Saturday, June 27, 2009

Holy Mary Mother of God

Today, Saturday June 27th was the Feast of St. Cyril of Alexandria. Now this saint lived in the late 4th and early 5th century; approximately 1,575 years ago. He is known as the defender of the divine motherhood of the Virgin Mary. Read what he wrote all those many centuries ago:

"That anyone could doubt the right of the holy Virgin to be called the Mother of God fills me with astonishment. Surely she must be the Mother of God if our Lord Jesus Christ is God, and she gave birth to Him! Our Lord's disciples may not have used those exact words, but they delivered to us the belief those words enshrine, and this has also been taught by the holy fathers.
In the third book of his work on the holy and consubstantial Trinity, our father Athanasius, of glorious memory, several times refers to the Holy Virgin as Mother of God. I cannot resist quoting his own words: As I have often told you, the distinctive mark of holy Scripture is that it is written to make a twofold declaration concerning our Savior; namely, that He is and has always been God, since He is the Word, Radiance and Wisdom of the Father; and that for our sake in these latter days He took flesh from the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and became man.
Again further on he says: There have been many holy men. Jeremiah was sanctified in his mother's womb, and John while still in the womb leaped for joy at the voice of Mary, the Mother of God. Athanasius is a man we can trust, one who deserves our complete confidence, for he taught nothing contrary to the sacred books.
The divinely inspired Scriptures affirm that the Word of God was made flesh, that is to say, He was united to a human body endowed with a rational soul. He undertook to help the descendants of Abraham, fashioning a body for himself from a woman and sharing our flesh and blood, to enable us to see in Him not only God, but also, by reason of this union, a man like ourselves.
It is held, therefore, that there are in Emmanuel two entities, divinity and humanity. Yet our Lord Jesus Christ is nontheless one, the one true Son, both God and man; not a deified man on the same footing as those who share the divine nature by grace, but true God who for our sake appeared in human form. We are assured of this by St. Paul's declaration: When the fullness of time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law and to enable us to be adopted as sons."

WOW! Again, written just a few centuries from the end of the Apostolic era and the patristic times. Cyril, as a bishop, played a preeminent role at the Council of Ephesus where some wanted to deny Christ as true God AND true man and Mary could not be mother of God. Of course the Church has always held that Mary is mother of God because she gave birth to Jesus.

Today, I read the following from Dr. Scott Hahn, fast forward some 1,565 years or so: "If you could have created your mother and preserved her from original sin, would you? Would you? Of course you would. But could you? No you couldn't. But Jesus could and so Jesus did!"

Again, powerful! Want to pray a prayer based on Scripture and 2,000 years of consistent teaching, try a Hail Mary.

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