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To have a right knowledge of Jesus Christ and a good understanding of His teachings, one must have Mary side by side with Him.  Remove the blessed Virgin and one will surely commit errors about the person of Christ  and His teachings.  After all, in the two most important events in Christ's life, His nativity and crucifixion, Mary was there by His infinite design.

In the early Church, the Fathers had this clearly in mind.  But a few, like the monk Arius, concentrating more on the person of Christ without Mary by His side, began to commit errors.  Without Mary, His human nature and the reason why He became man becomes blurred wherewith heresies are born. 

This is even clearer in the Protestant Reformation when the iconoclastic heresy was restored by condemnation of veneration of the Blessed Virgin and destruction of her statues and images;  strange since Martin Luther said beautiful things about the Blessed Virgin Mary.  And because they removed her, heresies filled their concept of Christ and His teachings. 

Just as we cannot remove Mary from the picture of Christ without falling into heresies, we cannot remove Christ from the picture of Mary otherwise we would fall into false pietism. 

Jesus and Mary are there, both for our edification and imitation.  There are two examples, aside from the many others , which we can imitate from Mary that Christ possessed in an eminent degree.  First is her attitude towards sufferings and secondly, the way she cared for the graces received from God. 

Mary, though privileged to be the Mother of God, never ran away from suffering; she did not even ask for an alleviation of her sufferings.  She could have asked God to give birth at home instead of in a stable.  Hagar is said to have gone away from the dying Ishmael unable to bear to see him die.  But Mary went to see Christ tortured, humiliated and die on the cross.  Mankind, today, is so ready to run away from sufferings, easily getting remedies to alleviate their sufferings and whose prayer is often to be free from sufferings. . .so unlike Mary.

Whenever Mary received graces from God, she treasured it in her heart and took care of it using it properly without abusing it.  If we who are close to some powerful politician fall into graft and corruption, imagine if we were the mother of Christ.  We would have abused the privilege.  How often do we abuse the wealth God has given us for the salvation of our souls by using it to commit sin. 

The concept of motherhood is common to men.  We call our school, college and university our alma mater - our mother.  The Church is referred to as Holy Mother the Church.  It was natural for Christ to assign a mother for all men.  Specially considering the fact that some have no mothers, others have  unkind and careless mothers, others have mothers who are obstacles to their quest for God and there are mothers who are full of heresies.  We need a mother who does not have these defects.  And Mary is such. 

Catholics do not worship Mary.  In the early days, when a King would like to bestow a very special favor to someone, he gives his ring.  By that ring, any favor asked would be granted.  Mary is like that ring.  They never considered the ring as king; nor do we consider Mary as God.  Mary, like the ring, is she through whom God would grant any favor we ask. 

We are living in the last days.  The world is being divided between two antagonists.  On the one side is the devil and the anti-Christ. On the other side are the elect led by the Woman of the Apocalypse.  The more irreligious a person is, the more he will be filled with heresies and sin.  While the children of the Woman are those obedient to the commands of Christ:  humble, repentant and charitable towards all.  Like mother, like child, so they say.  If we must be the children of the Woman, who is destined to crush the head of the serpent, then we must love the sufferings God sends us and treasure the graces God has given us. 

John Cardinal Newman





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