union with her Divine Son by delivering up her Son for us, merited for her to be the Mother of all the faithful as proclaimed and confirmed by Christ on the cross when He said to her, "Behold thy son", and to us represented by St. John, "Behold thy Mother" (John 19: 26-27).
Deep Yearnings For A Mother
Every human being has a spontaneous idea and need for a mother. We think of the earth as "Mother Earth" or "Mother Nature" since it sustains us with our natural needs of food clothing and shelter. We think of the Church as Holy Mother Church (synonymous with our Lady) who supplies our spiritual needs. Much of this natural feeling or desire for a mother comes from our early existence even before birth while still in our natural mother’s womb. For even in the womb, as we grew and even sometimes moved our small legs and arms around we were subconsciously aware of the warmth and security we had. And then after birth to be comforted, cared for, and to be nursed at our mother’s breasts further enhanced our contentment and longing for this precious love of our mothers.
Motherhood – Cardinal Mindszenty
The late Cardinal Mindszenty’s beautiful words reinforce our deepest concept of motherhood: "The most important person on earth is a mother. She has built something more magnificent than any cathedral – a dwelling place for an immortal soul, the tiny perfections of her baby’s body. The angels have not been blessed with such a grace. They cannot share in God’s creative miracle to bring new saints to heaven. Only a mother can … What on God’s good earth is more glorious than this: to be a mother". Amen!
Alibis to Deny Life Itself
But despite this high calling of motherhood, the dignity of woman has been almost completely discarded and forfeited due to thinly masked rationalizations of overpopulation or that to bring children into a world so warped and wicked would be to inflict upon them a cross greater than that born by Christ Himself, and in deference to Christ they will neither pollute the world with new life nor shackle the child with slavery and servitude to a world gone mad. Did not the all-knowing, infinite God make this planet big enough? Did God know what He was doing when He told man to be "fruitful and multiply"(Gen. 1:28) or when He gave Moses the sixth and ninth commandments? And the fifth commandment? Would God have given us laws that are impossible to follow? Rather than using overpopulation as a scapegoat, should we not rather face up to the real cause of part of today’s social distress – lack of wisdom in government, insufficient sense of social justice, selfish monopolization, blame-worthy indolence in confronting the efforts and the sacrifices necessary to ensure the raising of living standards of an impoverished group of people? Is not our modern perverted concept of motherhood and life itself a denial of the struggle for heaven and God’s will for the sensual attraction of the body and the world? Is it not true that every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged by man? And yet a young mother so often today feels the strong social pressure and hears negative anti-life statements like, "You’re not going to have another baby, are you?" These false anti-life rationalizations seem to be most prevalent among the pursuers of world causes. But are not these "causes " really a sham, an alibi that is merely the thinnest covering for motives of self-gratification?
True Cause of Anti-Life Mentality
A great evil, always a sign of declining civilization, is the fear of having children. Social distress (such as unemployment, low wages, scarcity of dwellings, etc.) is one of the chief contributing factors. But it is not true that it constitutes, on the whole, the real and compelling cause of this situation. The genuine reasons are the increased demands made by modern life upon people. Our attitude toward comfort, luxury, and pleasure is changed. The balance between income and expenses was essentially the same a hundred years ago, but life then was less pretentious. Luxuries and pleasures involving great outlay of money were scarcely thought of by the poorer classes in those times. It was taken as a matter of course that marriage would bring children, whose care and the family’s general necessities were the first items of the budget. If something remained over, that might be spent on pleasures. But now all is changed. Our advance in technical discovery has made many things possible even to the poorer classes, and so their desires increase and are being constantly stimulated by the frequent changing of articles produced and advertised. The modern man considers first what he needs for his more or less luxurious apartment and for his personal comfort, and concludes that there is not sufficient left upon which to raise a large family. Thus it has become an axiom that one cannot have any or many children. By repetition in papers, discussions, and conversations, this idea has gained such power of suggestion that it dominates the mind of those who contemplate marriage. If we add to this the power of human respect and the fact that a whole array of birth prevention and abortive tools can be had for little money in almost every drugstore, we can readily understand the present condition. All movements for better housing, living conditions, and the like should, of course, be promoted, but they are not the ultimate solution. The same person, who now with very limited means refuses to have children, will again do so when he is more favorably situated, because his pretensions will have grown also.
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