Catholic Tradition Newsletter A19: 3rd Easter Sunday, Mary Mother

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Vol 12 Issue 19 ~ Editor: Rev. Fr. Courtney Edward Krier
May 11, 2019 ` Saints Philip and James, opn!

1.      Mary, Our Mother
2.      Third Sunday after Easter
3.      Sts. Nereus, Achilleus and Domitilla
4.      Family and Marriage
5.      Articles and notices

Dear Reader:

This Sunday is a day in which our mothers are specially remembered. May has always traditionally been dedicated to Mary. In honoring her role as Mother of Christ and given to the faithful as a Mother by Christ while He was on the Cross the transition to honoring all mothers, for which she is the model, logically followed. It may not be politically correct to celebrate Mothers’ Day today, but while the ideologues discuss that, I want to use the occasion to explain the dignity of motherhood to our youth and young adults. This dignity is not found in a woman who haphazardly and out of wedlock finds herself with child—no more than one finds dignity in a sow or a cow. It is to be found in a mother who accepts her role as a cooperator with God in bringing a child into this world through the blessed union of matrimony. God ordained that an act in accordance with nature would bring life and does not prevent it any more than He prevents a sinner or non-Catholic receiving His Body and Blood if such a one takes the host by changing the Host back into bread. So the dignity is to be found in a union that God blesses—be it natural marriage or sacramental—and in the acceptance of such an office the mother is endowed with the cause of sacrificing her life for the child. Nine months she lives physically united to the child knowing what she breathes the child breathes, what she eats, the child eats, what she feels, the child feels, what she denies herself for the health of the child, the child is denied the harmful effects. The mother, therefore, is not living her life, but the life of the child because all she does is for the child—so the child may live. And when it comes to childbirth—even though the life of the mother is no longer in peril as previous before the C[esarean]-section and modern medicine, she still endures the pain of childbirth so she can love even more the child God gave her. Tobias instructs his son, the younger Tobias:  Thou shalt honour thy mother all the days of her life: For thou must be mindful what and how great perils she suffered for thee in her womb. (Tobias 4:3, 4) The mother of the Machabees spoke thus:

I know not how you were formed in my womb: for I neither gave you breath, nor soul, nor life, neither did I frame the limbs of every one of you. [23] But the Creator of the world, that formed the nativity of man, and that found out the origin of all, he will restore to you again in his mercy, both breath and life, as now you despise yourselves for the sake of his laws . . . .

My son, have pity upon me, that bore thee nine months in my womb, and gave thee suck three years, and nourished thee, and brought thee up unto this age. I beseech thee, my son, look upon heaven and earth, and all that is in them: and consider that God made them out of nothing, and mankind also: [29] So thou shalt not fear this tormentor, but being made a worthy partner with thy brethren. . . . (2 Mach. 7:22-23, 27-29)

And the inspired author continues: Now the mother was to be admired above measure, and worthy to be remembered by good men, who beheld seven sons slain in the space of one day, and bore it with a good courage, for the hope that she had in God. (2 Mach. 20)

The dignity of the mother given to the Church, who holds the title Holy Mother Church,  as also that revered in the Mother of Christ, the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which one sees the role both hold, which is to tend to the child[ren], is contrasted to that of the world. For the world sees women as providing workers and the woman herself as a possession of the state sees only benefit when she is working, be it in menial tasks or fields outside her character. The mother is never praised by the world for raising a true citizen of this world and the world to come; she is praised only when she neglects her child as she abandons her responsibility in order to be a worker for the state and delivers her child to its factory schools while the child is in its tenderest years. These women cannot be praised as true mothers and the state cannot be seen any different than the inhumane slave owners of yore who bred and raised slaves to work for them with no regard to the dignity of a human being made in the image and likeness of God,  nor the institution of  marriage. It is a consequence of the acceptance of evolution and the state employment of social engineers to design human progress not through seeing that man lives according to God’s order and institutions, but in contradiction to them and thus in contradiction to human nature itself. That is why a woman can now lay claim to being a man—contrary to nature but in accordance with social engineers and evolutionists. It is our prayer for our mothers that they find the dignity God has given them and restore their place in society in order to regain the honor God bestowed upon them, not removing it even after the sin of Eve. Their power is in their children who will be the future generation.

