b) Mary

Mary our Mother jpeg

Mary:
Top Quotes

  1. “a humble girl from a small people… a homeless mother… a sign of hope” (Pope Francis)
  2. “A woman of listening, a woman of contemplation, a woman of closeness to the problems of the Church and of the people” (Pope Francis)
  3. “Mary was a young girl, pregnant, though not yet married, struggling to cope with her newfound situation…. As Jesus grew, she taught him home skills and prayers. When he left home to begin his mission, she had to let him go. At times, she probably had to defend him when some of their relatives thought Jesus had gone too far. Then just three years later, she was there at his crucifixion and burial.” (From a missalette)
  4. “Thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.” (Pope Benedict XVI)
  5. “Mary is the Mother of Yes. Yes to God’s dream, yes to God’s care, yes to God’s will.” (Pope Francis)
  6. “We find in her a true Mother, one who helps us to keep faith and hope alive in the midst of complicated situations.” (Pope Francis)
  7. “Hers has been a discreet and silent presence, making itself felt through a statue, a holy card or a medal. Under the sign of the rosary, we know that we are never alone, that she always accompanies us.” (Pope Francis)
  8. “This is what she constantly says to us: “Do whatever he tells you”. She doesn’t have a plan of her own; she doesn’t come to tell us something new. Rather, she prefers to remain silent, and simply accompanies our faith with her own.” (Pope Francis)
  9. “Mary is way more important than the apostles.” (Pope Francis)
  10. “From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things.
    From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone.
    From Mary, we learn to love Christ.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  11. “God could not have given life to a creature more beautiful than Mary.” (Curé d’Ars)
  12. “Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for… for all humanity.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  13. “Mary at the foot of the cross is just as she was at the Annunciation—letting it be done according to the will of God…. All we have to do is say with Mary, ‘ yes.’ Easier said than done, but at least let’s begin by saying it…. Bring Mary your worries and uncertainties as well as your hopes and dreams, and place them at the foot of the Lord.” (Fr Eamon Devlin, CM)
  14. “Mary knows that in her position as mother she can point out to her son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she ‘has the right’ to do so… Mary ‘intercedes’ for mankind.” (Pope John-Paul II)
  15. “The ideal mother is essentially supportive, not only giving us life but protecting and encourging us always. Perhaps no one is as interested in us, as eager to hear of our small triumphs and failures, as our mother. Yet no earthly mother, however cherished, can be to us what Our Lady is. Her protection and love are precisely what we need as we set off into the unknowability of our New Year.” (Sr Wendy Beckett)
  16. “(In the wedding at Cana, Mary tells the servants…) “Do whatever he tells you.” These are words of infinite depth, the essence of what Our Lord says to each of us always. We are asked to look at Jesus and listen to him.” (Sr Wendy Beckett)
  17. “Follow the example of Our Blessed Lady, the perfect model of trust in God and wholehearted cooperation in his divine plan for the salvation of mankind.
    Keep in mind the advice she gave the servants at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you”. Jesus changed the water into wine for his Mother on that occasion. Through her intercession he will transform your lives.” (Pope John Paul II)

Mary:
Full Quotes, along with Sources

“Let us always have at heart the Virgin Mary, a humble girl from a small people (“una humilde muchacha de un pequeño pueblo”) lost on the fringes of a great empire, a homeless mother who could turn a stable for beasts into a home for Jesus with just a few swaddling clothes and much tenderness. Mary is a sign of hope for peoples suffering the birth pangs of justice.”

— Pope Francis, in section 2 of his Address to the “Second World Meeting of Popular Movements” in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia, 9th July 1015

“A woman of listening, a woman of contemplation, a woman of closeness to the problems of the Church and of the people. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and with all the resources of her feminine genius, she unceasingly entered ever more deeply into “all the truth” (cf. Jn 16:13). Mary is thus the icon of the Church who, eagerly awaiting her Lord, progresses day after day in her understanding of the faith.”

— Pope Francis, addressing members of the International Theological Commission, 5th December 2014.

“At Christmas we tend to sentimentalise the Holy Family. From being people of flesh, we change the Holy Family into works of art, Christmas cards, or plaster statues for creches….

Mary was a young girl, pregnant, though not yet married, struggling to cope with her newfound situation. At one point she undertook a dusty, somewhat dangerous 75 mile journey to her elderly cousin Elizabeth at Ain Karim…. When Mary had her own emergency, giving birth to Jesus in Bethlehem, she only had Joseph with her. This was quickly followed by their flight into Egypt to escape from Herod’s slaughtering soldiers.

