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The Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist

The Mother Church of Stamford • 279 Atlantic Street, Stamford, Connecticut 06901 • Phone: (203) 324-1553 • Fax: (203) 359-2660 • Email: stjc@optonline.net


"The fact that January 1, this sometime Holy Day of Obligation, is a minor annoyance to too many Catholics is almost as sad as the disdain with which such observances are met by our separated Protestant brethren, who, much to their misfortune, neither venerate nor supplicate the Blessed Mother."

Our Lady’s Day

By Lisa Ingram

With a new year right around the corner, many are busying themselves with the adoption of resolutions guaranteed to make them fabulously rich, fabulously popular, or fabulously thin. In the midst of all these industrious reveries comes the unwelcome option of attending Mass on New Year’s Day. It should come as no surprise that, on a day best spent watching football and nursing hangovers, the last place these folks want to spend part of that day is in church.

So why go to Mass?

January 1 is the Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God, which celebrates the title officially bestowed on Our Lady by the Council of Ephesus in the fifth century. We join the Church in proclaiming that Mary is truly the mother of God the Son, Jesus Christ: true man and true God. The fact that this sometime Holy Day of Obligation is a minor annoyance to too many Catholics is almost as sad as the disdain with which such observances are met by our separated Protestant brethren, who, much to their misfortune, neither venerate nor supplicate the Blessed Mother.

Because, like it or not, Our Lady has a special hold on all people, especially Catholics. Whose mood does not soften when looking upon a painting of Madonna and Child? Whose eyes do not tear up at the singing of the Ave Maria? And even the most hardened and cynical fallen-away Catholic man will turn practically violent at any abuse of her name. Why?

Because deep down, they know that she is still their Heavenly Mother, and no man will tolerate insults to his mother; a truism that Protestants would do well to remember on Judgment Day.

My father used to say that no one on Earth is closer than brother and sister, because only they share the same blood. Those who are not Catholic share in neither the Body nor Blood of Our Lord, as we are most blessed to receive every day at Mass. This is why most of them don’t understand and even scorn our love and veneration for His Mother; because they are not in full communion with the Church, the Body of Christ, her son. If they were, they’d see that to be a member of His Body means that, in addition to our hope of sharing His divinity in Heaven, we also share everything that makes Him human, including His Sonhood and therefore, also His Mother.

According to the Gospel accounts, Our Lady was the only human being to experience the entirety of Christ’s life on Earth, from beginning to end. No one else received this great grace of exclusivity. And that is one of the manifold reasons we look to Mary not only as our mother and queen, but as our guide to her son.

The last recorded words of the Blessed Mother in the Gospels are at the wedding at Cana where she says, “Whatsoever He shall say to you, do.” These seven words encapsulate her love for us: that she ardently desires to lead us to eternal joy with her son.

And so we should rejoice that we have been made sons and daughters of such a Mother. And if we want to make a New Year’s resolution that will truly help us, try this one, every morning:

My Queen and my Mother, I give myself entirely to you; and in proof of my affection, I give you my eyes, my ears, my tongue, my heart and my whole being without reserve. Since I am your own, keep me and guard me as your property and possession. Amen.

Lisa Ingram is a parishioner of the Basilica of Saint John the Evangelist.

2 thoughts on “Our Lady’s Day 12/30/17

  1. Those who desire to learn more about the Blessed Virgin Mary, her disposition and her married life, would be advised to read a book recommended to me by Father Terrence Walsh and Father Gregory Markey: THE GLORIES OF SAINT JOSEPH by Edward Healy Thompson. On the Feast of the Holy Family, I encourage you to order this book and read it. We need role models for ourselves, our marriages, and our families. Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph offer us all perfect models.

  2. Many Protestant Christians are very mistaken or misunderstand how the Catholic Church views the Blessed Mother, believing that we worship her and they fear that we somehow “take away” from Jesus by giving her honor. She is often a final “obstacle” to be overcome during many a conversion to the Catholic Church. Yet, in coming to know and love her as the Mother of God and our mother, we actually grow more in love with and knowledge of Jesus, her Son. She always points us to Him and tells us to “do as He tells you” as she told the stewards at Cana. She never points to herself, she who declared “I am the handmaid of the Lord. Be it done unto me according to Thy word.” She pondered our Lord’s words and actions in her heart and was there with Him throughout His Passion and Death, standing at the foot of the Cross and receiving His dead body in to her arms, remembering her “Fiat” from 33 years before, trusting in God and his promises: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God, my savior…..He has come to the help of His servant, Israel and has remembered His promise of mercy….” She is the disciple par excellence and we do well to learn from her. We Catholics are richly blessed in the deposit of Faith and must lovingly encourage our Protestant brothers and sisters to ponder these truths of Mary while keeping them in prayer. She will lead them to her Son.

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