As always, enjoy the readings and commentaries provided for your benefit. —The Editor


Is Mary Mother of the Church?

Is Mary Mother of the Faithful?

With what was written last week, there is also in the approved apparitions of Our Lady of Guadalupe on December 9, 10 and 12, 1531, which has a Mass and Office for the 12th of December, the Mother of God told Juan Diego:

Listen, and be sure, my dear son, that I will protect you; do not be frightened or grieve, or let your heart be dismayed; however great the illness may be that you speak of, am I not here, I who am your mother, and is not my help a refuge? Am I not of your kind? Do not be concerned about your uncle’s illness, for he is not now going to die; be assured that he is now already well. Is there anything else needful? (Demarest and Taylor, 47)

Therefore, no true Catholic disputes that Mary is a Mother to the Faithful and can be invoked as Mother.

Is Mary Mother of the Church?

On Wednesday, November 18, 1964, in the midst of Black Week, Pope Paul [sic] made a statement at a public audience which went largely unnoticed. “We are happy to announce to you,” he said, “that we shall close this session of the Ecumenical Council. . . by joyfully bestowing on Our Lady the title due to her, Mother of the Church.” (Wiltgen, 240-41)

When the third session of the II Vatican Council closed on November 21, 1964, Montini stated:

. . . [W]e have considered it opportune to consecrate, at this public meeting itself, a title in honor of the Virgin which has been suggested by various parts of the Catholic world. It is particularly dear to us because it sums up, in an admirable synthesis, the privileged position recognized by this Council for the Virgin in the Holy Church. Therefore, for the glory of the Virgin Mary and for our own consolation, we proclaim the Most Holy Mary as Mother of the Church, that is to say, of all the People of God, of the faithful as well as the pastors [bishops], who call her their most loving Mother. And we wish that from now on the Virgin should be still more honored and invoked by the entire Christian people by this most dear title. (Ibid., 241)

Generally, no one outside the Council had heard of the title previously. Wiltgen indicates that Wyszynski claimed the Polish people petitioned for the title and that Montini, in return for the Brazilian bishops voting for it, would consecrate the World to the Immaculate Heart of Mary—which of course Wiltgen makes sure to note that Montini didn’t. In the discussions during the session there was great opposition to the title, and even the title on the chapter of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the document, Lumen gentium, was changed from On the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church to The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God in the Mystery of Christ and the Church.One must not forget here was the imposing influence of Bea (Ecumenism) and Rahner (Universalism) that inserts terminology that is equivocal—but takes out the disputed Mother of the Church. Of course, they knew Montini would proclaim it anyway.

Wiltgen notes: The St. Louis Review voiced the complaints of certain bishops and periti in telling its readers that “the granting of the title, Mother of the Church, to Mary by the Pope’s words on Saturday was in direct contradiction to the will of the majority of the Fathers.”(Wiltgen, 243)

Why is this title rejected? The arguments are several. The following will be a few of those held to be of importance.

1.      This title had never been used before by the Church.

When Montini gave this title he, knowing what the Church taught concerning papal infallibility, imposed upon the faithful to accept the title as a matter of faith. As Wiltgen even says:

What took place that closing day of the third session was a twofold exercise of supreme authority in the Catholic Church. In the first exercise of this authority, Pope Paul conformed himself to his College of Bishops and promulgated the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, which included the new title for Our Lady in an “equivalent” manner. When this action was completed, the Pope used his own supreme personal authority to state in an explicit manner what he, together with his College of Bishops, had a few minutes earlier stated in an implicit or “equivalent” manner. (Wiltgen, 243)

