Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The Most Holy Name of Mary

Each one of us, devoted to the Blessed Virgin, has a devotion to her under a special title. Those of us who wear a Scapular will call her Our Lady of Mt Carmel; others will call her The Lady of the Rosary; and yet others commonly refer to her simply as Our Lady.

But do you realise that once there was a time when her only name was - Mary? Every morning I say a prayer which acknowledges this fact; it is the prayer of The Lady Of All Nations which runs:

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Father,
send now Your Spirit over the earth.
Let the Holy Spirit live in the hearts of all nations,
that they may be preserved
from degeneration, disaster and war.
May the Lady of All Nations,
who once was Mary,
be our Advocate. Amen.

Many people have had difficulties with that little phrase 'who once was Mary'. This included the seer to whom it was revealed, her spiritual director, the bishop, and now, only now, I read: In July 2005, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith required that "who once was Mary" must be left out of the prayer given by The Lady of All Nations. The proper ending to the prayer is now "May the Lady of All Nations, the Blessed Virgin Mary, be our Advocate."

Shock horror! After more than fifty years of saying it as Our Lady gave it in 1951, and marvelling at the way it pointed us back to that humble little Jewish girl born to Joachim and Anne I now discover that we must say it otherwise (at least in public)! And, of course, if I ever say it in public I will obediently say it according to the Church's prescription.

I know that I am now going to fight a battle which has already been lost but what is the problem with 'who once was Mary'? Did Jesus himself not make a distinction between the tiny mustard seed and the tree -  the tree which would grow so large that the birds of the air would take refuge in it (cf. Mt 13:32)? Is the child not the father of the man?

Was the President of the United States not simply 'lil Obama, at one stage? Was Pope Francis not once, Jorge? Was the Mother of God, Queen of Heaven and Earth, Our Lady of Mt Carmel, the Lady of the Rosary, the Lady of all Nations not once just, Mary?

Is the Holy Name of Mary not ... MARY?

The angel came to this Mary and called her full of grace. He might just as easily have said Hail, O Immaculately Conceived One, full of grace. But he didn't. He said: Hail, Mary.

There once was a time when Mary, the little Jewish maiden, was not Mother of God, not Assumed into Heaven, not Mediatrix of all Graces.

I believe that only when we remember this can we truly pray, as she did: He looks on his servant in her lowliness; henceforth all ages will call me blessed. The Almighty has done great things to me.

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