As Jesus grew, she taught him home skills and prayers. When he left home to begin his mission, she had to let him go. At times, she probably had to defend him when some of their relatives thought Jesus had gone too far. Then just three years later, she was there at his crucifixion and burial. Mothers have a lot to live with.”

— Given here as a quick overview of her life for context for the quotes below. From the missalette published by the Dominican Priory (Tallaght, Dublin) for 29th December 2013, the Feast of the Holy Family.

“The fiat of Mary, the word of her heart, has changed the history of the world, because it brought the Saviour into the world—because, thanks to her Yes, God could become man in our world and remains so for all time.”

— Pope Benedict XVI when still a Cardinal (Ratzinger), the year 2000, in his “Theological Commentary” regarding the Third Secret of Fatima as presented on a very interesting Vatican.va page

“In the Gospel, we have just heard the greeting of the angel to Mary: Rejoice, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Rejoice, Mary, rejoice. Upon hearing this greeting, Mary was confused and asked herself what it could mean. She did not fully understand what was happening. But she knew that the angel came from God and so she said yes. Mary is the Mother of Yes. Yes to God’s dream, yes to God’s care, yes to God’s will.

It was a yes that, as we know, was not easy to live. A yes that bestowed no privileges or distinctions. Simeon told her in his prophecy: “a sword will pierce your heart” (Lk 2:35), and indeed it did. That is why we love her so much. We find in her a true Mother, one who helps us to keep faith and hope alive in the midst of complicated situations….

(At the foot of the cross) she might well have asked: “What happened to all those things promised to me by the angel?”. Then we see her encouraging and supporting the disciples.

We contemplate her life, and we feel understood, we feel heard. We can sit down to pray with her and use a common language in the face of the countless situations we encounter each day. We can identify with many situations in her own life. We can tell her what is happening in our lives, because she understands.

Mary is the woman of faith; she is the Mother of the Church; she believed. Her life testifies that God does not deceive us, that God does not abandon his people, even in moments or situations when it might seem that he is not there. Mary was the first of her Son’s disciples and in moments of difficulty she kept alive the hope of the apostles. With probably more than one key, they were locked in the upper room, due to fear. A woman attentive to the needs of others, she could say – when it seemed like the feast and joy were at an end – “see, they have no wine” (Jn 2:3). She was the woman who went to stay with her cousin “about three months” (Lk 1:56), so that Elizabeth would not be alone as she prepared to give birth. That is our mother, so good and so kind, she who accompanies us in our lives….

Hers has been a discreet and silent presence, making itself felt through a statue, a holy card or a medal. Under the sign of the rosary, we know that we are never alone, that she always accompanies us.

Why? Because Mary simply wanted to be in the midst of her people, with her children, with her family. She followed Jesus always, from within the crowd. As a good Mother, she did not want to abandon her children, rather, she would always show up wherever one of her children was in need. For the simple reason that she is our Mother.

A Mother who learned, amid so many hardships, the meaning of the words: “Do not be afraid, the Lord is with you” (cf. Lk 1:30). A Mother who keeps saying to us: “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5). This is what she constantly says to us: “Do whatever he tells you”. She doesn’t have a plan of her own; she doesn’t come to tell us something new. Rather, she prefers to remain silent, and simply accompanies our faith with her own.”

— Pope Francis in his homily at the Marian Shrine of Caacupé, Paraguay, Saturday, 11 July 2015

“It’s not feminism to observe that Mary is way more important than the apostles.”

— Pope Francis in an “off-the-cuff Question-and-Answer” as reported by Inés San Martín for cruxnow.com after a retreat for priests from around the world, 12 June 2015, in the Basilica of St John Lateran in Rome

“From Mary we learn to surrender to God’s will in all things. From Mary, we learn to trust even when all hope seems gone. From Mary, we learn to love Christ.”

— Pope John Paul II (message to priests, Washington DC, 1979)

“God might have created a more beautiful world but he could not have given life to a creature more beautiful than Mary.”

— Curé d’Ars (in Pope John XXIII’s autobiography ‘Journal of a Soul‘, page 436 of the 1980 revised edition published by Geoffrey Chapman of London & NY. Note: This quote is under a title of the Pope’s called “Maxims heard or gleaned from various sources” and the editors of the book comment, “We give this list just as it was made by Angelo Roncalli when he was a seminarist, without trying to verify or complete the sources or texts.”)

“Her exceptional pilgrimage of faith represents a constant point of reference for the Church, for individuals and for communities, for peoples and nations and, in a sense, for all humanity.”

— Pope John-Paul II in his Encyclical ‘Redemptoris Mater‘, March 1987

“She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls.”