Every Catholic theologian knows that Catholic Dogma is not just created, but it is something of Divine Faith, a revealed Truth that has been held by the Church since Apostolic times and can be shown to be taught consistently by Sacred Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, the Doctors of the Church, the Councils, the Popes and in the Liturgy of the Church. This can especially be seen when one refers to the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception (cf. Ineffabilis Deus) and the Assumption (cf. Munificentissimus Deus). There was no development shown of the Church invoking “Mary as Mother of the Church”, though, as was shown above, there is that of the Church invoking Mary as Mother of the Faithful. The only known source to use the term Mother of the Church previous is Barengaud (9thCentury?) that was presented as a work of Saint Ambrose on the Seven Visions of the Apocalypse:

We can say that the Woman in this place is Mary, in that she may be the Mother of the Church, having given birth to the Head of the Church. And she may be the daughter of the Church, because she is the highest member of the Church.

[Possimus per mulierem in hoc loco et beatam Mariam intelligere, eo quod ipsa mater sit Ecclesiæ: quia eum peperit, qui caput est Ecclesiæ: et filia sit Ecclesiæ, quia maximum membrum est Ecclesiae.] (Ps-Ambrose (=Barengaud), Commentary on the Apocalypse, IV, 3, 4 (PL 17, 876).

And, more recently, Pope Leo XIII. Leo XIII, in his Encyclical, Adiutricem (On the Rosary) of September 5, 1895, wrote:

The mystery of Christ’s immense love for us is revealed with dazzling brilliance in the fact that the dying Saviour bequeathed His Mother to His disciple John in the memorable testament: “Behold thy son.” Now in John, as the Church has constantly taught, Christ designated the whole human race, and in the first rank are they who are joined with Him by faith. It is in this sense that St. Anselm of Canterbury says: “What dignity, O Virgin, could be more highly prized than to be the Mother of those to whom Christ deigned to be Father and Brother!” (St. Anselm, Orat, 47.) With a generous heart Mary undertook and discharged the duties of her high but laborious office, the beginnings of which were consecrated in the Cenacle. With wonderful care she nurtured the first Christians by her holy example, her authoritative counsel, her sweet consolation, her fruitful prayers. She was, in very truth, the Mother of the Church, the Teacher and Queen of the Apostles, to whom, besides, she confided no small part of the divine mysteries which she kept in her heart. [Christianae gentis primitias iam tum sanctimonia exempli, auctoritate consilii, solatii suavitate, efficacitate sanctarum precum admirabiliter fovit; verissime quidem mater Ecclesiae atque magistra et regina Apostolorum, quibus largita etiam est de divinis oraculis quae conservabat in corde suo—ASS 28,1894-95, 130; Par. 6.).]

For this statement of Leo XIII, there can be perhaps no explanation and none will be given, other than that the author of the Oratory Catechism claims Pope St. Pius X corrected the statement in Ad diem illum. What is noteworthy is that no Marian author quotes that section of Adiutricem until it was introduced at Vatican II along with Hugo Rahner’s explanation.

(To be continued)


The Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers

M. F. Toal


John xvi. 16-22

At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: A little while, and now you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me: because I go to the Father. Then some of his disciples said one to another: What is this that he saith to us: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me, and, because I go to the Father? They said therefore: What is this that he saith, a little while? we know not what he speaketh. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him; and he said to them: of do you inquire among yourselves, because I said: A little while, and you shall not see me; and again a little while, and you shall see me? Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you.


V. 16. A little while, and now you shall not see me.

CHRYSOSTOM, 79 in John: After the Lord had encouraged the Disciples, because of what He had promised them through the Holy Spirit, He again saddens their spirits by saying: A little while etc. This He does that He may as it were harden their spirits to the hearing of painful things, so that they shall bear up well against the coming separation from Him; for nothing is so wont to calm a soul which grieves, and which is held fast by sorrow as to repeat again and again the words which cause the sorrow.

BEDE: For He says: A little while, and now you shall not see me. For that night He was taken by the Jews, and the next day He was crucified, and on that evening He was buried, and shut away from human eyes.

CHRYSOSTOM: If any one should carefully consider them, these are words of consolation: because I go to the Father. For they are meant to show that He will not perish; but that His death is but a (translatio) removal from earth to heaven. And He adds another consolation when He says: And again a little while, and you shall see me; showing that, since He will return again, the separation will be but for a little while, and that their meeting again shall be without end.

