When Christ said: ". .
.Mother, behold thy son," He was referring to John; in no way were the
Pharisees and Scribes and even the Jews included. So, not every
Christian is a child of Mary nor is every Christian a true child. Or, just
to please everybody, all Christians are children of Mary; some, though, are
good while others are delinquent.
Let us put aside how to be
delinquents and concentrate on how to be true children of Mary. St. Francis
de Sales enumerates two things that we must do: first, we must invoke her
help. We must call on her as the Mother of Christ to help us because She is
also our mother. And, secondly, we must obey her who said at Cana: "Do
whatever He tells you."
Mary helps both the good and the
delinquent, just like God who permits His rain to fall on both the good and
the bad. But the very special helps and graces are given only to the true
children of Mary, as they are to the true children of God.
The WOMAN of Revelation is
definitely the Catholic Church. But the Church is also appropriately
symbolized by Mary. Appearing to Juan Diego in Guadalupe, Mexico, Mary
appeared as the Woman clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet.
Even as early as the fourth
century, Andrew of Caesaria identified the woman with Mary. And, in the next
century, Quotvultdeus, friend and disciple of St. Augustine, was explicit:
"None of you is ignorant of the fact that the dragon was the devil. The
woman signified the Virgin Mary. . .who showed forth herself in the Image of
the Holy Church. . ." In the sixth century, Oecumenius, the earliest
Greek commentator of the Apocalypse, described the woman as "Our Lady,
the holy, ever virgin and THEOTOKOS, Mary."
St. Bernard, in his homily,
Signum Magnum, described the prophetic vision of the Woman as the Church and
conveniently applied it also to Mary. St. Bonaventure thought that the
literal sense was Marian and the mystical sense ecclesiological.
The significant thing about the
Woman of the Apocalypse is that we, Christians, will only be protected by
God if we are with the Woman who fled to the desert to a place especially
prepared by God for her and her offspring, where she might be taken care of
for 1,260 days. We must be with the Church and Our Lady, living in the
desert, i.e. obeying all the commands of Christ, if God is to help us. If we
want God's special help, we must be Mary's children, living with her in the