— from “Lumen Gentium“, a key Vatican II document, as ‘promogulated’ by Pope Paul VI, 1964

“Mary at the foot of the cross is just as she was at the Annunciation—letting it be done according to the will of God…. All we have to do is say with Mary, ‘ yes.’ Easier said than done, but at least let’s begin by saying it…. Bring Mary your worries and uncertainties as well as your hopes and dreams, and place them at the foot of the Lord.”

— Fr Eamon Devlin, CM

“She knows that in her position as mother she can point out to her son the needs of mankind, and in fact, she ‘has the right’ to do so. Her mediation is thus in the nature of intercession: Mary ‘intercedes’ for mankind….

Another essential element of Mary’s maternal task is found in her words to the servants: “Do whatever he tells you.” The Mother of Christ presents herself as the spokeswoman of her Son’s will, pointing out those things which must be done so that the salvific power of the Messiah may be manifested. At Cana, thanks to the intercession of Mary and the obedience of the servants, Jesus begins “his hour.” At Cana Mary appears as believing in Jesus. Her faith evokes his first “sign” and helps to kindle the faith of the disciples.”

— Pope John Paul II (section 21 of his Encyclical Redemptoris Mater, 1987)

“It was not until fairly recently that the Catholic Church named 1st January as the feast day of Mary the Mother of God.

Beginnings are full of hope and challenge, a good time to have the support of our heavenly mother. The ideal mother is essentially supportive, not only giving us life but protecting and encourging us always. Perhaps no one is as interested in us, as eager to hear of our small triumphs and failures, as our mother. Yet no earthly mother, however cherished, can be to us what Our Lady is. Her protection and love are precisely what we need as we set off into the unknowability of our New Year.

The Church’s New Year feast day, though, is dedicated to Mary, Mother of God (italics in original text). Sometimes we seem to isolate Our Lady from her full truth. All that she is, all her beauty and grace, comes absolutely from one thing only: her relation to her son. Nobody knew this more profoundly than Mary herself. She sang with joy of the “lowliness of his handmaid”; she rejoiced that she could “magnify the Lord”, and receive everything from him.” (page 36)

“Mary is great because of Jesus. He is the mediator, he is the sole way to the Father, he is our life and truth. Mary’s enermous privilege, her uniqueness (William Wordsworth called her “our tainted nature’s solitary boast”), was to give birth to Jesus. It was her “yes”, her “amen”, that made the incarnation possible. It was Mary who made it possible for Jesus “to grow in wisdom and grace,” and in the course of time enter upon his apostolate and his redemptive death. Mary would have seen herself simply as a conduit, the means through which Jesus could become our everything. If we divorce her from this, her vocation, we are not accepting the fullness of her motherhood, her motherhood of God and, through him, her motherhood of us. (page 37)

Mary, the mother of God, is a constant impetus towards the grace of God. (page 37)

(In the wedding at Cana, Mary tells the servants…) “Do whatever he tells you.” These are words of infinite depth, the essence of what Our Lord says to each of us always. We are asked to look at Jesus and listen to him. Whatever he commands, that will be life for us. (page 48)

— Sr Wendy Beckett, in her book ‘The Art of Christmas’, Redemptorist Publications, Hampshire, England, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-85231-354-1)(quotes from pages 35-37 part of a reflection on the icon ‘The Dormition of the Virgin’ by Theophanes the Greek)

“Follow the example of Our Blessed Lady, the perfect model of trust in God and wholehearted cooperation in his divine plan for the salvation of mankind. Keep in mind the advice she gave the servants at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you”. Jesus changed the water into wine for his Mother on that occasion. Through her intercession he will transform your lives.”

— Pope John Paul II to the Young People of Scotland, in Murrayfield, 1982, as quoted in “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches”, St Paul Publications, 1982 and online

“The wedding at Cana (Jn: 2)… ‘They have no wine.’ The words imply a request for some form of intervention on Jesus’ part. ‘They have no wine’——the words represent Mary’s mission before God: she is ever intent on presenting our needs before the Lord.”

— Bernard Camiré, SSS (‘Mary and the Eucharist’, published in Emmanuel Magazine, May 2002; as re-printed in preparation for the 2012 International Eucharist Congress in Dublin by the Blessed Sacrament Chapel, Bachelors Walk, Dublin)

“When you go to Jesus in prayer — and through him to the Father — you will always find inspiration in Mary his Mother. With every generation of disciples you will learn to pray with her, and with her to await the action of the Holy Spirit in your lives (Cfr. Act. 1, 14).”

— Pope John Paul II, said in Ninian Park, Cardiff, to the Young People of England and Wales, as seen online and quoted on page 90 of “The Pope in Britain: Collected Homilies & Speeches”, St Paul Publications, Slough; 1982.

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