AUGUSTINE, Tr. 101 in John: But these words of the Lord were obscure to the Disciples, prior to the fulfilment of what was said in them; so there follows:

V. 17. Then some of his disciples said one to another: what is this . . .

CHRYSOSTOM: They did not understand what He said, either because of their grief, which pushed out of their minds the significance of what He was saying, or because of the obscurity of what He said; and thus He seemed to utter contrary things, which were not in reality contradictory. For, they say, if we shall see Thee, how then is it that you are going away? And if you do go, how then shall we see Thee? So they say to Him:

V. 18. What is this that he saith, a little while? We know not . . .

AUGUSTINE, as above: Because, a little while before—verse 10—He had said, not, a little while, but merely: I go to the Father, He had seemed to speak in simple terms to them. What was then obscure to them, and presently explained, is now made clear to us also. For after a little while He suffered, and they did not see Him; and then after a little while He rose again, and they saw Him. He said: And you shall see me no longer; meaning that they never again would see the mortal Christ.

ALCUIN: Or, for a little while you shall not see me; that is, for the three days in which He lay in the sepulchre and again it will be another little while until you shall see me; that is, these forty days, from His Passion to His Ascension, in which He frequently appeared to them. And so for that little while you shall see me; for I go to the Father: I shall not always remain bodily upon the earth, but shall, in this humanity I have assumed, ascend to heaven.

V. 19. And Jesus knew that they had a mind to ask him; and he said . . .

The kind Master, knowing their ignorance, answers them according to their doubts, as it were explaining what He had said.

V. 20. Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep:

AUGUSTINE, as above: This can be taken to mean that the Disciples were grief stricken because of Christ’s death; and then made joyful by His Resurrection. But the world, and by this I mean the enemies who had slain Christ, then indeed rejoiced, at Christ’s death, while the Disciples sorrowed. So we have: But the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

ALCUIN: These words of Christ are meant for all the faithful, who amid the trials and afflictions of this present life strive to reach to the joy of heaven. But while the just now weep, the world rejoices: for it takes its joy in the present, having no hope of the joys of the life to come. CHRYSOSTOM: Then showing that grief will bring forth joy, and that sorrow is but fleeting, while their happiness will be without end, He puts before them an example from our own nature.

V. 21. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because . . .

AUGUSTINE, as above: This parable does not seem difficult to understand, for its application is known to us; and He has Himself explained to us why He used it. For there follows: So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice. Sadness is compared to travail, joy to actual birth; which is always greater when a manchild, not a female child, is born. In saying: And your joy no man shall take from you, He means that to which the Apostle refers: Christ rising again from the dead, dieth now no more (Rom. vi. 19), for Jesus is Himself their joy.

CHRYSOSTOM, as above: Here He also hints at some mystery, that He has Himself also eased the pangs of death, causing a new man to be born of them. And He also said that the woman would not alone have no more anguish, but that she will not even remember the anguish she had: so great is the joy that comes. So shall it be with the blessed. And the woman rejoices, not because a man has come into the world, but because she has brought forth a child. He did not say a child is born, but that a man is born again into the world; obscurely referring to His own Resurrection.

AUGUSTINE: I think that the words: A little while and you shall not see me, and again a little while and you shall see me, are best understood of the vision and glory to come: of which we have spoken earlier. For the little while is this whole span of time in which this present world revolves. When He added: Because I go to the Father, He is referring to the first part of the previous sentence, namely: A little while and you shall not see me; and not to the other half of it where He says: And again a little while, and you shall see me. For His going to the Father would mean they would not see Him. And so to those who were then seeing Him in the Body He says: A little while and you shall not see me: for He was about to go to His Father, and from thence forward they would not again see Him as the mortal man they were seeing while He spoke these words. What He added here, namely: And again a little while, and you shall see me, He promises to the whole Church. This little while seems long while it is endured by us; but when it is over, then we shall see how little it was….

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