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The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Monday, November 28, 2011

You can't love me if you don't love my Mother!

At some point during a couple's relationship, meeting each other's parents will become paramount. The girl can be very intimidated to meet the guy's mother, knowing the precedence that has already been set by society in that, "no girl is ever good enough for a mother's son." It brings great joy to a son when his significant other is smitten with his mother.

There can be great strain on a relationship if there is tension between a mother and her son's fiancé or girlfriend; many of us can probably speak from experience. So it raises a very valid question, can you love me if you do not love my mother?" I am an extension of her. We shared many secrets together, we laughed and cried together. It's not going to work if you do not care to have a relationship with her. It's no wonder that friends come and go, but family remains.

The bond that a mother and son shares is much greater than any other sibling; speaking as a son myself. Mothers are very protective of their boys and want only the best for them. Unfortunately many mothers have a very difficult time releasing their sons, as no woman in the world is good enough for them.

Such a contentious topic within the Catholic Church today, that of devotion to Our Lady Mary. The name Mary is widely spoken about in the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, more than any other denomination. The name "Mary", that is, the Mother of Jesus is mentioned only a few times in the Bible that lay way for many to argue the role she plays in the lives of the faithful. Why do I have to concern myself with Mary or even give thought to her for that matter are some of the questions raised by many who do not know her as the mother of you and me.

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been awarded to men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and for work in peace. Almost every day a U.S military person is honored for his service to his country. The Webster dictionary describes honor as "to regard or treat (someone) with admiration and respect." So tell me then, if I can honor a man for his service in war or someone for their outstanding achievements, then why can't I honor the mother of our Lord? In no way shape or form do Catholics place Mary on the same level as Jesus.

Mary does not set an example for mothers only, but rather for the entire population. By saying "fiat" to the Holy Spirit" Mary took on one of the greatest roles in life today; motherhood, but to no ordinary child, rather the Son of God. Mary trusted in God by stepping out in faith to accept His call to service. Why Mary though? There was no accident in Mary's role in bringing Christ into the world. It's sad how little thought we give to Mary.

There may have not been much mention of the childhood of Jesus and His growing up relationship with His mother Mary, but I'm sure He had a very similar childhood that we have today. They probably joked around, shared stories of events that happened throughout the course of the day, hugged and even said "I love you" just as we do to each other. So are we to assume that Mary only gave birth to Jesus, but did not raise him as a mother should raise her child?

Scripture does not hide Mary's role in our lives today. On the cross Jesus gives His Mother to the Apostle John and to the entire Church, but also to the entire human race. She is our example of what true love and devotion is. Mary's life was changed forever when she accepted her role as the Mother of Jesus. During the third century, St. Gregory said in his homily: "For the Holy Virgin is in truth an ark, wrought with gold both within and gold without, that has received the whole treasury of the sanctuary."

Anyone who has ever lost a child knows the hurt and pain that is felt inside. The heart aches that it literally feels like it is breaking. What hurt Mary must have felt while she stood at the foot of the cross and shared in Jesus' suffering for all mankind. Mary demonstrated her maternal compassion to all Christians by just being there and participating with her Son in the sacrificial death on the Cross. A mother will lay down her life for her child; Mary in turn completed obeyed God even to her Son's death on the cross.

St. Bonaventure wrote of Mary's sorrow at her Son's death that "no grief was more bitter than hers, because no son was as dear as her Son." Did Mary abandon Jesus when He was carried away to be crucified? She was there the entire time even when he was being bruised, derided, cursed and defiled. Therefore, Mary cannot be seen as just an incubator or a surrogate mother. She was the Mother of Jesus who was both divine and human; she is an example to us all.

It would be a great strain on my mariage today if my wife did not love and get along with my mother. My wife can do no wrong in my mother's eyes, they talk about every and anything. Through her relationship with my mother during our courting days she sought intercessions from my mother that greatly affected our bond in marriage. So too are we encouraged to seek intercession to Our Lady "Mother Mary" who is ever more closer to Jesus than anyone. There is no way in this world my wife can love me if she doesn't love my mother. I would not be here without her saying yes to life. Remember Jesus' words to John at the cross: "here is your Mother."

The Angelus

The Angel of the Lord declared to Mary:
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord: Be it done unto me according to Thy word.

Hail Mary . . .

And the Word was made Flesh: And dwelt among us.

Hail Mary . . .

Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray:

Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts; that we, to whom the incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord.

Amen.

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